Hashed and Bakel Tribes Join Protests against Saleh's Regime, Tribes Deny
By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a- Feb 26, 2011- Powerful tribal leaders, including those of the Hashid and Bakel, pledged to join protests against Saleh at a gathering north of the capital, Ameran.
"I have announced my resignation from the General People's Congress in protest at the repression of peaceful demonstrators in Sana'a, Taiz and Aden," Hashid tribal chief Sheikh Hussein bin Abdullah Al-Ahmar was quoted as saying, in reference to the ruling party.
The Hashids are considered Yemen's most powerful tribal confederation and include nine clans, among them the Sanhan, long a bulwark of Saleh's regime.
The announcement was warmly received by a large crowd of tribesmen, including members of Yemen's second largest tribe, the Bakel, who gathered for the meeting, according to the tribal source.
The two tribes announced they would support the popular uprising against Saleh, who has refused to step down after three decades in power, to chants of "the people want the fall of the regime!"
On the other hand, Sheikhs of Hashed and Bakel Tribes denied in a statement posted on the Internet Al-Ahmar allegations of joining protests against Saleh's regime. ''We announced our stance in a meeting held earlier this month with President Saleh, our stance with security and stability in the country,'' the statement said.