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

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