(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Riyadh – Houthi militias have replaced a number of clergy and orators in several mosques with others who are affiliated with them and banned the Taraweeh prayers in most of Sanaa mosques which ruined Ramadan’s spirituality for Yemenis.
Thousands of those in Yemen suffering under Houthi and Saleh’s militias were forced to leave towns to villages, rural areas and abroad.
Minister of Endowment and Guidance, Ahmed Attiyah has warned the coup militias of the consequences of continuing to impose ideas on the Yemeni society that are not accepted by its people. He called mosques to avoid being involved in sectarian and partisan conflicts.
Attiyah stressed that militias changed the message of the mosques and linked them with Iranian references to impose them on Yemenis.
Militias prevented worshipers from performing Taraweeh prayers in mosques, according to the minister, and later assaulted the worshipers while they removed them from mosque by force of arms.
The militias also kidnapped several worshipers in a clear violation of the sanctity of mosques and a disruption of the social fabrics and coexistence of Yemenis.
A citizen from Sanaa, Abdallah Abdul Bari stated that Houthis have prevented citizens from performing Taraweeh prayer, which ruined the spirituality of Ramadan and the rituals Yemenis were used to do every year during the Holy month.
“I am used to going out with my friends to visit many places in Old Sanaa and see some of my relatives. This year however, each one has their own problems and many of our coworkers and friends are in prisons. Ramadan this year is totally different,” he said.
Abdul Bari also stated that usually, citizens would buy their Ramadan essentials before the month begins, but they weren’t able to do so this year because Yemeni employees didn’t receive their salaries.
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed had presented an initiative to find practical ways to ensure the resumption of salaries to all Yemeni civil servants nationwide. But his attempts were faced with rejection from Houthi and Saleh militias.
According to the U.N. statement, Ould Cheikh Ahmed discussed ways to ensure the resumption of salaries to Yemeni civil servants who complain that salaries have not been paid on time since Hadi ordered, last year, the move of the central bank from Sanaa to the southern port city of Aden.
The initiative stated that Houthi and Saleh militias will send state revenues from Sanaa and other areas under their control like Hodeidah port, taxes and oil revenues to an independent fund that is impartial and ensures public servants salaries are paid. The government will also transfer its revenues from Aden and other areas to the fund.
Observers believe that the initiative aims to organize the withdrawal of militias from Hodeidah governorate and the formation of the committee of financial and economic experts to help the government reach the suitable and swift mechanism to pay the salaries.
Yemeni sources reported that the suggestion resulted from great efforts of experts during their meeting with the UN delegation, ambassadors of permanent members of the UN, and EU officials. It states that the port should be handled by officials who are currently managing the port under the supervision of UN.
Port incomes are deposited in the Central Bank, Hodeidah branch.
At the end of his visit, the Special Envoy expressed his deep concern regarding the attack on his convoy while traveling from the airport to the UN compound on May 22.
The Special Envoy reminded the parties that it is the responsibility of the local authorities to ensure the safety of all U.N. personnel in the country and urged them to investigate the incident, hold those responsible to account, and prevent any such incidents in the future.
Ould Chiekh indicated that the incident increased his determination to continue with his efforts to find a negotiated political settlement that serves the best interests of the Yemeni people.
Sources confirmed that Houthis and Saleh militias are continuously trying to prolong war and destruction in the country while getting rich on the expense of Yemenis.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi reiterated that insurgents must redirect the incomes and revenues of official institutions to the Central Bank in Aden and other governorates to salary payments. He pointed out that the insurgents use institutions’ incomes to finance their war.
In related news, dozens of Yemeni civil servants are protesting daily calling for the payment of the salaries.
Demonstrators protested before the Minister of Interior under militias’ control calling for the departure of the insurgents and release of wages.
Protests announced they’d continue until their rightful requests have been met.
Yemeni sources reported that the demonstrators are being attacked by Houthi supporters.
There are about 1.2 million civil servant in Yemen, with one million in Sanaa and other areas under Houthi control.
They have no received wages for eight consecutive months. Whereas employees in the legitimacy areas are no more than 200 thousand and have been receiving their salaries on regular basis.