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Contact Admin. The author of this report was arrested by security forces in al-Mahra on July 3, , and as of this publishing on July 5 his location is unknown.
Witnesses said Yahya al-Sewari was at the central hospital in al-Ghaydah, the capital of al-Mahra governorate, attempting to interview local protesters who were injured during a raid by forces aligned with the Saudi-led coalition. He was barred from conducting the interviews inside the hospital and ordered to leave.
Al-Sewari attempted to leave the hospital grounds with an interviewee when a soldier blocked his car. Witnesses said an altercation between al-Sewari and local security forces ensued, leading to his arrest and detention at al-Bahth al-Jinai , the al-Ghaydah branch of the Criminal Investigation police. The police could not confirm where he was being held, why, or by what authority.
This report is the product of that research. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have, under the guise of their ongoing military intervention in Yemen, sought to pursue their vested interests in al-Mahra. Mahris have a unique history of running their own affairs as well as a common vision of sovereignty within a federal system that has kept them remarkably unified.
Saudi Arabia, however, has leveraged its sway over the internationally recognized Yemeni government to force the replacement of uncooperative officials in al-Mahra and the appointment of pliant replacements, and in late Riyadh began deploying armed forces in al-Mahra under the premise of combating smuggling across the Omani border. The deep-seated sense of local identity has spurred a growing opposition movement to the Saudi presence in al-Mahra — an opposition movement Oman has actively supported.