Wednesday, October 27, 2010

YemenWatch: October 27, 2010

Yemeni troops and local tribes are fighting AQAP all over Yemen, such as in Shabwa province.  Shabwa is east and north of Abyan, where the military is also working with the tribes, and Dalie is west of Abyan.  Although some tribes are helping in Shabwa, some are still upset with the South Korean oil company.

Meanwhile, there are parliamentary problems too.  The opposition party is calling for "freezing the dialogue" with the ruling party.  And merchants are upset with the Tax Authority in Sana'a and are calling for a fatwa against tax collectors.  In good news, the tribal problem with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is over, and an ox was slaughtered in the customary manner.

There are ties between Yemen and Somalia, but now the Somali government is trying to claim an archipelago that currently belongs to Yemen.  I doubt this will affect the terrorist ties between the two nations, but it could cause further destablization if it escalates.

After the sporting venue attacks, Yemen has stepped up security for the Gulf Cup, bringing in 30,000 troops and 10,000 secret service.  If I was in the Yemeni government, I would be seriously concerned about this event.  It's not completely clear if AQAP or tribesmen were responsible for the previously prevented attacks.  But if AQAP is looking for a big event to make its presence known on the Arabian Peninsula, this would be the place. (Or it would make a great distraction.)

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