Local concern has escalated in Mahrah province, eastern Yemen, as the Saudi-led coalition began resettling hardline Salafist groups loyal to the UAE occupation forces as part of arrangements to destabilise the border with the Sultanate of Oman.
The Omani population consists predominantly of Muslims of the Ibadi school of thought, a branch of Islam that differs from both Sunni and Shia.
Sheikh Ali al-Harisi, chairman of the Mahrah sit-in protest committee, warned against these new moves, pointing out in press statements that “the aim is to spread the Saudi ideology and Wahhabi doctrine in this province.”
In recent days, the coalition has overseen the movement of hundreds of Salafists who used to live in the Dar al-Hadith center in al-Jubah directorate, Ma’rib province, after the fall of the directorate to the Yemeni army and Popular Committees loyal to the National Salvation Government.
Tribal sources in Mahrah said the coalition was currently settling the elements in the vicinity of al-Ghaydha International Airport, which is being used by the coalition as a military base for multinational forces.
The new move raised concerns over the transfer, which comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has begun handing over Mahrah to the UAE occupation forces while reducing its own direct military deployment in the province.
The transfer of Wahhabi takfiris raises fears among the people of Mahrah that the Saudi occupation forces are enabling the UAE-backed mercenaries to blow up the situation and find justifications to strike violently against popular protests that denounce the continued occupation.