A new ceasefire in the capital may hold, but has no impact on ongoing violence outside of Sana’a. Yemeni troops and opposition tribesmen in Taiz, a key Yemeni city, are still fighting and al Qaeda-linked militants have secured territory in Abyan in south Yemen.
Defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar and the Yemeni government signed a ceasefire agreement. Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi chaired the negotiating committee. The ceasefire began at 3 pm local time and calls for the removal of checkpoints. Earlier, loyalist troops opened fire on protesters marching from Tagheer (Change) Square toward al Qaa district in Sana’a. Fighting also occurred between loyalist troops and defected First Armored Division soldiers just north of the square. Yesterday, President Ali Abdullah Saleh expressed his support for the UN Security Council resolution on Yemen and reiterated a call for dialogue with the opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP).
Loyalist troops and opposition tribesmen fought in Taiz. At least four civilians were killed in the fighting and seven others injured by shelling or gunfire. Yemeni security sources reported that opposition tribesmen killed a soldier and injured three others and attacked Revolution Hospital, among other buildings.
A military transport plane crashed at al Anad airbase in Lahij governorate. The crash killed at least four passengers. Unrest in Sana’a has led the Yemeni Air Force to transfer its assets out of the airbase in Sana’a.
Tribesmen from the al Awamra tribe kidnapped an Uzbek doctor working for al Shifa hospital in Shabwah governorate. The tribesmen have demanded that the government release fellow tribesmen from prison.
The ongoing political crisis in the capital has placed the Yemeni state at risk of a broader armed conflict. Further, the Yemeni state has been undergoing fragmentation. Al Qaeda has seized control of territory in south Yemen and the current situation has increased the organization’s operating space in the country.