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Tribal mediations undermine Yemen state institutions

Given the tribal nature of Yemeni society, disputes are often resolved via state-sponsored “mediation committees,” which undermine the state and rule of law.
Pro-army tribesmen man a checkpoint on a road leading to Lawdar town in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan June 19, 2012. Al Qaeda-linked militants retreated from Lawdar last month after encountering stiff resistance from pro-army tribal fighters, who have arranged themselves into popular committees to defend their town against attempts by the militants to control it. Yemen's army recaptured the last al Qaeda stronghold in restive Abyan province on Friday in a major advance in its U.S.-backed offensive t
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Yemen has its unique particularities, whether at the level of its society or state. Personal disputes are often solved at the hands of social figures more than by state apparatuses or in the corridors of the judiciary.

The country has unwritten laws called customs, which serve as a reference for solving disputes of any kind. These customs have broader and more influential powers than the majority of official laws.

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