The incidents provide a snapshot of the complex tensions between tribes and Houthi authorities
Houthis kill, kidnap prominent tribal sheikhs and residents in Ibb
Houthi gunmen killed local General People’s Congress (GPC) leader and tribal Sheikh Mohammed Abdo Al-W’eel on Saturday in Al-Nadera district in Ibb governorate for refusing to help recruit fighters to the frontlines, according to local members of the Al-W’eel tribe.
Relatives of Al-W'eel said the killers were smuggled to Ibb City, the governorate's capital, after the incident to evade responsibility for the crime amid tribal efforts to contain retaliation from Beit Al-W’eel. The Houthis later claimed it happened by mistake.
Meanwhile, Shaker Al-Shabibi, Houthi supervisor and security director of Al-Odain district, ordered the kidnapping of dozens of citizens in Al-Odain, west of Ibb City. Local residents said that most of those kidnapped were taken from the family of Beit ‘Al-Shahari. Al-Shabibi also abducted Sheikh Hamid Ahmed Amin Al-Shahari, a prominent figure in Beit Al-Shahari, along with residents of the village of Qamana, which overlooks the Wadi Al-Dour area, and transferred them to Houthi prisons in the center of Al-Odain.
The Al-Shahari family has demanded that Al-Shabibi, previously accused of killing another Al-Shahari family member in recent weeks, face trial. While the justice system in Houthi-controlled areas tends to be biased toward the Houthis, tribal pressure also influences the outcome of such trials.
In a separate incident in Ibb City, Houthi leader Abu Ali Al-Mutawakkil, along with several gunmen, stormed the house of local official Ahmed Qassim Obaitari, frightening family members including women and children. No one was injured.