Yemen .. Re-opening Shahn crossing in Mahrah after clashes with Saudi forces

Mahrah (Debriefer)
2019-03-13 | Since 2 Month

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

Sources in the province of Mahrah east of Yemen confirmed the reopening of a Shahn border crossing after its closure last Monday after clashes between members of the tribes of the province and the Saudi forces, because of the tribes refuse to pass containers of these forces through the port of activists and the airport al-Ghaydha.

Saudi Arabia has been trying to control Mahrah province since late 2017 to develop sites and checkpoints in several areas after it took control of the airport and the port of activists, amid strong opposition from the people who organize vigils and festivals in protest against the Saudi presence.

On Monday, small and medium arms fire broke out between tribes and Saudi forces near Shahn border crossing to Oman after Saudi forces tried to secure the passage of trucks carrying military equipment.

Local Yemeni sources said that "tribesmen managed to stop the trucks followed by a halt to the exchange of fire that had resulted in the deaths and injuries on both sides.

The sources pointed out that the tribesmen withdrew to the Shahn area after the intervention of Deputy Director of the security of the province and agreed with them that the trucks carrying the equipment of the Saudi forces directly to al- Sharura area in addition to non-breeding load in the territory of Mahrah.

Oman's neighboring Shahn district witnessed an intensive flight of the warplane after agreeing to withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia and not allow it to set up any new camps in the two districts, Shahn and Haat on the desert line.

Mahrah tribes warned on Tuesday Saudi Arabia and its forces of any military escalation in their territory or attempt to control the districts and villages and deploying Saudi soldiers or armed men in any area in the governorate, describing it as a "clear challenge" to the will of the Mahrah Sons.

The tribes vowed in a statement that they would not remain idle and would have to defend themselves in case of infringement of their rights and interests.

The statement called on Yemeni President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi to dismiss the governor of the skilled Rajeh Bakrit and expel what she called "militias" and not to allow Saudi Arabia to expand in the province.

Former provincial governor Sheikh Ali Salem al-Harizi, one of the most prominent leaders opposed to the Saudi presence, said the tribal statement was "to keep the skilled away from conflict, militarization and terrorism."

He called for the departure of Saudi and UAE forces from the province, noting that "when entering any area ignited by war and strife."

Al-Harizi described governor Rajeh Bakrit as "a tool of employment and betrayal by Saudi Arabia and the UAE," saying that "who governs the province is actually the military commander of the Saudi forces at the airport al-Ghaydha."

He added that the "legitimate" government lost control of all the southern provinces in favor of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, pointing out that the Mahrah was the last provinces under the authority of "the Saudi occupation."

For his part, Sheikh Amer Salim Qamsit, one of the elders of Sahan district that the tribes will address anyone who tries to undermine the security of Mahrah.

"The Saudi-backed militias have no choice but to withdraw from Mahrah or confront the tribesmen," he said, stressing that the tribes are willing to sacrifice everything they own to defend Mahrah.

He denied the existence of smuggling in Shahn district or "terrorist elements," adding that the reason behind the attempts by Saudi Arabia to pay its gunmen to occupy the District is "greed to control Mahra,".

Mahrah people say that the Saudi-led coalition is wreaking havoc in the land, creating chaos and spreading strife, and even killing Mahrah people.

Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iran-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014.

The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi, leaving tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands injured, and 3 million displaced and pushing the country to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.

Saudi Arabia has deployed large forces to Mahrah, reportedly to prevent smuggling weapons from Oman to the Houthis.

In recent months, locals protested the presence of the Saudi forces that have turned land, sea and air ports into military positions forcing a halt to fishing and trade activities.

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