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.

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.

Alsahwah.net- 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.

Yemen assassination attempt round-up, Saleh sticks to his old tactics from 1992

Filed under: Post Saleh, South Yemen, Transition, assassination, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

With all the assassinations, its looking like 1992 all over again (except this time some southern leaders are blaming al Beidh for the attempted murder of a rival within the southern movement the Yemen Post says.) Equally or more likely, Saleh is staying true to form and playing the exact same game with the exact same tactics he’s been playing for decades. The period from unity in 1990 to the civil war in 1994 was marked by an onslaught of assassinations of southern leaders in Sanaa by al Qaeda/security types at the direction of Saleh; it was his MO and one major factor in prompting the civil war. The logical first suspect is the guy who did the same thing before. If it is al Beidh (and Iran) then its just as bad and the same point that these old leaders are playing their old deadly games. I wrote an article once about how Saleh is pathologically unable to share power, and its a near certainty now he’s not going to stop disrupting the transition until he is exiled or jailed. Freezing his funds, no matter how embarrassing that would be to the US, is one quick way to dis-empower him. No money, no mercenaries, no murder. The following article lists some of the prior assassination attempts on high profile politicians that occurred recently.

Southern leader survives assassination attempt

Yemen Post Staff
A senior southern leader, Mohammad Ali Ahmed, survived on Monday an assassination attempt in Al-Mukla city of Hadhramout governorate.

An explosive was detonated at the vehicle of Ahmed while he was outside his car in Hadhramout.

Ahmed is considered among the prominent southern leaders, and he spent about 18 years in exile.

He stated after his return home early of the current year that he came back to struggle for the sake of the southern independence.

Yemeni officials including Deputy Chairman of the Political Security Nasser Hadi, the former Interior Minister Hussein Arab, Deputy Governor of Aden Hassan Al-Darab and other officials welcomed Ahmed in Aden Airport.

Ahmed served as a governor of Abyan, and as interior minister before the Yemeni unification in 1990.

No side claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, but some southern leaders accuse Ali Salem Al-Beidh of standing behind the bombing.

Yemen witnesses a state of insecurity in the capital Sana’a and other major cities as Yemeni senior military and security official were assassinated, and other politicians were targeted during the past few months.

Security officials said that the authorities foiled many plans to carry out terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda in the capital Sana’a, affirming that seized 40 belts packed with explosives.

Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party Yaseen Saeed Noaman survived an assassination attempt in Sana’a last week two days after the Transportation Minister Waeed Bazeeb survived assassination in the port city of Aden.

Just saving links

In fourth attempt on Yemen’s defense minister, car bomb in Sanaa kills 12
Kansas City Star SANAA, Yemen — A car bomb targeting Yemen’s defense minister exploded Tuesday outside the office of the prime minister in central Sanaa, missing its target but killing at least seven soldiers and five nearby civilians.

US protected war criminal Ali Saleh gives speech, spurs new protests in Yemen

Filed under: Oil, Post Saleh, Sana'a, Transition, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:42 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Saleh stuff:

Yemen Post Staff
Thousands of Yemeni people led by youths took to the streets in some cities on Tuesday to demand lifting the immunity given to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh under a power-transfer deal that was reached after the 2011 turmoil.

The demonstrations came to protest the appearance of Saleh who delivered a speech on the anniversary of the General People’s Congress on Monday attacking the government and some countries which brokered the power-transfer deal.

The demonstrators demanded to lift the immunity given to Saleh because he insists on exercising politics though the popular uprising, which erupted in early 2011, forced him to resign. Some of them argued Saleh should be tried because the immunity was given on condition Saleh leave the political career, but he continues to appear and organize political events.

They also affirmed the revolution will continue until all its goals were met.

Mass protests erupted last year that forced Saleh to sign the power-transfer deal in return for full immunity from prosecution. His aides were given immunity but not covering terrorist acts.

In his speech on Monday, Saleh, the founder and president of the General People’s Congress, said the power-sharing government has failed to live up to its responsibilities and that Qatar supported the Yemeni people in an improper way.

Meanwhile, Saleh and his relatives including senior military and security commanders have been criticized for obstructing the deal and resisting orders and decisions to restructure the armed forces.

More on the protests at Xinhuanet

Alsahwah.net- Prime Minister Mohammad Salem Basindwa has said that the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh is behind Yemen’s instability, pointing out that he violates the GCC-power transfer deal.

He indicated that Saleh and his family still control some the state institutions, stressing the importance of reconstructing the security and military services in order to implement the GCC deal and move forward.

In an interview with the Saudi Al-Sharq newspaper, that some political sides supported al-Qaeda and armed groups with the aim of breaking down the political settlement.

He cited that Iran intervenes in Yemen’s affairs, singling out that Iran violates rules of international relations.

Yemen Times: For the first time, the General People’s Congress (GPC) celebrated the anniversary of its establishment in a state of extensive security procedures and the absence of coverage by government media outlets.

The celebration came following the popular 2011 revolution that resulted in the ouster of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who remains the head of the GPC. After the revolution, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, the former vice president, was elected Yemen’s newest leader. Hadi is now the president of the country and the deputy head of the GPC.

Saleh was an active voice during the celebration, lashing out at the reconciliation government, saying, “What have you realized thus far? Have you controlled the electricity saboteurs or those bombing the oil pipes? Or do you hold others responsible for your failure?”

Saleh questioned the reconciliation government, asking, “Why have you not captured the bandits and the electricity towers’ attackers? Why do they not stand a trial? Where have you been in the course of the last eight months?”

He displayed his resentment toward declarations that hold the former regime responsible for the difficulties Yemen currently faces.

“If a tornado occurs in America, they will say the former regime is the reason,” he said.

A hard number

More than 5,000 people, including leading party figures, attended the celebration. Tareq Al-Shami, a spokesman for the GPC, said the gathering intended to send a powerful message to people that the party is still a strong, hard number in the political arena that none can surpass. It is a political party that holds an honorable national history, he said.

“Another message is the GPC has an evolving thought.”

However, Al-Shami did add that the party remains a partner of the coalition parties; it embodies itself strongly in front of society. The party is keen to adopt the concerns of people and to resolve their problems; thus, the party rejects any unlawful actions such as banditry and assaulting government facilities, Al-Shami said.

Although Hadi belongs to the GPC, he was not in attendance. Al-Shami said the party planned ahead and was fully aware that the president would be unable to attend the event.

Al-Shami said the GPC now strives to prepare for the eighth conference, during which new leadership will be elected for all branches nationwide, in addition to electing the party’s Permanent Commission.

Futility and chaos

By contrast, some political analysts affiliated with opposition groups deemed this celebration as futile and a means to squander the resources of the nation.

Saleh Al-Soreimi, editor-in-chief of Al-Sahafa newspaper, said Saleh spent his own money on this celebration, and most of the attendees came for the sake of material gains, not to represent the party.

He said Saleh’s goal for the celebration was to let Yemen and other countries know that he is still a player in the political arena; he is able to move his party anytime he wants and in any way he chooses.

Al-Soreimi said the GPC is not an organized party; it simply attempts to attract people by means of money and by taking advantage of its power when it is at the helm of the country. He called for the GPC to adopt another more valid strategy than just collecting money.

With regard to Hadi’s absence from the celebration, Al-Soreimi said Hadi wants to prove himself as the only president of Yemen; he doesn’t want Saleh to be perceived as his boss in the GPC.

The former president, on his last stand, thought the celebration would make him a future because he has nothing of what he did in the past, Ali Al-Sirari, the political advisor of the prime minister, said.

“It is supposed that Saleh quit politics based on the immunity given by the Gulf Initiative. Otherwise, the immunity should be lifted and he ought to stand trial, for he still continues misusing the nation and standing against the will of the Yemeni people.”

Yemen Post Staff
Head of the Joint Meeting Parties Sultan Al-Atwani has accused the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides of blowing up oil and gas pipelines, referring that Saleh uses tribesmen to attack government facilities.
In an interview with the Yemen Times Radio, Al-Atwani demanded to form an independent aid unbiased panel to investigate attacks against interior and defense ministers and other events.
He revealed that some Yemeni officials still receive orders from Saleh, not from Hadi or the interim government.
According to the JMP leader, some security and intelligence services loyal to Saleh still hold protesters who took part in demonstrations that led to the ouster of Saleh, singling out that the JMP do its best to discover the places in which protesters are held.
He reaffirmed that the JMP refuses to extend the interim stage, making reference that the military and security services must be reconstructed to end Yemen’s divisions.
Yemeni politicians repeatedly called Saleh to leave Yemen and give up politics, asserting that he operates to provoke internal divisions and disputes.
They cautioned that the GCC-mediated power transfer deal could be broken down, if Saleh continued in playing political roles.
Saleh was given immunity from prosecution under the GCC-mediated power transfer deal. However he still exploits the immunity to stir up troubles, a senior leader of the JMP Ali Al-Sarari said.
Al-Sarari called to promptly reconstruct the military and security services and put an end to maneuvers of Saleh, warning that his behaviors could undermine the political settlement in Yemen.

Yemen Times: SANA’A, Sept. 3 — Three people were injured in Sana’a’s Change Square on Monday in an attack by armed men on tents located on Al-Ribat Street.

Fathi A-Shaibani, head of the Peaceful Youth Coalition’s Organizing Department, said approximately 35 people, armed and carrying sticks, attacked ten tents Monday and blocked the street.

He said the perpetrators demolished five tents and looted everything inside the Media Center, located in a tent on the street.

Al-Shaibani said a welder summoned people to attack the tents. They burned them, looting everything inside. This raised anger among the youth, who made an attempt to fight back against those attacking them.

Ahmed Nashwan, an owner of a destroyed tent, accused the welder and an owner of a food store for the attack.

He said the attack happened at 10 p.m. Monday, and he said these attempts won’t discourage the independent youth from continuing their revolution until all their aims are achieved.

This incident came hours after former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s speech—delivered before his loyalists on the thirtieth anniversary of establishment of the General People’s Congress. Consequently, the youth accused Saleh loyalists for being behind the attack.

Yemen Online: Yemen: Tens of thousands march demanding prosecution of ousted president
07/09/2012

Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital Sanaa demanding the prosecution of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the longtime autocratic leader who stepped down in February after a year-long uprising.

Protesters raised banners reading, “The trial is coming.” Witnesses say demonstrators marched in other Yemeni cities as well.

Saleh signed a power transfer deal that gave him immunity from prosecution in return for leaving office.

However, his public appearance earlier this week in a celebration at the headquarters of his ruling party, which he still heads, sparked public anger and renewed calls for his prosecution over the deaths of protesters and over corruption.

Saleh continues to exert considerable influence through family members in key positions in the security forces. Yemen’s new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has tried since assuming office to purge Saleh associates from key positions, but critics of the ousted president say he is still using his allies to stir unrest.

“The revolutionary (crowds in the) squares will not permit a continued political role of the ousted president or a return of the old regime,” said Abdel-Hadi al-Azazi, a leading youth activist.

Meanwhile, the military is engaged in a broad offensive against al-Qaida in the south of the country, retaking in the summer several towns that had been captured by the militant movement during last year’s unrest.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that security forces arrested on Friday four al-Qaida militants in the capital in connection to assassination of a Yemeni intelligence general last week.

A security official said that anti-terrorism special forces raided houses in Sanaa and exchanged gunfire with suspected militants during a security sweep. He spoke anonymously according to regulations.

The United States considers al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network’s offshoot in Yemen, to be its most dangerous branch.

Ammar Saleh heads pipeline sabotage team in Yemen, Updated

Filed under: Oil, Post Saleh, Security Forces, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 4:54 am on Sunday, July 15, 2012

Update: I added an English article on the events below the fold but it doesnt name Ammar, just calls him a relative of the president who oversaw the destructive efforts.

Al Hadath: Ministry of the Interior in connection with completion of the investigation with the accused in preparation for the lifting of the case file to the President Hadi

Security official: Ammar Saleh manages a band of 450 people to blow up electricity pylons and oil pipelines (Read on …)

SM leader: Saleh takes profits directly from YMC, moderate SM rejects al Beidh’s Iranian nexus, wants to participate in reconstruction

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Elections, GPC, Interviews, Iran, Islamic Imirate, Post Saleh, South Yemen, Transition — by Jane Novak at 6:54 pm on Sunday, March 11, 2012

Update: As expected howls of dissent from southerners: the new leader is someone else, I hesitate to even write the name as bad things happen sometimes to emerging leaders, Nakhbi now is an Islah operative they say and there are no, repeat no, connections to Iran. But al Beidh has been talking about Iran for a long time, when he even bothers to talk at all, and I think its quite possible. For a run down on Aden TV and all Yemen private broadcasting, see this listing of who owns what at the Yemen Times.

Original: Bingo! I also do not agree with what is happening between al Beidh and Iran. The violence during the election boycott was an entirely new phenomenon which broke with the years long non-violence of the southern movement. As al Nakhbi says, it was likely due to Iranian influence through the al Beidh wing of the SM. Keep in mind Yemen Fox is affiliated with Ali Mohsen, who has his own motives for undermining the SM. But if this is an authentic interview, then that’s what it is.

While there’s noticeably a lot fewer al Beidh photos during the southern protests, its unclear the extent to which awareness of the alliance between al Beidh and Iran has filtered down to the street, although he himself has been threatening the west with Iran for years. General Nuba issued a warning to world about the danger of Iran’s growing influence in the south a few months ago. Many external former leaders are in favor of federalism as expressed at the Cairo conference. I think there’s a few more factions than the two broad ones described.

Al Nakhbi also remarks that the several corporation including the mega Yemeni Economic Military Corp remits its profits directly to Saleh. He notes elite support of al Qaeda and the symbiotic relationship between the including the recent massacre in Abyan. He concludes that Saleh must be excluded from politics. (Actually it necessary to fully depose the Saleh regime in order to integrate the Houthis as well as the southerners.) Its an interesting interview, worth a read:

Yemen Fox: Brigadier General Abdullah al-Nakhbi- Secretary-General of Southern Movement (SM) – said that many politicians believe that who stand behind recent terrorist attacks are remnants of the former regime and that Ali Abdullah Saleh has turned from president of republic to president of terrorism. Priorities of Yemenis whether in National Reconciliation Government or Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) in coordination with Gulf States and Europeans are to dismiss Ali Abdullah Saleh from practicing political action.

Nakhbi added in an interview with “Yemen Fox” that al-Qaeda is supported by Ali Abdullah Saleh, his aides and remnants of his regime, pointing out that supervisors of GCC Initiative should put pressure to implement the second term of the Initiative which is to restructure the army and Republican Guards within Ministry of Defense and Central Security within Ministry of Interior.

Interviewed with Hashem al-Toromah

Yemen Fox: How do you see Yemen after presidential elections?
Nakhbi: after presidential elections, we as Yemenis stand at change door. The new President Abdu Rabo Mansur Hadi should have a courage to start change process. Change process should first prevent Ali Abdullah Saleh from practicing politics because recent events took place after swearing oath starting from Mukalla continuing to Bayda and now in Abyan Province. Many politicians believe that who stand behind that are remnants of the former regime and that Ali Abdullah Saleh has turned from president of republic to president of terrorism. (Read on …)

Yemen’s VP future president Hadi stymied by entrenched interests

Filed under: Post Saleh, Reform, VP, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Monday, February 6, 2012

The title of the following Yemen Post article is VP threatens to unveil Yemen’s realities

There’s no use pining for an apolitical transitional council of bureaucrats that was the protesters’ goal instead of the US sponsored re-empowerment of the entrenched forces that spurred the rev in the first place. The GCC deal is all carrot and no stick. The agreement, designed to effect a peaceful transition of power, took away the threats of freezing (stolen) funds, domestic or international prosecution, the “de-Baathification” of the GPC an international arms embargo and exile as an incentives for good behavior. The various fiefdoms are relatively unmolested, protected by the deal, and remain powerful and intertwined. Poor Hadi, he’s single handedly up against one of the most corrupt regimes on the planet and they are all going to fight to retain their cash flows and power. Those in the unity government with good intentions are beginning to despair at the overwhelming forces of the counter-revolution that blocks steps toward reform.

Yemen Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has threatened to unveil realities about Yemen’s current situations, indicating that nothing of the GCC-brokered power transfer’s provisions was implemented so far, An Emirate newspaper, Albyan, quoted well-informed Yemeni officials
The newspaper said Hadi has recently chaired a committee tasked with following up the GCC deal, pointing out that he cited that his residence was subject to shooting by unidentified men several times.
The officials said Hadi showed a dire picture of Yemen’s situations, pointing out that the capital is still divided into three parts, and oil and electricity lines are damaged
According to Albyan, Haid complained Al-Qaeda control on some towns, saying that the army took no actions to prevent Al-Qaeda expansion.
Armed groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda calling itself as “the Islamic Jihad Group” took over last month Yemeni towns amid claims that Saleh’s aides helped Al-Qaeda have a productive ground to grow and expand.
In the meeting , representatives of the General People Congress headed by Saleh could not justify the storm of some state newspapers by armed men loyal to regime, the newspaper added.
Under the GCC deal, Hadi is the consensus candidate of major parties in a presidential elections scheduled for February, while Saleh remains as a figurehead president for 90 days after he was forced to sign the deal.
After the elections, as GCC deal states, Hadi will oversee national dialogue to consider proposals for constitutional reforms that include replacing the presidential system with a multi-party parliamentary system.
Hadi is additionally tasked with presiding over the military commission, which operates to negotiate the demilitarization of the capital, Sana’a, and other cities.

Related: MSNBC article on the election:

Yemeni officials said Washington would not tolerate attempts to upset Hadi’s ascension to the presidency.

“The American administration told representatives of (both sides within the unity government) that… the U.N. Security Council will strongly confront any attempts to keep Hadi from being elected as the country’s president,” a Yemeni minister who attended a meeting with U.S. officials last week told Reuters.

(Read on …)

New York protesters throw shoe at Yemeni war criminal Ali Abdullah Saleh

Filed under: Post Saleh, Transition, USA — by Jane Novak at 6:02 pm on Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Yemeni Americans are protesting the fact that Saleh is in the New York Ritz Carlton Hotel enjoying an immunity deal that grants a pardon for 33 years of crimes and that “his” funds have not been frozen, or any punitive actions taken at all. He is supposedly here for urgent medical treatment only available in the US but he looks fine to me.

Washington Post: NYC protest against Yemeni president gets heated when he appears as shoe is thrown

NEW YORK — A protest of the embattled president of Yemen outside the New York hotel where he’s staying got heated when demonstrators saw him leave the building.

The dozen protesters had been kept across the street from the Ritz-Carlton hotel Sunday afternoon. They had been waving flags and yelling in opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. He is visiting the United States for medical treatment.

Saleh exited the hotel and waved and smiled sardonically toward the protesters. One of them attempted to charge across the street, but was restrained by authorities. Someone also threw a shoe in Saleh’s direction.

Saleh got into his car. His motorcade then left.

Official statement of the Beirut Conference on Yemen

Filed under: Post Saleh, Transition, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 1:43 pm on Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Beirut Declaration

Issued by the national conference, “the Yemen that we desire”

Beirut

January 21, 2012

Organized by al-Tagheer for Defending Rights and Freedoms, a national conference entitled as “The Yemen that we desire” was held during 18-19 January, 2012.

It was participated by several young activists of the youth revolution squares, politicians, journalists and academicians with various backgrounds.

During the 2 day-conference, the major issues related current situation in Yemen, specially the peaceful youth revolution, the southern case and Sada’a cases, were discussed. As well as, latest developments on the national arena.

The major topics were as follows:

- The reality of people youth revolution, prospects and achievements

- The civil state

- The political participation of youth and woman

- The transitional justice

The participants asserted the following:

(Read on …)

Oman, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease take him

Filed under: Post Saleh — by Jane Novak at 9:44 am on Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maybe he can have al Beidh’s old house.

Yemen has a long history of exiling former politicians to neighboring countries, and the deal always includes political passivity and non-interference in Yemen’s internal affairs.

NYR | YemenPost | Yemeni outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh has sought asylum in Yemen’s rich neighbor, Sultanate of Oman, the American News Agency Reuters reported on Tuesday citing diplomats.

Oman is still hesitant to accept his offer for fear that it would have a detrimental effect on any future relationship with Yemen, the unidentified diplomats added.

Saleh has left Yemen on Sunday for USA, taking a connecting flight from Oman and this prompted many analysts to draw out an inference that Saleh is intending to live in the Gulf rich neighbor for the rest of his life.

Local and international news agencies reported that Saleh’s elder Son, Ahmed, who commands the elite Republican Guards, the country best equipped and trained military troops, has been to Oman’s capital of Muscat by the time his father stopped over there reroute to USA.

Ahmed’s visit to Oman believed to be for arrangements of his father’s permanent stay in exile.

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 …)

Yemen’s Republican Guard bombs, kills four civilians while under UN/US immunity

Filed under: Post Saleh, Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:19 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Its like the Twilight Zone. If it was Russia and Turkmenistan, or China and North Korea, instead of the United States of America that granted immunity to Yemeni military commanders while they are on a continuous murder spree, it would be more comprehensible.

alSahwa: Alsahwah.net- Forces of the Republican Guard bombarded on Saturday villages of Nihm, outskirt of Sana’a, using medium and heavy weapons, indicating that bombardment was arbitrary and intensive.

Local sources told Alsahwah.net that the forces used gun machines from mountains nearby to the villages, pointing out that no casualties fell.

Forces of the Republican Guard headed by Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of the outgoing Yemeni president shelled on Tuesday killed four civilians including child in Bani Dihrah, a village of Arhab district, some 30 kilometers north of Sana’a.

For its part, Hood Organization for Human Rights and Freedoms affirmed that it received on Tuesday the corpses of the four killed civilians.

Hood said that forces of the Republican Guard rejected to allow human rights organizations to take the bodies of five civilians who were killed five months ago.

On Sunday, the Republican Guards bombarded villages of Bani Jarmooz and Bait Dihrah, using mortars and machine guns against civilians wounding several and damaging many properties.

Related: The international community leveled no sanctions on the Saleh regime whatsoever, no ban on weapons sales, no freezing of funds. Russia is still providing weapons, likely via a deniable proxy. Yemen owes Russia, its largest bilateral creditor, about six billion from prior weapons sales.

Alsahwah.net- A Russian-made ship loaded with heavy weapons including air-fighters, tanks and ammunition arrived in Hodeidah port on Thursday, sources of the port revealed.

The sources said the weapons are to be distributed to those military camps that are still loyal to the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Hundreds of protesters headed the port, demanding the port officials to uncover the sorts of these weapons and its producing country.

They affirmed that they would provide a notification for the Attorney General, demanding all local and international organizations to work to uncover those states that are involved in providing the regime with weapons to kill protesters.

Yemeni delegation meets ICC

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

-Press Release-

Yemeni delegation meets with the International Criminal Court’s Officials

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen’s Saleh leaves for Oman, en route to US

Filed under: Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:23 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

What an abhorrent and indefensible US policy, counter-productive as well as contrary to international law. Saleh must be blackmailing the US, there’s no other reasonable explanation. Beyond giving him total immunity while not barring him from future political participation, the US is not confiscating all the money Saleh and his family stole to return to the Yemeni treasury, and the whole GCC transition plan re-empowers the Saleh’s ruling GPC party and elevates Islah, which by itself is causing a lot of consternation in Yemen. Its really a shame.

Beeb: Yemen’s veteran President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has left the country to travel to the US for medical treatment, Yemeni officials say. (Read on …)

Yemen Air Force revolts against corrupt commander, Saleh’s half brother

Filed under: Corruption, Military, Post Saleh, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:38 am on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shoe throwing at the presidents relatives is always a good sign however the arrested show throwing air force officer is probably in pretty poor shape right now.

Yemen Post: Hundreds of officers and soldiers protested inside the International Sana’a Airport on Sunday, demanding to sack commander of the Air Forces, Mohammad Saleh Al-Ahmar, half-brother of the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

One officer told Yemen Post on condition of anonymity that five tanks and many military vehicles belonging to the Central Security and Special Guard Forces rushed to the airport with the aim of dispersing the protesting soldiers.

“However, Major General Ahmed Ali Al-Ashwal, Chief of General Staff, immediately headed to the airport and ordered the forces not to assault approximately 500 protesters.” he added.\

He further said that negotiations are being continuing between Al-Ashwal and some officers of the Air Forces, indicating that they insist on the resignation of Al-Ahmar and meet all other demands.

Sources said that Guards of Al-Ahmar arrested an officer, Omar Al-Hatimi, who loudly criticized Al-Ahmar and threw his shoes at him inside a meeting hall of the Air Forces. (Read on …)

HRW: Unlawful Blanket Amnesty Bill Gives License to Kill

Filed under: Parliament, Post Saleh, Presidency, War Crimes, Yemen, statements — by Jane Novak at 6:48 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yes it does. The GCC plan was rejected in Yemen since May because it is clearly designed to retain most of the status quo and is the diametric opposite of the public consensus. Its also blatantly illegal and the US has lost its moral authority on human rights and democracy forever in Yemen. Via email:

Yemen: Reject Immunity Law for President Saleh and Aides
Unlawful Blanket Amnesty Bill Gives ‘License to Kill’

(New York, January 10, 2012) – Yemen’s parliament should reject a draft law that would grant amnesty to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and anyone who served with him for crimes committed during his 33-year rule, Human Rights Watch said today. The sweeping measure could result in impunity for serious international crimes such as deadly attacks on anti-government demonstrators in 2011.

“Passing this law would be an affront to thousands of victims of Saleh’s repressive rule, including the relatives of peaceful protesters shot dead last year,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Yemeni authorities should be locking up those responsible for serious crimes, not rewarding them with a license to kill.”

The draft law, which the parliament is expected to debate as early as January 11, 2012, violates Yemen’s obligations under international law to investigate and prosecute serious international crimes such as torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said.

Bowing to international pressure and 10 months of protests against his rule, Saleh agreed in November to cede power under an accord brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In exchange, the GCC deal instructed Yemen’s parliament, which the ruling party dominates, to act on an immunity law before Saleh is to step down formally on February 21, 2012.

The granting of immunity would not prevent courts in other countries from prosecuting serious human rights crimes in Yemen under universal jurisdiction laws, Human Rights Watch said. “Even if the Yemeni parliament grants immunity, the law will not hold water abroad,” Whitson said.

An article in the draft law bars its “repeal or appeal” by either lawmakers or the courts. However, article 51 of the constitution of Yemen says citizens have the right of recourse to the courts to protect their rights and lawful interests. Article 153 of the constitution designates the Supreme Court as the highest judicial authority in the land and empowers it to strike down laws that are unconstitutional.

The preamble to the immunity law wrongfully suggests it was drafted to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 2014 of October 21, 2011, Human Rights Watch said. In fact, the Security Council resolution calls on all parties in Yemen to implement a political settlement based on the GCC accord – rather than adopt the accord itself – and also emphasizes that “all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable.”

International law rejects impunity for serious crimes, such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture. International treaties, including the UN Convention against Torture and the 1949 Geneva Conventions, require parties to ensure alleged perpetrators of serious crimes are prosecuted. As recently as January 6, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reasserted that amnesty cannot be granted for serious crimes under international law.

Human Rights Watch has confirmed the deaths of 270 protesters and bystanders during attacks by government security forces and gangs on largely peaceful demonstrations against Saleh’s rule in 2011, most in the capital, Sanaa. Dozens more civilians were killed last year in apparently indiscriminate attacks by security forces on densely populated areas during clashes with armed opposition fighters. Human Rights Watch also has documented a broad pattern of international human rights violations and laws-of-war violations by government security forces in previous years, including apparent indiscriminate shelling in the 2004-2010 civil war against northern Huthi rebels and the use of unnecessary and lethal force since 2007 to quash a separatist movement in the south.

“From north to south to central Sanaa, the Saleh government has violated the basic rights of the Yemeni people,” Whitson said. “Without accountability for these crimes, there can be no genuine break from the past in a post-Saleh Yemen.”

For More Human Rights Watch Reporting on Yemen, please visit:

http://www.hrw.org/middle-eastn-africa/yemen

Related from from al Sahwa: Republican Guard kills four civilians in rural area

Alsahwah.net- Forces of the Republican Guard headed by Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of the outgoing Yemeni president bombarded on Tuesday some villages of Bani Dihrah, killing four civilians including child.

For its part, Hood Organization for Human Rights and Freedoms affirmed that it received on Tuesday the corpses of the four killed civilians.

Hood said that forces of the Republican Guard rejected to allow human rights organizations to take the bodies of five civilians whow were killed five months ago.

On Sunday , the Republican Guards bombarded villages of Bani Jarmooz and Bait Dihrah, using mortars and machine guns against civilians wounding several and damaging many properties.

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 …)

Saleh to US

Filed under: Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:46 pm on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Path Is Cleared for Yemeni Leader to Get Care in U.S.
By MARK LANDLER and ERIC SCHMITT

HONOLULU — The Obama administration has decided in principle to allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment, subject to certain assurances, two administration officials said Monday.

But those conditions — including a proposed itinerary — have not yet been submitted to the American Embassy in Yemen, these officials said, and no visa has yet been issued to Mr. Saleh.

The decision of whether to admit Yemen’s longtime leader has stirred a vigorous debate within the administration, with some officials fearing sharp criticism for appearing to provide a safe haven for a reviled Arab figure accused of responsibility for the death of hundreds of antigovernment protesters.

The complex negotiations over Mr. Saleh’s visa request attest to the high stakes for the administration, which urgently wants to secure room for political progress in Yemen but does not want to allow Mr. Saleh to use a medical visit as a way to shore up his political position. Nor do they want to play into Mr. Saleh’s penchant for keeping people off kilter.

If allowed to enter, Mr. Saleh would be the first Arab leader to request, and to be granted, an extended stay in the United States since political unrest began convulsing the region a year ago.

One administration official said that there was no further “impediment” to issuing Mr. Saleh a visa, and that he could arrive at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital as soon as the end of this week for additional treatment of medical problems stemming from a near-fatal bomb blast in June at the mosque in his presidential complex.

Though the administration had been concerned that approval would anger the many Yemenis eager to see Mr. Saleh prosecuted for the killing of protesters by his security forces, some believe that giving him a way out of Yemen, even temporarily, could help smooth the way to elections next year and perhaps end a political crisis that has brought the government of the impoverished nation to the brink of collapse.

The Life March in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Post Saleh, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:33 am on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thousands of Taizians have embarked on a 240 km (170 mile) march from Taiz to Yemen’s capital Sana’a to underscore public rejection of a UN mediated transition plan. The plan devised by the Gulf Cooperation Council (and strong armed into existence by the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia) was overtly and repeatedly rejected by the vast majority in Yemen since its proposal in April.

So far Yemen has a) an appointed unity government including reshuffled, corrupt elites that excludes the pro-democracy youth, b) a presidential election scheduled for 60 days that has already been officially conceded by the opposition political parties, c) an honorary president, the long reigning corrupt tyrant Saleh, in addition to a temporary president and d) immunity for President Saleh and other government officials guilty of murdering and wounding thousands of Yemeni citizens since February as well as looting the government budget and resources for decades. The UN’s endorsement of immunity for mass human rights violations is unprecedented.

The Life March, estimated to take five days, is growing in number as citizens are joining from every town and village along the way. The procession includes a kitchen and medical unit. Women in Dhamar baked 100,000 cookies in preparation for the marchers’ arrival.

cookiesforlifemarch.jpg

Vid updates: marchers arrive in Dhamar, traditionally a Saleh stronghold. And another video with a long shot of the crowd (Link here) :

Saleh and the GPC are threatening to renege for the 7th (8th?) time since April. The GPC accuses the JMP of sabotaging the transition by storming the capital when much of the public’s wrath is directed at the JMP itself. The national uprising in February was triggered in large part by the failure of the political party system in its entirety to function in the public interest. Yemenis say, the JMP is the other face of the regime.

Many more details in my article at Examiner.com.

(Read on …)

The un-mentionableness of Ali Mohsen

Filed under: Islah, Media, Military, Post Saleh, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:32 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

Islah’s repression of independent thought and revolutionaries continues:

Yemen Post: Islah profile: As revolutionaries in Yemen are celebrating their victory in eventually obtaining some worldwide attention, and relishing in the fact that western nations have taken up the matter of Saleh’s presidency to the UN Security Council, the main opposition party, al-Islah is slowly but surely high jacking the revolution, rallying to its cause more and more protesters. (Read on …)

EU: Yemen’s Saleh agrees (again) to step down

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Post Saleh, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:05 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The game continues:

Reuters- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has moved a step closer to handing power to his deputy by accepting a U.N. formula to ease a transition and end an uprising against his rule, the EU envoy to Yemen was quoted by the state news agency Saba as saying. (Read on …)

US demands immediate transfer of power in Yemen

Filed under: Post Saleh, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:32 am on Saturday, October 22, 2011

Everyone seems to forget Saleh ignored two UN SC resolutions in 1994 (924 and 931) calling for an immediate ceasefire while he was shelling Aden, and he got away with it.

RFE: The United States has followed a UN condemnation of violence in Yemen with its own call for a transfer of power to begin “immediately” in the restive republic.

The UN Security Council on October 21 approved a resolution condemning the violence in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh has resisted persistent protests and armed insurrection, and urged Saleh to step down without further delay. (Read on …)

Revolutionaries are children and thieves: Yahya Saleh

Filed under: Air strike, Biographies, Counter-terror, Post Saleh, Security Forces, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:50 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yahya Saleh while saying an entirely different thing in Arabic tells Reuters the ruling family is entirely committed to peace: AlertNet:

* Says cash for training and equipment cut, intelligence aid same,

* Says civil war unlikely despite “revolution of children and thieves”

* Calls potential U.N. resolution on transfer plan foreign interference

By Erika Solomon

SANAA, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The United States and other Western donors have cut counter-terrorism aid to Yemen’s army during eight months of mass protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, his nephew and leader of a key paramilitary unit said on Wednesday, in effect supporting anti-Saleh groups. (Read on …)

Saudis approved and facilitated Saleh’s return?

Filed under: Post Saleh, Saudi Arabia, Transition, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 3:05 pm on Friday, September 30, 2011

I’m starting to think that claim of three weeks of surveillance is likely propaganda. It would be a typical Saleh move.

CNN: Saleh returns to Yemen as al-Awlaki was killed

But several analysts consulted by CNN said the Saudis were concerned that the growing unrest in Yemen could morph into outright civil war — in a country that shares a long and porous desert border with the kingdom.

The rationale in Riyadh, according to these analysts, was that only Saleh had the guile and stature to pull his country back from the brink, despite his injuries and his array of enemies. And at the same time, Saleh would be best placed to turn up the heat on al Qaeda, now established in at least two eastern provinces and in parts of southern Yemen.

Diplomatic sources in the Gulf say that far from being surprised by Saleh’s return, the Saudi authorities sanctioned and assisted in it, providing a jet that flew him to the southern city of Aden in the early hours of Friday last week. They say Saleh did not fly directly to Sanaa, the capital, because the airport and the route into the city are not reliably under government control. In fact, the capital is now a patchwork of pro- and anti-Saleh enclaves.

A helicopter was waiting at the Aden airport to fly Saleh 200 miles to the presidential palace in Sanaa before dawn. Again, arriving by air was probably preferable to negotiating the chaotic streets of the capital.

Child hunger in Yemen spikes to alarming levels

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Post Saleh, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:23 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

It was scary before. As of 2005, half of all kids were physically stunted from chronic hunger.

ADEN, 18 August 2011 (IRIN) – Continuing fighting in various parts of Yemen, which has recently displaced thousands of people especially in Abyan Governorate and the Arhab District of Sana’a, could compromise the nutritional status of those affected, especially children, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns. This, it said, could potentially increase morbidity and mortality rates, especially among children under five.

“Yemen could become the next Somalia as child malnutrition is as big as it is in the Horn of Africa,” said Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative in Yemen. While malnutrition was widespread in Yemen, the condition of many children had been worsened by displacement, he added. (Read on …)

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