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 …)

Saleh loyalist gunmen besiege UAE embassy, surround US embassy

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Presidency, Sana'a, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:35 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Final Update: Diplomats rescued by helicopter, Yemen Post reports. It was a six hour siege. Afterward when Saleh never signed, the the GCC withdrew the proposal.

Previous: Does anybody on earth still believe Saleh has the capacity or the will to carry out a 2 month transition plan? Yes apparently. More fuzzy reports that Saleh refused the latest offer to sign the deal after the diplomats were released. The international community is afraid if they don’t get an agreement from Saleh, the pro-regime mobs today could all be armed and shooting tomorrow. Saleh is on TV threatening a war if the opposition doesn’t come to the palace to sign, so its not dead yet. Or it is and Ahmed is the GPC’s new candidate according to another report. The whole circus could have been a ploy to avoid signing and blame it on the JMP.

Original post: Well we knew he wasn’t going to sign, either rejecting it outright or, as occurred, the loyalists would “spontaneously” prevent it. But this is off the wall. If Saleh knows whats good for him, he better call off the mobs at the embassy. He’s really playing with fire. Armed ruling party members are not a deniable proxy. We all know where they came from. This idiot should smarten up and get the hell out of Dodge while the getting is good.

Good:
State Dept calls siege “a government organized” event.”
Revolutionary Youth Coalition condemns siege and calls it a new ploy.
GCC is meeting shortly to discuss the situation.
Helicopters to the rescue?

Updates: GPC crowd growing, tent up and road blocked at US embassy, NewsYemen: Eyewitnesses told “NewsYemen” The supporters of the ruling party have erected a tent in front of the U.S. embassy in Sana’a and cut the road in front of citizens. With still gunmen from the ruling party surrounding the UAE embassy in Sanaa, where resides the Secretary General of Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Latif Al Zayani and a number of ambassadors of EU and U.S. Ambassador in Sanaa.

The ruling party (GPC) spokesman Sultan al Barakani confirms that Saleh won’t sign the deal even after the international mediator is released from captivity. What a thug regime.

Gunfight on 70th street. No action (water cannons, tear gas) by security to disburse the mobs at the embassies like they use on the anti-regime protesters.

AJE Gunmen claiming to be loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen laid siege Sunday afternoon to the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Sana’a, trapping the ambassadors of the United States and of the six members states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Read on …)

Saleh’s latest ploy- will sign agreement in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, GCC, GPC, JMP, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:44 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2011

The latest load of garbage: Saleh isn’t rejecting the agreement but is insisting the steps be implemented in order including an end to the protests and the rebellion by military units and the temporary exile of those causing tension and a whole range of steps before he steps down. Its a no go, especially since the protesters themselves reject the deal wholesale. This is just more stalling and dancing. its important to keep in mind that the Saada War re-ignited six times primarily because the state reneged on the terms of its own cease fire agreement.

The most important development over the week-end was the destruction of the protesters camp in Aden using tanks and artillery.

AAl-Shamy denies President’s not to sign the GCC initiative
Monday, 02-May-2011
Almotamar.net – Sana’a-The Head of the Information Office at the General People’s Congress (GPC) Tareq al-Shamy demised Sunday what was reported by some media outlets that President Ali Abdullah saleh refuses to sign the Gulf Cooperation council (GCC) inititiative for resolving the political crisis in Yemen.

Al-Shamy affirmed President Saleh displayed full readiness to sign the GCC initiative , whether after signing it by representative of the GPC and the Nations Democratic Alliance Parties (NDAP) and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) or that the JMP goes to Riyadh and Secretary General of the GC returns to Sana’a with a document to be signed by all in Sana’a , attended by chairman of the GCC states Foreign Ministers Sheikh Abdullah bi Zayed and President Saleh will sign with the JMP for the GPC and its allies and chairman of the JMP Dr Yassin Saeed Nouman to sign for the JMP and its partners. (Read on …)

Russia nixes UN statement on Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Russia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:24 pm on Thursday, April 21, 2011

I know why, Saleh owes Russia $1.3 billion for the MIG’s and other military hardware. Russia is Yemen’s largest bi-lateral creditor and the debt is nearly all from the weapons deals.

Update: Yemen Times headline says it all: GCC talks with government delegation flop, UN Security Council fails to issue resolution

BBC: UN Security Council members have called for restraint and dialogue between protesters and authorities in Yemen.

But the Council’s first talks on the crisis ended in New York without an agreed public statement, with diplomats saying Russia objected.

Security forces earlier reportedly opened fire on anti-government protesters in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and the southern city of Taiz. (Read on …)

Ali Mohsens’s Child Soldiers, HRW

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen, political violence, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:28 pm on Friday, April 15, 2011

The Saada Wars were fought by children and the state’s policies of collective punishment targeted children. The kids interviewed had been fighting for years already. The age of maturity in Yemen is 15– by that age many are married, armed, working and chewing qat.

The Obama admin exempted Yemen from legal repercussions for the use of child soldiers.


Yemen: Stop Using Children in Armed Forces
HRW: Child Soldiers Recruited by Army Now Deployed by Opposition

(New York) – Child soldiers recruited by the Yemeni army are now being used by a breakaway unit to protect anti-government protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The United States and other governments should call for an immediate end to the use of children as soldiers or in other security forces, whether for the Yemeni government or the opposition. (Read on …)

Al Qirby- deal could be struck today, update: denies statement

Filed under: Diplomacy, JMP, Ministries, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:51 am on Saturday, March 26, 2011

Now he says hes staying until 2013!

A clear overview of the whole picture from: Walid al Saqqaf.

Update: al Qirby denies the Reuters report, saying it was an inaccurate quote. The blame game now settles on the GPC That’s why Saleh reversed his decision not to run in 2006, the GPC begged him to be their candidate as there was no one else in the entire party with the capacity to run Yemen. Imagine how much better off Yemen would be now if Saleh had kept his word, but I guess you cant think like that, Saleh never keeps his word. I really hope he doesn’t set fire to Yemen on the way out. The longer this takes, the more nervous its making me.

SANAA (Reuters) – A deal on a peaceful transition of power in Yemen could come as early as Saturday and would be based on an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down by year-end, Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said…”I hope it will be today, before tomorrow,” Qirbi, who is serving as caretaker foreign minister, told Reuters in an interview, adding that the time frame of a transfer of power by Saleh could be negotiated.

Saleh, who oversaw the 1990 unification of north and south Yemen and emerged victorious from a civil war four years later, told tribes in Sanaa on Saturday that he would “work to avoid bloodshed using all possible means.”

He said on Friday he was ready to relinquish power to forestall more bloodshed but only to what he called “safe hands” after weeks of street demonstrations demanding his departure. (Read on …)

Interview with US ambassador Gerald Feierstein to Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 9:15 pm on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Interview with US ambassador Gerald Feierstein to Yemen
[12/March/2011]
By Lutfi Noaman

SANA’A, March 12 (Saba)-
Lutfi Noaman: The interview is for both Saba News Agency and for al-Syasiah newspaper. The question deals with the recent travel warnings that the U.S. administration issued to Americans, not to visit Yemen and for those that are already here, for them to leave. Diplomacy actually makes a big difference in the lives of people, so how can that take place- how can you provide more security for both countries through diplomacy. This is what you said in Taiz University. (Read on …)

US Diplomatic immunity for President Saleh’s sons and Yahya Saleh’s son

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:41 am on Friday, March 11, 2011

They were on the Fall 2010 Diplomatic list and the pdf of the State.gov Diplomatic list Winter 2011 shows they continue to have diplomatic immunity in the US by being attached to the Yemeni embassy in DC. I knew already that Yemen’s US and UN ambassador’s were relative but I didn’t know the sons were attached to the Yemeni embassy in the US. These are the recognized diplomats and their wives:

YEMEN
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN

HIS EXCELLENCY ABDULWAHAB A. AL HAJJRI MRS. SABOURA H. AL-MAHFADI
AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY & PLENIPOTENTIARY….

MR. KANAN YAHIA MOHAMED SALEH MRS. AISHA HUSSEIN ALI AL HAMDANI
ATTACHE

MR. KHALED ALI ABDULLAH SALEH
ATTACHE

MR. SALAH ALI ABDULLAH SALEH MRS. AMENA MABKHOUT YAHYA ALMASHRAQI
ATTACHE (SECURITY)

COLONEL TAISEER SALEH ABDULLAH SALEH
DEFENSE, MILITARY, NAVAL & AIR ATTACHE

Comments (3)

Al Qirby: Six billion will fix it

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Yemen, Yemen-Economy, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 12:25 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yemen Post

Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi has urged donors to pump $ 6 billion in aid to Yemen over the next five years to help it meet the demands of the anti-government protesters and sit-inners. (Read on …)

Yemen opposition JMP parties pick a side: no dialog

Filed under: Diplomacy, JMP, protests — by Jane Novak at 2:26 pm on Saturday, February 19, 2011

Al Tagheer points out the contradiction of their current statement saying most protesters are JMP members, when earlier they denied any connection to the protests. Article also notes Abdelmalik al Houthi’s earlier statement supporting the right of people to peaceful protest. I find it astounding the nearly a decade after their establishment, the JMP is still unable to issue a statement in English. But even in Arabic, its an ambiguous statement. Update: but to follow is a full English translation of the al Tagheer article:

Yemeni opposition announces its renewed refusal of dialogue with the regime

19/02/2011 at 17:33:00, Al-Tagyeer, Sana’a, Special

Yemeni opposition announced today Saturday its refusal of any dialogue with the authority of General People’s Congress amid spontaneous protests of thousands of citizens in a number of provinces demanding the toppling of the regime. The rotating Chairman of of the JMP coalition said “there can be no dialogue with an authority using thugs and violence against peaceful demonstrators “.

Yemeni parliamentary opposition had confirmed nearly a week ago its agreement to resume dialogue with the ruling party under the initiative of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, which included the cancellation of the constitutional amendments in particular and the postponement of the elections. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Saleh calls Mubarek with sympathy and support

Filed under: Diplomacy, protests — by Jane Novak at 3:19 pm on Sunday, January 30, 2011

One dinosaur to another

Almotamar.net - President Ali Abdullah Saleh has on Saturday evening made a phone call with President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in which he got assured of the situations in Egypt in the light of the regretful events Egypt is currently witnessing.

President Saleh affirmed in the phone conversation Yemen’s stand by and solidarity with Egypt’s government and people, wishing prevalence of security, stability and peace in Egypt.

Abdelmalik al Houthi outlines nine steps taken in pursuit of peace

Filed under: Diplomacy, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:40 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

Its google translate but I can read it.

Statement explains the steps we have made through the presence of the National Committee and reveals the lie in allegations by the Authority, issued January 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Is the authority and we are back in all views when they talk about the situation in the northern provinces shun all the steps we have made either after the cessation of the sixth war directly or through the presence of the National Committee. (Read on …)

Tariq al Fahdli disses exiled southern leaders and burns US, PDRY and Yemeni flags

Filed under: Abyan, Diplomacy, South Yemen, USA, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tariq al Fahdli striving for relevance again. Update: an interview here at Yemen Today, and he really does sound sick of everybody, calling the exiled southern leaders idols and dinosaurs.

Yemeni former Jihadist burns US flag and ‘dinosaurs’ pictures
(updated)
By Nasser Arrabyee/20/01/2011
: A controversial Yemeni politician from the south set fire on Wednesday to the American and Yemeni flags and picture of President Saleh, and pictures of the exiled socialist leaders, accusing all those of conspiring against the south.

The feudal lord, and former Jihadist with Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Tarek Al Fadhli said he would lead a revolution to liberate the south from the communists who ruled before unity and also from the “occupiers” of the north as call them. (Read on …)

Yemen extradites Egyptian “mercenaries”

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saleh looking for a quid pro quo? Diverting attention from Zawaheri’s supporters in AQAP?

Yemen Extradites ‘Mercenaries’, Says Foreigners Help Rebels – Paper
Yemen Post Staff: Yemen extradited four Egyptians to their country after they had been arrested while fighting the Yemeni army in support of the Houthi rebels in Saada, a Kuwaiti newspaper has reported. (Read on …)

Clinton talks to Yemenis at town hall meeting

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:26 pm on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She also met with leaders of the JMP privately. Its certainly an encouraging development, the trip, the meetings, and the tone.

Washington wants Change in Yemeni Regime, JMP leader: Yemen Post Staff

Hasan Zaid, the general secretary for the opposition Haq Party said that from the discussions JMP leaders had with Mrs. Clinton, he came to understand that Washington wants change and supports it.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Joint Meeting Parties leaders in a closed door meeting which continued more than two hours. According to Zaid, opposition was given great importance by the visiting American delegation, and this will help the reform strategy in the country. (Read on …)

Amen Ahmed Ali sentenced as Yemeni spy in US

Filed under: Diplomacy, Military, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 5:35 pm on Saturday, January 8, 2011

One down, dozens to go.

Sacramento FBI: California Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Act as a Foreign Agent, Export Military Equipment, and Possess Stolen Property

FRESNO, CA—Amen Ahmed Ali, 60, aka Ali Amin Alrowhani or Ameen Alrohany, of Bakersfield, California, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to five years in prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release for conspiring to act as an illegal agent of a foreign government, to unlawfully export defense materials, and to possess stolen government property, announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. (Read on …)

New US Ambassador Leaves the Embassy for Visit to Amran

Filed under: Agriculture, Amran, Diplomacy, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:16 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

Its very dangerous for a US ambassador or any western diplomat to be driving around Yemen. At the same time, the embassy can become an echo chamber when its primary input is from overt and covert Saleh loyalists who distort reality.

Ambassador Feierstein meets the people of Amran

US Embassy press release October 26, 2010

On October 26, U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein visited Amran City to discuss with government officials, journalists, teachers and youth how the United States can assist the people of Amran in overcoming the development challenges in their province.

Ambassador Feierstein met with Governor Kahlan Mujahed Abu Shawarib, visited a primary school supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development, took a walking tour of the beautiful and historic old city of Amran, spoke with students at Amran University, visited a cement factory, and conducted a roundtable with local journalists. During these meetings, he reiterated the support of the United States for the Yemeni government and people’s efforts to improve the quality of education and health services and to address security issues in Yemen.

The visit underscored the long and productive partnership between the United States and the people of Amran.

Obama exempts Yemen from US law restricting arms sales to countries that use child soldiers

Filed under: Children, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 7:53 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

nineteen1yemenichildsoldiers

White House.gov By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, pursuant to section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), title IV of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA.

(Read on …)

Feierstein: economic reform, rehab militants, equip CT forces

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 11:33 pm on Monday, October 11, 2010

Without comment

AFP: “My government also recognizes that security cooperation alone will not achieve our goal of defeating violent extremism, and we understand the complexity of challenges in Yemen,” said Feierstein. “Moving forward on the national dialogue process, combating corruption, instituting necessary economic reforms, and empowering women to contribute to family well-being and national progress are all essential steps to ensuring a more secure future for Yemen,” he said.

(Read on …)

56 Media Outlets Denied Access to Yemen in Past Three Months

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Media — by Jane Novak at 10:01 am on Monday, October 4, 2010

Wow. The word I use to describe Yemen’s information operations is Stalinistic, it isn’t hyperbole. It was only when I was formatting the endnotes on my most recent article that I realized all the English language Yemeni news archives prior to 2007 are wiped out, either through hacking (News Yemen) or website redesign (Yemen Observer and Yemen Times).

Regime Forcing Media to Lie

Hakim Almasmari, Yemen Post Editorial

Over the last three years, Yemen Post has been cooperating with leading international media outlets in news coverage in Yemen. Over the last three months, over 56 international media outlets were denied entry visas to the country, in a strategy by the government to limit what people should know about Yemen to what the government wants them to know. (Read on …)

New UK Ambassador to Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, UK, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:01 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Resisting all snarky comments, Yemen Post

The United Kingdom has appointed a new ambassador to Yemen to succeed the current envoy Tim Torlot who would be transferred to another appointment, the UK embassy in Sana’a reported on Wednesday.

Jonathan Wilks, 52, will start his new position in October. Wilks is a specialist in the Middle East and North Africa affairs. He has held posts in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

This month, Gerald M. Feierstein delivered his credentials as the new U.S. ambassador to Yemen. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Friends of Yemen Pledges Political Support, UK Warns of Massive Dangers

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:30 am on Saturday, September 25, 2010

The only solution for Yemen is a caretaker government, as I have previously written. There must be a transition of power or things will continue to decline. If the US wants to address the root causes of terrorism in Yemen, sooner or later they are going to have to own up to the Saleh issue.

VOA British Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan said after Friday’s meeting that Yemen’s stability is one of the most pressing international issues right now. (Read on …)

Where’s the beef Obama?

Filed under: Diplomacy, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:29 am on Saturday, September 25, 2010

“Do not stand idly by when dissidents everywhere are imprisoned and protesters are beaten. Because part of the price of our own freedom is standing up for the freedom of others.”

~President Barack Obama, U.N. speech, September 23, 2010

I agree with this statement completely, and I’m not standing idly by, thank you very much for your advice, Mr. President, but how does this statement relate to the official US policy in Yemen?

Another presidential quote: I never give them hell. I just tell them the truth and they think it is hell. – President Harry Truman

Sports Minister sacks Yemeni Chess Team after they play Israelis

Filed under: Civil Society, Diplomacy, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update: Yemen ambassador to Moscow says they withdrew from the match and forfeited. How stupid this is.

Lahj net

Argument Net:
اتخذ وزير الشباب والرياضة الاستاذ حمود عباد قرارا يقضي باقالة اتحاد لعبة الشطرنج وشطب جميع اللاعبين المشاركين في اولمبياد العالم للشطرنج المقام حاليا في بلاروسيا بعد لقاءات جمعت لاعبين يمنيين بلاعبين اسرائيلين. Taken and the Minister of Youth and Sports Mr Hamoud slaves of a decision to dismiss the Union of the game of chess and write off all the players participating in the World Chess Olympics currently taking place in Belarus after the interviews collected for the players Yemeni players Israelis. (Read on …)

The United States of Double Standards: Samir Khan Chargable?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 12:56 pm on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The US never brought “incitement to violence” charges against American citizens and jihaddist bloggers Anwar Awlaki, Samir Khan, Jesse Morton, Zach Chessler, and Yousef al Kattab. Meanwhile former federal stooge, racist blogger Hal Turner was convicted–after 14 months and three trials–of incitement to violence for a blog post saying he believed three judges were worthy of execution for a ruling against handguns. Turner was under a gag order while the freds were leaking his file to the Star Ledger. He was denied bail and wound up sharing a cell with an Aryan Nation murder after it was known Turner was a federal rat on the skinheads. Meanwhile Awlaki’s blog was online for years and hosted in the US. While the site may have had some intel value, it was never followed up on. Condolences to the Fort Hood families.

Later the US determined Anwar was operational in AQAP. Awlaki still hasn’t been indicted for incitement to violence, even after numerous persons said they were inspired to violence by Awlaki, including the two latest in Alaska. Awlaki himself claimed the mass murderer Nidal Hassan as his student as well as the would be killer Farouk Abdulmattalab. Anwar also ruled (as if he’s an actual cleric or something) that all Americans should be killed because they pay taxes and have the opportunity to vote. This is one of the issues the ACLU is bringing up- there’s no charges against Awlaki, just a capture or kill order.

Samir Khan ran the Inshallahshahid blog openly calling for jihad against Americans. Sami went to Yemen, apparently not on the no-fly list, and hooked up with AQAP. He is now thought to be the designer of the fanatics’ latest magazine, the English language Inspire. US authorities are just now wondering if Sami is guilty of anything and convened a grand jury to contemplate the question. They are considering if there is enough evidence to support a material support charge and conspiracy to murder, but not apparently incitement to violence. Yousef al Kattab, the Revolution Muslim blog founder, is now in Tetouan, Morocco. Apparently he was also not on no-fly list.

Joey was never charged with incitement to violence, although the RM blog is among the foremost English language proponents of violence under the banner of Islam and he posted specific death threats. Jesse Morton (Younis Abduallah) is another Revolution Muslim flunky, whereabouts unknown, uncharged. Zach Chesser called for the death of the South Park creators and posted their home addresses along with a picture of Theo Van Gogh dead with a knife in his chest. Zachy wasn’t charged with incitement to violence. Zachy became a RM administrator and was only pinched when he tried to go join al Shabab–bringing his infant son as cover. The only one is custody, indicted for material support, Zach flipped in a day and began cooperating with authorities. So the post-racial Obama administration brings a clearly malicious prosecution against a racist blogger but gives a pass to all the jihaddist bloggers. The DOJ, for the first time in a long time, has an overt political agenda in many areas. This is just one instance of selective application of the law. However, others have a more optimistic view.

GPB: One of the jihadi world’s most famous bloggers could be brought up on U.S. terrorism charges soon, NPR has learned. A federal grand jury in Charlotte, N.C., convened to consider evidence against Samir Khan, a 24-year-old North Carolina man who is thought to be the editor of Inspire, a new al-Qaida online magazine….Sources close to the case tell NPR the grand jury convened Tuesday to see if there was evidence enough to charge Khan with terrorism offenses. Among the charges people close to the case said the grand jury is considering: material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. The FBI, for its part, declined to confirm or deny there is an investigation. And the grand jury is unlikely to come out with any decision in the case for weeks. Grand jury deliberations are secret until indictments are announced….Intelligence officials now say they believe Khan’s al-Qaida patron was Anwar al-Awlaki, the same U.S.-born radical cleric linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. They say he invited Khan to Yemen and Khan packed his bags and went.

Yemen to End Automatic Refugee Status for Somalis

Filed under: Diplomacy, Refugees, Somalia, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 3:59 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yemen is the only nation that signed onto the UN convention granting refugees status to those fleeing war. Since then the lack of international support, and corruption and inefficiency within the UN offices, meant that Somalis in Yemen are trapped in a life of poverty and hunger with few options but to illegally migrate to Saudi Arabia and beyond. The refugees strain the government’s meager resources and many have no access to education, medical services and jobs, but then neither do many Yemenis.

IRIN: SANAA, 9 August 2010 (IRIN) – Straining to cope with the number of Somalis arriving by boat, Yemen is seeking to end the prima facie refugee status (automatic asylum) it has been giving them for the past 20 years. The government says some are economic migrants and should not be granted automatic refugee status, while others are militants seeking to join al-Qaeda groups to destabilize the country. (Read on …)

Yahya al Houthi Objects to US Mil Aid Used in Saada War in Letter to Parliament

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:06 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yahya al-Houthi, an MP and brother of Abdel-Malik, sent a letter to the Yemeni parliament about the Senate’s finding the US military aid may have been mis-used (diverted) to Saleh’s efforts against the Houthis. Its extremely difficult to believe that the transfer of mil aid comes as a shock to anyone in DC. The Sa’ada region has been cut off from journalists since 2004, and the civilian casualty toll is anyone’s guess, but the Yemeni regime’s tactics are clearly in violation of international law and include sustained blockade and indiscriminate bombing. While Saleh is using US military support against the Houthis, he is also using al-Qaeda operatives as mercenaries and has been doing so since 2005-ie, the US is equipping an (al-Qaeda supported) jihad against Shia civilians. The Yemeni state itself calls it a jihad and has produced fatwas claiming “Houthi blood is free.” This is not news, but an ongoing pathetic failure of integrity and foresight.

We continue to expose our deep concern of the military and financial help of Western and especially the assistance the United States, European Union, as well as Arab aid provided to the system of Yemen in response to Western demands to provide such assistance to the regime in Yemen, and we reiterated our concern that such assistance will increase the tension conditions in our country and increase the unjust compulsion, the arrogance and injustice, emphasizing that he would use the aid in the suppression of the people and strengthen the dictatorship and the rule of domestic and install the corruption, rather than commitment to a democratic political and institutional governance, and it will expand the popular discontent against the corrupt system more, thereby expanding the cycle of violence and prolonging it.

We are today before the important recognition of the Chambers of the U.S. published a lot of media sources, reporting on the health of our apprehension of that aid has recognized that the system used actually against Houthis, rather than hunt for alleged terrorists, and people saw that it did not distinguish between one was people of all age groups and orientations of the target of bombs and missiles and one incident of camp the normal people too-distant future where the regime killed this aid, scores of children and women and the elderly, as well as it beat for the accommodation of prisoners from the Yemeni military in Sa’ada, where he spent more than 100 prisoners, as well as hit the markets and the displacement camps and cities inhabited by the civilian population. (Read on …)

IMF Loans Yemen $370 Million

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Employment, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:55 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

With the oil revenues down, pretty soon they wont be able to cover the state’s payroll of bribes and salaries. Bloomberg

The International Monetary Fund approved a $370 million loan for Yemen to support a three-year plan aimed at cutting the budget deficit and reducing poverty. The Washington-based lender made an initial disbursement of $53 million available immediately, according to a statement posted on its website yesterday. (Read on …)

Yemeni-Americans Mobilize to Draw Attention to Children in Prison and other Political Prisoners

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Hadramout, Sana'a, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A letter to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from southern Yemenis in the US:

The South Yemen community in U.S.A sincere regards, and thank you for your efforts for the past years and your positive interaction, whether by descending on the ground in the south and especially the governorate Aden, and some nearby provinces, Your meeting with some of the families of the martyrs and prisoners, or through your reports on the bitter reality and the serious daily violations of human rights in under the occupation of Yemen, and heinous practices against the people of South Arabia are engaged in struggle for independence.

We appreciate these efforts and urge you to exert more pressure on the occupying government in Sana’a to stop all methods of repression, torture and killing, siege and arrests, and pursuits, committed against peacefully protesters and activists, and move quickly to rescue the Political prisoners of Sana’a regime, and the rest of the detainees from daily torture of those who are still in detention including minors.

First the Political Security prison in Sana’a

Ahmed Alkuwma – correspondent

Maged Althammah – Age 14 years (Read on …)

500 Al-Qa’ida in Yemen, Awlaki Radicalized in US: al-Iryani

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Al-Iryani also said AQAP presents a threat to Saudi Arabia more than Yemen, quite true. People’s Daily

A political advisor of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh denied on Friday that cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been radicalized in Yemen. (Read on …)

Yemen Announces New Ambassadorships

Filed under: Diplomacy, Reform, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In 2005, Yemen made several repeated announcements that it was going to cut its bloated diplomatic corps in order to reduce expenses. I think it was around the time they were angling for Millennium Challenge Funds. But of course it was all propaganda and the only embassy closed was in Romania. Ambassadorships are quite lucrative, and often used as rewards or to get outspoken people out of the country. The embassies abroad are frequently centers of corruption and sometimes crime and often have networks that spy on Yemeni expatriate communities.

Republican Decrees appointing ambassadors issued
[25/يوليو/2010] SANA’A, July 25 (Saba) – Six Republic Decrees issued on Sunday appointing Yemeni ambassadors to a number of countries:

1- Decree No. 143 for 2010 appoints Yahya al-Sayaghi as an ambassador of Yemen to Cuba.

2- Decree No. 144 for 2010 appoints Abdul-Qawi al-Eryani as an ambassador of Yemen to Turkey.

3- Decree No. 145 for 2010 appoints Shaiy al-Zandani as an ambassador of Yemen to Jordan.

4- Decree No. 146 for 2010 appoints Jamal Nasir as ambassador of Yemen to Algeria.

5- Decree No. 147 appoints Zaid al-Wareeth as an ambassador of Yemen to Iraq.

6- Decree No. 148 appoints Mustafa Numan as an ambassador of Yemen to Spain.

New US Ambassador to Yemen: Yemen’s Main Threat is Terrorism

Filed under: Corruption, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:32 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In a cringe-inducing remark, Mr. Gerald M. Feierstein, Ambassador-Designate to the Republic of Yemen, said to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, July 19, 2010: “Yemen faces many challenges and threats, the chief of which is terrorism, a global threat that requires a global response.” No. The main threat to Yemen is President Saleh. Could the US State Department possibly believe that Yemen’s main threat is terrorism or are they deliberately spinning a load of hogwash? There’s two US advisers that have a clear view, the rest have been in love with Saleh for a long time.

Well they are trapped in the Embassy and only talk to pro-regime Yemenis: Sen. Lugar expressed his concern over the U.S. embassy team’ being unable to travel outside of Sana’a to monitor key projects on the ground. I guess Obama like Bush prefers a dream world to reality, especially when the reality is the US is allied with an al-Qaeda supporting mass-murderer.

This is a little more realistic Jerry: Regarding how U.S. can measure the effectiveness of U.S. financial aid, Feierstein explained that “We are less confident that we can assure the Congress in particular that this money is being well-spent,” Feierstein concluded.

WFP Donate Page for Yemeni Hunger Relief

Filed under: Diplomacy — by Jane Novak at 8:26 pm on Saturday, July 17, 2010

The World Food Progam set up a donate page for receiving contributions for starving people in Yemen:

You can donate below to support the World Food Programme’s relief operation in Yemen

Hunger and malnutrition are widespread in Yemen and require urgent intervention. The UN World Food Programme (WFP), facing funding shortfalls, has been forced to cut rations for those displaced by fighting in the northern part of Yemen. Without new funding, more ration cuts will follow.

WFP reports: For the Sa´ada operation for displaced persons, the agency is facing a shortfall of US$ 20 million until the end of 2010. In the current situation, the agency will be forced to continue distributing reduced rations until food runs out entirely before the end of October.

Based on planned activities for 2010, the estimated budget for all WFP Yemen operations is some US$108 million. Of this budget, nearly US$70 million still needs to be resourced. Without increased support, the agency will be unable to provide critical monthly food and nutrition support to 3.1 million beneficiaries during the second half of 2010.

Click here to donate to the WFP.

Qatar to mediate between govt and southerners and again with Houthis

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saada War, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:24 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Doha agreement reactivated and Qatar will attempt to mediate in the south, but with who? I hope it works out but during the Doha ceasefire, the regime could not manage to uphold its end of the agreement.

Earthtimes: Sana’a, Yemen – Qatar is initiating efforts to mediate between the Yemeni government and its southern opponents amid escalating separatist violence in the south of the Arab country, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said on Tuesday.

“We will be happy to participate in finding any solution that helps preserve the Yemeni unity,” the Qatari Emir told reporters after talks with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a. “We are always with our brothers in Yemen to help in there problems,” he said…. The Qatari government will also resume its mediation efforts to cement a fragile truce between Shiite rebels and the government in northern Yemen, the Yemeni president said.

Saleh said the Qatari efforts would be based on a 2007 Qatari-brokered peace agreement signed by representatives of the Yemeni government and the rebels in Doha.

“We agreed to reactivate the Doha agreement,” Saleh told reporters after the meeting at the Presidential Palace in Sana’a. Yemeni officials declared the collapse of the Qatari mediation in August 2009, accusing the rebels were unwilling to abide by its terms.

JMP, PDC meet exiled southern leaders

Filed under: Civil Society, Diplomacy, JMP, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:30 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Al Beidh still a no show. The Preparatory Dialog Committee is working to create an alliance for a reformed, unified Yemen and the Houthis have signed on, but the hard-core southerners think its a ploy to dilute authentic opposition and keep Saleh in power through stalling tactics. (Not that Al-Beidh has done anything worthwhile but issue statements calling for demosntrations…) Others see a Saudi hand. The PDC defines the root of the crisis in Yemen as family rule. Saleh Habra’s speech on behalf of Abdelmalik al Houthi is pasted below. WJWC’s Tawwakol Karaman and MP Ahmed Saif Hashid recently resigned because they say all the PDC does is issue statements and it is not transparent or democratic in structure, fair points that can be applied to many civil society organizations. Some opposition political and civil leaders hold seminars and pass papers back and forth diagnosing the main problem as the centralization of power in Yemen, but there is nothing stopping them from modeling democracy themselves and they don’t.

Yemen Observer: Yemeni Media sources said that a meeting of the internal opposition and external opposition was held in Cairo. The meeting came out with terms of dialogue on unification efforts. The internal opposition was represented by a number of JMP leaders including Abdulwahab al-Anisi, Yasin Saeed Norman, Sultan al-Atwani as well as leaders from the PDC including Aidros al-Naqib, Sakhr al-Wjih, Ali Abdo Rabo al-Qadi and on top of them Mohammed Salem Ba Sondwa. Sheikh Hamis al-Ahmar who has prepared and financed the meeting was absent from this meeting. (Read on …)

12 American Students Detained in Yemen among 50 Westerners

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, US jihaddis — by Jane Novak at 7:06 pm on Monday, June 7, 2010

CNN Yemen has detained a dozen Americans among a larger group of foreign students reportedly being held for security reasons, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

Citing “privacy issues,” P.J. Crowley would not provide details about the detentions nor would he confirm other media reports that the students may have had connections with the terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“We have great cooperation with the government of Yemen,” Crowley said when pressed on the issue. “Together, we are doing our best to help Yemen, you know, reduce the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. That’s a threat to Yemen. It’s a threat to the United States.”

Earlier media reports indicated the arrests of as many as 50 students suspected of having connections with the Yemeni-based terror organization were made last week. CNN has been unable to confirm those reports.

New US Ambassador to Yemen Soon

Filed under: Diplomacy, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:51 am on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Luck!

State.gov: Mr. Feierstein, a specialist in Near East and South Asian Affairs, entered the Foreign Service in June 1975 and has served overseas in seven postings: Islamabad (1976-78), Tunis (1983-85), Riyadh (1985-87), Peshawar (1989-92), Muscat (1995-98), Jerusalem (1998-2001), and Beirut (2003-04).

In Washington, he has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Directorate of Programs in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, desk officer for Nepal, Pakistan, and Egypt; Deputy Director in the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, as Director of the Office of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh affairs, and as Director of the Office of Regional Affairs in the Near East Bureau. Mr. Feierstein holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Point Park College and an M.A. in International Relations from Duquesne University.

Yemen Arrests Arms Dealer and Government Mediator Faris Manna

Filed under: Crime, Diplomacy, Ministries, Proliferation, Saada War, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 11:28 am on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Faris is also the brother of the governor of Sa’ada. Faris Manna was one of Yemen’s primary weapons traders for some years before he was appointed to the government mediation committee tasked with negotiating with the Houthi rebels. Apparently what he negotiated was a weapons deal.

When some aspect of the Defense Ministry imported a ship load of Chinese weapons, destined for the Houthi rebels, Faris was placed on a black list of arms dealers. Does the arrest demonstrate Western pressure having an effect or is it another ploy by the Saleh regime? I have never yet seen a high ranking Yemeni official held accountable for any crimes.

al Masdar Online: After surrounding his home in Sana’a
الأمن يعتقل رئيس لجنة الوساطة بصعدة الشيخ فارس مناع Security arrested the Chairman of the Mediation Committee Saada Sheikh Faris Manna
المصدر أونلاين- خاص Source Online – Special

علم “المصدر أونلاين” من مصادر مؤكدة إن الشيخ فارس مناع شقيق محافظ صعدة ورئيس لجنة الوساطة السابق بين السلطة والحوثيين قد اعتقل اليوم الخميس من منزلـه في أمانة العاصمـة. Aware of “online source” from confirmed sources that Sheikh Faris Manna brother of the governor of Saada, Chairman of the Mediation Committee between the Authority and the former Huthi was arrested on Thursday from his home in the capital. (Read on …)

Yemeni Government Subverted by Al Qaeda, al Houthi

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Media, Ministries, Saada War, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:35 am on Monday, January 11, 2010

Member of Parliament and rebel spokesman Yahya al Houthi, translated by the Iranian Press TV, alleges al Qaeda infiltration into key Yemeni ministries (media and intelligence). But its not news. I’d like to add to the list the Political Security, National Security, aspects of the military as well as the certain passport and tourism offices as additional Yemeni government institutions subverted by al Qaeda.

A Yemeni Parliamentarian says al-Qaeda enjoys strong support from the government of President Ali Abdullah Salih and runs key ministries in his cabinet.

Exiled Yemeni lawmaker Yahya al-Houthi — who is the brother of the Shia leader, Abdul-Malek — accused the government of allowing hundreds of al-Qaeda militants into the country.

He said members of al-Qaeda are in charge of many key ministries in the Salih administration including ministries for media and intelligence. (Read on …)

Sana’a Regime Provides Training, Passports and Facilitates Travel to Theaters of Jihad

Filed under: Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:51 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Yeah, yeah, yeah, its old news, the quid pro quo. The Yemeni regime utilizes al Qaeda on the one hand and facilitates it on the other, while gaining western funding because of its existance. al Teef:

كل هذه الجرائم تمت بعلم السلطة وفي رعايتها عندما كان النظام في حاجة اليهم ،وقد اشرف جهاز الامن
السياسي على معسكرات تدريب لتنظيم القاعدة وشارك في تزوير جوازات سفر لمتطرفين متعددي الجنسيات بدعوى تسفيرهم للجهاد في افغانستان ،وكانت صنعاء اهم محطة لتصدير “المجاهدين الافغان العرب” ولما انتهت المهمة وفرغ النظام من تحقيق اهدافه راح ينقلب على الاصوليين ويستخدم حجة تنظيم القاعدة كفزاعة للعواصم العربية والغربية لكنه في واقع الامر يلعب لعبة الاحتواء المزدوج فهو يسمح لبعضهم بالهرب من السجن ويحرض على اخرين لقتلهم في الصحراء بطائرة اميركية من دون طيار. All of these crimes has been sponsored by the knowledge of power and when the system is in need of them, has overseen the PSO training camps for al Qaeda and participated in the falsification of passports to extremists multinational enter Iraq under the pretext of jihad in Afghanistan, Sanaa had the most important station on the export of “Mujahideen Afghan Arabs” and the The mission ended and completed the system to achieve its objectives claimed would turn on the fundamentalists and al-Qaeda uses the argument of the scarecrow from Arab and Western capitals, but in fact playing a game of dual containment, it allows them to escape from prison and to incite others to kill American aircraft in the desert without a pilot. (Read on …)

Mullen Applaudes Air Strike, MPs Demand Inquiry

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:40 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

In an effort to diminish the blowback, would it have been so difficult for Mullen to mention something about the importance of distinguishing between combatants and civilians? He must have heard the reports of the women and children killed. I understand the onus is on the spree-killer al Qaeda fanatics who do not wear uniforms and who shelter among the local populations. Nonetheless, its an honor based society, the kids are dead and its possible that Saleh will be gone soon.

AP, ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — Adm. Mike Mullen is applauding a military strike in Yemen against suspected members of the al-Qaida terrorist group. (Read on …)

The Original Text of the US Senate Resolution

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:36 am on Thursday, December 10, 2009

The original version of the SENATE RESOLUTION ON YEMEN follows, and the language is very specific in supporting innocent Yemeni civilians.

Senate Floor Statement of Senator Cardin
SENATE RESOLUTION ON YEMEN
Friday, November 6, 2009

MR. CARDIN. Mr. President, today I would like to draw attention to a dangerous situation that has implications for the national security of the United States and our allies, a situation involving dire humanitarian circumstances, with over 150,000 displaced persons since 2004. I’m speaking about the situation in Yemen. (Read on …)

The Guantanamo Dilema

Filed under: Diplomacy, Yemen, gitmo — by Jane Novak at 6:43 am on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Judge al Hittar’s rehab program never disputed the Takfirist, Jihad ideology, only that Saleh’s government was a legitimate target of it.

Japanese Engineer Still Kidnapped

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Diplomacy, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen, hostages — by Jane Novak at 10:33 pm on Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tribesmen in Yemen have kidnapped foreigners for years in order to pressure the government for the release of family members, often held as official hostages by the state or as a result of a tribal dispute. The Yemeni government cares not a whit about kidnapped Yemenis, ergo its the foreigners who get snatched. In this case, the Japanese engineer is being held as ransom for an al Qaeda member, and the Yemeni government lied (again, no surprise there) about the success of the negotiations. The regime’s lack of a counter-terror posture and prior accommodations to terrorists only encourages this behavior. At the same time, the lack of equitable redress in the form of a functional legal system is the fundamental root of the kidnapping phenomenon.

Yemen Post According to sources close to the Japanese engineer who preferred to be anonymous, the kidnappers didn’t release the Japanese engineer yet.

“There were conflicting reports about the release of the Japanese engineer kidnapped in Arhab and I confirm that tribal mediation did not succeed so far in the release of the kidnapped Japanese”, the source said. (Read on …)

Saudi Blockades Yemen’s Coast

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 12:36 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What happened to Mr. Sovereignty, the President Saleh? The Saudis are shelling the North Yemen and apparently have take up residence in Yemen’s territorial waters. I guess as long as they are on his side, Saleh will let the Saudi forces fight his war and go where ever they want to go. Some think the rebels may outmatch the Saudi forces.

Japan Today: Saudi Arabia imposed a naval blockade on the Red Sea coast of northern Yemen to stem the flow of weapons and fighters to Shiite rebels along its border, a Saudi government adviser and media reports said Tuesday. (Read on …)

Regional Support for Yemen’s Genocidal War

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:52 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh yes, Egypt, thats what this war needs, BETTER PILOTS???? There is no military solution to the Sa’ada War. Bringing in Ukrainian pilots make sense considering that the Ukranian Defense firm upgraded the Migs for several million dollars. The Saudis bankrolling the fighting to the tune of millions a week sounds about right. Little to no concern about the slaughtered and starved civilians is also par for the course from Saleh’s dictatorial allies who would like to see another hereditary tyranny installed with Prince Ahmed as heir to the throne.

SANAA, Yemen, Oct. 29 (UPI) - – Things are so bad in Yemen, the most populous country on the peninsula, that it is in danger of collapsing as a state with its wars and insurrections spilling over into Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer.

The Saudis have backed Yemen’s beleaguered president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in his five-year war with Shiite Zaidi rebels in the unruly north, centered on Saada province.

His government in Sanaa says the tribesmen are backed by Shiite-dominated Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main rival in the oil-rich Gulf, and its proxies in Iraq and Lebanon. (Read on …)

EU Statement of Deep Concern over situation in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN — by Jane Novak at 2:43 pm on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

News Yemen The European Union expressed “deep concern” Tuesday over the deteriorating security, political and economic situation across Yemen.

EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg issued a statement underlining the Council conclusions on Yemen as follows:

1. The European Union reaffirms its support for a unified, stable, democratic and prosperous Yemen and recognises the political efforts made by the Government of Yemen in this regard. The stability of Yemen is crucial for the people of Yemen and for the region as a whole. In this context, the Council is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security, political and economic situation across the country. It underlines the importance of a comprehensive approach to address the security, political and economic challenges and reiterates its readiness to support the Government of Yemen.

2. The Council stresses that the Government of Yemen is responsible for protecting the peace and security of all its citizens within its territory. In this regard, the European Union is concerned by the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in northern Yemen, which has caused an increasing number of civilian casualties and of internally displaced people. (Read on …)

The marginalization of General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar

Filed under: Biographies, Diplomacy, Military, Presidency, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:55 pm on Saturday, October 10, 2009

One school of thought holds that the inexplicable duration of the Sa’ada War is, in part, a mechanism to weaken Ali Mohsen (dubbed by some as Chemical Ali) who was too strong for a frontal assualt by Saleh, and in turn pave the way for Prince Ahmed. The 26 Septemper (sic) really flipped out at the paper that originally published the analysis below.

Yemen Tribune SANAA, 09 Oct — The independent weekly newspaper, Almasder Thursday published an article written by Hussein al-Laswas on the relations between President Saleh and his half brother, General Ali Muhsen. “It was Ali Muhsen who assisted Saleh to come to power when he besieged the capital back in the seventies and hence furnished the way for Saleh’s coup d’état to succeed … Ali Muhsen who was once Yemen’s most powerful general was capable of toppling Saleh after the civil war of 1994 when his popularity among the soldiers, the Islamists and the Saudis was at its top, but he remained loyal to Saleh. Trust between the two has waned after Ali Muhsen failed in the fifth round of war with the Huthis and Saleh opted to remove him from the sixth round of war … both men have palaces and huge bank accounts and both see Yemen as their own personal property … Saleh has been trying to liberate the capital from the grip of Muhsen’s battalions and when the sixth round of war with the Shiite rebels erupted, Saleh and his son, Ahmad found a historical opportunity to make the change and spread the control of the republican guards over Sanaa. (Read on …)

Arab League Has No Plan for Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC — by Jane Novak at 10:38 am on Friday, October 9, 2009

Unsurprising

Musa conveyed Arab support for Yemen and its unity
Thursday, 08-October-2009
Almotamar.net – An official political source has said, in reply to what some media outlets have aroused about Arab initiatives relating to the Yemeni affair, that the Arab League Secretary General Amru Mousa did not carry with him to Sana’a any initiative but conveyed an Arab support from the Arab countries for the protection of unity, security and stability in Yemen. (Read on …)

UN HCHR Calling for Investigation of Yemen Bombing Civilians

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Refugees, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:30 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Newsroom

The United Nations human rights chief has called on the Yemeni Government to launch an investigation into recent air raids that have resulted in civilian deaths, saying she is “deeply disturbed” in particular at a strike two days ago against a camp for displaced persons.

Dozens of internally displaced persons (IDPs) were killed in the September 16 air attack on the camp in northern Yemen, which houses some of the 150,000 people uprooted by the latest round of fighting between the Government and Al Houthi rebels that began on August 12. (Read on …)

Islamic Relief Calls for Corridor- Has Food, Can’t Deliver

Filed under: Children, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:04 am on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is so tragic.(Statistics about the toll on children here.) And this is where the Darfur comparison comes in, the Yemeni govt is blocking aid shipments amid massive civilian displacement. HRW found the govt actions appeared to constitute collective punishment of the civilian population in the 2007 round. And it is collective punishment again. Of course the rebels have culpability, but apparently no one has talked to them yet (see post below). Relief web:

Islamic Relief is calling for humanitarian access to Saa’da in north Yemen, where aid agencies are trying to reach those affected by the conflict between the government and rebel forces.

Estimates suggest that around 120,000 people have been forced from their homes in Saa’da after fighting escalated one month ago. Many have settled in camps in safer parts of the region or in neighbouring governorates where they are facing shortages of food and water. There have also been outbreaks of disease but people have little or no access to healthcare. Most roads into Saa’da are currently blocked and continued air strikes and fighting are making the delivery of aid impossible.

Islamic Relief is the main partner of the UN’s World Food Programme in Saa’da. Khalid Almulad, Country Director of Islamic Relief Yemen said, “We have enough food for 60,000 people but cannot distribute it because of the security situation. A short break in hostilities allowed us to carry out a small distribution on Friday but our larger operation planned for Sunday had to be cancelled because of intensified fighting.” (Read on …)

Ceasefire Breaks Down within Hours of Declaration

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 6:34 am on Saturday, September 5, 2009

I was really hopeful for a week long lull to get the aid and supplies in.

Times of India, SANAA: A Yemeni military source said on Saturday “dozens” of people had been killed on both sides as clashes with Shiite rebels in the north resumed
overnight after a short-lived ceasefire broke down.

“The armed forces and rebels engaged in violent clashes overnight which continued until dawn on Saturday in Malaheez and Hafr Sufyan” in Saada province, the source told AFP in Sanaa by telephone.

“Dozens of people have been killed in both camps,” the source added, without elaborating. No official confirmation of the toll was available.

Salah to Morocco to Chat with Saudi Prince Sultan

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, prince — by Jane Novak at 9:24 pm on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And the Hashemite king of Jordan sat in as well… Just a friendly get together so they both could praise Saleh and brotherly relations. Prince
Sultan Abdul Aziz is the Saudi Defense Minister.

Almotamar.net, Saba – President Ali Abdullah Saleh held talks IN THE Moroccan city of Agadir on Wednesday with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz and King of Jordan Abdullah II. (Read on …)

Yemen Appoints Ambassador to Iraq

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iraq — by Jane Novak at 2:16 pm on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What interesting timing… Khaleej Times

Yemen names first envoy to Iraq since 2003 (AFP)

2 September 2009 SANAA – Yemen on Wednesday named Ali Al Bujairi to be its first ambassador to Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The appointment was made in a decree reported by official Saba news agency, which gave no other details, such as when Bujairi will take up the role.

Yemen had good relations with Iraq under Saddam.

The announcement comes at a time when the Sanaa government, a US ally, is fighting a Shia rebellion in the north of the country.

Iran Sends Warships to Gulf in Anti-Piracy Ops

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iran, Saada War, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 10:43 am on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is really getting messy now…

Iran to send third fleet to Gulf of Aden, TEHRAN, Aug. 30 (MNA) – Iran will dispatch the third fleet of its warships to the Gulf of Aden on Monday to protect the cargo ships against the pirates, Iranian Student News Agency reported on Sunday.

So far the Army and the IRGC have sent two fleets of warships to the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian oil tankers and trade vessels. The third fleet of the Navy will leave Bandar Abbas port at 8:00 local time on Monday.

Shortly after its first fleet of warships returned home in July, Iran dispatched a second group of warships to the region that came back to the country on Aug. 28.

(Hat tip, Eagle Speak, the place to go for maritime news.)

Meanwhile back in Sana’a, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi warned Sunday the Iranian government of negative impact on the Yemeni-Iranian relations in case the Iranian media outlets continued in adopting stands of sabotage elements in Saada through publishing lies and fomenting against Yemen, waving in this regard of Yemen’s taking of hard decisions.

Update: United States Actions To Counter Piracy Off the Horn of Africa , Fact Sheet, 9/1/09

26th Weekly Sit-In for Arbitrarily Arrested Sa’ada Detainees

Filed under: Diplomacy, Presidency, Saada War, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 9:57 pm on Sunday, August 30, 2009

In 2005, during the second mediated settlement, Saleh announced the order to release 843 Sa’ada detainees, and the news got picked up as if the detainees were actually released. But the families reported in the next days and weeks that they still had no notice of their family member. The release of the detainees has been an ongoing issue since then and a top issue in negotiations with the rebels. Yemeni govt document ordering the release and witness testimony from imprisoned children below the fold. (Read on …)

Baharain and the Sa’ada War

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Other Countries, Religious, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:16 pm on Thursday, August 27, 2009

IN 2005, the Saleh regime accused Shiite individuals in Bahrain along with Kuwait with supporting the rebels. Later, during the next round, they accused Libya (which had some truth) and Iran. Qatar mediated the last official cease fire. Saudi Arabia has serious concerns of course, and Egypt is willing to act as a mediator currently. Iraqi MP’s said Iraq should host the rebels headquarters in retaliation for Yemen hosting wanted Iraqi Baathists. The US and some western allies are worried that the war is a distraction from Yemeni efforts against al Qaeda. Currently Iran and Yemen are having a media war over the Iranian media coverage of the war.

To the extent the Saleh regime keeps calling the rebels “Satanic”, as it has for years, and imposing sectarian overtones on a essentially political conflict, Sana’a risks stimulating ever wider fractures both in Yemeni society and the region.

the Media Line: Deadly clashes in Yemen between government forces and a radical Shi’ite group are fueling tensions throughout the Gulf region.

A member of the Bahraini ruling Sunni coalition is accusing Al-Wefaq, the largest opposition Shi’ite party, of supporting the Al-Houthi rebels in northern Yemen.

MP Sheikh Jassem A-Sa’idi, an independent MP from the coalition bloc, talked of “suspicious movements” Al-Wefaq was making towards the Al-Houthi rebels. A-Sa’idi argued overtures to the Al-Houthis could have a “dangerous” impact on official relations between Bahrain and Yemen.

“I have proof to confirm that prominent Al-Houthi figures from the highest ranks visited Bahrain and met exclusively with MPs from Al-Wefaq,” A-Sa’idi told the London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat, added that the political meeting had preceded the latest round of fighting which began on August 11.

“This is a big lie,” MP Jalal Fairooz, from the Al-Wefaq party told The Media Line. “[A-Sa’idi] is very well known in Bahrain for explosive words which are groundless and have no reality.”

Egypt willing to mediate… from al Sahwa

Egypt and other Arab states would intervene to end the conflict between the Yemeni government and al-Houthi rebels in Saada, high-profile sources have revealed.

The sources disclosed that al-Houthi rebels demanded the Arab League to visit Saada, but the league refused the request and confirmed that the Yemeni government has the decision on this issue.

Doha Deal Dead

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 11:27 am on Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just as the US calls for its implementation, the Yemeni government announces that the Doha agreement is history. The problem with the Doha Agreement at the time was it had no mechanism for broadly supervised disengagement. Striking the deal was not enough, it had to be incrementally implemented by both sides simultaneously. The Qatari mediators tried. And they withdrew several times to protest both sides failure to stick to the agreement. What resulted was a partial implementation, with each side picking and choosing, and waiting for the other to go first on the next step. The government listed its many steps taken in compliance with the settlement, (some real some imagined) and insists the rebels broke the agreeement by refusing to come down from the mountians. As before the rebels say they remained subject to arrest, execution and assaults, forcing them to remain encamped.

However, the war didn’t end with the Doha agreement but afterwards when President Saleh called Abdel Malik al Houthi, and they came to a private agreeement. Thats when the fighting stopped.

from the Yemen Post:

For his part, Information Minister and the Yemeni government spokesman, Hassan Al-Lawzi, said that the Doha-brokered peace deal signed by the Yemeni government and Houthis on February 1, 2008 was over, saying that the Yemeni government willingly began implementing cease-fire agreement but said Houthis did not abide by its conditions.

This came following president Saleh political consultant Abdul Karim Al-Iriani’s visit to Doha to disclose Yemen’s stance on Doha-brokered peace deal which Houthis have claimed to be a condition for the cease-fire.

However, Houthi’s rebel’s spokesman, Mohamed Abdul Slam, said that his group was abiding by the Doha cease-fire agreement, accusing the Yemeni government of avoiding a radical solution to the conflict between the two sides.

Abdel Malik Disputes Regime Accusations of Iranian Support/ Weapons

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 6:25 pm on Monday, August 24, 2009

For the record, the International Crisis Group and others found after research that most of the Houthi rebels’ weapons were purchased from members of the Yemeni army and local weapons dealers. The weapons trade in Yemen is rather robust and there are many Chinese weapons among other countries of origin.

Yemen – Saa’da, 23.8.2009

There is no truth to the echoes in the authority media of targeting the leadership belongs to us in Harf Sufian M\Imran or anywhere else, and this lie and a deliberate by the Authority in order to compensate for the failure field has suffered several times as it tries to crawl on the our region.

What is said of the bombing (5) stores of weapons (Iranian) there is a ridiculous.

While asking us to hand over power equipment and supplies by the military have taken, trying Only to raise concerns neighboring countries to reinforce the support and assistance received by them. We denied this statement more than once and challenge the authority to prove any relationship between us and with any destination in the world.

As usual, once saying it found Israeli arms!! Once an Iranian!!
Do not rule out a few days after to say (to find stores of Libyan weapons!!!Or Reactor Iranian nuclear!! ) We do not exclude also be accused of finding the stores belonging to any State may get them otherwise with those countries that require them to draw closer.
What we have of the military hardware and to confront and fight the aggression of authority is what we get when you seize military positions.

Press Office of AlSayed . / Abdul-Malik Badr al-Din

At least its in English, which makes life easier.

Rebels offer terms of truce in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 1:26 pm on Saturday, August 22, 2009

Govt refuses to consider rebels truce offer
As before, Sadiq alAhmar pledges support (in 2007, he sent 800 fighters)
Saleh (as before) frames rebels as devilish and satanic
Bombing campaign continues today

Dueling initiatives- Saleh has six points and the rebels’ eleven.

Yemen Observer: He said that the rebels have to stick to the six conditions the government suggested before to establish peace in the region. The conditions include: lifting all road checkpoints that impede citizens’ travels, abandoning their military strongholds and coming down from the mountain peaks, handing over all civil and military equipment that they had seized, disclosing the fate of the six kidnapped foreigners, one British man and a German family, handing over the kidnapped Sa’adah citizens, and ending all interference with the local authority’s affairs and full withdrawal from all Sa’adah districts and eliminating all checkpoints from all roads.

The government refused on Thursday an initiative by some of the rebel leaders’ relatives to put an end to the war…

A group of al-Houthi relatives have submitted a message to the president on Wednesday consisting of eleven points which include the lifting of military checkpoints and the redeployment and return of military forces to their barracks, in return al-Houthis pledge to withdraw from the areas that they occupy and declare loyalty to the state, stipulating that the government should appoint directors as well as security and educational managers from al-Houthis. The memo also stated that al-Houthis should keep the Matarah and Naqah areas under their control, and that the army would withdraw its heavy military equipment from these two Houthi dominated areas and al-Houthis would return the areas back to the government within three years time. It also stipulated the release of war detainees and that al-Houthis should be free to teach their Zaidi faith…. (Read on …)

Amnesty Urges Avoidence of the “Gross Human Rights Abuses” as Occurred Earlier in Sa’ada

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 3:50 pm on Thursday, August 20, 2009

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 20 August 2009

Yemen: Renewed violence in Sa’da threatens human rights

Amnesty International has written to President ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Saleh urging him to take all possible steps to ensure that the recent upsurge in clashes between government forces and supporters of the late Zaidi Shi’a cleric Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi do not result in a repeat of the gross human rights abuses which occurred during earlier unrest in Sa’da governorate.

Since armed clashes resumed some four weeks ago, thousands of inhabitants of Sa’da and surrounding areas, are reported to have been displaced from their homes and now to face difficulties in accessing humanitarian assistance as the area has been largely closed to journalists and humanitarian organizations by government forces. Reports suggest that dozens of civilians have been killed, some as a result of aerial bombardment by government forces. Meanwhile, security forces are reported to have rounded up suspected supporters of al-Huthi in Sa’da and to be detaining them incommunicado, raising fears of torture or other ill-treatment. Dozens of people are said to have been killed in armed clashes, including government soldiers, but the circumstances in all cases are currently unclear. (Read on …)

Qirby: Yemeni public opinion pressure forced government to end Saada insurgency

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 3:47 pm on Thursday, August 20, 2009

The meeting’s participants are an impressive coalition. The idea that the Yemeni government is doing anything in response to public opinion, much less launch a bombing campaign, is laughable.

Almotamar.net – Yemen’s Foreign Minister Dr Abu-Bakr al-Qirbi affirmed that the elements of rebellion in Saada province compelled the government to resort to the option of armed confrontation as a result of their continuation in committing outrageous destructive and criminal acts against the citizens.

In his meeting on Thursday with ambassadors of Arab and Islamic countries , countries of the European Union and representatives of UN Security Council permanent member states , the UN resident representative in Sana’a and representative of the European Mission in Yemen, al-Qirbi said demand of the Yemeni public opinion for putting an end to this sedition and imposing the state control and its sovereignty compelled the government to undertake its constitutional duties to put an end to this destruction and criminal acts of the elements of rebellion. (Read on …)

General Patraeus in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:14 am on Monday, July 27, 2009

The prospect of millions from the Millennium Challenge Account didn’t work to create reforms, the 4.6 billion in donor funds in 2006 didn’t work and increased military aid won’t work either. The profits of corruption are much too great and the system so entrenched that its nearly impossible at this point to undo. And with General Patraeus arriving days after the slaughter of the protesters, I would assume the conversation contained more than praise. The timing gives the impression that the US is giving Yemen a pass on all human rights issues, even outright murder by police, but what’s really happening is anyone’s guess. Yemen says every US official visits in order to deliver praise; in five years, the only one who contradicted the Yemeni statement after the meeting was Mueller. Nonetheless, US military aid (slated for trucks and boats) in 2010 is at the highest level in years. Yemen’s counter-terror policies are often smoke and mirrors with little substance.

Yemen, U.S. discuss military cooperation July 26 (Saba)- Minister of Defense Mohammed Nasir Ahmed along with Minister of Interior Mutahar Rashad al-Masri held a meeting on Sunday with the U.S. Commander of Central Military Command General David Petraeus who is currently visiting Yemen over means of enhancing bilateral relations between two armies of both countries and joint efforts of combating terror. (Read on …)

Chemical Weapons Ban “Draft Law” May be Issued in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Enviornmental, Proliferation, Saada War, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:26 pm on Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yemeni is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The draft law is a bit late for the people in Sa’ada some would say. SABA

Yemen bans chemical, biological arms

SANA’A, July 07 (Saba)- The cabinet approved in its Tuesday meeting a draft law concern works of the National Committee to Ban Chemical, Biological and Poisonous Arms.

The cabinet directed concern officials to complete necessary measures to issue the draft law, which was presented by Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Read on …)

Yemen Libyan Endowment Ministries to Coordinate

Filed under: Diplomacy, Libya, Religious — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Friday, July 3, 2009

So if Iranian ships are docking in Yemen and all is honky dory with Gaddafi, then the slew of accusations and allegations of Iranian and Libyan support of the Houthi rebels likely was just more bizarre spin and propaganda.

Yemen, Libya to strike deal (Read on …)

Yemen Rejects Int’l Human Rights Standards for Women as Un-Islamic and Un-Yemeni

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Women's Issues — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yemeni women are ranked as the least equal on earth for the last two years in a row on the gender equality scale which measures educational, employment and political inclusion etc.

From the Yemen Post In an address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Yemen rejected outright 13 of the recommendations as they violate the Islamic law and content with the Yemeni social norms, Yemennews.net reported.

Yemen told the United Nations that more than 13 recommendations other countries say will improve Yemen human rights standards cannot be fully accepted, the source added.

Meanwhile, the source said that the United Nation Human Rights Council recommended that different forms of violence against women in Yemen should be abolished.

The sources revealed that the most important recommendations included all violations of the human rights of women in situations of capital punishment, and in particular, murder, systematic rape, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy.

In a statement, Amnesty International said Yemen “has shown little commitment to take new steps to address serious human rights concerns in the country.”

The so-called Universal Periodic Review is the way the council launched in 2006 to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission, assesses the respective human rights records of all 192 UN member states.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International condemned the execution of ‘Aisha Ghalib al-Hamzi and has called on the Yemeni authorities not to execute Fatima Hussein Badi and to halt all other executions immediately. The organization opposes the death penalty unconditionally in all situations as a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

EU Deep Concern Over Political Violence, Media Repression in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Media, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:57 pm on Saturday, May 16, 2009

Echoes US terminology including “legitimate grievances”

Al Sahwa

Sahwa Net – The European Union has voiced deep concern over the recent incidents of political violence in the South of Yemen, calling all parts to abandon violence .

EU urges government , political parities, civil society organization and Yemeni citizens to engage in dialogue in order to identify issues of concern and take urgent action to address legitimate grievances.

It further criticized the recent restrictions on newspapers in the wake of news coverage of events in the south , calling the Yemeni government to stand by the freedom of media and access to information as fundamental rights.

” The European Union recognizes and welcomes the role of the GCC in supporting Yemen’s development, as expressed at the 19th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial meeting on 29 April in Muscat” It added .

EU Urges Gulf States to Combat Money Laundering in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, banking — by Jane Novak at 7:36 pm on Monday, May 4, 2009

The EU apparently has given up hope of Yemen passing that stalled terror financing law. (The law may inhibit contributions to “legitimate resistance” like Hamas, Yemeni MP’s say in explaining the inaction.) And now the strategy turns to asking other countries to strengthen monitoring of transfers by expat Yemenis and others into Yemen. The FSAT report was quite detailed in demonstrating that its a question of capacity as well as will; Yemeni investigators wait for a completed report to land on their desks. The conclusion was Yemeni money laundering efforts are in their infancy; that was 2007 I think, and not much has improved. The financial transfers to Fahd al Quso were proof enough of that. Tightening up on the external remittances is an obvious step when the internal controls are literally non-existant. Border control is another area of deficiency, especially with the Yemeni Coast Guard and Border Guard getting into frays on a regular basis.

UK News: Gulf Arab countries should help Pakistan and Yemen bolster security in the face of rising militant violence that could spread their way, the European Union’s anti-terrorism chief said Monday.

Gulf authorities should also tighten controls on possible transfers of funds to militant groups through Pakistani and Yemeni expatriates living in the oil-exporting region, Gilles de Kerchove told Reuters.

“It’s a question of knowing if we can together work with Gulf countries to try and avoiding Pakistan and Yemen becoming what we commonly call ‘failed states’ and gradually safe havens for al Qaeda organizations,” he said on the sidelines of a conference on terror financing.

“We are witnessing a regionalisation of al Qaeda, in North Africa, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula,” he said, referring to various groups using al Qaeda’s name. “It’s urgent that we help Pakistan and Yemen strengthen their anti-terrorism apparatus.”

—-

De Kerchove said Gulf countries needed to do more to combat money laundering that could benefit militants…

He said Saudi Arabia should tighten control along its long and porous border with Yemen…”Much of the anti-terrorism campaign has been led by the Pakistani army, an army that has not be adequately trained to deal with an insurgency,” he said. “In Yemen, there is a huge amount of work to be done (and) a weakening state apparatus.”

The CBY is another mess. Counterfeiting of Saudi Riyals is another concern.

Obama’s Yemen Quandry

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, gitmo, mentions — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Commenting on the following NTY article, The Weekly Standard notes Gitmo detainee al-Hilal, a top PSO officer with foreknowledge of 9/11, phoned home from Gitmo and accused Saleh of using the detainees as bargaining chips, and then al Hilal’s two young sons were killed (playing with a hand grenade?) while home alone.

Speaking of money, the Miami Herald reports the Defense Department’s request for $83.4 billion in supplemental funds included $81 million to fund President Barack Obama’s order to move or release the 240 or so detainees by Jan. 22. Here’s theNYT article about the problem of returning Yemenis from Gitmo to Yemen where support for “resistance” is governmental policy, prisons have a revolving door and jihaddists are defined by their willingness to negotiate with the government (and we see how well thats working out in Swat). The Yemeni govt puts the price tag at about a mil per detainee to take them back but notes the Obama administration appears to have rejected its offer.

(Then there’s Yemen’s role in piracy and instability in Somalia, the collective punishment of its civilians n Sa’ada, the institutionalized looting of the South, and Yemen’s substantial role in smuggling drugs, weapons and persons all over the region.)

The Obama administration’s effort to return the largest group of Guantánamo Bay detainees to Yemen, their home country, has stalled, creating a major new hurdle for the president’s plan to close the prison camp in Cuba by next January, American and Yemeni officials say. (Read on …)

Saleh Said What?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Iran, Libya, Presidency, Religious, Saada War, Yemen, gitmo   · — by Jane Novak at 12:04 pm on Sunday, April 5, 2009

Iran trys to make everyone a Shiite…

Saleh: Yemen achieved positive successes in chasing terrorists al Motamar
Saturday, 28-March-2009
Almotamar.net, Saba – President Ali Abdullah Saleh has expected the Arab summit, to be held on 29-30 March in Qatar’s capital, Doha, will go after previous summits without effective decisions, urging Arab leaders to put an end to their rift. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Dialog Program Shut in 2005

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Presidency, TI: Internal, Yemen, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:23 am on Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hittar’s program officially ended in 2005 and Saleh started openly negotiating directly with the muahadeen in 2006 along with al Qamish through abu Al Fida and others.

HRW:

But Yemen closed its program in 2005 after a pan-Arab
newspaper reported that a pair of graduates had since gone to Iraq to launch a suicide attack against US forces. Intelligence
officials also allegedly suspect three graduates may have played a role in the September 2009 bombing of the US Embassy.
Some graduates of the Yemeni program, including bin Laden’s former bodyguard Nasser al-Bahri, have said they simply
repeated what teachers wanted to hear. “We understood what the judge wanted and he understood what we wanted from
him,” al-Bahri was quoted as telling BBC News in 2005, referring to the program’s supervisor. “There was no long or complex
dialogue.” See Tim Whewell, “Yemeni Anti-Terror Scheme in Doubt,” BBC News international version, October 11, 2005, (accessed December 5, 2008.)

Saleh Walks Out of Summit

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saleh can’t keep his own country together but wants to unite the Arabs. The buzz was that somebody mentioned Sa’ada as a corrollary to Darfur in the discussion of Bashir but one way or another, Ali stormed out.

Sana’a, Yemen – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh pulled out of the Arab League summit Monday in Doha in protest after his plan for setting up an Arab Union was not discussed, Yemen’s state news agency Saba reported. (Read on …)

Yemeni Diplomat Found to be Fraud

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, counterfeiting   · — by Jane Novak at 10:11 am on Sunday, April 5, 2009

The guy was working in the Yemeni embassy in SA, for a year, with forged documents and apparently selling favors from the Yemeni security forces to Yemeni ex-pats in SA…

Diplomat Arrested after Year on Job with Forged Documents

Yemen Post: The Yemeni authorities are investigating a citizen who has been working as a diplomat at the Yemeni embassy in Saudi Arabia with fake documents for a year. (Read on …)

Yemen: A Limited Supply of Chemical Weapons

Filed under: Diplomacy, Military, Proliferation, Russia, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 3:32 pm on Monday, March 23, 2009

Russia is Yemen’s biggest creditor by far.

Yemen Post

President Saleh’s recent visit to Russia raised a great deal of media fuss and this fuss was associated with the nature of the visit. The official media mentioned that Saleh’s visit was meant for canceling Yemen’s debts as well as the economic cooperation, while the international media revealed that Yemen signed weapons deals at billions of US Dollars. This was later affirmed by the official media as they revealed that the country signed a four-billion dollar weapons deal, the biggest deal ever. (Read on …)

More Reports of Foreign and Domestic Jihaddists Organizing in Sa’ada, Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Diplomacy, Presidency, Saada War, Security Forces, USA — by Jane Novak at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As foreign jihaddists coalesce in Sa’ada, it certainly is starting to look like the Zawahiri deal is coming to fruition. The deal with the old jihaddists in Abyan under al-Fadhli is likely Saleh’s second prong of mobilization.

The influx of foreign jihaddists to Sa’ada as well as the structure, training and hierarchy being imposed on them, indicates this a non-random confluence. It quite possibly is an outcome of the communication between President Saleh and Ayman Zawahiri that I referenced here before. (Zawahrir promised fighters for the Sa’ada war in exchange for Saleh’s release of prisoners and who knows what else.) Of course, the gathering of foreign jihaddists could be the result of simultaneous decisions by hundreds of random zealots, but it seems unlikely in the context of the intercept and subsequent events.

Saleh (again) letting the jihaddists loose on the Houthi “supporters”, a vague term that neo-Salafi fanatics may extend to the entire civilian population, is a troubling prospective scenario. However, if and when Zawahiri’s jihaddists fight in Sa’ada, in all likelihood that blood will only be the glitter on the surface of their multi-faceted activities.

For the US to support an ally engaged in a state sponsored jihad, and that’s not a stretch of linguistics, is morally repugnant. If that jihad has the material support of al Qaeda Central, its unconscionable. Unfortunately, the group-think of analysis on Yemen views Saleh as a self-described victim with little culpability and basically good intentions, and defines all these relationships in the most benign terms possible, leaving the strategic scope of events unexplored and unimagined. In fact, Saleh is a very shrewd man and the extent of his duplicity, greed and ruthlessness should never be underestimated. He is the King of Spin and a master deal maker, and he’s doing it again.

al-Tajamo Local sources in Saada information to establish a single camp for Islamic Jihad confirmed the members of various Arab nationalities as well as citizens from different provinces, the sources said, “assembly” that the arrival of these groups has a marked intensity in recent weeks, pointing to the emergence of striking the Salafist groups (Wahhabism) in the city of Saada, and effort to build a center for Yemeni al-Qaeda in Yemen.
وافادت المصادر بان عناصر تنتمي الى ما يسمى بتنظيم الجهاد عقدت خلال الايام الماضية سلسلة من الاجتماعات تطرقت الى برامج التوجيه والتدريس والارشاد, واوضحت ان العمل على تنشيط مركز خاص بذلك الى جانب المعسكر يجري تحت مظلة شخصية قبلية واسلامية نافذة في صعدة, على صعيد متصل كانت وكالة فرانس برس” بثت تقريراً مطولاً حول علاقة السلطة في صنعاء بالسلفيين اوضحت فيه ان السلطة رأت في هؤلاء فرصة لكسر سطوة السادة على قبائل محافظة صعدة وقد دعمت نشاطهم في اغلاق مدارس ومكتبات زيدية وعبر تعيين خطباء سلفيين في جوامع زيدية, واشارت الوكالة الى تدفق الارهابيين على اليمن بعد ان اشتدت حملات ملاحقتهم في السعودية وبعد ان طردوا من افغانستان. The sources added that the elements belonging to the so-called Jihad, the organization held during the past few days a series of meetings touched on the orientation programs, teaching and guidance, and said that work on the revitalization of a special status to the camp by being under the umbrella of a tribal and Islamic window in Saada.

Also see the Yemen Times article down a bit for more reporting. The YT describes “thousands” of jihaddists in Sa’ada who are Yemenis and non-Yemenis from neighboring Arab and non-Arab countries.

Sa’ada War Set to Flare Again

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saada War, Targeting, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:44 pm on Monday, February 16, 2009

No reconciliation yet.

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Feb. 15 — Houthi leader Abdul Malek Al-Houthi has recently threatened to avenge the death of field leader Ahmed Abdulla Abdan Al-Ezzi, whom he accused government-supported militias of killing last week.

Al-Houthi’s media office accused local authorities in Al-Jawf of setting up an armed ambush that targeted citizens on the public road of Zahir district, killing five citizens.

“Militias from the government in Al-Jawf headed by Khaled Al-Sharif, head of the Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum (SCER), carried out this operation,” said their press release. (Read on …)

Rebel Prisoners Not Released

Filed under: Diplomacy, Presidency, Saada War, prisons — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Houthis released 30 captive soldiers as a gesture of good will and none of the Houthis have been released, as distinct from the uninvolved civilians who were rounded up and also remain in jail. The prisoners were supposed to be released in errr, July 2007 it was?

YemenPost

Almost two weeks after the two parties signed an agreement for releasing each side’s detainees and despite local sources affirming that 12 Houthi rebels have been freed by authorities, a spokesman for the rebel leader has accused the government of delaying the release of all Houthi detainees.

The spokesman said the government is postponing the release of all the detainees who were seized during clashes with government troops in the last period of the conflict, saying the authorities have not yet set free any of the detainees.

“We hope the government fulfils its promises and releases all Houthi prisoners and that it deals with the initiative of Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, the rebel leaders, launched two weeks ago as he released 30 soldiers, positively,” the spokesman said.

Many Houthi detainees are been held at government prisons for several years but their suffering is unheard which is considered a mistake by the government, the spokesman said in a statement, urging human rights organizations to move and deal with the issue partially.

Almost two weeks ago, official sources said that Houthi rebels freed 30 soldiers of those who were arrested during clashes with the rebels in the northern province of Saada in return that the government will release 300 Houthi detainees.

On July 17, 2008, President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared an end for the fighting in northern Yemen between Houthi rebels and troops.

President Saleh proposed a ceasefire that the rebels accepted ending a three-year conflict. Since then, the authorities started the reconstruction of the war-damaged areas.

WAN Writes Yemen’s Pres. About the al Khaiwani Ruling

Filed under: Civil Rights, Diplomacy, Media, Presidency, Yemen, al-Khaiwani, political violence — by Jane Novak at 3:02 pm on Thursday, February 5, 2009

Several international journalists and rights orgs have made similiar statements on al Khaiwani’s behalf.

His Excellency Ali Abdullah Saleh
President of the Republic of Yemen
Sana’a, Republic of Yemen
3 February 2009

Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum,
which represent 18,000 publications in 102 countries, to express our serious concern at the
upholding of a six-year jail sentence against journalist Abdel Karim Al Khaiwani, despite a
presidential pardon having been granted to him in September 2008.
According to reports, on 26 January Yemen’s Special Terrorist Court upheld a 6-year jail sentence
handed down to Mr Al Khaiwani on 9 June 2008. Mr Al Khaiwani, former editor-in-chief of the
Al-Shoura newspaper, had received a presidential pardon in September 2008 and had also
received assurances from the Minister of Justice and other officials that the case had been closed.
He had not been summoned to give evidence to the Special Terrorist Court, nor had he been
notified that the hearing was underway. The court reportedly did not consider Mr Al Khaiwani’s
appeal against the initial sentence. (Read on …)

Yemeni Pres Saleh Urges Arab States to Attack Israel

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Presidency — by Jane Novak at 3:16 pm on Wednesday, January 28, 2009

al Motamar

President proposes a Yemeni project for Arab States Union to Kuwait summit
Tuesday, 20-January-2009
Almotamar.net – President Ali Abdullah Saleh presented Monday to the leaders of the Arab countries attending the Arab Summit ‘ summit of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza’ presently held in Kuwait a project prepared by Yemen for the establishment of Arab States Union. (Read on …)

Yemen Opens Jihaddist Training Camps at al-Zindani’s University

Filed under: A-SECURITY, Diplomacy, Palestinians, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:15 pm on Saturday, January 17, 2009

Al Iman U students are training to go fight in Gaza in new camps, or old camps that are operating openly now, financially supported by Iran. The al Iman students were instrumental in Somalia. The article seems to say they will be training at the University itself, which is an existing training facility with Ali Mohsen’s military camp right next door. The camps will accept volunteers from outside Yemen as a global hub for training fighters in support of Hamas.

Naba news : Well-informed sources of the “Naba” newspaper report Yemen opened a camp to receive the first volunteers in support of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip…. According to the source, Yemen was prepared to receive the volunteers at the University of faith, which is headed by Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani, and will both Iran and Qatar to support the camp, and the processing of volunteers.

Saleh ordered all state employees to donate one day’s salary to the resistance in Gaza, and other funds have been collected around the country. President Saleh’s nephew Yahya Saleh, Commander of Central Security, is also coordinating support for Gaza. He’s very active in social causes. Almotamar.net reports The Tent for Arab Resistance, chaired by Yahya Saleh, Chairman of Kenam Society for Palestine, will be holding a variety of events. (Yahya Saleh also set up a mourning tent when Saddam was executed and hosted a variety of symposiums in support of the Iraq resistance.)

Sahwa Net notes Yemen bowed out of the Doha summit on Gaza, “Yemeni analysts said that Yemen’s retraction came as a response to Saudi-Egyptian pressure on president Saleh who had responded to such pressure during the Damascus summit held last year.” Yemen is instigating for Fatah and Hamas to join forces, and for a unified military response from Arab states, not a position popular with some other participants at the conference. Meeting with a visiting Iranian official today, Saleh renewed his call today for an Arab summit, for states to open their borders for fighters to reach Gaza and for Arab states to join in unified action against Israel. So he’s not going to Doha but still is using a summit as a talking point.

Embassies Secured in Sana’a

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:15 pm on Thursday, January 8, 2009

Islamic Jihad was the one who made the threats against the embassies, and Saleh and his henchmen are insisting they are Zionist spies. (Trial next week.)

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Yemeni security on Wednesday closed off street outside embassies of the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in the capital Sana’a, security sources said.

The sources told NY the street was closed as preventive measure against terror attacks on embassies in the country.

Undersecretary of the Interior Minister Mohammad al-Qawsi denied that the two embassies have received terror threats, but confirmed that the street closure was part of precaution measures.

AKI

“The presence of Iran in Yemen has helped it to have a real dominance in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan. “

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 7:23 pm on Sunday, January 4, 2009

That’s a good point and this is an interesting analysis on Yemen’s external affairs from the Yemen Post, if only because it says some different things. The relationship between Iran, Yemen and the war in Iraq is an important point. (There’s no mention of Syria, Iran’s proxy state but if you take a good look at Yemen and Syria, you get a sense of things.) Yemen is the playground between Saudi Arabia and Libya, and the Sa’ada War in some ways reflects that.

Yemen has a strategic location; however, there has been constant increase of weakness points and waste of strength factors. The strategic location is connected with the interests of regional and international powers. What happens nowadays is a clear manifestation of the feverish conflict between these countries over the Yemeni field.

Active Diplomacy

The authority has turned to be diplomatically active and through different manifestations:

- President Saleh made two telephone calls with Libyan President Col. Mu’amar Al-Qadhafi and Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.

- Sending Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Affairs Rashad Al-Alimi to Saudi Arabia.

- Sending Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi to Oman

- Sending Col. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, Commander of the Republican Guards, to the United Arab Emirates.

Regional Struggle

At the present time, there are four main players in the Yemeni field: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya and Qatar and these contesting parties have different goals to achieve. (Read on …)

India Briefs Yemen on Mumbai Attacks

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:39 pm on Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yemen, India discuss cooperation security relations

[06 December 2008]

SANA’A, Dec. 06 (Saba) – Yemen and India reviewed here on Saturday cooperation relations in various security areas, particularly in combating terrorism and organized crime.

Minister of Interior Mutahr al-Mesri discussed with discussed with the Indian ambassador to Yemen Rabby Mohan Aggarwal cooperation in training the security cadres.

The Minister al-Mesri strongly denounced the terrorist act in Mumbai city of India that claimed the innocent lives, asserting the importance of the international partnership to fight against terrorism that undermines security and stability and threatens the lives of people as well.

The Indian diplomat briefed the interior minister on the last developments related to the Mumbai terrorist act, emphasizing that Terrorism has no religion or homeland.

Yemen’s Ambassador to Libya Seeks Asylum in UK

Filed under: Diplomacy, Libya, Other Countries — by Jane Novak at 6:36 pm on Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yemen urges Britain not to accept betrayer asylum seekers

[07 December 2008]

SANA’A, Dec. 07 (Saba) – Deputy Minister of Interior Saleh Hussein al-Zouari has urged Britain not to accept Yemeni asylum seekers of those who betray their country, the interior ministry website has reported.

Al-Zouari said as these betrayers deceive their country, they will betray Britain, affirming such people are unreliable as they swap loyalty easily as they put off their clothes.

Betrayers will not be forgiven by the country and the people, because they are mercenaries seeking to divide their country and harm its unity and stability, he said.

The fate of Yemen’s ambassador to Libya is unclear as speculations emerged that he might seek political asylum in Britain.

While informed sources noted that the ambassador had escaped, a Yemeni security source requested Britain not to accept what the source described as betrayer asylum seekers.

Former Oil Minister Apptd Yemeni Ambassador to Canada

Filed under: Diplomacy, Ministries, Oil — by Jane Novak at 6:52 pm on Sunday, November 30, 2008

Republican decree appoints Yemen ambassador to Canada

[04 December 2008]

SANA’A, Dec. 04 (Saba) – Republican decree No. 288 for the year 2008 issued on Thursday appointing Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah ambassador of Yemen to Canada.

Saudis Extradite Blogger to Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Media, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:37 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yemen hands over terrorists; Saudi Arabia gives back a blogger. He was writing on the Southern forums. They will probably charge him, if they ever charge him, with treason or undermining the state or something.

Sahwa Net – Saudi authorities have extradited the blogger Abdul-Fattah Al-Shanfra who was arrested last June in Tabook, according to sources close to Al-Shanfra.

It said that Abdul-Fatah called his relatives and told them that he has been in a prison of the Political Security Organization since September.

According to the sources, Saudi authorities had arrested Abdul-Fatah, the blogger of the South Forums on fabricated charges filed by Yemen Intelligence.

Pirates

Filed under: Diplomacy, Investment, Somalia, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 2:32 pm on Saturday, November 1, 2008

TWN

Some 16,000 ships navigate through the Gulf of Aden each year, with more and more of them coming under attack. The AP reported Thursday that six ships had fended off attacks over the previous two days and that a seventh had been captured. More than 77 ships have been attacked this year in the Gulf, at least 31 one of them falling to captors. Ransoms paid out in 2008 are reported to have topped $30 million. (Read on …)

Yemen Concerned about Internationalization of Bab al Mendab

Filed under: Diplomacy, Security Forces, USA, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 11:57 am on Monday, October 6, 2008

Afraid of the Americans, not the pirates, but any sort of sustained policing of the Bab al Menbad would disrupt Yemen’s block market economy. Xinhua

SANAA, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has recently made a sudden visit to Jordan and Egypt to discuss rampant piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden.

Maritime officials have said the recent sudden surge in piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden, a narrow, 885 km-long stretch of water that lies between Yemen and Somalia, was unprecedented with more than 50 ships and 250 seamen been seized this year alone.

A Yemeni source said on condition of anonymity that the president’s visit to Jordan and Egypt on Oct. 1-4 leading a high ranking delegation, including Prime Minister Ali Muhammad al-Mujawa and Speaker of House of Representatives Yahia Al Ra’i, highlights Yemen’s growing fears about an American-European plan to internationalize the Red Sea. (Read on …)

Palestinian PM in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:14 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sana’a- Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh received here on Saturday the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayadh visiting Yemen currently.

Fayadh briefed President Saleh on the latest developments in the Palestinian arena and the exerted efforts for realizing dialogue and achieving reconciliation among the Palestinian factions.

He also affirmed the importance of the Yemeni initiative as a base to accomplish the Palestinian reconciliation, voicing the Palestinian leadership and people’s appreciation of the president Saleh’s attitude that upholds the Palestinian issue and its efforts to heal the Palestinian rift. (Read on …)

Yemeni Chinese Relations

Filed under: China, Diplomacy, USA — by Jane Novak at 1:23 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interesting analysis

Yemen – (Back to the Future )
By Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani*-YemenOnline-> June26-(Yemeni-Chinese Relations in a Nostalgic Search for the Past )-The extremely significant June 24 – 25 visit of the Chinese Vice President to Yemen could usher a new era in Yemeni-Chinese relations as well as a definite shift in Yemeni-US relations. China was among the first countries to support an independent and defiant North Yemen in the late fifties in its attempt to maintain its claim to the territory of the British-occupied Aden Colony and the South Arabian protectorates. Along with the Soviet Union and the United States, China built roads, bridges, hospitals, factories and technical schools. That development assistance helped break the isolation of North Yemen and thrust its medieval people into the bi-polar world of the twentieth century. Yemeni foreign policy was formed by the experience of playing great powers against each other, and deft manipulation led to profitable relations with both the Eastern and Western Blocks. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Foreign Ministry Wonders About the US Statement

Filed under: Diplomacy, Media, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Anonymous regime officials spend a lot of time wondering about things in Yemen. But “You’re Worse!” is not an effective refutation.

al-Motamar

Almotamar.net – An official source at the Yemeni Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed surprise over the statement of the spokesman for the American state department on Monday concerning the judicial sentence against Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani after an open and just trial among a group of sabotage that targeted a threat to security and stability of Yemen and the commitment of the murder crime of a security officer and one innocent child.

The source said it is strange that this statement comes under ignoring violations of human rights in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan and others in the world, which have been condemned by all humanitarian organisations in the world, in addition to the political prosecution of sheikh Mohammed al-Mouayad and his companion Mohammed Zaid for crimes they had not perpetrated but in the view of the American administration. The source pointed out that issues of human rights ought not to become means for political pressure or marketing and promoting the crime under consideration by justice, as issues of the freedom of expression.

The Foreign Ministry official source said the Republic of Yemen respects and principally committed to respect all freedoms particularly the human rights and the freedom of expression but at the same time is committed to the Yemeni laws that incriminate the practice of violence and fomenting for it and instigation of seditions all of which are at the end subject to the judiciary

Rebels Within 12 miles of Sana’a Defeated: Regime

Filed under: Diplomacy, JMP, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:12 am on Saturday, May 31, 2008

The government bombing entirely flattened several villages. Hundreds of women and children forced to flee have no where to go.

IHT: Yemeni officials say government forces have beaten back an advance by northern rebels who brought their fight south to within 12 miles of the capital San’a over the past few days.

Until recently, the rebellion that began in 2004 had been concentrated in Saada province, close to the Saudi border more than 100 miles from the capital.

But in the last three days, government forces pounded a mountainous area near San’a around the village of Bani Heshiash to battle advancing rebels, tribal and local officials said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

The government put checkpoints on main streets in San’a, searched cars and questioned passengers while deploying armored vehicles to Bani Heshiash, 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

Houthis requests JMP mediate:

Al-Houthis ask opposition to mediate Sa’ada war

Sana’a, May 31, 2008 (YemenOnline) – Al-Houthis reportedly requested opposition Joint Meeting Party (JMP) to mediate Sa’ada war between the Yemeni authorities and al-Houthis.

Opposition sources said that Saleh Habra, al-Houthis senior negotiator, called one of JMP leaders and asked the opposition to launch a mediation between the government and al-Houthis to end a four-year old war in Sa’ada.

The sources added that the JMP authorized one of its senior leaders to contact al-Houthis as a prelude to begin mediating Sa’ada war between the two parties.

Seven al-Houthis followers were arrested in Sana’a. State News Agency reported that the arrestees were plain-clothed security officials.

Carlos the Jackal

Filed under: Biographies, Diplomacy, Yemen, history — by Jane Novak at 9:36 am on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Letter to the Editor

Dear Jane,
Please ask Senator Trent Franks to issue an addendum:

Dear Ambassador:
(ed: Abdulwahab A. Al-Hajjri, the Yemeni ambassador to the US, is an in-law of President Saleh, as is the Yemeni ambassador to the UN. Saleh has many in-laws because he has four wives. )

When your father al-Qadi al-Hajri (the Deputy President) in 1973 ordered the crucifixion of 3 saboteurs in Sanaa and was as a consequence assassinated by Carlos (who lived in Aden) in 1976 near the Lancaster Gate Hotel in London, have you felt then or now that was fair play?

As you are an in-law of the President, you are under pressure but you are second generation political judge or judicial politician, so search your conscience the way you did when your father was shot dead.

Remember that your father was accused of selling (provisionally) Asir to Saudi Arabia in 1973 when the then President (Qadi Iryani) ran away to Damascus because he was too afraid to sign or say no to Saudi Arabia.

Khaiwani is refusing to sell his conscience no more than over points of view. Surely you can empathize. When you pray for the soul of your father as a man who made a stand (which was highly controversial), remember to add a prayer for Khaiwani.

(ed: Yemen has a very interesting history. Saleh himself has an interesting history. Asir is on the Yemeni/Saudi border. )

Saleh Wants to Solve Lebanon War

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:20 pm on Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yemen Online

President Saleh offers to mediate in Lebanon crisis. He also wants to solve the Hamas/Fatah rift. Too bad he can’t solve his own problems.

Sana’a, May 10, 2008 (yemenonline) – President Ali Abdulla Saleh made several calls late on Thursday with Arab leaders and rival Lebanese factions to discuss mandating Lebanon’s army chief to chair a dialogue to contain latest development in Lebanon and to halt the sectarian fighting in the country.

Saleh called leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mosa, Lebanese army chief General Michel Sleiman, Lebanese Speaker Nabeh Barri, Lebanese prime minister Fuad al-Sanyora, Lebanese Future Party’s head Sa’ad al-Hariri, Hezbollah’s head Hasan Nasrullah.

President Saleh proposed mandating Lebanon’s army chief Sleiman, on whom all Lebanese political forces have agreed (as a consensus president), to manage a dialogue in Lebanon and shoulder his responsibility in preserving Lebanon’s security, stability and national unity.

Saleh Doesn’t Attend Arab Summitt

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:24 am on Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yemen Post

Yemen surprised observers as it suddenly reduced its participation in 20th Arab Summit held in Damascus over March 29-30. Vice-president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi was delegated to attend the meetings on behalf of President Saleh who used to attend all former Arab summits.

Observers stressed the absence of Saleh could have a passive impact on the Palestinian reconciliation and the Yemeni initiative aiming to patch the differences between the different Palestinian factions.

Journalist Abdul Bari Atwan pointed out that Saleh’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia could be a reason for not attending the summit. He hinted that Yemeni authorities are pressured by the United States that tries to divide Yemen once again into South and North.

Saleh’s absence has been widely echoed in Arab public opinion and media and some observers consider his absence to be a signal that Sana’a Declaration between Fatah and Hamas has reached an impasse. They assure that it is not time to recognize Hamas as a partner and none wants to embarrass Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Sources revealed that Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi met the chairman of Damascus-based Hamas Political Bureau Khalid Mashaal who has been briefed by the former on reasons for Saleh’s absence.

The same sources insinuated that Saleh absented himself because Abbas declined to support Sana’a Declaration which could be embarrassing to him in person and other Arab countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well as the U.S.

President Saleh should have been there to administer the Palestinian file and to come up with a resolution to support the Yemeni initiative which aims to end up the internal Palestinian differences.

Similarly, other Arab acting parties like Saudi Arabia and Egypt sent low-level diplomats to attend the summit and this prompted the Libyan President Mu’mer Al-Qadhafi to blame the U.S. and Western pressure for the low representation.

Iran to power Marib Gas Plant

Filed under: Diplomacy, Electric, Iran, LNG, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:23 am on Monday, March 24, 2008

Hasn’t this been under construction for like five years?

Iran, Yemen Discuss Power Cooperation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian deputy power minister and his visiting Yemeni counterpart in a meeting here in Tehran explored avenues for implementing an agreement held earlier by the two sides on energy cooperation.

According to the agreement signed between the Iranian Transport Stations Company and Yemen Electricity Corporation, the Iranian company would provide assistance in supplying power to the Marib Gas Power Station project.

Also during the meeting, the Yemeni deputy minister handed over a letter from his country’s Electricity and Energy Minister Mustafa Bahran to Iran’s Power Minister Parviz Fattah underlining the need for mutual cooperation in the field of electricity.

Yemeni Mediation Unhelpful: Cheney

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Presidency, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:21 am on Monday, March 24, 2008

Cheney was in Oman and didn’t go to Yemen to see his buddy Ali Saleh?

CNN

Cheney said in his meeting Sunday with Palestinian leaders that they talked about efforts under way in Yemen to encourage reconciliation between moderate and militant Palestinians.

“My conclusion after talking about this with the Palestinians is that they have established some preconditions before they would ever consider a reconciliation, including a complete reversal of the Hamas takeover of Gaza.”

Asked whether the U.S. supports the Yemeni mediation effort to bridge differences between Hamas and Fatah, a senior administration official said that the United States has made it clear that it will not support working with Hamas unless there is a fundamental change in the group’s current role, which the U.S. describes as terrorist.

Israel has been conducting peace talks with President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-led government in the West Bank, while simultaneously battling Hamas in Gaza. An Israeli official said a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas would mean the end of peace talks.

“The Fatah leadership has to make a choice,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “They can have a peace process and dialogue with Israel or a coalition with Hamas. But it’s clear that you can’t have them both.”

The Arab League likes it though

Almotamar.net – The Arab League (AL) has welcomed Sunday the signing of Sana’a Declaration between the movements of Fatah and Hamas to begin the dialogue based on the Yemeni initiative.
(Read on …)

Arab League Adopts Yemen’s Plan: Shamiri

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saleh trying to solve the world’s problems but can’t solve his own.

Almotamar.net - Yemen’s ambassador to Egypt and its permanent delegate to the Arab League Dr Abdulwali al-Shamiri announced Sunday that the Arab League has adopted the initiative of President Ali Abdullah Saleh concerning healing the rift between the Palestinian brethren.

Ambassador al-Shamiri said the Yemeni delegation led by Dr Abubakr al-Qirbi, the Foreign Minister has succeeded in urging the League and its foreign ministerial council during its latest meeting towards adopting the initiative of President Saleh of all its seven points for reconciliation among the Palestinian brethren and resumption of dialogue between the movements of Fatah and Hamas.

The Yemeni ambassador indicated that the Palestinian delegation participating in the Arab League Foreign Ministers Council session blessed the Yemeni initiative. He also disclosed that all Arab countries delegates to the Arab League announced their support for the Yemeni initiative and considered it as the safest groundwork for healing the Palestinian rift.

It is to be recalled that the Yemeni initiative includes seven points stipulating the return to the situations in Gaza to before Hamas control on the authority institutions there, holding early elections, resuming dialogue based on the basis of Cairo agreement in 2005 and Mecca agreement in 2007 on the basis that the Palestinian people are inseparable entirety and that the Palestinian authority is composed of the elected presidential authority, the elected parliament and the executive power represented by the government of national unity and the commitment to the Palestinian legitimacy with all of its components.

The initiative also stipulates respect of the Palestinian constitution and law and to abide by them by all and to rebuilding the security apparatuses on national bases so that they follow the higher authority and government of the national unity government and no faction should have any relation with it.

The initiative also stipulated that all Palestinian institutions should be without any factional distinction and to be subject to the higher authority and the national unity government.

7 Point Plan…For Palestinians

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:21 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

Would be nice if Saleh applied these principles to Yemen

Almotamar.net – Official sources said Saturday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh has in the past few days made movements for healing the rift of the Palestinian national rank through communication with leaderships of the two movements of Fatah and Hamas for the elimination of the present differences between them in the wake of the situation that emerged in Gaza after the events of 13 June 2007.

The sources added that the Yemeni movements come after the visit to Yemen made by president of the Palestinian Authority and his talks with President Saleh Mahmoud Abbas and his talks with President Saleh who handed him a Yemeni initiative which was also delivered to chairman of the political office of Hamas movement Khalid Mishaal.

The Yemen initiative, aimed at coming out of the present Palestinian situation and opening dialogue between Fatah and Hamas, contains seven points including the restoration of the situation in Gaza to its position before 13 June 2007, holding early elections, resuming dialogue on basis of Cairo agreement in 2005 and Mecca agreement of 2007 on the basis that the Palestinian people are inseparable and the Palestinian authority is composed of the elected presidency authority, the elected parliament and the executive authority represented by a national unity government and commitment to the Palestinian legitimacy with all of its components.

The initiative also stipulates the respect of the Palestinian constitution and the law and abiding by it by all, restructuring of the security apparatuses on national bases and affiliated to the higher authority and the national unity government and not to have any relation with any faction and all the Palestinian institutions, in all of their components without any factional distinction and to be under the power of the higher authority and the national unity government.

Source: 26september.net

Yemeni Expatriates to be Scrutinized from A to Z by Interior Ministry

Filed under: Diplomacy, Ministries, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:25 pm on Thursday, June 7, 2007

thats really scary

YO: The Ministry of Expatriates plans to conduct an accurate census of Yemenis abroad, in order to enlist them in the development of their homeland. The survey aims to provide a database on the expatriates that would help track these people, so as to provide them with various services. The survey also is intended to get expatriates involved in Yemen’s development plans and programs, said the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Affairs, Ibrahim Abdul-Rashid. This survey is in response to an order from President Ali Abdullah Saleh, made during his visit to America in May.

The project has already launched and completed some initial preparations with the Central Statistical Organization, he said. The carrying out of this survey was ordered by the Expatriates Care Law of 2002, which holds that all Yemeni expatriates have the same rights as all Yemeni citizens within Yemen. This survey is one of six plans that the ministry will carry out concerning the affairs of Yemeni expatriates. Rashid said that the ministry coordinates and cooperates with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Central Statistical Organization, and all the concerned bodies, such as the Ministry of Interior and the General Investment Authority, with the implementation of the survey. (Read on …)

Hamas Festival in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:39 pm on Wednesday, May 16, 2007

YO

The office of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas in Yemen, organized a public festival last Thursday, May 10 at the al-Ahli Club hall in Sana’a that drew hundreds of people. “We are gathered today to support the Palestinian people, and announce our loyalty to martyrs and all those prisoners in the Israeli prisons,” said Jamal Issa, the representative of Hamas in Yemen. “There are more than 11,000 prisoners, including leaders like Ahmed Sa’adat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Marwan al-Barghouti, the leader of the Fatah movement, Hasan Yusuf, and many of the Hamas movement leaders.

“During a year and months, Hamas has been able to achieve a lot with the resistance, in which nobody noticed its danger except the enemy. We opened the future with the new leadership, which the Palestinian people chose. This new leadership changed the rules of conflict with the enemy and adopted new laws and deleted those of the enemy. This means that the people do not permit the Israeli to exist in their country.” “Many thought that Hamas would weaken and give up power in Palestine,” he said, “but events proved the opposite. Hamas proved that it could face the enemy and capture an Israeli soldier though weapons he carries.

This soldier enabled us to secure the release of Palestinian people from the enemy’s prisons. Hamas could combine between authority and weakness. The weakness in dealing with Palestinian people and authority with the enemy. It is the 59th anniversary of announcing the Zionist occupation on Palestine and we are remaining against those who may want to forget that Palestine is our country. They think that they are punishing us with blockade. They do not respect peace deals. There should be an exposure, as Khalid Meshal said. An exposure that releases the land and all nation.”

Those gathered supported his statements. “We are with you, Palestinian people,” said Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, al-Eman University President. “Who is with the Palestinian people?” he asked the crowd. Everyone raised their hands. “We all greet Hamas and the Palestinian people who gave us a lesson in unity and defending the nation’s dignity,” said Hamood al-Hitar, Minister of Endowment and Guidance.

“We all support them in Yemen.” The Palestinian people should know that we all stand with them, said Sultan al-Atwani, general secretary of the Nasserite Party. “What is happening in Palestine deserves respect for all the martyrs of this nation.” Sameer Ahmed, a taxi driver and one of the participants, said that he usually likes to follow what Hamas doing. “I wanted to support our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” he said. “I expected them to tell us and lead us to things to do in favor for those people, but they did not.”

US: Ahmed Faked Moderation

Filed under: Diplomacy, Somalia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:36 pm on Wednesday, May 16, 2007

AAC:

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
NEWS
15 May 2007
Posted to the web 15 May 2007

By Aweys Osman Yusuf
Mogadishu

The leader of the routed Union of Islamic Courts Executive council, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, said he has no relations with United States government.

He was reacting to remarks made by US assistant secretary of State for African affairs, Jendayi Frazer, who spoke two days earlier about Sheik Sharif’s relations with US in an interview by VOA’s Somali service.

Frazer pointed out in her interview that Sheik Ahmed faked his being a moderate Islamist and was provided with whatever he wanted after he was seized by Kenyan authorities. (Read on …)

Egypt Renders Terrorist from Yemen: Egyptian Islamic Jihad

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Other Countries, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:27 pm on Wednesday, May 16, 2007

London, Asharq Al-Awsat- A statement issued in London by a radical organization reveal that Yemeni authorities have extradited the daughter of Adil Awad, head of the military wing of the Egyptian [Islamic] Jihad Group, and her Islamist husband, Isam Muhammad Khalil, also known as Ahmad Bakr (who was sentenced in absentia in the “Returnees From Albania” case in 1999) to Egypt.

In the statement, a copy of which was received by Asharq Al-Awsat, the London-based Al-Maqrizi Center, which is run by Dr. Hani Al-Siba’i, an Egyptian Islamist, said: “The Yemeni authorities, with the collaboration of Egyptian intelligence, abducted in Sanaa on Monday, 9 April, Isam Muhammad Khalil, also known as Ahmad Bakr, who was sentenced to five years in prison in the Returnees From Albania case. Two weeks later, they stormed the house of Khalid Afifi Shahin, known as Jalal, and arrested him.”

Al-Siba’i told Asharq Al-Awsat that Adil Awad, Egyptian [Islamic] Jihad military commander, alias “Abu al-Nadr,” was the one who supervised several operations, including the attempt to assassinate the Turah prison warden, and the attempt to assassinate former Interior Minister Hasan al-Alfi. He also personally supervised the assassination of the only witness in the case of the attempt on the life of Atif Sidqi, a former Egyptian prime minister, one day prior to the trial. The assassination took place in front of the witness’s auto showroom.

Al-Siba’i said that Al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s deputy, eulogized Abu-al-Nadr, “the ghost man,” in the publications of the Egyptian Jihad. He added that Awad, who is known among Islamists as the “ghost man,” supervised the botched Salah Salim assassination operation against President Mubarak. He noted that Awad was killed in an ambush in Al-Jizah in 1994.

The statement added: “At 1200 [ 0900 GMT] on Monday, 9 April, Isam Muhammad Khalil, known as Ahmad Bakr, was kidnapped in front of the British school in Haddah street in the capital Sanaa. His house was stormed, searched, and all the documents belonging to him and his family were confiscated. Three weeks later, exactly on 3 May, his wife was deported along with her children. Upon her arrival at Cairo Airport, she was detained by the Egyptian Government until Friday night.” The statement said that Mrs Fatimah is the wife of Adil Awad, known as Abu al-Nadr. She has two daughters — Ruqayah, 9, and Shayma, 7 — who were deported along with their mother before completing their school year.

The statement added: “Two weeks after the incident, the house of Khalid Afifi Shahin was stormed and his wife and four children were intimidated. Afifi’s personal computer and its accessories were confiscated. This is in addition to the confiscation of his and his wife’s phones and all the documents belonging to him and his children. His wife was not deported because she is a Yemeni.”

Yemen Uses Interpol to Pursue Houthis

Filed under: Diplomacy, GPC, Other Countries, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:41 am on Monday, May 14, 2007

Domestic rebels

almotamar.net – A security source revealed Saturday that Yemeni authorities addressed a request to the Interpol including addition of names of tens of terrorists to its international lists, accused of being involved in acts of terror in some areas of Saudi (Saudi or Saada?) governorate in Yemen.

The source who asked not to be identified told almotamar.net the request was dispatched to the Interpol office in Sana’a last Tuesday and contained many names of the accused in addition to information about them.

The source said Yemen sent that request after the Yemeni authorities obtained information confirming many personalities involvement in financing the terrorist elements and some of them participate in a sabotage operation and killing crimes as well as launching attacks on security and armed forces troops.

The Yemeni authorities had beginning of last year sent many demands to the Interpol including names of terrorists accused of taking part in Saada events but up until now there is now (no?) announcement on capturing any of those accused persons.

The Interpol said last month it had put the name of fugitive terrorist Madhya al-Mouthy the Red Bulletin issued by the Interpol. According to that measure the countries where this terrorist lives have become obliged to hand him over to the Yemeni authorities through the Interpol that will follow him wherever he is in the world in order to stand trial in Yemen.

The Interpol measure regarding terrorist al-Houthi was in response to official request by Yemen with the aim of arresting him over terrorist crimes in which he is involved as he is one of the main leaders in the armed terrorist organisation which perpetrated criminal act such as killing, sabotage and destruction of public and private property in a number of areas in Yemen.

Government Travel Restricted

Filed under: Diplomacy, GPC, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Friday, May 11, 2007

Whatever happened to the very well publicized 2005 plan to close down some overseas embassys that were draining the budget? Romania I think was on the list.

YO:

The cabinet has agreed to implement an order preventing officials and employees of the government from traveling outside Yemen, except when they must do as part of their official duties. The cabinet agreed on the resolution presented by the Ministry of Finance, which argued for regulating the process of traveling outside the country. The decision states that officials and employees of the government should travel only if they have a well-defined ceremonial assignment or must attend a meeting with committees and organizations that Yemen is a member of.

However they are not allowed to travel for the purpose of “fact-finding”, often a euphemism for a government paid vacation that has very little to do with official duties, and are equally barred from arranging for repeated similar traveling assignments. Furthermore, the cabinet reviewed the training plan for the leadership of the local authorities for the current year, which was presented by the Ministry of Local Administration. (Read on …)

Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Security Forces, TI: Internal, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:59 pm on Thursday, May 10, 2007

Interesting Analysis

Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism

By Andrew McGregor

Following the introduction of a new two-year plan to eliminate religious-based political extremism in Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh made an official visit to Washington from April 30 to May 3. While in the United States, President Saleh discussed security and counter-terrorism efforts with President Bush, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, CIA Director Michael Hayden and members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. The visit marked an enormous change in U.S.-Yemeni relations since the dangerous days following the September 11 attacks, when a U.S. attack on Yemen seemed imminent. At the conclusion of his stay, President Saleh thanked the United States for its support of Yemen’s counter-terrorism efforts, while President Bush spoke of Yemen’s continuing cooperation in bringing “radicals and murderers” to justice. Nevertheless, while the sometimes-tempestuous U.S.-Yemeni alliance carries on, there are serious differences between the Yemeni and U.S. approaches to counter-terrorism.

Reforming Terrorists with Islam

The most unusual aspect of Yemen’s counter-terrorist efforts is a broad effort to reform religious extremism (both Shiite and Sunni) and replace it with a moderate approach to Islam. This task (rooted in traditional Yemeni methods of conflict resolution) has been handed to Yemen’s recently appointed minister for Endowments and Religious Guidance, Judge Hamoud Abdulhamid al-Hitar, who states, “The strategy will be an important factor in treating their mistaken ideas” (Yemen Observer, April 30). As the leader of Yemen’s Dialogue Committee, al-Hitar developed a policy of confronting incarcerated militants in debates designed to expose their misinterpretations of Islamic doctrine and challenge the legitimacy of al-Qaeda-style jihadism. Using “mutual respect” as a basis for the discussions, al-Hitar points to numerous successes in reforming the views of extremist prisoners, some of whom later provided the security apparatus with important intelligence. Hundreds of terrorism suspects have passed through the program. Recidivism is untracked, however, and there are reports that some of those released went to Iraq to fight U.S.-led coalition forces. The list of graduates is closely guarded, and ex-prisoners are warned not to discuss their participation in the dialogues, thus allowing a degree of deniability should graduates return to terrorism.

Within Yemen, al-Hitar is widely believed to be a member of the feared Political Security Organization (PSO). When 23 terrorism convicts escaped from a PSO prison in the national capital of Sanaa last year, their tunnel emerged in al-Hitar’s mosque. The mass escape was clearly assisted by some PSO agents. The fact that the escapees included several convicted of bombing the USS Cole placed a severe strain on U.S.-Yemen relations.

For two years, the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Guidance has kept a close watch on unlicensed Quranic schools suspected of promoting political violence, although none have been closed so far. A corps of “religious guides” (both men and women) has been tasked with promoting “the noble values of Islam” and to establish the principles of moderation and tolerance in areas where the government fears extremism is feeding on a lack of religious knowledge (Saba News Agency, April 25). Saleh has challenged the country’s religious scholars and preachers to “clarify the facts” of Islam for the Muslim community, especially in rebellious Sa’dah province, where preachers have a “religious, moral and national duty” to eradicate sedition.

Steps Toward Disarmament

On April 24, Yemen’s cabinet took the unusual measure of ordering the closure of Yemen’s many arms shops and markets, finally acknowledging that the proliferation of weapons and their common use to resolve all types of disputes are continuing barriers to much-needed foreign investment. Heavy weapons are to be confiscated, while possession and sales of sidearms and assault rifles will be subject to licenses and registration. With some 50-60 million weapons in circulation in a country of 21 million people, the cabinet’s order represents only a first step toward changing Yemen’s ubiquitous arms culture. At the moment, there are 18 major arms markets and several hundred gun-shops in Yemen. Some shops will be allowed to reopen for the sale of personal arms under government control (IRIN, April 26). Yemen continues to be an important regional transit point for arms shipments of all types, a lucrative trade that benefits leading members of the regime.

Legislation to regulate the possession of arms continues to be opposed by a number of members of parliament who, like most of their constituents, regard holding one or more weapons as a traditional right. Some of the larger tribes possess stockpiles of heavy weapons that they will be reluctant to part with, given the 22 tribal clashes recorded last year alone. The tribes also regard their weaponry as a means of protecting themselves from government malfeasance.

Reforming the Security Apparatus

Apart from the military, Yemen’s security is handled by three civilian agencies, at least two of which are believed to include Salafi and Baathist sympathizers at the highest levels. Most important of these is the PSO. A number of PSO officials have been dismissed in the last few years in an attempt to eliminate corruption and Islamist sympathizers from the organization as it is reshaped to take the lead in Yemen’s counter-terrorism effort. The PSO reports directly to the president and its upper ranks are composed exclusively of former army officers. The Ministry of the Interior runs the Central Security Organization (CSO), a paramilitary force of 50,000 men, equipped with light weapons and armored personnel carriers. The smaller National Security Bureau (NSB), founded in 2002, reports directly to the president as well. The NSB may be designed to be in competition with the PSO. The United States currently offers counter-terrorist training to members of Yemen’s security forces and is involved in helping build a new national Coast Guard (a project that also includes contributions from the United Kingdom and Australia).

The CSO’s elite Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) is trained jointly by the United States and the United Kingdom. As a relatively new organization formed in 2003, the CTU is expected to apply innovative strategies to counter-terrorism work, while avoiding the corruption ingrained in more senior security groups. The Interior Ministry is also engaged in a campaign to decrease the size of both official and unofficial corps of bodyguards employed by public figures in Yemen. Some groups of bodyguards now approach the level of private militias, enforcing the will of local sheikhs and tribal leaders (Yemen Observer, April 24).

Arbitrary arrests and extended detentions without charge or trial continue to be preferred methods of the security services. The PSO, CSO and many tribal sheikhs operate their own extra-judicial detention centers. Relatives of militants are routinely imprisoned to put pressure on wanted individuals to surrender. At a recent judicial symposium, it was suggested that there are as many as 4,000 innocent citizens being held in the prisons of the security services (Yemen Observer, April 28). Regular use of torture in Yemen’s prisons and other judicial abuses have been documented in the U.S. Department of State’s annual report on human rights (Yemen Times, March 14).

The ongoing rebellion in Sa’dah province has the advantage, at least, of keeping the army busy while Saleh attempts to repair relations with Washington. Many in the officer corps were trained in Baathist Iraq and deeply oppose the U.S.-led intervention there. Dissatisfaction in the ranks has not yet become disloyalty, however, and Saleh has placed a number of family members in crucial command roles to ensure that it stays that way. These include his son Ahmad (a possible presidential successor and presently commander of the Republican Guard and the Special Forces), his brother Ali Saleh al-Ahmar (commander of the Air Force) and half-brother Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar (commander of the northwest region and a long-time Salafi sympathizer). Two of the president’s nephews serve as commanders of the CSO and the NSB.

U.S. diplomats in Yemen have frequently been targeted by Salafi extremists, although Yemen’s security services have preempted several such operations. Typical of the “revolving door” approach to terrorism prosecutions that irks the United States is the case of two Yemenis convicted of trying to assassinate U.S. Ambassador Edmund James Hull (an important official in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts) in 2004. Only days after Saleh’s return from Washington, the two convicts had their sentences reduced from five years to three on appeal (AFP, May 7).

Yemeni Prisoners in the United States

During his visit to Washington, President Saleh asked for the repatriation of Sheikh Muhammad Ali Hassan al-Moayyad, a Yemeni religious scholar extradited from Germany to the United States (along with his assistant Muhammad Za’id), where he is serving a prison term after being convicted of supporting Hamas (but acquitted of supporting al-Qaeda). Yemeni human rights organizations are agitating for the sheikh’s release on the grounds of declining health. The head of a national committee to free al-Moayyad (who is popular in Yemen for his charitable work) notes that, since “Europe and the whole international community are (now) dealing with Hamas as an independent entity, why is it forbidden for al-Moayyad?” (Yemen Observer, April 25).

Saleh also discussed the case of Yemeni citizens held in Guantanamo Bay. Although official Yemeni sources claim that Saleh requested the release of all the Yemeni Guantanamo Bay prisoners, there are signs that Yemen’s government is not overeager for their repatriation. In a March visit to Yemen, Marc Falkoff, a lawyer for 17 of the Yemeni detainees, revealed that he had obtained documents from the Pentagon showing that many of the Yemeni prisoners had been eligible for repatriation as far back as June 2004. The Yemeni government justifies its inaction by claiming that the citizenship of some of the Yemeni detainees is under question. According to Falkoff, “Fully one-third of the Saudis are back in Saudi Arabia, more than half of the Afghanis are home with their families and every single European national has been released from Guantanamo. Yet, more than 100 Yemenis remain at the prison—sitting in solitary confinement on steel beds, deprived of books and newspapers, slowly going insane” (Yemen Times, March 11).

U.S. officials claim that there are 107 Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo, while human rights activists cite as many as 150, but there is no doubt that Yemenis form the largest single group of foreign nationals detained at the facility. Although the government may be in no hurry for their return, reports of alleged torture practiced on Yemeni detainees in U.S.-run detention centers have inflamed anti-American sentiment in Yemen.

The Case of al-Zindani

Saleh also requested that the U.S. drop Yemen’s controversial Sheikh Abd al-Majid al-Zindani from its list of designated terrorists. Believed by U.S. intelligence services to be an important link to bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the sheikh’s terrorist designation has been an unrelenting irritant to U.S.-Yemeni relations. The sheikh is a powerful member of the Islamist Islah Party and has close ties to Saleh’s administration. Yemen’s parliament recently rescinded a decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) system, largely because of the fear of Islah Party MPs that the ICC could be used as a tool to extradite and try al-Zindani on terrorism charges (al-Thawri, May 2). Apparently, Sheikh al-Zindani has lately joined the call for religious scholars to correct the mistakes in Islamic interpretation that promote dissension and political violence (Yemen Observer, May 2).

Conclusion

Security issues and concerns with government reforms led donor states to suspend economic aid to Yemen two years ago, but President Saleh’s reform efforts appear to have regained the confidence of the international donor community. Despite the detention of political activists and opposition candidates during the 2006 election campaign, Saleh’s new seven-year term as president is regarded as a sign of stability. European aid is flowing once again, and in February the Bush administration announced that Yemen was once more eligible to receive funds from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) (tied to progress in governance). Of the $94 million released by the MCA, $59 million is dedicated to the military and security sector (Saba News Agency, May 3). The aid represents vital assistance to Yemen’s weak economy. Unemployment persists at about 40 percent, there is little development and Yemen’s small petroleum industry does not enjoy the bountiful reserves found in its prosperous Arabian Peninsula neighbors.

While Saleh cannot ignore the general discontent within Yemen regarding U.S. foreign policy, he also recognizes that cooperation with the United States is the best method of ensuring the survival of his regime. Methods such as the “dialogue with extremists” and the “revolving door” of the judicial system allow Saleh to keep a lid on Sunni radicalism, while at the same time posing as a vital ally of the United States. Despite the apparent success of Saleh’s visit to Washington, there is still much to concern the United States in its relationship with Yemen. Reforms to the security services have notably involved purges of al-Qaeda sympathizers at only the lowest levels. Yemeni extremists continue to join anti-coalition forces in Iraq and have been involved in terrorist operations in several countries as President Saleh continues his search for a “third option” in the war on terrorism.

Libyan Ambassador Recalled After Tribal Pressure

Filed under: Diplomacy, Libya, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:42 pm on Thursday, May 10, 2007

Impressions, indications, no proof

SANAA, May 10 (Reuters) – Yemen has recalled its ambassador in Libya over its suspected support to Shi’ite Muslim rebels, a state-run Web site said on Thursday.

Yemeni officials have said they suspected Libya was supporting the rebels led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, who have been fighting government forces in the northern province of Saada since the beginning of 2007.

“The decision to recall the ambassador … came a day after popular demands for cutting Yemeni ties with Libya and to close its embassy in Sanaa over accusations of Libyan involvement in supporting the terrorist elements,” the Web site of the ruling People’s Congress Party said, quoting “well-informed” sources.

The Web site, almotamar.net, said that residents of Saada had urged the government to sever ties with Tripoli as part of efforts to dry up the sources of rebel funding. (Read on …)

Qatari Mediation

Filed under: Diplomacy, GCC, Other Countries, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:32 pm on Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yemen Times

SA’ADA, May 9 — As the bloody clashes between the army and Al-Houthi-led rebellion continue in the restive province of Sa’ada, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani played the role of a mediator between the Yemeni authorities and rebels aiming to stopping bloodshed, sources in the ministry of interior said last Wednesday. (Read on …)

Saleh speaks at ASECAA conference

Filed under: Diplomacy, GPC, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:45 am on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The King of Spin disparages the one party system.

almotamar.net – President Ali Abdullah Saleh affirmed that “The issues have become moving from centralization to decentralization and they will be realized in a bigger way when some constitutional amendments are done for the election of governors and heads of administrative units. Then the government task remains for planning, programming and supervision and follow-up so that the ministers will not change into executive managers and directors general. Their work will be planning, supervising and follow-up and the job will be left to executive managers in the governorates to work and bear the responsibility.”

Receiving Tuesday the participants in the second conference of the association of senate, Shura and Equivalent councils in Africa and the Arab world (ASSECAA) president Saleh added that the governorate and the local authority are the parties that draw up budget of the governorate and they know concerns of the citizens due to their nearness to them and in turn they refer those concerns to the central government that it adopts. Some revenues, instead of coming from the central government, the governorate councils collect them and consequently that would achieve positive successes because the citizen will be the beneficiary, the president said. ” They are in need of building a school, a mosque or building a water project or health centre for treatment of the sick and that made members of the local authority keen to collect revenues that were neglected and the c entrap government was not able to collect them,” president Saleh said.

The president clarified that there is now competition among the governorates for collecting the revenues the law has empowered them for building projects while there are central revenues which are the specialization and central right of the state such as oil and minerals, customs and taxes and seaports. He said the local authority in Yemen consists of about 7 thousand leading members of decision makers participating in the development process and services and they are decision makers.

President Saleh said the one-party imposes its own vision without giving opportunity to others to express their ideas and we have adopted the political and party pluralism for seventeen years and will not back of from that.” We have press freedom and we held three parliamentary session and two sessions for presidential and local elections that all were transparent and the world has witnessed that. Nevertheless we are working on conducting some constitutional amendments to establish the parliamentary bi-cameral system, an amendment on election of governors and heads of districts to limit centralization and expand the base of people’s participation.” (Read on …)

Yemen to Challenge Poverty In Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:38 am on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Send lawyers, guns and money.

almotamar.net – Yemen Minister of Expatriates Affairs Dr Saleh Samee revealed Monday that his ministry is in the process of signing contracts with lawyers bureaus in Riyadh, Jeddah, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Britain and America for defending issues of Yemeni expatriates in the countries where they live.

While he and the Minister of civil service Hamoud Khalkid al-Soufi and Yemen’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia inaugurating in Riyadh yesterday a system of securities fir Yemeni expatriates in Saudi Arabia, he said the yenned was heading for a new stage as the political leadership and he government look at the Yemeni expatriates through a new strategy based on the fact that they are an inexhaustible national wealth.

Mr. Samee addressed the sons of the Yemeni community in Riyadh by saying ” We have come here to be acquainted with your issues and concerns and to inaugurate the system of social securities of the expatriates to affirm to you that we are in Yemen approaching a new stage where we challenge poverty and unemployment and truly work for alleviating them.

The minister added that the ministry has embarked on restructuring and revising its legislations and formed special committees for the restructuring the ministry and there is a focus on taking care of planning migration and defending the issues of expatriates as they are the core of the ministry’s tasks.

The minister also urged the Yemeni community in Riyadh to help succeed the system of social securities as it is a human and social service that benefit expatriates and their families and also urged them to invest in their homeland.

The Arab League Does Something

Filed under: Diplomacy, Fisheries, Other Countries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:37 am on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

That’s a good thing.

Sana’a, May 07 (26 Sept.net)-The higher coordination committee for common Arab action at the conclusion of its meeting of the 38 session at Arab League headquarters in Cairo, headed by the Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa approved Yemen’s proposal to establish ministerial council for fisheries (MCF)in the Arab world from the League of Arab States (AL)

Minister of Fisheries Engineer Mahmoud Ibrahim Al Sagiery said that the meeting which concluded yesterday in Cairo approved raising the degree of attention and increase fish wealth specialists working in the Arab Organization for Agricultural and Fish Development, pointing out that the approval came in response to the recommendations of the meeting of Arab Ministers Council for fish Responsible in the Arab world held in the capital Sanaa in November 2006.

Al Sagiery stressed that the most important objectives of the establishment of this Council is to create a ministerial meeting under the umbrella of the Arab League and at the level of Ministers responsible for fisheries, agriculture , water, or environment to draw policies for the exploitation of marine resources and means at the national and international levels

He pointed out that the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development would have two Councils, one of Ministers responsible for agriculture, and another for fish.

Saleh to US

Filed under: Diplomacy, Proliferation, Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:11 am on Monday, April 30, 2007

Updated: quarter of a billion in financial support

AM: The president said the total American annual assistance to Yemen is to amount to $254 million and it will have positive reflections with regard to consolidating the partnership and cooperation relations existing between the two countries at various political, economic security levels as well as efforts of fighting terror.”

On his return to Sana’a on Thursday wrapping up a successful state visit to the United States of America the president added ” We are satisfied regarding results of the talks we held in Washington and president Bush and American officials confirmed in our discussions with them their commitment to stand by Yemen and support it in its efforts exerted in areas of democracy, development, reforms and fighting terror and it was agreed to offer a sum of $35 million from the Challenge of the Millennium Fund at the threshold stage to be raised to $100 million annually in addition to an amount of $59 million to support the military and security establishment in addition to other assistance.”

26S : In this regard, President Saleh said that the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreed to grant Yemen USD 94 million, $35 million to civil sector and $59 million to support the security and military sector in Yemen,” said president Saleh in a statement to Saba upon arrival.

Sana’a, NewsYemen

The charge d’ affairs of US embassy in Sana’a said that the invitation of president George W. Bush to president Saleh aims to “offer appreciation for achievements and changes that reinstated the eligibility of Yemen to participate in the Millennium Challenge Corporation and to encourage Yemen to go ahead in this direction”.

Nabil Khori said Saleh will discuss changes in Yemen with several US officials in Washington including the House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (Read on …)

Seche Nominated US Ambassador to Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Security Forces, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:14 pm on Saturday, April 28, 2007

April 25, 2007 the White House nominated Shephen Seche as Amb assador to Yemen.

USCPD: Stephen Seche is a career foreign-service officer who has spent most of his 27 years with the Department of State engaged in the practice of public diplomacy. Seche was appointed to the position of Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria in February 2005, when the Ambassador was recalled to Washington for consultations in the wake of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri….

Mr. Seche entered the Foreign Service in 1978 and spent the first seven years of his career in public-diplomacy positions in Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia. Other overseas assignments included four years (1989 – 1993) as Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, and four years (1993 -1997) as Press Attache in New Delhi, India. Following his service in Delhi, he returned to Washington for the first of two years of Arabic language training, completing the program at the Foreign Service Institute’s Field School in Tunis.

From 1999-2002, Mr. Seche was Counselor for Public Affairs and Director of the American Cultural Center. He spent the two years between his Damascus tours as Director of the Office for Egypt and Levant Affairs at the Department of State.

Mr. Seche received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and spent four years as a journalist before entering the Foreign Service. He also speaks Spanish and French.

Seche speech 2003

Related: President Bush to Welcome President Saleh of Yemeni

White House News

President Bush will welcome President Ali Abdullah Saleh of the Republic of Yemen to the White House on May 2, 2007. The President and President Saleh will discuss Yemen’s recent progress on political and economic reform and our joint efforts on the war on terrorism.

# # #

US-bound Yemen leader back in donors’ good books
Christian Chaise
AFP
April 27, 2007

SANAA — One year after coming under fire for stalling reforms, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is back in the good books of donor countries as he prepares to visit the White House.

A presidential election deemed “successful” and the initiation of economic reforms have earned Saleh the approval of international donors, chiefly the United States, which considers Sanaa a key ally in the war on terror.

The Yemeni leader is due to meet US President George W. Bush during a trip to Washington next week.

“We have been very positive about these events of the last year, political and economic … There has been progress, genuine improvement in the situation,” outgoing US Ambassador to Yemen Thomas C. Krajeski said. “We were surprised, pleasantly” by last September’s presidential campaign, which ended with Saleh – in power since 1978 – winning a new seven-year term. (Read on …)

Yemen Pushes for Somali Donors Conference

Filed under: Diplomacy, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:35 pm on Saturday, March 3, 2007

from All Africa.com:

Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
NEWS
March 3, 2007
Posted to the web March 3, 2007

By Aweys Osman Yusuf
Mogadishu

The government of Yemen has disclosed that it was planning to prepare projects for Somalia reconstruction meeting while asking Arab countries to contribute finances to the war-torn country.

According to Althawranews, Yemeni foreign minister Abu Bakr al-Qurbi, who was speaking in the Arab foreign ministers meeting, said the situation in Somalia and how it would be assisted would be dissected in the upcoming of Arab League assembly.

He stresses that Islamic Courts leaders who are currently in Yemen would be attending Somalia’s national reconciliation conference due to happen on 16 April.

The minister’s remarks comes hours after Somali president Abdulahi Yusuf traveled to Kuwait to convince Arab leaders to finance Somalia as it was going to hold a national reconciliation conference.

Mr. Yusuf’s trip was seen crucial as the Somali ministry, based in Baidoa, assigned for the reconciliation process initiated to convene with some of the clan leaders and civil society members from the various provinces in the country in consultation over how the national assembly would be held.

Yemen requests Interpol extradite 93 Yemenis to Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Other Countries, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:33 pm on Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What? They want Yahya al-Houthi, but who are these other 93 and why do they want them and why now?

Almotamar.net – A security source affirmed that Yemen seeks extradition of 93 wanted persons from 12 Arab and foreign countries in order to stand trial for committing security issues inside the Yemeni territories and escaped outside the country.

A source at the Interpol office in Sana’a told almotamar.net that Yemen has request a demand of inquiry via the Interpol in Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Holland, Pakistan, India, and China about 93 wanted persons and to arrest them on charges of committing crimes of killing Yemeni citizens, money laundering, forging government documents and multi crimes before escaping outside. That comes at a time Yemen has received 12 wanted persons from many Arab countries on charges of perpetrating terrorist and killing crimes.

According to the source 21 of the wanted persons have been sentenced by courts and other 72 persons’ issues are still with Yemeni prosecutions and courts. Yemen is one of tens of countries in the world having contact with the Paris-Based Interpol.

Saleh Mediates between Ahmed and US

Filed under: Diplomacy, Somalia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:44 pm on Tuesday, January 30, 2007

SomaliNet) The Yemeni government is currently involving in efforts to act as a go-between the US government and the second man of Islamists leadership who is now being held in Nairobi under the protection of Kenyan authorities, reliable sources reports on Thursday.

Yemeni officials are secretly trying to hold talks between Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and the United States government over Somalia future.

Washington sees Sheik Ahmed as moderate cleric who has wide support in Somalia and can play a positive role in the reconciliation process in the war-torn country (Somalia).

Sources from Nairobi indicate that Sheik Sharif might be extradited to an Arab state, possibly Yemen.

Meanwhile, yesterday Nairobi based Daily Standard newspaper reported that Somalia Prime Minister Ali Mohamed said his government wants Sheik Sharrif and his supporters to participate in the ongoing reconciliation talks.

Premier Gedi made the statement before flying from Nairobi and returning to Mogadishu.

“We want all UIC officials and supporters including Sheikh Sharrif to come to Mogadishu for talks in Somalia,” he was quoted as saying.

Gedi added that none of them would be persecuted in Mogadishu since his government’s aim is to restore peace and order rather than revenge.

Regrouping:

The United States believes that Somalia’s hard-line Islamists forcefully driven out of the country by government troops backed by Ethiopian military forces may reorganize themselves in Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and Yemen, Jendayi Frazer, US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Financial Times in Addis Ababa, Ms Frazer said it was too early to tell who among the Islamist leadership had survived Ethiopia’s invasion last month and subsequent US air strikes on alleged affiliates of al-Qaeda.

“It is going to take some time for the fog of war to clear up and we have an ability to see who is still operating and how they are operating,” she said.

Well we know where three of the leaders are.

NY:

The Yemeni foreign ministry accused the Ethiopian forces of detaining a Yemeni national in Somalia, but it did not identify the Yemeni person.
The Ethiopian prime minister Melease Zinawi said that the Ethiopian forces had arrested a group of Yemenis who were fighting with the forces of the Somali Islamic Courts against the Somali interim government and Ethiopian forces.
Our embassy in Addis Ababa is contacting with the Ethiopian side on the case of those persons to check their identity, Yemeni foreign minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, told Naspress.
This is the first time Yemen and Ethiopia exchange such accusations since the Ethiopian forces have entered Mogadishu.
Observers fears arouse that such statements might affect relations between Yemen and Ethiopia and the coming summit of Sana’a Forum for Cooperation supposed to be held in Addis Ababa.

Arab League Denies Yemen’s Request for Continued Exemption

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Economic, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:18 am on Friday, January 19, 2007

CAIRO, NewsYemen

The Arab Economic and Social Council has refused, in its 81st round held in Arab League headquarters on February (6-14), the request of Yemen to extend the period of frequent reduction of customs tariffs until 2015, instead of 2010.

Yemen’s request aims at giving some Yemeni sectors like industrial, agricultural, fishery and customs enough time to be more qualified to compete at the regional level and support the national economy which is deteriorating, Lutf Barakat, deputy chairman of the Public Customs Authority, told NY.

Barakat said “Yemen has presented to AESC a report on measures it has taken until 13 December 2007 and another report prepared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry explaining the economic situations in Yemen and justifying Yemen’s request to extend the period based on the council’s decision No. 7071, in its 80th round held in Cairo last year, to study the request and consider the economic and social situations in Yemen as ‘least developing country’.”

The Arab Economic and Social Council seeks to reduce customs tariffs 61% every year until it becomes zero in all Arab countries by 2010.

The Council also covered obstacles to a greater Arab duty free zone, and called on Algeria, Mauritania, Djibouti and the Comoros to complete the process of joining the zone.

Yemen, Washington, Somalia

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Diplomacy, Somalia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:41 am on Monday, January 15, 2007

al-Sahwa:

Diplomatic sources said that Washington requested form Yemen sending peacekeeper forces to Somalia.

They said to Yemen today Website that Washington asked Sana’a for issuing a resolution of that in the summit which to be held in mid-February in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, indicating that such project has Ethiopia and Somalia’s support .

They refused to forecast the Yemeni and Sudanese positions toward that.

The Somali president had requested early form the Arab States to take part in the peacekeepers forces in Somalia.

A formal source confirmed that Sana’a will offer new visions in the summit in order to activate Sana’a congregation which includes four states; Yemen, Sudan Ethiopia and Somalia.

The Yemeni Foreign Ministry expressed hopes of putting an end to the military operations and dragging all the fighting sides to the table.

On the other hand, Yemeni diplomats said that the understanding between Sana’a and Washington regarding the new preparations is still cloudy especially when the American moves in Somalia has caused confusions to Sana’a which found in turn that there are signs of a new American roadmap in the region ignoring Yemen interests .

More from Front Page Mag: (Read on …)

Pleas for Saddam

Filed under: Diplomacy, Iraq, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:33 pm on Sunday, December 31, 2006

SANA’A, Dec. 29 (Saba)-Prime Minister Abdul-Qadar Ba-Jammal sent on Friday a letter to President of United States George W. Bush, urging him to intervene to stop execution against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. In his letter, Ba-Jammal said that the relation of
two countries bases on honesty and exchangeable respect toward developments in the international and regional arenas.
“Yemen is very worry about current developments in Iraq and bloody conflicts which give impression of unrest and unsafe future for the Iraqi people,the letter read.
All those happened within existence of occupation of the alliance forces that United States shoulders a big share of responsibility to do its role in settling justice and peace, especially, after the Iraqi court upheld death penalty against former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein who was on trial in existence of occupation, internal
conflicts and miserable situationthat doubt about honesty and justice of the court. After enlightening on viewpoints of international community and organizationsof human rights, Yemeni government asks you to intervene to prevent carrying out the execution which might lead to increase violence and internal conflict as well as worsen suffering of the Iraqi people, he said. (Read on …)

Saleh Mediates with Palestinian Leaders

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Monday, December 18, 2006

SANA’A- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal agreed to continue talks on forming a national government that would serve the interest of the Palestinian people.
This came after President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on the two leaders to avoid escalating the situation in Palestine and protect the Palestinians from bloodshed and conflicts that serve only the Israeli’s interests.
President Saleh today urged- in two phone calls- Abbas and Mashaal to negotiate inside the Palestinian territories and form a national government that can put an end to the siege imposed on their country.

Factional fighting continues.

Saleh Acts as Intermediary between Bush and Assad

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:06 am on Friday, December 15, 2006

M&C: Aden, Yemen – A senior US diplomat slammed Syria’s ‘unconstructive’ role in Lebanon Thursday, saying Damascus should understand Lebanon’s need to have its own sovereignty.

‘We are very very concerned about interference from Syria in Lebanon,’ US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch told reporters after talks with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

Welch’s meeting with Saleh comes two days before a visit to Aden by Syrian President Bashar Assad. ‘We do not believe that the role of Syria has been constructive or useful,’ Welch said. ‘We expressed to him (Saleh) our worries about the destabilization that is occurring in Lebanon and the hands of some parties from outside,’ he added. (Read on …)

Head of ICU to Sanaa

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Somalia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:55 am on Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday 11 December 2006

26 Septemper News

It is expected that Head of Islamic Courts Union in Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to arrive Yemen tomorrow.

Well informed sources said in an exclusive statement to” 26 Sep.net” that the visit of Sheikh Sharif comes in the framework of Yemeni efforts to support Somali reconciliation efforts.

The sources said that Sheikh Sharif would meet a number of Yemeni officials to brief them on the latest developments in the Somali territory and introduce Islamic courts viewpoint of Somali crisis.
On the hand, Somali Parliament Speaker had arrived last Tuesday to Sana’a for the same purpose.

And what does the US Assistant Secretary of State have to say to Ali Abdullah Saleh?

Also the Pakistani PM in town, affirming mutual interests.

Al-Assad is Coming to Town

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:09 am on Thursday, December 7, 2006

26Sep: Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad will make a state visit to Yemen during the second half of December in response to an invitation addressed to him by His Excellency President Saleh, 26 September net said.

President Assad will have discussions with President Saleh related to the development of the close brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries and ways of strengthening cooperation in various political, economic and cultural rights, the sources said.

The talks between the two leaders will discuss the situation and efforts to achieve Arab solidarity and coordination among the Arab countries to confront the challenges, in addition to examine developments on the Arab, regional and coordinate positions, particularly on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and the faltering peace process in the Middle East, and the situation in Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia.

The Yemeni-Syrian relations has witnessed a remarkable growth in recent years and the two countries hold an annual meeting under the chairmanship of ministers of the two countries within the Joint Supreme Committee. Both Sana’a and Damascus recently agreed to establish a maritime link between the ports of Yemen and Syria to boost bilateral trade.

Caravan to Palestine

Filed under: Diplomacy, Palestinians, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:15 am on Friday, December 1, 2006

SANA’A, Nov. 26(Saba)- The Yemeni aids caravan organized by Kana’an Association in Yemen paved Sunday its way to reach Palestine via land.
Head of the association, Yehya Saleh, stated to Sabanews that the caravan contains 85 tons of aids, such as electricity generators and
some amounts of milk, sugar, oils and basic foodstuff as well as some domestic requirements and medical equipments. (Read on …)

Head of TFG in Sanaa

Filed under: Diplomacy, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Somalia is a major throughfare for smuggling from Yemen into the Horn of Africa including deisel and weapons while many refugees fleeing the Islamic Courts have arrived in Yemen.

SANA’A, 11 Nov. (Saba) – Abdullah Yusuf Ahmad, the Somali President arrivedon Saturday morning in Sana’a to hold talks with President
Ali AbdullahSaleh over the current situation in Somalia.

“I will brief Yemeni political leadership on developments and the currentsituation in Somalia, ” the Somali leader stated to Saba upon his arrival. He said that he would also discuss efforts of Yemen in realizing reconciliation in Somalia and in bridging gaps between different Somali factions. He highlighted efforts of Yemen in maintaining security and stability in Somalia.

“We could not forget these efforts,” he said.

Somali Leader was welcomed by Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi,the Yemeni ambassador to Somalia Ahmad Omar and the Somali ambassador to Sana’a Abdul Salam Adam

China also discussed.

Yemen as mediator.

Ministry of Expatriate Affairs Springs into Action

Filed under: Diplomacy, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:28 am on Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Yemeni consul and embassy hinder German deportation of Yemeni asylum seekers, discovered by a wiretap. Yemeni officials recalled by Qirby for a chat.

almotamar.net – SANAA- Yemen foreign affairs and expatriates minister Dr Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said Monday his ministry summoned senior officials in Yemen embassy in Berlin in the wake of its receiving of complint from the German foreign ministry.

Dr. al-Qirbi said in a statement to almotamar.net the German foreign ministry asked the Yemeni embassy in Germany to deport Yemenis who had sought political asylum in Germany, claiming they are Somalis and have no travel documents and entered the Yemeni territories illegally. The minister added the embassy asked the German foreign ministry to prove that the persons were carrying the Yemeni nationality before their deportation, a stance the germans considered as hindrance of their work.

The minister added that that was the reason behind return of Mr. Ali al-Thawr, the Yemeni Consul in the city of Frankfurt and Mr. Mohammed al-Raeli, an official at the Yemeni embassy in Berlin.

The German magazine Der Spiegel mentioned that al-Thawr and al-Raeli left Germany after a german investigation confirmed they had hindered deportation of Around 100 of persons seeking the right to asylum in Germany after the rejection of their requests

The magazine indicated that the german authorities have eavesdropped telephone call of the Yemeni consulate in Frankfurt to obtain evidence against the two officials. The magazine added that a german government document accuses 29 countries, among them Egypt, China, Algeria, Cuba, Pakistan of hindering expulsion of their nationals by not providing them with valid identity documents.

Yemen Links: Vacation Edition

Filed under: Corruption, Diplomacy, Education, Proliferation, Saada War, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:15 am on Monday, August 14, 2006

Actually, the back from vacation edition:

Security denies banning Hezbollah flags, the Houthis can’t have them but everyone else can.

Teachers strike renews, as they link their minimal salaries to corruption in government offices and duplicity in oil sales.

SCER biased in favor of ruling party and impacted by external influences.

What were they expecting?
The US administration denounced the attitudes of president Ali Abdullah Saleh that support resistance in Lebanon, led by Hezbollah, and Palestinian resistance, led by Hamas, against Israel, Yemeni official source said.
The Emirate newspaper “Al-Bayan” quoted the source as saying that America informed Yemen its objection to statement of president Saleh in which he called for supporting the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance and “opening the door before Arab Mujahideen to fight with the resistance against Israel”.
The source said that Yemen refused US objections.
We clearly told the US administration that friendship and cooperation relations between Yemen and America on fighting terrorism do not contradict with Yemen’s national stances and that there a big difference between terror and resisting occupation,” al-Bayan quoted the official source.

Luqman out? That would be good news, yes, released.

Does the JMP want to win? That’s a good question.

GPC Parliamentarian resigns over corruption: “The environment and climate in which the GPC exercises its activities are controlled by particular individuals who don’t have any interest in the country. They prefer their personal interest to their party’s,” Al-Wajih added. “I’ve been a GPC member since 1985 – before reunification; nevertheless, I believe my resignation is the right decision, although it was late in coming.” More and then of course they call him stupid names: Whilst the GPC Assistant Secretary General, Sultan al-Barakani has played down the impact of the resignation, saying that membership in his party “is not a catholic marriage,” papers signed by unidentified GPC members were found Saturday in al-Wajeeh’s constituency in Hodeidah (178), accusing al-Wajeeh of being a “charlatan, a traitor, an agent, a communist, and an atheist.” The papers, which were dispersed near houses on Friday night by persons unknown, said that al-Wajeeh did not “deserve to be affiliated to the homeland or to the GPC, which accepts only honourable and honest people.” Public reactions to the resignation have largely been in favour of al-Wajeeh’s stand. “The response of the leadership of ruling GPC to the resignation of al-Wajeeh is stupid, and it shows clearly that corruption fights fairness,” said Dr. Abdullah al-Faqih, professor of political science at Sana’a University.

Yemen to manufacture 23 million bullets. huh?

Al-Jawf to boycott election over health issues. Playing the game instead of changing the game.

450 million YR transfered to PA, Saleh to donate one bil YR.

257,000 duplicate voter names refered to cout. Call Jimmeh.

Zindani’s newspaper burns.

Head of Local Council resigns.

Islah independent to stay in race, to enhance democracy no less.

Crime on the rise, but not nearly as pervasive as the West.

Second helicopter crash in a week.

Not speaking Arabic. WaPo: Nearly 30 percent of State Department employees based overseas in “language-designated positions” are failing to speak and write the local language well enough to meet required levels, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office…..Sixty percent of State Department personnel in Sanaa, Yemen, and 59 percent in Cairo do not meet language requirements, the report said.

Only 1250 more MW to go: Yemen and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) signed an agreement on Monday to fund the second phase of the by-gas electricity project in Marib governorate. Under the agreement, the fund would grant the project $100 million to tackle the problem of power shortage. (to produce 400 MW)

1 billion YR returned to treasury in 7 months from corruption cases.

Council of Revenge, Allow:

He then criticized the Council of the Higher Judiciary for suspending some of the members of the general prosecution. He described the procedures of the council and its actions as not transparent, and accused them of denying judges and members of the general prosecution who face the Higher Judiciary Council, the right to defend themselves.

He described the HJC as a council of revenge and not a council for the defense of judges and lawyers. The aim of the new Center for Judicial Independence is to track “the failures in the performance of the judicial authorities and to protect judges against violations by the very influential governmental authorities. The judicial bodies—since the unification of the country—have being ruled by military persons,” Allawo said.

He called for liberating the judicial bodies from the control of the police and security officers and added that the recent package of judicial reforms is flawed, the most important fault of which is that the Presidencies of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Forum and the Higher Judiciary Council are occupied by one person, thus centralizing authority in an unbalanced and partial manner.

Allawo, who is also the head of the legal circle of the Yemen Reform Party (Islah), he accused the HJC of being an affiliate, or subordinate of the presidency of the republic, because it holds its meetings in the presidential office. The head of the trustees of the new established center, Judge Taher Muhsin said, “The center is greatly needed at the time, which is witnessing many amendments to the law by the Higher Judicial Council.

He said that he hopes the new judicial authority would review or consider revising the role of the Judicial Forum to act as a syndicate that takes care of the rights of all judicial authorities and affiliates.

Well there’s my answer.

Education office employee absconds with teachers’ salaries.

 

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