Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen Defense Min targeted for assassination for 7th time, AQAP raid

Filed under: Ministries, Post Saleh, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The assassination spree by the al Qaeda hit squad, or some mercenary facsimile thereof, continues with a gusto. Security officers are targeted and killed in the south with alarming regularity, about once a week. The pattern is highly reminiscent of the period between unity (1990) and the civil war (1994) when al Qaeda targeted YSP leaders and over 150 were killed. The 1994 document of Pledge and Accord begins by demanding Saleh stop employing terrorists and terrorism against southerners to achieve his political goals, but he never did.

The deposed (half of the) Saleh dictatorship continued to conduct false flag attacks (pipelines anyone?) or hired al Qaeda types or used intelligence officers disguised as AQ to conduct operations against internal rivals or to shift the political winds. Its not only a matter of exploiting al Qaeda attacks to gain international support; its also a matter of ordering them.

When is the US going to talk about the tourist murders and the plots against the British ambassador or the South Korean officials as Saleh’s foreign policy in action? Much, maybe most, of the al Qaeda violence in Yemen is self-generated, but some is designed. Its a good thing the US remembered belatedly to add the terrorism exclusion to Saleh’s immunity deal.

Sana’a: Yemen’s Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday near his home located in the capital city of Sana’a, Xinhua reported. A car bomb was discovered near Ahmed’s house and was removed before it could explode, said police sources.

This was the seventh occasion when militants, suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), targeted the defence minister since the interim Yemeni government came into existence last December.

On Sep 11, a car bomb attack targeting the defence minister’s motorcade in Sana’a killed 12 people, including his seven bodyguards. The minister was critically injured in his chest, with his face bruised

They probably saved a lot of lives by rolling this one up. The gas cylinders were first used in Yemen in the 2005 twin attacks on the oil facilities.

Reuters: Army and security forces raided a house in the southern province of Aden at dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers were wounded.

“A large amount of various explosives was found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,” the Defense Ministry website quoted a security source as saying.

The house, in Mansoura city, was used as a headquarters for al Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said.

Security forces seized documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said.

A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.

Good news from Yemen: Ali al Ansi’s last day as head of National Security, updates

Filed under: Biographies, Counter-terror, Ministries, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 5:26 am on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The National Security was created in 2002 at the prompting of the US because the PSO was so corrupt and subverted. Ali al Ansi was the head of Saleh’s presidential office since the 1980’s. Today is Al Ansi’s last day, AlMasdar reports. Its great news.

The new head of the Natl Sec is Dr. Hassan Al Ahmedi who was the governor of Shabwa and has a background in economics. Maybe since he is not connected to the security establishment, he’s do a good job. Or at least look at allocating resources in a rational way that addresses the intended function of the National Security. No one could do worse than al Ansi who controlled the airport and had a habit of pulling journos and activists off the plane on their way to international conferences but let the terrorists board.

More good news: Hadi to appoint 29 new ambassadors and refuses to split the posts between the GPC and JMP. Woot. Hyper-politicalization in Yemen is one root of fractures, stalemate and corruption.

ChiTrib:SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen will investigate alleged human rights violations that occurred during an uprising last year, officials said on Wednesday, possibly opening the way to prosecution of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his relatives.

Saleh and his immediate family obtained immunity from prosecution under Yemeni law under a U.S.-backed deal sponsored by Yemen’s Gulf neighbors last year in return for the veteran president’s departure from office. He stepped down in February.

Thousands of protesters have demanded that the immunity be scrapped. The cabinet decision to set up a committee of inquiry followed months of wrangling within the government.

“The committee is responsible for probing the allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that occurred in 2011, impartially and independently,” state news agency Saba said.

A government official, who asked not to be named, said the decision emerged from an intense, five-month-long debate in the cabinet, which is divided between members of Saleh’s party and his opponents as stipulated by the power transfer deal.

“It was a fight in the cabinet,” he said, adding that the outcome was partly due to a “big push” by the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar.

The official said the inquiry would investigate whether criminal charges over deaths and injuries could be pressed. It would be complemented by a transitional justice law which parliament could pass this month.

Saleh’s successor, Abd-Rabbu Hadi, was expected to issue a decree setting up the inquiry this month, the official said.

Link dump:
CNN: In Yemen, protests mask diverse views on anti-Islam video

Wharton: Interview w/ Taiz governor formerly of of Hayel Saed Anam Inc, In Yemen, a Different Kind of Battle: Getting People Trained and Finding Good Bureaucrats

Feierstein says US will not grant visa to Saleh during current period, and he should be exiled or remain out of politics at least. Since when? I can pull up interview after interview where Feierstein he says (rather defensively or dismissively if I recall) the dictator can Saleh can stay in Yemen and is certainly welcome remain active in politics like any citizen. Mareb Press: the Embassy that the U.S. government had informed the former president Ali Saleh that it can not grant a visa to enter the U.S. territory during the current period. Gerald considered that the colossal mistake committed by the drafters of the Gulf initiative not demanding former President Saleh to leave political life.

Saba: Hadi to DC NY September 27, I am happy to welcome a Yemeni president to the United States in my lifetime. If he was going to be at the embassy, I’d send flowers.

RE the following: There’s a term used to describe diplomats who lose objectivity, “going native”. It describes Former Ambassador Barbara Bodine and her bias in favor of the Saleh regime during her term, and after, and perhaps Ambassador Feierstein as well. In their case though it could be called “going tribal”. The following is written by Iona Craige:

Foreign Policy Mag: Then, without so much as a raised hand from the soldiers, protesters walked straight though the gaps between the yellow and black striped blocks. Like a gentleman holding a door open for a lady, the soldiers, with their AK-47s slung over their shoulders, stepped back, letting the chanting mob through. And as the angry mob marched further towards the embassy building itself the soldiers walked with them, some even smiling.

Yemen’s Central Security Forces, created by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, remain under the command of his nephew Brig. Gen. Yahya Saleh, who enjoyed a warm relationship with the U.S. embassy here in Sanaa for years. The U.S.-trained and funded counterterrorism troops also fell under his command. The relationship had been a necessary close one in America’s strategy to combat the country’s notorious al Qaeda network.

On the day this February when his uncle handed over power to the country’s new president, Abdu Rabu Mansu Hadi, at the presidential palace, Yahya and U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein greeted each other like old friends. With laughter and a firm, lingering handshake, they clasped each other’s elbows in the midst of a packed room of dignitaries and a throng of domestic and international media. (Read on …)

Justice Minister gets death threat after statement about seizing former regime’s funds

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Judicial, Ministries, Post Saleh, assassination, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Sunday, September 16, 2012

Many ranking members of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s former regime made millions through corruption, embezzlement and fraud. The Obama administration continuously blocked all efforts to freeze Saleh’s funds in addition to providing him political cover. Every now and then somebody mumbles something about sanctioning those who block the political transition at the same time that its clear the purse of Saleh et al is what is funding the counter-revolution, like Saddam and the Fedayeen. Minister of Justice Murshid Al-Arashani received threats of killing by unknown persons on Friday.

A source of the ministry said that they received a letter on late Friday in which the minister was threatened with assassination.

These threats came after Al-Arashani said on Tuesday that Yemen prepares to pursue funds that were looted by the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides.

In a forum held in Qatar on recovering frozen assets of fallen Arab autocrats, Al-Arashani stressed that those officials who looted funds of the Yemeni people will be hunted through mechanisms of civil laws.

Counterfeit currency stolen during occupation of Yemeni Interior Ministry

Filed under: Ministries, Security Forces, counterfeiting — by Jane Novak at 2:44 pm on Thursday, August 16, 2012

Now that makes sense:

Yemen Observer: 8/11/12: The Central Bank of Yemen issued a warning on Sunday to banks and exchange offices after it was established that counterfeit high-resolution currency had entered the market.

The alert came after the Interior Ministry revealed that criminals broke into its evidence room and stolen a large stash of counterfeited money last week when armed clashes erupted in between tribesmen, the Central Security Forces and men attached to the 1st Armored Brigade, led by renegade General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

The Interior Ministry said it was now working at arresting the culprits.

Tribesmen hired for pro-Saleh protests in 2011 seize IM building in Yemen

Filed under: Ministries, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:00 pm on Monday, July 23, 2012

There are the bullies who occupied the pro-Saleh square in Sanaa for pay, qat and a promise of a job:

Mohammed Jamjoom ‏@JamjoomCNN

#Yemen Govt Official said men who seized Int Min r tribesmen who were recruited onto police force last yr by relative of former pres Saleh

(Reuters) – About 100 armed tribesmen loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh stormed the Interior Ministry building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday demanding to be enlisted in the police force, an official said.
(Read on …)

Yemen intel chief’s disinfo in cadet attack

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Yemen, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:06 am on Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yemen president launches investigation into cadet attack 14/07/2012

The Yemini Interior Ministry announced that president Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi has formed an investigative committee in order to probe regarding a bombing in Sana’a that killed 10 police cadets this week after the panel misidentified the bomber, media reported on Friday. (Read on …)

Inventory of military an excellent first step, next Youth auditors?

Filed under: Military, Ministries, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Thursday, March 8, 2012

In order to restructure the military, the transitional govt needs to know what exists and where; a US congressional report in 2009ish found that the Yemeni CT forces and military could not account for or locate some equipment granted as US military assistance. Furthermore, direct and brokered Yemeni arms purchases are sometimes sold in bulk to the black market, and individual soldiers (who sometimes aren’t paid for months) have been known to sell their weapons.

In reality, all ministries and government offices should be subject to an inventory (including cars). However, considering the gargantuan levels of corruption and mismanagement at all levels, a secondary audit is imperative. Asking the people responsible for the embezzlement to count the inventory is a recipe for more subterfuge.

A secondary audit of the inventory would be a good job for the revolutionaries, many of whom have accounting and computer degrees. As outsiders they would be independent, and its a good method to enfranchise them in the transition process while generating trust through transparency. International assistance by experienced accountants of the process may also increase the Yemeni auditors skill levels and employ-ability. Of course the US will be embarrassed by how much of its intended CT aid was stolen, diverted and/or resold, but sunlight is good for everybody.

Its very important however to standardized the inventory process regionally and from ministry to ministry–from the beginning. Starting with compatible processes, methods, computer systems and software is essential. For example, Yemen’s years long difficulty in generating stats and paperwork on the Somali refugees arises in large part from technical obstacles generated by using different accounting methods, incompatible databases and different computer systems, both vertically and horizontally. This impending pitfall is easily overcome with a little forethought at this point.

al Sahwa, President directs to count properties of military Yemen President Abdu-Rabo Mansour Hadi has directed on Wednesday the Defense Ministry to form technical committees to count the properties of the army in a move that precede the reconstruction of the military and end the division.

Meanwhile, the government tasked the Oil and Mineral Minister, Hisham Sharaf, to appoint a new director-general of the Oil Petroleum Company after the resignation of the former director in response to waves of protests by the employees of the company.

According to the Yemeni News Agency, Saba, military commanders held on Wednesday a meeting presided by the Defense Minister Ahmed Nasser Ahmed. The meeting discussed the counting of the military’s properties and how to halt the squandering of the public resources.

Also see “Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen Carnegie 2009

Microcosism of intra-institutional rivalry hampering progress in Yemen

Filed under: Local gov, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:30 pm on Monday, February 6, 2012

The governor of Aden resigned in protest of the protesters’ mass fatalities in March 2011. VP Haid re-appointed him recently. The deputy governor Abdul-Karim Shaif and other GPC officials boycotted a security meeting Saturday and stormed the governor’s office with armed men on Sunday, stealing the official stamps and cutting off funding at the bank, via Yemen Post.

Yemen’s government is a hyper-political configuration wherein all state institutions and bureaucracies became an extension of the GPCs power. That is one reason I suggested early last year suspending the established political parties during the transition period, which would also give new parties a chance to develop real constituencies. Instead the current configuration as outlined by the GCC deal attempts to re-balance or tip the gridlock between the GPC and the JMP.

These are the two entities that were unable to agree on (previously agreed upon) electoral reforms from 2006-2011, there was not one shred of progress, not even the most basic reform was enacted. If they keep thwarting the transition maybe its time to go back to my idea from 2007, Disband the GPC. The problem is the GPC is the counter to Islah, so if they both take a two year hiatus, it might allow some breathing room.

To follow is my 2007 article that lays out part of the configurations in place then that are hampering progress now. Published at World Press 9/2/07, the article, written two months after the first southern protest, was disparaged because I said there were simmering tensions in the south: It wasn’t possible to disband the GPC five years ago but I wanted people to for once imagine a world without it in order to better see its hegemony in day to day life.

Disband Yemen’s Ruling Party

Since Yemen’s presidential election last September, the nation is experiencing several areas of instability. Crisis areas include the fourth recurrence of the Saada war in North Yemen, popular protests in the former South Yemen, hostile tribal posturing, and the resurgence of terror attacks directed at the state. One causal factor common to all these conflicts is institutionalized inequality or state discrimination. This inequality is also the foundation of massive corruption that is destroying Yemen. With elitism so engrained and corruption so pervasive, structural reform is nearly impossible. One solution may be to dissolve the national mechanisms that function to perpetuate inequality and enable corruption, starting with Yemen’s ruling party.

Hopes generated before Yemen’s 2006 presidential election were dashed in its wake. Oppositionists were disappointed that the election was a pantomime of democracy with state resources overwhelmingly supporting President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the victor and incumbent of 28 years. Saleh’s supporters were disappointed when his expansive election platform produced few tangible results upon his reelection. In fact, the situation worsened for the average Yemeni with prices rocketing higher. (Read on …)

HR Min Mansour to form independent commission to investigate HR crimes in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Judicial, Ministries, Tribes, Yemen, hostages, prisons — by Jane Novak at 7:43 pm on Thursday, February 2, 2012

She’s doing well and going in the right directions (for example closing private prisons) but the question is whether she will be allowed to cross the red lines or thwarted by ye ol powerful and guilty persons even though they have immunity. On a related note, on e report holds that Gen Kiran got a false passport and is planning to escape Yemen. Beyond his recent crimes against protesters in Aden and Taiz, Kiran also has a court case pending for the death by torture of Ahmed Darwish in an Aden prison cell.

Yemen Post: Yemen Human Rights Horia Mashhoor said on Wednesday that an independent commission will be formed with the aim of investigating violations committed against human rights since the outbreak of anti-regime protests in last February.

“Probes about killing of protesters in Sana’a , Taiz and Abyan lack transparency, and Yemen’s judiciary lack enough fairness,” she added.

In her meeting with Middle East and North Africa director of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy(NED) Abdul Rahman Al-Jubouri, she made clear that Yemen needs special legalizations that cope with international laws.

Mashhoor revealed that the ministry seeks to hold a national dialogue conference to solve Yemen’s problems and come up with joint national views on human rights.

She revealed that Human Rights Ministry would be shifted to an independent supreme authority which enjoys impartiality.

For his part, Al-Jabouri stressed that NED seeks to help Yemen in the field of enacting legislations of the constitution and election laws, pointing out that NED would support and train the consultative body belonging to the Human Rights through Ministry.

In an interview with the state-run 26 September newspaper, Mashhoor made reference to the existence of a big gap between laws and their application on the ground.

Mashhoor has said she seeks to shut down private custodies (ed-private prisons) run by some officials and tribal leaders, stressing that the existence of such custodies contradicts Yemen laws and international conventions.
Mashhoor has vowed to release all political prisoners held in security forces.

Separately, Mashour stated that Yemen’s high-ranking officials take over 90 percent of allowances and benefits allocated to government ministries while low-ranking employees get nothing.

She affirmed that Yemen’s financial systems encourage corruption, demanding to carry out significant financial reforms.

Interview with Yemeni Human Rights Minister Hooria Mansour

Filed under: Civil Rights, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:53 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Excellent interview!! Ms Mansour has a big job and perhaps it is the most critical ministry. If respect for human rights is the linchpin of the new Yemen, then she is correct, the youth will be satisfied, AQAP’s reach will diminish and the free market economy can take root.

Yemen Fox: Houria Mashhoor is one of Yemeni women who rebelled against Yemeni traditions and decided to take part in everything that used to be restricted to men.

Mashhoor is a Yemeni influential politician who is reputed to have neutral positions; even though she was a part of the previous regime.

Mashhoor has defected to the Yemeni revolution and become the spokeswoman for the youth revolutionary council. After the Saudi-brokered initiative had been signed in November, the conciliatory government was formed accordingly and Mashhoor was among the ministers who have been nominated. (Read on …)

Bios new cabinet in Yemen

Filed under: Biographies, Ministries, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:37 pm on Monday, December 12, 2011

By National Yemen

He was born in 1935 in the city of Aden in south Yemen. He finished high school in Aden and then worked as an importer and exporter of dried fish to Sri Lanka. (Read on …)

Former Yemeni PM Mujawar returns to Sanaa

Filed under: Ministries, Sana'a, Transition, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 5:59 pm on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CNN: Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar was back in Sanaa Tuesday for the first time since he was seriously injured in the presidential palace bombing last June, according to sources at the airport in the capital.

Thousands of pro-government supporters welcomed him back.

Mujawar was being treated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He’s the first senior official to come back to Sanaa from Riyadh since more than 35 senior officials were taken to the Saudi capital for medical treatment more than two months ago.

Mass graves and expired gas canisters in the Yemen revolution: HOOD publishes documents

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Monday, May 16, 2011

The documents HOOD published were translated by Yemen Rights Monitor, an excellent site in English to follow all the news of the rev.

Regarding the heightened and unusual effects of the tear gas on the protesters, it says in document that the smoke bombs are expired and cause long term health problems, addressed to the interior minister Rashad Al-Masri.

I wrote about a mass grave in Aden in February and as well as later reports of security forces kidnapping wounded protesters to artificially reduce the number of fatalities.

Hood also spoke of its possession of official documents reveal the crimes committed by official orders and official complicity to conceal, other crimes committed, related to some political backgrounds.
Hood confirmed that it received information and testimonies written and documented about the central security forces and gunmen in civilian clothes attacking the demonstrators with live bullets, sharp weapons and poison gas on Saturday night 04/09/2011 in Zubairy Street and Ring Road, which led to the downfall of a number of dead and wounded. Hood quoted witnesses saying that “Nearly 20 people were pulled to some personnel carriers and government vehicles transferred to an unknown destination and their injuries were at the head, neck, chest, abdomen and some of them had died.” Also, confirmed that it had received “certificates for a mass graves in the area of “ Bait Boss , body parts were found in trash barrels in that area, it is believed it belong to protesters who were arrested during the massacre of Kentucky Round in Sana’a. Attorney General has received a notification of this.”
Below is the doctors’ report on the body parts found in Beit Bous.

Yemen denies authenticity of documents authorizing weapons distribution

Filed under: Civil Society, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:16 pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011

Without the testimony of the person who provided them to Marib Press, its hard to authenticate. But there are anecdotal reports by eyewitnesses who saw weapons being given out from cars.

Yemeni officials deny press report on distributing weapons
Saturday 07 May 2011 202011000000Sat, 07 May 2011 20:32:12 +0300 08 PM / 26 September Net

Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Rashad al-Alimi and Minister of State for Parliamentary and Shura Council Affairs Ahmed al-Kuhlani have expressed regret about a forged document spread by Marebpress website that they were involved in distributing weapons to pro-government people. (Read on …)

Hamoud al Hittar, head of Yemen’s Al Qaeda rehab, says Saleh insincere

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Presidency, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just think! If Saleh goes quickly, then maybe Obama can return the Yemeni prisoners and close Gitmo before the presidential election in 2012!

News Yemen: Former minister of endowment Hamoud al-Hittar, who also headed a committee for dialogue with militants in Yemen for years, said President Saleh is not committed to fighting al-Qaeda in the country.

Al-Hittar said that President Saleh uses al-Qaeda threat to blackmail Arab and foreign countries to get more assistance. He said that al-Qaeda in Yemen is only 10 percent of what was reported by official media.

In his speech to almost one million anti-regime protesters in Change Square outside Sana’a University on “Friday of Steadiness”, al-Hittar assured Arab and foreign countries that Yemen will be able to put end to terrorism after the popular revolution succeeds and President Saleh stands down. He also said that Yemen will remain an active partner of the international community in counterterrorism in accordance with Yemen’s constitution, law and international legislation.

Al-Hittar urged Gulf countries to support the popular revolution and could confirm that Yemen will respect relationships with Gulf countries.

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

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

Now he says hes staying until 2013!

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

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

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

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

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

Yemeni military officers and officials resign en masse, the post Saleh era begins

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:31 am on Monday, March 21, 2011

A truly insightful analysis by Dr. Abdullah al faqih.

Update: National Security forces break into al Jazeera offices in Sanaa and steal equipment, a possible foreshadowing of dire events to follow. Minister of Water and Environment Abdulrahman Al-Iryani wrote a letter apologizing to the protesters. If the entire government resigns and joins the protesters, then the protests didn’t drive the elite out of power. CNN: Ali Mohsen negotiating with Saleh for a transition by the end of the year. This is just more maneuvering to keep the powerful in power, they are going out the front door and in the back. Ali Mohsen has to go on the same plane as Saleh

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a top military general are discussing a deal for a peaceful transition of power that would allow Saleh to stay in place for the rest of the year, a Yemeni official and senior U.S. official said Monday. The discussions come amid cracks in support for Saleh’s 32-year rule after weeks of anti-government protests.

Three top generals declared their support for the protests Monday, including Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, the man now discussing the deal with Saleh. Al-Ahmar, who belongs to an important tribe whose backing is significant for Saleh, also said he will order his troops to protect civilians demonstrating against the president….

According to the Yemeni official who confirmed the talks between Saleh and the general, the president has officially accepted five points demanded by the opposition and is now waiting for a response from the opposition and the generals who defected.

The five points are that Saleh step down by the end of the year; that Yemenis be allowed to protest without fear of violence; that a committee be formed to investigate attacks against protesters; that families of all protesters killed or wounded be compensated by the state; and that the government implement constitutional and electoral reforms, including the removal of Saleh’s family members from the armed services.

Update: Mass resignations continue from all levels of government. Yemen TV is showing old videos of crowds chanting for Saleh as live, but they were shot during the day while it is night time in Yemen now.

The former GPC members (the ruling GPC party has apparently dissolved after mass resignations) are forming a new coalition to come in through the back door. So far no violence but they like to do these things in the middle of the night. (Read on …)

Saleh fires government amid wave of defections

Filed under: Ministries, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:10 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Update: the former regime officials are becoming desperate to re-write the past and cast themselves as the lone beacon of integrity in a sea of corruption. Its amazing the way the long time officials and associates of a mass murderer and criminal are now disassociating themselves once the tide turned against the regime. Hopefully they will all stand trial for their complicity in the crimes of the Saleh regime.

Saleh fired his government ministers and asked them to continue to work as the wave of protests grows against him. Saleh has reshuffled the cabinet several times over the years, usually it is a way to divert blame and/or undercut reformers. This time he may be firing them before they all resign. After the slaughter in Sanaa Friday, Faisel abu Rais, who resigned from parliament in 2007, resigned as Yemen’s ambassador to Lebanon. Human Rights Minster Huda al Ban resigned, and (**** I’m being nice. Don’t test me.) Clerics urged the military not to fire on protesters. “Dr. Hassan Salami, Shura Council member resigned from the membership of the Standing Committee of the ruling National Congress Party to protest the lack of respect for the Constitution and the law, and the appalling violation of human rights including the massacre of peaceful protestors long before the University of Sana’a.” Sadiq al Ahmar head of the Hashid demanded Saleh resign but Saleh retains significant support from his tribe.

Saleh remains delusional, says to nation that the protesters are a small percentage of Yemenis, only he can rule and the JMP has bad intentions. The state announced 19 snipers had been arrested. To the European ambassadors, he said he is committed to democratic values. Anyone who believes anything Saleh says is delusional as well.

The Central Security Forces withdrew from al Tagheer Sqyare in Sanaa, and General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s 1st Armored Brigade took over duties around the protesters in Sanaa/ There have been no incidents yet.

US policy on the middle east as outlined by William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs in a statement before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on March 17 doesn’t mention Yemen at all.

There was a mass funeral march today in Sanaa, although many of the fatalities will be buried in their hometowns: Taiz, Arhab and Amran. Several injuries were reported after protests yesterday in Makallah.

ah a handy summary:

Sahwa Net- Yemen U.N. envoy Abdullah Alsaidi and the Minister of Human Rights Huda Alban have declared his resignation in protest over violence against peaceful protestors in Sana’a on Friday. (Read on …)

Saleh fires Min. of Endowments, al Hittar, and Monday updates

Filed under: Ministries, Religious, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:17 am on Monday, March 14, 2011

Does Saleh think he can dialog with the nation the way he dialoged with al Qaeda? Al Hittar, who was head of the Ministry of Endowments, had previously engaged in Koranic dialog with al Qaeda to show them the error of their ways. The process was described as a charade by several former prisoners. Judge al Hittar extracted promises from 341 al Qaeda operatives to remain loyal to Saleh in exchange for their release from jail. Many turned to external jihad, some re-integrated with society and some became productive members of AQAP. The program was discontinued in 2005 after complaints from the US that graduates of the program were turning up in Iraq. So in Saleh’s deformed brain, this was the best man to convince the protest leaders to dialog. However, the JMP are not the protest leaders. BTW, the ministry of endowments has a lot of corruption, selling state land very cheep to elite, as well as its own private prison. Update: al Hittar says he resigned in protest of the civilian deaths and others in Ibb resigned from the GPC.

This is a brilliant comment from a Yemeni friend: “Despite regime’s repression (or perhaps because of it) protests are witnessing, day by day, increasing growth and momentum in numbers and kind and expanding from urban to rural areas. It is going to be a long process during which the ancient regime’s informal institutions are deconstructed and a new system evolves from grassroots to formal institutions.”

Saleh falling back on standard practices, deports four western journos, had stopped issuing journalistic visas weeks ago.

More lunacy: EU urges dialog

Marib governor Ahmed al Zaidi stabbed in neck outside govt building : BBC. Attack came after al Zaidi led an assault by pro-govt thus on anti-regime protesters which injured 35 al Sahwa

Small Wars Journal 5 page pdf re Saleh, AQAP and US: urges no US direct military involvement but extending government throughout nation. (A process that will only, can only, work once Saleh is gone, I might add.)

The Bakil tribe join the protests, a very big development, al Sahwa Chief of the Bakeel Ameen Al-Aokaime reached Monday the entrance of Sana’a University where hundreds of thousands of protestors demonstrate, insisting that he and his followers would not leave until the fall of Yemen’s regime. (Sheikh’s name often spelled Okaime or like that, is in Marib I believe.)

Yemen GONGO (gov’t NGO or clone) Women’s Union says unrest due to conspiracy against state, stooge site: Hour News

Yemeni Ambassador to Switzerland Abdullah al Noaman resigns his post to join the protesters, the first ambassador I believe. We’ve had judges, military men and telecasters resign but this is first ambassador etc.

Parliament confirms bullets not rubber bullets used in Aden. I would think the bullet wounds would have been enough. Nine killed, 30 wounded al Sahwa

47 killed in last four weeks of protests, News Yemen, including 31 in Aden and 6 among other provinces, a much more accurate count than 9.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s president has fired a government minister for failing to persuade an expanding protest movement to end its monthlong challenge to his 32-year rule over one of the most impoverished and volatile corners of the Arab world. (Read on …)

Al Shameri, Yemeni ambassador to Egypt, loses 1/2 million dollars in robbery

Filed under: Education, Ministries, Other Countries, Yemen, govt budget, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

Al Shameri is a very interesting guy, close to Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, with a lot of connections to disparate groups. Supposedly al Shamari was carrying a half million dollars to dole it out to Yemeni students in Egypt but that’s unbelievable.

New Age: Yemen’s ambassador to Egypt was robbed by gunmen, who stole about 594,000 dollars in cash, security sources told the German Press Agency dpa on Wednesday. (Read on …)

Yemen government websites down, Update: Up Update: Down

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:31 am on Thursday, February 3, 2011

heh, wasn’t me or anybody that I know, really… Update: many back up already. Heavy traffic on the web may be making it wonky. Update 2: The sites are now all showing moved or under construction. Not the the website of the Yemeni parliament is much use anyway. U (Read on …)

Yemen suspends Oil Minister due to oil shortage

Filed under: Ministries, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:34 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Suspends or fires? Maybe he’ll be re-assigned as an ambassador, that’s what usually happens in cases of overt malfeasance or when the regime needs a fall guy. Of course the actual issues are the oil smuggling and the monopoly on oil sales and distribution (both run by Saleh’s partner Tawfiq Abdel Rahman who owes the state billions) and non-diversification of the economy.

Yemen suspends top officials over oil shortage ARAB NEWS Published: Jan 13, 2011 00:07

SANAA: Two top officials in the Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Minerals were suspended from duty due to acute shortage of fuel in the country, the Defense Ministry said. (Read on …)

Yemen: $7 million on qat daily

Filed under: Demographics, Economic, Ibb, Ministries, Qat, Water, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:16 pm on Monday, January 3, 2011

Yemen Post: Late last year, I met with the Minister of Water and he clearly said that it is impossible to end qat plantation in Yemen. He himself is known to have massive qat farms in Ibb region, while he admits that he would not stop qat plantation in his farms until the government gives him other options. The minister is saying that he wants options from the government in order to stop qat plantation, as if he is not in the government and responsible for this tragic file. He forgets that it is his duty to save Yemen from water depletion.

Yemen Chewers Spend $ 7 Million on Khat a Day: Yemeni people spend about $ 7 million a day on khat, a stimulus tree chewed by 75 per cent of males, compared to 33 per cent of women, an official has said.
(Read on …)

“Nine ministers resign from Mujawar Government” to run in the Parlimentary elections

Filed under: Elections, GPC, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:40 am on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well that solves the al Alimi conundrum in a standard manner. Many government officials who are facing accusations are transferred to another government post. At the same time, many GPC MP’s hold multiple government posts including serving in the military at the same time as the serve in the Parliament. Usually its just a pay check as opposed to actual work.

Yemen Observer: Several Ministers have resigned from Mujawar’s government in preparation for running in the next parliamentary elections in April 27, 2011.

Ministers Rashad al-Alimi, Deputy Minister for Security Affairs, Sadeq Ameen Abu Rass, the General People’s Congress’ (GPC) Assistant General Secretary, Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Affairs, Engineer Awadh al-Soqatri, Minister of Electricity, Yahya al-Shuaibi, Minister of Civil Service and Insurance and Abdul-Rahman, al-Akwa Minister of State, Mayor of Sana’a, Hamoud Ubad, Minister of Youth, Nabil al-Faqih, Minister of Tourism, Mansour al-Hawshabi, Minister of Agriculture, and Ahmed al-kuhlani, Minister of State are the first ministers to announce their resignation from their positions hours after the declaration of the Supreme Elections Commission “HEC” demanding that those who occupy constitutional positions and wish to nominate themselves in the elections should leave their posts three months before the election date as provided by law.

Yemeni Deputy PM Rashid al Alimi blows off Parliamentary summons on Wikileaks for HR meeting

Filed under: Air strike, GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Yemen, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010

I really should start making bets for money. Al Alimi was summoned to Parliament earlier in the week to discuss the revelation that he joked about lying to Parliament. (At the time of the December airstrike, the JMP opposition parties withdrew but the uber-majority GPC dutifully pretended to believe the lie.) Al Alimi rescheduled for today, Saturday, and was again a no-show. Yemen’s rubber stamp parliament, dominated by President Saleh’s ruling GPC, doesn’t have the capacity to hold al Alimi or any of the ministers to account.

The last time he was summoned I believe was after the second al Qaeda attack on the South Koreans in 2008. A pedestrian suicide bomber bounced off the convoy of SK officials in Yemen to investigate the earlier suicide attack that killed three SK tourists in Hadramout. It was apparent that AQAP had information on the route of the convoy in advance. When he finally showed up, al Alimi admitted that the security services are infiltrated by al Qaeda, but he diagnosed it as low level and a function of corruption. Then he denied saying it. And in case you are interested, the headline coming out of the Human Rights conference was, “Alimi calls for civil society organizations to expose human rights violations and document them.” (Read on …)

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