Yemen's armed forces give oil companies ultimatum after truce ends without extension
All State civil servants support the armed forces' decision to use force against oil companies looting Yemeni oil and gas or companies operating in countries of aggression, chiefly among them Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Standing at Marib Corner in Sanaa to direct traffic along with three other traffic police, Hasan Al-Harazi expressed his gratitude for the Government of Yemen (GoY) that refused to expand the truce after the Saudi-led coalition refused to pay him and his other military and security colleagues their salaries.
"The last time I received a full salary was in August 2016," Al-Harazi, 50, told Al Mayadeen English.
"As long as revenues of Yemeni oil and gas are deposited at the Saudi National Bank, Saudi Arabia must pay our salaries against its will from our country's wealth," said Al-Harazi. "Otherwise we will fight it forever."
Efforts by UN envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg to extend the UN-brokered humanitarian and military truce for another six months reached a "dead end" as the head of the negotiating team announced on Oct.1. The truce that expired Oct.2 went into effect on April 2 and was extended twice on June 2 and August 2.
Grundberg said on Oct.2 that the warring parties failed to extend the truce. According to some sources, the main issue is that the GoY demanded payment for all state employees, including military and security officers, but the Saudi-led coalition wanted to pay only teachers and nurses.
Al-Harazi, who got his job as traffic police in 1986, is one of 752,652 military and security servants, according to the payroll of 2014, whom the Saudi-led coalition does not want to pay their salaries. There are 1.2 million civil and military employees according to the 2014 payrolls.
After the truce expired on Oct.2, Yemen's armed forces spokesman Yahya Saree gave an ultimatum to foreign oil companies looting Yemeni oil and gas or those operating in Saudi Arabia and UAE "to arrange their situation and leave," concluding his tweet by “...forewarned is forearmed.”
Yemen's Supreme Political Council also warned "oil companies operating in the countries of aggression against continuing their business, and the shipping companies against moving to these countries so they are not exposed to danger" if the siege and aggression continued on Yemen by these countries.
"This is a positive stance with us from our government that we appreciate and we will stand with them ready to fight Saudi aggression with our souls and sons until the payment of our salaries and invaders leave our territories," Al-Harazi, the traffic police, told Al Mayadeen English.
Al-Harazi called on the GoY to target oil companies, "either the ones looting our oil and gas or the ones operating in KSA or UAE." He added, "this [use of force against vital oil companies] must continue until we restore our wealth and invaders leave us to decide our future."
There were reports of clashes on October 2-3 between the GoY and mercenaries of the Saudi-led coalition in Taiz and Hodeidah, but the Saudi coalition has not yet launched airstrikes nor has the GoY launched cross-border missiles and drones attacks against Saudi Arabia and UAE as of October 4.
On Oct. 3, Yemen's chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam tweeted about receiving a call from the European Union Coordinator for Political Affairs during which he "affirmed the well-known position [of GoY] on the necessity of disbursing the salaries of all employees and pensioners and ending the arbitrary restrictions on the ports of Hodeidah and Sanaa airport," pointing out that the Saudi coalition of aggression is responsible for failure of the truce.
"I'm ready to live indefinitely without a salary as long as our government is fighting for our independence," said Al-Harazi.
"If invaders won't let us live with dignity, we are ready to fight them until we perish," noted Al-Harazi.
Hasan Meftah Al-Ahdel, an adviser at the Ministry of Education, said the last time he received a half salary from the GoY in Sanaa was three months ago but the last time he received a full salary was in August 2016 before the Central Bank was transferred by Saudi Arabia from Sanaa into occupied Aden city.
"It's been six years without receiving a full salary," Al-Ahdel told Al Mayadeen English while standing outside the Ministry of Education headquarters in Sanaa.
Al-Ahdel refused the idea of paying teachers and nurses alone, saying "it's a bad idea." He then reaffirmed that "Every employee must be paid, even the one who cleans the street because everyone has a family to feed from this salary."
The ministerial adviser said that the Central Bank must remain neutral and pay every employee just as it continued to pay salaries of all employees from September 2014, when Ansar Allah seized power in a popular revolution, to August 2016 when the bank was transferred into occupied Aden by Saudis and Americans.
"I support armed forces to target oil companies looting our oil and gas or those operating in aggression countries," he said. "If I have missiles I will target these companies but I'm a civil servant who has grown old."
"I'm ready to live with no salary forever until my country is liberated," concluded Al-Ahdel.
Jameel Al-Rawni, who has been working at Hassan Bin Thabet Harmal School in Sanaa since 1988, said paying salaries for teachers without others is "an attempt to divide Yemenis and encourage conflict amongst them."
"A teacher can't do his work alone without the soldiers who are defending Yemen," Jameel told Al Mayadeen English at the yard of the school.
"If there are no options left for the GoY to get our salaries paid from revenues of looted gas and oil, we encourage Sanaa to use force to stop companies looting our oil or Saudi oil companies that support the Saudi war efforts against Yemeni civilians," said Jameel.
The expired truce didn't give Yemenis relief as the Saudi-led coalition continued to violate it several times either by restricting Sanaa airport or Hodeidah seaports.
According to the terms of the truce, Sanaa airport should be opened to Jordan and Egypt, but the coalition of aggression allowed only one destination to Jordan, except for one flight to Egypt.
Also, Riyadh continued its piracy of Yemeni fuel ships arriving at the Hodeidah seaport. The last time it detained 13 fuel ships was from August 2 to mid-September in flagrant violation of the truce's terms.
Waheeb Rashad Al-Refaee, 45, a laboratory technician at the Ministry of Health in Sanaa since 2003 who the coalition of aggression wanted to pay him like hundreds of nurses in Yemen in case the truce was extended per its conditions.
"It's unfair to pay nurses without the rest of the employees, especially those who have been defending Yemen by their souls on all frontlines like military and security employees," Al-Refaee told Al Mayadeen English.
"Either we receive salaries all or we remain with no salaries for all of us," he explained.
"I support our armed forces' decision to use force to get us paid from our looted gas and oil," Al-Refaee said. "Who remained steadfast for six years with no salaries is ready to remain so for another six years until salaries are paid and Yemen's sovereignty restored."