Head of Yemeni Teachers Club Kidnapped in Sanaa

Sheba Intelligence | 2023-10-09 11:26 AM UTC


The Houthi group kidnapped the head of the Yemeni Teachers Club on Sunday after two months of teachers' strike in Houthi-controlled areas.

Local sources in Sanaa said that the Houthi group besieged the house of Abu Zaid Al-Kumaim, the head of the Yemeni Teachers Club, for hours and kidnapped him, leading him to an unknown destination.

The Houthi group accused Al-Kumaim of collaborating with what it calls the "aggression" countries and intends to bring him before the Specialized Criminal Court in the capital, Sanaa.

According to Houthi officials, those who demand salaries are trying to spark havoc in the country in a way that serves foreign forces. While the Houthis admit that they are responsible for paying the salaries of public employees, they claim they are not financially capable because the gas and oil resources are under the control of the Yemeni government.

The Yemeni Teachers Club released a statement yesterday confirming the kidnapping of its head and condemning those accountable for this move.

The statement said, "At a time when we were waiting for our government to reconsider the issue of the interruption of our salaries as educators and teachers for more than eight years and work to disburse them regularly and end our suffering, we are surprised by the news of the arrest of the club head, and this is disappointing."

Though the Houthi group collects billions of Yemeni riyals from state institutions, ports, and checkpoints, the group refuses to pay public employees. Since the UN-brokered ceasefire went into effect in early 2022, the Houthis have amassed 4.62 trillion Yemeni riyals ($18.45 billion) from taxes, customs, zakat, oil, mobile companies, and the sale of Iranian-imported gas, according to Yemeni government estimates.

Othman, a teacher in a government school in Sanaa, told Sheba Intelligence that the Houthis have neither paid our salaries nor allowed the Yemeni government to pay us. "The Sanaa authorities want everything as they wish and do not want to offer the slightest concession. This is the reason for our suffering."

He added, "They want us to work without reward as if we have no family or responsibilities. The frank explanation of this Houthi behaviour is that they enslave people in their areas under the pretext of fighting foreign aggression."

Since September 2016, over 166,000 teachers - approximately 73% of the national total - have not received their salaries. So far, the UN-Oman-led peace talks have not resulted in an agreement on the payment mechanism for unpaid salaries in Yemen.