Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Good luck to Yemeni President Hadi!

Filed under: Donors, UN, Investment, Pres Hadi, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:47 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

President Hadi arrived today in the UK, its his first stop due to the two nations’ long historic ties. The Yemeni interim president is facing monumental challenges and hopefully the trip will garner real support for a civil state in Yemen and cement a self-development strategy beneficial to all Yemenis.

SANAA, Sept. 22 — Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will head to the United States next week, as the first trip to the U.S. since taking power in February, a Yemeni government official said on Saturday. (Read on …)

Amnesty to UN: Yemen must end human rights violations

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, reports — by Jane Novak at 9:08 am on Sunday, September 16, 2012

24 August 2012
AI Index: MDE 31/011/2012
Yemen can no longer delay taking concrete steps to improve its human rights situation

Written statement to the 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council (10-28 September 2012)
Yemen is at a critical juncture: it either brings an end to the human rights violations that have
persisted in recent years, or it risks further instability that could lead to even further
deterioration of the human rights situation in the country. (Read on …)

Saudis give 2.2 bill in oil products to Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Oil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:43 am on Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Saleh’s partner Tawfiq Abdel Rahman still the sole distributor of oil products in Yemen?

Saudis give $2.2 billion in oil products to Yemen at donor conference
Tuesday 04 September 2012 162012000000Tue, 04 Sep 2012 16:12:24 +0300 04 PM / 26 September Net

Saudi Arabia has provided Yemen with fuel and other oil products valued at $2.2 billion to relief its domestic demand, deputy minister for external financial affairs said at donors’ conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. (Read on …)

2012 Donors Conference on Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saudi Arabia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 12:19 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just saving some references:
Yemen Post

Donor countries and organizations pledged to provide $6.4 billion in aid to Yemen during the transitional period 2012-2014, the Yemeni official agency Saba reported on Tuesday.
Other countries and organizations said they will announce their pledges the Friends of Yemen meeting which will be held on September 27 in New York, the agency said.
Yemen is undergoing the two-year transitional period under the power-transfer deal which was brokered by the GCC countries and backed by the West after the 2011 turmoil.
It is seeking about $11 billion to bridge the financial gap based on the transitional program for stabilization and development 2012-2014 as the country is reeling from the unrest that has deepened its woes.
In May, Friends of Yemen held a meeting in Riyadh and pledged $4.24 billion in aid to Yemen but that will be officially given in the New York meeting later this month.
Prime Minister, Muhammad Salim Basindwa, said the Yemeni government will take special measures to use the external aid including the establishment of an international fund to channel and oversee the spending aid on investments and development.
On the margins of the conference, Yemen and Saudi Arabia signed three accords including one under which the Saudi Fund for Development will deposit $1 billion in the Central Bank of Yemen to stabilize the national currency and help the government cope with economic challenges.
The two other agreements were for giving $26 million from the Saudi kingdom, $20 million to help Yemen build a 60-megawatts power plant in Taiz province and $6 million as contribution to the Yemeni health sector.
At a news conference after the first day of the 4-5 September conference, Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said the pledges should be released soon to help the country overcome all challenges at the moment, according to Saba.

al Sahwa

A Yemeni economist, Dr. Mohammad al-Afandi, has expected that the Yemeni government will succeed in absorbing donor’s financial pledges to be provided to Yemen during the donor meeting held on Tuesday in Riyadh.

He affirmed that the government has good program, pointing out that aids presented to Yemen will help implement the political settlement.

He warned that the delay of supporting Yemen will lead to worsening economic problems and impediment of the settlement.

Saudi Arabia had pledged US$3.25bn in aid at a meeting of Friends of Yemen held in Riyadh in May during which a total of $4bn were pledged.

Yemen’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister, Mohammed Al Saadi, said last week that his country needs $11bn in foreign aid.

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 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

HRW documents Yemen’s Saleh’s crimes in Taiz including shooting ambulances, denial of medical care to civilians, while Saleh in US receiving medical treatment

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Medical, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The denial of medical care is one method of collective punishment indicative of the Saleh regime and was prevalent and well enforced during the Saada War. going back to 2005. How much urgent and necessary medical care Saleh is getting in the Ritz Carlton is questionable.

Yemen: Unlawful Attacks, Denial of Medical Care in Taizz
US, EU, Gulf Should Reject Immunity for Saleh, Aides

(New York, February 8, 2012) – Yemeni security forces stormed and shelled hospitals, evicted patients at gunpoint, and beat medics during an assault on Yemen’s protest movement that killed at least 120 people in the flashpoint city of Taizz last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is in the United States receiving medical treatment, received amnesty in Yemen for such attacks.

In the 75-page report, “‘No Safe Places’: Yemen’s Crackdown on Protests in Taizz,” Human Rights Watch called on the United States, the European Union, and Persian Gulf states to publicly acknowledge that the domestic immunity granted Saleh and his aides last month has no legal effect outside Yemen.

“President Saleh’s forces killed and wounded hundreds of civilians, evicted hospital patients, and blocked war wounded from reaching care,” said Letta Tayler, Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Saleh is entitled to medical treatment, but he and his aides have no right to immunity from prosecution for international crimes.”

When Yemenis took to the streets in January 2011 to demand an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule, Taizz, 250 kilometers south of the capital, Sanaa, became a center of both peaceful and armed resistance – and the scene of numerous human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war. “No Safe Places” is based on more than 170 interviews with protesters, doctors, human rights defenders, and other witnesses to attacks in Taizz by state security forces and pro-Saleh gangs from February to December 2011.
(Read on …)

One year later, UN, GCC, EU & US writes the Yemeni people

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Transition, USA, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 10:04 am on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yemen Post: We the Ambassadors of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU), wish to reiterate to the people of Yemen our full commitment to the political transition process taking place on the basis of the November 2011 GCC Agreement and in the framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2014 (2011). The 21 February Interim Presidential Elections are an important step. We call upon all the political parties, military authorities, tribal and regional leaders, youth and non-governmental civil society actors to work together to ensure that the elections are as inclusive as possible and take place without violence and in a constructive spirit of cooperation.

We look to all parties to work for improved security conditions throughout the country, the protection of civilians and the national infrastructure such as pipelines and electricity supplies, respect for human rights, the release of all political detainees, justice for all those affected by the crisis of the last year, national reconciliation and a unified effort to address the growing humanitarian crisis.

We share the aspiration of Yemeni citizens who seek a more stable and prosperous Yemen and a government that provides all the services citizens can rightly expect. The next two years of continuing transition will be vital to achieve this. We stand ready to support in every way possible this process.

a) Kindly publish the GCC Agreement in full as signed in Arabic and English, no one has seen the full text of the controlling document.

b) The lack of security, stability or services may have instigated the rev and the solution according to Yemenis is democracy. self-determination and an entire regime change. No one is seeking a better dictatorship except the UN.

c) Reiterate is the wrong word as it implies there was any attempt to communicate directly with the Yemeni people previously, and there was not.

d) Lovely the way they lump civilians in with pipelines and infrastructure in the same sentence as items to be protected.

e) Seeking justice for those harmed over the last year will not bring stability, Saleh’s victims prior to 2011 are substantially aggrieved. What kind of justice can the victims in 2011 expect and why are the thousands of prior victims excluded from this justice?

f) What kind of transition is it if Saleh is coming back to vote, many in the GPC retain power and Ahmed is expected to run in two years? The unity government not only freezes out the protesters, Houthis and Southerners but also the GPC officials who had the decency to resign after the March massacre. We are left the same exact players who were in a political deadlock from 2006-2011, with the exception of a few sincere individuals trying to hold back the GPC counter-revolution.

Although the Yemeni Constitution requires two candidates, the UN dictated single candidate election is a foregone conclusion, and I don’t think anybody should waste their time and energy boycotting (although many groups are). The National Reconciliation Conference however is an opportunity for the excluded elements of the Yemeni public to bring forth their demands while the international community is paying attention. It may be a rare chance to force some changes. Most groups and individuals in Yemen already agree on 1) a proportional electoral system that will eventually undermine the larger parties and allow a more representative political process and 2) transparent budget and fair allocation of resources.

It may be wise for all groups to agree to start with these two (or any other) consensual demands and see if the process is actually going to work. The opening goals should be ones that benefit every Yemeni regardless of identity. But what I think is gong to happen is that they are all going to come to the table with a full list of divergent demands and conditions. For example, many southerners remain fully committed to an independent state (as an opening statement), despite the argument for unwinding things slowly or joining the unity government to ensure a fair allocation of aid and resources for now.

Like I said before, if the presidential “election” had a meaningful referendum attached to it, like lets say on the proportional system of elections, more people might vote because their votes would have meaning and give them a voice and a decision. The outcome of this single candidate “election” was determined by the UN last year. Its an absurd proposition that that the UN is seeking the legitimacy of the popular will on an decidedly undemocratic, unconstitutional and unpopular process. Yemenis are not cattle or children, and a strongly worded statement won’t make them behave in a manner convenient to the UN. The letter doesn’t even have a nice or respectful tone. But at the end of the day, the final end to the nightmare of Saleh’s reign will be a positive event, as long as its actually the end and not more propaganda.

Also maybe somebody should explain to the southerners that participation in the elections doesn’t mean acceptance of the unified state or negate their rights and claims but maybe its a step to present those claims and affirm those rights in the coming national reconciliation conference. There are plans for protests against the elections in the near future in certain locations.

Yemeni delegation meets ICC

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Post Saleh, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:06 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

-Press Release-

Yemeni delegation meets with the International Criminal Court’s Officials

(The Hague, 22/01/2012) On Friday, January 20, 2012, a delegation of representatives of the Yemeni civil society and International non-governmental Human Rights organizations led by Dr. Yasin Al Qubati, President of the Yemen Centre for Transitional Justice (YCTJ), and Mrs. Anna Kotzeva, Director of the Peace and Justice Initiative (PJI) based in The Hague, visited the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands, and met with officials from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), the Presidency and the Registry to discuss the way forward and the procedures for the ratification by Yemen of the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the ICC.

The delegation also informed the ICC officials of the recent developments in Yemen and pledged to submit a documented communication under article 15 of the Rome Statute to contain data on Crimes Against Humanity that have been committed against civilians at tens of Yemeni cities by the Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh regime’s Security Forces and Death Squads since the start of the Yemeni uprising in 11Februry 2011.

The delegation informed the OTP of more than 2000 cases of death and more than 14000 cases of injury, in addition to more than 1500 cases of forced disappearances and 3000 cases of arbitrary detention, most of them are documented. The delegation said that the Yemeni civil society organizations are visiting now different cities of Yemen to collect evidence and document crimes thus far to have taken place in Yemen since 11-02-2011, adding that there are significant indications of mass graves hidden in Yemen from 1978 up till now. These mass graves include particularly victims of Saadah’s six wars that took place between 2004 and 2010.

The delegation concluded their meeting with the ICC’s OTP by promising to work towards the signature and ratification by the new Yemeni elected government of the ICC’s Rome Statute to ensure that Yemen will accept the jurisdiction of the ICC to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.

The delegation’s visit was followed by a reception organised by the Peace and Justice Initiative in the Mercure Hotel in the Hague Centre. Around thirty diplomats and workers in International Tribunals and Courts attended the reception and listened to Dr. Al Qubati providing information documented by photos and videos about the escalation of the events in Yenen, with a focus on the victims affected by the crimes committed by the Yemeni regime and mass punishments of the communities in all the cities including depreviation from all general services like Electricity , water, gaz for huoses and fuel for operating all kinds of machiniries. to oppress the uprising. Dr. Al Qubati pressed for the international community to consider the Yemeni president Ali Abdallah Saleh and all the members of his family in the commendres of the army to have lost legitimacy and to refer Saleh and other representatives of his regime to the ICC.

Immunity law for Saleh passes the parliament

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Parliament, Presidency, War Crimes, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:36 am on Saturday, January 21, 2012

Its astounding that the GCC plan legitimizes the parliament, whose terms expired in 2009, to grant immunity to Saleh but doesn’t require those who have immunity to retire. The uncontested election is a waste of time and money as the international community undermined the concept of Yemenis right to self determination by ignoring their demands entirely. Its a veneer of democracy on a totally undemocratic process. The GCC plan also empowers the existing political parties and elites to a level beyond their credibility with the public.

SANA’A, Jan. 21 (Saba) – The parliament endorsed on Saturday a law granting president Ali Abdullah Saleh total immunity from legal and judicial prosecution.

This law also applies to the civil, military, and security officials, who were involved with the president in operations based on political motives rather than terrorist acts.

In addition, the parliament endorsed the recommendation for Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to be the consensual and sole candidate for the early presidential elections to be held on 21 February.

The adopted law was voted on in the presence of the government and all members of the parliament.

US State Department pushes for immunity for Saleh and thus al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:47 pm on Monday, January 9, 2012

Obama’s strategic blunder in Yemen may shield Al Qaeda from prosecution

A law passed by Yemen’s cabinet on Sunday provides blanket immunity to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and all those who served in his governments over the last 33 years. One unintended consequence may be to also immunize those al Qaeda operatives on the payroll of the Yemeni military and security services.

The law grants immunity to Saleh “and whoever worked with him in all the state’s civil, military and security apparatus and organizations during the period of his rule.” The US has pushed for the transition plan since May despite broad public rejection of the immunity clause.

Yemeni military commanders including those now in the opposition are thought be complicit in a range of terror attacks, in addition to a long standing pattern of facilitation of al Qaeda. Many al Qaeda operatives who draw a state salary would then be covered under the immunity deal.

As one example, former Interior Minister Hussain Arab issued an official travel permit to Abdel Rahman al Nashiri in 2000, covering the period of the USS Cole attack that killed 17 US service members. Not only would the law absolve Mr. Arab of any complicity in the al Qaeda attack, it may also absolve Mr. al Nashiri.

If Al Nashiri, who is currently scheduled for trial at Guantanamo Bay, can produce witnesses to the involvement of Yemeni government officials in the attack, the Obama administration will be placed in the uncomfortable position of having lobbied for immunity for the al Qaeda operatives who attacked a US war ship.

Similarly another Yemeni detainee with demonstrated foreknowledge of the 9/11 attack in New York had been employed by the Yemeni Political Security Organization prior to his capture in Egypt.

Yemeni officials have openly admitted to paying al Qaeda operatives’ salaries, purportedly as informants or to keep them out of trouble. Some of those currently partaking in the al Qaeda occupation of Abyan have been found with identity cards from the National Security.

Yemeni activists have long asserted that the state uses al Qaeda to attack its enemies and threaten the international community.

Al Qaeda targeted and killed several foreign nationals in Yemen since 2007 including aid workers from Germany, Britain and South Korea as well as tourists from Spain, South Korea and Belgium. Yemeni officials have stated that al Qaeda is able to obtain intelligence from the security services as a matter of corruption rather than ideology.

The law, which will be presented for parliament’s approval within coming days, also covers those government officials guilty of massive corruption and embezzlement, the primary cause of Yemen’s staggering illiteracy and malnutrition rates. Members of the presidential family are thought to have deposited millions abroad.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland termed the immunity clause useful if it encourages “the strongman to leave the stage.”

Hundreds of protesters have been killed by security forces, many by sniper shots to the head, since protests began in February 2011 demanding regime change. The killings continued unabated even after Saleh signed the power transfer deal in November.

Saleh supporters and security forces have attacked numerous journalists RSF reported since the departure plan was signed. Calling December 2011 “a particularly black month,” Reporters Without Borders firmly condemned the continuing violations and urged the international community to intercede.

Yemeni protesters largely reject the US backed transition plan because of the immunity clause. Protests calling for Saleh’s trial continue in nearly every governorate.

The UN Security Council endorsed the agreement, which was ironed out by UN envoy, Jamal Benomar. However, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, issued a statement last week asserting that the plan is illegal under international law,

“I have been closely following the events in Yemen, particularly the very contentious debate about an amnesty law to be presented to Parliament shortly,” the High Commissioner said.

“International law and the UN policy are clear on the matter: amnesties are not permissible if they prevent the prosecution of individuals who may be criminally responsible for international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and gross violations of human rights.”

Probable war crimes committed during the Saada war (2005-2010) include the “Scorched Earth” campaign during the sixth round of war, 2009-201o, when the Yemeni air force repeatedly bombed civilian villages, refugee camps, and infrastructure. Saudi air support was responsible for bombing a Yemeni hospital, which Saudi authorities called “a mistake” in conversations to US officials, according to a Wikileaks document. The deliberate denial of humanitarian aid and a pattern of mass nationwide arrests are also thought to have contravened international law.

Another pattern of systematic abuse with regard to southern protesters since 2007 is well documented.

The transition plan although forwarded by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the brain child of President Obama’s counter-terror adviser, John Brennan and US ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein.

The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that Mr. Brennan was “pissed” when it became apparent that President Saleh had orchestrated a hit on a political rival via US drone by feeding the US false intelligence.

The US drone strike in May 2010 killed the deputy governor of Marib , Jabir Shabwani. Observers questioned Mr. Brennan’s gullibility considering Saleh’s long and extensive history of duping the US on counter-terror issues.

Yemenis have held several protests calling for the expulsion of US Ambassador Feierstein after he disparaged a peaceful 170 mile march from Taiz to Sana’a, held to underscore public rejection of the amnesty deal.

Ambassador Feierstein said the marchers were trying to provoke chaos and thus not inherently peaceful. When state forces killed 11 marchers later in the day, Yemenis charged that the US had given the Saleh regime the green light to murder as well as provided the amnesty afterward.

Over several months, US diplomats have pushed hard for the immunity deal as a way to ease Saleh out of office; however Saleh has outplayed the US at every turn during the 11 month popular uprising. He shows no real intention of giving up power and continues to operate on the political scene through proxies within the unity government.

- Jane

Not to mention that they really have to give immunity to the corrupt opposition now as well or the immunized criminals will have an advantage.

Yemen Observer: The Yemeni cabinet has approved a draft law of amnesty that will give President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution. (Read on …)

The new improved Yemeni regime attacks the Life March

Filed under: Dhamar, Donors, UN, Ibb, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, War Crimes, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:38 am on Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thousands of bare foot, bare chested Yemeni youth terrify the barbaric Sana’a regime and the international community with their bleeding feet: Livestream.

The Life March from Taiz was attacked by Central Security forces in Sanaa with live fire and tear gas. Nine wounded marchers were transported to the field hospital in Sana’a Change Square. One fatality has been reported, Abeer AlFaten, murdered for walking. As is standard practice for a decade, security forces are preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded pedestrians. NYR

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. By re-branding the Sana’a dictatorship and shoving down the citizenry’s throat. the UN, US, EU and SA are publicly treating the entire Yemeni population like petulant children who don’t know what good for them.

The UN SC statement fails to acknowledge, much less take into account, the demand for political empowerment by both the revolutionaries and the southerners. Ironically, while the international community seeks to secure its own goals, these nations are in fact damaging their own mid-term security and national interests, at a time of opportunity, in facilitating the continued imprisonment of a millions determined for freedom.

From my article: The Obama administration’s insistence in retaining elements of the Saleh administration and security forces has thwarted the regime change demanded by millions and allowed al Qaeda to flourish in southern towns. Although US counter-terror efforts have had more latitude to operate since protests began, the Saleh regime and al Qaeda have long had a symbiotic relationship.

Read Noon’s article at Global Voices here: “These GCC states are not at all competent to deal with popular requests for liberty and freedom, not to mention democratic government, because they themselves are mostly despotic regimes,” observed Yemen’s Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC). “They themselves would never welcome such requests from their own people, let alone be ready to accommodate such demands by people in neighboring states.”

UN Security council press statement on Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 4:28 pm on Friday, December 23, 2011

from the UN press office

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION IN YEMEN
22 December 2011
On 21 December, the members of the Security Council heard a briefing on the situation in Yemen from the United Nations Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress that had been made on implementing the political transition, on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, as well as the implementation mechanism, which is resulting in a peaceful transition of power, as called for in Security Council resolution 2014 (2011). They welcomed the formation of the Government of National Unity.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their call that the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and implementation mechanism must be implemented in a transparent and timely manner, and in a spirit of inclusion and reconciliation. They noted the Security Council’s support for Yemen in its efforts to reach key milestones in the implementation plan, and expected the parties to continue to honour the timetable set out in the agreement, including the presidential elections on 21 February, the national dialogue, the constitutional review and the programme of reforms to tackle the profound security, humanitarian, and economic challenges that Yemen faces.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to the territorial integrity and unity of Yemen. They urged all the parties to reject violence, refrain from any further provocations and to fully implement Security Council resolution 2014 (2011). The members of the Security Council reiterated that all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable. The members of the Security Council emphasized the need for unimpeded humanitarian access to address the growing crisis. The members of the Security Council also called on all the Yemeni parties to work with the increasing support of the United Nations, international community and the GCC countries, immediately towards achieving peace, stability and reconciliation, as well as alleviating tholitical and humanitarian situation in Yemen and the implementation of Security Council resolution 2014 (2011). They looked forward to further timely updates on the situation, including on the status of the implementation of the political transie humanitarian and economic situation in Yemen.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the efforts of the good offices of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar. They reaffirmed their intention to continue to actively monitor the security, ption agreements.

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 …)

AI: Withdraw immunity clause from GCC agreement

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Transition — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Also if I might add, what they want is an empowered PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM not a new consensus president.

AI: YEMEN: NO IMMUNITY FOR SERIOUS VIOLATIONS UNDER PRESIDENT SALEH

17 October 2011 The international community must send a clear message that those responsible for extrajudicial executions, torture and enforced disappearances in Yemen will be brought to justice as part of any transition agreement, Amnesty International said today after at least 15 more people were reported killed by the security forces in the capital Sana’a since Saturday.

A power-transfer deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appears to offer blanket immunity to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and some of those serving under him, and could prevent criminal investigations and prosecutions for hundreds of protester deaths in recent months, as well as a string of serious human rights violations in the past. (Read on …)

Draft UNSC resolution on Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Presidency, Transition, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:07 am on Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lets hope it has more impact than 1994’s UN SC resolutions 928 and 931 which Saleh totally ignored to the great detriment of Yemen and unity.

111007:1600
Draft SCR on Yemen
The Security Council,
Expressing grave concern at the situation in Yemen,
Recalling its Press Statements of 25 September, 9 August and 23 June,
Welcoming the Secretary-General’s statement of 23 September urging all sides to engage in a constructive manner to achieve a peaceful resolution to the current crisis,
Welcoming the engagement of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Secretary-General’s Good Offices,

Welcoming the Human Rights Council Resolution on Yemenduring the 18th Session,
Welcoming the statement by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council on 24 September which called for the immediate signing by President Saleh and implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, condemned the use of force against unarmed demonstrators and called for restraint and a commitment to a full and immediate ceasefire and the formation of a commission to investigate the events that led to the killing of innocent Yemeni people, (Read on …)

Half million IDPs in Yemen; 1/3 kids malnourished, health services nearly non-existant

Filed under: Abyan, Children, Donors, UN, Economic, Refugees, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IDP’s in Yemen exceed a half million: 300K Saada, 100K Abyan, 200K (at least) Somalis; one doctor per 100K in some areas, one third of children malnourished, education on hold, humanitarian access denied and the whole UN relief project is underfunded by 40%:

Raxanreeb: U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said millions of people in Yemen face “a daily struggle for survival” due to conflict, poverty, drought, soaring food prices and collapsing state services. (Read on …)

EU conclusions on Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Monday, October 10, 2011

Ceasefire, Hadi and GCC plan, urgent need for access to distribute aid, investigation:

Consilium Euorpe, PDF:

Council conclusions on Yemen
3117th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting
Luxembourg, 10 October 2011 (Read on …)

Ali Mohsen says Bin Shamlan won the 2006 presidential election, results were rigged

Filed under: Donors, UN, Elections, Presidency, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 10:30 am on Monday, October 10, 2011

There was a lot of popular support for Bin Shamlan, but I have no idea if this is true. Even the level of violations documented by the EU observers made their declaration of a “mostly free and fair” election a farce.

Mohsen also says that Muhammed Sudam was kidnapped not as a reporter but as Saleh’s translator, in order to press for the release of 400 kidnapped by the National Security; although this was the way things were done for decades, and it may be the only thing Saleh understands, its not what should be done, at all.

Mareb Press : NYR | MasdarOnline | Major General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, commander of the First Armored Division and commander of the North-West military said that President Saleh did not win the 2006 elections.

Major General Ali Mohsen revealed during a meeting on Monday with reporters in Sana’a that Saleh threatened “to use aircrafts and tanks to prevent Faisal Bin Shamlan from entering the Presidential Palace” adding “I was part of all of Saleh’s election campaighns and I was surprised when he told me that the computer made a mistake and showed Bin Shamlan’s win, and then the computer was checked and Saleh was declared to be the winner.” (Read on …)

Yemen Youth Revolution urges UN to take seven steps

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 6:33 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Yemeni Youth Popular Revolution urges United Nations to take seven steps

Change Square, Sana’a Yemen, October 4, 2011—The Organizing Committee of the Yemeni Youth Popular Revolution issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations today. The letter outlining seven actions the protesters in Yemen’s nine month revolution is below: (Read on …)

Call Saleh’s collective punishment in Yemen a crime: letter to UN

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 12:21 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mr. / Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the UN

Subject: Crimes by the regime of Ali Saleh against the Yemeni people and youth of the peaceful revolution

To: Members of the UN and the Human Rights Council.

We the Yemeni People ask you to consider the crimes of Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family and his followers imposed on Yemenis as collective punishment. They deprived Yemenis of electricity and cut off roads and prevent people from moving between provinces and cities . Many people have been killed due to the electricity cuts, including those requiring dialysis and other medical patients. Most of hospitals have been forced to stop working due to the lack of electricity and the lack of diesel to operate their generators. The Yemeni government fails to provide any solutions to fix the power and hides information about the reasons behind the electricity blackouts.

The opposition parties and tribal leaders deny any involvement in cutting the electricity and share in the demands of the Yemeni people for a thorough investigation about the reasons behind these cuts.

Saleh and his relative oversee the violence that has killed youth protestors and destroyed the homes of civilians in cities and rural areas, along with other civilian infrastructure. The Sana’a regime abducted young activists, and threatens citizens with more violent crimes using the false legitimacy of a fatwa issued by the pro-regime scholars (ulmas)

As a human beings, we call the world, and we speak to you, in your position of responsibility, seeking your help and support in stopping such crimes, as for more than a week, electricity only comes for less than an hour.

We urge you to form a mission to conduct an international investigation to investigate about these and the many other crimes that violate the rights of Yemeni citizens and the international laws.

by activist Enas Ahmed on behalf of the Yemeni People

UN envoy announces dead end in Yemen talks

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:30 am on Saturday, October 1, 2011

translation via NYR | MasdarOnline | Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations said that the political process seeking to resolve the crisis in Yemen reached a “dead end” but he expressed optimism that Yemenis will find out a solution that guarantee entry in the transitional stage and transfer of power in the country. (Read on …)

UN HRC betrays Yemeni people: Human Rights Watch

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 5:07 pm on Friday, September 30, 2011

UN Human Rights Council: Yemen Resolution Falls Far Short
Creation of Expert on Accountability a Step Forward

(Geneva, October 1, 2011) – The United Nations Human Rights Council’s weak response to the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Yemen betrays the Yemeni people, Human Rights Watch said today. The Council, whose current session ended on September 30, 2011, adopted a resolution on Yemen that fails to push for either an international investigation into recent abuses or an ongoing human rights monitoring presence in the country.

The tepid resolution reflected efforts to secure Yemen’s support for the measure, and concerns that a “non-consensual” text would not garner a majority vote in the Council, Human Rights Watch said. (Read on …)

General Nuba of the Southern Mobility calls UN envoy to visit the south

Filed under: Donors, UN, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:33 pm on Friday, September 30, 2011

Google translated, the original Arabic below, he says any representatives that UN envoy Jamal bin Omar met in Sanaa or in Cairo or YSP members do not represent the southern movement and he should come to the south to see the situation on the ground and talk to the leaders of the southern movement if he wants to actually solve “the Yemen crisis.”

We read through the media of the activities and meetings of the Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Jamal Bin Omar on assistance in solving the so-called crisis of Yemen According to the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

However, we believe that the Gulf initiative did not touch the essence of the so-called Yemen problem, a crisis in the occupation of the south 7-7-1994, which came because of all the These consequences, which means that Astmraha a threat to peace in the region And the whole world because of the important strategic site for the South. (Read on …)

UN Human Rights Council signs death warrant for Yemeni protesters, will discuss again in 2012

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 12:54 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2011

The UN Human Rights Commission adopted Yemen’s proposed statement on the violence in Yemen and then asked it to investigate itself, will check back in next year.

President Saleh is going to start bombing cities tomorrow with this weak willed international sanction that doesn’t even name the murderers. What cowards.

I guess naming state security forces as the guilty party would highlight the complicity of the US trained Counter Terror Units and undoubtedly the culpability of their US allied and funded commanders (Saleh’s relatives) in numerous massacres. They have slaughtered nearly 1000 protesters in Yemen and over 10,000 are wounded.

Either Obama officials have no clue about what is actually going on in Yemen, or they think the opposition may become more subverted by al Qaeda than the existing regime. But that’s a theoretical calculation that entirely discounts the millions calling for regime change and a civil (non-military, non-theocratic) government. The undeniable reality is that the Sanaa regime is currently paying al Qaeda and used them to target opponents for two decades.

Its a total disaster and the blow back is going to be a bitch. Its a terrifying situation in that the dictator Saleh is a bloodthirsty lunatic who values nothing beyond staying in power and stealing money. And he’s just been given the green light by the entire world to open fire on unarmed protesters in order to accomplish his goals.

Source: AFP, The UN Human Rights Council Thursday slammed violations in Yemen but did not say if they were committed by troops loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh or rival tribesmen and renegade troops.

The resolution, proposed by Yemen itself and adopted by consensus, asked the office of the UN rights chief Navi Pillay to present a progress report on the situation in the country during the next sitting of the council in 2012.

It also noted the Yemeni authorities’ pledge to launch ‘transparent and independent investigations, which will adhere to international standards’ on the alleged abuses. (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.”

French skipper killed off Yemen’s coast

Filed under: Donors, UN, Other Countries, pirates — by Jane Novak at 10:59 am on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Its really sad. The kidnapping of the three French aid workers, the dust up with the French ambassador and other incidents, after France expressed support for the revolution, is reminiscent of the two pedestrian suicide attacks on the British ambassador’s convoy after the UK made statements about the uprising in the south. An insider says the attack on the US Embassy was conceived by the security forces. While this all may seem a stretch for those who think it is a normal government, the Saleh regime’s utter lack of morality and rationality does not preclude the deployment of Islamic extremists as a extension of foreign policy as it is already an extension of domestic policy, for example deploying al Qaeda during the Saada War against the Houthis and residents.

Maritime Security Asia: [NMS: It seems that the mystery surrounding the whereabouts and status of the French yacht has been solved, sadly with a tragic outcome, with EU NAVFOR playing a key role in the interdiction of the attackers and rescue of the remaining crew. There are still rumours of another French yacht going missing at around the same time, although these have yet to be completely confirmed and have been denied by Yemeni authorities. The story illustrates the confusion that can result with pirate attack reports as well as illustrating the desperate measures some pirate gangs are resorting to.]

MARSEILLE – Pirates who attacked a yacht in the Gulf of Aden killed its French skipper before abandoning it, a close to the family said Sunday, the day after the dead man’s wife was found unharmed.

Christian and Evelyne Colombo’s family was informed overnight that the 55-year-old was killed during the attack and his body thrown overboard before their catamaran was found abandoned on Thursday, the same said.

A German warship found the couple’s catamaran, the Tribal Kat, adrift in waters off Yemen on Thursday after it broadcast a mayday appeal for help.

There were signs of struggle, including bullet holes and blood stains, and no one was on board, prompting commanders from the EU’s anti-piracy naval task force Atalanta to launch an air and sea search for the attackers.

Yemen gov’t guilty of collective punishment, disporportionate force and other human rights abuses: UN

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, protest statements, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:44 am on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Every transgression contained in the report is a habitual tactic of the Yemeni government and has been used in Saada War from 2004-2010, against the southern movement (2007-2010) and other communities and individuals in Yemen including: denial of medical services (including bombing hospitals), shooting ambulances, random fire into crowds, bombing residential areas, denial of international aid and access, bombing mosques and schools, arbitrary detention, incommunicado detention, horrific torture and the targeting of journalists and activists by thugs and security officers.

The UN is calling for an impartial investigation; however the UN has dropped the ball time and time again by failing to publicize and follow up slaughters committed prior to the outbreak of the revolution. For example, the Yemeni air force bombed a group of Saada War refugees,mostly women and children, on an open field, killing 83 in August 2009. The UN issued a similar call for an investigation and that was the end of it. Despite the fact that Yemeni security forces were shooting unarmed southern protesters week after week, and arbitrarily imprisoned thousands, the US deemed it an internal affair. Likewise the shelling and blockade of Dhalie was only broken by a peace convoy from Taiz, amid the staggering silence from the US embassy. There was enough evidence to bring Saleh to a war crimes trial in 2009.

Through two terms the Bush administration over looked these vast and continual human rights abuses, and Obama continued the failed policy of subordinating HR to CT. Yet the CT product was never there. The current re-branding of Saleh as a good partner on CT and John Brennan’s statement that “cooperation has never been better,” is overt duplicity in light of Yemen’s revolving door policy for al Qaeda (escapes, releases, rehabilitation and bogus trials and all the “hunting”) that is and has been coupled with a strenuous disinformation campaign.

Maybe the French will be the first to use the term “false flag attack” or “state jihaddists.”

Yemen: Urgent need to address dire humanitarian and human rights situation – UN human rights report

GENEVA – A report published Tuesday by a UN human rights assessment mission to Yemen calls for immediate action to protect civilians, respect the right to peaceful demonstration and to address the “deteriorating humanitarian situation” in the country.

The report by the UN human rights office also stresses the need for “international, independent and impartial investigations” into allegations of human rights abuses related to the peaceful protest movement in Yemen since the beginning of this year.

A delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Aden, Sana’a and Ta’izz between 28 June and 6 July this year. The team met many key officials, including the Vice-President, leaders of political parties and members of Parliament as well as NGO representatives, lawyers, journalists, doctors, human rights defenders, victims of violations and their relatives.

“The Mission observed an overall situation where many Yemenis peacefully calling for greater freedoms, an end to corruption and respect for rule of law were met with excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by the state,” the report states. “Hundreds have been killed and thousands have suffered injuries including loss of limbs.”

The assessment team witnessed the deployment of tanks in Ta’izz and shelling of the city at night. It also observed signs of collective punishment, causing severe hardship to the civilian population, including disruption of access to electricity, fuel and water. (Read on …)

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 …)

Yemeni Youth’s Appeal to the International Community to Support Their Legitimate Aspirations for Change and to Prevent the Country From Sliding into a Civil War

Filed under: Donors, UN, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 9:28 am on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yemeni Youth’s Appeal to the International Community to Support Their Legitimate Aspirations for Change and to Prevent the Country From Sliding into a Civil War

We, the Youth of the Peaceful Revolution in Yemen, call on the international community to take immediate, strong and concrete actions to support the people of Yemen’s struggle and aspiration for a free, democratic, vibrant and united Yemen. Today, it has become clear to our people and the international community at large that this can only be achieved by bringing an end to three decades of ruling by a corrupt and repressive regime led by Mr. Saleh, his family and close associates and by building representative democratic institutions that put the interest of the citizens ahead and above the interest of individuals, tribes, or political parties. It is in the interest of regional powers and the international community that our people succeed in achieving these objectives. Only a democratic Yemen can be a trustable partner to ensure regional stability and contribute to global alliances against extremism. (Read on …)

Shipload of weapons to al Shabab, Somali from Yemen’s AQAP or Yemen’s Fares Manna?

Filed under: Donors, UN, Proliferation, Somalia, TI: External, Yemen, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The shipment of weapons is par for the course. Yemeni weapons shipments to Somalia are a leading cause of its instability and have been ongoing for years. The last shipment doesn’t necessarily show that AQAP and al Shabab are linked up in a new level of coordination; what it likely shows is that UN sanctioned weapons dealer Fares Manna is back in business. Its a very complicated relationship, check my category “Proliferation” or search “Fares Manna” for the chapter of the story about the shipload of Chinese weapons brought into Yemen with forged documents from the Defense Ministry. See Evaluating relations between Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda for a review of the rhetorical and physical support between al Shabab and AQAP, including the arrest of Warsame. For earlier, see the 2006 arrest of eight westerners in Yemen (all later released) who were smuggling weapons to the fanatics in Somalia and the connection of Awlaki to those persons, who are hopefully all under the microscope now. Rahm’s report below seems to be from Sun Times: U.S intercepts ship suspected of carrying weapons for Al-Shabaab

Terror Free Somalia: The U.S Navy has intercepted a Somalia bound Yemeni cargo ship carrying weapons suspected to be for Somalia’s Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militia.Somalia consulate in Yemen said the cargo ship en route from Yemen to Somalia coastline ended up in the hands of U.S Navy at the Gulf of Aden.The Somali consul Hussein Hajji Ahmed said U.S navy opened fire on the ship after the ship captain defied Navy orders to stop the vessel but later surrender to the United States navy.

He added that the ship is suspected of carrying military supplies for the Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia, a clear indication that Yemeni Al-Qaeda supports the militia in terms of weaponry.Ahmed said investigations into the issue are currently underway.He urged the Somali government to boost security along the country’s coastlines and seek supports from the neighbouring countries in making sure that no arms are illegally smuggled into the country through the coastal areas.The U.S has recently received critical information suggesting that Yemeni based Al-Qaeda network provides weapons and other military necessities to Somalia’s Al-Shabaab insurgents fighting the Somali government.

Yemen President’s son kills 17 women and children in Arhab; Russian media calls them “al Qaeda”

Filed under: Air strike, Donors, UN, Military, Protest Fatalities, Russia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Video: Yemeni children in Arhab run for the caves as the bombing starts

Yemen owes Russia hundreds of millions for the same MIGs the regime is using to murder its own citizens. Russia is Yemen’s single largest bi-lateral creditor due to huge weapons purchases; the state is thought to have at least 18 MIGs in inventory. Russia along with China opposes regime change in Yemen and thwarted strong statements in the UN Security Council. Russia is also playing the al Qaeda card, saying the protests are hampering the regime from battling the fanatics.

The Russian article is titled Yemen fights with Al Qaeda: In the early hours of Tuesday, Yemeni forces had a fight with Al Qaeda militants in the region of Arhab in the country’s northeast. Over 20 militants were killed…Yemen’s authorities would have probably fought with Al Qaeda in their country more successfully, if not for the unstable political situation.

CNN: Fighting has been virtually nonstop for the past two months in the Arhab district, 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) northeast of Sanaa, after tribal leaders went against the government claiming that it killed four tribal members in an effort to create unrest in the district.

In the most recent bloodshed on Tuesday, witnesses said civilians comprised most of the dead from air attacks by the Republican Guard. At least 17 of the dead were children and women, they said, while only nine tribal fighters were among the killed.

At least a dozen fighters were injured, witnesses said. At least 45 tanks and armored vehicles were seen entering Arhab villages during early morning Tuesday, tribal leaders in the area said.

There’s a vid on FB that I am trying to get on Youtube of little children running from the bombing to nearby caves. Obviously some didn’t make it.

UN fails to issue war crimes indictment for Saleh, issues statement about Al Qaeda

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA, Yemen, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 6:55 pm on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Unbelievable!! UN Envoy Jamal Benomar was in Yemen twice, for weeks, supposedly to conduct an investigation. He issued his report today, and apparently failed to recommend a war crimes trial for Saleh or even freezing his assets. Instead the UN SC issues a statement deploring the humanitarian situation and expressing concerns about al Qaeda. One of the opposition politicians called Benomar “Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN,” and I see why.

“All parties” cannot form “an inclusive government,” because Saleh and his regime have been excluded by the Yemeni people, who have a right to determine their own government. “Saleh’s followers” are his western-armed family and paid operatives. Saleh and his family are the problem and not part of the solution. The UN SC supports the GCC plan which is never going to happen without the consent of the governed, and they don’t consent. And after Saleh rejected it three times, the US, UN, UK are just looking foolish for acting as if there’s some shred of credibility to anything Saleh says. There’s not and has never been. What a total failure international efforts have been; well if their goal is slowing and delaying the transition then I guess they’ve worked as planned so far.

Al-Qaeda threat in Yemen: UN


August 10, 2011 –
: The UN Security Council says al-Qaeda could exploit the power vacuum in Yemen to gain an even greater foothold in the country.

The 15-nation council urged followers of ailing president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition to quickly settle Yemen’s fate because of the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the country.

The UN body gave strong support to efforts by the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to end the Yemen crisis. (Read on …)

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.

Yemen’s opposition parties demand international investigation of protester deaths

Filed under: Donors, UN, JMP, Post Saleh, Protest Fatalities, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 12:52 pm on Sunday, August 7, 2011

There are a lot of murders that require an international investigation, many occurred before the rev, but any international investigation of the crimes of the Saleh regime would be a good step.

Sahwa Net- Alliance of Yemen opposition, the Joint Meeting Parties, has demanded to carry out an international probe on all mass murder atrocities in which hundreds of peaceful protestors were killed and wounded in Sana’a, Taiz and other governorates.

In a statement, JMP also demanded to investigate into the incident in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides were injured in a presidential palace attack and transferred to Saudi Arabia for treatment, pointing out that the Yemeni regime tries to blackmail opposition parties and other political opponents through accusing them of the incident.

In a statement, JMP said that the Yemeni regime still launches its war against Yemenis, kills peaceful protesters in Sana’a, Taiz , and other governorates.

China continues to shill for Saleh

Filed under: China, Donors, UN, Post Saleh, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:39 am on Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just reprint Yemeni government propaganda why doncha? China was a main impediment to the UN SC resolution and one reason for its weakness. More below the fold on an upcoming report by Jamal Benomar, the UN”s Special Advisor on Yemen.


Yemen not in power vacuum as President Saleh in Riyadh for treatment: minister

English.news.cn 2011-08-05

SANAA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) — The Yemeni Minister of Legal Affairs Rashad al-Rassas said on Friday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in Saudi Arabia for treatment and there will be no power vacuum in the country.

“The allegations circulated by the opposition that Saleh’s presidential term has constitutionally expired and the country is in power vacuum after Saleh has been treated abroad for two months are baseless and has no constitutional context,” al-Rassas was quoted by the official Saba news agency as saying. (Read on …)

Yemeni oppositionist calls for No-Fly Zone over Yemen after many atrocities

Filed under: Donors, UN, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Obama would have to un-friend Saleh first.

Related: My article at Examiner: Yemen’s counter-terror chief accused of atrocities. The reason for the uptick in tension, threats against the airport and the new tribal coalition was not only the bombing of villages (and Ahmed got quite good at that during Saada 6) but the murder of tribal prisoners and the mutilation of their bodies.

Advocates: Yemen regime committed 27 crimes against humanity

2/8/2011 – Sahwa Net- : Professor of international law at Sana’a University, Mohammad Noaman, has revealed that the Yemeni regime committed 27 crimes against humanity under the Statute of the International Criminal Court and all domestic and international laws. (Read on …)

Letter to Ban-ki Moon, thanks for the electricity, please move in

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, guest posts — by Jane Novak at 10:10 pm on Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Yemeni activist thanks the UN for sending an envoy. While it is a satirical note, the tribal Saleh regime employs collective punishment as a pressure point against its enemies on a regular basis.

Your Excellency, Mr. Ban-ki Moon,

In the name of the Yemeni people, we would like to express our appreciation to you in person for closely and regularly following up the situation in Yemen through visits made by the different UN missions. We are particularly grateful to the relatively long visits such as the one currently taking place by your envoy, and the one by the UN human rights mission earlier this month. These visits bring along significant improvement in the quality of the livelihoods of the average people. We suddenly have electricity for 12-15 hours per day ( instead of 2 hours only), the piles of garbage mounting for weeks in the different streets are cleaned up, the long lines of cars waiting for gas are cleared up (though the need left unfulfilled), and the gun fire in each city is silenced!

For that we are urging Your Excellency to give orders to your missions to remain longer if not forever! Of course, we would still be left with problems of gas availability, food prices rocketing to the sky complicating the malnutrition crisis in the country, and the rise of a hunger epidemic. In this regard, you may as well include us in the current Horn of Africa Crisis! Our “drought”, however, is not caused by an indirect intervention of man in nature, but rather a very direct and intentional one. The Saleh regime, intends to starve us in an attempt to have us give up our dream of freedom. They refuse to understand that we have chosen to live free or to die with our human dignity; the same dignity that UN charters and declarations have often spoken of. We shall compromise no more Sir, and we invite your envoys to come and witness that.

In peace (salam)

Yemen revolution update: still going strong

Filed under: Donors, UN, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 1:08 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Friday’s theme for the nationwide marches was “ An end to collective punishment” and millions in 17 provinces participated. Fuel, water and electricity have been essentially cut for some time, also hampering communications. (The Saleh regime cut off food, medicine and international aid to citizens in Saada and Bani Hushaish during the Saada War, so it is no surprise that he is punishing the country as a whole now that they all are in revolt.) However, the capital had 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity upon the arrival of the UN Special Envoy Jamal Omar. The Envoy met with the GPC, the JMP and Ali Mohsen, who still backs the GCC plan, in order to encourage dialog. Saleh et al will never agree to be overthrown. A coalition of protest groups is giving the transitional council another try after many refused the one announced by Tawwakol Karaman.

State violence is ongoing. Two civilians were killed and dozens wounded as Special Forces bombed Arhab with artillery. Counter-terror units have joined the fight against local tribesmen. The conflict began immediately after the Taiz massacre when tribesmen locked down the Republican Guard base near Nehm to prevent the security forces from deploying to the cities.

A child and her mother were killed in Taiz from random bombing by the Republican Guard among many other injuries.

10 killed Ten members of one family have been killed and five others wounded when Republican Guards, led by son of President Saleh, shelled a house in Bani al-Hareth in Sana’a on Monday, local sources told News Yemen.

The sources said that “Republican Guards camp in Bait Dahrah shelled Bani Jarmoz, killed Naji Dahrah, his wife, his two daughters and other members of his family. Local residents said that a number of houses in the area had been bombarded by the camp of the Republican Guards which clash with tribal gunmen.

According to residents the Republican Guards randomly attacked the villages of al-Boh, Shera, al-Wudiah, Zindan, Hataban and Ghola and other villages in Ahrab district with Katyusha rockets and tanks.

The brigades 63 and 61 of the Republican Guards also killed one citizen and injured 10 others early Monday. Republican Guards continue to shell neighborhoods in the city of Taiz and the areas of Arhab and Nihm in Sana’a for the second month.

The Joint Meeting Parties denounced the assassination attempt on Mohammad Al-Yadomi , holding the family of president Ali Abdullah Saleh responsible for the incident.

Paramount Sheikh of Saleh’s Hashid tribal confederation warns against attacks on protesters amid reports of state plans to attack: “We will not stand idly by toward any aggression against the peaceful protestors camped across 17 Yemeni governorates” (Sadiq) Al-Ahmar said in a statement.

AFP: Opposition spokesman Mohammed al-Sabri said the group, called the Alliance of Forces of the Revolution, would unify the demands of Yemen’s often scattered opposition to produce a stronger front…The alliance includes opposition parties, defected military units, media, and youth protesters who have camped out in Yemen’s public squares, al-Sabri said.

Republican Guard bombing Taiz and Arhab while UN mission in Sanaa: HR orgs

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:51 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

Statement by ITCHR and HOOD dated 7/4

Despite the presence of the United Nations Mission Taiz live nights terrifying artillery shelling

Civic organizations condemn the continuation of bombings in the province of Taiz and demands quickly stop the cycle of violence and terror daily (Read on …)

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 …)

Back to square one: Saleh calls for dialog, will leave after election

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, USA, Yemen, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:36 am on Monday, July 4, 2011

A new UN plan also calls for dialog. As NATO continues bombing Libya, and Turkey recognized the Libyan rebels as the legitimate authority, the international community continues to assert that Saleh retains legitimacy in Yemen, despite five months of protests and the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians. Saleh and the ruling GPC party do not have to agree to the revolution overthrowing them; its an absurd proposition. The months of international intervention, dialog, negotiation and getting played by Saleh over and over and over again have not brought about any positive outcome whatsoever but instead brought Yemen to the brink of a humanitarian crisis and thwarted the inevitable transition.

The US, UN, EU should all immediately endorse the protesters plan for an interim ruling council that was first proposed in February.

Yemeni President Saleh calls for dialogue but keeps his grip on power Hakim Almasmari (Foreign Correspondent) Jul 2, 2011

SANA’A // The Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, wants a return to dialogue and not a transfer of power before elections, his vice president said, adding that the UN has begun working on a plan to move the process forward.

Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the acting president, said Mr Saleh would not step down from power until a new president is elected. Instead Mr Saleh has called for a return to dialogue, a move that appeared to send the Yemen’s political crisis back to square one.

“Saleh still has three million supporters in Yemen and that is why he remains Yemen’s president. Saleh is ready to conduct early elections to rid the country from more crises,” Mr Hadi said. (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 …)

Humanitarian crisis grows in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: bombing today in Jaar and al Habylean.

The Saleh regime’s overt strategy during the Saada War was to block food, diesel, medical supplies and international aid to Yemeni citizens in the war zones as a means of encouraging the population to turn against the rebels. While some believe those tactics are being employed currently, like deliberately cutting the electricity, even before the protests broke out, Yemen was already scheduled to run out of money by June. Many government workers have been unpaid for months, and that has little to do with the protests. However, the protests essentially have shut down businesses across Yemen, providing a further shock to a widely dysfunctional and crumbling economy that had been distorted for decades by grand corruption. More on the economics below the fold.

YOL Gian Carlo Cirri of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) says that “Yemen is undergoing its worst humanitarian crisis ever.” Cirri, who directs WFP’s Yemen mission, says “I cannot recall a time when hardship has been greater in recent Yemeni history.”

Food prices are skyrocketing in Yemen. WFP reports there has been “a 39 percent increase in the price of wheat over just five months.” (Read on …)

SEYAJ appeals for urgently needed aid for displaced people from Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Air strike, Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Lahj, Refugees, South Yemen, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:52 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

The humanitarian crisis is deepening and SEYAJ urges relief convoys to the starving people displaced to Aden and Lahj

An appeal call No(2) to save the people in Abyan

Issued by the Emergency Cell in Seyaj
Yemen- Sana’a- June 22nd -2011

The Emergency Cell in Seyaj organization for childhood protection calls to declare Abyan governorate as a disastrous area by all the standards.

Seyaj directs its second humanitarian appeal to all the Yemeni people to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to the victims in Abyan of the dirty security political game that displaced , killed and violated the lives, humanity and dignity of at least more than forty thousand families.

Moreover, Seyaj calls the Arabic, Islamic and international associations and humanitarian relief organizations to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to Abyan victims in Aden and Lahj governorates.

Seyaj also calls the acting president to take concrete actions to save the lives of his people and clan in Abyan.
Seyaj confirms that the areas of war against Al-Qaeda as called are free of country’s institutions that are capable of performing its duty to displaced people in Abyan, Aden and Lahj ,as the first responsibility lies on the Yemeni people in all its political& social activities, humanitarian organizations, religious men , youth , politicians and others of the society components. (Read on …)

HOOD calls for international orgs to remove dead bodies

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:09 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There’s photos. How can they call for the UN or Red Crescent to go get them when there’s continuing danger in those areas? Why aren’t they calling on the military or rebel forces or Hadi?

Hood for Defending Rights and Freedom Organization directs an urgent appeal to the Internation Humanitarian Relief Organizations working in Yemen to quickly remove the dead bodies that are lying on the side of the roads in Hasab area in the capital, Sana’a, that began to disintegrate without any formal or informal side transfering them. (Read on …)

Former ambassador Hull: time to bring Yemen to the UN SC

Filed under: Donors, UN, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:36 pm on Friday, June 3, 2011

Any kind of coherent multi-pronged approach from the US would be better than continually parroting pleas to accept the GCC offer–which the opposition and GCC have withdrawn their acceptance of, and the Yemeni protesters rejected from day one. This sounds about right:

Foreign Policy It is time to bring the U.N. Security Council into the picture, building on and supporting the efforts of the GCC and the Yemenis themselves. It should not lay a foundation for outside armed intervention as in Libya — that would be a disaster in mountainous, heavily armed Yemen — but rather chart a clearly nonviolent approach.

The pillars of that approach could be: a demand for Saleh to hand over power immediately to a caretaker government; targeted sanctions aimed at promoting further defections from the president’s power base and denying the president economic resources to sustain his rule; endorsement of early elections — Sept. 20, 2011, will mark five years since the last one — with international assistance in the significant effort required to prepare and monitor such elections; and early attention to Yemen’s burgeoning humanitarian needs, not as a substitute for a political settlement, but as a necessary support for one.

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 …)

Child soldiers in Yemen

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Demographics, Donors, UN, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:54 pm on Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beeb: The UN has added two groups in Yemen and two in Iraq to its annual list of those recruiting or abusing children during armed conflicts.

During Yemen’s recent civil war, as many as 15% of the pro-government militia and 20% of the Huthi rebels were made up of children, the UN says.

Even though that conflict was now over, nobody knew where the children were, said a UN special representative.

The annual report said children were involved in warfare in 22 countries.

“2010 proved another tragic year for children in conflicts all over the world,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict

HRW urges immunity offer to Saleh be revoked in light of continuing bloodbath

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:37 pm on Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gulf Cooperation Council: Revoke Immunity Promise to Saleh
At Least 21 Killings in Yemen Since May 7 by Security Forces, Plainclothes Gunmen

(New York, May 12, 2011) – Negotiators should immediately remove a promise of immunity from any resignation deal for President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen in light of repeated, lethal attacks by his security forces on peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. In the latest attacks, security forces, along with pro-government gunmen in civilian clothing, have shot dead at least 21 people since May 7, 2011 – at least 15 of them on May 11 and 12 – and wounded hundreds. (Read on …)

AI: Yemeni activist at risk as death toll mounts

Filed under: Civil Society, Donors, UN, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:17 am on Friday, April 22, 2011

Also the Yemen Post reports, “Head of the preparatory committee for national dialogue, Muhammad Salim BaSondwa, said he had received death threats from an unknown person. He told the News Yemen that a message had been sent to him via his cell phone that read: ”don’t believe the kids who are playing with your mind. No sheikh or a master will help you if we put you in the red list.”

And another from al Masdar: Received a colleague, the journalist Mohammed Abdu al-Absi threatened to telephone messages numbers 733000000, 736000000. وقال الزميل العبسي “إن الرقم الأول يعود لرجل الأعمال شاهر عبد الحق والأخر مسجل باسم نجله وائل عبد الحق، وإن التهديدات جاءت على خلفية إصداره بيان إدانة ونفي لإقحام أبناء منطقة الأعبوس في موضوع زيارة شاهر عبد الحق إلى ليبيا”. The colleague, al-Absi “The first number back to the businessman Shaher Abdul Haq and the other is registered in the name of his son, Wael Abdul Haq, The threats came on the back released a statement condemning the denial to involve living in a region Aloabbos on the subject visit Shaher Abdul Haq to Libya.”

Amnesty International has today urged the Yemeni authorities to ensure the safety of a prominent human rights activist after she was warned anonymously for allegedly passing information to the UN Security Council.

Amal Basha, chairperson of the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), received a telephone warning via her office this morning telling her not to leave her home and to take extra precautions. (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 …)

US, EU give Yemen’s Saleh 30 days to create a new crisis

Filed under: Donors, UN, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:51 pm on Saturday, April 16, 2011

Now, he should go now. Saleh will never keep his word or leave peacefully. A month is just enough time to cook up a major crisis like a seeming terror attack or something equally horrific.

Good: Ahmed, Yahya, Ammar and Ali Mohsen all to be exiled as well. Bad: Saleh names his successor and escapes his crimes. What about the financial accounting and returning the billions he stole? Can a head of state really be exempted from war crimes and crimes against humanity? If its even possible, its a decision for the Yemeni people not the GCC, which is itself comprised of corrupt, non-democratic states.

This article is from a few days ago. In the interim, the JMP’s representatives went to Saudia for talks with the GCC and returned without any progress. Some have indicated the protesters’ demand for Saleh’s immediate departure is unsophisticated and untenable, but it is exactly the remedy. Saleh doesn’t have to agree to go. He is in the process of being deposed; why does he have a platform to set his own terms? US efforts, GCC efforts and UN efforts produced zero from the ever deft Saleh a/k/a the King of Spin whose goal is to remain in power, keep his money and secure his relatives. This is the same guy who amply demonstrated his willingness to kill Yemeni citizens well before the Jasmine Revolution.

Yemen Post The U.S. and the EU have suggested a timeframe for Yemen’s President Saleh to transfer power to his deputy in 30 days in the light of a recent GCC proposal for tackling the Yemeni crisis, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday. (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 …)

Amnesty International: new report on Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:33 am on Thursday, April 7, 2011

“The Moment of Truth” covers the repression of the current protests, including random violence against demonstrators that left over 100 killed, and the lingering crimes that were never investigated including Saada and the south.

Report can be downloaded here: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE31/007/2011/en

Update: live from Tagheer in Sanaa: http://suhailtv.afkarvas.com/

US, China, Russia & the GCC

Filed under: China, Donors, UN, GCC, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update: Saleh refuses GCC initiative to mediate a peaceful exit, says its unconstitutional, this coming from a war criminal who hasn’t obeyed a law in…ever.

The GCC Saudi Initiative

1) President Saleh to announce to step down and transfer his powers to his deputy.

2) emphasis on ensuring safety and the lack of any prosecution of him and all his relatives and the Elements of the system.

3) to form a government of national unity to have the mission operation and running of the country for a limited period and to prepare for a referendum on the constitution and parliamentary and presidential elections and may also form committees as it deems necessary.

4) If this initiative to be approved by all parties then all are invited to Riyadh to sign it and begin its implementation immediately.

In the same context, the GCC sources said that the GCC mediation recognizes and understands the importance of the need to contain the aspirations of the initiative of all parties of Yemen, led by young people, which Saleh leave/Departure is their main demands.
(Read on …)

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 …)

HRW: Two Protesters Die in Sanaa, Aden

Filed under: Aden, Donors, UN, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Thursday, February 24, 2011

Police beat a student trying to bring medical supplies. Yemen government claims one death is of a pro-Saleh protesters but it is a bogus assertion, HRW.

Yemen: Two Protesters Die in Sanaa, Aden

(Sanaa, February 24, 2011) – A second protester died on February 23, 2011, from an attack by provocateurs on anti-government demonstrators at Sanaa University the night before, Human Rights Watch said today. Another protester died shortly after the Sanaa attack.

Demonstrators in Sanaa told Human Rights Watch that police had harassed them and other protesters near the university. At least three were detained for several hours, and one said a police officer beat him for trying to deliver medical supplies to the protest. (Read on …)

HRW urges “Yemen: Protect Protesters From Attacks by Armed Group”

Filed under: Donors, UN, Sana'a, Taiz, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yes please do. HRW has 12 confirmed deaths and reports it is still investigating of other deaths including a 14 year old in Aden. I thought we were at 14 but its a stat that masks years of crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Saleh regime. This guy has been murdering his own people for a long time.

Yemen: Protect Protesters From Attacks by Armed Groups Human Rights Watch

Government Supporters Kill one Protester and Injure 38 in Sanaa

(New York, February 23, 2011) – Police allowed pro-government armed groups to attack peaceful protesters in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on the night of February 22, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The armed groups killed at least one anti-government protester and injured 38 others, according to witnesses. (Read on …)

Yemen: 2nd highest rate of child stunting globally

Filed under: Aden, Children, Donors, UN, Ibb, Rayma, Sana'a, USA, Women's Issues, al-Bayda, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:17 pm on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These figures are up slightly since 2005. The good news is that one million poor Yemeni women and children who never had access to health services in their lives will now receive some support from the international community. Less than half of Yemenis have access to medical services. Clean water, sanitation, electricity, and other basic services are similarly lacking. This World Bank press release contains the appalling medical current stats. Update: Neonatal tetanus kills 30,000 new born Yemeni babies a year. Pampers SA is chipping in for some vaccines, but over three million doses are needed. (Read on …)

Amnesty International: arrested Aden protesters at risk of torture

Filed under: Aden, Donors, UN, prisons, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:18 am on Friday, February 18, 2011

Police torture in Yemen is systemic and brutal. Several prisoners have died in police custody in the last year or two. Click here for MP Ahmed Saif Hashid’s 2007 interviews with prisoners in jails around Yemen where prisoners including 12 years describe brutal torture by authorities.

PROTESTERS DETAINED IN YEMEN, RISK OF TORTURE
Scores of protesters arrested following demonstrations in the city of Aden, in southern Yemen, are being held incommunicado and are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Amnesty International is concerned that they may be held solely for the peaceful expression of their right to freedom of expression and assembly, and therefore may be prisoners of conscience. (Read on …)

Yemen’s economy imploding

Filed under: Business, Donors, UN, EMC, Economic, GCC, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 9:19 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Its like watching a slow motion car crash and everyone is shouting, turn the wheel.

Yemen’s Economy to Collapse within Two Years – Gulf Official Warns
Yemen Post Staff

Yemen’s economy is expected to collapse within two years in case the inflation and job rates continue to increase amid a sharp decline in oil production whose revenues bring in about two thirds of the country’s income, a Gulf official has warned.

Abdul Aziz al Owaishiq, Director of the Economic Integration Department at the Gulf Cooperation Council, was quoted by Al-Hayat Newspaper as saying in a lecture in Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday that the GCC and donor annual aid to Yemen, about $ 1.2 billion, is now frozen because of the ‘administrative inefficiency and weaknesses’. (Read on …)

UNHCR mistreats refugees in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:36 am on Monday, December 20, 2010

Yes they do. Written by a former consultant,

United Nations mistreats refugees Yemen Times

Published:16-12-2010
The UNHCR mission in Sana’a, since it opened its office, has been arrogant in the way it treats refugees. It is still acting in a proud manner towards refugees. It is notorious for corruption and trades on the plight of refugees. A decade ago I worked as a social consultant for the UNHCR in Sana’a. I did not love the practices of this office, famous for its many staff changes, because of corruption. It has been proven that most of its staff have been involved in cases of bribery, which prompted me to retire from that sick office. (Read on …)

Southern activist, Zahra Salih, jailed incommunicado since Nov. 8 in Yemen

Filed under: Aden, Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Judicial, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:43 pm on Friday, December 17, 2010

Amnesty International statement on behalf of Zahra Salih follows. God help her. She certainly is at risk of torture or ill treatment.

FEMALE activist detained incommunicado

Zahra Salih, an activist in the Southern Movement in Yemen, has been held incommunicado since 8 November. She is at risk of being tortured or suffering other ill-treatment. Amnesty International is concerned that she may be held solely for the peaceful expression of her right to freedom of expression and assembly, and therefore may be a prisoner of conscience.

Zahra Salih, aged 39, was arrested by security force members on 8 November in Aden, southern Yemen, while she was in a car on her way to a hotel. She has since been detained without access to a lawyer or her family. She is believed to be held at the Criminal Investigation Unit in Aden. (Read on …)

Yemen: Death Sentence Scheduled for Dec. 19 for Juvenile Offender Fuad Abdullah

Filed under: Children, Crime, Donors, UN, Judicial, Taiz — by Jane Novak at 3:35 pm on Friday, December 17, 2010

Amnesty International statement issued today:
JUVENILE OFFENDERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
Amnesty International has received information that the President of Yemen has signed the death sentences of two alleged juvenile offenders. One of them has been scheduled for execution on 19 December. They are both at imminent risk of execution. (Read on …)

Yahya al Houthi: There is no sectarian conflict in Saada

Filed under: Donors, UN, Religious, Sa'ada, aq statements, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:31 am on Monday, December 6, 2010

After the first car bombing, Abdelmalik made a strong statement that they would not be dragged into a sectarian conflict that artificially pits Zaidis against Sunnis in Yemen. And it makes no sense to frame it that way. AQAP vs. the Houthis, yes. Sunni vs. Shia, no. At Al Mempar Yahya al Houthis criticizes (the IRIN news site of) the United Nations for framing the conflict in Saada as sectarian. He explains

1) the commonality between the Zaids and the four Sunni Schools of Yemen but Wahabbis working for Saudi Arabian intelligence and interests are another story. 2) the checkpoints (as I noted) were there from the inception of the Saada Wars and are not a sign of sectarian strife. Everybody has checkpoints through out Yemen including various tribes as well as bandits. 3) he calls for an apology from the UN although IRIN newsite is a news site not an UN press releases. The offending article at IRIN is here.

Houthis accuse Feierstein of murder, US “Dismayed” Denies

Filed under: Donors, UN, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes, Yemen, al Jawf, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:10 pm on Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Houthis are doing their own investigation of the suicide attacks which they say points to sheiks in Amran, recently visited and paid by the new US Ambassador. It shows how isolated and out of touch the Houthis are–many have never been out of Saada, much less Yemen. They are out of touch with reality as well as the broader world.After years of chanting “Death to America,” the movement seems more immature, paranoid and conspiracy minded than ever, not ready for prime time at all. Its thoroughly reckless to charge the US Ambassador with paying tribal sheiks to murder worshipers and mourners. “Dismayed” is one of those words the US State Department uses when it is really bothered.

CRI
The U.S. embassy in Yemen on Sunday denied allegations that the U.S. government was behind last week’s twin bomb attacks on the Houthi-led Shiite rebel followers in north Yemen, which left dozens of people killed and injured.

“The Houthi media office claimed that the U.S. government planned one or both of these events, which took place on Nov. 24 and 26,” the embassy said in a press release posted Sunday on its website.

“The U.S. embassy was dismayed to learn that the Houthi media office made such ridiculous and baseless allegations. These claims dishonor the families in north Yemen who lost their family members and friends in the twin suicide bomber attacks,” it said. (Read on …)

Anwar and his cousin Othman and the murder of the French Engineer

Filed under: Donors, UN, anwar, arrests, attacks — by Jane Novak at 8:36 pm on Monday, November 22, 2010

The trial of the murderer of the French engineer continues. The issue is whether it was a personal dispute or an al Qaeda motivated act of violence. Apparently Anwar was renting out a flat and the accused was communicating with him via his cousin. Awlaki was charged in absentia in the same case.

Ray News Sana – UPI – Attorney General introduced the Yemeni state security court in Sana’a, what he saw as evidence to prove the involvement of French is accused of murdering in a relationship with hard-line American of Yemeni origin Anwar al-Awlaki, and his cousin Osman, accused of instigating the killing of foreigners. (Read on …)

France, not US, gave Saudis intel on Houthis

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:44 pm on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am glad to see the US State Dept recognizes there are substantial war crimes committed by the Yemeni government in its conduct of the Saada War, and the UK recognizes that as well apparently. These crimes really need to be factored into the overall equation going forward.

MTP: A year ago, Saudi Arabia was fighting a nasty border war against the Houthi rebels across its frontier with Yemen. The Saudis began bombing Houthi targets inside Yemen on Nov. 5, 2009, but the airstrikes were inaccurate, and there were reports of civilian casualties.
(Read on …)

Al Qaeda blows South Korea’s oil pipeline in Marib

Filed under: Donors, UN, LNG, Marib, Oil, Other Countries, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 12:54 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aaron notes its a South Korean pipeline. South Korea divested some of its holding in the LNG project after the lethal terror attack on the South Koran tourists in March 09. And France’s TOTAL is the developer of the LNG project and a major stake holder. France was recently warned by the Saudis about an AQAP plot and is on alert. Just a coincidence I’m sure.

Korean Times:
Tuesday’s explosion at a South Korean oil pipeline in southern Yemen was apparently a bomb attack, raising concerns about the safety of Koreans abroad. There is no confirmation about who was behind the blast and what prompted it, although al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for the bombing….Yemen has already emerged as a breeding ground for al-Qaida terrorists. Four South Korean tourists were killed in a bomb attack in the historic city of Shibam, 90 kilometers east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on March 15, 2009. About three months later, a Korean female aid worker was killed by rebels.

(Read on …)

Awlaki charged in absentia in murder of French engineer

Filed under: Donors, UN, Oil, anwar, arrests, attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:19 am on Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For more on the engineer’s murder, click here. It is unclear if Awlaki also had a hand in the plot that prompted Saudi Arabia’s warning to France, but its not beyond reason. Per al Sahwa: Asim communicated with Anwar Awlaki through the Internet via email hotmail and asked Anwar to travel abroad to fight the foreigners, but when Anwar learned that the Assem worked in the Austrian company, he abetted to kill foreign workers in the company.

In predictable related developments, Yemen launched massive manhunt for al Asiri as donors plan to increase aid.

Al Awlaki charged with plotting and incitement to murder foreigners – Yemen charged on Tuesday during a trial in absentia American-Yemeni Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki with plotting and incitement to murder foreigners, including a French expert who was killed early last month in Sana’a. (Read on …)

Yemen ranked 170 of 178 countries in press freedom

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Media, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:00 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

The 10 worst countries for journalism are Rwanda, Yemen, China, Sudan, Syria, Burma, Iran, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea. These countries are “marked by persecution of the media and a complete lack of news and information,” the report states. Yemen Post

Yemen has come among the ten countries with the worst press freedom records in the third world, ranking after Sudan and Syria, two Arab countries which 2010 World Press Freedom Index said have consistent policies of repressing dissent. (Read on …)

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 …)

Bin Laden justifies attack on France by burqa law

Filed under: AfPak, Al-Qaeda, Donors, UN, aq statements, personalities — by Jane Novak at 9:28 am on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On October 18, Saudi Arabia confirmed that they issued a warning to French authorities about an impending attack by the Yemeni al Qaeda branch. The alert was issued following the surrender of Saudi AQAP operative Jabir al Fayfi from Yemen. The irony of bin Laden defending woman’s rights is mind boggling.

CNN: A man purporting to be Osama Bin Laden warned France to get its troops out of Afghanistan and not to oppress Muslims at home in a tape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera network Wednesday.

“If you want to oppress us and thought that it was your right to ban the free women to wear the burqa, isn’t it our right to expel your occupying forces, your men from our lands?” the speaker demands, in reference to recently passed French legislation barring women from covering their faces in public. (Read on …)

NATO: Ten reasons to worry about Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 8:36 am on Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hat tip: Small Wars Journal

Also Chatham House has another excellent report Yemen and Somalia: Terrorism, Shadow Networks and the Limitations of State-building.

Half of children under five in western Sa’ada have acute malnutrition

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Sa'ada, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:29 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SABA: Nearly half of the 26,246 children aged 6-59 months screened in five western districts of Saada in July 2010 were found to be suffering from global acute malnutrition; in one area, the proportion was as high as three out of four children. Overall, 17 per cent of the children screened suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 28 per cent from moderate acute malnutrition.

“Malnutrition is the main underlying cause of death for young children in Yemen, and therefore this grim situation could spell disaster for the children of Saada,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “As winter approaches, thousands of children are at serious risk if we are not able to act immediately.” (Read on …)

Yemeni Gov’t Corps Fail to Submit Y/E Statements

Filed under: Donors, UN, EMC, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 7:25 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

Late every year the Yemeni government submits an emergency supplemental to the budget that adds about a third more spending onto the original budget. The supplemental is even more vague than the original. Today we learn that 66 gov’t institutions never submitted their year end statements for 2009 including the YEC which buys and sells hundreds of millions for the state annually. It used to be the Economic Military Corp., but it branched out into a variety of other commodities including wheat, thus the name change. One time Burns said that everyone says to increase humanitarian aid, but no one says how. And its a good question in light of the rampant corruption and the elite’s seizure of donor funds.

al Sahwa- Yemen’s Parliament formed on Saturday a committee to investigate what is alleged about the government’s disregarding of closing accounts for dozens of corporations and funds in budget of the 2009 fiscal year.

MP Akram Atia revealed that over 66 government corporations such as the Yemeni Economic Corporation and the Yemenia Airway have not offered their closing accounts of 2009 fiscal year, affirming that the government’s closing statement contained a significant lack of data for dozens of economic units and their economic calculations. He also said that this omission is annually repeated by the parliament as dozens of government corporations do not end its closing accounts and that is disrgarded in the government’s closing statements.

Saudis warn of AQAP attack on France

Filed under: Donors, UN, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 6:45 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

I’m not sure the threat is wholly distinct from the alerts from Pakistan regarding Europe, especially if Fahd al Quso is/was at the summit. Or if it has anything to do with the AQAP/security officer/ Anwar disciple who killed the French national recently. Maybe Anwar got them all riled up against France. In a relatively minor discrepancy, Yemen reported Al Fayfi was captured during the battle of Lauder, while the Saudis are saying he surrendered to Yemeni authorities.

Update: Saudis confirm issuing warning about a new AQAP threat to Europe.

Telegraph: Saudi intelligence services have warned of a new terror threat from al-Qaeda against Europe, particularly in France, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said yesterday. He said the warning of a potential attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was received “in the last few hours, few days.”

European officials were informed that “al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was doubtless active or envisioned being active” on the “European continent, notably France … The threat is real,” he said on RTL-LCI-Le Figaro’s weekly talk show.

The warning from Saudi Arabia is the latest in a series of alerts that have put security forces, including in Britain, in high-vigilance mode…The warning may be linked to a series of arrests announced in recent days of senior operatives of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula…

However, at the beginning of last month, Saudi police say, one of the former Guantánamo inmates, Jabir Jubran al-Fayfi, contacted them to say he wanted to return home. He handed himself in to the Yemeni authorities, and was transferred to Riyadh.

In the last few days, the Yemen state news agency Saba has reported the subsequent arrests at Sana’a airport of Khaled al-Obeidi, a Yemeni accused of kidnapping a Japanese engineer in 2009, and, more significantly, Salah al-Raimi, 33, a Saudi citizen who appears to have been able to coordinate financing for al-Qaeda operations from his home in the kingdom.

The Saudi authorities have yet to comment on the French revelations, and a spokesman for the interior minister could not be contacted last night.

However, if the warning is connected to the latest arrests, it would make the threat separate from the recent alert over attacks in European cities which were said to be intended to follow the model of the Mumbai killings of November 2008. That alert was said to emanate from a group of jihadists based on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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 …)

Al-Hota Seige a Show for the Friends of Yemen: Senior Yemeni Official

Filed under: Counter-terror, Donors, UN, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 12:55 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yemen uses the al Qaeda threat as a instrument of foreign and domestic policy. The banner referenced below was hoisted in the south to demonstrate that southerners reject al Qaeda. Meanwhile, a Yemeni official says counter-terror fight a political, seasonal activity, CNN

Yemenis marched this week, hoisting a banner which read: “We condemn terrorism in all its forms all over the world.”
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

* NEW: A senior government official claims Yemen is exaggerating its campaign
* NEW: He says it’s a ploy to get more foreign aid for Yemen
* Yemen says its forces succeeded in driving out al Qaeda in Hatwa
* Defense official tells CNN that U.S. has assisted in the offensive

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — Yemeni security forces have driven out al Qaeda elements who infiltrated the town of Hawta in southern Shabwa province, the state-run news agency reported. (Read on …)

CPJ: In Yemen, brutal repression cloaked in law

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Media, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:52 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

The government of Yemen has a knee jerk reaction to any news outlet that the publishes unflattering news, attacking the journalist instead of correcting their policies. The political repression is the worst in 20 years.

Update: the state says the report is filled with lies from people who hate Yemen. See 26 September:”It has become clear that this report has based on information collected by a person named Mohammed Abdul-Dayem, who came to Yemen and met with many opponents and malevolent elements.” Yemen Nation: He pointed out that there is today in Yemen more than 160 printed press and dozens of media sites and blogs with a great deal of democracy and the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression and criticism, which sometimes exceeded all limits, as evidenced by all.

In Yemen, brutal repression cloaked in law:

In the past two years, the Yemeni government has taken legislative and administrative steps to further restrict free expression. Coupled with longstanding tactics of violent repression, President’s Saleh administration is creating the worst press climate in two decades. A CPJ Special Report by Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Published September 29, 2010 (Read on …)

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 …)

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 …)

UN to Open Anti-Crime Office in Yemen

Filed under: Crime, Donors, UN, counterfeiting, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:45 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Technical assistance is good and Yemeni security lacks training in investigative procedures. The problems are 1) the UN in Yemen is also plagued by corruption and 2) much of the criminal networks including the drug smuggling are in the hands of top regime officials and presidential relatives who will thwart sincere efforts at crime fighting. The most functional part of the Yemeni economy is the black market and smuggling rings. Nonetheless at least its a step in the right direction. Yemen Gazette:

SANAA, 12 Jul — The United Nations is planning to open an office in Yemen to fight terrorism, crime, human trafficking and drugs, the government official daily, al-Thawra said on Monday. Interior Minister Brig Gen Rashad al-Masri welcomed the move during a meeting with a UN delegation headed by the coordinator of the UN programs in the middle east and north Africa, Life Vilatson saying “the opening of the office will have positive results for Yemen and neighboring countries,” and voiced his ministry’s “willingness to provide all necessary facilitations to establish the office and facilitate its mission.” The UN delegation hailed “the successes made by Yemen in combating terrorism and drugs,” and expressed gratitude for “Yemen’s complete cooperation and facilitations for the success of UN programmes in the field of battling crime and drugs.”

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.

Al-Qaeda Attacks Strengthen Yemeni President Saleh: Editorial

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Al-Qaeda, Donors, UN, Presidency, Yemen, shabwa, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:18 pm on Monday, July 26, 2010

Bingo. Yemen Post

Government Hoping for more Qaeda Attacks in South

The more attacks in the south means that the international community will support Yemen’s unity, fearing that if separation takes place, the south could be an Al-Qaeda safe haven.
Every Al-Qaeda attack in the south comes with great relief for the government and more pain for those who call for separation. The government gains even more financial support from the international community as it is funding Yemen’s fight against extremism.
So, it seems like President Saleh is finally getting something his way.
The last three Al-Qaeda claimed attacks took place in less than a month, and in three different provinces in the south, first in Aden, then in Abyan and Shabwa. It seems to me as if the government is linked to the Al-Qaeda attacks as it is the only one benefiting from the attacks and losing nothing.
Yemen is trying to picture to the world that the south is the backbone of Al-Qaeda, as it is also the homeland for its leader Osama bin Laden.
We also need to remember that Anwar Awlaqi, a Yemeni American preacher is from the south of Yemen. He is now internationally wanted for terrorism related claims.
Yemen is receiving almost $500 million dollars annually from western countries to fight extremism.
So, from the south comes oil, gas, cement, international support to fight Al-Qaeda, a 2000 kilometer coastal line, and 2/3 the size of the current Yemen, which proves that the northern part would do anything in its power to keep Yemen united.
We do not believe any attacks will take place in northern Yemen anytime soon, while on the other hand, we will see another attack in a different part of the south, maybe Mukalla or Seiyun. Such attacks will convince the west that southern Yemen could never be an independent state if it’s goal is to fight Al-Qaeda.

Half Million Documented Refugees in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Somalia — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Wednesday, July 14, 2010

170,000 migrants from Somalia and 330,000 internally displaced by the Saada Wars, Yemen Times:

Head of the UNHCR Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, Ambassador Peter Woolcott, visited Yemen from July 5 to July 10 to observe the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons in the country, an especially important visit since the UN refugee agency is in the midst of a funding crisis…“We are dealing with something like 170 thousand refugees and 330 thousand IDPs,” he said. “These are very large numbers from any standpoint.” (—) But he believes that for many, resettlement is only a dream because of the small number of refugees who are able to start new lives in countries outside Somalia.

“Some one thousand are resettled from Yemen each year, but the number of refugees is 130,000,” he said. “They are very dependent on essentially the handouts and generosity of the donor community and UNHCR.” (—) UNHCR Yemen appealed in February 2010 for USD 39.1 million. Afterwards, this figure was revised to USD 52.1 million to cover the needs of both refugees and internally displaced persons in 2010. So far the Yemen Appeal remains funded at just 44 percent of overall needs.

Ministry of Electricity Used $13 Million of $1 Billion Donated

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Donors, UN, Electric, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:01 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paperwork too much to tackle.

Yemen Post: The Ministry of Electricity and Energy has not yet drawn down all donor funds estimated at more than $ 1 billion allocated before and during the 2006 London Donor Conference for the power sector in Yemen, an official who asked not to be named told the News Yemen on Thursday. (Read on …)

Yemen: Trafficking in Persons Report 2010

Filed under: Children, Crime, Donors, UN, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Women's Issues, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:53 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Somebody is making big money from this. Some of these kids are very young four and five years old.

Trafficking in Persons Report 2010
YEMEN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Yemen is a country of origin and, to a much lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Yemeni children, mostly boys, migrate across the northern border with Saudi Arabia, to the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sana’a, or – to a lesser extent – to Oman, and are forced to work primarily as beggars, but also for domestic servitude or forced labor in small shops. Some of these children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in transit or once they arrive in Saudi Arabia by traffickers, border patrols, other security officials, and their employers. The government and local NGOs estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of children in forced labor in Yemen. (Read on …)

UN designated weapons smuggler Faris Manna released

Filed under: Donors, UN, Presidency, Proliferation, Sa'ada, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:15 pm on Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ah yes there are advantages to being in business with the president, despite being on the list of violators of UN sanctions on Somalia. al Sahwa

Sahwa Net- Yemeni authorities released on Tuesday night Sheikh Faris Mana’a, a weapon dealer who was arrested on January by Yemeni authorities, sheiks from Saada governorate told Marib Press.

They said that the release of Mana’a was astonishing; pointing out that he was welcomed by masses of Saada sheiks and citizens. (Read on …)

Yemen Natural Gas Sold at One Third of Market Price: $193/ton vs. $689/ton

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, Investment, LNG, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:05 pm on Saturday, June 19, 2010

Huge losses to the Yemeni treasury, I wonder who got the graft? In 2006 the South Korean delegation came home crowing about the excellent deal with Yemen. After recently threatening to renegotiate the contracts, Yemen now says it will stand by them. This is a very interesting article, one of the contracts has a floor and ceiling price.

Businessweek

une 18 (Bloomberg) — Yemen LNG Co. will honor its liquefied natural gas contracts with buyers including Total SA, GDF Suez SA and Korea Gas Corp., an official said, after the Middle Eastern state proposed to review them. (Read on …)

UN Calls for Yemen to Investigate Allegations of Torture

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Yemen, political violence, prisons — by Jane Novak at 1:26 pm on Saturday, May 15, 2010

Aha, we are still waiting for Yemen to investigate itself on several issues including the September 2009 airstrikes that killed 87 civilian refugees sheltering in a field.

(Reuters) – The United Nations torture watchdog urged Syria, Yemen and Jordan Friday to investigate what it called numerous and credible allegations that their police and prison authorities routinely tortured detainees. Its 10 independent experts also voiced concern at “honor” crimes by family members in Syria and Jordan which go unpunished and violence against women and children in Yemen. (Read on …)

5000 IDPs Near Death as Qatari Aid Diverted to Black Market

Filed under: Donors, UN, Haradh, Saada War, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:30 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

The donated tents are being diverted into the black market for smugglers to use as tarps on their shipments while thousand in an unofficial refugee camp are near death from starvation and disease.

HOOD: After preventing a Qatari aids :Five thousand displaced persons face death in Haradh,

Translated by:Nisreen Shadad

More than five thousand displaced persons (IDPs) face death in al-Qufl camp; unofficial camp, as a result of the lack of humanitarian aids.

The number of the IDPs is increasing and so their pitiful situation worsens. The Heavy rains affected IDPS’ health because of the contaminated and stagnant water, which is infectious diseases.

Moreover, the high temperature and living in a terbal (a type of tent or cover made of plastic) let their lives unbearable.

“The Local Council prevented a Qatari aid to provide them with tents,” said one the HOOD authentic sources. “There are a big number of international aids, that are smuggled to the black-market and used to cover the traders’ goods,” the sources added.

The IDPs demanded the humanitarian organizations to rescue their lives, otherwise they will die out of hunger
(Read on …)

Yemen Press Freedom Decline Critical, Needs Intervention: RSF

Filed under: Donors, UN, Media — by Jane Novak at 10:23 am on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AFP – Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) criticised on Tuesday the situation of press freedoms in Yemen, saying it was worsening by the day.

RSF “strongly condemns a sharp decline in the press freedom situation since the start of the second half of 2009,” the organisation said.

It described the situation in the war-stricken country as “very serious”.

“The situation of the media is getting worse by the day, with one prosecution after another. The international community must intercede as a matter of urgency,” it said. (Read on …)

3 Million Yemenis Scheduled to Starve in July

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Medical, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:42 pm on Thursday, April 8, 2010

The second most malnourished child population in the world is going to lose aid from the World Food Program unless donors step up to the plate.

YEMEN: Food crunch warning for July

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) Date: 07 Apr 2010

Aid organizations are warning of a food crisis in Yemen unless international food aid funding is dramatically increased before June 2010.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has only received a quarter of its annual budget for 2010 (US$25.6 million out of $103.2 million), and will run out of food for 3.2 million people by the end of June. (Read on …)

“Yemen’s Friends Need to be Honest”

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:11 am on Wednesday, March 31, 2010

HRW urges Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Yemen, quite a good suggestion. The following from Relief Web by Christoph Wilcke, a senior Middle East and North Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Abu Dhabi is the host today for the inaugural gathering of Friends of Yemen, a group established in January at an international meeting of concerned states in London. This members, consisting of Gulf and key Western states in addition to representatives of intergovernmental institutions,need to address Yemen’s human rights problems honestly if they want to assist its people and address the threats emanating from that troubled Arabian country. (Read on …)

JMP Slams London Conference Outcome

Filed under: Donors, UN, JMP — by Jane Novak at 8:52 am on Friday, January 29, 2010

Saving a man not a nation:

Monsters and Critics: Five major Yemeni opposition parties said in a joint statement that the conference ‘tended to save the political regime in Yemen rather than the state which is exposed to a serious deterioration due to the policies of this same regime.’

The parties, led by the main Islamist party, Islah, said the government used the conference to gain foreign support ‘in the face of the dangerously deteriorating internal situation and the democratic life.’

They said the conference’s support for the Sana’a government have ‘depleted the last remaining hopes of Yemen and Yemeni people for a serious and real help from the international community.’

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for the meeting in response to the failed bomb attack on an airliner over Detroit on December 25. The alleged bomber was reportedly trained in Yemen.

‘The meeting ended with ambiguous decisions that did not affect the essence of the Yemeni crisis in their manifestations except the security aspect,’ the statement said.

By supporting the government, the conference supported ‘instability and corruption,’ it added.

Updated: Final Statement, Draft Statement of the London Conference

Filed under: Donors, UN, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:37 am on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reuters: Following is the final statement from the talks, as released by the British foreign ministry.

Yemen, its friends and partners have today met in London to discuss the many urgent problems which the people of Yemen face.

The meeting reiterated support for a unified Yemen, respect for its sovereignty and independence, and commitment to non-interference in Yemen’s internal affairs. It was clear that economic and social reform by the government of Yemen was key to long term stability and prosperity. It was agreed that a comprehensive approach was needed, with strong support from the international community. (Read on …)

Huge Protest in Dhalie Today

Filed under: Donors, UN, South Yemen, UK, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:47 am on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slideshow, click here.

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 …)

Five Alive

Filed under: 9 hostages, Donors, UN — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Thursday, January 7, 2010

That’s truely excellent news but I’m dubious about the claims of a joint Houthi- al Qaeda operation.

SANAA — Five Germans, including three children, and a British national who have been held by kidnappers in Yemen for the past six months are still alive, a top official said on Thursday.

“We have confirmed information that they are still alive. They are five Germans and a British national,” deputy prime minister for defence and security affairs, Rashad al-Aleemi, told a press conference. (Read on …)

Three Kidnapped German Children in Video: German NP

Filed under: 9 hostages, Donors, UN — by Jane Novak at 7:58 am on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

There’s hope yet…

German newspapers are reporting that three children kidnapped in Yemen along with their parents June 13 were seen alive in a video. There’s no indication yet about the circumstances of the video or how it was obtained. The German government hasn’t confirmed or denied the reports.

imagesCAJ0G9O5.jpg

The children’s parents and four other medical workers in the Sa’ada region were taken at gunpoint by unknown persons. Three young nurses were found murdered days later. Besides the children and their parents, a British engineer remains missing in Yemen. See my category “nine hostages” for full coverage since the incident.

The Yemeni government instantly blamed the Houthi rebels for the kidnapping, although there were no indications at all of who was responsible. Along with western investigators, Yemeni authorities launched a search, discovering an al Qaeda traning camp in an abandoned military outpost. Other hypothesis pointed to a power struggle among major drug dealers with the authorities.

At the time of the kidnapping, the rebels and others postulated that the Germans’ kidnapping was a precursor to another war, pointing specifically to the alleged “false flag” attack on the bin Sallem mosque that preceded the fifth Sa’ada war in northern Yemen. War resumed in August, with devastating consequences on the civilian population. (Read on …)

HRW New Report on Migrants and Refugees in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, Somalia — by Jane Novak at 7:52 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Human Rights Watch issued a new report on refugees and migrants in Yemen. Sections include:

The Journey to Yemen
Systematic Violation of Yemen’s Obligations to Asylum Seekers under International Law
Running the Gauntlet: Ethiopian Asylum Seekers in Yemen
Discrimination and Abuse Against Ethiopian Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Migrants in Yemen
The Role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

GCC to Establish “Quick Reaction Force”

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:11 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Sort of like NATO for dictators? Will crush any calls for power sharing, civil rights or financial transparency…. Any attack on Saudi Arabia is an attack on all, they say, gearing up for Sa’ada intervention apparently.

KUWAIT CITY, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to establish a regional quick-reaction force in part due to conflict along the Yemeni border with Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia Returning Fleeing Civilians to War Zone

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:54 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Refouling, when civilians are not granted refuge but instead returned to the battle field.

Arab News

Saudi troops stationed at the border with Yemen reported on Saturday receiving “a large number” of Yemenis fleeing fighting between Yemeni forces and rebels in the mountains of Al-Malaheet and Razah. The Yemenis arrived at a border checkpoint in Al-Milaihi and were transferred to internally displaced refugee camps in Yemen after they were checked medically. The Yemenis were taken to the Tawwal point of entry and transferred back into Yemen.

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 …)

Yemen Threatens Human Rights Watch after Damning Report

Filed under: Donors, UN, Security Forces, South Yemen, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 10:00 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The report is here.

SANA’A, Dec. 16 (Saba)- The state spokesman, Minister of Information Hasan al-Lawzi condemned Wednesday the incorrect information issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) over human rights and press freedom in Yemen.

The spokesman said in remarks to Saba that these information are based on false reports on human rights and the freedom of press in the country… Al-Lawzi put responsibility on the HRW two representatives to correct the situation so as not to affect cooperation relations between Yemen and the Human Rights Watch in the future.

Yemeni Security Habitually Shoot Unarmed Southern Protesters at Close Range

Filed under: Donors, UN, Media, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:41 pm on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yes they do. Human Rights Watch reports on state murder, arbitrary arrests and media repression in southern Yemen. Arabic follows. Update: thats a really complete and accurate report, excellent work in documenting the systematic brutality:

Yemen: End Harsh Repression in South
Shooting of Unarmed Demonstrators, Attacks on Media

(San’a, December 15, 2009) – Yemeni authorities should stop using unjustified lethal force against protesters and end attacks on the media in southern Yemen, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 73-page report, “In the Name of Unity: The Yemeni Government’s Brutal Response to Southern Movement Protests,” documents attacks by security forces on supporters of the so-called Southern Movement as well as on journalists, academics, and other opinion-makers. Based on over 80 interviews with victims in the southern Yemeni cities of Aden and Mukalla, the report finds that security forces used lethal force against unarmed demonstrators on at least six occasions. Over the past year the authorities arbitrarily arrested thousands of people for exercising their right to peaceful assembly, suspended independent media critical of government policies, and detained journalists and writers on spurious charges. (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 …)

GCC Chief: Threat from Yemen to GCC Countries

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:10 am on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Al Hayat

“The 30th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit” is due in Kuwait in exactly one week of now…The Secretary General of the Council, Abd-al-Rahman Al-Attiyah, describes the Kuwait Summit as an “exceptional” one, since it is being held under difficult regional, Arab and international circumstances. (Read on …)

Wife of Kidnapped UN Worker, Walid Sharafuddin, Beaten by Police

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Targeting — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Monday, December 7, 2009

waleed_UN.jpg

As War in Yemen Rages on, Political Prisoners Languish: The Case of Waleed Sharafuddin

As the state of Yemen “teeters on the brink of failure”, the government of Yemen is scrambling to hide the unprecedented humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Sa’ada War.

Hundreds of thousands are displaced, starving and beyond the reach of aid groups. Food, water and medicine in the region are under government blockade and at critical levels. Military bombing is indiscriminate and targets inhabited homes, villages, cities as well as rebel hideouts in the mountains.

As a result of the regime’s desperate attempts to limit news reporting, citizens through out Yemen are subject to state violence, intimidation and arbitrary arrests.

Journalists are a frequent target. The independent News Yemen website was hacked in December. “According to the sites US hosting company, the IP of the hacker traces back to the director of the Internet Department in the Ministry of Telecommunication,” a News Yemen statement read. (Read on …)

HRW Lists Multiple Actions by Warring Parties that Harm Yemen Civilians

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 5:47 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

Human Rights Watch

(New York) – Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Huthi rebel forces involved in the armed conflict in northern Yemen should take all necessary measures to spare civilians from the fighting and ensure that they receive humanitarian assistance, Human Rights Watch said today. (Read on …)

Anmesty Calls on Yemen to End Widespread Torture

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Targeting, political violence, prisons — by Jane Novak at 3:29 pm on Saturday, November 28, 2009

Its so brutal. Click here for first hand testimony from tortured prisoners.

Amnesty International
PUBLIC STATEMENT
27 November 2009
Index: MDE 31/017/2009

Yemen: Government should announce commitment to tackle ‘widespread’ torture
(Read on …)

Yemen Targets HR Activist Amal Basha in Campaign of Attacks

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Donors, UN, Targeting — by Jane Novak at 10:08 am on Thursday, November 26, 2009

amal_basha

What follows is the Arab Sisters Forum press release on the escalating attacks on Amal Basha, head of the organization. She was repeatedly threatened, had a liquid sprayed in her face on the street, the headquarters was broken into and trashed, and the brakes on her car were cut in an assassination attempt.

Triggers for the attacks include advocacy for arbitrarily detained prisoners and a report on torture in Yemen submitted by several Yemeni human rights organizations to the UN which contributed to the UN’s findings on November 19th, expressing “grave concern” and calling for an investigation of unlawful killings (murder) by security forces.

Its actions like these that belie the Saleh regime’s commitment to both democracy and stability and expose the administration as a thuggish mafia whose only goals are staying in power and stealing money. (Read on …)

WFP Unable to Feed Millions of Children and Mothers Due to Lack of Funding, Access

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Donors, UN, Women's Issues, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Sunday, November 22, 2009

WFP hunger hotspots: Yemen – 20 Nov 2009
Source: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
20 Nov 2009

Lack of funding has kept the CP on hold since June; under the HFP EMOP, 40 percent of mothers and children will not receive nutrition assistance for six of the 12 planned months. Overall, limited and late funding will leave 1.4 of nearly 1.7 million beneficiaries of the CP without assistance in November.

Following a three-week blockade of supply routes to Sa’ada town in October, WFP has been able to re-supply. Planned distribution to 55,500 IDPs in the town and camps is expected to begin 17 November. (Read on …)

Small Businesses in Yemen Lack Credit Lines

Filed under: Business, Demographics, Donors, UN, Economic, Yemen, non-oil resources — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Sunday, November 22, 2009

The inability of small businesses to get a credit line is actually a huge issue, dull perhaps but consequential. It impedes the diversification and growth of the economy by region, product and ownership. As the recent tightening of credit globally stunted the world economy, in Yemen negative result of the failure of banks to grant credit to small and medium businesses is magnified by other economic factors including corruption and the lack of infrastructure including electricity and roads. At the same time the banks make a wide range of inappropriate loans to “influential persons”, a practice that lead to the seizure of the Watani bank a few years ago.

Micro-credit has been one of the most effective methods globally of raising poverty stricken groups to self sufficiency. When people have an opportunity to better their future, they usually do, and work very hard doing it. The heart of a healthy economy is small businees, and in Yemen there are so many monopolies and unfair practices. Factionalism and identity politics are the norm, with marginalized groups also excluded from credit and therefore economic opportunity. Its another detrimental offshoot of the unipolar configuration of the political landscape and the increasing consolidation of economic structures (including land ownership) in the hands of the elite (Saleh and his gang). The Yemen Post reports on a study by the IFC:

The Yemeni banks are unwilling to grant credits for small and medium enterprises or they may give conditional credits for high profits due to high risks, a study has said.

The study conducted by the International Finance Corporation also noted that most of the small and medium enterprises in Yemen are not much qualified for loans because they don’t have enough guarantees. The ratio of credits to deposits is very low, about 33 percent, it finds, adding that only 4 percent Yemeni people have bank accounts. (Read on …)

UN Expresses Grave Concern about Torture and Abuses in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Donors, UN, Judicial, Saada War, South Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 6:52 pm on Friday, November 20, 2009

Excellent. Its all true and worse.

GENEVA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The United Nations Committee against Torture called on Yemen on Friday to end the widespread torture of detainees and investigate allegations of unlawful killings by its security forces.

It voiced concern at reports of grave violations “committed in the context of (Yemen’s) fight against terrorism”. They included extrajudicial killings, disappearances, mass arrests, indefinite detention without charge or trial, torture, and the deporting of foreigners to states where they may face torture.

Political activists, journalists and rights defenders have been arrested arbitrarily and held incommunicado during fighting between the army and Shi’ite rebels which began in August, the committee said.

The rebels say they suffer religious, economic and social marginalisation and neglect. Their Nov. 3 cross-border raid into Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter CLc1, has raised concern about the wider impact of instability in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest nations. [ID:nLJ386106]

Allegations of torture in Yemen are seldom investigated or prosecuted and there appears to be “a climate of impunity” for the perpetrators, the U.N. body said.
(Read on …)

Yemen Skips UN’s Committee Against Torture Review

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Security Forces, Trials, hostages, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:54 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

They were only 10 years late on the first report.

Committee against Torture

The Committee against Torture this morning considered the second periodic report of Yemen on the efforts of that country to give effect to the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in the absence of a delegation.

Serving as Rapporteur for the report of Yemen, Committee Expert Nora Sveaass, began by noting that the initial report of Yemen had been considered in 2003, 10 years’ late; that there had never been replies to communications regarding follow-up to the Committee’s concluding observations on that report (although the report before them did undertake to respond to them); and that there had been no reply from Yemen to the Committee’s list of issues, sent to the Government six months ago, despite repeated reminders sent. They were now considering the report of Yemen without a delegation from the State party – a situation that was far from ideal.

Ms. Sveaass observed that the Committee had received reports on a lack of openness and transparency with regard to torture cases in Yemen, in particular a lack of willingness to receive information on allegations of torture, to undertake transparent investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable. According to the information before the Committee, draft laws and security laws were at the heart of that matter. In the course of the anti-terror war many persons had been detained and protests and demonstrations were very seriously met. There was also the issue of the practice of incommunicado detention, which appeared to be upheld under Yemeni law, as well as a number of reports of detentions without charges, or prolonged detentions without trials. Also alarming was that there appeared to be no mechanism to enforce the rights of detainees. A concern included hostage taking – reports that family members were abducted and held to ensure that a person sought would give themselves up.

Over 50,000 Somali Refugees to Yemen in 2009

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, pirates — by Jane Novak at 1:11 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The numbers keep doubling annually. The UN at best has a serious lack of capacity in providing services to the refugees at arrival or later on.

SANAA, 1 (IRIN) :- The past 10 months saw the highest number of Africans reaching Yemeni shores over figures for the same period in 2008 and 2007, when large numbers began travelling to Yemen by boat, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). (Read on …)

Civilian Casualties Mount in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Donors, UN, Military, Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:22 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First graphic video of children killed in the entirely senseless Sa’ada War here and another digging out the bodies, more digging and corpse carrying, digging through the night then a vid of dozens of shrouded bodies large and small, followed by a witness statement or two. Today’s news, another refugee camp shelled, Yemeni government still refuses humanitarian ceasefire and aid corridor.

UNCHR via News Yemen: An unknown number of displaced Yemeni civilians have been killed and wounded during an exchange of fire between government troops and Al Houti forces in northern Yemen yesterday (29 October), according to UNHCR partners based in the area.

The victims belong to a group of some 500 internally displaced people (IDPs) who found shelter in Al Sam camp on the outskirts of Sa’ada city – one of the two remaining IDP camps in the troubled town. According to sketchy information from Sa’ada, a rocket or a mortar round landed in the camp, killing and wounding the IDPs, women and children among them. The security situation in that area has been deteriorating over the past few days. (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 …)

Yemen Drops to Among Bottom Ten Press Freedom Violators in the World

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Media — by Jane Novak at 7:50 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

Among the latest violations by the Yemeni government was snatching Editor Mohammed al Maqaleh off the street over a month ago and continuing to hold him incommunicado. Another sorry designation, Yemen remains in last place globally on the ranking of gender equality.

Yemen Times SANA’A, Oct. 27 — With the latest public protest by journalists last Tuesday prevented by security, the Yemeni government has continued a trend it started in the beginning of this year against press freedom. The journalists were protesting the detention of colleagues.

“This year has been very bad for journalists,” says Saeed Thabet, secretary general of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has ranked Yemen’s press freedom at 167 out of 175 countries it has surveyed this year. This rank is twelve points lower compared to last year and by this not only is Yemen in the list of ten worst countries regarding press freedom in the world, it is also the only Arab country in this margin. (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 …)

UN Aid Trucks Held 12 Hours at Border, Don’t Cross

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 12:30 pm on Sunday, October 11, 2009

Read it and weep.

Update: Crossed on Sunday?

Related: WFP denies convoy attacked by rebels.

UN May Try to Contact Houthi Rebels

Filed under: Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Saada War, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:44 pm on Saturday, October 10, 2009

First, there are child soldiers fighting on both sides of the Sa’ada War.

Also, Ms. Mona Al-Hashemi released from jail, and Ms. Zahra Saleh remains in jail after protests in Aden, while a college professor goes on trial for an article “damaging unity”.

The GPC’s Yayha al Houthi’s parliamentary immunity was lifted (again).

Yemen decided to put some effort into protecting its coasts, a counter-terror move aimed at stopping infiltration of al Qaeda from Somalia. But it begs several questions including the treatment of legitimate refugees. Finally,

Al-Mazraq, Yemen - A top United Nations humanitarian chief said on Friday the UN would try to establish contacts with the Shiite rebels in north-western Yemen to secure passage for aid agencies to civilians displaced by the ongoing rebel-army fighting. (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 …)

Sa’ada Humanitarian Aid Distribution Politicized, Diverted for Profit

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:04 pm on Thursday, October 8, 2009

Aid to the displaced in Sa’ada is being stolen, just like the international aid for the flood victims in Hadramout was…

Bakeel Abdu Hobaish, the chairman of the GPC branch in Harf Sofyan, in an interview with al Tagheer notes the diversion of aid away from the truely needy. Brave guy.

Underscored the fact that “influential” to distribute to those who do not deserve it .. رئيس فرع الحزب الحاكم بحرف سفيان لـ” التغيير ” : الإغاثة الشعبية لا تصل إلى النازحين Chief of the ruling party Sufian character for “change”: the People’s relief does not reach the displaced
الاربعاء 2009/10/07 (Read on …)

Oxfam: another humanitarian catastrophe of terrifying proportions unfolding as the world watches from the sidelines.

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 2:14 pm on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News Yemen

The Oxfam agency calls on all parties to the conflict to implement an immediate and lasting ceasefire to the fighting that started 11 August, and for the international community to intervene diplomatically to that end. The agency has also appealed for the provision of safe passage to deliver humanitarian aid to an estimated 90,000 displaced civilians facing extreme insecurity in Sa’ada city, Sa’ada governorate as a whole and parts of Al Jawf governorate. (Read on …)

Yemen Threatens to Expel Int’l Aid Organizations

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taking a page from its genocidal ally, The Sudan, genocidal Yemen threatens to expel foreign aid organizations (including Oxfam and the UN) unless they stop publicizing the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are impacted by indiscriminate government bombing of cities and villages and by the governmental blockade of food and relief supplies.

Update- its a threat not a plan, oh OK:(Bernama) — Yemen has denied reports that it planned to expel the international aid group Oxfam…Yemen news agency (Saba) reported Wednesday…

In this regard, minister of Public Health and Population Abdul Karim Ras’a has said that Yemen welcomes any agency working in the field through providing aid for the affected, but warned Yemen may expel any agency or organisation that makes unreliable statements.

al Tagheer: Threatened the Yemeni Health Minister Abdul-Karim Rasa’a withdraw the licenses of the work of a number of international organizations working in Yemen in the field of relief to the displaced of the Sa’ada war, and attacked Rasa’a in a press conference held today, together with the official spokesman for the Yemeni government and the Minister of Information Hassan al-Lawzi attacked organizations, including organizations (Oxfam ) mentioned by name and said, “It’s just weeping and looking for the media hype .. and their representative in Yemen remains busy in meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Health 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 …)

Yemen Denies Access and Aid to Displaced in al Jawf

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:58 am on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Its just unbelievable.

Relief Web Humanitarian relief response teams from Islamic Relief Yemen and MSF Spain managed to reach Al-Hazem, the capital of Al-Jawf governorate, with the aim of establishing an operation site in Al-Marashi. However, on 16 September, the Governor of Al-Jawf, citing security concerns, denied clearance to the teams for onward travel to Al-Marashi, which lies on the border with Amran and Sada’a governorates where the aid agencies were planning to provide food and non-food items (NFIs) to the newly displaced population that has so far not received any assistance. In the end, the teams were requested to return back to Sana’a.

Some Sa’ada War Refugees in Amran

Filed under: Amran, Children, Donors, UN, Saada War, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 5:36 pm on Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Are living in a court yard. At least the aid orgs can reach them; there’s tens of thousands others with no water, food or medicine.

Child Refugees in Amran

Child Refugees in Amran

Sa'ada refugee in Amran lives in courtyard

Sa'ada refugee in Amran lives in courtyard

Photos from an ICRC press release. Meanwhile the UN hasn’t gotten any of the 5 mil they need and the fighting rages around trapped civilians:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that heavy fighting between Al Houthi forces and Government troops in and around Sa’ada city continues with “utter disregard” for the safety of the civilian population. (Read on …)

UNICEF: Like in Darfur and Gaza, Restricting Aid to Sa’ada will have Dire Consequences

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 5:22 pm on Wednesday, September 9, 2009

UNICEF Press Release:

NEW YORK, USA, 9 September 2009 – As the violent conflict in northern Yemen enters its second month, UNICEF has called on all parties to allow aid agencies immediate, unconditional access to civilians caught in the fighting.

The number of casualties from the fighting between government and rebel troops in Sa’ada – about 240 km north of the capital, Sana’a – is unknown, but observers believe it is high. Many people are likely still trapped in the conflict zone.

A sporadic five-year conflict in the area has flared up violently in the past month. An estimated 150,000 people have been uprooted by the fighting and are now living in camps or with host families.

“It is believed that children represent the majority of the displaced population,” said UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Sigrid Kaag. “Their access to basic services like safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, food and health care is extremely limited under these conditions. They need shelter. They need food. They need safe water to drink.” (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 …)

Houthis Announce Total Agreement with Humanitarian Corridors

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 7:45 am on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And al Houthi leaves his email in case anyone wants to contact them regarding the issue… I understand it can be diplomatically tacky to engage in discussions with a rebel group especially while dealing with an irrational regime like Saleh’s, but the UN can’t possibly be relying on the government to work out the details with the rebels on the aid shipments in the middle of a war. Maybe some neutral Yemeni HR org can act as an intermediary, but they’d all wind up in jail probably. Maybe Qatar?

Sa’da, 4/9/2009

We are interested of what is in the invitation of the UN in providing easer access to a humanitarian organizations help and relief, and about the UN coordinator’s inquiry John Holms of our confused position whither we will agree or not, especially with no connection as he said, so we announce our total cooperation to help the UN or humanitarian organizations or relief organizations on providing safe roads and a human pass or any thing that could possibly help the civilians.

We announced so many times over and over in our statements and announcements to the international Org. and national Orgs too,and the reason of the disconnection is because of what the authority impose of a hard blockade of Sa’da and isolate it of the world.

And the UN has to demand of ending this blockade and reconnect Sa’da to the world.

We are welcoming to communicate with the UN and all of the humanitarian organizations the national orgs or the international orgs by the email of the Press Office of Al-Sayed AbdulMalik Badr al-Din Al-Houthi.

Press Office of Al-Sayed AbdulMalik Badr al-Din Al-Houthi.

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.

Yemeni Military Suspends Military Operations for Humanitarian Convoys

Filed under: Donors, UN, Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 12:57 pm on Friday, September 4, 2009

Update: “Al-Sayed Abdul-Malik has welcomed and confirmed acceptance of them (suspension of military operations.)”

Original Post: Hasn’t happened yet, but if it goes down, its a great thing.

Yemen Post: The Yemeni government has announced the military operations to be suspended in the north, a move which comes in response to calls of relief organizations to allow in aid for the affected and commitment of the rebels to end destructive acts, Saba has reported.

The suspension will take place at 9 pm Friday.

The Houthi rebels, who have been fighting the troops since 2004, are also committed to eliminate landmines, barriers and end sniper attacks.

Excellent, now Al Motamar is reporting it.

US Responds to UN Appeal with Food for 100,000 Saada Refugees

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 3:19 pm on Sunday, August 30, 2009

Its good (although costly) that they are actually shipping food, instead of just giving money. Also the statement asks the Yemeni government to minimize civilians casualties, but its hard to do when the Yemeni military is bombing cities. Also the US is asking for the safe corridor for humanitarian supplies. Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, when estimates are 150,000 civilians are at extreme risk. The Yemeni government formed a committee to think about it. The following is from the Embassy website:

U.S. provides $2.5 million in food aid for displaced people in Sa’ada, August 30, 2009

In response to the urgent humanitarian needs of the civilian population in Sa’ada governorate as a result of the resumption of military conflict, the United States of America, through USAID and its Food for Peace program, is pleased to announce a contribution of over $2.5 million to the World Food Program.

This contribution includes 3,440 metric tons of wheat and 460 metric tons of beans – enough to feed 100,000 people for two and one-half months. The first shipment of wheat is expected to arrive in the near future.

While the United States recognizes the responsibility of the Government of Yemen to defend its national territory against armed rebellion, this responsibility must be exercised in a manner that minimizes risk to the non-combatant civilian population.

The United States calls on both parties to the conflict to ensure the security of international relief workers in the region, and the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to camps housing internally displaced persons.

الولايات المتحدة تقدم مساعدات غذائية بقيمة 2.5 مليون للنازحين في صعدة
(Read on …)

Yemen Arrests UN Employee After Report on Humanitarian Crisis

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 7:49 am on Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Yemeni government has arrested journalists for covering the Sa’ada War. This case is a tactic of intimidation directed against the international aid organizations.

from al Nedaa here, I think this is it:

Detained an officer of the United Nations in Sana’a .. after hours of a report on the humanitarian situation
الخميس , 27 أغسطس 2009 م Thursday, August 27th, 2009 م

اعتقلت مجموعة أمنية عصر أمس وليد شرف الدين، الموظف في مكتب الأمم المتحدة بصنعاء. Security group arrested yesterday afternoon and Walid Sharaf al-Din, an employee of the United Nations Office in Sana’a. وقال مصدر قريب من أسرة شرف الدين إن ضباطاً يعتقد أنهم تابعون لجهاز الأمن القومي دهموا منزل وليد وقاموا بتفتيشه ثم اعتقاله ومصادرة كمبيوتره المحمول (اللابتوب)، وأوراقه. A source close to the family added that the officers believed to be affiliated to the National Security Service raided the house of Walid and then searched his arrest and the confiscation of his laptop (laptop), and leaves.
ولم يصدر أي تصريح عن مكتب الأمم المتحدة بشأن الاعتقال حتى مساء أمس. There was no statement from the Office of the United Nations detention until Sunday evening. وعزت مصادر خاصة الاعتقال إلى انزعاج السلطات اليمنية من تقرير نشرته الأمم المتحدة أمس. And private sources attributed the arrest to alarm the Yemeni authorities of the report published by the United Nations yesterday. أعده مكتبها في صنعاء، يتعرض إلى الأوضاع الانسانية في صعدة وعمران، ومسؤولية الأجهزة الحكومية والجيش عن معاناة النازحين في مناطق العمليات العسكرية. Prepared by the office in Sana’a, is exposed to the humanitarian situation in Sa’ada, Amran, and the responsibility of government agencies and the military for the suffering of displaced persons in the areas of military operations.

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.

UN Appeals for Humanitarian Cease Fire in Sa’ada War to Allow Access to IDPs

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 10:52 am on Friday, August 21, 2009

Relief Web

Thousands displaced and trapped by fighting in northern Yemen
Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Date: 21 Aug 2009

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days

We are increasingly concerned about the fate of thousands of Yemeni civilians caught in escalating fighting between Al Houthi rebels and the government forces in the mountains of northern Yemen. It is estimated the fighting around Sa’ada city displaced some 35,000 people in the past two weeks alone.

According to those fleeing from this remote, inaccessible part of Sa’ada governorate, the situation appears to be critical in Sa’ada city and further north in Addahar district, as well as in El Sufyan in neighbouring Amran governorate, The roads to Sa’ada governorate are blocked and there is no access to the conflict areas by air. Many attempting to flee are taking great risks and are paying smugglers to get out.

Since 2004, the clashes between the Al Houthi rebels and government troops in Sa’ada governorate have affected an estimated 120,000 people.

The Al-Talh camp, one of four camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sa’ada city run by the Yemeni Red Crescent, continues to receive a steady influx of displaced families. Some 5,250 IDPs fled there early last week from the nearby Al Anad camp, which became a battleground over the past few days. Civilians are also fleeing north and west towards the Saudi border in Baqim and in Mandaba. Others are moving east, looking for shelter on the outskirts of Dhahian city and Sahar district. Many are trying to reach Al-Talh camp.

In neighbouring Hajjah Governorate, southwest of Sa’ada, the authorities have set up a transit area between the towns of Haradh and Malaheet as thousands of IDPs are scattered along the road. There several UN and government agencies register and provide assistance to the IDPs. Some 8,400 IDPs have approached the registration center for assistance in recent days.

UNHCR, as part of a joint UN team, has been in Hajjah Governorate since last week to quickly assess the situation. Our staff found many families fled, abandoning homes or previous displacement areas, to join refugees further south. They need shelter, clean water and basic sanitation facilities. Yemeni authorities informed UNHCR it plans to open a camp in the area to accommodate arriving IDPs.

UNHCR, together with other agencies, is undertaking several other assessment missions to areas of displacement including Hajjah, Amran, and Al-Jawf governorates. We began distributing relief assistance, including tents, plastic sheeting, blankets and jerry cans to IDPs in Hajjah governorate where we have been granted access. Distribution of our aid items to IDPs in Sa’ada has been suspended due to the fighting.

We are appealing for a ceasefire which would allow the civilian population to escape the fighting and enable aid workers to resume deliveries of humanitarian assistance.

We are asking donor governments for an additional US$ five million to be able to respond to this latest emergency. These urgently needed funds would allow UNHCR to organize coordination and management of the camps, expand registration and protection of IDPs, and provide much needed tents for shelter and other humanitarian assistance for the next four months.

Since 2007, UNHCR has been supporting some 100,000 people affected by the fighting in the north. UNHCR also provides protection and assistance to some 150,000 refugees and asylum seekers who have made the dangerous journey to Yemen across the Gulf of Aden. The annual budget for UNHCR operations in Yemen is US$22 million.

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 …)

Yemen Grants UN Access to Newly Displaced Civilians, Difficulties Remain in Dispatching Aid

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 12:14 pm on Thursday, August 20, 2009

UN Estimate: 150,000 internal refugees
Access granted in Hajja, limited in Sa’ada
Supplies on the ground
I guess the UN like everyone else was expecting the sixth war, but the turn time by the international orgs and community this round is commendable. There’s a good run-down of UN efforts and challenges in Yemen at the Yemen Times. The photos coming out of Sa’ada of children killed in the bombing are gruesome. Others show piles of limbs and such.

SANAA, 20 August 2009 (IRIN) – Some 10,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the northern governorate of Saada over the past two days as fighting between government troops and rebels continues to escalate, according to Sheikh Saleh Habra, a tribal leader from Saada.

“Clashes have shifted to areas near some IDP [internally displaced persons] camps in Saada city, compounding the plight of women and children,” Habra told IRIN. “Relief items delivered by international and local aid agencies are reaching less than 10 percent of IDPs.” (Read on …)

ICRC “Alarmed” by Armed Conflict in North Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update: UN Sec Gen, Ki-Moon expressed concern, and the US called for a ceasefire and the protection of civilians. The international community is moving on the issue with a speed I didn’t know was possible, and that’s good.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed about the intensification of armed confrontations in the north of Yemen that has taken place over the past two weeks.

As a result of the fighting, thousands of people fled their homes to take temporary refuge in Sa’ada and Amran governorates. The ICRC is worried about the safety of internally displaced people (IDPs), particularly those sheltered in camps in Sa’ada located near the fighting.

As a neutral and independent humanitarian organization, the ICRC calls upon all parties to the armed confrontations to respect the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. In particular, it reminds them of their obligation to take all measures necessary to spare the lives of civilians and their property, to allow the wounded and the sick to receive medical treatment, and to do everything possible to ensure that medical personnel, facilities and vehicles are spared the effects of the fighting. (Read on …)

UN Sending Medical Supplies to Sa’ada

Filed under: Donors, UN, Medical, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:25 pm on Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I’ll never forget the description by MSF (Doctors Without Borders) of rushing to send an ambulance for several badly injured women during the last round of the Sa’ada war, and then the doctors got turned back at a checkpoint. The bleeding people knew the ambulance was turned back and that no help was coming, and several died before the morning. While thinking about Yemen in large strategic abstractions is complicated, its painful to think about individuals and what their next ten minutes holds – hungry, without water or shelter, possibly injured, bombs randomly dropping. If there’s currently 120,000 internal refugees, then by Yemeni demographics, we are talking about nearly 100,000 children. So kudos to the UN and WHO for moving quickly with the medical supplies. The following update is from UN.org Now the doctors and medicine have to get in. Really all the donors have to insist, every person with a shred of humanity in the GPC has to take a stand. This can’t go on.

18 August 2009 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is rushing medical assistance to northern Yemen, the scene of recent violence pitting Government forces against rebels.
The agency has sent medicine and supplies to treat people who have sustained injuries during the fighting, which media reports say has lasted a week in the mountainous region of Saada. Further supplies will be sent to the area next week.

A senior WHO emergency health officer has been dispatched from Cairo, Egypt, and is set to visit the conflict zone shortly, said spokesperson Paul Garwood. WHO is waiting for confirmation of casualty figures, and is working with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on a joint health and nutrition response to the current emergency.

South Yemeni Demonstrations in Solidarity with Kuwait

Filed under: Donors, UN, Iraq, Other Countries, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:43 pm on Sunday, August 2, 2009

Only in Yemen… Protests held in South Yemen in sympathy with the nation of Kuwait on the anniversary of its invasion by Saddam.

South Arabian Times: The Day of Solidarity with Kuwait: 4 injured and dozens arrested

Today thousands of people went out in the streets of South Yemen in the day of Solidarity with Kuwait. The call has been sent by the leaders of the Southern movement,

The occupation forces opened fire on the peaceful demonstrations.

The demonstrators demand the release of the detainees and in solidarity with the newspaper “Alayyam “and Shaikh Tariq AlFadli.

WFP Appeals for Funds to Feed Yemeni Women and Children

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Donors, UN, Medical, Women's Issues, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 11:45 pm on Sunday, July 26, 2009

Half of Yemeni children are stunted from malnutrition. That’s a stat from 2006, things are much worse now. A third of Yemenis are malnourished, and children suffer the most. However corruption, economic monopolies, wars and the diversion (and sale) of aid are among the most detrimental factors impacting Yemenis.

World Food Programme appeals for $23 million to help Yemenis women and children 9. July 2009

The World Food Programme (WFP) issued an urgent appeal on Tuesday for $23 million in “financial support from international donors for food aid to Yemen specifically targeted at women and children,” AFP/Google.com reports. (Read on …)

Eight Million Yemenis Abroad? USD 1 Billion in Remittances

Filed under: Demographics, Donors, UN, India, Ministries, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen-Statistics — by Jane Novak at 9:05 pm on Thursday, July 2, 2009

Whoa, last time we checked, it was 2 million abroad. What did they do- give out six million bogus passports in the last two years? (The statistical anomaly is not unusual- during the 2006 elections, there were more registered male voters than men. The official unemployment statistics are pretty funny too.) And now the plan is to establish a monitoring system on Yemeni expats… Does Yemen really need 62 embassies; they’re such money pits. There were those big and repeated announcements in 2005 that the regime was going to close some embassies as money saving measures, Romania I think it was, but it never happened. From the Yemen Observer:

Yemen plans to conduct comprehensive surveys for Yemeni expatriates that would focus on their numbers, jobs, families and activities, and their remittances to their homeland. (Read on …)

International Academics Appeal for Free Press in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Media — by Jane Novak at 10:02 am on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good!

RESEARCHERS’ APPEAL TO THE YEMENI GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT A FREE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE LOCAL PRESS

Your Excellency,

We researchers, who had the special opportunity to conduct our studies on Yemen, are writing to express our deep concern about the current situation of the Yemeni press.

During the past month, May 2009, we noticed a sharp increase and intensification of confiscation of newspapers, restriction of access to printing facilities and distribution systems, lawsuits against publishers, detention of journalists, blocking of web sites, and use of force against press offices as well as the announcement of establishment of a special press court. We would like to express our particular worry that all of this seems to harm not only the Yemeni press, but also Yemen’s international reputation. While reports, articles and books used to testify to the comparatively free press of the Republic of Yemen, we fear Yemen is losing this distinction among the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

However, the Yemeni press – its diversity of viewpoints, capacity of reporting and multiplicity of newspapers and magazines – is, in our professional experience, an essential source for historical, political, social and economic understanding of the country.

For this reason, we jointly decided to appeal to your position of leadership in the Yemeni government to end these restrictions on the press and to support to free circulation of ideas, opinions, and information.

Conscious that we share a common dedication to the study of Yemen, we respectfully ask your consideration of our appeal.

Sincerely,
- Paul Aarts (the Netherlands)[1]
- April Alley (the United States)
- Caroline Blayney (the United States)
- Robert D. Burrowes (the United States)
- Sheila Carapico (the United States)
- Nora Colton (the United States)
- Susanne Dahlgren (Finland)[2]
- Marina de Regt (the Netherlands)[3]
- James Dickins (the United Kingdom)
- Charles F. Dunbar (the United States)[4]
- Iris Glosemeyer (Germany)
- Bradley Heinz (the United States)[5]
- Jean Lambert (France)
- Kamil Mahdi (the United Kingdom)
- Brinkley Messick (the United States)[6]
- Martha Mundy (the United Kingdom)
- Monica Perini (Italy)
- J.E. Peterson (the United States)
- Charles Schmitz (the United States)[7]
- Jillian Schwedler (the United States)[8]
- Anna Wuerth (Germany)
(June 15, 2009)

[1] Senior Lecturer International Relations, Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam.
[2] Academy Research Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
[3] International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.
[4] Professor of International Relations, Boston University.
[5] Stanford University.
[6] Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York.
[7] Towson University
[8] Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

الرئيس علي عبدالله صالح

السفارة اليمنية c/o
;فخامة الرئيس, تحية طيبة و بعد

.نحن الباحثين ممن كانت لهم الفرصة للدراسة في اليمن, نعرب لكم عن قلقنا الشديد في الوضع الراهن للصحافة اليمنية
ًًًًًًًًًًخلال الشهر الماضي, مايو ٢٠٠٩ , لاحفظنا تزايداً ملوحظاً في مصادرة الصحف, تقييد للطباعة و النشر, دعاوى قضائية ضد رؤساء التحرير, اعتقال للصحافيين, حجب مواقع على شبكة انترنت و استعمال للقوة ضد مكاتب صحافية و كذلك اقامة محكمة خاصة بوسائل الاعلام

.نود بذلك الاعراب عن قلقنا و أسفنا العميقين, لأن ذلك لا يمس الصحافيين اليمنيين فقط, و انما يمس ايضاً بسمعة اليمن الدولية

.بينما تشهد التقارير و المقالات و الكتب لليمن لحرية صحافتها مقارنة بغيرها من دول شبه الجزيرة العربية, نحن على خوف شديد من ان تفقد اليمن هذه الميزة
.رغم ذلك الصحافة البمنية بتعدد وجهات نظرها, بقدرتها التقريرية, وتعدد صفحها و مجلاتها, بحسب بتجربتنا المهنية, تعد مصدراً اساسياً لتفهم أمور الدولة تاريخياً و سياسياً و اجتماعياً و قتصادياً

ً
.من أجل ذلك كله, قررنا معاً ان نتوجه بهذا النداء الى سيادتكم و من موقعكم في قيادة الحكومة اليمنية, لانهاء هذه القيود على الصحافة اليمنية,و دعم تبادل الأراء و الأفكار و المعلومات

.علماً بأننا جميعاً نتاشرك في تفانينا و فخرنا بالدراسة في اليمن, نتوجه اليكم بكل تقدير وبتبجيل بأن تأخذون بالحسبان نداءنا هذا مع فائق الشكر

(ترجمة احمد)

Yemeni Gov Bankrupting Free Press: Donors Silent

Filed under: Business, Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Media — by Jane Novak at 9:41 am on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Its very good of the CPJ and RSF and other journalists organizations are staying on top of the assualt on the Yemeni media, but why are the donors so quiet on the issue that is so clear cut?

From News Yemen:

Six newspapers the Ministry of Information have suspended since a month have lost Yr 80 million (almost $400,000) and as many as 200 staff lost their income sources due to the suspension and suppression against those newspapers, said a press report prepared by journalist Mohammad al-Hakimi.

A source in the Aden-based al-Ayyam daily said the newspaper lost Yr 181 million until now, approximately Yr 21 million per a week. He said the paper continues to lose money. It added that 1185 vendors who used to circulate the paper have lost their income resource due to the suppression against the paper.

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to end censorship of independent newspapers and to identify and prosecute those who assaulted Al-Jazeera journalists on two occasions in the south of the country.
Fans of the suspended newspapers organized in Karesh district in Lahj last Thursday a protest to the government’s policy against newspapers.

More from the Yemen Post:
(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.

The German Investigators in Yemen Could be the Next Target

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Donors, UN, Other Countries — by Jane Novak at 10:28 am on Friday, June 19, 2009

Considering what happened to the South Korean convoy of officials, (attacked by a suicide bomber), those German and British investigators in Yemen should really keep an eye out and not take the route cleared in advance by the Yemeni government.

How you operate in that kind of enviornment, I don’t know, but in March of this year, there was a follow-on terror attack targeting the South Korean investigators/officials who arrived in Yemen after the murder of the four South Korean tourists. Its just something to keep in mind in the midst of this highly bizarre hunt for the three missing German toddlers, their parents and a British guy. In one scenario, there was a lot of planning involved and it could extend that far.

Apparently, and as promised, the Yemeni government knows the identity of the kidnappers and has released their initials, still blaming Houthi affiliated persons, who have been identified but not captured yet. I hope the kidnappers don’t get killed in a botched shoot-out, ending the prospect of interrogating them. The following from Naba News, government tool:

Security Saada reach important clues about the kidnapping of foreigners
الخميس, 18-يونيو-2009 Thursday, 18 – June -2009
نبأ نيوز- أسرار برس – News report – Secrets of the Press –

كشف مصدر أمني في محافظة صعدة : ان الأجهزة الأمنية توصلت الى معلومات وخيوط مهمة حول جريمة اختطاف الأجانب وقتل ثلاثة منهم في محافظة صعدة. A security source in the governorate of Saada: The security services have reached an important information and clues about the crime of kidnapping of foreigners and killed three of them in the province of Saada.
وقال المصدر ان التحقيقات التي أجرتها أجهزة الأمن توصلت إلى معرفة مشتبهين رئيسيين في جريمة اختطاف وقتل النساء الثلاث , الأول يدعى ( ح . ك ) والثاني يدعى (م , ك ) وهما من أبناء منطقة نشور. The source said that the investigations carried out by the security services had identified two main suspects in the crime of kidnapping and murder of three women, the first called (h. K) and the second-called (m, k) are living in a region of the resurrection. (Read on …)

EU Counter-Terror Chief Ranks Yemen with Pakistan as Threat to EU

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Donors, UN, Other Countries, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:03 pm on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ALGIERS, June 17 (Reuters) – Yemen is in danger of following Afghanistan down the path to becoming a safe haven for Islamist militants, the European Union’s anti-terrorism chief said in an interview on Wednesday.

Three foreign women were found dead in Yemen this week after they were kidnapped by an armed group, heightening long-standing fears the country could slip into chaos and provide a launchpad for militant attacks.

Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, said he had recommended that Yemen be ranked alongside Pakistan and the northern Sahara as regions that harbour threats to European interests. (Read on …)

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 .

Yemen’s Human Rights Record Praised?

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN — by Jane Novak at 11:18 am on Saturday, May 16, 2009

The disappointing thing is not that the dictators club in the UN praised Yemen, but that the Western democracies were too intimidated to speak the truth. Pathetic.

From the Cairo Institute of Human Rights Studies

Yemen: A leader in Human Rights?
Yemen’s repressive government praised by UN Human Rights Council

On May 11 and 13, 2009, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) debated and adopted a report on the human rights policies of Yemen. Despite the dire human rights situation in this country, the vast majority of states involved in the process offered praise for the government’s human rights policies, or failed to make substantive recommendations on how to improve the situation. (Read on …)

Yemen Denying Visas to Researchers, Press, HR Orgs

Filed under: Donors, UN, Media, Targeting — by Jane Novak at 7:32 am on Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More bad Google translation. Several journalists, academics, human rights workers and others were denied visas to Yemen recently. The following story deals with Laurent Bonneyfoy, French academic, who had a visa and was refused entry at the airport. He wasn’t even permitted to call the French Embassy or his wife in Sana’a before being turned around and flown back out. He was working on research with the International Crisis Group on the Sa’ada War. The ICG is an impartial and respected organization that focuses on conflict resolution.

This tactic of denying visas along with the banning of several major newspapers is clearly a regime tactic to hide the truth and prevent its dissemination internally and internationally. Its such a dirtbag regime, but it plays the game very well. Bonneyfoy is never very controversial or critical and normally sticks to boutique topics, but any research on Sa’ada scares the regime. There’s a lot still hidden that they want to stay hidden. As I’ve said before, this tactic of threatened and actual Visa denial causes some to temper their public analysis. Its understandable, but the world and the Yemeni people suffer for it.

Saleh’s propaganda machine is actually quite impressive in its repressive and proactive aspects domestically and internationally. The several other instances of recent Visa refusals are equally egregious. You’ll have to take my word for it until they become public.

Al Needa: طرد الشهود من اليمن وإغلاق البلاد على حروب غير محدودة – نبيل سبيع Expelled from Yemen, witnesses and the closure of the country’s wars, however limited – Subaie
الخميس , 30 أبريل 2009 م Thursday, April 30, 2009 m
Print Send News
أجرت منظمة دولية مرموقة بحثا في اليمن حول إيجاد شروط أساسية لبناء سلام دائم في صعدة وتزمع إصدار تقرير حول ذلك بعد أسبوعين، لكن القصة ليست هنا. Held a prestigious international organization in Yemen, on the search to find the conditions essential to building a lasting peace in Saada and intends to issue a report on that after two weeks, but the story is not here. القصة في أن التقرير تسبب بطرد الباحث الفرنسي بونفوا الذي عمل عليه وهذه قد تكون بداية سياسة جديدة تنتهجها صنعاء: The story that the report caused Bonfoi, causing him to expel the French researcher who worked for him and this could be the beginning of a new policy sanaa:
الوضع في اليمن ذاهب إلى الأسوأ. (Read on …)

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.

Donors Dissatisfied with Reform Implementation

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, GCC, Ministries, Yemen, govt budget, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:11 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yemen is unable to absorb donor aid in a constructive and transparent manner. A large percentage of aid, grants and loans- beyond the 5.5 bil- have also not been utilized or were diverted. Yemen Post

SANA’A // More than two years after a donors conference in London pledged US$5.5 billion (Dh20bn) to help Yemen, just over $375 million has been disbursed. The challenge now, according to a top World Bank official, is obviously translating those pledges into action.

“We made significant pledges of financial and other assistance in London, but the challenge is now one of implementation, of ensuring that these pledges translate into actual action on the ground, and that the activities we finance are true priorities for the country,” said Daniela Gressani, the World Bank’s regional vice president for Middle East and North Africa. Almost half of the pledges – $2.5bn – came from Gulf states.

Nabil Shaiban, Yemen’s general director of international co-operation at the ministry of planning and international co-operation, said the delay in using the funds was because of the time needed to meet donors’ requirements for allocating the money. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Human Rights Ministry Gears Up to Dispute Wide Array of HR Reports

Filed under: Biographies, Civil Rights, Corruption, Donors, UN, Reform, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:12 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Further damage control on the son of the Yemeni president being a thief according to US federal courts: here here and here

al Motamar

US State Department reports are political targeting: Human Rights Minister
Tuesday, 14-April-2009
Almotamar.net – Yemen Human Rights Minister Dr Huda al-Ban has on Tuesday revealed a government tendency for engaging civil society organisations working in human rights field in the reply to international reports issued by the US State Department, Amnesty International, Freedom House and others, so that the reply would be a national one instead of official. She has accused report by the US State Department of inaccuracy, reshuffling cards and fabrication of non-existing realities. She added that 95% of the issues and incidents the report has tackled had been literally mentioned in previous years. (Read on …)

Donors Conference Held in Sana’a

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Saudi Arabia, prisons — by Jane Novak at 2:01 pm on Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saudis fund road from Sa’ada to Aden. This is the conference that was postponed at the last minute a few months ago.

Saudi offers Yemen 2 grants & $ 325 million loan for road & malaria control
Sunday, 05-April-2009
Almotamar.net – Yemen and the Saudi Fund for Development on Sunday have signed the final agreement memorandum for contribution to financing the project of the dual highway linking the governorates of Amran-Sana’a –Aden, the second part linking Sana’a to Beit Al-Kumani at a cost of $329 million. (Read on …)

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 …)

No Food for Yemeni Flood Victims

Filed under: Agriculture, Demographics, Donors, UN, Enviornmental, Yemen, poverty/ hunger   · · · — by Jane Novak at 7:58 pm on Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The corruption is predictable but the UN’s incompetence and complacency in the face of these disasters, from the refugees, to Sa’ada to Hadramout, is staggering.

IRIN

SEYOUN, 1 April 2009 (IRIN) – Delays in distributing food aid are generating anger and despair among people in the southern Yemeni governorate of Hadhramaut affected by the October 2008 floods, flood-displaced people and community leaders say.

“We only received food rations for one month after the disaster,” said Issa Awadh Sedan, a mason from Mashta, a severely affected part of Tarim District in Hardhamaut. Sedan lost his house in the floods which left 47 dead and displaced 25,000 others. (Read on …)

Foreign Aid Can’t Save Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 12:28 pm on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There are several steps that could be taken to stabilize Yemen but pumping foreign aid in is not one of them and will make little impact. The absorption rate for Yemeni aid is under 60%, and Yemen is paying interest on unspent loans. Yemen is unable to coordinate its administrative efforts in productive manner due to corruption, incompetence and institutional weakness. The Planning Ministry hasn’t come up with the plans to allocate the donor’s funds pledged in 2006, and even with a plan, the execution of development projects in Yemen is consistently poor, due partially to the failure of coordination among the ministries and the overall lack of fiscal accountability .

Yemen Observer, interview with former foreign minister:

Donor support
Concerning pledges made by the GCC and several international donors to support Yemen’s development, al-Asali said,” The government should act quickly, and it should realize that times have changed, and the patience of donors and the Yemeni people has run out.”

In November 2006, the GCC and several other international donors in London pledged more than $4.7 billion, most of it from the GCC, to support further development in Yemen.

“Now it has been about two and a half years, and the problem remains. Even the money, which has already been allocated, will be withheld because Yemen’s institutions will not be able to meet the conditions of the allocations,” said the former Minister of Finance. “But the problem is that the government believes it can use the money through Yemeni institutions, but the donors believe that these Yemeni institutions are not enough and unable to use the money effectively.”

He said some of these institutions are effective and some are not, but in general they are not in a position to effectively use the money provided. “So, the government should have agreed with the donors on other alternatives to use the money.”

“I remember when I was Minister of Finance, I suggested that the money from Saudi Arabia should be allocated for electricity production, and the money from UAE for the development of ports, and the money from Qatar for technical education, etc. However, the cabinet did not agree with me,” he said. Al-Asali also expected the global economic crisis to affect the allocation of donor pledges. “They were supposed to hold an asessment meeting two years after the London conference, but they did not hold this meeting until recently,” he said.

Yemen Denies Navies Access to Territorial Waters

Filed under: Donors, UN, India, Other Countries, Security Forces, USA, pirates — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Friday, March 13, 2009

Not even on a per case basis when in hot pursuit, Yemen Observer:

Yemen has denied foreign navies access to Yemen’s territorial waters whilst in pursuit of pirates. Yemen’s Deputy-Foreign Minister for Arab, Asian and African Affairs Ali al-Ayashi, denied the news currently being circulated by some websites that quoted a French diplomatic source saying the Yemeni government had permitted foreign warships to chase pirate vessels into its territorial waters on a case-by-case basis when Yemen is unable to act.

Al-Ayashi said these claims were baseless, and go directly against the sovereignty of Yemen. “The issue of fighting piracy by foreign ships in Yemen’s territorial waters is baseless, and Yemen has never agreed to any such procedures,” said al-Ayashi. He added that Yemen had affirmed many times that it would fight piracy in its territorial waters through the use of Coast Guard patrols, and through joint-operations between the Yemeni Navy and Coast Guard.
(Read on …)

Hundreds of Thousands of Refugees Unregistered by UNHCR

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I’ve recently been corresponding with some Somali refugees in Yemen. One who converted to Christianity says when he goes into the UN offices, he gets overtly harassed and insulted by the UN employees for converting. Other refugees report little assistance and open hostility from the office. The open letter below says refugees are beaten and intimidated by Yemeni security forces outside the UN offices. Three refugees were killed and two women raped by the security during a protest outside the UN offices in 2005. To date, the Yemen UN office has failed to register hundreds of thousands of refugees. Maybe it is time for a “new registration mechanism” to deal with the abysmal situation. A note from Yemen to the UN office on refugees:

Dear Mr.Andrew Kinght.
Really I read your answer about the Iraqi refugees protest. But really you comment or answer is very wrong as I understanding. You are side that there is not any protest, I am asking you not about protest but your office have interest to cooperate with refugees problem in this difficult country?
Dear Sir, how many refugees are (beaten) by the Yemeni Police Guard in front of your office every day, especial most of them they are old women.
Mr. Andrew, I hear from your good behave and humanity for refugees in this country, but I am asking you to keep this behalves my dear.
Yours
(redacted)
Sana’a Yemen

Yemen Post notes the UNHCR seeks aid and reform, good! Many of the international orgs dance around the regime because otherwise they make it impossible to get anything done. The ICRC still (!) has problems getting unfettered access to Sa’ada.

Yemen Post

More than 700 thousand Somali refugees in addition to thousands of other African nationalities in Yemen most of which are not registered with the Office of High Commissioner for Refugees, said the Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the National Commission for Refugees, Muthana Ali Hassan. (Read on …)

IMF Yemen 2008

Filed under: Donors, UN, Oil, Reform, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 10:35 am on Friday, March 6, 2009

Military spending and corruption are the biggest leaks of public funds. This period of low prices would be an excellent time to reduce the deisel subsidies though. IMF

Directors welcomed the authorities’ commitment to reduce expenditure in the event that oil prices remain below the benchmark price in the 2009 budget. They stressed the need to strengthen public financial management and further prioritize public spending. This should involve the gradual elimination of fuel subsidies in the current environment of low international fuel prices, accompanied by a public education campaign and strengthening of the social safety net. Directors also called for continued civil service reform and wage restraint to reduce the large public sector wage bill.

Yemen-China Extradition Treaty

Filed under: China, Donors, UN, Judicial, USA — by Jane Novak at 3:08 am on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

They signed a similiar treaty with Spain after the 2007 Marib terror attack, and the Spanish-Syrian Nankli was shipping out after years and years in jail. So Yemen can extradite nationals to China and Spain, but not the US, how is that not in violation of the famous Yemeni constitution?

China-Yemen Extradition treaty signed.
YemenOnline. March 03 – Yemen and China signed two judicial cooperation treaties on Monday one of which on criminal extradition. The second treaty involved cooperation in criminal issues. The treaties were signed by Minister of Justice Ghazi Al-Aghbari and vice president of the Treaty and Legal Affairs Department at China’s Foreign Ministry Su Hong, who is leading a Chinese delegation currently visiting Yemen.

GCC Requested Donors Delay, WB Grants not Loans

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, GCC, Investment, Reform, Saudi Arabia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 10:30 pm on Sunday, February 22, 2009

al Motamar

Almotamar.net – The World Bank WB said Monday that it intends to assist Yemen for facing ramifications of the drop in oil prices for enhancement of efforts and orientations of the Yemeni government aimed to diversify sources of national income and lessening dependence on oil revenues.

Vice President of the WB for the Middle East and North Africa Daniela Gressani, currently on a visit to Yemen, said there is a steady progress Yemen has achieved in implementation of reforms. Gressani added that the WB has raised the ceiling of the annual support to Yemen to $ 120 million and adopted since the last year to offer all forms of assistance to Yemen in the form of gifts instead of loans in order to support the Yemeni government efforts for encountering the world rise in food prices and facing consequences of the floods disaster that hit governorates of Hadramout and Mahara.

Gressani also praised the level of improvement in the government performance in Yemen especially in regards to carrying out the foreign sources-funded projects. She has also stressed the significance of donors meeting of their commitments to Yemen pertaining to completion of allocations they had pledged at London Donors Conference in November 2006. She revealed that the WB would work for urging donors to speed up completing allocations of their pledges.

On the reasons behind postponement of the 3rd consultative meeting between the Yemeni government and donors, scheduled to be held last Sunday in Sana’a, Ms Gressani said the postponement was imposed by coincidence of its convening with the date of holding an international conference of donors for the reconstruction of Gaza Strip. She added, in a statement to Saba news agency on Monday, the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC states proposed postponing the meeting to a later date in order to secure large attendance. And that has been agreed between the Yemeni government and the donors.

France – Yemen to Build Harbour on Perim Island

Filed under: Donors, UN, Ports, Somalia, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 1:50 pm on Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yemen offers its Perim island for NATO-led anti-piracy fleet
Sanaa, 21 February – As NATO is expanding into the Red Sea and towards the Horn of Africa, the improvised naval and military base in Djibuti is perceived to be insufficient. French sources now revealed that French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to build an artificial port on Yemen’s Perim island, to harbour the international NATO-led naval forces that have been tasked by the United Nations Security Council with future large-scale and enduring anti-piracy missions. The Yemeni Perim island has been chosen for its strategic location at the entrance to the Red Sea between Yemen and Djibouti. Bernard Kouchner is expected to arrive in Djibouti tomorrow for talks with the local government and that of Somalia about a future coordination between their executive forces and the newly to be allocated international anti-piracy mission

(Read on …)

Hyundai Unable to Complete Electricty Project in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Electric, Investment — by Jane Novak at 1:44 pm on Sunday, February 22, 2009

SABA

Hyundai fines PEC $1 .7 million

SANA’A, Feb. 22 (Saba) – The Public Electricity Corporation PEC has paid a fine of $ 1.7 million for the Korean Hyundai Company which is currently implementing the Sana’a-Mareb electricity distribution network, a source at the corporation has confirmed. (Read on …)

Third Donors Conference Canceled in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:48 pm on Friday, February 20, 2009

OK the Saudis are peeved. This is a big move. It reminds me of when the US canceled the MCC award and the Forum for the Future after al Badawi was released.

Why would the Saudis be peeved? Maybe Yemen’s false announcement on the seven captured Saudi al Qaeda that wasn’t true, and which Yemen’s news agency retracted today. Maybe its the rest of the BS that Saleh is shoveling lately as counter-terrorism including the release of al Qaeda prisoners to fight the Southerners. About third of the six billion promised at the 2006 donors conference came from Saudi Arabia. The other Gulf states also ponied up substantial funds.

Yemen says they canceled the donors’ meeting because of a conflict in scheduling with a conference on Gaza.

Yemen, Donors delay third consultative meeting

SANA’A, Feb. 20 (Saba) – Yemen and its Development partners of donor countries, organizations and funds agreed on Friday delaying the third consultative meeting.

The date of the meeting, which was to be held next Sunday in Sana’a, will be set later, head of the Foreign Aid Coordination Unit at the Planning and International Cooperation Ministry Nabil Shaiban said. (Read on …)

UNHRC in Yemen Denies Knowledge of Bribes

Filed under: Corruption, Demographics, Donors, UN, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:55 pm on Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yahya’s boy, Naba News, is oddly not responding to my query on their reporting. However, nearly all international organizations in Yemen are penetrated by regime informants. The UNHRC is not performing well for a variety of reasons and many, many in dire need are not assisted including Somali refugees and Christian converts.

Since I published the article from Yemen Online, I’ve heard from quite a few refugees in Yemen who are desperate for any kind of assistance and begging for their lives. I will document what I can, but the risks sometimes outweigh the benefits when it comes to the UN and Yemen. The UNHCR’s rebuttal is at Yemen Online, at least they published it. But really, Yemen is a Stalinistic system, are we going to pretend forever?

YemenOnline, Special. Feb 24 – YemenOnline received today a clarification email from Mr. Andrew Knight, UNHCR-Yemen Office in response to an article that YemenOnline had published on its website in February 18, 2009 concerning an Iraqi protest at the gate of UNHCR’s office in Sana’a.

“No such protest took place at any of our offices in Yemen and there was certainly no raging environment with a number of discontented Iraqi families headed for the gate of UNHCR office Mr. Andrew Knight confirmed in his email.

Stressing that “the picture accompanying the article is not of UNHCR’s offices in Sana’a or even in Yemen.”, he added that it was just “ONE male Iraqi refugee” who came to the office to renew his family’s documents for the coming year, and when physical presence of his family members was required, according to UNHCR security policy, he “proceeded in anger to tear up his papers and then threw them at our reception staff.”

“With regard to the US$ 10,000 that has to be paid to staff in order for the resettlement documents to be processed, Mr. Knight confirmed that “this is certainly not UNHCR policy and, if anybody has an allegation to make, UNHCR strongly encourages them approach the office and submit their allegation with evidence. The Office takes these issues very seriously and an investigation will be carried on any substantiated reports of resettlement fraud”

In fact, YemenOnline published the abovementioned article based on a report published on Nabanews website which is run by an Iraqi national resident in Yemen.

Background, for years there has been an issue:

IRIN report on Somai refugees 2005 protests: “They say they’re ready to die, one by one, if the UNHCR doesn’t give them their rights,” added Zeyad.

One of the refugees’ chief demands is that their national identity cards, which allow them to work and send their children to school, be renewed.

Many of the refugees complain that, once IDs expire, they are unable to exercise their legal rights as legal residents. “Our children can’t go to school and we can’t work without them,” said Abdullah Adam, a refugee in Yemen for 15 years. “We want the UNHCR to renew our cards.”

The refugees in Yemen are a burden and the camps they go to are horrible, but no one wants to annoy the regime too much:

“Yemen has carried a major burden in dealing with irregular migratory movements in the region, yet has maintained an open-door policy to
refugees,” said Claire Bourgeois, UNHCR’s Representative in Yemen.
“Support from the international community however remains an absolute
necessity.” UN

UNHRC in Yemen Corrupt and Inept: Iraqis, Somalis

Filed under: Donors, UN, Iraq, Military, Refugees, Somalia — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Thursday, February 19, 2009

We knew this already, yes? That was the problem with the Somalis when they were demonstrating a year or two ago. The Somali refugees said the UN office in Yemen wasn’t processing paperwork (who’s paying for that slow down?) and discouraged them overtly. According to the Iraqi refugees, the UN office is extorting $10,000 to process documents.

There are some international orgs working in Yemen cleanly, like MSF for one, but others get sucked into the corrupt environment. Foreigners who can’t be bribed are sometimes overtly blackmailed or obliquely coerced by such tactics as threatened visa refusal.

This is part of the reason why Yemen, the real Yemen, is such a black hole, many Westerners go easy on the regime and self censor because those who don’t can’t come back and would lose their livelihood.

YemenOnline. Feb 18, 2009 – In a raging environment, a number of discontented Iraqi families headed for the gate of UNHCR office in Yemen where they tore up their own asylum and resettlement documents issued by UNHCR Yemen in protest to the degradation, ill-treatment and continuous extortion they received from UNHCR staff, as well as in protest to the violations against the international humanitarian laws.

A number of Iraqi refugees in Yemen said that UNHCR staff used to treat them with contempt and refuse to receive their resettlement documents to be processed and renewed. They added that a minimum of US$ 10,000 has to be paid to staff in order for the resettlement documents to be processed.

On a related note, Iraq issued a call for former Army officials to return, but there’s so many former Saddamists in high ranks in the Yemeni army now that I wouldn’t expect a mass migration of military personnel. The Saddamists impact on Yemeni policy, the military, the jihaddi rat trail and the Sa’ada War should not be underestimated, by any means. Thousands of Hussain’s officials and their money fled to Yemen at the start of the Iraq War.

Zawya

(AFP) – Iraq has invited soldiers who served under Saddam Hussein’s regime to come home or apply for their state pensions as part of a reconciliation process, the defence ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

The ministry is to send envoys to Iraqi embassies in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to make contact with the ex-soldiers, General Mohammed al-Askari told AFP.

“The ministry’s decision aims to achieve national reconciliation” and “settle the issue of members of the former regime,” he said. Askari said that the former soldiers would “without exception” be given one month either to sort out their entitlement to a pension or to return to the ranks of the army….

According to another defence ministry official, an estimated 23,000 ex-Iraqi army soldiers, including 9,000 officers, have taken refuge in the five Arab countries.

Some Wheat Donated by UAE to Yemen Sold

Filed under: Donors, UN, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:40 am on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its not really news but goes to the point of elite capture of foreign aid and donations. The numbers are staggering and a good part of the responsibility lies with the donors themselves. One third ( update: 40%) of all Yemenis suffer malnutrition, kids are literally wasting. Development projects where they are carried out are carried out poorly with lack of oversight due to the patronage network. Funds are regularly diverted for cars and other perks for officials. Yemen is paying substantial interest on “unused” loans.
YT

Over 80 percent of the 75,000 tons of wheat were distributed to 1,037,000 people registered with the Social Insurance Fund across the country. The distribution process is being carried out by the Yemeni Economic Corporation (YEC). (Read on …)

One Third of Yemenis Chronically Hungry

Filed under: Demographics, Donors, UN, Yemen, Yemen-Economy, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 3:25 pm on Thursday, February 5, 2009

A very stark stat that is increasing

Yemen Times To help the over half a million poor Yemenis affected by high and volatile food prices, the United Nations’ (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) is to deliver USD 24 million worth of food aid to eight governorates in Yemen…One in three Yemenis now suffers from chronic hunger, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2008 State of Food Insecurity report…

The WPF office in Yemen conducted a survey in mid-2008 which showed that poor Yemeni families were forced to spend up to 65 percent of their income of food, at the cost of children’s health and education.

The WFP’s emergency relief program in Yemen will target two groups. First, the organization will provide nutritional supplements to under-fives as well as under-twos and nursing mothers in specific districts. Second, it will ensure targeted food distribution to the country’s poorest families as determined by previous surveys.

“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 …)

Sana’a Forum Meeting in Sudan

Filed under: Donors, UN, Somalia, Sudan, pirates — by Jane Novak at 12:05 am on Saturday, January 3, 2009

al-Motamar

- The leaders of Sana’a Coalition have on Tuesday confirmed their full commitment to work for achieving security, peace and sustainable development the Horn of Africa region and in south of the Red Sea and solving disputes in peaceful ways.

In the closing statement issued by Sana’a Gathering 6th summit on Tuesday the leaders of the Gathering welcomed invitation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to host the 7th summit in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

The closing statement of Sana’a Gathering held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum emphasized the necessity of enhancing and developing the level of cooperation between the Gathering member states in all areas. The summit was attended by President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Somalia Nur Hassan Hussein, the President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh who participated as observer. (Read on …)

Donors Pledge 2.5 Billion to Yemen in 2009-10

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:59 pm on Friday, January 2, 2009

Yemen to receive $2.5 billon during 2009-2010

(Saba) – Yemen will receive $ 2.5 billion of commitments offered by the donors during 2009-2010.

Speaking to the state-run 26september weekly, undersecretary of Planning and International Cooperation Ministry Hesham Sharaf said that 2009 will be a year of investment in Yemen.

Sharaf said that $ 2.5 billion allocated to support the main and service sectors such energy, electricity and technical education.

Sharaf pointed out the current arrangements to provide more facilities to companies and businessmen.

He affirmed talks with donors will be held during the first quarter of the new year to agree on the support program for the coming period, pointing out the new directions by Germany, china, European Union to finance development process in the country.

EU Concerned About Postponement of Local Elections

Filed under: Donors, UN, Elections, Local gov, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saleh decided not to hold local elections, by fiat. The local councils are the ones that elect the governors now, although those indirect gubenatorial elections were pre-rigged and, where an unexpected result occured, over-turned.

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The European Union said it strongly supports the democratic process in Yemen and expresses its concern at certain recent developments, including the postponement of local elections for four years.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Council of European Union said the postponement may be interpreted as signs of deterioration in the political dialogue between the various stakeholders in Yemen.

The European Union calls on all sides to seek a consensus on the basis of the agreements reached between the various political parties along the lines of the recommendations put forward by the 2006 electoral observation mission, said the statement.

The European Union’s statement urges all political sides in Yemen to “take the path of peaceful coexistence in a spirit of constructiveness, with the aim of arriving at a compromise and a transparent and democratic consensus in order that democracy in Yemen can be strengthened.”

The EU confirms its willingness to consider sending a new electoral observation mission to Yemen for the parliamentary elections in the spring of 2009.

WB Aid to Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Friday, December 12, 2008

World Bank: U.S. $ 480m Yemen funding allocations for the years 2010 – 2013
YemenOnline. March 12 – Director of World Bank Office in Sana’a stated that the World Bank allocated the amount of U.S. $ 480m to finance projects included in the Qatari assistance strategy for Yemen for the years “2010 – 2013 with an annual average rate of US$ 120m. The Director of the Office of the World Bank told the Yemen News Agency (SABA) that the bank is currently held consultative meetings with Yemeni civil society organizations and the Yemeni government of Yemen to develop all visions regarding the identification of support fields in the Qatari assistance strategy for Yemen, pointing out that the portfolio of World Bank projects in Yemen up to US $ 500m.

World Bank Yemen Water Project: Little Accountability

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, Water, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Corruption and the fractured nature of the government as well as bureaucratic inefficiency hinder progress on nearly every crisis the country is facing. The WB needs to stay on top of all funds in Yemen. And as the article notes, the strategy impacts the poor.

Bicusa

As Yemen suffers from water crisis, Bank support for water sector hinges on private sector solutions

8 December 2008

A recent meeting between the World Bank and the Yemeni Planning Minister focused on preliminary negotiations on a proposed water sector project. However, the central question remains whether the Bank is ensuring water access for the poor.

In October, the Yemeni news agency Saba reported on a meeting between the World Bank and the Government of Yemen that focused on discussions around a proposed $90 million grant to support Yemen’s national water strategy. Last week, the Bank disclosed documents that indicate new estimates on project approval and anticipated donor financing commitments, though they offer little in terms of substantive plans for the project.

Despite the large volume of money that is being committed for the project – with expected Dutch, British and German government contributions, the total is expected to surpass $380 million – it remains unclear what specifically will be financed. There is only scant information available from the World Bank, and the five-year national strategy on which the aid is based is not publicly accessible. According to World Bank documents, the Yemen Water Sector Support Project is expected to go to the Board for approval in February 2009.

At the same time, while the decision to finance Yemen’s water strategy as a Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) lends to better donor coordination, it raises the possibility that the process is driven by and tailored to donors, whose expected contributions together account for nearly two-thirds of the cost of the project.

Yemen is the least developed country in the region, and one of the world’s most water poor countries in the world, where per capita availability of water is only 2% of the world average, according to the World Bank. Yemen’s water crisis has not only hindered the efforts to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth but has also resulted in social disputes over water wells and land ownership, as demand for water outstrips supply.

Rainfall represents the main source of water needed for agriculture and households, and nearly all of the rainfall evaporates. Reports show that about 90% of the ground water in Yemen is used for irrigation, mostly to grow qat, which accounts for roughly 40% of cultivated land. Meanwhile, in order to keep up with the increasing demand on water, landlords and private companies have been drilling unauthorized wells that have depleted Yemen’s groundwater.

Considering the depth of Yemen’s water crisis, the World Bank has rightfully emphasized water provision in its portfolio, as well as in its Country Assistance Strategy (CAS). Since 2000, the Bank has committed $303 million for the water sector, or 27% of approvals.

However, while preliminary project documents indicate that the bulk of the proposed Bank grant will support irrigation infrastructure and urban water systems, the nature of the investment remains unclear, including what if any policy changes in the water sector will accompany the grant. Typically, World Bank grants entail much more stringent conditions than loans that need to be repaid. To date, the Bank’s support for the water sector in Yemen has been predicated on fostering private sector involvement, particularly in urban water services, and in granting private companies the responsibility to assess water and demand levels and to determine prices. The Bank has also advised the government to lift subsidies on diesel, a major expense in qat cultivation

Some observers have raised concerns about how effective the World Bank’s interventions have been in addressing Yemen’s water problems, and questioned the impact and rationale of the Bank-supported strategies such as introducing water tariffs, encouraging public-private partnerships, pushing for a greater private sector role, and lifting subsidies on maintenance, spate irrigation, and diesel. These advocates have suggested that the Bank’s approach to date has placed a disproportionate emphasis on private sector solutions to Yemen’s pressing water needs, and that these efforts have not been accompanied by adequate measures to mitigate adverse impacts on the poor and ensure equitable access.

Japan Donates USD 800,000 to Aid Yemen Flood Victims

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, disasters — by Jane Novak at 10:54 am on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That’s a friendly nation. Now they just have to oversee it to make sure at least half gets to the actual vicitms in an efficient manner.

Emergency grant aid to the Republic of Yemen for flood disaster
On December 9 (Tues.), the Government of Japan decided to extend emergency grant aid of about 800 thousand dollars (about 90 million yen) through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to support the victims of the serious flood disaster in the Republic of Yemen.

The Government of Japan has decided to extend this emergency grant aid in view of the necessity of humanitarian assistance and the friendly relationship between Japan and Yemen.

Prior to this decision, the Government of Japan provided emergency relief goods equivalent to 18 million yen. With this further grant aid, the total of emergency assistance from Japan for this flood disaster will be 108 million yen.

Donors Boost Aid

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:43 pm on Sunday, December 7, 2008

News Yemen

The General Inspector of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees Naser Ishaq said donor countries have worked on raising donations given to refugee in Yemen from $ 4 million to 17 million, official Saba agency reported.

In a meeting with the Secretary General of Aden Local Council Abdul-Karim Shaef Wednesday, the UNHCR official said the UNHCR understands troubles refugees cause to Yemen, especially those fleeing from the camps, but UNHCR will help Yemen solve the problem.

Shaef affirmed necessity of setting up controlling measures to refugees’ camps for easing the process of counting them, knowing their needs and allocating food and assistances to them, indicating annoyance to the authority caused by refugees who leave their camps.

Yemeni official called on the UNHCR to build capacities of refugees to help them get work in order promoting their living standards.

ADEN, NewsYemen

The representative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Sana’a Jian Carlo has announced the WFP will increase aid for the poor communities and African refugees in Yemen over the next two years to $ 50 million, said official Saba.

In a meeting with deputy governor of Aden Ahmed Salim Rabie, Carlo affirmed that his current visit to Aden comes to support and expand the WFP activities in the province.

The meeting brought up the burden the influx of African refugees lays on Yemen’s economy and the WFP efforts to provide assistance for the poor and African refugees in Yemen.

WFP also said it would contribute to distributing the food aid for the rain-affected people in Hadramout.

WFP said it had signed an agreement with the local authority in Hadramout on a mechanism to deliver foodstuff assistance to flooded people in every district of Hadramout.

Almost 3452 people were terribly affected of heavy rains that hit Hadramout and al-Mahra last October.

Ration cards for rain-affected families granted in Mukala

MUKALA, Dec. 06 (Saba) – Families affected by heavy rains that afflicted the eastern provinces late October are about to start receiving ration cards in the town of Mukala to be able to obtain aid materials.

The move comes according to measures approved by the Relief and Shelter Committee set up in the wake of the catastrophe to organize the process of distribution aid materials for beneficiaries.

The committee has earlier finished the counting process to ensure all affected families get aid for long time.

Director General of the town Salim Saleh Abdul Haq has urged the affected families to go to receive their ration cards so that they head to the aid distribution centers to receive their monthly food allowances.

Earlier the committee distributed cooking tools for registered families of those whose homes were destroyed either partly or completely.

Almost a month ago, Heavy rains lashed several parts of the republic killing people and destroying homes and lands.

Yemen did its utmost to deal with the catastrophe with assistance from regional and world states and is currently preparing rebuilding schemes.

ICRC Trains Yemeni Police on Lawful and Unlawful Use of Weapons

Filed under: Donors, UN, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:29 pm on Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good, maybe they will stop shooting protesters now.

Part of the problem is a lack of training and qualified leadership that is an outcome of nepotism.

Yemeni police officers lectured on weapons use in war and peace

SANA’A, Nov. 25 (Saba) – The Interior Ministry in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC on Tuesday concluded a training workshop for 30 police officers from nine governorates on the use of weapons in both war and peace.

The participants in the two-day workshop, held at the building of the Police Academy in Sana’a, were lectured on the international humanitarian laws that systematize the use of power during wars and in peace as well and explain how to protect persons.

Training officer of the Police Academy Ahmad Jandab hailed the ICRC’s support to such workshops that aim at provide policemen with knowledge about international laws.

Deputy Head of the ICRC’s mission in Yemen said that facilities offered by the Interior Ministry to the ICRC have enabled the ICRC to hold this workshop, confirming the readiness of the ICRC to organize more training workshops for Yemeni security personnel as a humanitarian responsibility.

Yemen Moves to Block UN and NATO Anti-Piracy Efforts

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, USA, Yemen, pirates — by Jane Novak at 10:45 pm on Monday, November 10, 2008

What’s the problem? The black market economy may suffer if security is established in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mendab?

Its amazing how much smuggling (drugs and medicine, weapons, persons, oil, counterfeit money) is going on. All with the knowledge of and/or facilitation by administration officials and in some cases, deployment of state apparatuses.

al-Motamar

Yemen warns of an Israeli scheme for internationalization of the Red Sea
Monday, 10-November-2008
Almotamar.net – Yemen has expressed its concern against dangers of the military presence in the south of the Red Sea on the Arab national security and what it represents of an introduction for passing of a scheme for internationalization of the Red Sea waters.

Yemen Foreign Minister Dr Abu Bakr al-Qirbi on Sunday expressed concern of the Yemeni Republic with what appears in the offing as a result of the intensive multi-national military presence at the southern inlet of the Red Sea and the dangers of that on the Arab national security and what it represents of a prelude for implementing the project of internationalizing waters of the Red Sea that was previously suggested by Israel and was faced with an Arab rejection.

The Yemeni Foreign minister also affirmed in an interview to al-Mithaq newspaper in its today’s issue that there are efforts exerted by Yemen under auspices of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, including his latest movement to a number of Arab countries for crystallization of unified Arab stand in the face of what is going on of military massing up and acts of piracy in the Red Sea.

Minister al-Qirbi renewed confirmation of Yemen’s stand calling for the countries on the Red Sea to bear their responsibility and coordinate their efforts for fighting the acts of piracy and not to depend on foreign countries in this regard.

The Minister has called the attention to a series of early arrangements and measures taken by the Yemeni government for facing the piracy, the more important is the deployment of more than one thousand soldiers along the Yemeni coasts and building an advanced centre for observation in addition to sending calls to the international community to support those measures.

UN Appeals for USD 11 Million to Aid 650,000 Flood Victims in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Enviornmental, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:36 pm on Monday, November 10, 2008

Relief Web: Humanitarian agencies appeal for $11.5 million to help flood survivors in Yemen

(New York, 10 November 2008): United Nations agencies in partnership with nongovernmental organizations today appealed for $11.5 million to enable them provide humanitarian aid to an estimated 650,000 people affected by the recent severe floods in Yemen.

Torrential rainfall lashed eastern Yemen on 24-25 October causing floods that inundated villages, killing at least 73 people, and destroying homes, crops and other property. The Wadi Hadramout valley and coastal areas were particularly hard hit. At least 3,264 houses, made mainly of mud bricks, were totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair, leaving between 20,000 and 25,000 people without shelter. Hundreds of other homes have been rendered unfit for human habitation.

The funding sought under the Yemen Floods Response Plan will be used to assist those affected with food, water and sanitation, health and nutrition services, shelter, protection and education. The plan comprises projects proposed by seven United Nations agencies, the International Organization for Migration, and two non-governmental organizations in coordination with the Government of Yemen.

Survivors also need help to restore their means of livelihood quickly. Funding needs for early recovery efforts will be identified in the coming weeks in consultation with the Government of Yemen. Several health facilities and an estimated 166 schools and educational facilities were damaged or destroyed. Flood water caused extensive damage to local agriculture and honey production.

The timeline for the humanitarian assistance will range from two to six months, with the food assistance expected to extend until the next harvest in April 2009. Assistance provided by the UN and NGOs will focus primarily on short-term humanitarian assistance, while addressing the outstanding gaps in immediate assistance and initiating the first activities related to post-floods early recovery.

US Flood Aid: USD 350,000

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The United States of America, through the Office of Foreign Disaster Relief, has disbursed $299,000 to the United Nations to support their disaster relief efforts for victims of the flooding in Hadramout and Mahra governorates, a press release sent by the U.S Embassy in Sana’a on Sunday said.

In addition, the United States Agency for International Development has re-deployed five of its Mobile Health Teams to the affected areas. Three have been sent to Sah, and the remaining two have been sent to Tarim. Each Mobile Health Team can care for 50 to 70 patients a day, it said.

The press release said these funds and services add to the $50,000 in emergency funding provided by the United States in late October to the World Food Program for the delivery of emergency food and supplies to the region.

The Embassy of the United States in Sana’a continues to coordinate with the Government of Yemen, the United Nations, and the international non-governmental organization community to determine how best to provide emergency relief to the victims of this disaster, said the Embassy.

Yemen Closes Borders to Non-Somali Refugees

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:15 am on Monday, October 13, 2008

News Yemen

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Deputy Interior Minister and head of the National Committee for Refugees Ali Mothana Hassan said Yemen is ready to give a refuge to only people who escape wars.

Official almotamar.net quoted Mothana as saying that Yemen is committed to international resolutions approve refugee status only for people who escape war-torn countries, like Somalia, so it directly gives asylum to Somalis.

Mothana said other nationals who come to Yemen due to bad economic situations in their countries or for other reasons could be considered migrants but not refugees.

The source said Mothana’s statement came in response to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) call on Yemeni government to clarify a orders by Interior Minister Mutahar al-Masri to security forces to deny the entry of Ethiopians and Eritreans to the country.

Yemen Observer: Yemeni security forces have closed the boarder crossings under the direction of Rashad Al-Masri, Minister of Interior in the face of the growing number of refugees the Yemeni coast has recently witnessed from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.

Al-Masri ordered the military units in the areas hardest hit by the influx to block refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea, renewing his call for the international community to stand up to their commitments and support Yemen in receiving and hosting these refugees from the Horn of Africa.

Al-Masri expressed concern over the increasing number of the African Horn refugees which has increased to 200 – 300 a day, since last September. The ministry’s information center quotes al-Masri as saying that the ministry is extremely concerned over the influx which is not only restricted to Somalia, stating that there about 140 refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea who recently landed at Dhibab and Ras al-A’ra in bab-Mindab.

The ministry of Interior’s statistics revealed that the Yemeni coast received 2214 Somali refugees during the period from the first to mid October.

The interior ministry is worried over the social, economic, cultural and security challenges that Yemen is now facing due to the continuing African refugee influx.

The Sana’a UNHCR’s reports states that the smuggling process has resulted in hundreds and possibly a thousand deaths due to the unsafe human piracy practiced in the Red sea.

Ambassador Al-Aishi asked the international community and the refugee agreement parties to undertake their responsibilities pertaining to this humanitarian situation. He called on the international community and particularly relevant neighboring states to share Yemen’s burden and accept some of the refugees and asked for NGOs to cooperate with the UNCHR commissioner to take new measures to prevent any country or countries from becoming a permanent haven for refugees as is now the case in Yemen.

Al-Sahwa:

The UNHCR said the Yemeni Interior Ministry has announced that Ethiopians and Eritreans would be denied entry to the country, which still grants immediate refugee status to Somalis fleeing their war-torn homeland.

“While recognising the generosity already shown by Yemen to refugees and asylum seekers, we are seeking clarification from the government on any changes in policy,” UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told a news briefing in Geneva.

The agency also said that some 87 Ethiopians were known to have been detained in Yemen over the past two weeks, while Yemeni authorities removed a further 25 Ethiopians from a vehicle transporting them to the UNHCR reception centre of Ahwar on Monday.

“We don’t know where they are but fear they were arrested and are being detained somewhere,” UNHCR spokeswoman Astrid Van Genderen Stort told Reuters.

The UNHCR urged Yemen, a signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention, to maintain access to asylum procedures for all those in need of international protection.

The poor Arab country is struggling to cope with an growing number of asylum seekers smuggled from the Horn of Africa in risk-filled voyages across the Gulf of Aden.

A total of 37,333 people have arrived in Yemen so far this year on smugglers’ boats, and 616 died or were reported missing, according to the UNHCR. The current total is already more than 50 percent higher than in 2007, when 23,000 made it to Yemen.

Yemen: No Religious Insults

Filed under: Donors, UN, Religious — by Jane Novak at 8:28 pm on Thursday, October 2, 2008

oh goody, doe this mean that Christians in Yemen might get equal rights?

Yemen calls for legislations banning insulting religious figures

NEW YORK, Sep. 29 (Saba)- Yemen called on Monday the UN General Assembly to adopt decisions to protect religious figures and to criminalize attacks on sacred properties.

That was mentioned in Yemen speech delivered by Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi in the 63rd round of the UN General Assembly which is currently held in New York.

Al-Qirbi talked about Yemen’s efforts in confronting terrorism and thwarting a number of terrorist acts such the last terror attack that targeted the US embassy in Sana’a.

He expressed hope that international condemnations of that attack is translated on reality in the form of support to help Yemen accelerate human development and confront poverty challenges.

Yemen Needs a Big Democratic Push from Donors

Filed under: Donors, UN, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:31 am on Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gee lots of articles on Yemen lately. I’m posting this one because its spot on: Policy suggestions from Dominic Moran at ISN who notes the government has become so degraded that is unable to implement its policies. A myopic focus on counter-terror will only exacerbate the underlying disfunctionality and foster more terrorism.

My .02: The only way to dilute the significant impact of al-Qaeda loyalists in the security forces and adminstration is through power sharing. The only way to un-couple the terrorists’ deployment of criminal networks is through transparency and accountability. On a broader level, the vast alienation of Yemeni youth from the political system is a function of the concentration of power, and neither the GPC or JMP have reversed their elitism.

An excerpt:

As elsewhere in the region, western nations’ support for authoritarian governance in Yemen has backfired, promoting the radicalization of dissent and the unhealthy closeting of necessary ties between the government and powerful sector and tribal interests.

Importantly, the multiple crises facing Yemeni society have been met by seeming government confusion. Here, an opportunity clearly exists for the Saleh government’s allies to push for genuine social, political and civil reform.

In re-imagining Yemen’s relations with the west it is important to recognize that this reform process is not a palliative for all societal ills.

With its endemic poverty and patchwork of tribal and religious affiliations and groups Yemen does not cohere as a unitary state. The centralization of power in a reformed polity will continue to rely on multiple and often competing networks of solidarity and affiliation which, of necessity, will continue to stand opposed to the interests of competing groups in ongoing client-patron and partnership relationships.

Nevertheless, the need for change is clear. The absence of true political contest and suppression of dissent effectively prevents the addressing of key structural issues that inhibit the functioning of the Yemeni political system and, by extension, state organs. This has promoted endemic corruption and the attendant ossification and impotence of state ministries and agencies.

The results are clear in the government’s apparent confusion in dealing with the current economic crisis created by food and fuel price hikes, which has forced a growing number of citizens on to the streets and prompted the UN’s World Food Program to announce an emergency food aid program this week.

Clearly, the failure of the government to deal in a unified and determined manner with the sudden incapacity of many citizens to make ends meet threatens to promote the interests of radical militant Islam in the absence of genuine political reform and the clear cooption of the government in the so-called war on terror.

A first important step that Yemen’s allies can take is to build pressure for a genuine electoral reform process through demanding full opposition participation in a revived SCER.

In a supporting move, significant international pressure must be brought to bear on the Saleh government to end the use of political detention against opposition media and political figures.

The arrests and imprisonment of prominent journalist Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, comedian Fadh al-Qarni (Islah) and a number of Socialist party figures, including leader Hassan Baoum, are clearly intended both to intimidate and to disrupt opposition activities and media ahead of next year’s poll.

The government appears sensitive to pressure on this issue with Baoum and al-Qarni released earlier this month on the basis of a government-JMP deal. Yemeni media reported Wednesday that Salah had also ordered the release of al-Khaiwarmi, imprisoned for six years in June for “insulting the president” and “demoralizing the military.”

Such changes will not pose an immediate threat to the maintenance of the General Peoples’ Congress’ hold on power but will allow next year’s poll to act as a truer expression of national sentiment, while strengthening moderate voices within religious political movements such as the Islah party – a JMP member.

The years since the Cole attack have demonstrated that an obsessive focus on counter-terrorism and bolstering security does not work in Yemen.

A change in approach is desperately needed.

Yemen Refuses Visa to IFJ President

Filed under: Donors, UN, al-Khaiwani — by Jane Novak at 10:37 am on Sunday, September 14, 2008

WOW!!!! Man, that’s going to make waves. The IFJ represents over 600,00 journalists in 122 countries worldwide

Yemen refuses granting entry visa to IFJ President

SANA’A, Sep. 14 (Saba)- A senior Yemeni official said on Sunday Yemen’s government had apologized officially to grant an entry visa to President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Jim Boumelha to visit Yemen.

The IFJ President was planning to hand over Yemeni journalist Abdelkarim al-Khaiwani an award of Amnesty International.

In a press release, Chairman of Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) Nasr Taha Mustafa said that the IFJ had expressed understanding of the government’s step, canceling the visit which was scheduled to take place next month.

Mustafa confirmed the YJS is monitoring the issue of Abdul Karim al-Khaywani, hoping al-Khaywani to be released soon.

The IFJ has congratulated Yemeni journalist Abdelkarim Al Khaiwani winner of Amnesty International’s Sepcial Award for Human Rights Journalism Under Threat and renewed its call for journalist organisations around the world to support al-Khaiwani as he challenges a six-year jail sentence handed down by a Yemeni court.

Yemen To Establish Piracy Centers

Filed under: Donors, UN, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Sunday, September 14, 2008

more at the link

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Sept. 10 — The Yemeni government approved last Tuesday the establishment of three regional centers to combat maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al-Mandab Strait and to protect international maritime traffic in these areas.

The government declared that the three centers would be established in the Aden, Mukkalla and Hudeidah governorates and claimed international support for these centers that will work to “enhance security and stability in the region and protect different ships from piracy.”

Last Sunday, the Yemeni Maritime Forces were able to foil an attempted pirate attack on a Saudi trade ship in the international waters of the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab. The ship was 43 kilometers away from the Yemeni coastline.

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