Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Fostering and countering terrorism in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The US CT industry in Yemen is sketched out in the following excerpts from Inside Yemen’s Shadow War Asenal at Foreign Policy BY GORDON LUBOLD, NOAH SHACHTMAN

Since November of 2011, the United States has pledged nearly $600 million to Yemen for everything from spy drones to opinion polls to pickup trucks as part of a shadow war to fight terrorism there. But how much Washington is getting for its money is an open question, even within U.S. government circles…

Only a portion of the $600 million committed since late 2011 goes directly to fight terrorism — about $250 million, according to State Department officials. The rest goes towards “helping to strengthen governance and institutions on which Yemen’s long-term progress depends,” as then-White House counterterrorism czar (and unofficial envoy to Yemen) John Brennan explained last year. That includes cash to “empower women,” “combat corruption,” and provide “food vouchers, safe drinking water, and basic health services,” Brennan added.

But even that non-military aid can sometimes come with a hard edge. Last year, the State Department paid out $2.2 million to Griffin Security, a Yemeni contractor specializing in “close protection,” “surveillance systems,” and “maritime security services,” according to the company’s website. On June 26, Foggy Bottom sent another $3.1 million to Advanced C4 Solutions, a Tampa-based business with strong military and intelligence community ties, for an unspecified “administrative management” contract. Six days later, the State Department executed a second, $1.3 million deal with the same firm — which publicly declares itself a specialist in computer network attacks — for “translation and interpretation services.”

(JN-The US Air Force suspended Advanced C4 in 2011 for shoddy and unfinished work, and the firm was nearly excluded from any more work for the US gov’t.)

Overt security assistance was put on hold for about a year when former President Ali Abdullah Saleh brutally cracked down on his people. But that ban has been lifted, and the spigot is once again open. The Pentagon is outfitting the Yemenis with weapons, short takeoff and landing spy planes, night vision goggles, and even Raven drones to help Yemeni security forces to strengthen their effectiveness against internal threats and extremist activity, according to defense officials…

“We need to remember that we have done at least as badly in planning and managing aid as the worst recipient country has done in using it,” said Tony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Nonetheless, a variety of programs aim to directly achieve American security objectives in Yemen. During 2012, for instance, the Pentagon spent about $14 million on a single U.S. Special Operations Forces counterterrorism enhancement program in which a limited number of American military personnel provided training and equipment — from small arms and ammo to radios to rigid hull inflatable boats to night vision goggles to navigational systems — to Yemen’s counterterrorists. Another program, referred to in Pentagon briefing papers as the “Fixed-Wing Capability Program,” spends about $23 million “by providing equipment and training to improve the operational reach and reaction time of Yemen’s CT forces,” including two short take-off and landing aircraft. The United States spends another $75 million on building the counterterrorism unit of Yemen’s Central Security Forces.

During 2013, the Pentagon spent nearly $50 million on what’s called an “integrated border and maritime security” program to help the Yemenis be more effective with aerial surveillance and ground mobility, according to a defense official. That helped the Yemenis build up the capacity to monitor threats along the country’s nearly 1,200 mile coastline. The program includes 12 short take-off and landing aircraft, each with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as flight and maintenance crews.

The United States has spent other money on Yemen, including $24 million the Coast Guard spent to build two 87-foot coastal patrol boats, and another $11 million for about 340 F-350 Ford pickup trucks, according to publicly-available contracting data. Another $27 million was spent for a contract with Bell Helicopter for four Huey II helicopters within the last three years.

Two years ago, the polling firm Gallup, Inc. was paid more than $280,000 for a “Yemen Assessment Survey.” Around the same time, Yemen was part of a major contract to provide crew-served weapons, gun mounts, and stands for .50 caliber weapons. Last year, the Army paid $3 million to Harris Corporation for radios for the Yemenis, and the Navy paid $5.4 million for aircraft engines and spare parts for CASA 235 transport planes. Also last year, the Army paid $1.9 million for tactical UAVs in both Kenya and in Yemen.

Ties into my 2012 article State Dep’t ends Yemen arms embargo

UN SC res 2051 Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN — by Jane Novak at 7:43 pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Its so contradictory

June 12, 2012

UN diplo.de:

Security Council: Text of Resolution 2051 (2012) Resolution on Yemen
Jun 12, 2012

The Security Council,

Pp1 Recalling its resolution 2014 (2011) and presidential statement of 29 March 2012,

Pp2 Expressing grave concern at the political, security, economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen,

Pp3 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Yemen,

Pp4 Welcoming the Secretary-General’s statement of 21 May 2012 encouraging all sides to play a full and constructive role in implementing Yemen’s political Transition Agreement in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2014,

Pp5 Noting the co-chairs’ statement following the Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting in Riyadh on 23 May 2012 and the support expressed for the political Transition Agreement in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, including the proposal by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host a donor meeting in late June 2012,

Pp6 Expressing grave concern at the security situation and continuing terrorist attacks, in particular by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, within Yemen, and reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations,

Pp7 Condemning all terrorist, and other, attacks against civilians, oil, gas and electricity infrastructure and against the legitimate authorities, including those aimed at undermining the political process in Yemen, including the attack in Sana’a on 21 May 2012,

Pp8 Noting the formidable economic and social challenges confronting Yemen, which have left many Yemenis in acute need of humanitarian assistance,

Pp9 Welcoming the Government of National Unity’s focus on short term stabilisation of the economy through implementation of the IMF Rapid Credit Facility programme,

Pp10 Stressing that the best solution to the situation in Yemen is through a peaceful, inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led political transition process that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people for peaceful change and meaningful political, economic and social reform, as set forth in the GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanism and in resolution 2014 (2011),

Pp11 Recalling that the transition process requires the involvement and cooperation of all sides in Yemen, including groups that were not party to the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism,

Pp12 Expressing concern at the recent deterioration of cooperation among some political actors and actions that could adversely affect or delay the political transition process,
Pp13 Reiterating the need for comprehensive, independent and impartial investigations consistent with international standards into alleged human rights violations and abuses, to ensure full accountability,

Pp14 Welcoming the continuing engagement of the Secretary-General’s good offices including the visits to Yemen by his Special Adviser, Mr Jamal Benomar,

Pp15 Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations, and emphasizing the need for progress in the implementation of the GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanism to avoid further deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Yemen that threatens peace and security in the region,

Op1 Reaffirms the need for the full and timely implementation of the GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanism in accordance with resolution 2014 (2011);

Op2 Calls upon all sides in Yemen immediately to reject the use of violence to achieve political goals;

Op3 Notes that in line with the Implementation Mechanism the second phase of the transition process should focus on:

(a) convening an all-inclusive National Dialogue Conference,

(b) restructuring of the security and armed forces under a unified professional national leadership structure and the ending of all armed conflicts,

(c) steps to address transitional justice and to support national reconciliation

(d) constitutional and electoral reform and the holding of general elections by February 2014;

op4 Supports the efforts of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Government of National Unity to move the transition process forward, including through security sector reform and changes in senior appointments in the security and armed forces, and the launch of the preparatory process for convening the National Dialogue Conference;

op5 Emphasizes the importance of conducting a fully-inclusive, participatory, transparent and meaningful National Dialogue Conference including with the youth and women’s groups and calls upon all stakeholders in Yemen to participate actively and constructively in this process;

op6 Demands the cessation of all actions aimed at undermining the Government of National Unity and the political transition, including continued attacks on oil, gas and electricity infrastructure, and interference with decisions relating to the restructuring of the armed and security forces, and obstructing the implementation of the Presidential Decrees of 6 April 2012 concerning military and civilian appointments, and expresses its readiness to consider further measures, including under Article 41 of the UN Charter if such actions continue;

op7 Stresses that all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses must be held accountable, and underlining the need for a comprehensive, independent and impartial investigation consistent with international standards into alleged human rights abuses and violations, to prevent impunity and ensure full accountability;

op8 Notes with concern that children continue to be recruited and used by armed groups and certain elements of the military, and calls for continued national efforts to discourage the use and recruitment of child soldiers;

op9 Reminds the Yemeni Government and other actors of the need to release immediately those protesters unlawfully detained during the crisis;

op10 Urges the Yemeni Government to pass legislation on transitional justice to support reconciliation without further delay;

op11 Calls on all parties to comply with applicable international law including international humanitarian law and human rights law;

op12 Calls for the international community, including the UN and GCC, in particular through the Friends of Yemen, to provide active and increasing support to help the Yemeni government meet the forthcoming political, security, economic and humanitarian challenges;

op13 Encourages the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to Yemen and calls for the full funding of the 2012 Humanitarian Response Plan, and in this regard requests all parties in Yemen to facilitate safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to ensure the delivery of assistance to populations in need;

op14 Emphasises the importance of Government of National Unity finalising and agreeing their two year development plan to set out priority policy areas and funding modalities, as well as to identify key areas for reform, and requests all donors to support the development plan through established funding modalities and to contribute to the forthcoming donor conference;

op15 Expresses its concern over the growing number of attacks carried out or sponsored by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and its determination to address this threat in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law including applicable human rights, refugee and humanitarian law;

op16 Requests the Secretary-General to continue his good offices role, including through the efforts of his Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar, stresses the importance of their close co-ordination with international partners in order to contribute to the successful transition in Yemen, and in this regard welcomes the political engagement of the United Nations through a small presence in Yemen consisting of a team of experts to support the implementation of the transition process, and to provide advice to the parties in conjunction with the government of Yemen, in particular in support of the National Dialogue process;

op17 Requests the Secretary-General to continue to coordinate assistance from the international community in support of the National Dialogue and transition, as stipulated in the Implementation Mechanism of the GCC Initiative;

op 18 Requests the Secretary-General to continue to report on developments in Yemen every 60 days;

op19 Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

US Attorney General Holder affirms “lawful” use of drones (no attacks targeting civilians)

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, South Yemen, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Thursday, March 8, 2012

In a speech this week, the US Attorney General Eric Holder laid out the Obama administration’s legal criteria for drone use and in particular for assassinating American al Qaeda members abroad. The criteria is summarized below by the Lawfare blog. More importantly than the targeting of Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan for me, and for the residents of Abyan, Marib, Shabwa, etc., AG Holder reaffirmed the Obama administration’s firm commitment to act within the “international rules of war.”

With the recent uptick in AQAP activity and growing territorial occupation, people too poor to flee al Qaeda are terrified of both AQ and drone attacks. Hopefully this statement by AG Holder represents a real and ongoing commitment by the Obama administration to the principle of civilian immunity and US respect for the value of Yemeni lives.

AQAP does not follow the rules of war, and uses human shields, sheltering in civilian populated areas. The US has been targeting vehicle convoys, not towns. The shelling in Zinibar was from the Yemeni military, not US drones.

After grave US errors like al Mahfad (and the utterly shameful US statement that nearby Bedouins and their children were guilty of material support for selling vegetables, although the villagers had appealed to local authorities to expel the terrorists) and Saleh’s murder of his political enemy Sheik al Shabwani via US drone, visible US drones make parents very concerned. At the same time, the drones have been visible in Marib and many other locations since 2010, and I would think they are collecting surveillance photos.

I think/hope/pray the US understands that these are unwillingly occupied towns, that intel from the Saleh family is entirely unreliable, the CT units have been partially subverted by AQ and that in all cases, children under 14 cannot be terrorists.

The attitude of Yemenis is that al Qaeda should be captured, given a fair trial and imprisoned if there is actual evidence of crimes. They do not oppose counter-terror operations per se but summary execution without trial, just like many Americans who raised objections over Awlaki and Khan.

Boston Herald: Speaking at Northwestern University law school, Holder gave the most complete explanation to date of the Obama administration’s legal rationale for killing people like U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was targeted in an airstrike in Yemen last year.

Such killings can be ordered “in full accordance with the Constitution” but require “at least” an imminent threat in a situation where capture is not feasible, and when the strike is “conducted in a manner consistent” with the rules of war, Holder said.

The lawfare summary brings up another issue though, “a senior operational role,” which presupposes that the US knows who it is droning. While the criteria Holder outlined is for deliberate targeting of US citizens, it would be nice to think that the US has some clue as to the names of its Yemeni targets and doesn’t just look for random gatherings of bearded men. In Yemen, the most accurate fatality listing of US drone strikes comes from al Qaeda itself, and the Yemeni government announced Qasim al Reimi was dead four times.

While I imagine there are vast challenges to intelligence gathering on AQAP, it is this imprecision that can lead to collateral damage or more accurately, dead children. I still haven’t gotten over the photos of the crucifixion of the “spies,” but logically a modicum of respect for southerners as southerners in general would go a long way. The language of SD spox Victoria Nuland’s Press Briefing 3/5/12 blew southerners minds, and she probably had no clue how very poorly and furiously it would be received.

via Lawfare’s summary: That is, the speech asserts that Due Process permits targeting of a citizen at least when the target is:

(i) located abroad rather than in the United States,

(ii) has a senior operational role

(iii) with al Qaeda or an al Qaeda-associated force,

(iv) is involved in plotting focused on the death of Americans in particular,

(v) that threat is “imminent” in the sense that this is the last clear window of opportunity to strike,

(vi) there is no feasible option for capture without undue risk, and

(vii) the strike will comply with the IHL principles of necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity.

What is the acceptable metric of civilian causality per each suspected al Qaeda targeted? Much, much lower than Afghanistan I hope. Its a very volatile situation.

US to resume military training in Yemen prior to restructing military

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Security Forces, USA, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hows that going to work? Clearly the Yemeni forces are not up to the challenge without support considering yesterday’s bloodbath. But how to offset the AQAP subversion, root out the corrupt and purge the murderers while training is ongoing, (it didn’t work so well in the past), al Qaeda is attacking and restructure the Yemeni military simultaneously. Southerners, Houthis and other excluded groups have to be integrated into the new military for balance. Meanwhile its been AQAP’s goal to draw in US military forces.

US officials’ statements alienating southerners en masse (al Qaeda’s unwilling captive and nearby communities) isn’t helping overall efforts.

US and Yemeni officials have agreed to restart a controversial military-training program to help the new president tackle Al Qaeda militants as part of planned enhanced counter-terrorism relationship.

While President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has openly turned to Washington as he attempts to get the upper hand over the terrorist group, his policy may have a key drawback — upsetting the delicate political balance of power in the country and complicating the sensitive task of overhauling the nation’s fractured security forces.

Dozens of US special operations forces already on the ground are set to resume training of counterterrorism forces after a lull last year amid a wave of new sophisticated assaults by the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group and loosely linked jihadi groups. FOX

US cannot increase drone use in Yemen without providing shelter for civilians

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, GCC, South Yemen, USA, Yemen, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 6:43 pm on Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yemenis are fleeing (not joining) al Qaeda where ever they appear. However the vast majority of civilians lack the funds to rent an apartment or to buy food once they leave their farms and possessions behind to be looted by AQAP. But if they stay, they are subject to both al Qaeda dictatorship and US drones. The US may label those who don’t flee as collateral damage or as providing material support (as the Bedouins were in the Dec 2009 US strike in Abyan that killed 43 women and children when General Patraeus implied they were acceptable deaths because they selling vegetable to AQAP, despite the fact the villagers had appealed twice to local authorities to expel the group.)

Certainly AQAP bears the responsibility for sheltering in populated areas in the first place but people in the al Qaeda occupied territories of Yemen want to know where the refugee camps are. Seriously, where are they supposed to go? And it is a US problem when an al Qaeda presence means the potential of US drone strikes. The 120,000 who fled Zinjibar last May are still in the schools of Aden. I know Yemenis’ rights are very low on Obama’s priority list, but there must be a part of the plan to increase US drone use that will deal with the public panic and mass displacement that will occur as US drones follow AQ from province to province threatening people’s lives and homes. Over 15,000 fled Raada within days of Tariq al Dhahab’s (and al Wahishi’s) appearance. They were escaping both the al Qaeda fanaticism and the threat of US drones.

While the Obama administration may try to maintain the myth in the US that they know exactly who they are hitting, and its always a precise targeting, the non-lethal impact on civilians must be considered as well. The US is playing right into al Qaedas hands with nearly every policy from the re-imposition of a dictatorship through the GCC deal to Saleh’s visit to increased drones. The US is focused on vulnerable land when it should be focused on vulnerable people.

Basically, the US is going to bomb Yemen in order to pull off an uncontested election that nobody wants (except the US, the GPC and Islah elites) in the interest of “stability.” If the expired parliament gave Saleh immunity, it can appoint Hadi. The bogus show election isn’t worth more Yemeni lives or the displacement of tens of thousands, and it certainly wont confer legitimacy when there’s only one candidate that was selected by the US. The most politically disenfranchised are going to boycott anyway: civil minded protesters, southerners and Houthis.

The National: Yemen will increasingly rely on US drone strikes to target Islamist militants threatening to disrupt a transfer of power this month, Yemeni government officials said.

The president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is meant to hand over power to his vice president, Abdurabu Mansur Hadi, on February 22.

The run up to the transfer is being overshadowed by growing protests, including within the military, which have grounded Yemen’s air force across much of the country.

Two aides in Mr Hadi’s office said they expected a rise in drone attacks against Al Qaeda militants.

The strikes will be intensified only if necessary, to ensure that militant groups do not expand in vulnerable areas, said one of the aides. Both asked to remain anonymous. (Read on …)

Yemeni protesters calls for US Ambassador’s dismissal

Filed under: Diplomacy, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:37 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The CCYRC issued a letter reminding the US President that the Yemeni protesters oppose and are not a signatory to the GCC deal. the group calls for an official apology from the US as they say Ambassador Feierstein uniformly rude, disrespectful and insulting to the Yemeni people and has acted as the Saleh regime’s advocate and protector and with flagerant disregard for democratic principles. In particular the CCYRC condemn Feierstein’s most recent inflammatory statement wherein the Ambassador said the Life March was not a inherently peaceful as it was designed to provoke violence. Within hours, state forces killed 12 marchers.

The ambassador’s statement is below and I was waiting for an English transcript issued by the embassy but there doesn’t appear to be one coming. I find it unbelievable that the US Ambassador would demand political passivity from the Yemeni public. He blamed the peaceful marchers for any violence and chaos that the march triggers, which is akin to calling Dr. Martin Luther King an instigator of chaos and implying that the US civil rights marchers should have stayed home or that Medger Evans was responsible for his own murder because of his activism.

Al-Ariky Al-Mohammed By: توكل كرمان Tawakkol Karman
// translated from Arabic

The U.S. Ambassador in Sana’a is a devil’s advocate and friend of the criminal thugs!!
—–
Online social and news networks lately have been talking about the comments made by the U.S ambassador in Yemen on the violence that accompanied the march of life that came from the city of Taiz on foot which led to the killing of more than thirteen and injuring hundreds. The U.S ambassador said that the march of life « was not peaceful »; He added “the protester had no intention of a peaceful march and they intended to reach Sana’a and cause trouble which would provoke and lead the security forces to respond with violence”. (Read on …)

After UN resolution, 94 killed in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:22 am on Saturday, November 19, 2011

YT SANA’A, Nov. 16 — Ninety-four Yemenis were killed and over 800 injured since UN Resolution 2014 was issued on October 21, statistics from the SWC, an initiative for the support of women and children, have shown.

According to representatives of opposition-held field hospitals located near Change and Freedom Squares across Yemen, these numbers are preliminary. The amount of missing people and unreported injuries remains unknown.

Taiz has been the scene of a disproportionate amount of deadly violence, with more than fifty deaths in the past three weeks. Also, more than 400 families were displaced as they were forced to leave homes in armed conflict zones.

Tentative reports show that over the last three weeks in Yemen, 124 homes, seven mosques, six public institutions (including one hospital), two community wells, and 17 vehicles were effectively destroyed.

Moreover, the Taiz governorate has been under siege almost without exception throughout the last three weeks, with entry points closed and people not allowed to enter or leave.

A new trend is also reflected in the rising number of female casualties. Last week saw the killing of three women, with an additional seven injured, after the women’s section of a mosque was struck in Taiz.

Compounding the situation, deliberate electricity cuts and water shortages have severely affected the livelihoods of millions of Yemenis.

Fluctuating fuel prices – caused by the manipulation of fuel distribution and the lack of state control – have also disturbed the lives of Yemeni citizens, said the SWC.

UN resolution 2014, which was issued on 21 October, called on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign a GCC-backed initiative to transfer power following 10 months of political protests calling for his departure. The UN is set to review the situation on Monday, but to date, Saleh has shown no signs of stepping down.

Yemen bought $95 mil from Serbian arms dealer Tesic in 09

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Economic, Other Countries, Proliferation, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:08 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011

Everybody is wondering where the new arms shipment came from; if missiles, I was thinking North Korea; otherwise eastern Europe. Most Yemenis think Saudi Arabia, probably the only country willing to extend credit to the Sanaa regime at the moment. (But then with the earlier infusion of funds from Gadaffi, maybe Saleh can handle COD.)

9/23/11 HRF: Cables released by Wikileaks reveal that Slobodan Tesic, a Serbian arms dealer, contracted in 2009 to sell $95 million worth of sniper rifles, antiaircraft guns, and other arms and ammunition to the Yemen Ministry of Defense. As scores of unarmed protestors continue to be killed by the Yemeni government in renewed violence this week, possibly by these same weapons, Human Rights First renews its call for the United States to actively pressure the networks that enable brutal violence against civilians and grave human rights abuses. (Read on …)

EU: Yemen’s Saleh agrees (again) to step down

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Post Saleh, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:05 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The game continues:

Reuters- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has moved a step closer to handing power to his deputy by accepting a U.N. formula to ease a transition and end an uprising against his rule, the EU envoy to Yemen was quoted by the state news agency Saba as saying. (Read on …)

Open season on Yemenis: UN backs GCC plan, doesnt call for Saleh to go, no sanctions

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:54 pm on Friday, October 21, 2011

The protesters want a transitional council leading to a parliamentary system. The UN is backing the GCC plan which contains an immunity clause for Saleh and his cronies and re-entrenches the regime in under three months. Its astounding. With the ambiguity of neither endorsing or explicitly rejecting the immunity clause, and neither backing Saleh or calling for his departure, its a meaningless, toothless statement. And not only did Saleh renege on the GCC deal four times already, he ignored two UN SC resolutions in 1994. Speaking of which, the southerners are going to be so utterly disappointed that they were entirely overlooked as well.

CBS: The resolution was the first adopted by the U.N.’s most powerful body since the Arab Spring uprising in Yemen began eight months ago. It was clearly aimed at stepping up international pressure on Saleh, who was president of North Yemen from 1978 until 1990 when he became the first president of a unified Yemen….Philippe Bolopion, U.N. director for Human Rights Watch, said the organization welcomed “the long overdue condemnation of Yemeni government abuses,” but believed the council should have distanced itself from the council’s impunity deal.

“By signaling that there would be no consequence for the killing of Yemenis, the immunity deal has contributed to prolonging the bloodshed,” he said.

The White House said in a statement that the deal sends “a united and unambiguous signal to President Saleh that he must respond to the aspirations of the Yemeni people by transferring power immediately.”

The resolution calls for Saleh, or those authorized to act on his behalf, to immediately sign the Gulf Cooperation Council deal “to achieve a peaceful political transition of power … without further delay.”

Although the deal would give Saleh immunity, the resolution also underlines the need for an independent investigation into alleged human rights abuses “with a view to avoiding impunity.” — Unlike the resolution on Syria that was vetoed by Russia and China on Oct. 4, the Yemen resolution makes no mention of sanctions or any other measures.

With fighting intensifying, there are concerns that a civil war would significantly hurt efforts by the United States and Saudi Arabia to fight Yemen’s dangerous al Qaeda branch, and could turn the mountainous nation into a global haven for militants a short distance away from the vast oil fields of the Gulf and the key shipping lanes in the Arabian and Red seas.

Text below:

Security Council Condemns Human Rights Violations by Yemeni Authorities Abuses by ‘Other Actors’, after Months of Political Strife

Resolution 2014 (2011), Adopted Unanimously, Calls for End to Violence,

Acceptance of Gulf Cooperation Council Peace Plan, with Orderly Transfer of Power

Strongly condemning what it called human rights violations by authorities, and abuses by other actors, in Yemen following months of political strife, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that all sides immediately reject violence, and called on them to commit to a peaceful transition of power based on proposals by the major regional organization of the Arabian Gulf. (Read on …)

UN HCHR: murderers in Yemen must be prosecuted

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Judicial, Protest Fatalities, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:21 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

uh, yeah. Then Yemen needs a transitional council to guide the way to a parliamentary system, not a new strongman, as the very sophisticated Yemeni protesters have been calling for from day one, to the anguish of the naive and disorganized international community.

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville, Location: Geneva, Subject: Yemen

We condemn in the strongest terms the reported killing of a number of largely peaceful protestors in Sana’a and Taiz as a result of the indiscriminate use of force by Yemeni security forces since Saturday (15 October). Hundreds were reportedly injured by this disproportionate use of force against unarmed protestors.

We are extremely concerned that security forces continue to use excessive force in a climate of complete impunity for crimes resulting in heavy loss of life and injury, despite repeated pledges by the Government to the contrary. We reiterate our call for an international, independent, transparent investigation, for accountability and for justice. Those responsible for the hundreds of killings since the protest movement began in Yemen more than 8 months ago must be prosecuted, regardless of rank or title. (Read on …)

Yemeni CT chief Ahmed Saleh’s $5 million dollar condo in DC

Filed under: Biographies, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, USA, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:24 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Luxury Condo, For Saleh or Rent

WHY IS YEMEN’S PRESIDENTIAL FAMILY LOADED UP WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN
D.C. REAL ESTATE?

BY KEN SILVERSTEIN | OCTOBER 18, 2011

Shortly after being named one of the three winners of the Nobel Peace
Prize this month, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman said that if embattled
President Ali Abdullah Saleh is driven from power, investigators should
immediately begin searching for assets held abroad by members of his
government. The money “plundered” by the regime, she said, should be
“brought back to the Yemeni people,” according to an account on an
opposition website. (Read on …)

Sanaa regime still attacking medical workers, Red Cross objects

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Medical, Protest Fatalities, Targeting, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:42 pm on Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yemen Post: As Yemen is living through its worst spell of violence since the beginning of its popular uprising, with several hundred casualties awaiting medical treatment, the Red Cross is accusing the Yemeni government of theft and abuses.

According to Valerie Petitpierre, the deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s delegation in Yemen, government forces would have physically assaulted some of her staff as they were trying to confiscate their medical supplies.

“The ICRC delegation is receiving very worrying reports of armed confrontations taking place in Al-Gomhori Hospital and placing many innocent lives at risk,” she said.

Eye witnesses within the hospitals confirmed the allegations, saying that several members of the Red Cross staffs had been beaten and threatened of further reprisals if they insisted in helping the wounded.

Petitpierre went further in her declaration mentioning that “in some cases they have had equipment confiscated, and there have also been incidents in which they were denied access to people in need of first aid.”

She stressed that it was the government’s moral duty to ensure and facilitate medical treatment to all, beyond prejudice or feelings of revenge. “Anyone injured or wounded must be able to receive life-saving health care without undue delay.”

Bell Pottinger, PR firm, working for Tariq Saleh, gets 30,000/month

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Media, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

They place pro-Saleh opeds in western papers.

Bell Pottinger acted for controversial Yemen organization
September 1st, 2011 | by Melanie Newman Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Bell Pottinger, the London-based public relations firm, has been working for a little-known organization in Yemen with apparent strong links to the country’s president, the Bureau can reveal. (Read on …)

Yemen seeks to expel French Ambassador, Updated

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:22 pm on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TOTAL, the French co with the concession on the LNG must be a bit concerned, especially after all the dirty deals. South Korea, a frequent target of AQAP, also has interests in Yemen’s LNG as an owner and production purchaser, but TOTAL has the lion’s share on both ends. Update: 1) I forgot to mention the kidnapping. On 23rd May, Bernard Valero, French Foreign Ministry spokesman, took a strong stance on Saleh in asking him to leave office and adhere to the (then new) GCC transition offer. On the 28rd May, five days after Valero’s statement, there was the kidnap of three French aid workers in Seyun/Shibam.

2) Yemen denies: SANA’A – Yemen denied on Tuesday reports of Suhail Channel that French ambassador to Yemen has departed the country due to harassments. An official source in the Foreign Ministry made clear that he left Yemen on Sunday, 7/8/2011, in an ordinary vacation. The French diplomat will return to Yemen to exercise his diplomatic duties, the official said.

3) MOre at the Yemen Post: Ahmed Saleh is believed to have warned that all French nationals were from now on unwelcome in Yemen. If it is the case, French run companies, such as TOTAL and YLNG might be in serious trouble.

Yemen Post In an unprecedented move and without much warning, the Yemeni government demanded the French Ambassador immediate departure.

According to government sources close to the palace, Ahmed Saleh, the president’s eldest son and contender to the presidency, would have ordered the ouster of all French embassy personnel since he felt that they were coercing against the regime by supporting the revolution. (Read on …)

1994’s Document of Pledge and Accord a relevant document today

Filed under: Diplomacy, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:07 pm on Friday, August 19, 2011

The National Committee should pledge to the 1994 Document of Pledge and Accord.
Full Text here. Its an amazing assessment and action plan that was never implemented as it challenged the hegemony of the northern Saleh regime following unity.

The international community will like Section 1, paragraph 2 and the emphasis on counter-terror, but the whole document is as relevant now as it was in 1994, as regards Saleh’s tactics and excesses, and in providing assurances to southerners of equality and self determination going forward. The north/ south divide is as bifurcated today as it was before the revolution started. Maybe by agreeing to abide by the Document’s principles, the southerners might consent to join the rev or at least begin a conversation.

2. The Dialogue Committee reaffirms the statement of the government regarding the steps specially taken to confront terrorism, and to abide the policy of Yemen internally and externally in confronting terrorism. and to extradite all non-Yemenis against whom there is evidence of involvement in terroristic activities, support thereof or even encouragement or publicizing them.

Appropriate trials open and fair must be initiated and proper punishment dispensed accordingly to the law and through the appropriate channels. To forbid the entry into Yemen, employment of, or giving shelter or refuge to persons accused of terrorism.

World Bank suspends $500M to Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Economic, Yemen, govt budget, protests — by Jane Novak at 5:03 pm on Monday, August 8, 2011

WB Suspends $542 Million to Instable Yemen Yemen Post:

The World Bank suspended hundreds of millions of USD in aid to Yemen as from July 28 due to the political and security situation as the dueling protests and associated severe crises continue across the republic.

Independent sources cited a WB statement as saying that the decision came in harmony with the Bank’s rules that call for such a procedure in complicated circumstances to avoid negative impacts on its programme course in any country.

The Bank is sponsoring 21 projects in Yemen with $882 million, $542 million out of which has not been released yet, the source reported, citing the statement as saying that the Bank will be ready to resume its activities normally in the country when the situation returns normal.

Civilians killed by Yemeni gov’t as AQAP uses citizens as sheilds

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, TI: Internal, Transition, USA, Yemen, attacks, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 8:43 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

The article doesn’t make note of the enhanced US role in the conflict, directly and indirectly. But its undeniable that the Yemeni regime is currently committing war crimes, and has committed mass violations and mass murder for years in the Saada War, in the south as well across the nation.

HRW 7/9/11, (Aden) – Yemeni forces may have killed dozens of civilians in unlawful attacks while fighting an Islamist armed group in southern Abyan province since May 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The militants in Abyan, called Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), may have unlawfully placed civilians at risk by deploying in densely populated areas and engaged in looting and other abuses, Human Rights Watch said. (Read on …)

UN “peace” proposal reinstates Saleh

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:52 am on Monday, July 4, 2011

Its just ridiculous. The international community should start with the protesters plan and move outward from there. We are not talking about a transition of power between the ruling party and the opposition (although that’s what the international community is pushing for) but a revolution, an overthrow of the entire regime. If the political party system worked, there wouldn’t be a revolution in the first place. The JMP was unable to institute a dialog on electoral reforms with the GPC for three years, leading to the two year delay in parliament elections in 2009. Immediate elections are unworkable; the protesters plan has been the only viable solution from day one.

6/30 CNN Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — The Yemeni government has lost control over five provinces, and security in the country is deteriorating, the nation’s acting president told CNN in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

In his first interview with a Western TV network, Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi detailed how U.S. drones are using voice recognition to target al Qaeda leaders and help the government win back control. (Read on …)

Organized jihaddists in Zinjibar, Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Diplomacy, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Friday, July 1, 2011

Al Qaeda showing more respect for locals than the US is bad; there should be no comparison. Beyond the drones, Ambassador Feierstein continues meeting with regime officials including military intelligence while ignoring the protesters and their demands. The protest movement nation wide is discussing demanding the US Ambassador’s expulsion from Yemen as a person non grata. This NY Times article accurately covers the Saleh induced developments in Zinjibar.

June 26, 2011
Chaos in Yemen Creates Opening for Islamist Gangs
By ROBERT F. WORTH
ADEN, Yemen — The ancient port city of Aden is now virtually surrounded by roving gangs of Islamist militia fighters — some linked to Al Qaeda — who have captured at least two towns, stormed prisons and looted banks and military depots in southern Yemen.

Yet the Yemeni government, still busy fighting unarmed protesters farther north, has done little to stop these jihadists. Members of the military, the police and local officials have fled their posts across much of southern Yemen. The country’s American-trained counterterrorism unit has not been deployed. It is no surprise that many Yemenis believe the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, intended it all to happen. (Read on …)

CIA drones to augment military drones

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, TI: External, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:45 pm on Saturday, June 25, 2011

LAT: Reporting from Washington— The CIA is planning a campaign of targeted killings by drone aircraft against Al Qaeda militants in Yemen modeled after a similar program in Pakistan, U.S. officials say.

CIA attacks from Predator drones will augment a clandestine effort by U.S. special operations forces, which have been conducting manned airstrikes, drone strikes and small raids in Yemen, the officials said Tuesday.
(Read on …)

UN SC voices grave concern on situation in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:29 pm on Friday, June 24, 2011

MSNBC, UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council on Friday voiced its “grave concern” at the situation in Yemen, ending months of disagreement that had prevented the 15-nation body from speaking unanimously on the unrest there. (Read on …)

EU condemns and deplores yesterdays events in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Transition, UK, political violence, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:32 am on Monday, May 23, 2011

I wonder if Saleh understands that jeopardizing the lives of the diplomats is a worse breech than not signing?

YP: Council adopted the following conclusions:
“The European Union is following events in Yemen with extreme concern. (Read on …)

Clinton statement on Yemen: outraged

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 5:45 am on Monday, May 23, 2011

Sickening: MR. TONER: Sure. I mean, I don’t want to get into specifics yet, but I think I said yesterday that there’s a number of options in front of us as the situation continues to fester, and we’re looking at all options. But what’s important, really, now is that President Saleh has an agreement in front of him. He needs to sign it and put Yemen on a positive path so that they can resolve the current situation.

QUESTION: The GCC, it says they were walking away from that deal, it’s no longer on the table. Is it your understanding that it is still on the table?

MR. TONER: Our understanding is that it remains on the table. That he just needs to sign it.

Update: The road to the US embassy still blocked 24 hours later and apparently the tents are still up. The embassy closed its doors. Saleh is continuing to play with fire and misreading the US badly on this one. Obama, when he acts, can be shockingly aggressive in foreign policy. Saleh should tell these thugs to pack their tents and go play with the Al Ahmar boys immediately. Yemenis have a joke: “If the US wants al Qaeda, they should bomb the presidential palace.” I always found it rather amusing.

Oh he called the UAE?? Did he call President Obama? WAM: President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan received a phone call from Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in which he offered his apology for the incident in which the diplomats were detained in the UAE Embassy in the Yemeni Capital, Sana’a, yesterday. Actually it seems like Obama has a temper, maybe waiting a day is a good strategy.

Update: This is a much better and realistic view of the remarks by Clinton.

Original: I was rather outraged myself when President Obama’s friend, Ali Abdullah Saleh, besieged the US Ambassador to Yemen with gun toting, club wielding GPC members, trapping him in an foreign embassy for six hours. No one was surprised Saleh wormed his way out of signing though. I thought he might bow to the demands of a chanting, weeping crowd as opposed to locking down the mediators.

State.gov The United States is deeply disappointed by President Saleh’s continued refusal to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative. He is turning his back on his commitments and disregarding the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people.

The concerted efforts of the international community, led by the GCC, have been tireless and all sides have agreed — on multiple occasions — to sign the GCC initiative. President Saleh is now the only party that refuses to match actions to words. We urge him to immediately follow through on his repeated commitments to peacefully and orderly transfer power and ensure the legitimate will of the Yemeni people is addressed. The time for action is now.

We are also outraged to learn that earlier today factions loyal to President Saleh encircled the UAE embassy in Sana’a. They refused to allow U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, ambassadors from the United Kingdom the European Union and GCC states, the GCC Secretary General and other foreign diplomats to leave the embassy. We condemn this action and call on President Saleh to meet his international obligations to ensure the safety and security of all foreign diplomats and their staffs working in Yemen.

In diplospeak, I think the tiers are layered from concerned to dismayed to outraged, so its a tough and appropriate word from the US’s top diplomat.

Saleh planned clashes to thwart transition: leak

Filed under: Diplomacy, GCC, GPC, Security Forces, Transition, USA, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 3:05 pm on Sunday, May 22, 2011

There’s so many leaks coming out of Yemen lately, documents and verbal. The following published by Marib Press is another. I wasn’t there so I can’t say its true, only that it’s less likely to be propaganda than the lies that come out of SABA on a daily basis. The only other people who will know absolutely if its true are the US officials, if they indeed called Saleh several times last night.

Saleh agreeing to the transition with the US while planning for a street uprising to derail it is entirely in character, as we saw from the ease of his lies as revealed in Wikileaks and from the years and years of lies before. This is the way he operates, these are the types of schemes he comes up with to juggle expectations and perceptions and blame. So I’m tired, I’m cranky, he besieged my ambassador and went back on his promise, so I’m publishing an unverified leak that has no document.

Mareb Press: On Saturday evening in Sana’a, the General Committee of the General People’s Congress (GPC) and parties of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Yemen held a meeting chaired by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Chairman of the GPC. Below is some leaks from this meeting’s conversations between Saleh and GPC members loyal to him.

· About the GCC brokered initiative , Saleh said that he had received yesterday evening seven calls from the U.S. administration to urge him to sign the GCC initiative, saying “I will sign the initiative, I do not want to be a stumbling block before the international community, but I’m going to sign, and you guys, you have to fail it, take into the streets. (Read on …)

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