Wadi Hadramout: Security Chaos in the First Military Districts


Mon, 14-03-2022 04:20 PM, Aden

Abdullah Al-Shadli (South24)

Wadi Hadramout regions in South Yemen has been witnessing a continuous insecurity and chaos for years, despite the deployment of large forces affiliated with the First Military District stationed in the region; In addition to the local security services.

Many assassinations have occurred in Wadi Hadramout over the past period, some of them affecting civilian travelers. None of the perpetrators of these assassinations were arrested. Foreigners' kidnapping has also returned to the scene.

Many brigades of the First Military District And spread in the Wadi areas. These forces operate military and security checkpoints in several areas. These checkpoints did not prevent the occurrence of some crimes next to them [1].

From 2015 to 2020, the Wadi districts recorded more than 300 cases of assassination, murder and kidnapping, all of which were registered against an unknown gunmen [2].

Foreign forces

In an interview with "South24", journalist Lotfi bin Sadoun attributed the chaos causes in Wadi Hadramout to "the absence of the locals from managing their military and security affairs, and the replacing them with strangers."

Bin Sadoun added, "the responsible authority for the chaos and insecurity is the First Military District and the Northern security commanders that control the military and security aspects in the Wadi and Desert regions."

Officials in the Wadi Authority believe that it is unjust to hold the First Military District responsible for revealing the perpetrators of the crimes [3].

Hadramout's Assistant Undersecretary for the Wadi and Desert affairs Abdulhadi Al-Tamimi said in previous statements to "South24" that holding the First Military District responsible for the security chaos is a "political ploy."

On the other hand, bin Sadoun considered that "terrorist operations in Wadi Hadramout will not end unless the Hadrami Elite Forces and Hadrami Security Forces replace the First Military District forces." Hadrami journalist pointed out that "the experience of Hadramout Coast is the best witness to the establishment of security and stability in its regions."

Kidnapping foreigners 

On March 5, local and press sources reported that foreign employees of Doctors Without Borders had been kidnapped in Wadi Hadramout.

According to Sputnik, unknown gunmen intercepted the car of the German and Mexican employees while they were passing on the road linking the Al-Abr and Al-Khasha areas, west of Hadramout, and took them to an unknown destination [4].

This kidnapping took place between the Al-Abr and Al-Khasha areas, where a number of checkpoints of the First Military District are located, according to South24's private sources. So far, the identity of the kidnappers has not been clear, and no party has claimed responsibility for the operation. However, reports accused AQAP of being behind the operation. However, the organization has not announced this until now.

Commenting on the issue, the STC Director in Seiyun, Abdulrahman Al-Jafri told "South24": "The security services continue to play the role of a bystander in front of the killings and kidnappings."

Journalists from Wadi Hadramout, who spoke to "South24," did not rule out that the kidnapping took place "with an agreement between the First Military District and the kidnappers. Some of them accused the region of belonging to the kidnappers."

So far, "South24" does not have any information or evidence to confirm or deny these accusations.

On the other hand, Al-Tamimi said that this action resulted from "the lack of coordination between the foreign delegation and the security services." "From my personal perspective, the delegation should have gone on their tour with a security escort, to avoid any potential dangers," Al-Tamimi said.

Regarding the gains of this kidnapping, Al-Tamimi added, "terrorist groups view foreigners as a means of pressure to achieve certain goals."

While political analysts considered that "such operations aim to promote that South Yemen regions are unsafe." They said that these kidnapping operations and other chaos "comes when foreign delegations visit South." [5]


The First Military District forces suppressed many peaceful mass activities of the people of Hadramout during the past two years, the last of which was the "Seiyun event" on February 12th, which demanded the departure of the region's forces.

These forces used live bullets and rifle butts to dissuade peaceful participants from all over the governorate. It also detained dozens of delegations at their security checkpoints and created new ones.

It should be noted that the Seiyun event coincided with a sudden interruption of internet service in the Wadi Hadramout. Political sources told "South24" that this is a sign of coordination between the Houthis, who control communications, and the First Military District forces.

The departure of the First Military District

In its consultative meeting held on February 26, the Hadrami Upraising Command called for the immediate implementation of the Riyadh Agreement and the departure of the Northern forces from the Wadi areas. It warned of an explosion in the situation between the First Military District and locals in the Wadi [6].

The demand to expel the First Military District forces from Hadramout and mobilize them to the battlefronts against the Houthis is one of the most prominent demands of the unprecedented popular escalation in Hadramout, months ago. This is in line with the calls of the STC.

The STC accuses the region of harboring terrorist elements in Wadi Hadramout. As well as standing behind the assassinations [7].

On this note, Abdulrahman Al-Jafri said: "The Arab Coalition is responsible for what is happening in the Wadi. We demand the Coalition to quickly implement the military provisions of the Riyadh Agreement and remove these forces from the Wadi areas."

The STC Director in Wadi Hadramout accused the authorities of being associated with the First Military District for the sake of "mutual interests". Al-Jafri considered that the position of the Wadi authorities was "extremely negative so far." He added, "All the people of Hadramout are unanimous in their demand to expel the First Military District. Those who oppose this popular decision are few and they are supported by the authority."

In mid-February, the STC in Hadramout governorate called on the Southern Giants Brigades to intervene and remove the First Military District forces [8].

Journalist and editor at South24 Center for News and Studies
Photo: A military checkpoint of the First Military District in Wadi Hadramout (Yemen Shabab)

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