The Yemeni government is accusing members of their own military loyal to former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh of having destroyed the Maarib Oil Pipeline, saying Saleh had ordered the attack as part of a last ditch effort to keep himself in power.
The pipeline was attacked several times during the waning months of Saleh’s regime before it was finally destroyed. Each attack was blamed on anti-Saleh tribesmen at the time and used as a justification for crackdowns to clear the region and allow for repairs.
Yemen’s current regime says that a colonel and four other officers were behind the attacks, and are pushing for them to tried in a military tribunal for the destruction. It is the latest in a number of accusations of military sabotage by Saleh loyalists, and by far the most financially destructive, as the pipeline has virtually shut down Aden’s oil refinery for a year.
Saleh finally stepped down from power in November, and was replaced in a single candidate election by US-backed Major General Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Since then his primary goal has been to purge key Saleh relatives and loyalists from power.