- #Yemen's tribes are essential to an effective campaign against Ansar al Sharia, but they are not a silver bullet.
- Tribal support is vital in preventing #AQAP from reclaiming its foothold in south #Yemen. But it may not be enough.
- It is problematic to rely on #Yemen's tribes because they are not ideologically consistent in their loyalties
Tribes and Tribal Identity
Tribalism is not the only lens through which to examine Yemeni social networks. Tribes are composed of individuals, each with his or her own set of loyalties. Family, religion, geography, and a host of other factors can make claim on a Yemeni’s allegiance, and tribal membership is just one of those factors. Tribal allegiance is also not uniform: it varies according to region, social class, and personality. Moreover, tribalism in Yemen has been weakened over time by the forces of modernization, urbanization, and the Arab youth bulge. Decades of corruption under the recently ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh also damaged the tribal system. However, tribes remain important in Yemen and can provide a useful, structured way to work with the society, as long as one has a thorough understanding of their weaknesses and dynamics.
Pleae read the full text at the Critical Threats Project.