Alliance of Yemeni Tribes

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Alliance of Yemeni Tribes
Participant in the 2011 Yemeni revolution
Activefrom 30 July 2011
LeadersSadiq al-Ahmar of Hashid, Nagi Al-Shaif of Bakil
HeadquartersTaiz, Yemen
Area of operations Yemen
Ma'rib Governorate
Sana'a Governorate
Taiz Governorate
Size30,000-60,000 volunteers
AlliesNational Council for the Forces of the Peaceful Revolution
Yemen Army defectors
Opponent(s)Yemen Government of Yemen

The Alliance of Yemeni Tribes, sometimes referred to as the Yemeni Tribes' Alliance, was an alliance of tribes in Yemen opposed to the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. It was formed on 30 July 2011 amidst the civil uprising in Yemen to defend anti-government protesters. Its leader, Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar of the Hashid tribal federation, stated his intention to remove Saleh and his sons from power in his capacity as head of the Alliance.[1]

The Alliance was headed up by a 116-member "consultative council".[2]


The exact strength of the Alliance is unknown, but at the ceremony in Sana'a that marked its inception, between 500 and 600 tribal leaders and chiefs attended. The Hashid, which were in revolt against the government despite being the tribe of Saleh himself, are known to have been part of the coalition, as are the Bakil, Yemen's largest tribal confederation and one whose members clashed with government loyalists in Arhab District during the uprising.[2][3] Reportedly, only some of the Bakil tribes were part of the Alliance originally, but days after its foundation, on 3 August, the Bakil's General Conference declared "full support" for anti-government tribal fighters in Arhab.[4]

The tribes constituting the Alliance were characterised in news media as "pro-revolution".[5]


At the headquarters of General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a prominent defector from the Yemen Army who leads the 1st Armoured Division, the Alliance of Yemeni Tribes was declared on 30 July 2011. Sadiq al-Ahmar was designated as its leader. After his appointment, Sadiq al-Ahmar said, "Ali Abdullah Saleh will not rule us as long as I am alive." Tribal leaders comprising the Alliance vowed "to protect and defend ... the popular and peaceful revolution". The coalition also declared a de facto collective security arrangement with the Yemeni protest movement, warning, "Any aggression or threat against the [protest] venues ... will be considered an attack against the tribes."[1]

In a statement on 7 August 2011, the Alliance warned the government against conducting military operations in the Hasaba district of central Sana'a, an area seen as a bastion of the protest movement. The statement called on tribesmen to defend areas of the city claimed by the Yemeni opposition by any means necessary.[6]

Areas of operation[edit]

Though the exact composition of tribes party to the Alliance is unclear, anti-government tribal fighters were known to be active in Sana'a Governorate, especially in Sana'a proper[7][8] and the rugged Arhab District to its north;[9] Ma'rib Governorate, east of Sana'a;[10] and Taiz Governorate, particularly in the city of Taiz.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Yemeni tribes form coalition against Saleh". Straits Times. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Yemeni tribes form alliance". Press TV. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  3. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed (30 July 2011). "Airstrikes kill 40 pro-government Yemeni tribesmen". ABC 12. Retrieved 16 August 2011.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "August 3rd Updates!". Yemen Rights Monitor. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  5. ^ Al Ziadi, Khaled (4 August 2011). "No democracy in Yemen". Gulf News. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Yemen Tribes Warns against Military Aggression in Sana'a". Yemen Post. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Yemen unrest: UN says 50 killed in Taiz since Sunday". BBC News. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Yemeni army clash with anti-Saleh protesters". Al Jazeera English. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  9. ^ "40 die in Yemen as army, tribes clash". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe. 29 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-05-03. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Yemen Plunged into Darkness; Tribes Deny Sabotage Acts". Yemen Post. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Monday, August 1, 2011 - 20:49 - Yemen". Al Jazeera Blogs. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.

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