Yemen offered a $25,000 reward on Thursday for help in catching the killers of a Saudi Arabian diplomat, Khaled Al-anzy, a day after he was shot dead in an attack that Yemeni authorities blamed on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
A Yemeni security committee offered a reward of 5 million rials ($25,000) for any information leading to the killers, state news agency Saba said.
On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen dressed in the central security forces' uniforms and armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, opened fire heavily at the car of the Saudi diplomat in Sanaa, causing it to flip over, killing him and his bodyguard.
The diplomat was a high official at the Saudi Arabian Embassy's military section in Yemen.
A spokesman for the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh confirmed the assassination of the diplomat and said the ministry would issue a statement shortly.
For his part, the Saudi interior minister told the Yemeni News Agency, Saba, that the assassination of the Saudi diplomat will rather strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the Saudi kingdom and Yemen, to mobilize all efforts to eradicate terrorism.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, many Yemeni political parties and organization have strongly condemned the attack, calling on security authorities to identify the criminals and to bring them to court.
Some Yemeni sources reported that the investigation is focused on, al-Qaida, in addition to Shiite tribesmen, known as Hawthis who earlier fought against Saudi forces as well as Yemeni forces in northern Yemen.
It is worth mentioning that this is not the first incident which targeted Saudi diplomacy in Yemen. Jihadists are still holding Saudi's deputy consul in the southern port city of Aden, Abdullah al-Khalidi, who was abducted on March 28 by al-Qaida seeking to secure the release of female prisoners in Saudi jails years ago. Jihadists hope to collect a ransom.
Saudi authorities still refuse requests of the kidnappers, although the Saudi and Yemeni authorities are fully aware that the kidnappers could carry out their threat to kill the diplomat. Despite that, Saudi authorities refuse to make any concessions in this case.
I do not think that the killing of the diplomat was accidental. However, through my follow up to the events in Yemen, which has experienced in recent months a series of assassinations and attacks that targeted in particular the military officials and security, we find out that the killing of the diplomat is related either to al-Qaida or Yemeni Shiaat. Both parties are at war with Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Yemeni authorities have said that al-Qaida members used motorcycles in their earlier assassinations. Nevertheless, Yemeni authorities confirmed that the killers used a jeep this time and this probably gives the signal that al-Qaida has nothing to do with this attack. What supports this probability is that the Yemeni sources reported that the gunmen who killed the diplomat were using a car owned by one of the judiciary members in Yemen. Moreover, the investigations are still going on, to find out the relation between the judge, who is the owner of the car, and the gunmen. This possibility opens the door for other unknown expectations as of now.
I think that the Arab Spring did not show positive results to this day in any country that witnessed it. This is particularly true in Yemen, where problems increased during the Arab Spring, including problems in the south that wants to secede from the north. Al-Qaida and Shia influence also have increased, and there has been foreign interventions, in particular from Saudi Arabia, Iran and America. From here, we do not expect Yemen to stabilize soon.
Unless a Yemeni leader shows up with a great ability to control the incidents on the ground, not as the current president, who has not been proven his capability, Yemen will still suffer from chaos, which will call for international intervention to restore stability over there.