Source: Yemen Times
The presidential committee tasked to reach a ceasefire agreement in Al-Jawf governorate reached an agreement on Tuesday with tribal leaders in Al-Jawf to be approved by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
Sultan Al-Aradh, the governor of Marib governorate, located just south of Al-Jawf in north-central Yemen, said that the terms emphasized all external fighters in Al-Jawf return to the areas they came from.
The agreement further demands for brigades and battalions to maintain security in Al-Jawf and for a general meeting to be held with the tribal leaders of the governorates of Marib, Al-Jawf, and Al-Bayda, in order to discuss their future merger into one federal region, the Saba region.
The Saba region is one of the six regions of Yemen’s future federal state that was officially declared on February 10 but has yet to be implemented.
The Houthis demand Al-Jawf, which contains oil and areas rich in gas, to be part of the Al-Azal federal region, along with Sa’ada, Sana’a, Amran, and Dhamar.
Intermittent clashes are still ongoing between the Houthis and opposing tribesmen in Al-Ghail district and surrounding Al-Safra military posts.
Al-Arada said, “all parties seem to have approved the ceasefire which the committee has put forth [on August 9], except the Houthis who argued they will continue fighting until there is a mechanism in place to solve all the complicated issues in Al-Jawf.”
Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthis’ political office, accused Al-Aradh of lying, arguing that he himself is part of the conflict and biased. “Houthis did not refuse the ceasefire, we are only responding to Islah’s attacks targeting us. They are the ones who refused to accept the ceasefire,” he said.
Several members of the presidential committee were replaced on August 17 at the order of President Hadi. The new presidential committee is headed by the leader of the 3rd Military Command, Brigadier Ahmad Saif Al-Yafee, and moved to Al-Jawf on Sunday. Its members include the governors of Marib and Al-Jawf governorates and a number of tribal leaders.
Al-Jawf has witnessed violent clashes since July between the Houthis, a Shia rebel group based out of Sa’ada in the north of Yemen, and opposing tribes, which are widely seen to be affiliated with the Islah Party.