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Houthis Impose New Royalties to Fund War Effort

Houthis Impose New Royalties to Fund War Effort

Tuesday, 4 August, 2020 - 07:45
Houthi fighters ride on the back of a patrol truck as they secure the site of a pro-Houthi tribal gathering in a rural area near Sanaa, Yemen July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Yemeni local sources reported to Asharq Al-Awsat on Houthis returning to spread terror among the citizens of Ibb, Dhamar, Hajjah, Al Mahwit and Raymah governorates by relaunching new campaigns to collect royalties for the coup’s war effort and recruit more innocents to their ranks.

The sources confirmed that militants roamed hundreds of cities in those governorates and raided citizens’ homes, forcing them at gunpoint to pay illegitimate royalties. The militants also threatened to enlist youths by force should their parents refuse to pay the royalties.

A villager that goes by the initials M.N. and who lives in the village near Yarim town in Ibb told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthi regional supervisor had before the Eid al-Adha holiday staged a far-reaching campaign to collect royalties from villagers ranging between 50,000 and 100,000 Yemeni riyals per household.

In al-Uddayn district if Ibb governorate, locals reported that Houthis have given Yemenis the choice of either paying the royalties, which they said will be pumped into supporting the Houthi war effort, or sending off one of each family’s children to fight on battlefronts. Many agreed to pay the royalties.

According to locals in Hajjah governorate, the regional Houthi supervisor Nayef Abu Kharfashah, who is considered close to the Houthi leader, had imposed levies on farmers, traders and locals that ranged between 10,000 and 200,000 Yemeni riyals.

The levy imposed on each person would be assessed according to their economic standing.

While royalties and levies were collected in dozens of towns and villages, local sources in Sanaa, the Houthi stronghold, said that Houthis handed out empty envelopes urging locals to donate cash.

One of Sanaa’s neighborhood officials, who spoke under the conditions of anonymity, confirmed that Houthi supervisors forced neighborhood officials to partake in collecting levies and threatening civilians that if they don’t donate they would be denied their subsidized gas portions.

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