Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen cancels DPW’s contract for Aden Port

Filed under: Aden, GCC, Ports, Pres Hadi — by Jane Novak at 7:31 am on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A good overview of the economic and political significance:

Yemen’s small step toward independence 11/09/2012
Daily Star via Yemen Online

In late August, Yemen’s National Unity Government took a step toward greater independence and a stronger north-south unity by cancelling a contract to Dubai Port Worlds (DPW), signed by the government of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s erstwhile and longtime ruler. (Read on …)

Security and development in one product: Yemen Post Editorial

Filed under: GCC — by Jane Novak at 7:54 am on Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Yemen Post editorial entitled Keep Calm and Carry On suggests a Plan Columbia type approach to the twin issues of CT and economic development. In the end, Plan Columbia had a mixed outcome even in the limited terms of cocoa production, but I understand the editorial’s perspective of combining both development and security in a single product.

Its been my longstanding view view that the development of effective governance and security is a ground up proposition in Yemen due to the nature of its society, infrastructure and traditions. An apolitical National Guard type organization in each governorate where male and female residents are focused on locally defined civil infrastructure projects in their own neighborhoods would boost economic development, national identity and security.

Yemeni institutions, where they exist, have been hyper-political. The functioning of schools, unions, ministries, medical clinics etc are tainted by political conflicts that don’t belong there and have nothing to do with the purpose at hand. The culture of hyper-politicalization encourages and permits corruption as its reward. It is for that reason that I recently suggested a moratorium on the activities of Saleh’s GPC party and other long established parties. A political breather would also give new parties a chance to form and compete. (In 2007, I suggested the GPC be disbanded altogether as a way to jumpstart the economy.)

However the largest obstacle to lasting political and economic development in Yemen is the Obama administration’s goal of recreating a balance of power among long warring factions that includes the US’s familiar partners- the Saleh mafia. The National Dialog can harden social divisions instead of overcoming them, and recreate the prior political stalemate, by reintroducing the culture of hyper-politicization. The representatives at the National Dialog are there to represent the Yemeni people, not specific groups, tribes, political parties or religious affiliations.

One issue the National Dialog members are going to discuss is electoral reform. And we all remember that the JMP and GPC were unable to agree again on the reforms that were agreed upon immediately following the 2006 presidential election. That political deadlock lead to the postponement of the 2009 Parliamentary elections and no progress was made in the years leading up to the revolution. These are the same deadlocked groupings the US insisted, demanded, lead the way following the Yemen revolution of 2011. Its even the same GPC dominated parliament sitting now that has thwarted reforms since it was dubiously elected in 2003.

President Hadi should be congratulated for what he and his team have achieved thus far. Maybe it is now time for Yemen to step forward in direct support of the people and to begin earnest economic and humanitarian action. Combining Yemen’s problems and looking to solutions, there is much that can be done for Yemen. It is time to consider a Plan Colombia type approach for Yemen.

We advise President Hadi to review Plan Colombia and its utility for Yemen. People need jobs and urgent humanitarian assistance. President Hadi understands that the youth of Yemen are ripe for AQAP radicalization because of historic, geographic, economic, social and political grievances. The Plan Colombia model that worked to counter drugs could be utilized for Yemen to counterterrorism through economic and humanitarian development. President Hadi could empower a Presidential Task Force. He could utilize Saudi Arabian and other country donations of funds through the support and coordination of the GCC forward office in Sana’a or through a newly created GCC secretariat for that specific purpose.

Like Plan Colombia, Plan Yemen would train and equip more counterterrorism forces including helicopters and intelligence. Plan Yemen would rely almost exclusively on Yemeni manpower, thus generating employment and finding useful pursuits for the masses without work. It would also offer closer coordination with regional GCC countries in whose interest it is to see a stable and democratic Yemen emerge from the current transition. Working district to district through focused programs in the security and governance domains, including vital humanitarian and economic assistance, Yemen could re-generate provinces sequentially delivering tangible projects in support of a people-centric counterterrorism outcome.

Not only would Plan Yemen utilize donor pledges and existing Yemeni human capital, it would support U.S. counterterrorism aims and also enable a Yemeni Army with a severely damaged reputation to re-build its social
contract with the people. Yemeni soldiers and new government employed civilians working to improve heat, light and electric supplies and sanitation concurrent with delivering water and food to malnourished countrymen is how Plan Yemen would look on the ground.

Yemen is at a crossroads. Former regime elements and Al-Qaeda are threatening Yemen’s new democracy. Only the robustness of the Yemeni people, and their extraordinary patience, will prevent complete collapse. Plan Yemen could combine generous international funding with U.S. aims for counterterrorism and at the same time utilize Yemen’s currently unemployed people to deliver much needed economic and humanitarian support. Yemen needs action on the ground right now. Plan Yemen could mobilize the people and make a real difference.

Assorted Yemen links

Filed under: Abyan, GCC, USA, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 8:44 am on Friday, July 27, 2012

Influx of Gulf money to al-Qaeda in Yemen (supporters of Sharia) Thursday, July 26, 2012 (ar)

360 cities panoramic photos of Yemen

Abyani Tribes and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, Critical Threats, good overview

Official Blind Eyes Thwart Yemen’s Attempts to Rehabilitate Al-Qa’ida Terrorists
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2012, The Media Line on PSO releases of AQAP. Now they are going to Jaar; before the rev they went to Saada.

Tawakkol Karman: I can’t believe that (the U.S.) didn’t know of Saleh’s connection with al Qaeda

Asharq Al-Awsat interview: US Envoy to Yemen Gerald M. Feierstein 08/07/2012, the one where he uses the royal we.

GAO: Uncertain Political and Security Situation Challenges U.S. Efforts to Implement a Comprehensive Strategy in Yemen: 2/29/12 Since fiscal year 2007, U.S. agencies have allocated more than $642 million in security2 and civilian assistance to Yemen. …..However, both State and DOD officials expressed some concerns about future security assistance activities, including identifying who will be the key U.S. partners in the Yemeni security forces. Until 2011, the United States trained and equipped specialized security forces focused on counterterrorism that members of the Saleh family led. While the implementing mechanism for the Gulf Cooperation Council political transition agreement calls for the reorganization of the armed services, it is unclear how or when the military will be reorganized and who will lead it. (ed- the US is apparently still hoping to keep nephew Yahya and son Ahmed which would be a tremendous error.)

Another 20 sitting in drafts were back dated and posted.

and via email, Ali Mohsen and Ahmed Saleh have to go: Karman

Tawakkol Karman: Iran wants to militarily overthrow Yemen. The Houthi should admit into the political process and leave the option of the violence. Tawakkol Karman appreciates Ali Mohsen’s stance with the revolution; the president Hadi should dismiss him, along with Ahmed Ali before turning the Republican Guards into the Revolutionary Guards. (Read on …)

103K soldiers, security officials to secure elections

Filed under: Elections, GCC, Presidency — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Saturday, February 18, 2012

29,000 boxes committees

26 Sept: SCER: 103,000 officers and soldiers to secure the presidential election Saturday 18 February 2012

The Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) has used over103,000 officers and soldiers from military and security units to secure all electoral committees and constituencies. (Read on …)

The GCC Plan, English and Arabic

Filed under: GCC, Transition — by Jane Novak at 2:43 pm on Friday, February 17, 2012

The GCC plan in English from and thanks to the Yemen Peace Project which on 2/12 said, “Although the GCC agreement was signed in Riyadh almost three months ago, most people have never seen a full text of the document, or of the implementation mechanism that was signed with it. Newspapers have only published quotations or summaries…we’re able to finally publish here the official English translation of the Implementation Mechanism.

Agreement on the implementation mechanism for the transition process in Yemen in
accordance with the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Contents:

Part I. Introduction

Part II. The transition period

Part III. First phase of the transition

Part IV. Second phase of the transfer of power

Part V . Settlement of disputes

Part VI. Concluding provisions

Annex: Draft Presidential Decree

Part I. Introduction

1. The two parties recognize that (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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen’s parliament’s term expired in 2011, so how did they grant Saleh immunity in 2012?

Filed under: GCC, Parliament, Post Saleh, Protest Fatalities, Trials, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There are many moves afoot within Yemen and internationally that dispute the unprecedented immunity deal for 33 years of Saleh’s crimes as well as that of his cohorts. However, the Yemeni parliament, that has been sitting since 2003, when it was elected to a four year term, was scheduled for elections in 2009 and voted itself a two year extension into 2011. I am checking but I can’t find anyone who recalls a new law being issued where they voted themselves another term extension.

(Update: the 2009 law grants a two year extension until they elect a new parliament in 2011, ambiguous language at best.

Update 2: a handy link from Yemen Parliament Watch that indicates parliament is operating outside the scope of the law: “The report indicated that the constitutional period of the parliament ended in February 2011 where the parliament had finished its six years stipulated constitution as well as the additional two years.”

Update 3: there is also a stipulation in the constitution that parliament can be extended when facing war, natural disaster or unrest, but I’m assuming that had to have been done formally, and within the scope of the term, not by some GPC mind meld.

Update 4: the amnesty was issued while Parliament was legally on vacation or in recess.)

Original post continues: A political deadlock ensued following the 2006 presidential election wherein the GPC thwarted the implementation of a proportional representation system (as opposed to a “winner takes all” single district method) and other electoral reforms, prompting the opposition JMP to boycott parliament altogether. Without the implementation of the previously agreed upon reforms, the parliament voted itself a two year extension and rescheduled elections for 2011. (In order to thwart elections in 2011, the SCER also disqualified the voter rolls en mass.) There was no new parliamentary election in 2011 and no official law passed rescheduling the election and extending their terms as far as I know. Therefore there is no legitimate Yemeni parliament, just a bunch of old men stuck to their chairs for a decade.

So where is the legal foundation of this expired parliament’s vote to give the Sanaa regime immunity? More fundamentally, the people withdrew legitimacy from the Parliament, the Sanaa regime and dysfunctional political party system through a year of mass nationwide protests.

However, while many are working on the issue of Saleh’s immunity, I am much more concerned with the implementation of the proportional representative system in order to undermine the hegemony of both the GPC and Islah who were both artificially empowered by the GCC plan. Proportional representation will allow for the growth of new parties, minority representation and probably more women in political office. It appears that the only way to get the task done is through a public referendum, as the same illegitimate GPC dominated parliament that stalled on the issue for five years will likely continue to block it.

The proportional system has a national consensus, and it has been repeatedly been endorsed by a variety of Yemeni groups from the JMP in 2005 to the tribally based National Dialog Committee in 2009 to the Yemeni Youth Revolution that took to the streets in 2011.

Had the PR system been enacted as agreed upon in 2006, allowing for authentic political growth and representative parties to compete in 2009, the revolution might not have been necessary. So its important not to allow history to repeat itself, especially with this crucial and long overdue element of the overall package of electoral reform.

There is more on the other illegalities of the unprecedented and illegal amnesty plan below from Human Rights Watch and the YCTJ:

Press Release
By The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice Concerning the Approval of the House of Representatives of the Immunity Law

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice reviewed the law approved by the House of Representatives (Parliament) of the Republic of Yemen concerning the award of immunity to the President of the Regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh and his supporters. As YCTJ confirms its previous position with respect to this law, that the law lacks the minimum principles of human justice, and is openly in violation of honorable Islamic Jurisprudence, international laws, and is in breach of the international human rights conventions/agreements to which Yemen is signatory, YCTJ now also calls for the application of real true transitional justice without any selectivity, forgery or deliquescent.
(Read on …)

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.

Saleh: immunity for me but not for thee

Filed under: GCC, Political Opposition, Presidency, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Update: Saleh’s subordinates would only get immunity in “political cases:”

A Yemeni draft law granting immunity to the outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, from prosecution over the killing of protesters was amended on Thursday to limit the protection his aides would enjoy, a minister said.

The draft law, which has been heavily criticized by rights groups, the United Nations and Yemeni protesters, will now shield the aides only in “political cases,” Legal Affairs Minister Mohammad Makhlafi told Reuters.

The illegitimate Parliament still has to vote on it to give it a veneer of legitimacy just like the uncontested election has no point other than to provide international cover for appointing Hadi. The US should just recognize him as president and avoid the unnecessary expenditures. Easing Saleh out of office was never a viable plan and only wasted a year, destroyed the economy and allowed AQAP to flourish. Sooner or later, Saleh has to be kicked out.

Original: Saleh the mass murderer, objects to immunity for those he alleges tried to kill him in the mosque bombing, Ali Mohsen al Ahmar and Sheik Sadiq etc.

But Ali Mohsen’s crimes extend far beyond that one incident to include the conduct of the first five rounds of the Saada War as well as embezzlement, all types of black market smuggling, land appropriation and torture. The US cant grant immunity to everyone in Saleh’s regime and exclude the current and former opposition. UN envoy Ben Omar is trying to placate Saleh’s victims’ families with financial compensation and its their choice, but many already turned down hush money and blood money from the regime at the time of the murders. The notion that the families and the protesters are out of line somehow for demanding Saleh’s trial is Orwellian.

Yemen Times
A source close to negotiations told the Yemen Times that one of the disagreements on a political level stemmed from the fact that Saleh did not want the law to include his opponents Major General Ali Mohsen and the leaders of the Hashid Tribal confederation. Both were accused of the June 3 attack on the presidential compound, which left 12 dead and injured president Saleh and other key government figures.

In December, the Yemeni revolution turned towards institutions as employees of government institutions protested and went on strike, commonly demanding the prosecution of “corrupt” officials and mangers – many of whom are members of the General People’s Congress.

The proposed immunity law goes against their demands if it is approved in its current form. It suggests that seeks to grant immunity not only to Saleh, but also to all who worked with him in state, civil, military and security institutions during his rule.

Law expert Nabeela Al-Mufti, said: “The problem is that the law is too general, giving immunity to all who worked with Saleh for 33 years. This gives it a dangerous dimension.”

Another issue is the proposal that the law be implemented both inside and outside Yemen. “The Yemeni parliament cannot dominate the world parliaments and force them to implement the immunity,” said Al-Mufti.

Many Yemenis wonder whether or not Saleh or his fellows can be prosecuted outside of Yemen. According to Al-Mufti Saleh can be prosecuted outside of Yemen but his crime must have been committed in the prosecuting country. However, the International Criminal Court (ICC) can still receive cases against Saleh for crimes committed in Yemen – but any case must meet the ICC standards as a humanitarian or war crime.

“It is possible that a Yemeni person could raise a suit against Saleh for a crime that was committed in Yemen in any of the 81 countries that signed the Roma Law and became a member of the ICC,” Al-Mufti explained, adding that ICC procedures are complicated and lengthy but still possible.

Issues with the immunity law led to the idea of a Transitional Reconciliation Conference. The brainchild of UN envoy Jamal Benomar, the conference would serve as a way to bring together Yemen’s conflicting parties for a new beginning, forgetting past crimes but also proposing compensation to victims and their families – an idea that worked both in Morocco and South Africa

“The law denies individuals their right to prosecute; the concept of reconcilement should be by satisfaction not by force,” she added. “Any reconcilement should offer something to the victims’ families and whoever was harmed by Saleh’s regime.”

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 …)

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 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 …)

Saleh objects to restructuring the military prior to the early elections, Updated after Riyadh retro speech

Filed under: GCC, JMP, Military, Post Saleh, Transition, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:05 am on Monday, August 15, 2011

Update: SABA provided a translation of Saleh’s speech to the tribal leaders which indicates that he is back to square one, elections in 2013. Same old rhetoric applied to the new oppositionists: he trashes the youth as Marxists, Royalists seeking to restore the Imamate, and the Taliban. How many times have we heard it before? He accuses the tribal elements of stealing the rev from the youth and says, without a trace of irony, he is committed to a transition of power.

SABA:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

Let me first congratulate you on the occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan. I salute you and pay tribute of respect to you for convening such a conference and I hope that it will conclude with effective decisions and recommendations. I have here with me my brothers parliament speaker Yahya al-Ra’i and prime minister Ali Mohammad Mujawar. They also salute you and salute your conference, which is being held amid dangerous and important circumstances.

We must discuss all the available data, all the events in Yemen, and how to get our country out of the crisis – the crisis which was fabricated by some political forces to reach power. We welcome the opposition and tell them that “you can reach power through ballot boxes, not through coups, statements, denunciation, insults, or irresponsible speeches.” (Read on …)

Yemen updates July 6, 2011

- Republican Guard shells a public mini-bus in Taiz, driver killed, 13 wounded including three children, attack occurred in front of a hospital, several other parts of the neighborhoods shelled by tanks and artillery: al Masdar Also Taiz, clashes after security tries to impede a mass rally demanding an immediate formation of a transitional council: al Masdar (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 …)

Saleh no longer needed to sign GCC plan after GPC and JMP signed

Filed under: GCC, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:48 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Saleh will never agree to hand over power but he doesn’t have to. The JMP signed the GCC plan on Saturday and the GPC signed on Sunday. Since he didn’t sign, his assets abroad (stolen from the Yemeni people) can be seized and the billions used for the new government to aid the people. Forget Saleh and seeking his approval, implement the plan. The Saudis though have to make some statement that Saleh will be remaining as a guest for quite some time in order to end the lingering uncertainty and let the country move forward. One of the protesters primary objections to the plan was Saleh’s inclusion, no longer an issue. They want a transitional council, the plan calls for something like that. Hadi is a figurehead and under Ahmed’s gun. What he needs is the support of the protesters, JMP and GCC to take the first steps that will enable him to back out slowly. Once the country is moving forward, the youth revolution can and will give its input on how the new political and governing structures should be shaped.

US presses Saleh to hand over power in Yemen, Al Arabiya: The White House called late Monday for an “immediate transition” of power in Yemen, where the United States fears Al Qaeda could exploit political turmoil and strengthen its presence, as Britain confirmed the deployment of military assets near the embattled nation. (Read on …)

Saleh planned clashes to thwart transition: leak

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh loyalist gunmen besiege UAE embassy, surround US embassy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh rejects JMP signatures on GCC deal

Filed under: GCC, GPC, Transition, YSP, protests — by Jane Novak at 5:28 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Its going to be a long day. Qahtan says if Saleh signs, the JMP will re-sign at the location of his choosing.

Saleh supporters are blocking many roads and baltagiyya swarming. One killed in Sanaa, 18 wounded in Taiz, 2 critical. US, EU ambassadors and GCC rep blocked from traveling to ceremony.

Dayum: Saleh supporters openly declaring they wont let him sign.

Saleh has to sign by 4 pm (9 am EST) or GCC rep is leaving. And all hell breaks loose. 3:50 now (8:50)

Internet getting very flaky in Sanaa, never a good sign. Deadline passed, no signature reported.

US ambassador still surrounded in a certain embassy, not ours, besieged by a mob of Saleh thugs. Zayani (GCC rep) also prevented from leaving country.

4:15 I think the transfer deal is dead. Its extremely worrisome.

Yemen Post: Yemen’s ruling party rejected the opposition Joint Meeting Parties, JMP, signing on the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, and demanded that is be signed again at the presidential palace with the presence of hundreds of officials and not behind closed doors.
Yemen’s ruling General People Congress, GPC, spokesperson Tareq Shami said that “President Saleh invited the JMP to sign the GCC proposal at the presidential palace at 3pm today. The JMP signed the GCC agreement in closed doors and this is not accepted.”
He added that It must be signed in a huge gathering and create an historical day of the GCC signing.
The JMP refused to resign the GCC proposal again and consider this as a tactic in running away from the GCC proposal signing.

GPC denies Saleh to sign deal Sunday

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:16 pm on Thursday, May 19, 2011

Its a stupid, deeply flawed plan that appears to be designed to fail or in the best case, to re-entrench the regime cronies with a two month election. And its no shock that Saleh is talking out of both sides of his mouth, as always. But why would Saleh bother to sign when Obama gave him a major pass today by snubbing the protesters entirely and calling Saleh a friend?

Bernama: Yemen Presidential Aide Denies GCC Deal For Power Transition To Be Inked Sunday

SANA’A, May 20 (Bernama) — An aide to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Thursday that reports about Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-mediated deal for Yemen’s power transition would be signed on Sunday were baseless, Xinhua news agency reported.
(Read on …)

GCC deal officially dead

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:08 am on Monday, May 16, 2011

Saleh killed it.

Bloomberg In Yemen, the opposition coalition is willing to meet again with Abdel Latif al-Zayyani, the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to explore new options, Mohammed Qahtan, spokesman for the opposition, said in a telephone interview yesterday. The current proposal was considered “dead,” he said. (Read on …)

Saleh refuses to resign, reinforces troops, urges shooting protesters

Filed under: GCC, Military, Presidency, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Friday, May 13, 2011

26 Sept: Yemen welcomes Qatar’s withdrawal from GCC initiative after trashing them last week.

SANAA, May 12 (Xinhua) Yemen’s Defense Ministry on Thursday warned the security forces not “hesitate to take up arms to restore stability and deter lawless protesters of the opposition from committing riots.” In a statement posted on its website, the ministry also said the security agencies would implement a series of measures to step up reinforcements across unrest-infested major provinces to strengthen security and protect government interests.”

Yemen’s Saleh rejects US calls for quick transition

AFP: SANAA — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed on Friday to stay on and defend his people “by all means” after the US insisted he agree to a transition plan “now” and end months of political violence. (Read on …)

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 …)

Saada demo rejects dialog

Filed under: GCC, Sa'ada, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:22 am on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yemen Post

A massive demonstration was held in Yemen’s province of Saada on Monday to reject dialogue, warn of manipulating the popular uprising, and condemn the crackdown on the antigovernment protests. (Read on …)

Yemen: CCYR refuses GCC Initiative, demands US and EU ask for Saleh’s immediate departure

Filed under: GCC, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 3:23 pm on Monday, May 9, 2011

Yemen: CCYR refuses GCC Initiative, demands US and EU to ask for Saleh’s immediate departure

Sana’a, 9th May–The civil coalition of youth revolution (CCYR) asked the Gulf countries to stop encouraging Ali Abdullah Saleh and his regime, the killing of innocent people of Yemen and to let this nation determine their future themselves.

The CCYR also called for the people in Europe and America to condemn ”inhuman crimes committed by Saleh’s regime against peaceful protesters,” warning so-called ambitious people–the dialogue committee and the joint meeting parties–against signing a pro-Saleh initiative..

The CCYR called the world public opinion, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, the American government, President Obama and the European Union to condemn, “inhuman crimes committed by Saleh’s regime against peaceful innocent protesters across Yemeni provinces.”

The coalition also demanded American and European agencies to “ask for Saleh’s immediate departure from power, as his legitimacy ended, and to condemn the guarantee of Saleh’s immunity from prosecution offered by the Gulf Cooperation council (GCC).”

A statement issued by the coalition warned ambitious members of the dialogue committee and joint meeting parties’ leaderships against signing the initiative, saying signing would make them “of Saleh’s advocates and of marginalized politicians, for the initiative is not welcome. We ask our brothers in Gulf countries to apply pressure –and they are able to- on Saleh and his regime to leave. We express our sadness over silent attitudes towards the daily looting and killing of Yemeni people”

The statement added that, “the meeting held in the GCC took the initiative of declaring a respect for Yemeni people’s choice since the start of the youth revolution,” confirming that the declaration was “deeply trusted by Yemeni people, then the de-legitimized president suddenly asked these countries to offer an initiative to take him out of the difficult situation that resulted from his policies of damage and criminal wars, namely those committed against the south and Sa’ada”

“People of Yemen welcomed the initiative in its first version including Saleh’s ouster, with declaring a silent intent of non-investigating the war crimes and the looting of the public budget,” the statement said.

“Despite the GCC’s conditions included in the first version of necessary consent to the initiative without making any amendments, the GCC, in deference to Saleh’s will, drew Saleh away signing by making consecutive amendments, starting from the departure demand to transferring authority with a resignation in-between and ridiculing the subject by creating tens of signatures for weightless figures and parties,” the statement added.

“The initiative in its current form depicts the people revolution as a conflict, between Saleh and the joint meeting parties, that the initiative attempts to address by neglecting the matter altogether, saving Saleh and his corrupt regime from collapse and inquiry into a 33-year criminal wars, looting the public wealth and acts of displacement, making the people ignorant and starving,” the statement said.

Saleh “killed peaceful demonstrators, gave the public wealth for thugs, distributed money and firearms for wars against his people, like Al Kadhafi and Alasad did. The GCC gave him a lifeline and an open-ended check to a lasting office term that forms a danger for Yemen, the region and the whole world. They also exempted him from an inquiry into recognized crimes against humanity.”

The statement confirmed that, “as spokesmen of millions of the Yemeni people across the Yemen’s freedom squares, we demand these countries to stop encouraging Saleh who is killing his people, so that Yemenis could make their destiny themselves, to respect the people’s desire to build a democratic modern civil state, and to bring Saleh to justice along with his followers.

The coalition stated that “the principle of brotherhood and neighborhood make it necessary for these countries to respect the Yemeni people’s opinion as they very well know dangers of the continued existence of the corrupt dictatorial regime. They also know about his lies about terrorism, so-called Alqaeda, Huthis, Salafi and extremism that he chews in order to illegally procure money and deceive the world.”

GCC proposal still on

Filed under: GCC — by Jane Novak at 11:32 am on Saturday, May 7, 2011

Maybe its better to get him out of his chair anyway possible and deal with the other issues after.

Ahram: Gulf Cooperation Council’s Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani said the initiative presented by GCC remained “unchanged” and that the ruling party and the opposition were submitting names of people to sign the agreement. “No changes whatsoever,” have been made to the proposal, he told reporters following a GCC finance ministers’ meeting in Abu Dhabi. (Read on …)

Saleh reveals intent to retain power

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:00 am on Friday, May 6, 2011

Two months later we are back were we started. Saleh never had any intention of leaving (maybe in March before the Gate’s statement) and all the negotiations were just stall tactics. Its time for the Obama pronouncement.

Sana’a – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Friday he would defy the ‘illegal’ protests stirring his country, as tens of thousands of people gathered for anti-government rallies after Friday prayers.

‘These crowds are a clear message that rejects the revenge and hate some outlaws and saboteurs are trying to spread between the Yemeni people,’ Saleh told a group of supporters in Sabbine Square in Sana’a. (Read on …)

GCC requests 30 signatories for Yemen transition deal

Filed under: GCC, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:26 am on Thursday, May 5, 2011

While Saleh is stalling and stalling, the hope continues for some resolution. However the state is arming loyalists and repositioning troops. The tank attack that cleared the square in Aden while talks were ongoing did not prompt much international criticism and indicates Saleh is insincere about resigning. The protesters reject any immunity for Saleh and continue to demand his immediate departure.

Yemen Post: As hope remains that the GCC initiative to tackle the Yemeni the crisis goes ahead, a newspaper said on Thursday that the GCC Secretary General has asked the ruling and opposition parties to pick 30 officials, 15 from both each side, to sign the West-backed deal. (Read on …)

Saleh’s latest ploy- will sign agreement in Yemen

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

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

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

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

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

GCC mediator leaves Sanaa, enraged

Filed under: GCC, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:20 pm on Saturday, April 30, 2011

It would be funny if there wasn’t so much slaughter also involved. No one who knows Saleh expected he would go to Saudi Arabia and sign and resign peacefully. He’s just buying time at the citizenry’s expense. State security forces stormed the protesters main square in Aden with armored vehicles, tanks and artillery, four killed, tents burnt, buildings destroyed. How can the international community offer immunity for legions of blood and decades of blood while the madman is still killing? A statement by CCYRC is below.

CNN: Yemen deal in limbo as mediator abruptly leaves presidential meeting

The head of the Gulf Cooperation Council abruptly left a meeting Saturday with Yemen’s president, departing Sanaa without comment and leaving a hard-fought political deal aimed at ending months of turmoil on the verge of collapse, said a senior Yemeni ruling party official.

Abdullatif Al-Zayani, the secretary-general of the six-nation coalition that helped broker the accord, arrived in the Yemeni capital earlier in the day. But his talks with President Ali Abdullah Saleh were cut short, and he appeared visibly angry as he passed reporters and refused to answer questions en route to his plane. (Read on …)

Saleh afraid of coup if he leaves Yemen to sign agreement

Filed under: GCC, GPC, JMP, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, USA, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:22 am on Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saleh was never going to honor the GCC plan anyway, and his balking at leaving the country is reasonable (there very well could be a coup) and another tactic to encourage yet more concessions and reset the clock.

CNN: Yemen’s president says he won’t leave the country to sign a hard-fought political deal because he fears his departure could spark a coup, a senior ruling party official told CNN on Saturday.

The stance threatens to collapse an agreement brokered by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to end the violent political standoff across Yemen, still reeling this week from one of the deadliest days in months of protests that have pitted demonstrators against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Read on …)

Elections in two months in Yemen a recipe for disaster

Filed under: Elections, GCC, Islah, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 2:38 pm on Friday, April 29, 2011

The voter rolls were disqualified a few months ago.

The official opposition is willing to provide immunity to Saleh and his gang, and give him a month to tie up loose ends. Most protesters continue to demand that Saleh leave immediately, while others think Sharia will solve everything, reports Nasser Arrabyee

Ahram: Yemen’s official opposition and President Ali Abdullah Saleh have agreed on a US-backed, Saudi-led, Gulf Cooperation Council plan to see Saleh step down in one month from signing. Wednesday was the date set by the GCC officials for the Yemeni conflicting parties to sign the plan in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Sources from both sides confirmed to Al-Ahram Weekly on Tuesday they would sign the agreement in Riyadh on Wednesday or Saturday at the latest. Earlier in the week, the Islamist-led opposition coalition, which includes socialists and Nasserites (Arab Nationalists), had refused to form a unity government with the ruling party before Saleh steps down, as called for in the plan. American Ambassador to Yemen Gerlad Feierstein convinced the opposition to agree on the plan as a whole. (Read on …)

Saleh backpeddles on deal to resign

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 10:55 am on Monday, April 25, 2011

That didn’t take long.

I will step down if majority of people requests, Saleh says
Sunday, 24-April-2011
Almotamar.net, Saba – Sana’a-President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said that he would step down if that was the demand of the majority of Yemeni people.

“But I will not be subjected to a minority”, President Saleh said in an interview with the BBC Radio. (Read on …)

Saleh devises nifty stall tactic, world swallows

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:59 am on Sunday, April 24, 2011

I have no confidence that this is a positive step. All this does is fragment the opposition, consolidate the loyalists and give Saleh more time to maneuver and steal money. They are moving the oil, the money in the central bank and other state assets. Maybe its supposed to be an example for Ghaddafi. Bodine’s pronouncements aside, Yemen is already suffering from “a security vacuum” and political and economic paralysis. Thirty days from now, the economic, political and security landscape is going to be much more bleak, with a level of damage that is nearly irrecoverable in the mid-term. The western consensus is that the protesters demands are immature and unrealistic, but they have it right. Saleh has to go immediately and be brought to trial for his many crimes. The requirement for a perfect transition plan prior to the executive’s departure was not applied in Egypt or Tunisia or contemplated in Libya and, like a war plan, won’t survive first contact with reality. The issue here is damage control. But any future state that is built on the crimes of the past will contain inherent triggers of conflict.

Yemeni president’s acceptance of deal to step down fails to end protests by wary opposition

SANAA, Yemen – Thousands of anti-government protesters held their ground Sunday in the Yemeni capital’s Change Square despite the president’s acceptance of an Arab proposal to leave office under certain conditions after 32 years in power.

More than two months of protests pressing for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to immediately step down have left him clinging to power and brought down intense international pressure for him to leave office. A bloc of Gulf nations has been trying to broker an end to the crisis, fearing the potential impact of more instability in the fragile country, which is home to al-Qaida’s most active branch.

Saleh agreed Saturday to the proposal for him to hand power to his vice-president within 30 days of a deal being signed in exchange for immunity from prosecution for him and his sons. (Read on …)

Yemen’s JMP sets 2 week deadline for Saleh’s exit from power

Filed under: GCC, JMP, Military, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Thursday, April 14, 2011

They decline to attend talks in Riyadh. Saleh and Ali Mohsen accept the proposal for dialog, the US and EU support the idea, the JMP and the protesters reject it. If the JMP had gone to Riyadh, they would have lost all credibility with the protesters. Its unclear what the JMP are going to do after the two weeks when Saleh is still in power. Whatever promises the GCC extracts from Saleh will be broken. Furthermore the exclusion of the southern mobility from the whole process is a big mistake.

AJE Yemen’s opposition has set a two-week deadline for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step aside, rejecting a Saudi-brokered, Gulf-backed initiative to end the country’s political turmoil.

“We have renewed our emphasis on the need for speeding the process of (Saleh) standing down within two weeks. Therefore we will not go to Riyadh,” Mohammed al-Mutawakkil, a prominent opposition leader, said on Thursday, referring to the proposed talks in the Saudi capital.

This comes a day after five people were killed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa as forces loyal to a defected army general and pro-government fighters clashed, Al Jazeera’s correspondents said. (Read on …)

Yemen’s VP Hadi not a “southern” southerner

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:09 am on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh noes! Is the push to hand power from Saleh to VP Hadi (who already said he would not take the position) because its constitutional or because he’s a southerner, and its thought that he may placate the southern independence movement? It’s a similar notion to Hamid al Ahmar’s repetitive suggestion that the next president be from the south. It was the strategy they tried during the last election. In the south, Hadi is known as a sell out to northern interests (as are many in the YSP) and in no way would be welcomed by the secessionists.

Nasser Arrabyee: In an exceptional meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the GCC foreign ministers late Sunday April 10th, suggested that President Ali Abdullah Saleh should hand over his powers to his deputy, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and form a unity government chaired by the opposition for formulating a new constitution and conducting elections.

Mr. Hadi is from the south. This is the most important thing that will force all parties to agree on him for succeeding Saleh during the transitional period which will be about 3-6 months.

I am just astounded by how out of touch many in the north are with the secessionists and southern sentiment in general. (I don’t mean this reporter Nasser, I’ll leave the obnoxious egghead shtick to the eggheads. I mean Yemenis on the streets.) Regardless of my hopes for a just and unified Yemen, the secessionists haven’t lost as many supporters as the Sanaa protesters seem to wish. And the longer the southerners are ignored and excluded from negotiations, and the topic banned from discussion, the more alienated they are from the current movement.

The protesters in Aden are nearly all young boys, which makes their deaths so tragic. But many of the hundreds of thousands from other governorates who marched from 2007-2010 are staying home. Earlier this month, the southern movement held the regularly scheduled march for the prisoners, not to be confused with joining the current protest movement. Other protests are characterized as in harmony with the SM goal of removing Saleh as a step toward independence. It would be a good idea for anyone (YRC, GCC, UN) to reach out to them and try to get them on board, but there’s such hostility whenever the topic comes up and everyone seems to think that the issue can be deferred until after Saleh goes. And worse yet, the only name that has any recognition is Hassan Baoum, and he is only part of the equation.

A good spot to link the Southern Observatory for Human Rights March 2011 reports which details the protests and violence in the south, as well as the location and stated purposes of the demonstrations:
باللغة الأنجليزية

http://www.archive.org/download/reprt_878/SOHR_.pdf

باللغة العربية

http://dc201.4shared.com/download/GCGihQLz/_online.pdf?tsid=20110411-185713-3693ad

GCC transition plan & Monday Updates

Filed under: GCC — by Jane Novak at 8:12 am on Monday, April 11, 2011

al Sahwa $400 million transferred to Dubai (among other transfers), maybe he is going…Diplomatic sources at the Yemeni Embassy in the United Arab Emirates have revealed that powerful figures of the Yemeni ruling family transferred $ 400 million to Dubai banks.

HOOD confirms the regime took dead bodies along with severely wounded persons, (as they did in Aden 2/25) and dozens were arrested.

RE the GCC deal: Why isn’t anyone among the big powers listening? This plan was rejected by the JMP and the people as it would only serve to entrench the existing status quo. Saleh gave an ambiguous answer about leaving in a constitutional manner, which means that he’s not leaving. Update: Reuters: He had sought Saudi mediation, but Gulf diplomatic sources said Riyadh was prompted in the end by concern over the deteriorating security in its southern neighbor after Saleh failed to act on a backroom deal struck with U.S. officials on a quick exit.

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s opposition rejected on Monday a Gulf Arab initiative for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, because it appears to offer him immunity from prosecution, while Saleh himself welcomed the plan.

Gulf Arab foreign ministers meeting in Riyadh late on Sunday said publicly for the first time that the framework of their mediation effort involved Saleh standing down, though it did not say when that would occur. (Read on …)

International Initiatives Echo in Yemen’s Change Square

Filed under: GCC, USA, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:41 am on Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) offered to mediate President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s departure from Yemen. (He wants immunity from prosecution, to keep a lot of money and summers in France.) Saleh was insulted by the interference in internal affairs and withdrew Yemen’s ambassador to Qatar. Friday and Saturday saw continued state violence against the protesters with several deaths and injuries.

The units that have been shooting unarmed protesters around the country, killing almost 200, are the Republican Guards, headed by Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of President Saleh, and Central Security Forces, headed by Yahya Mohammad Abdullah Saleh, President Saleh’s nephew. These are the two men the US is scrambling to keep on as these units contain the US trained counter-terror units. However, the Youth Coordinating Council (YCC) is determined that all elements of the Saleh regime must go, including all his relatives. The YCC also rejects any offer of amnesty to President Saleh, who was guilty of war crimes before the protests ever broke out.

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Yemen pulls ambassador to Qatar

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:39 pm on Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saleh’s outrageous demands for prosecutorial immunity and financial rewards continue to stall the transition process. Meanwhile in a display of pique at the GCC offer of mediation, Yemen recalls its ambassador to Qatar.

SANA’A // Yemen recalled its ambassador to Qatar yesterday following remarks from Qatar’s prime minister suggesting a plan for the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani said on Thursday that members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) “hope to reach a deal with the Yemeni president to step down”. (Read on …)

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 …)

The Yemeni transitional plan, or one of them

Filed under: GCC, Transition, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 7:20 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update: no Ali Mohsen not on the list of persons barred from participating in government.

Yemen’s transitional plan on Scribed; I certainly hope Ali Mohsen al Ahmar is on the list of the 100 presidential relatives and cronies that must be barred from positions in government and military.

Reuters Yassin Noaman offers Saleh nice life, dignity and residence in Yemen if he steps down. All the old men are playing the old games.

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 …)

Good Luck to Yemen’s Soccer Team in the Gulf 20! Update: Watch streaming live, Update 2, Dang it! 0-4

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Civil Society, GCC, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:10 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2010

Update: a good game but they lost!!! They play again Thursday same time. Original: Yemen playing Saudi Arabia in the opening game today, 7:30 pm Aden time, 11: 30 am EST, Watch the pre-game show and the game live, streaming now at http://www.watchfomny.com/Sport-tv-3.php or, if that goes down, click here.

gulf20.jpg

(Read on …)

Aden Port frozen out by its proprietor, Dubai Ports World

Filed under: Aden, GCC, Kuwait, Ports, Transportation, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:16 pm on Monday, October 11, 2010

I wrote about this issue on October 14, 2005: the Yemeni government recently entered into a 30-year contract for the port of Aden with its largest competitor, Dubai Ports International (D.P.I.). World Bank documents state that Dubai is in direct competition for container transshipment business with Aden…The majority owners of D.P.I. also are the managers of the Jabal Ali free zone in Dubai. D.P.I. will pay $83.5 million as a rent over 30 years for the Aden free zone, an area of 32 million square meters, effectively paying less than one penny per square meter in monthly rent. A Kuwaiti firm’s substantially higher tender was rejected in favor of D.P.I. As expected, DPI is raising birthing costs in port Aden, making Dubai port much more attractive to international shippers. Today’s news, Yemen’s Parliament begins a probe of the issue:

Yemen Post: Parliament approved on Saturday forming a panel to probe what MPs said were plans of the Dubai Ports World aimed at striking Aden Port, excluding it from providing services for ships and shifting international navigation route to Djiboutian and Dubai Ports.

The panel will comprise members of the Oil and Development and Transport and Communication Committees.
MPs urged to seriously address the issue of the port, which has already lost its prestige and significance as one of the old and strategic ports in the world due to irresponsible acts by the DP World.

MP Muhammad Abdu Saeed revealed that he had received a complaint from an international navigation company saying the consistently increasing fees for ship anchorage forced ships to redirect to Djibouti Port. He considered increasing the fees was aimed at striking Aden Prot through forcing ships to abandon it.

For his part, MP Ali Al-Maamari said Dubai World Ports is seeking to exclude Aden Port from international navigation route and switching the route to Djiboutian Port because the latter boosts the importance of Dubai Port. While MP Sakhr Al-Jeeh requested to turn who brought about the agreement between the government and the DP World to investigation.

The Gulf 20 controversy in Yemen

Filed under: GCC, South Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 2:32 pm on Friday, October 8, 2010

gulf20gif.jpg

The Gulf 20 is scheduled to be held in Aden and Abyan, November 22 to December 5. Yesterday dozens of protesters attacked the new stadium “to protest the unresponsiveness of the authorities to their demands for releasing detainees held in connection with criminal charges (demonstrations).” Southern secessionist leaders have urged the Gulf states to boycott the event in recognition of Yemen’s atrocities in the south. President Saleh said the cost of the stadium and sports complex is YR 120 million. The GIF brings that point home, juxtaposing 30,000 soldiers against the 4,000,000 southerners.

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 …)

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 …)

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 …)

Yemen’s Al Qaeda Sets Targets as Gulf Oil

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, GCC, TI: External, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 6:06 pm on Saturday, October 10, 2009

First, Indonesia kills Yemen-educated (take a wild guess where) recruiter for deadly hotel bombing: Syaifudin Zuhri or Jaelani is regarded by police as the chief recruiter of suicide bombers for the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist leader Noordin Mohammed Top, who was killed in a police raid last month. Educated in Yemen, Jaelani is accused of recruiting the two so-called “bride grooms” who blew themselves up inside Jakarta’s Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels on July 17, killing seven people. There’s more Yemen links to that Indonesian terror attack somewhere on here.

Now to the local yokels. Many Americans joined them, they say, assistance from western professors (in addition to the normal leftist academic propaganda apparently) and families of fallen soldiers. And al Qaeda has no love for Texans who are very warm people in fact. They consider Dubai immoral. But fear not, al Masri is monitoring them closely. Maybe if the GCC coughed up more than the few billion dollars that they donated to Yemen in 2006, the Yemeni security might actually catch a few before they bomb Dubai. I’m being entirely sarcastic of course. The statement may be a diversion. Yemen Tribune

SANAA, 09 Oct — In a statement published by Islamist internet websites, al-Qaeda network Friday said its operatives in Yemen “constitute an advanced front to strike oil installations in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries,” and condemned what it dubbed “perversion and immorality in Dubai.” (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 …)

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.

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 Ruling Family and its Accumulation of Wealth and Land

Filed under: Business, Corruption, GCC, LNG, Military, Presidency, Security Forces, govt budget, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 5:25 pm on Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thats good stuff indeed, and yes the ruling family has billions in the UAE. More on Yahya Saleh and MAZ below the fold, but there’s so many criss- cross relations between the Yemeni adminstration and corporate misconduct that its mind boggling.

Yemen Post

With the passage of time, the democratic project has turned to be a family one and “Al-Saleh” name has started to label all government, charity and officials activities, with wide media coverage financed by state funds as well as money obtained from businessmen. This clearly indicates that the state is following the Gulf family model.

Even the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC), has turned to be a tool in the hand of the ruling family leaderships who control its policies, decisions and financial affairs.

Political Control through Economy
General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh has started to show up in mass media as paying visits to some Gulf countries to meet with these states’ kings, Sheikhs and crown-princes. The last visit was made to Bahrain on April 25 and Ahmed had meetings with the crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The recent issue of Al-Maz Company, which works as a subcontractor for Total Yemen, Total drivers revealed the way in which the sons of the ruling family obtain agency contracts from the largest oil companies. The company receives $1200 for each driver; but it just pays each one of them $225. Thus the company’s profits from the salaries of 100 drivers reach $97,000 a month.

Commissions of Protection and Partnership
Informed sources revealed that two sons from the ruling family received $40 million in commission for buying modern weapons from Dubai during the recent Russian Weapons Exhibition.

A military and economic affairs observer noted that a military leader from the ruling family got over $20 million in commissions for military deals over the years 1996 – 2005.

A Yemeni expatriate in United Arab Emirates quoted a senior Emirate official as saying that Yemeni officials from the ruling family invested over $15 billion in his country.

Land Plots and Farms
Feeling their importance, the ruling family sight has been directed towards lands and farms being one of the easiest ways, towards speedy enrichment. It is known that an influential from the ruling family owns over 150,000 Lebnah (Lebnah = 56 square meters).

Sheikh Tareq Al-Fadhli distributed plots of lands to senior officials; the areas of some plots come close to the area of a small country. They also have larger farms in Abs, Hajjah, Al-Hodeidah and Hadramout.

Army: External Gate
An observer reviewing the map of army and security will easily find that the leaders of these institutions belong to the ruling family or the areas neighboring the family’s homeland. They are assuming the leading posts in the Republican Guard, Special Guards Forces, Central Security, Air Forces, Military Areas and Brigades.

Informed sources also speak about thousands of soldiers enlisted in the payrolls but they never exist and their salaries, in millions, go to the leaders of military units in which such names are enlisted.

(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 …)

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 …)

Failed Development Projects in Yemen

Filed under: Business, Corruption, Economic, GCC, Investment, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:44 am on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yes well I guess after a decade you can presume they are just not going to get completed. Even free land grants wasn’t enough motivation.

Yemen Observer

The government’s investment authority announced Tuesday that it has cancelled 189 projects financed by Yemeni and Gulf investors, including projects that have not yet been implemented after ten years of planning.

The Manager of the Hadramout Investment Authority Khalid al-Sa’di explained that the 189 projects were cancelled as a result of investor negligence, following the grace period of four months given to them by the Hadramout governor. The governor’s actions came from directions issued by the President, which stipulated the cancellation of the licenses for projects after a designated expiry date. He highlighted that these measures were especially necessary for projects where no work has been done in the ten years since the issuance of the licenses.

Last year, the President ordered the cancellation of the land licenses of investors who had failed to begin their investment projects in Hadramout, despite the free land offered to them ten years ago. (Read on …)

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.

Hayel Sa’eed Halts Refinery Construction in Yemen

Filed under: GCC, Investment, Oil, Ports, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:35 pm on Thursday, February 5, 2009

No point in building a refinery if the oil is running out. Also the criticism of the government’s unplanned decision making and thrir handling of the wheat pricing is interesting. HSAG has that millary at Aden port. Yemen Post

The current global financial crisis prompted several businessmen and investment companies in Yemen to suspend or halt their investment projects.

In this regard, Hayel Sa’eed Anam Group of Companies, one of the largest commercial houses in Yemen, has halted the establishment of oil refinery project whose preliminary costs could reach $265 million.

Member of the Board of Directors of the group Shawqi Hayel Saeed Anam told media that freezing the project was made after making extensive feasibility and economic studies for the project upon which they decided to halt its implementation. (Read on …)

Yemen Joins Four GCC Organizations

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:51 am on Saturday, January 3, 2009

PM welcomes final statement of Gulf summit

SANA’A, Dec. 30 (Saba)- Prime Minister Ali Mujawar welcomed on Tuesday the final statement of the Gulf summit 29th round which was held in the Omani capital, Muscat, regarding Yemen’s joining to four other Gulf institutions.

He noted that the decision to join Yemen to the Gulf Standardization and Metrology Organization, Organization for Industrial Consulting, Accounting and Audit Organization and the Radio and TV Body embodies the continuous development witnessed by Yemen and the GCC member states.

Mujawar noted that the importance of this vital decision which comes within the practical steps which reinforce concern to qualify Yemen to completely join the GCC countries.

He expressed hope of Yemen to increase steps and procedures to accelerate joining of Yemen to the GCC as Yemen represents a strategic depth for the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula.

AM/AM

Yemen Accends to GCC Chamber of Commerce

Filed under: GCC, Yemen-Economy — by Jane Novak at 10:12 pm on Thursday, December 11, 2008

2009

YemenOnline. March 11 – The Chambers of Commerce Union of the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC officially approved Yemen’s accession to membership of its chambers of commerce.

This step is a reflection of the advanced level of Yemen-Gulf relations and their efforts to integrate the economy of Yemen in the economies of the countries of Arab Gulf Countries, stated Dr. Yahya Al-Mutawakil, Minister of Industry and Trade to Sabanet.
Dr. Al-Mutawakil confirmed that Yemen’s accession to the GCC chambers of commerce will contribute to the promotion of private sector investment of the GCC countries in Yemen, and strengthen the partnership between the businessmen of both sides.

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.

Yemen Joins Two GCC Committees

Filed under: GCC — by Jane Novak at 10:01 am on Sunday, September 14, 2008

Al-Motamar

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Foreign Ministers Council approved in conclusion of its meeting in Jeddah on Wednesday Yemen’s development needs that will be included in the 4th five0plan 2011-2015 to guarantee qualification of Yemen for integration into the GCC states.

In the press conference he held in the wake of concluding the meetings of the GCC Foreign Ministers Council Secretary General of the GCC Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said the ministerial council adopted minutes of the 7th meting of the Gulf-Yemeni joint technical committee which includes development needs of the Yemeni 4th 5-year plan.

The Council also approved accession of the Yemeni Central Organisation for Control and Auditing to control and auditing apparatuses in the GCC states in addition to the office of patent to its counterparts in the Gulf States.

The GCC foreign ministers council has earlier listened to report of the general secretariat of the GCC on cooperation progress between the GCC and Yemen and praised what has been accomplished and what the Yemeni government has taken of steps on the road of its integration in the GCC.

Trade Imbalance with Gulf States: YR 500B

Filed under: Agriculture, Economic, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:49 am on Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yemen Post

The Central Statistical Administration announced an increase in trade volume between Yemen and Gulf countries to reach YR 777 billion including the imports and exports. Compared to the previous years, 2007 has shown a noticeable increase.

Trade exchange between Yemen and Gulf countries reached in 2006 YR 552 billion, compared to YR 433 billion in 2004. The growth rate as for trade exchange has mounted in 2006-2007 to reach 4 percent.

Statistics indicate that the Yemeni market is still a consumptive market, especially when the gap between imports and exports is wide. The country’s imports from Gulf countries have reached YR 626 billion in 2007 and YR 418 billion in 2006, with an increase of 49.9 percent.

However, Yemen’s exports to Gulf countries are scant and showed only timid increases in 2007 as it reached YR 150 billion compared to YR 133 billion in 2006, with a total increase of only 12.9 percent.

This commercial deficit is influenced by Yemen’s increased growth of imports from Gulf States. Observers believe that Yemen lacks facilities and proper equipment and procedures for its exports, especially those competitive commodities including fruits, vegetables, fish and other commodities like honey and cotton.

United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia come in first place and them being the biggest exporters. Emirates came first in exports to Yemen surpassing YR 366 billion during 2007, followed by Saudi Arabia with YR 139 million. In return, Yemen’s exports to Saudi Arabia reached YR 28 billion in 2007.

Al-Qirby Around Gulf to Subdue Former Southern Leaders in Exile

Filed under: GCC, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:59 pm on Saturday, April 26, 2008

YO

Yemen Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, paid a visit to the Gulf countries last week, carrying messages from the president to Gulf leaders.

In releases attributed to members in the minister’s delegation, it was said that the president’s messages requested the Gulf leaders to limit the number of Yemeni politicians living there who were accused of having links with the recent riots in the south. Sources added that deliberations with the Gulf countries is a normal phenomenon, since Yemen is the security essence for the Gulf and all that happens in Yemen has its impact on the Gulf countries. (Read on …)

Yemen to accede into some of GCC agencies

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:50 am on Thursday, April 10, 2008

[23 April 2008]

SANA’A, April 23 (Saba) – Foreign minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has revealed that Yemen’s accession into some of the Gulf Cooperation Council agencies is near, the state-run 26sep.net has said.

Al-Qirbi signaled that these agencies are the GCC Measures Authority and the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consultation.

The step comes within the framework of Yemen’s efforts to gain full membership in the bloc.

On the other hand, al-Qirbi said Yemen is satisfied with the Qatari mediation, adding it considers it very important for ending the sedition in the northern province of Saada.

GCC Qualification Roadmap

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:19 am on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yemen GCC integration’s roadmap defines five trends to accelerate the process
SANA’A, Feb. 04 (Saba)- Roadmap of Yemen’s integration to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has highlighted five main trends to qualify Yemen to join the GCC member states according to a scientific insight to fulfill economic integration with the Gulf countries.

These five trends could be projected as follows:

Trend of Commercial Partnership:

The roadmap affirmed the importance of strengthening frameworks of commercial partnership between Yemen and the GCC affiliate countries through focusing on realizing goals represented by setting up a free trade zone shared by Yemen and the GCC states as an introduction to Yemen inclusion to the Gulf Joint Market. It noted the main obstacles facing this move which are the weak infrastructure in Yemen and neglecting development of domestic export.

The previous trend requires Aden to be a regional commercial center which
the roadmap showed that reinforcing commercial partnership with GCC members requires supporting Yemen’s efforts to make use of the Aden Free Zone (AFZ) as a regional commercial center, noting to the nature of hampers in this regard such as deficiency in institutional administration of the zone and marketing weakness. It emphasized that the Yemeni government has to take viable political procedures to overcome such difficulties.

Trend of Investment Partnership:

It is so crucial to bolster investment partnership between Yemen and the Gulf states via achieving certain goals, most important of which is utilizing the various investment opportunities in the fruitful economic sectors in the country, noting to difficulties retarding this step such as incomplete infrastructure and the feeble business environment in Yemen.

Trend of Labor Force:

For a complete and harmonized inclusion with the Gulf economies, the Yemeni labor force needs to be a part of the Gulf market. The roadmap indicated to the unavailability of surveys to determine requirements of the Gulf market and the insufficient educational outcomes of Yemeni universities and technical institutes as hinders of this trend.

Trend of Supply:

The roadmap made assertion to fill the supply gap of Yemen and execute decision of the Higher Council of December 2005 which stipulates qualifying Yemen economy to reach the lower level of development in GCC member states to enable it to surpass shortages and problems encountering preparing feasibility studies for some projects and matching foreign aids with priorities of development in the country.

Trend of Institutional Formation:

The roadmap matrix confirmed the importance of fulfilling necessities of this trend by means of procedures and decisions to be taken by both sides, Yemen and Gulf states, to form a technical committee and another parliamentary committee assigned with accelerating and updating Yemeni legal legislations to adjust them to the Gulf legal legislations.

Yemen to Export Workers To Gulf States

Filed under: GCC, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:18 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

SANA’A.(26SeptemberNet) – Labor Ministers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) endorsed today in coordinated meeting on the sidelines of the 35 session of the Arab Labour Conference in Sharm El Sheikh to give priority to Yemeni employment in the labour in the Gulf market. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreed at their coordinating earlier opening of the conference that priority will be given to Yemeni employment according to the needs of Gulf labour market of qualified cadres and competencies and expertise in various specialties.

The agenda of the conference includes 12 items to be discussed in the report of the Director-General of the Arab Labor Organization about the operation and unemployment in the Arab countries and a report on the activities and achievements during the Arab Labor Organization in 2007.

During the sessions of the conference, which extend a week research in the small and medium projects as an option to reduce unemployment, and discuss the plan of the Arab Labor Organization for the years 2009 / 2010, which includes 164 projects along with three strategic projects which are: the rural woman operation fund, the promotion of social dialogue, the development of labour statistics in the Arab world.

Free Trade Hurts Customs Revenue

Filed under: Donors, UN, Economic, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:25 pm on Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SANA’A, (26September Net) – Yemen lost $154 million during 2005 – 2007 due to gradual reduction for customs and tax tariff within the agreement of the biggest Arab Free Trade Zone, according to an official report.

The report, Saba got a copy of, estimated increasing these losses up to $ 300 million during this year and around $524 million in 2009 to be $838 million by 2010, expecting the losses in 2005-2010 reach 1816 million.

The report presented by Yemen to the Arab Economic and Social Council (AESC) in its 81st round held in Arab League headquarters on February 6 – 14 demanded the council to stop carrying out the gradual reduction of customs and tax tariff until 2015.

Yemen’s request aims at giving some Yemeni sectors like industrial, agricultural, fishery and customs enough time to be more qualified to compete at the regional level and support the national economy.

The round decided to study the request and issue a decision next September.

The AESC seeks to reduce customs tariffs every year until it becomes zero in all Arab countries by 2010.

Saba

GCC Contemplates Two More Committees for Yemen

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:11 am on Saturday, February 9, 2008

AN

RIYADH, 2 March 2008 — Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), who met here yesterday, insisted on electing a president by the Lebanese Parliament on March 11 as scheduled….

The meeting decided to intensify efforts to integrate Yemen with the Gulf bloc. “Completion of Yemen’s accession procedures to Gulf Organization for Industrial Consultation (GOIC) and Gulf Cooperation Council Standardization Organization are set to be completed,” said the communiqué.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdullah Al-Qarubi was present.

The foreign ministers also did the homework before they leave for the Senegalese capital Dakar to take part in the OIC foreign ministers meeting on March 9 ahead of the OIC summit scheduled for March 13 and 14.

Referring to the integration of Yemen to the GCC economic framework, the communiqué said that “the meeting has set in place mechanisms to encourage the investment of private sector from the Gulf states in Yemen. The meeting took note of the funds required to carry out the economic and social development plan for Yemen for 2006-2010. Speaking on this occasion, Yemen’s Al-Qarubi said: “This cooperation is a start of a larger political Arab cooperation and the meeting conveys the desire of Yemen and the GCC states to get together.”

He cited the increasing commercial exchange between Yemen and the Gulf countries since 2000.

In his speech, the GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman Al-Atiyyah noted that the meeting comes within “the framework of joint and continuing efforts to strengthen fraternal relations between the GCC and Yemen due to Yemen’s status and importance from the GCC’s perspective.”

Yemen in the GCC

Filed under: Economic, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:42 pm on Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gulf News

Yemen in the GCC?
By Joseph A. Kechichian, Special to Gulf News
Published: February 07, 2008, 00:15

Yemen is the geographic, strategic, humane and security background of the GCC states,” President Ali Abdullah Saleh told the visiting Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah a few days ago.

Al Attiyah, who is now well attuned to GCC leaders’ perceptions of their southern neighbour, confirmed that a Yemeni membership would enhance security and stability on the Arabian Peninsula and throughout the Gulf. Kuwait, however, was not in a particularly welcoming mood. What is the reason for this reluctance?

For Shaikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, the disinclination was not an expression of distrust. Rather, the nation did not want the GCC alliance to replace the League of Arab States.

“In Kuwait,” declared Shaikh Mohammad, “we believe that if we open the GCC to other countries, we will end up with 22 members joining.”

This is, of course, patronising. As far as it is publicly known, Somalia, Mauritania, the Comoros, nor even Tunisia or Libya (among others), expressed any desires to join the GCC. Yemen is an exception and, frankly, a good one.

There are several reasons why Sana’a should, and probably will, eventually join the GCC.

First, it is geographically complementary to all six members-states, and may be considered its powerhouse as far as its inhabitants are concerned.

Second, with an estimated 23 million citizens (not just residents), the Yemeni population clearly stands out, although that of Saudi Arabia is larger.

The latter includes an acknowledged expatriate population of 6-7 million, which must be factored in all assessments, and does not included the million or so Yemenis who were expelled after the 1991 War for Kuwait.

Elsewhere, Yemenis were naturalised, as was the case in the UAE (1970s and 1980s), after the late president Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan acknowledged kinship with key Yemeni tribes.

Third, Yemen is a recipient of GCC financial assistance, but will add even more to the alliance if it was not just a hand-me-down state that should be satisfied with periodic largesse.

A few weeks ago, GCC states pledged $2.6 billion during the most recent London donors’ conference, which was duly acknowledged by President Saleh. Indeed, GCC states are willing to support Yemen, even if Kuwait has reservations about its membership.

Associated to these donations, Al Attiyah revealed that the GCC Secretariat was “planning to open an office in Sana’a for following up the steps of Yemen’s merger into the GCC”.

He told the Saudi Okaz newspaper that high-level negotiations on Sana’a’s bid to join the organisation were under way, presumably at the Ministerial Council level, the most effective venue for such discussions.

“Setting up a programme for the integration of the Yemeni economy in that of the Gulf economies would be the real beginning to Yemen’s joining the alliance,” announced the Secretary-General, although one must emphasise that the country offered a large market.

Stellar performances

Because of its achievements to date, the GCC will never replace the League of Arab States, which is not known for its stellar performances. To their credit, GCC States managed to individually and collectively, keep regional peace and security (albeit with outside assistance).

This is where Sana’a can play a role. Simply stated, Yemen is, and will always remain, a security bastion for the GCC since it provides a strategic depth to member-states.

While it is true that GCC States are complimentary in their socio-political make-ups and that Yemen faces huge economic and social challenges, can GCC States afford to have a poor and envious neighbour with an immense appetite for inclusion as well as expansion?

Over the long-haul, GCC societies must lend more than a hand to Yemen, acculturate its people to the vagaries of free markets, familiarise Sana’a to modernising political systems, and, last but not least, cooperate with monarchical institutions.

The European lesson is quite illustrative in this respect, as that union grew from its six original members to today’s 25-strong coalition that is a global economic powerhouse.

Even if some GCC leaders do not share an identity with Yemen and cannot fathom working together with it today, the time will come when core necessities will override narrow interests.

Yemen has been vying to join the GCC states as its seventh member for some time and the question that faces the alliance is whether such participation can be channelled to serve all member-states, or whether it will drag the region down.

Current programmes focus on tourism, sport, health and social activities, but also on critical security ties. There are, thus, areas of great commonality.

It behoves GCC leaders not to play the pauper, for a danger looms that an isolated Yemen will become far more dangerous for the alliance, than one that will keep Sana’a committed to intrinsic GCC interests.

Many understand this truism and are slowly encouraging Yemen to adapt to its northern neighbours’ styles. If some are bothered by significant political differences, which cannot be denied, the GCC genius is to precisely figure out a way to tamper the Yemeni penchant for the catastrophic.

Yemen to Join with GCC Soon

Filed under: GCC, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:15 pm on Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saudis worried about stability? A bit of encouragment to soften the blow of the wall.

Yemen To Join GCC, Gulf-EU Free Trade Agreement To Be Signed

GCC secretary-general ‘Abd Al-rahman bin Hamad Al-’Atiya has said that Yemen will soon become a regular member of the GCC, following the GCC leaders’ agreement to a request by Saudi King Abdallah.

In addition, Al-’Atiya said that a GCC-EU free trade agreement was expected to be signed during 2008.

Source: Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, January 14, 2008

GCC Forms Common Market, Kuwait Spat

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:03 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

26 Sept

DOHA. – Abdul Rahman al-Attiya, secretary general of the six oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, announced the establishment of a common market at the closing session of the GCC summit here on Tuesday.

Reading out the Doha Declaration, Al-Attiya said the long-anticipated common market will be brought into play as of Jan. 1, 2008…. (Read on …)

Foreign Debt

Filed under: China, Economic, GCC, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, banking — by Jane Novak at 4:44 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saudi Arabia, Russia Yemen’s biggest creditors by far.

Yemen Observer

External Yemeni debt, the debts that Yemen owes to foreign countries, increased to $5.620 billion by the end of July 2007, compared with $5.469 billion at the end of December 2006, according to the official report issued by the Central Bank of Yemen. The amount Yemen currently owes other countries equals some 34 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.

The Central Bank report listed Yemen’s debts to member states of the Paris Club as follows: $1.242 billion to Russia; $233 million to Japan; $99 million to the US; $87 million to France; $24 million to Italy and $26 million to Spain.The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of the world’s richest countries which provides financial services such as debt restructuring, relief and cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors.

The report showed that debt to non-members of the Paris Club is also large, having reached $978 billion. It includes debts of $318 million to the Saudi Fund; $164 million to the Kuwait Fund; $154 million to Kuwait Deposits; $170 million to China; $34 million to Korea; $79 million to Algeria; $35 million to Poland and $17 million to the Iraqi Fund. (Read on …)

Regional Pipelines

Filed under: GCC, Iran, Oil, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If this is true, it explains a lot including GCC and Saudi support, US patience, but the report is from Debka. More here by John.

The Yemen oil pipe line is scheduled to run through Hadramout to Makalla. The map with all the pipes is interesting too.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen have launched the vast Trans-Arabia Oil Pipeline project with encouragement from Washington, DEBKA-Net Weekly 313 revealed on Aug. 10, 2007. By crisscrossing Arabia overland, the net of oil pipelines will bypass the Straits of Hormuz at the throat of the Persian Gulf and so remove Gulf oil routes from the lurking threat of Iranian closure.

The 35,000-strong new Saudi security force, disclosed this week, will protect the new project, together with the oil installations of the world’s biggest oil exporter, from attack by such enemies as al Qaeda or Iran. The first 5,000 recruits are already in training, as plans advance to start laying the first section of the new pipeline system in November, 2007.

Because of the sensitivity of their mission, Saudi security experts assisted by American advisers are thoroughly screening each recruit about his family, tribal and past associations to weed out religious extremists. DEBKAfile adds that the new oil security force will be the third largest in Saudi Arabia, after the armed forces and the National Guard.

The first Trans-Arabia pipeline will carry 5 million barrels of oil a day, almost one third of the 17 million barrels produced by Gulf emirates. The crude will be pumped through pipes running from the world’s biggest oil terminal owned by Saudi Aramco at Ras Tannura, south to S. Yemen’s oil port of Mukallah and west to the Red Sea port and industrial town of Yanbu north of Jeddah.

The $6 billion investment in the first stage will come from the participating governments within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council – GCC. (Read on …)

Donors and Aid

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:51 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2007

US

The United States has announced that it is raising the upper limit of its annual support to Yemen to $45 million US dollars for the year 2007. The American government decided to raise its assistance to Yemen to $45 million representing an increase of about $25 million, according to Nabil Ali Shayban, the general director of the International Cooperation Unit for European and American Affairs at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in a staement to Saba news agency last Wednesday.

He added that the US government allocated $35 million for supporting Yemen’s rehabilitation program for joining the millennium fund. The Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors reinstated the eligibility of the Republic of Yemen for participation in MCC’s Threshold Program on February 14, 2007. In a statement issued by the MCC it said that Yemen was eligible for Threshold Program assistance in 2004, but its eligibility was suspended by the Board in November 2005, following a consistent pattern of deterioration in Yemen’s policy performance on the selection criteria.

With today’s action, Yemen may now apply for a Threshold Program Agreement. “The MCC Board of Directors found that the Yemeni government has worked aggressively and demonstrably to address the country’s performance on the MCC selection criteria,” which includes battling corruption within the government. “Since its suspension in 2005, Yemen has undertaken a series of impressive reforms,” said US Ambassador to Yemen John Danilovich, who is also CEO of the MCC. “In addition to what has been accomplished thus far, the Government of Yemen has made a number of important reform commitments.

Looking at the progress we have been able to document, Yemen has demonstrated its commitment to continuing this reform effort.” In February 2006, President Ali Abdullah Saleh signaled the start of an aggressive reform effort with a cabinet shuffle. At that time, the government also introduced and began implementing an impressive National Agenda for Reform. This reform agenda addresses policies evaluated by the MCC selection indicators.

Arab Social Fund

The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Abdul-Karim al-Arhabi, and Abdul-Latif al-Hamad, Chairman of the Kuwait Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development (AFSED), signed two agreements last Tuesday, one to finance a gas-powered electricity generating station in Marib, and a second to strengthen the programs of agricultural and fish development on the coast of Hadhramawt.

The two projects have a combined budget of $142 million. “The signing of the two agreements comes within the framework that was agreed upon by the two involved parties to support and finance infrastructure projects in Yemen,” said al-Arhabi. AFSED will continue to finance and support Yemeni projects, said al-Hamad, adding that his visit to projects financed by the Fund in Sana’a, Aden, and Socotra left him with the good impression that there is steady progress in the design and implementation of development projects in Yemen.

The programs of agricultural and fisheries development on the coast of Hadhramawt, the projects outlined seek optimal use of water resources by the establishment of eight dams and improvement of the irrigation system in order to save water by means of the introduction of modern irrigation methods. An additional goal of agricultural sector is to protect agricultural land from erosion and degradation by introducing new crop rotation patterns that will take into account the agricultural needs and the climate of the region.

Yemen Sponsors Arab Charter for Democracy

Filed under: GCC, Other Countries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:29 pm on Sunday, June 17, 2007

thats funny

Thursday 14 June 2007

26 Septemper News

SANA’A, (26sept.net) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced on Thursday that Yemen would adopt an initiative to issue Arab charter for democracy through the Arab League.

In his meeting with participants in a meeting for setting up an Arab association for democracy which was held in Sana’a from 13 to 14 June, President Saleh said that democracy is important today and a
choice that all have to make use of it.

Democracy is an alternative for conspiracy, coups and secret activities which lead to violence and disorder, he said. He also reviewed Yemeni democratic experience, saying that at the beginning there were some people who could not accept criticism, but day by day these people used to hear criticism within democracy practice.

President pointed out to the initiative of assigning areas in public places for expressing opinion freely like that in London in accordance with law and constitution.

Wrong thoughts on democracy should be corrected for it is a tool for building and development, he said.

The participants expressed happiness for meeting with President and listening to his open dialogue on democracy, affirming the importance of holding such dialogues between governments and organizations of civil societies in the Arab countries.

They appreciated announcement of President Saleh for adopting Arab charter for democracy through Arab league, considering it as an important step toward strengthening democracy in Arab world.

Resource: Saba

Qatari Mediation

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

Yemen Times

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

Projects Funded

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:35 pm on Wednesday, February 14, 2007

RIYADH, Feb.14 ( Saba)- The Yemeni- Gulf Joint Committee (YGJC) approved Wednesday, during final work held in the headquarters of the
general secretariatof GCC, the financial allocations to a number of main projects in theYemeni investment program for the third
five-year plan committed donorsin London Donor Conference.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Abdulkarim Ismail Al-Arhabi, stated to Saba that the committee approved initially the financial allocations to a number of main projects, Amran- Aden road, Mareb gas station, constructing 54 technical institutes, social development fund project, the projects of public works, rural roads, electricity and sanitation, clarifying that the total supplement sum for these projects reached US$2,7 billion.

He added that the committee approved continuous discussion on transforming financial commitments into service and developmental
projects, describing the committee’s meeting as fruitful and positive.

“The committee discussed great number of issues regarding projects included in the investment program,” he said, adding that his meetings with Saud iministers of foreign affairs and finance and the chairman of the Saudi Development Fund was fruitful and positive.

Saleh Interview

Filed under: GCC, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:16 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2007

DPW deal on the Aden port is apparently still up in the air.

Almotamar.net – Interview conducted by Dhain Shaheen and Sami al-Riyami

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has affirmed that relations between Yemen and Gulf Cooperation Council states are good and distinguished and are based on concrete brotherly bonds and special relations even among the officials, beyond official limits and protocols.

In an interview to Al-Bayan and Emirates Today newspapers published in their editions of Wednesday in Abu Dabi, the president renewed his welcome of Gulf investments in Yemen, in particular and the Arab and foreign ones in general. Hew confirmed they will receive all care and support and will be offered all guarantees and facilities according to the valid laws and the law of investment.

The president also talked about priorities of the coming period for enhancing development in the country and achievement of goals of his election platform during the upcoming seven years, clarifying that among priorities for are the enhancement of comprehensive development, fighting poverty and curbing unemployment and corruption. President Saleh confirmed the political leadership has political will for fighting corruption which has begun receding by virtue of the measures taken by the central apparatus for monitoring and accounting, courts of public property, watching of the parliament, and the measurers taken by the government as well as establishment of the authority of bids and tenders, issuance of the law of combating corruption stipulating the formation of an authority on combating corruption. Those were in addition to sending to court all those who are charged with manipulating the public property or administrative corruption. The president said among the agenda of parliament and Shoura Council at the end of February is the completion of procedures for the establishment of an authority on fighting corruption according to corruption fighting law. According to the law the Shoura Council will present to parliament names of 30 personalities to parliament to choose 11 or 12 of them and then presented to the president of the republic for approval.

The president’s talk included also the topic of managing and operating the Free Zone in Aden. The president made it clear that an international tender was announced for operating and developing it and many companies have presented their offers. Among them is that by Dubai Ports Authority but, he added that four alternatives have been presented. It is the fourth alternative wee are sticking to because it observes interests of the two parties. Those alternatives have been presented to officials of the Dubai Authority and if they will accept the fourth alternative in this case we prefer the Dubai Ports Authority as it possesses efficiency in managing Free Zones otherwise the tender will be repeated with new conditions. He said the file was referred to the government before Al-Adha Eid and the hope it will be decided upon within weeks.

On reports about a government reshuffle the president said ” everything is possible”, confirming that the goal of any new cabinet reshuffle, in case of doing it, is not the replacing of new faces by new ones for the purpose of just change but rather it will be as part of a strategy of implementing developmental programs and there will be the selection of the most competent personalities for carrying out those programs

With regard to fighting terror the president affirmed that Yemen has succeeded in fighting it and was able to supercede the more advanced countries in the technological aspect. Yemen succeeded despite of its scarce potentials to abort many of terrorist crimes before happening.

The president also dealt with hot issues in the region as he considered Iraq an open arena for settling regional and international accounts but affirmed at the same time the Iraqis ability, Shiite and Sunnis and Kurds, to preserve their homeland united, describing the daily killing there as outcomes of individual leaderships. And on the American new strategy and whether Iraq will be united the president said three years have passed since the American occupation and we will see what will happen in the upcoming six months. He said ” My preliminary reading of the American new strategy is that it is failing, ” clarifying that he had earlier sent a message to the American president Bush in which he advised him concerning the situation ion Iraq and explained to his administration its mistakes there.

Concerning Yemen’s efforts regarding establishment of stability in Somalia and achievement of Somali reconciliation, the president disclosed that the Yemeni foreign ministry is presently sponsoring dialogue in Sana’a between the Somali Islamic Courts and the transitional government on the one hand and the American administration and Ethiopia on the other, considering the that the Courts have committed a grave mistake in refusing a Yemeni advice for entering into coalition with the transitional government and considered the Ethiopian military intervention in Somalia as legitimate act as long as it came in response to a call by the Somali transitional government.

On Yemen’s efforts for healing the rift and bringing closer the viewpoints of the brethren in Palestine and Lebanon, president Saleh made it clear that he called president Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership of Hamas for truce and avoiding targeting the Palestinian gun at the Palestinians and also the advice that the call for early elections was not a good idea and hasty one. He asked him to provide the opportunity for Hamas as long as all have accepted the democratic choice. The president added that he has also advised the speaker of the Lebanese parliament Nabih Berri on the dialogue and calming down with the government and not to take to the streets.
The interview also tackled a number of Arab and international issues.

Private Sector Exclusion, Investment Conference Delayed

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:16 am on Wednesday, January 10, 2007

News Yemen

NewsYemen was informed that the local private sector might not take part in the conference of “Investment Opportunities” to be held in Sana’a next February due to a dispute occured between the government and private sector after the former refused some demands the private sector has presented.
The government continues to ignore the role of the private sector that requests to participate effectively in handling the conference along with the government, a source in the General Union of Yemeni Trade and Industrial Chambers told NewsYemen.
Private sector does not want it to be a governmental conference, said the source.
As the government was making preparations for the conference it has excluded the local private sector representatives from the Priparaotry Committee under the pretext of “keeping the state domination”, according to the source.
The Yemeni private sector sees it will be so difficult to convince Arab and foreign investors to invest in a country where the government excludes the local private secor and prevents it from just participation in prior preparations. It pointed that the government wrong policy is indicated in the Arab Economic Report 2006 recently published.

Conference delayed until April.

GCC SG in Sanaa Prime Minister Abdul Qader Ba-Jammal along with Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah headed a meeting of the preparatory committee of the first conference for Discovering Investment Opportunities (DIO) in Yemen.

PFC: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which groups six oil-rich Arab countries, said on Monday it would sponsor a conference on Yemen’s investment potentials in next April.

GCC’s Secretary-General Abdul-Rahman al-Atiyya told reporters in Sana’a the meeting, slated for April 8-10, would bring together businessmen and representatives of the private sector from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

The conference is part of efforts by the GCC countries to give Yemen a much-needed economic boost to help the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country prepare its economy for a potential integration with their economies.

Atiyya said regional and international organisations, including the World Bank, the UN Development Programme and the Islamic Bank for Development, were working with the Yemeni government to prepare a package of open investments.

“Yemen has made a big progress in the march towards the real partnership,” with the Arab Gulf states, al-Atiyya said.

Yemen, which has been seeking full membership in the GCC for several years, was admitted to the GCC ministerial councils of education, health and social affairs and to the Gulf Football Cup in 2001.

Last November, Yemen received pledges of 4.7 billion dollars in aid during a donor conference in London. More than 50 per cent of the pledged aid package was provided by the GCC countries.

More from the YT:

SANA’A, Jan. 13 — The Gulf Cooperation Council’s General Secretariat and the Yemeni Industry Ministry announced the postponement of the Investment Conference from February to April. Neither side indicated why they adjourned the conference.

During his visit to Yemen last week, GCC Secretary-General Abdurrahman Al-Atteyyah said the conference was postponed in order to guarantee more effective participation by Gulf investors. (Read on …)

Saleh, an Orphan of Saddam

Filed under: GCC, Iraq, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:11 pm on Sunday, January 7, 2007

KUWAIT: A large number of MPs are preparing to call for convening a special session following the Eid holidays to debate Kuwait’s foreign policy towards Arab countries that have seen protests against the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The National Action Bloc, which comprises eight MPs, called on the government in a statement yesterday to “revise its foreign policy with regards to Arab countries” on the basis of their reaction to the execution. The bloc also said it will request for convening a special session to debate the issue and call for halting foreign aid to those countries.
Lawmakers have in the past two days strongly condemned the positions of Yemen, Libya, Palestinian factions and certain groups in Jordan that deplored Saddam’s execution and hailed him as a martyr. (Read on …)

Reform Necessary for Development

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, Economic, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:22 am on Friday, November 17, 2006

SANAA, 15 November (IRIN) – Analysts have said the Yemeni government must be serious in implementing reforms if it is to benefit from the aid pledges that are being made at an important donor conference being held in London on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Yemen is now at a crossroads and needs to help itself by achieving real reforms and fighting corruption,” said Abdul-Aziz al-Tareb, head of the Arab Group for Investment and Development. “Yemen is now facing a real challenge, especially as it has development money. It needs to prove its seriousness in achieving development, fighting corruption and improving its infrastructure and economy.” (Read on …)

Fear Mongering on the International Stage

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Donors, UN, GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:26 am on Thursday, November 16, 2006

He does it so well.

Saleh: poverty pasture for terrorism
LONDON, Nov. 15 (Saba) – In his speech to donor meeting, Saleh stated that poverty is a “fruitful pasture to attract youth people
and then recruit them to commit suicides”.

We, in Yemen, like other countries, suffered from terrorism most recent of which was the attacks on oil facilities during last
September elections, Saleh said, pointing to the two foiled attempts in Marib and Hadhrmout.

We have to work with each other to stabilize peace and security in the region, and to establish a giant force with a considerable
resources and capabilities, Saleh added.

Saleh re-welcomed Gulf investments, particularly in strategic projects Yemen is in need for such as electrification projects.

When we talk about nuclear energy, we do not mean to be a nuclear state. We want to economically use nuclear energy for civil
and peaceful use. Such projects can be established in Emirates, SaudiArabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman or Yemen so that we would dispense with others’ help, Saleh concluded.

This we know is untrue. As a Harvard study demonstrated, the correlation is not between economic poverty and terrorism, but between political poverty and terrorism. The shortage of rights and freedoms, and the inability to participate and effectively influence one’s government are most closely associated with terrorism. Many terrorists are middle class, well educated and alienated from their host society. Their ability to accept the perversion of universal ethical standards and to murder children with a clear conscience is less a function of ignorance than indoctrination.

The overwhelming poverty and resulting humanitarian crisis in Yemen is dire. Authentic governmental reform, democratization and anti-corruption efforts would have a greater impact on minimizing both poverty and the threat of terrorism than the several billion dollars of promised donor funds.

Report Issued by The Southern Democratic Assembly (TAJ)

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Corruption, Crime, Economic, GCC, Iraq, Military, Oil, Presidency, Proliferation, Security Forces, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 6:29 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2006

Paper prepared for the Yemeni Consultative Group Meeting, held
from 15th -16th November 2006, London

First of all the executive committee of Southern Democratic
Assembly salute all the delegates representing countries, organisations
and all participants in the conference and would like to present before all
of you a numbers of facts and figures regarding the situation in the
occupied South Yemen, for your serious consideration.

The Southern Democratic Assembly (TAJ) is a political organisation that
struggles to liberate South Yemen peacefully and insure that there is a
free and independent state for the southerners.

The South of Arabia was granted its independence from the British
colony on 30th November 1967 after an occupation lasted 129 years (19th
January 1839 – 30th November 1967). The independent state was
established on all the southern land, which is 338,000 squared km,
bordered from the east Oman Sultanate, Saudi Arabia from the north,
Arab Republic of Yemen from the Northwest, the Red sea from the West
and the Aden gulf and Arabian sea from the south. It has declared the city
of Aden as its capital and gained a full membership of all regional and
international organisations including the United Nations and the Arab
league which lasted till 1990.

The National Front that received the independent was a branch of the
Arab Nationalist Movement took the initiative to call the new state
Peoples Republic of South Yemen and amended it to the Peoples
Democratic Republic of Yemen. It was the intention of the new state to
achieve the comprehensive Arab unification due to the adoption of the
national and revolutionary ideology that was very poplar during the 50s
and the 60s of the last century.

On the 22nd 1990 the unification was declared between Peoples Republic
Democratic of Yemen with population of nearly 2 million according to
the 1988’ census and Arab Republic of Yemen, covering an area of
160,000 square km with the population nearly 20 million (there was no
accurate census) with Sana’a city as its capital. Bearing in mind that there
was no referendum was conducted amongst the people of South Yemen
regarding the future of their country which was a clear breach to the
Aden’s historical convention of 30th November 1989. The new unified
state has encountered many obstacles and conflicts due to the different
cultures, visions and means of building the modern state between the two
different political leaderships of the two countries. Consequently the
conflict has escalated to an extent, which made the president of the Aِrab
Republic of Yemen; the Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh declare on 27th April
1994 the un fair war, which lasted for 2 months against the South of
Yemen, which ended with the fall of Aden and the full military
occupation of the South in July 1994.

Since July 1994 the people of South Yemen has been living under the
northern tribal and military occupation causing lots of suffering and
hardship to the people in the South.

The northern occupying authority has not been satisfied with plundering
the wealth and implementing exclusion and depravation policy against
the southerners but also it continues to practice aggression such as
committing serious killings of children, men and women. It has also
committed various actions to forge the historical and geographical facts
and to omit the identity of the South.

The Southern Democratic Assembly (TAJ) continues its peaceful struggle
to get rid of this brutal occupation and underdevelopment and for selfdetermination
to build a free and independent state for Southerners.

Again TAJ would like to assert that it does not recognise any agreements
and conventions signed by the occupation regime in particularly after 7th
July 1994, and has the legal right to bring back all its legitimate right.
TAJ calls on the international community to provide full back up for the
Southerners and ensure urgent implementation of the Security Council’s
resolutions 924 and 931 issued during the summer war of 1994 for
ordering the Northern regime to stop its military aggression against the
south. It is important to revisit these resolutions for instructing the
northern military security authorities to withdraw from the south fully and
grant our people in the south their right to Self-determination. TAJ
would also like to revisit the Arab foreign minister’s decision of their
meeting, which took place in, the city of Abha; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
94 concerns the situation of south Yemen.

The regime of the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh that has been leading
Yemen since 1978 and occupying the south for 12 years has no intention
to establish a modern constitutional state. Instead he continues to exert his
effort by setting up a repressive and corrupt regime that is heavily used to
eliminate political opponents and violate human rights and freedom. This
regime is very well known to have provided safe havens for terrorists,
exports terrorism and smuggles arms to neighbouring countries which
contribute to a large scale in creating instability in those countries. This
regime continues to wreck the already fragile Yemeni economy by
counterfeiting the Yemeni currency (Riyals) and the foreign currencies of
neighbouring and others countries.

Everybody could refer to the evidence such as photographs, facts and
figures that we have provided in this paper for confirmation. We feel
under obligation to alert and warn all responsible people i.e. Arabs,
foreigners and international organisations of the danger that this regime
will inflict upon the future of the people of Yemen, regional countries and
the world as a whole.

The Southern Democratic Assembly (TAJ) calls on our brothers in the
Gulf Cooperation Council to understand and support the southerner’s
peaceful struggle for freedom. We would also like to take this opportunity
to advise them not to fall into the trap that the south has fallen in by
giving the corrupt dictatorship regime a chance to mess up the situation
and the people of the Gulf States.

TAJ warns all conference participants that any support offered to the
dictatorship regime in Sana’a led by Ali Abdullah Saleh will only be used
to enhance corruption, repression, increase poverty rate and instability.
Thus terrorists’ activities will also increase and the suffering of our
people will be prolonged.

Examples of the occupiers’ corruption in the south
• Since declaring the unification on 22nd May 1990 the Yemeni
regime has not implemented its commitments to convert Aden city
to a free zone and economic capital, just promises and lies only. On
the opposite the following acts indicate that he is destroying the
city’s future:

• The regime is selling the Aden port through influential bodies with
the businessman Abdullah Buqshan in a suspicious deal in order to
exclude it of the competition with neighbouring ports including
Jabal Ali in Dubai.

• According to that suspicious deal the capacity of the port of Aden
well make it capable to receive 3 millions containers only after 35
years, while the capacity of Salalah; the port of the Sultanate of
Oman is currently(2006) receives 4 million containers. Not to
mention the competitor port of Jabal Ali in Dubai, this will receive
55 million containers after 15 years only!!

• Despite the fact that the previous southern state spent 7o million
dollars on enlarging and creating a new quay in the port Mualla,
the authority has leased it to Dubai only at annual rate of $225,000
in four instalments.

• The government paid $ 200 million compensation to (Yemenfest)
for the withdrawal from the containers terminal at Aden port. The
company left the country due to the epidemic of the corruption and
to lawlessness after the attacks on the warship U.S.S Cole and the
French tanker Limburg. However the authority leases the
containers terminal to Dubai company according to the agreement,
which presented before the parliament; for a annual rate of half
million dollars lasting for 35 years, equivalent of $50 million for
the whole lease period, which mean the state will lose $148
million. (Source: original agreement’s text).

• Recently the president has granted one of the trading houses; (Hael
Saeed Anam’s group) a whole quay at the campus of the port of
Aden without paying one penny to the government. The group has
obtained a straightforward agreement stating that the quay is
granted and put in possession of the group!!(Published at several
electronic news sites).

• The Military and Economical Establishment trades and smuggles
on behalf of the president Saleh and some influential relatives
various things using the military ships of the previous southern
navy. The establishment is exempted from port charges under the
pretext that it transfers weapons to the governorates. It is worth to
be mentioned that this establishment is not subject to any
supervision or any financial control of the government.

• Installing illegal collection points inside the campus of Aden port
and interfering blatantly in all affairs of the port and controlling
unlawfully its aeronautical activities.

• Aden airport was closed before the international flights and turned
into an internal airfield.

• Influentials at the occupation authority have been digging artesian
wells haphazardly causing a big secrecy to the water in the city of
Aden. They get the water free, bottle and sell it to the market.

• Two years ago Aden has obtained a loan of $45 million provided
by the British government in very easy terms to build an alternative
hospital replacing the current Republican one. The corrupt tried in
Sana’a sizing on the loan. Unfortunately the loan was cancelled
after it was revealed that an attempt to seize the amount by officials
from the headquarter in Sana’a.

• The occupation authority seized a researching boat called (Ibn
Majed) that was donated by the Japanese government to the
Institute of Marine Science during southern state before 1990. The
boat now is used in exporting shrimps abroad by private company,
which is belonging to one of the president relatives.

• The strategic oil installations in Hugaif, Aden were delivered to
one of the president assistants, Tawfeeq Abdulraheem according to
the agreement signed by the ministry of the of oil and minerals on
11th March 2003.( Source- Alshoura newspaper, volume no481,13 May
2004.)

• Aden refinery is being neglected and destroyed despite it is one of
the main sources of the country. The occupiers have looted and
deliver its income to influential officials in Sana‘a at the same time
the authority is building another refinery in Hodaida city value of
$450 million.

• The head of the occupation regime Ali Abdullah Saleh has
smuggled the country wealth to the Dutch and Germany banks. The
Germany magazine Dearshpeagl”Focus” has estimated the Yemeni
President’s wealth at $ 20 billion. (Source: diplomatic magazine)
published in London in August 2004).

• In a suspicious deal, influential officials have signed to sale gas to
Korean companies less than 40% of the official price in the world
market (Source. Petroleum Economist, March 2005).

• Influential officials have looted large quantities of gold that is
mined from the south. They sold it on the world market without
declaring or supplying revenue to the state treasury. According to
gold global market in Dubai, Yemen is among the 10 countries
exporting gold.

• They have manipulated and squandered the oil wealth of the south
by concluding a deal to sale the Government’s shares in the oil
sector No. 53 in the Hadhramout to a foreign company at 13
million and 123 thousand dollars, which deprived the state treasury
of $ 200 million at least.(Source: Alshoura newspaper,14 / 04 / 2004).

• Plundering of fish stocks by the close bodies to the President
through granting licenses to private and foreign companies to fish
indiscriminately and illegally.

• An illusory budget of (700 billion riyals)equivalent to $3 billion
and 535,000,000 was allocated additional to the government’s one
for the current year 2006 (Re: the Yemeni Parliament).

• A large amount of (600 billion riyals)equivalent to $3 billion and
303,000,000 from the differences of the sale price of oil for the
current year 2006 was not declared and not delivered to the
government treasury (Source Yemeni Parliament).

• The huge amounts of taxes of 40 billion and 116 million Yemeni
riyals equivalent to 202 million and 585 thousand dollars that were
collected in the provinces were not supplied to the state treasury.
Source : Central Agency for the Control and Accounting, Althawri newspaper
No.1925 17 August, 2006

• The total amount, which was looted from the oil sector and
Government budget and taxes for 2006 only for the benefit of
the President and corrupts thugs gang of his companions
reached 1340 billion and 581 million Yemeni riyals equivalent
to seven billion and 240 million and 708 thousand dollars
Notes: Money looted from other sectors such as gas, gold and fish
stocks are not included.

• The amount of (3.549.573.053) three billion, five hundred and
forty-nine million, five hundred and seventy-three thousand, fifty
three Yemeni Riyal has been laundered by presidential instructions.
The amount has been diverted from the account of the “expansion
project, the Great Mosque” to Hamoud Alshobami the financial
officer of the General Public Congress Party, that is headed by the
President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The scandalousness was revealed
by Mohammed Qahtan Head of the Political Department of the
Yemeni Congregation for Reform. (Source: Http: / /
www.nasspress.com/news.asp?n_no=3001&sss).

• A large amount of drugs has been smuggled across the Indian
Ocean to the southern Yemeni governorate in Hadhramout, and
from there it has been exported and smuggled across the land to the
neighbouring countries. The operation is managed and supervised
by someone close to the Yemeni president.( Source: Jane Novak
Worldpress.org contributing editor, October 14, 2005)

• Investors are subject to a continuous harassment, blackmail and
extortion carried out by the influential officials from the occupation
authority. Here are some examples:

1. The Contractor Ahmad Al-Sorimah the owner of Across the
Sahara Company, which is specialised in the international
roads construction. The authority has refused to pay the
company its dues after the completion of all projects;
consequently the company has raised the issue before the
World Bank’s Court in Paris, which is in charge in resolving
commercial disputes.

2. .The two businessmen Abdullah Al-Husseini and Khaled
Abdul-Ghani with other investors from UAE and Saudi
Arabia were involved in constructing (Hadhramout Refinery
Project). They left the country and have not returned until
now due to the artificial disruptions that they have
encountered. After the authority managed to stop
implementing the project, they are now trying to put another
tender without to resolve the issue with existing investors.

3. The Government has bought the share of the businessmen
Taher Bawazeer and Osama Bawazeer at Aden port about $
120 million, and gave the money to another body rather to
Bawazeer; the owners of the shares.

4. The owner of Aden Sheraton Hotel, Abdullah Al-Katheeri
has left the country and refused to return preferring to live
in the UAE away from the occupation Government’s
harassment and blackmail, by imposing additional and
informal(political security and taxation)charges.

Military Expenditures

According to a report prepared by the American Centre
for Strategic and International Studies a few months ago,
that during the past few years it has been noticed that a
remarkable increase in military spending in Yemen as
follows:

Expenditure has increased from $ 482 million in 2001 to
$809 million in 2003 and $942 million in 2005.This high
expenditure is carried out through mediators who are
close to the President. Such high expenditures are a
serious burden on the Yemeni economy as Yemeni
military spending during 1990s did not exceed $ 539
million. It has been found that Yemen still continues to
raise arms imports.

Examples of the occupation practices and violation of
human rights and public freedoms

• Looting the state’s land and real estate in the south
and distributing them to the President’s family and
companions.

• The Budget of Aden governorate (the capital of the
south) is less than the budget of Al-Thawra Hospital
in Sana’a.

• Demobilising by force nearly half million people from
civil and military personnel of the southern state and
replacing them by those from the Yemen Arab
Republic.

• Referring the majority of southern personnel women
of the University of Aden to the forced demobilisation
and recruiting other teachers from the Arab Republic
of Yemen to replace them.

• Implementing unfair policy of depriving Southern
young people of education and restricting the study
abroad to those from the Arab Republic of Yemen.

• Practicing deliberate murder on southern women,
children and men by the occupation soldiers and
officers without bringing the criminals to justice.

All of these martyrs were killed by the occupation forces
without any guilt, while the killers are enjoying the
authority’s protection. No justice for the victims because
they are southerners.

Yemen and Terrorism

For two decades, the name of Yemen is associated with a large number of
explosions and accidents carried out by Islamic extremists, and provide a
safe haven to many of the Jihad movements. These movements have
received financial support, training and facilities to carry out attacks
targeting Western interests and some of the Arab countries in and outside
Yemen as well.

Many reports and statements indicate that the Jihad members have
received financial support and training from the official bodies and
foundations of the State and are supervised by leaders who are in
important civil, military and political state’s positions. The general Ali
Mohsen Al-Ahmar; half brother of the president Saleh, the leader of the
1st Armoured Division and Commander of the military region of the
Northern part of the country, is in charge for recruiting the Jihad
members who returned from Afghanistan; in the security and military

(M آOPH ا QKRGH اSTU دوع GH ا GJKL
Tawfeeq Abdul Ethar Fares Moneerah Ahmed
Kareem Hussein Alkhadher
Masoud Taleb Awadh Alhanki)

institutions and retain them equipped and trained as well. In an interview
with the leading element who returned from Afghanistan; Mustafa Paddy
(Abu Allojri) – Yemeni newspaper Al-Wasat March 15, 2006.) Also he
confirmed that when he was a leader of a Camp in Afghanistan, that Abdul-
Majeed Al-Zendani; Chairman of the Council of the Yemeni Congregation
for Reform and the President of Al-Ima’an (the faith) University,
he went to Afghanistan in 1992- at that time he was a member of the
Presidency of the Yemen -and asked the militants to pledge allegiance
and return to Yemen to implement specific tasks. (The same earlier source).
He also stressed that he is assured of the future of the Jihad (fighting)
because of the regime experience and wisdom in maintaining the Jihad
member and keeping them equipped and safe for the future to fight
anywhere else when it is necessary.

The prominent Jihad’s member; Rashad Mohammed Said so-called (Abu
Al-Fida’a) who is very close to Osama Ben Laden has commended at the
wisdom of the Yemeni authorities in hosting the Jihad’s members and
confirmed that these groups are more pervasive and powerful in Yemen
and in the whole Arabian Peninsula. (Rashad Mohammed Said (Abu Al-Fida’a) -
interview with the Yemeni newspaper Al-Wasat October 19, 2006.)

The escape of 23 members of Al-Qaeda prisoners from the political
security jail in Sana’a in February 2006, a similar incident of assisted
escape of a numbers of Al-Jihad’s prisoners from Aden’s jail some years
ago and 7 members of what is called Hata’ab’s group ran away from Al-
Bahreen prison in Abyan in July 2006. Due to these incidents it was
discovered that there were many members of these groups operating
within the political security organisation and the controversial statements
made by the president with regard to his confirmation that the escapees
prisoners are in the Yemen and he is in touch with them. An interview
with Ali Abdullah Saleh published in Al-Hayah newspaper, based in
London, issued in February 2006.

These findings indicate that the Yemeni regime itself uses the terrorism to
blackmail the regional countries and it has a good relationship with Al-
Jihad’s members and their activities.

(Al-Qaeda and the Holly alliance: Saleh, Al-Zendani,
Ali Mohsen and Bin Laden. The authoritarian,
financial, spiritual and military integration.)

Both the evidence and information indicate that who carried out the bombing
attack on the American Warship USS Cole in Aden port in October 2000 are
well-known bodies to the Yemeni regime and some of who were involved still in
their jobs. Moreover the facts confirm that high-ranking officers serving in the Republican Guard are directly related to jihad groups. All these evidences indicate the extent of the link between the current Yemeni regime and Al-Jihad’s terrorist activities.
The Yemeni claim to fight terrorism is a mere tactic by the government in
order to deal with the foreign pressure and to stray other countries from
looking at Yemen as a state that support terrorism.

Numerous reports have uncovered that the Yemeni Authorities have
established several military camps inside Yemen and provided them with
heavy and medium arms such as anti-plane missile and Mortar arbitrary.
Source: (an interview with Al-Jihad’s member Mr Ali Abu AL-hind by Alwasat
newspaper in August 2005).

The Yemeni authorities also cooperate in regrouping those fighters who
returned from Afghanistan, amongst them the Afghan Arab, members of
Al-Qaeda and a large number of fugitives from countries such as Egypt,
Jordan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Kuwait. Half brother of the
president; General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar was strongly linked to the
kidnapping of 16 western tourists by what so called Aden and Abyan’s
Islamic Army in December 1998 which ended in the tragic killing of
three British and one Australian during the attempt of the Yemeni
authorities to free them from their terrorists. What is shocking is that a
large number of the terrorist who participated in the kidnapping were at
the General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar’s house two days before this incident.
They were also in contact via a phone with the authorities in Sana’a
before they opened fire on the tourists and killing some of them. (Source
,Time on line, May 8th 2005).

The spiritual leader Abdul Majeed Al-Zendani continues to issue Islamic
Fatwa (Holy Decrees), supervise the activities of the Jihad’s members,
prepare them ideologically and educate many new members, recruits
them within the Iman University that he is chairing. Bearing in mind that
the university is not under the control of the state and the source of
financial support remains anonymous.

Will Saleh be prosecuted after it has become
clear that he is involved at the attack on
the U.S.S.Cole!!

What is more is that the security officer Abdul Salaam Al-Heyla who has been arrested by the American Intelligence and put in Guantanamo bay prison
since 2002 was in a direct contact with the president of Yemen. He also was the financial consultant of the president and in charge of some of the president’s private investments.

He was responsible for the Egyptian’s Jihad group in Yemen and those
returning Arab Afghan’s fighters. Moreover, information from the
American and Italian intelligence has indicated that Mr Al-Heyla had
strong link to the September 11th 2001 terrorists attack and had
relationship with Al-Qaeda organisation and its cells in Europe. His
connection was through providing members of the Al-Qaeda with forged
travel documents and air tickets as well as carrying out moneylaundering
on behalf of Yemeni parties involved in terrorism.

Protection of the manager of the world pharmaceutical company was
given to Mr Al-Heyla. It is also stated that this company was used as an
intelligence office for the terrorists. It is said that Mr Al-Heyla at the end
was led to Egypt and got arrested there. His arrest almost inflicted a real
crisis between the Egyptian and Yemeni governments. This matter could
only indicate his strong relationship with powerful elite, not far from the
presidency. Reference (Shafaf,Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper (Middle East
Transparency), 22 February 2004, 18th April 2004, 11th January 2006 and Amnesty
International report 2005).

Despite the fact that Yemen seems to be a strong ally of the United States
in the war on terrorism during the last five years, evidence indicate that
Yemen has become the main point for smuggling arms and assisting Al-
Jihad’s activities to cross to the Horn of Africa. Reference (a study prepared
by Deborah L. West – Anti-terrorism in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, World Peace
Foundation at Harvard University in 2005). This view is confirmed by the
previous professor of the University of Washington, Robert D. Burrowes
who claimed that Yemen had become a safe haven and one of the largest
sources of terrorism and terrorist’s activities and that Yemen is the
alternative for terrorists particularly after the fall of Taliban in
Afghanistan.

The regime of Sana’a continues to embrace and welcome Jihad’s
members from various Arab countries and the Horn of Africa. The
confession of one of the Egyptian Jihad’s leaders confirmed that the
second man in Al-Qaeda organisation Dr.Ayman Al-Dhawahiri was in
Yemen and during his time spent in the Yemen he had to supervise a
number of terrorist’s acts that included the bombing of the Egyptian

(The officer Al-Heyla; Saleh’s close
adviser. When Saleh join him)

embassy in Pakistan, the attack on a tourists group in Khan El-khalili in
Cairo, as well as the attempted assassination of the Egyptian prime
minister, Atef Sedqi at the end of 1993. These acts indicate that the
authorities in Sana’a are directly connected to a number of terrorists’
activities in the Horn of Africa and Saudi Arabia i.e. the bombings of the
American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar As-salam. (Source: Roberts D.
Burrowes mentioned earlier). An Egyptian magazine called Al-Ahram Al-
Arabi published a report in April 1997 pointing out that Osama Ben
Laden‘s sponsored twelve thousand Islamic extremists in Yemen. It was
also published by the media that there is significant evidence showing
that the real plotter of the attacks that took place in May 12th 2003 in
Saudi Arabia which targeted and destroyed big residential compounds is
the Yemeni Jihads member Abdullah Ali Al-Reimi.

He was responsible for coordinating Al-Qaeda’s activities inside Saudi Arabia and at the same time he was in the Yemeni political security prison.
(Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, February 26, 2006).

According to intelligence reports, Yemen is One of the biggest sources of Al-Qaeda
suicidal bombers that are supplied to Iraq. This information has also confirmed that
the grandson of the spiritual leader of the Islamic extremists in Yemen
Abdul Majeed Al-Zendani is one of those who carried out suicidal operations in Iraq. (Reference: Hazim Al-Ameen, Al-Hayah newspaper, London, May,10th 2005).

Information released by the American intelligence confirms that Yemen
is the main source for buying weapons and there is a large amount of
money spent on weapons. According to official reports Yemen is the
third Arab country in armament expenditure, as well as trading in arms
with international gangs to smuggle weapons from Serbia, Slovakia,
Croatia, Kosovo and Montgomery. The personal responsible for this is a
close officer to the president Ali Abdullah Saleh who in his capacity
organise smuggling these arms to go to the Jihad groups in Somalia,
Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and other regions in Africa. (Source:
report prepared by UPI: Yemen and smuggle of arms, liberation army website).

Two pieces of weapons previously sold to the Yemeni army were found in the
possession of the terrorists group responsible for attacking the American
Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The ruler of the region of Jezaan in Saudi
Arabia stated in one of his statements for Al-Sharq AL-Awsat newspaper
that the border guards almost in every hour they confiscate large
quantities of arms smuggled from Yemen. Source (BBC). Moreover drug
e arms to go to the Jihad groups in Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and other regions in Africa. (Source: report prepared by UPI: Yemen and smuggle of arms, liberation army website).

(Abdullah Ahmad Al-Reimi has managed Al-Qaeda activities
in Saudi Arabia from his prison in Sana’a)

Trafficking in Yemen is one of the main sources of income that helps the
Jihad groups through the border with Saudi and via a number of Yemeni
islands and coasts on the red sea that are owned and fully controlled by
the president himself and his loyal officials. These important locations are
used for drugs and arms trafficking because they are absolutely outside
the control of the authoritative institutions.

These practices expose the relationship between the Yemeni regime and
terrorism and how the regime uses terrorism as a weapon to eliminate its
opponents, blackmail and threats neighbouring countries, as well as
violates the international peace and security for the sake of maintaining
power.

Yemen is not a poor country; in fact it is rich in its wealth of oil, gas, gold
and other minerals, fisheries, agriculture and tourism … etc. However,
because of the political nature of tribal and backward it despises the law,
circulates chaos and spreads corruption. This is its next project, which
might bring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

GCC and Defense

Filed under: GCC, Military, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:02 pm on Friday, November 3, 2006

That’s a new angle, to me anyway, via John:

Most controversially, Moynihan said that the GCC needs to expand to include Yemen if it is to have a credible defense force. Defense, he suggested, required foot soldiers, something the Gulf states singularly lack. Densely populated Yemen, however, could provide the boots on the ground.

Not everyone agreed on this point, however. Yemen is different from the rest of the GCC in many important ways. It was excluded from the GCC at formation because its traditions and political outlook are at such variance from the other states. It stands far behind the GCC countries in terms of economic and social development as well as in education and training. It is a country of hundreds of thousands of small villages, each with a few hundred occupants, and few urban centers to support rapid development.

Certainly Yemen has plenty of soldiers, several hundred thousand I think.

Update: SANAA- A Yemeni high-ranking military source said Monday there is coordination between Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in taking part in military manoeuvres of “al-Jazeera shield” to be held by military forces from Arab Gulf states in the Sultanate of Oman late in December. (Read on …)

Post Conference Focus on Development

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:55 am on Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gee I really hope this is right:

YT: A mechanism to monitor progress in the post-donors conference era is essential, while the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation is recruiting the services of international and renowned economists to oversee the progress made, the ministry has pledges to meet with representatives of donor countries every six months to view the progress, in order to ensure Yemen makes progress in accordance to the third five-year strategic plan, donors know about it and in turn realize their pledges into finance accessible for the government in order to advance progress.

For the first time in a long time, the government seems to know what it’s doing. Their workable plan got the endorsement of the international community and donors, a mechanism to monitor progress indicating that Yemen learnt from the mistakes following the Paris 2002 conference, and a revolutionary policy towards industrialization of the Yemeni Economy.

Advisors to the prime minister seem to know what they’re doing, the concepts behind the Aden-Lahej-Abyan Industrial Triangle is indeed a brilliant one, Lahej has received several focused government and privet-sector investments such as the two cement factories recently established, one by the government and the other by Hael Saeed Industrial group. While the Abyan Basin is known for quality agricultural productions such as cotton and bananas, while Aden is the commerce and industry hub of the country besides having the most prosperous industrial area in Yemen with investments in sugar, oil refining, iron, steel, petrochemicals and other industries.

All the factors critical for success are available from labor to natural resources to a new power plant to access to international markets and government support, what is still missing is the financing and this is why we all are looking forward to the “Invest in Yemen Conference” in Sana’a on Feb. 7.

The aspirations of the Yemeni government aren’t far apart from the reality and the newfound sense of direction can mean a new start from Yemen’s economy, especially when it’s the case of a country like Yemen: Building an economy out of scratch. Today, Yemen still has a shrinking agricultural-based economy providing income and livelihood to some 70 percent of the society, while all industries in Yemen are unsustainable extractive industries with a few minor exceptions, providing some 70 percent of government income.

This shift is the ultimate challenge, should anything go wrong in the implementation of the third developmental plan, if corruption takes the best out of development funds, or if the plan fails to meet its target of 7.1 percent growth per annum, then all what would be left in the Yemeni economy is scratch and unfilled election promises leading to socio-political instability shaking the region.

Yemen requests USD10 Billion from donors over 5 years

Filed under: A-EXTERNAL, GCC, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Khaleej Times/ AFP

Yemen is to ask donors for 10 billion dollars in aid over five years to help prepare the impoverished republic for membership of the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council, a government minister said in comments published on Monday.

Planning Minister Abdel Karim Al Arhabi told the London-based Arabic-language daily Al Hayat that the appeal would be made at a donors’ conference in the British capital on November 15-16.

Arhabi said a total investment of 25 billion dollars would be needed in the 2006-2010 plan to begin bringing Yemen up to the level of the six pro-Western oil states currently in the GCC but that 15 billion would be provided from domestic sources.

The minister is currently on a tour of Europe and North America to drum up support from donors ahead of the London conference, which is being jointly sponsored by the World Bank and the GCC, the Saudi-owned daily said.

Further massive investment will be needed under a second five-year plan before Yemen’s infrastructure begins to approach GCC levels.

Formed in 1981 in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war, the bloc currently consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Yemen, which has long had ambitions to join the wealthy bloc in a bid to break out of chronic poverty, has had observer status in the bloc’s forums for education, social affairs, health and sport since December 2001.

Yemen and the GCC

Filed under: GCC, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:06 am on Thursday, June 22, 2006

My take exactly:

GCC’s volte-face supports Saleh’s re-election

According to the NewsYemen website, American and British diplomatic sources have revealed that the two countries have advised the Saudis and the GCC states to “shoulder their responsibility in protecting Yemen against verified imminent failure.” The same sources mentioned that there were estimates pointing out that the “assistance of Arab countries did not achieve mentionable success in protecting Yemen against deep components of failure in the government of President Saleh.” The site indicated that the Yemeni Ministry of Planning said that Britain will double its assistance to Yemen next year. The website also mentioned that the British ambassador to Yemen appeared more “welcoming of the Saudi Arabia kingdom participation at the donors’ conference to be held late this year.”

This is the first time for donors to meet with Saudi Arabia in an international gathering to discuss political and economic reforms in Yemen. NewsYemen has also mentioned that the “escape of the 23 al-Qaeda linked prisoners last February has led to [a rise in] fears of the international community” about Yemen’s situation.

The GCC secretary general said in press statements published previously that Yemen already qualifies to enter the council based on its level of press freedoms. The GCC’s conditions for Yemeni accession do not differ markedly from those drawn up by the Millennium Challenge Fund, financed by the American government, for the qualification of Yemen for aid. To date, Yemen has failed to meet its terms and American officials informed President Saleh last year in Washington that Yemen would not benefit from the Fund.

Thus, it seems that the real reasons for the GCC’s u-turn towards Yemeni entry are completely different from those mentioned by senior Yemeni officials. Recently, Yemeni officials began to whisper in the ears of media officials that the GCC’s terms include imposition of restraints on democratic practices and the limitation of political pluralism.

Of course, there is no proof that such demands are to be taken at face value. Rather, these purported demands seem to b fabrications of the Yemeni government.

Read it all.

 

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