Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen Centre for Transitional Justice calls for de-militarized cities

Filed under: Military, Pres Hadi, mil restrucuturing — by Jane Novak at 2:12 pm on Friday, May 17, 2013

Statement from YCTJ

An Urgent Appeal to Yemeni President Abdu-Rabbo Mansour Hadi: Remove All Military Bases from the Major Cities of Yemen

His Excellency President Abdu-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, President of the Republic of Yemen.

Dear Excellency:

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice takes this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency on the launching of the Comprehensive National Dialogue on March 18, 2013 and wishes to express the appreciation of the YCTJ on your concerted efforts to bring peace, security and political stability to Yemen. We hope that the National Dialogue will lead to concrete decisions that strongly respond to the needs and aspirations of the Yemeni people and that best serve the interests of all Yemenis.

We are very concerned about the widespread existence of military bases and installations inside the major densely populated cities of Yemen. Your Excellency has certainly noticed the previous recent crash of a military aircraft of February 19, 2013, in which 12 citizens needlessly lost their lives. You will also recall that the fall of a military aircraft in November 2012 killed 10 Yemeni citizens, In addition there were more than 400 civilians killed in Ta’ez and Sana’a City during the armed confrontations that took place during the Yemeni Uprising of 2011.

In the latter, it was clear that major Yemeni cities were literally turned into battlefields for the political combatants. Undoubtedly this was primarily due to the location of military bases in the midst of highly populated areas of these cities. Among the civilian victims of these unfortunate armed confrontations were rising number of cases of Vitiligo (whitening of skin) and nocturnal enuresis (involuntary urination) among children, who resided near the Central Security Military Base in Ta’ez City, as reported by many physicians. As a result of the armed conflict in that area and the excessive use of force, there were many children who experienced sudden stress caused by the dreadful sounds of ordnances and the thunderous firepower unleashed in these conflicts, all of which caused such illnesses.

The fight against Al-Qaeda insurgents in Abyan also led to disastrous results for civilians there. The military bases, depots and ammunition stores targeted by AQAP insurgents were all too close to civilian residential homes and working areas in the cities of Abyan Governorate. The subsequent death of at least 150 civilians in the munitions factory attack in Ja’ar by Al-Qaeda in March 28, 2011 is testimony to the senseless presence of these military installations in the middle of cities. Half of these civilian victims were women and children.

The extensive presence of military installations and facilities amidst densely populated areas clearly constitute a clear violation of international customary norms and practices . They also certainly evoke obvious breaches of international and local humanitarian law, including, inter alia, Article 13(1) of the Additional Protocol II[8] as well as Article 8 of the Second Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property[9].

These military bases and installations occupy large surface areas in already congested cities. They also force more beneficial and useful projects, such as schools, hospitals, and parks to be relocated outside the cities, thus increasing the hardships of citizens to reach and have access to the services of these important civilian facilities. This presents an important opportunity to convert these dangerous military installations and bases to become useful public parks, educational facilities and hospitals and other more useful projects that will better serve the public.

Therefore, we urge Your Excellency to take an unprecedented historic initiative and reform this archaic aspect of the old regime, which literally used cities as military bases. The Yemeni people will appreciate this important development and will surely support you in this monumental decision. This would be especially significant as Yemen is undergoing a transitionary period and the priority needs of the Yemeni people at this important stage is to establish security, safety and peace. Your initiation of this step during your presidency will ensure for Your Excellency a praiseworthy place in the history of our country and will promise to bring a peaceful life for the future. In addition the decision will be a step in the right direction towards achieving a real democratic transition.

With all due respect to your Presidency and to the authority of your esteemed transitional government, we appeal to Your Excellency to take this highly important step and proceed to relocate all military bases and installations at safe distances outside Yemeni cities.

Respectfully yours,

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice

[1] 14 January 2010

[2] Found Human Rights Watch, “Disappearances and Arbitrary Arrests in the Armed Conflict with Huthi Rebels in Yemen”, 24 October 2008 (ISBN: 1-56432-392-7).

[3] Article 13(1) Additional Protocol II stipulates that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations”

[4] Article 8 of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: … b) avoid locating military objectives near cultural property.” In the event of international armed conflict it would be a violation of Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I which states that the parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”.
[5] Article 4(2)(c) and Article 13(1) Additional Protocol II

[6] Yemen’s Military Criminal Code (1998), the “use of civilians as human shields during war operations” constitutes a war crime.

[7] In the event of an international armed conflict, it would contravene Third Geneva Convention, Article 23; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 28; Additional Protocol I, Article 51(7)

[8] Article 13(1) Additional Protocol II stipulates that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations”.

[9] Article 8 of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: … b) avoid locating military objectives near cultural property.” In the event of international armed conflict it would be a violation of Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I which states that the parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”.

Ahlam M Mothanna
Secretary General
Yemen Centre for Transitional Justice (YCTJ)

Saleh’s office says no US visa in order to continue USS Cole cover-up

Filed under: USS Cole, deposed pres — by Jane Novak at 7:53 am on Monday, September 24, 2012

Its not wise to believe whats in any of the Yemeni partisan papers without a strong dose of skepticism, but the articles are usually half true if not more, and always well spun. The challenge is figuring out which half is fact and which half is fiction and spin.

The following article in the Yemen Observer is quoting an article in the pro-Saleh Yemen Today reporting that Saleh’s office said the US denied him a visa to protect him from questioning related to the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole which the US would find embarrassing. Saleh’s office also says President Hadi was concerned for his health and asked Saleh to go to the US for treatment.

So either: 1) the US denied the visa for other reasons and Saleh is lying and trying to appear under the protection of the US, or 2) the embassy denied the visa for their own reasons and told Saleh they were protecting themselves or 3) the embassy denied the visa to save the US from embarrassment as he said. And what a disaster the timeline of the Cole attack is, from well before the attack up to 9/11, from President Clinton through the two Bush terms to the current Obama/Clinton stewardship.

If Saleh is being protected by the US in order to keep his mouth shut, as repugnant as that would be, it would explain the entire US Yemen policy from the beginning of the 2011 revolution until today which otherwise makes little sense. The immunity clause for Saleh and his government is unheard of in international law, yet the US strong armed all the parties into accepting it and Saleh’s continued presence in Yemen. No one in their right mind would ever expect Saleh to give up power quietly and fade away. His disrupting the transition was the sure bet.

There’s more secrets beyond the Cole like the disappearing CT funds, weapons and equipment, and the diversion of US trained CT units to Saada and against unarmed protesters. There’s also the head of the CT unit’s multi-million dollar condos in DC, referring of course to Ahmed Saleh, deposed president Ali Saleh’s son. So even freezing Saleh’s assets might be embarrassing. Returning Saleh’s funds to the Yemeni treasury remains a top demand of the protesters and it would have been the logic first step in dis-empowering him.

Saleh would not leave Yemen for any reason Yemen Observer, Written By: Nasser Arrabyee, Article Date: Sep 23, 2012

The Yemeni former President Ali Abdullah Saleh would not leave Yemen now, nor in the future, said sources in his office on Friday.

“The former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has not any desire to leave his homeland for any reason whatsoever,” said Yemen Today daily, quoted the sources as saying. Yemen Today is one of Saleh’s party newspapers.

“Yemen needs Saleh in such circumstances, so he should not leave now nor in the future,” the paper said.

Earlier in the week,the US ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstien said that the American embassy delayed a visa request for Saleh and a number of his companions. Mr Feierstein said in a press conference earlier this week in Sanaa, that the time was not appropriate for Saleh to visit US for further treatments.

The Saleh ’s office told the paper,however, that Feierstein justified the delay of Saleh’s visa by saying the time of the visit would coincide with the trial of the Yemeni Guantanamo detainee Abdul Rahim Al Nashiri who is accused of bombing the USS Cole in Aden Harbor in 2000 in which 19 American sailors were killed. The American court may recall Saleh for testimony over the Cole issue, Feierstein justified according to the paper.

Saleh’s testimony would cause embarrassment to the US Administration, the paper said.

Earlier this year, the American court asked Saleh, when he was in a treatment trip in US, and wax still in power, to attend for testimony over the Cole issue, but he refused.

Saleh’s office also said that Saleh had never asked for the visa, but Mr Feierstein and President Hadi insisted on him to go to United States for further treatments. Respecting that insistence for his health, Saleh handed his passport and passports of his companions for visa process.

Good luck to Yemeni President Hadi!

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

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

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

Protests in Sanaa against terrorism, demand prosecution of former president Saleh

Filed under: Sana'a, Transition, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:51 pm on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yemen Fox: Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Sana’a on Tuesday in a mass march called “Millionaire for trial” to call on Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides to be stripped of immunity.
Protesters raised Yemeni flags and banners which confirms their determination to continue calling for reorganizing army, releasing detainees, and stripping former regime figures of immunity and to be prosecuted.
The march went off from Zubery street amid Capital Sana’a, reached Kentaki roundabout and finally returned to change square near Sana’a university.
Eyewitnesses told Yemen Fox that former president Ali Abdullah Saleh brought dozens of loyal gunmen who sounded all streets leading to his house, which pushed protesters to change their direction to avoid confrontations with Saleh’s armed men.
General People’s Congress (GPC) has warned, hours before the march, of the protest which demanded stripping Saleh form immunity granted to him in accordance with the GCC Initiative and its operational mechanism.

Google translated, but you can get the idea (photos here)

Elaph: SANAA: Tens of thousands of people in Sanaa on Wednesday against “terrorism” and to demand the lifting of the immunity of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whom they accuse of supporting al-Qaeda.

The demonstration came a day after a similar demonstration witnessed Sanaa, and in the wake of a failed attempt to assassinate Defence Minister traveled killed 12 people. (Read on …)

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.

Hadi appoints new head of National Security following assassination attempt on Defense Minister

Filed under: Biographies, Counter-terror, Oil, Presidency, Sana'a, al Jawf, al-Bayda, assassination, security timeline, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 8:08 am on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ali al Ansi finally deposed, thats a good move, full list new appts below:

Hadi Fires Senior Security Chiefs, Picks New Governors, Presidency Officials

Yemen’s President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi sacked senior security chiefs and picked new governors and presidency officials on Tuesday night after the defense minister escaped a car bombing at the cabinet HQ in downtown the capital Sanaa.
Among the fired chiefs were heads of the national security system and intelligence systems who have been seen as very close to the former president Saleh.
Previous governor of Shabwa, Ali Al-Ahmadi, became the new chief of the national security and ,Hassan Al-Yafe, a former defense ministry officer, the new chief of the intelligence system.
Hadi also named new ministers for oil and higher education and five new governors for Sanaa, Jawf, Amran, Shabwa and Baidha.
Furthermore, he appointed Nasr Taha Mustafa, the former head of Saba agency, the new manager for the president’s office and ,Mansour bin Safaa, as the secretary general at the office.
The appointments came shortly after the defense minister, Muhammad Nasser Ahmed, survived a deadly car bombing while leaving the cabinet’s weekly meeting.
12 people including 7 of the minister’s bodyguards were killed and 12 others injured, some seriously, in the attack.
In the meantime, the Yemeni people plan to stage a massive demonstration to condemn terrorist attacks and violence and to announce their support to the decisions and efforts of Hadi.


President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi issued the following decrees:

1. Engineer Hesham Sharaf, appointed Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Mr. Hesham was the Former Minister of Oil and he replaced Dr. Yahya Al-shoebi who resigned from his post).

2. Engineer Ahmed Abdullah Dares prompted from the post of a Vice to the Minister of Oil and Minerals.
(Read on …)

Yemen cancels DPW’s contract for Aden Port

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

A good overview of the economic and political significance:

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

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

AQAP’s Saed Al Shihri killed in Yemen?

Filed under: Hadramout, Pres Hadi, obits, personalities, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Monday, September 10, 2012

Update: Two US officials confirm. Update 2: Interior Ministry has no info, may be another disinformation job on the US media.

Original: Interesting. Frequently through the years, at politically sensitive moments like before 9/11 or USS Cole anniversaries, the Yemeni government announces a major CT coup that turns out later to be false. So time will tell on this one. Its the fourth fifth time that the Yemeni DOD has announced Saed al Shihri was killed. The fourth time al Shihri was reported killed was Feb 2011, at the outset of the rev against the Saleh regime. It could be true though. There’s somewhat better odds since its a US drone strike, but then again the US is far from infallible as the recent airstrike on a minibus of civilians demonstrates. The minibus was following the targeted vehicle in al Baydah.

From the 26 Sept: Saeed al-Shihri, who was the Saudi national and the second in command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed on Tuesday in a qualitative operation carried out by the security forces in Wadi Hadramout, a senior official told 26 September Net. The official said that six al-Qaeda leaders accompanying him were also killed.

AP: SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni officials say an airstrike has killed al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader in Yemen along with five others traveling with him in one car.

The Defense Ministry officials say Monday’s attack killed the deputy, Saudi national Saeed al-Shihri, as he left a house in the southern Hadramawt province.

They say the missile was believed to have been fired by a U.S. operated drone. The U.S. doesn’t usually comment on such attacks but has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.

Related: Yemeni President Hadi says the government officials help al Qaeda. Good, its true and has been true for more than a decade:

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s president says some tribal chiefs and government officials are helping al-Qaida fighters hide after the military defeated the militants in the country’s south.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says “there are tribal chiefs and senior officials who are covering-up for al-Qaida figures” in Abyan and Shabwa provinces and “impeding security measures to arrest them.”

Hadi spoke to lawmakers and senior officials Sunday night. He did not name any suspects.

Related: Ansar al Sharia update from the Yemen Times:

ABYAN — The People’s Committees and security apparatuses in Abyan governorate are continuing operations to track Ansar Al-Sharia (AAS) affiliates in Abyan to terminate violence and install security.

Ali Abdu, spokesman for the People’s Committees, said on Saturday, the group, backed by security forces, held a large campaign to pursue AAS militants—who are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—in Shoqra and the controlled Al-Kalasi Mountain. Moreover, They patrolled Moneeb Valley and sent the militants out. (Read on …)

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.

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 …)

Saleh returns, new Yemeni president, suicide bombing in Hadramout

Filed under: Elections, Hadramout, Presidency, Transition, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:16 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barak Obama’s friend, the war criminal Ali Saleh departed the US and is back in Yemen. Saleh’s immunity is a central part of the US sponsored “transition” plan that followed a 48 million dollar, single candidate (sham) “election.”

Yemen’s first new president in 33 years, Abdo Mansour Hadi, previously Saleh’s Vice, was sworn in on Saturday. Hadi received 6.6 million votes of 10 million registered and two million eligible new voters. On election day, the electoral commission said 13 million votes were printed and they had run out of ballots during the day.

Also on Saturday, a suicide bomber in a slow moving pick-up truck killed 28 soldiers in Hadramout. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility via a text message to Reuters.

Link save: April 9, 2010, Yemen National Dialog Coalition Seeks Reform, Broad Political Inclusion

Good luck to soon to be new Yemeni President Hadi!

Filed under: Biographies, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:40 am on Monday, February 20, 2012

Bios below. Hadi’s not a “southerner” in that he defected to Saleh in 1986 and fought against the south in 1994. Hopefully he will rise to the occasion, sometimes people do that. We’ll have to see. Its going to be lovely though to see Saleh out of office after all these years.

SANA’A — Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi used to be known as a silent man who never objected to, let alone disobeyed, any of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s orders.

This manner of managing the country resulted in the peaceful youth revolution, which began in February of 2011 and which led to Hadi becoming Yemen’s new president.

Hadi departed from the south with Ali Naser Mohamed after the January 1986 war between leaders of the Aden’s Socialist Party. He and Mohamed left for Sana’a after they suffered defeat in Aden.

In the 1994 war, Hadi sided with Saleh against the secession movement which surfaced in the same year and which, by year’s end, was aligned with Saleh. During the outgoing president’s 33-year rule, Hadi received the respect of all parties, due largely to a perception that he kept his hands clean of political and moral corruption.
(Read on …)

103K soldiers, security officials to secure elections

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

29,000 boxes committees

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

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

The GCC Plan, English and Arabic

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

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

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

Contents:

Part I. Introduction

Part II. The transition period

Part III. First phase of the transition

Part IV. Second phase of the transfer of power

Part V . Settlement of disputes

Part VI. Concluding provisions

Annex: Draft Presidential Decree

Part I. Introduction

1. The two parties recognize that (Read on …)

Feierstein punishes Houthis for boycott

Filed under: Elections, Saada War, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:44 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

There seems to be the distinct impression the UN and the US ambassador said that anyone who causes trouble during the election will be designated as a terrorist organization. They are really sinking to Saleh’s level by playing the terror card and using the implied threat of drones. The Houthis have said they will not participate but will not stop anyone who wants to “vote.”

One link: Alsahwah.netUN Envoy Jamal Benomar has affirmed to the leader of Houthi group Abdul-Malki Al-Houthi that his group must take part in the presidential elections, otherwise it would be included in the list of terrorist groups, AFP quoted sources close to Benomar .

Some southerners will boycott peacefully as they think voting will reaffirm unity. The Beidh allied faction said they will violently prohibit voting, and there was more violence in the south today. I am starting to understand the earlier Nuba statement waring about Iranian influence in the south.

From Nasser Arrabyee today: This violent group is refused by the majority of the separatists and it is loyal to the German-based former president of the south, Ali Salem Al Beidh, who is reportedly receiving support from Iran. Al Beidh said a several times over the years that he would turn to Iran if he did not get western support. I couldn’t imagine he was that stupid. Maybe I should have.

Hassan Zaid said in an interview that there was an explicit threat from the western nations that if they did not sign the GCC deal, the protest squares would become a blood bath like Syria. It was not a prediction, an analysis or an implication; Zaid says it was an overt threat. The ambassador has said many shocking, aggressive and undiplomatic statements, so the benefit of the doubt is gone. Its also pretty ironic the US ambassador is lamenting foreign intervention after imposing the GCC deal despite public objections and while leaning on the wrong faction.

al Sahwa: Alsahwah.net- The US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein has expressed sorrow at foreign intervention in Yemen, pointing out to the Iranian support to the Houthi group.

“We would be so worried about any foreign interventions in Yemen that aim at raising security or political troubles,” he said In an interview with a Yemeni state-run TV.” We are so concerned about the Iranian attempts to undermine stability and security in Yemen.”

He had renewed the attitudes of his country toward the power transfer and the efforts of the political settlement under the GCC-deal and working with all political parties to sustain the interim government.

This is really nauseating and indicates the whole thing is a total sham. The US hanging on to Saleh’s relatives and Saleh himself: Saba (Feierstein) criticized the protests within the government institutions, in particular military units, affirming the legal actions against any government leaders accused of corruption must be taken. “The accused should have the opportunity to defend themselves”, he underlined.

Regarding the President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s political activity, Feierstein said the US does not have any reservation about the President’s political activities after ending his current presidential term, via leading the General People Congress Party.

CCYR denounces takfirism by officials, asks Islah to clarify position

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Islah, Religious, Transition — by Jane Novak at 2:42 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saleh frequently resorted to denouncing his opponents in religious terms and framing armed clashes as legitimate jihad with fatwas from his clerics. The CCYR supports equal rights, intellectual freedom and a civil foundation for the impending state and is highlighting the increasing use of fatwas and taqfirism by hard liners to short circuit reform, and intimidate the public at large and activists in particular.

Yemen: Civic Coalition of Youth Revolution condemns Takfirism campaign

“The Civic Coalition of Youth Revolution” CCYR has reviewed the dangers besetting the homeland and revolution with its supreme goal of the new democratic civil Yemen, for sake of which people made big sacrifices.

The CCYR noticed a most important hint in such a historical moment represented in a return to language of Takfeer /Takfirism, exclusion and cancel of others . These are the same values practiced by the former regime throughout 33 years, for which the people of Yemen took to streets.

Most importantly is that it is an influential player within one of the biggest joint meeting parties’ components that practices such behavior and while such a player did not abide by the declared political program of the Islah party, it also did the same for the first goal of revolution represented through establishing the new civil democratic country that respect freedom of thought, belief and of expression.

The CCRY, having condemned such behavior of past black era logic, confirms continue peaceful struggle against any obstacles facing the new Yemen dream of the people.

The CCYR calls Islah leadership to express their attitude towards such practices in a clear manner, for it is an influencing individuals in Islah party who did so.

The CCYR informs all forces of modernization and civilians with care about future of Yemen to practice role of raising awareness on such risks and to fight them everywhere.

The CCYR confirms solidarity with all involved in the Takfirism campaign, Bushra Almaqtary, Fikry Qassem, Salah Aldakak, Muhsen Aed, Sami Shamsan, Adel no’man being last of them.

Judges join institutional revolution against corruption, hyper-politicalization

Filed under: Civil Society, Judicial, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:18 pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Air Force protests are ongoing and the Yemen AF is one of the biggest money pits in the budget. The judges joined other governmental bureaucracies in demanding a change in leadership and procedures. Judicial reform is one of the most necessary elements of the transition, and they should be applauded and heard.

Yemen Post: Yemen Prime Minister Mohammad Salem Basindwia along with other ministers of the interim government failed to persuade judges of ending their protests, well informed sources said. (Read on …)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Interview with prominent Yemeni Civil Rights activist, Ahmed Saif Hashid

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Transition, Yemen, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 2:21 pm on Thursday, January 26, 2012

Source link: Akhbaral Yemen:

- Altagheer squares seemed to have changed a lot, which rises concerns regarding differences among constituents of these squares. Do you think that the change squares of 2012 is different from that of 2011, what are the reasons?

There has been no difference, the change square still under control of Islah opposing party that is actually heavily saturated with tribal ideology and fundamentalism. The party, with its influential powers, is the major reason behind constant tensions and violations committed against revolutionaries. These powers cause the anti-saleh regime revolution and its goals to become weak and unable to achieve brilliant success. They are hindering the silent society segment from joining the revolution, and had this party not steered the revolution since its first day, it would have been succeeded since months, if not within one or two months. It is the influential regime-affiliates Islah who conspired against an abortive revolution and let many opportunities missing, starting with Dignity Friday, then the Taiz holocaust of the change square, and finally the life rally. They changed the Sana’a square into a jail for revolutionaries. Unfortunately this is the truth that should be known.

- What are the latest developments of the committee formed to tackle disputes occurred last month between Houthi and Islah affiliates?

The other joint meeting parties (JMPs) actually played a secondary role in relation to the Islah party, which plays, represented by its influential powers, the most crucial role at change square of Sana’a. The role of the other parties is no more than decoration of an alleged partnership that is much more pitiful than be condemned, and had there been minimum of independence of those parties, a mutual decision making process, there would not have been such a difficult situation. The violated rights of revolutionaries would be stopped as well as the unilateral decision making process since first day, yet these violations continued and became more intense recently. In fact, the other (JMPs) can neither take decisions nor can they stop any violations, but are only a decoration of the leaderships’ influencing in Islah. I call these parties to revolt against all of Islah unilateralism and the crimes committed against revolutionaries. What add insult to injury is the daily violations committed by revolution-defaming Islah party, which is more atrocious than the regime we all demand its step-down.
(Read on …)

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 …)

Immunity law for Saleh passes the parliament

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh: immunity for me but not for thee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tribes give AQAP 24 hour deadline in al Baydah

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Transition, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Update: Tariq al Dhahab responds as al Masdar.

YPost: Tribal chieftains in the southeast province of Al-Baytha, some 260km southeast of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, gave on Wednesday 24 hours for al-Qaeda militants to leave their town of Rada.

Earlier the day, local tribal dignitaries accused outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh of conniving with the terrorists and letting Rada falls into their control, as the army looked on militants with simple weapons take control of an entire town.

The militants took control of al-Baytaha’s main town of Rada on Monday, with the army looking on. (Read on …)

Witness: 100’s defected soldiers, protesters whipped, electrocuted, tortured inside Yemeni military camp

Filed under: Military, Sana'a, Transition, political violence, prisons, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

But its not a problem for the US, UN and GCC which all strongly endorse an immunity package for the Saleh regime and consider the Yemeni public a nuisance.

Yemen Post: The Yemeni Human Rights Organization, HOOD, has affirmed that hundreds of officers, troops and protesters are being detained and brutally tortured inside military camps affiliated to the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The body said that these soldiers were detained due their support to anti-regime protests.

Hood indicated that the Yemeni authorities have recently released 44 detainees from the Central Prison in Sana’a.

Yemen security and army services have arbitrarily detained hundreds of peaceful protesters across the country, subjecting them to torture and ill-treatment, since anti-government demonstrations began in February 2011.

“A military court has recently released four officers and troops of the Special Forces Service led by son of Saleh, Ahmed,” Hood said.”They were arrested on charges of taking part in anti-regime demonstrations.”

One of the released persons revealed that 75 protesters and 70 soldiers of the defected First Armored Division are being held inside a custody in Alsama’a military camp located in Arhab district of Sana’a governorate.

The protester told Yemeni activists that he was kidnapped from the capital in December, 2011, pointing out that he was immediately transferred to this camp.

He said he was subject to brutal forms of tortures, including electro-shock devices and beating with cables and whips, as he was blindfolded and handcuffed.

Yemenis have been demonstrating across the country demanding the release of hundreds of detainees held by Security services which are still controlled by people loyal to Saleh.

Yemeni activists had urged all international human rights organizations to press on the Yemeni regime to release all detainees who are subject to brutal torture.

The exact number of detainees being held by the authorities is unknown, but activists say that it could be as high as 1,400.

Saleh’s fingerprints on al Qaeda’s actions

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Presidency, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:32 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The analysis below by the Abaad Center has some correct information but is missing the facts that Nabil al Dhahab (brother of Tariq) was in the same PSO jail cell as his brother in law, Anwar al Awlaki, and later was on Syrian TV taking responsibility for the Damascus bombing, that was blamed on al Qaeda, link here.

It is probable that the National Security orchestrated the take over of Radaa, one town in the province of al Baydah. It was entirely true when I wrote that the Yemeni National Security transported Nasir al Wahishi, head of AQAP, from Marib to Shabwa in 2009 or 2008, whenever it was. The implications were and remain enormous.

There’s no way the US can feign ignorance anymore or that the collusion doesn’t go to the top. So what does the continued US support mean? It can’t be fear of Islah and fundamentalists when the US designed transition plan empowers Islah, endangers the democrats and puts the fractured regime back together, a regime that by its very nature is massively corrupt and prone to sporadic blood baths, and that has created, enabled and deployed al Qaeda for over a decade.

Then we get this: “Jane, my family are from Radaa. This ALQ stuff is load of rubbish. Ali Saleh’s troops entered the city on the pretext that the city had been taken over by ALQ when no such thing had happened. They then opened the prison and let everyone out. Opposition to Saleh in Radaa has been quite strong.” Others with family in Raada disagree and say its very scary, residents have been warned to stay indoors and men are arming themselves to protect their families.

Its clear that Saleh plans on delaying the “election” by any means possible. It was clear from day one that he would never relinquish his throne and that the US was helping him stall, first by announcing there was no post-Saleh planning and then by demanding Yemenis accept the clearly unworkable (and illegal) GCC plan. I’m mystified by US support of the Sanaa regime and all its elements (including Islah), when Saleh and the Yemeni security and intelligence forces are obvious and undeniable Al Qaeda puppet masters.

al Sahwa

Think-Tank: Absence of government, armed Houthi existence behind Al-Qaeda expansion

Alsahwah.net- A news analysis released by Abaad Centre for Studies and Research has said five factors supported Al-Qaeda existence in Rada’a of Baidha governorate:

First, planning of expansion in the stage that witnesses a weakness of the central government, as Al-Qaeda took this opportunity to enlarge in some eastern areas that lack the power of government.

Second, Rada’a is a predominantly tribal region and it witnessed provocations four months ago by militants who were affiliated to the Zaidi Shia Houthi group as they were walking around the town with their arms.

Third, forces of the Republican Guard did not deal with the militants seriously. A brother of Tariq Al-Dhahab who leads the militants was wounded, but when Tariq came to town was not interrupted and his positions located between Rada’a and Marib were not attacked.

Fourth, Al-Qaeda exploited the kinship between Al-Dhahab and Anwar Al-Awlaki, Al-Qaeda leader who was killed in a American drone strike last fall to expand.

Fifth, It used the detention of one of Al-Dhahab’s brother as a grief to provoke armed men to fight.

The analysis also indicated to the character of Al-Dhahab who led Al-Qaeda militants positioned in a archeological mosque in Rada’a.

” Tareq Al-Dhahab is a brother of a late prominent tribal leader of Rada’a” added the analysis. ” After the death of this leader, his nephew, Majed, was crowned as a leader, but Tareq did not accept that.”

” Tareq’s brother at the age of 35, Nabil, was submitted by Syrian authorities as he tried to cross the country to fight in Iraq in 2006.”

Al-Dhahab has criticized, in a comment to Marib Press, the detention of his brother, considering that as arbitrary, and pointing out that Nabil was imprisoned inside a jail of the Political Security, added the analysis.

” After the release of Anwar Al-Awlaki in 2007, Al-Dhahab angered on his tribe escaped to a region between Marib and Rada’a and gathered around dozens of militants who came from Al-Jawf, Marib, Shabwa and Baidha,” added the centre.

” Al-Dhahab generously spends money for his followers and sponsors scores of families, but his resources are still unknown up to date.”

The think-tank said the name of Al-Dhahab was not included in any operation of Al-Qaeda, he did not travel abroad, and was not known of his affiliation to Al-Qaeda, but the Yemeni authorities suspect that he was responsible for attacking a security checkpoint in Rada’a in May, 2011.

” The authorities have not stated about the event or attacked the region in which he has been basing for years” added it.

” Al-Dhahab emerged as a member of Al-Qaeda in his sermon on Friday, 13 January, 2012, after he along with approximately 80 militants stormed Rada’a, using light and medium weapons including RPG and gun machines,” added the analysis. ” They positioned inside an archeological mosque which has been shut down for 15 years.”

Its like a carbon copy of the Abyan events.

al Sahwa: Alsahwah.net – A tribal leader of Rada’a, Khalid Al-Dhahab, has said that the National Security coordinated with his brother, Tariq who leads Al-Qaeda militants, to capture Rada’a.

In a comment to Alarabya TV on Monday, Khalid said that the National Security and the former Interior Minister, Rashad Almasri, have been contacting Tariq for long period.

Al-Dhahab pointed out that he had suggested to the Yemeni regime to submit his brother, Tariq, but the regime procrastinated regarding his arrest.

Upcoming National Conference in Beirut: “The Yemen that we desire”

Filed under: Civil Society, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:43 pm on Monday, January 16, 2012

Yemen National Conference, “The Yemen that we desire”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Upcoming National Conference in Beirut: “The Yemen that we desire”

Sana’a, Yemen, January 16, 2012

On January 18 and 19, 2012, a Yemeni national conference will be held in Beirut, Lebanon entitled: The Yemen that we desire”. The conference is organized by the Change and Defense of Rights and Freedoms Organization, in cooperation with civil society organizations and media representatives. The conference will have active participation by youth representatives from various blocs, coalitions and alliances from the squares nationwide.

This conference comes at the threshold of a new phase of Yemen’s modern history, where an exceptional new awareness is being born. This is reflected in the determination of a courageous people and youth pushing towards reform. This new found awareness is linked to calls for a new Yemeni modern civil state based on the principles of freedom and equality and the rule of law. (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.

When Islahis attack (protesters clash in Yemen)

Filed under: Islah, Transition, Yemen, political violence, protests — by Jane Novak at 4:33 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

35 hurt in Yemen protester clashes AFP

SANAA — Clashes between Yemeni youths divided over a power transfer deal that grants President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution left 35 people injured on Tuesday, witnesses and medics said.

“Some 2,000 members of the Islamist Sunni Al-Islah (reform) party, among them dissident soldiers, attacked our camp at dawn, injuring 35 people,” Khalid al-Madani, head of the camp backed by supporters of Shiite Zaidi rebels, told AFP. (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 …)

Ali Mohsen: I am ready for trial

Filed under: Military, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yemen 4 All: General Ali Mohsen: I admit that I personally, and a wide range of military men and politicians, bear great deal of responsibility for mistakes done during the rule of Saleh’s regime.

We are ready to stand before judiciary if we were requested to do so, as witnesses or under the law, and this is a vow from us to the youth of the revolution, to the Yemeni people, and to all those who suffered from the oppression of Saleh’s regime in the southern and the Northern provinces.

Also: #Yemen The pro-revolution army says they captured a car loaded with explosives and related by two phone cards to be blown over the connection call and it was entered to the headquarters of the First Armored Divisions through persons recruited by the National Security Guards for the purpose of the assassination of leaders in the pro- revolution army led by Major General Ali Mohsen.

Aha, full translation:

NYR | : YemenFox | This is the speech delivered by General Ali Mohsen on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha to Yemenis. (Read on …)

Open season on Yemenis: UN backs GCC plan, doesnt call for Saleh to go, no sanctions

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:54 pm on Friday, October 21, 2011

The protesters want a transitional council leading to a parliamentary system. The UN is backing the GCC plan which contains an immunity clause for Saleh and his cronies and re-entrenches the regime in under three months. Its astounding. With the ambiguity of neither endorsing or explicitly rejecting the immunity clause, and neither backing Saleh or calling for his departure, its a meaningless, toothless statement. And not only did Saleh renege on the GCC deal four times already, he ignored two UN SC resolutions in 1994. Speaking of which, the southerners are going to be so utterly disappointed that they were entirely overlooked as well.

CBS: The resolution was the first adopted by the U.N.’s most powerful body since the Arab Spring uprising in Yemen began eight months ago. It was clearly aimed at stepping up international pressure on Saleh, who was president of North Yemen from 1978 until 1990 when he became the first president of a unified Yemen….Philippe Bolopion, U.N. director for Human Rights Watch, said the organization welcomed “the long overdue condemnation of Yemeni government abuses,” but believed the council should have distanced itself from the council’s impunity deal.

“By signaling that there would be no consequence for the killing of Yemenis, the immunity deal has contributed to prolonging the bloodshed,” he said.

The White House said in a statement that the deal sends “a united and unambiguous signal to President Saleh that he must respond to the aspirations of the Yemeni people by transferring power immediately.”

The resolution calls for Saleh, or those authorized to act on his behalf, to immediately sign the Gulf Cooperation Council deal “to achieve a peaceful political transition of power … without further delay.”

Although the deal would give Saleh immunity, the resolution also underlines the need for an independent investigation into alleged human rights abuses “with a view to avoiding impunity.” — Unlike the resolution on Syria that was vetoed by Russia and China on Oct. 4, the Yemen resolution makes no mention of sanctions or any other measures.

With fighting intensifying, there are concerns that a civil war would significantly hurt efforts by the United States and Saudi Arabia to fight Yemen’s dangerous al Qaeda branch, and could turn the mountainous nation into a global haven for militants a short distance away from the vast oil fields of the Gulf and the key shipping lanes in the Arabian and Red seas.

Text below:

Security Council Condemns Human Rights Violations by Yemeni Authorities Abuses by ‘Other Actors’, after Months of Political Strife

Resolution 2014 (2011), Adopted Unanimously, Calls for End to Violence,

Acceptance of Gulf Cooperation Council Peace Plan, with Orderly Transfer of Power

Strongly condemning what it called human rights violations by authorities, and abuses by other actors, in Yemen following months of political strife, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that all sides immediately reject violence, and called on them to commit to a peaceful transition of power based on proposals by the major regional organization of the Arabian Gulf. (Read on …)

French hostages in Yemen face execution deadline

Filed under: 9 hostages, Hadramout, Other Countries, Transition, aq statements, hostages — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yemen Post reports the demands are money and the release of imprisoned terrorists, but the demands themselves and the timing of the kidnapping, following a French call for Saleh to step down, the odd video without any al Qaeda characteristics, the tension with (if not expulsion of) the French ambassador for his remarks, the bombing of TOTAL’s pipeline and the pending UN resolution may all indicate the statement is yet another attempt by the Sana’a regime to spin the media away from the slaughter in the capital.

The situation echos that of the German hostages, a crime thought committed by Saleh loyalists linked to drug smugglers and al Qaeda. As the recent West Point paper pointed out, many of the security officials murdered by al Qaeda were in fact counter-narcotics agents, and that’s another area where the footprints of al Qaeda and the Sana’a regime overlap.

Obama should grab that sleazy slimy mass murderer rat Saleh by the throat and throttle him until he gives up these and all the Yemeni hostages. Dozens more severely wounded Yemenis were kidnapped by security forces in the last days, including women, but likely the Yemenis will get much less publicity. The regime has got to go.

Yemen Post: French Hostages in Yemen Face New Challenges

On May 28th, 2011, 3 French aid workers were kidnapped in the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramaut as they were conducting a field trip near Sayyun. (Read on …)

AI: Withdraw immunity clause from GCC agreement

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

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

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

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

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

Draft UNSC resolution on Yemen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen’s compulsive liar lies again

Filed under: Presidency — by Jane Novak at 10:01 am on Sunday, October 9, 2011

See how well he does it, all the tickers say: Yemen’s president to step down. Saleh has been saying it since 1999, repeatedly through 2005/2006 and made similar announcements dozens of times since the rev began. The half truth was timed after Tawakkol’s Nobel and before the UN SC council meeting Tuesday.

I haven’t seen one report tying the three events together or noting that the dictator has never kept his word on anything, ever, literally. I can’t believe Saleh’s statement got any traction in the media at all, especially when gov’t spoxmen immediately clarified that he has no intention of stepping down anytime in the near future. Its like publishing Gadaffi’s rants without any skepticism.

INI Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced Saturday in a televised speech he will step down “in the coming days”.

But Saleh has made the same speech more than once before in the past year during protests that have rocked Yemen.

“I reject power and I will continue to reject it, and I will leave power in the coming days,” Saleh told the nation in a speech on state television.

Sadiq al Ahmar: Al Qaeda escapees living in presidential palace villas

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:45 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

A France 24 interview with Sadiq al Ahmar is here on Youtube. Sheik AlAhmar on the vid says, “Ali Abdullah Saleh inserted AlQeada, to ’suck milk from the American cow.’ The biggest evidence of this relationship is that of those who escaped from prison in Hadramout, 16 of them have been at villas that belong to the presidential palace in Alsafiyah for more than two weeks.” (A google search says Alsafiyah is a district in Sanaa.)

Gee, it sounds a lot less crazy when Sadiq al Ahmar and Hamoud al Hittar say it, doesn’t it? (For al Hittar, see Al Hittar says Saleh regime pays al Qaeda in Abyan through security chiefs .) My article at PMJ covers the same topic, Yemen’s Theater of the Absurd.

I think I first used the term “false flag attack” to describe Yemeni foreign policy in 2007 and noted the regime deploying Al Qaeda as mercenaries in 2005. I’ve seen nothing that disputes the general premise since. Someone should tell General Mr. Patraeus that Saleh did not miraculously reform after hearing about the “assassination plot.” They probably knew the phone was wired.

Saleh interview transcript

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 6:45 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Time

Ali Abdullah Saleh, the President of Yemen, can do little to disguise the wounds he suffered in a June attack on his palace, but he has nevertheless decided to grant his first interview with the Western press since returning from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 23. He spoke with TIME’s Aryn Baker and the Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan on Thursday, Sept. 29. (Read on …)

Yahya says Saleh won’t sign while protests continue

Filed under: Security Forces, Transition, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 9:43 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yahya Saleh also makes a range of charges against the protesters. “Accused that al-Qaeda supports the demonstrators and the opposition kills them. Yahya Saleh describes the rebels to «meanness», and the revolution as boring, and stresses that the Gulf initiative conflicts with the Constitution, and that his uncle would not sign it as long as the sit-ins continues.” The realization is dawning in the diplomatic community that Saleh will never sign it and never had any intention of signing.

Yemen Post: In a recent interview with France 24, General Yehia Mohamed Saleh, who is president’s Saleh’s nephew and Head to the Central Security Forces as well as prominent businessman opened up on Yemen’s uprising.

He made clear that as long as protesters would continue to take the streets of Yemen hostage, staging sit-ins and marches, his “uncle” would never agree to step down, let alone negotiate. (Read on …)

Yemenis and the world will not accept Saleh

Filed under: A-analysis, Al-Qaeda, Presidency, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:27 pm on Monday, October 3, 2011

Yemen’s problem: The president and ‘al-Qaeda’
By ABDUL RAHMAN AL-RASHED at AJE

It is almost certain that the Yemeni government was not serious in fighting al-Qaeda within the past years. But, has Yemen been using al-Qaeda in its political purposes or was the regime afraid of the organization? This worrying questioned would probably remain unanswered. Within the current crisis that President Saleh has been facing, al-Qaeda managed to seize the city of Zinjibar and thus creating the fear that it might imitate what al- Qaeda in Iraq has been doing; namely seizing cities under its control. It took the Yemeni forced 90 days to evacuate the city of Zinjibar from al-Qaeda, with the help of the Americans in breaking the siege of an a Yemeni army battalion. Two weeks later, one of the most important leaders of al-Qaeda in Yemen—the U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki—was killed.

Both parts, the government and the opposition, exchange accusations over supporting terrorism. The opposition accuses Saleh that he supports terrorism and that he masterminded the fall of the city of Zinjibar. In the meantime, some government figures claim that al-Qaeda is being protected by opposition., For the Yemeni citizen the problem lies President Saleh’s refusal to step down and his transfer of power to his sons and relatives. For world powers, however, the problem is al-Qaeda.

I think that both are right; al-Qaeda is a problem and so is Saleh. Saleh has been walking on a tight rope and accordingly Yemen remained undeveloped for more than 30 years. He only cared about remaining in power by achieving tribal and regional balance, once with Saddam Hussein, another with Qaddafi and now probably with al-Qaeda when it is time for him to leave. The world will not accept a regime that is rejected domestically and internationally.

(The writer is the General Manager of Al Arabiya. The article was published by the London-based Asharq al-Awsat on Oct. 3, 2011 and was translated from Arabic by Abeer Tayel.)

Yemen Post Saleh to Use Terror File to Stay in Power; World Must not be Tricked

President Saleh has been using the terror card for well over a decade now, almost blackmailing western powers into financing his efforts against al-Qaeda and supporting his regime as he claimed to be the only entity in Yemen able to will enough power to carry through America’s requests in Yemen. (Read on …)

UN envoy announces dead end in Yemen talks

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

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

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.

Lunatic deranged Yemeni dictator tells WaPo Ali Mohsen shoots protesters from behind

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 5:32 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just like al Khaiwani beat himself up in 2007, and “saboteurs in military uniforms” opened fire during the 2005 fuel riots, and a journalist kidnapped himself in 2008 to embarrass the state, and like Ahmed Darwish shot himself inside an Aden prison in 2010, Saleh now says its really the defected military who is killing the protesters:

wapo When asked why government security forces were violently suppressing protesters with heavy machine guns, mortars and snipers, he blamed Mohsen and the Ahmars.

“They are the ones who attack the military bases, the civilians and the protesters — the protesters that are moving around the city with the protection of Ali Mohsen and the Ahmars, using armed people. And they assassinate protesters from behind so they can blame the state,” Saleh said.

It doesn’t matter that there is video. If he says it enough, it becomes true.

Another funny, he’s not stalling on signing the GCC plan: “This is a misunderstanding. We are willing within the next hours and next days to sign it, if the JMP comes closer” to reaching an agreement, Saleh said. “We don’t want to prolong it. And we don’t want this crisis to continue. We want this country to get out of this crisis.”

He says Islah is al Qaeda: “Still, Saleh branded the opposition, especially Islah, Yemen’s largest opposition party, which includes members of the Muslim Brotherhood, as Islamists who support the al-Qaeda-linked militants. JMP officials have denied the allegations….“If Washington is still with the international community in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who have disturbed the world peace, that will be good. But what we see is that we are pressed by America and the international community to speed up the process of handing over power. And we know where power is going to go. It is going to al-Qaeda, which is directly and completely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

And he’s not going until Ali Mohsen and Hameed al Ahmar do, both have already agreed I believe: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared Thursday that he would not step down as long as his key rivals — a defected general and a billionaire tribal leader and his family — remain in influential positions, throwing a potential wrench into hopes for a peaceful transition of power. Saleh also said the United States was playing a role in assisting Yemeni forces fight off al-Qaeda-linked militants in southern Yemen.

Text of the Fatwa on Yemeni protesters by state clerics

Filed under: Presidency, Religious, Yemen, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 4:56 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Both the fatwa and the UN HRC council statement will be interpreted by Saleh as a free hand to put down the protests. Saleh followed a similar pattern of obtaining a fatwa prior to launching major assaults on Houthis. The southern independence movement was also fatwa’d if memory serves and of course there was the infamous fatwa issued during the 1994 civil war.Update: also attended by The Commander of the Special Forces Tariq Mohamed Abdullha Saleh

Better: English translation from Yemen Fox:

NYR | YemenFox | A gathering of hundreds of pro-government clerics issued a controversial fatwa backing the regime and lashing out the opposition on Thursday . The clerics labeled the protests that demand the ouster of the regime as “sinful”, calling them to repent or classified as “aggressors”, whom should be fought against according to Islamic law.

After three days of discussion, the clerics issued communiqué clarifying their opinion on the current situation in Yemen.

“Revolting against the {Muslim} rulers either by words or actions is forbidden under the Holy Quran and Sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet). (Read on …)

Saleh asks for fatwa against protesters, Update: Shocka! Zindani says clerics org run by intel officer

Filed under: Presidency, Religious, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saleh asks for a fatwa and he’ll probably get it too. Formal fatwas were issued in the 1994 civil war, and repeatedly against the Houthis. In addition Saleh has the capacity to send out talking points to the state Imams to talk up (or taqfir) the excommunication of his enemies, which makes them legitimate targets for death. Several journalists have also been singled out as enemies of Islam by the Yemeni government through the years. Saleh also has distributed talking points to the state’s preachers through the years that were incorporated into Friday sermons, legitimizing, and even encouraging as a duty, the death of both Houthis and Southerners on Islamic grounds.

This is only a small part of what I mean when I say the Sanaa regime legitimizes and perpetuates the al Qaeda philosophy. As the Salafi interpretation of Islam holds that to revolt against a Muslim ruler is haram, even if he is unjust, during the 2006 presidential election, Saleh brought Egyptian Sheikh al Masri (al Maribi), who runs the Dar al Hadeith Salifii school in Marib, to the stage in a rally that was broadcast nationally. Al Masiri issued a fatwa that voting against Saleh is prohibited by Islam. These are the same loyalist group of clerics that threatened a jihad against the US in the event of UN intervention; they are the mouthpiece of Saleh.

Update : Al Zindani says the Scholars Association is run by an intelligence officer, like we didnt know that already, and its suddenly a problem for him although he was a leader within the association for years? He said, “So why hold our ourselves with the Association of Yemen, which is managed in this way, by an officer in the intelligence, it is the door {and help one another in righteousness and piety and do not cooperate in sin and aggression}, and {interpretation of the meaning}”, was the meeting of the scholars of Yemen. Sheikh Zindani, has called for all officers and soldiers to refuse orders that sanction the killing of the Yemenis,

The National: SANAA // Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday urged loyal clerics to issue a fatwa against those calling for his removal from power.

In a speech to religious figures, Mr Saleh attempted to build a religious base to confront rivals insisting on his resignation.

“You have to state the ruling of God and His prophet on those who reject the extended hand for peace and dialogue and insist on revolting against constitutional legitimacy,” Mr Saleh said.

He returned last week to Yemen where clashes have been taking place between forces loyal to the president and defected troops protecting the protest camp in Sanaa where anti-government demonstrations have been under way for months.

The three-day conference attended by 500 clerics is expected to issue a statement tomorrow on the turmoil. Several leading clerics have already backed the protesters’ demands and urged Mr Saleh to step down.

Judge Mohammed Al Hajji, the chief of the Yemeni Clerics Association and an ally of Mr Saleh, said that those who refused dialogue with the government were seeking “sedition”. “There is nothing after sedition but chaos, destruction. There is no doubt that those who seek or call for sedition should bear the burden of that,” Mr Al Hajji told delegates.

Saleh tricked Saudis and escaped, US unhappy: US diplo

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Transition, USA, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:06 am on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There is a reason I call him “The lunatic dictator of Yemen,” and “The king of spin”.

Its a difficult story to swallow, and neither the US or SA has a good track record of credibility. Sad to say, there’s just too many times Saleh lied and the Obama administration swore to it.

FT: Yemen’s president appears to have tricked his Saudi hosts when he unexpectedly returned home last week, exacerbating the stand-off between his regime and the country’s pro-democracy protest movement.

According to a senior US official, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had been undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, “bolted the kingdom under the pretence of going to the airport for something else”.

Neither the US nor the Saudis were aware of his planned departure, said the official, calling it a “clever, canny” trick by the president. “We are not happy at all.” he added.

Other western officials have also expressed frustration at Mr Saleh’s return to Yemen, with two different versions of his flight circulating in diplomatic circles. One says he told the Saudis he had decided to move to Ethiopia; the other suggests he went to the airport on the pretence of seeing off other Yemeni officials. Saudi officials could not be reached for comment. They have previously described Mr Saleh as a “guest” whose movements were not restricted. A Yemeni government official strongly denied that Mr Saleh had evaded the Saudis at the airport, describing the claim as “baseless”.

Saleh’s baaaack and the BS snowball starts rolling

Filed under: Presidency, Transition, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 10:35 am on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“Comprehensive Agreement” Within Reach says VP Hadi The next phase of stall tactics begins.

President calls for presidential, parliamentary and local elections Its nearly funny, but lives are at stake. The GPC stalled on the electoral reforms they agreed to after the not free or fair election in 2006, delaying the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2009. The voter rolls are a mess, and Obama’s statement at the UN calling for quick elections is either uniquely uninformed or just plain duplicitous.

King of Peace resumes shelling Arhab villages.

Protesters Committee CCYRC Daily Report 9/26, protesters reject all deals with Saleh, and demand his trial, as is their right since they are his vicitms.

Lie #32,836,

Yemen Post: Only a day after his surprise return to the capital, president Saleh announced through the state news agency that he had ordered his troops to retreat from the streets of the capital, as well as the dismantlement of the many military manned checkpoints. ….Despite the government claims that it had sent out the withdrawal orders, nothing has changed. If anything, there are more Central Security forces out of on the streets, machine guns at the ready.”This is typical Saleh, he says one thing and does the opposite” said a resident in Beit Buss, a popular district of the capital. “In Yemen, nothing is as it seems” he added.

The “dove of peace” line, as soldiers opened fire on the protesters, really should be enough for anyone to catch on.

Mr Democracy can’t stand free speech; its been an ongoing problem:

Yemen: The freedom of opinion and expression still under security attack
ANHRI condemns blocking “Yemen Nation” news website, Cairo, 26 September 2011

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned today the publicly ongoing repression of the Yemeni authorities against the Freedoms of press and media. Yemeni security forces blocked the independent news website “Yemen Nation” yesterday, without providing any reasons or justifications for this repressive behavior.

It is worth noting that this is the second time for “Yemen Nation” website to be blocked, the first time being last March following the massacre of “Friday of Dignity” in Al-Taghyeer square, in front of San’a University.

Freedom of expression in Yemen is seriously deteriorating since the public protests and demonstrations began last February, demanding ousting the regime of president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been dominating the country for over 33 years. However, all border chick points changed into a machine for confiscating newspapers and preventing its distribution. Simultaneously, news websites are not in a better condition, for many of these websites were blocked and hacked.

“The repressive practices of the Yemeni authorities such as: confiscation, blocking, targeting journalist and media professionals will lead to nowhere and will not kill the dream of freedom of the Yemeni people” said ANHRI

“The Yemeni regime is still not aware that it is facing a public movement and is still behaving the same old way which is based on repression, suppression and confiscation of freedoms” ANHRI added

Saleh meets with Salafi clerics and asks for fatwa against protesters. Lately official TV channels have aired a number of shows with Salafi clerics who are asking people to side with Saleh. Yemen Tribune. YAATC: Saleh said in at the “scientific conference of the Association of Yemen, “opponents have conduct inconsistent with our religion of the Islamic Sharia, which has made ​​the sanctity of Muslim blood, more privacy and provided to ward off evil to bring the interests and there is no evil greater than the payment the country into civil war, destroy crops and cattle and eat everything and everybody.”

Its an Orwellian nightmare

UNITED NATIONS—Yemen’s foreign minister says the opposition movement’s refusal to accept the results of the 2006 presidential elections are to blame for the country’s current crisis—one that could escalate into a civil war.
Abu Bakr al-Qirbi also told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is committed to a U.S.-backed Gulf Cooperation Council initiative as a means to ending the crisis in the beleaguered nation that has left hundreds dead.

Al-Qirbi says Saleh’s government is committed to democracy and reform, but the opposition has co-opted the youth-driven protests as a way of trying to oust Saleh after he won a resounding victory in the 2006 elections.

A bright spot, women protest

The Saudi Arab News: Saleh is the problem

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:43 pm on Monday, September 26, 2011

whoa, thats it. it would be lovely if this is an official position as well

President should know he can no longer be part of the solution to the problem

Yemen is burning all over again. Protesters in Sanaa are preparing for a long, messy revolt. Opposition held mass protests yesterday, escalating demands for the immediate departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Earlier, a general was killed and 30 other troops loyal to Saleh were taken hostage when tribesmen overnight attacked their base north of Sanaa.

The world community, Arabs in particular, expected Saleh to learn from his mistakes and make a fresh start to bring peace and stability to his wounded and long-suffering nation. Clearly though the Yemeni leader seems to have learned no lessons from his own experience or the developments in the neighborhood. All attempts and appeals by the Arab and GCC leadership to make him see reason have so far fallen on deaf ears. Addicted to unlimited power of the past four decades and hubris that comes with it, he remains singularly blind to the havoc his intransigence has wreaked on Yemen and its people. He says his future should be determined at the ballot box.

When Saleh left Yemen after being grievously injured in an attack on the presidential palace in June, people had burst out on the streets in spontaneous jubilations celebrating his departure. Alas, their rejoicing proved premature. They are stuck with someone who genuinely seems to believe he’s indispensable. Nobody expected Saleh to return to Yemen after those unprecedented celebrations on the day of his departure. If he had any love for his people, Yemen wouldn’t be in the mess it finds itself in today. And now with this military crackdown led by his son and use of mortar and heavy weaponry against peaceful protesters, he has crossed all limits. Totally unarmed civilians including women and children are getting killed by their own troops. Not even young people squatting in the Change Square and singing national anthem are spared.

What will it take to persuade a ruler that his time is up? How many innocents have to die before the world community decides enough is enough? Today, the demand for Saleh’s departure is no longer the demand of the Yemeni people alone. All Arab, Muslim and Western countries have been urging him to leave immediately. The Gulf Cooperation Council has come up with at least three initiatives to resolve the crisis. In fact, a peace accord brokered by Gulf states offering him a dignified exit and a fresh start for Yemen has been ready for months. Saleh twice came close to inking it but opted out at the last minute. He simply refuses to see that he cannot be part of a solution. He is the problem.

Clearly, the world community needs to take some bold and effective steps — and fast — to break this impasse in Yemen and bring the much-needed reprieve to its people. The silence and inaction of the international community only emboldens the discredited regime in Sanaa. The United States must stop treating Saleh with kid gloves. Unfortunately, it has been more concerned with the “war on terror,” building its military bases and expanding drone attacks and military campaign against Al-Qaeda. But the longer the world remains silent over the brutality of regimes like that of Yemen and Syria, the more innocents are killed. Silence kills — literally.

Lessons learned as Saleh returns to Yemen

Filed under: Presidency, Transition, Yemen, protest statements, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:55 am on Friday, September 23, 2011

What are the lessons learned since June when Saleh left until today when he returned to Sanaa, and how can those lessons lead to a new and more effective strategy? These must be the question of the day, as opposed to: What the hell just happened? Saleh’s return may trigger either violent confrontations or appeasement. His return may ultimately have a positive effect but its going to be tense.

The Youth Revolution:

1- Democracy is not about free speech; it is about designating representatives, not leaders, and holding them accountable.

2- Strength results from organization not numbers, or maybe, numbers are strengthened by organization

3- Statements in Arabic will neverr be translated into English and published by the western media; they have to be issued in English.The US MSM will reprint wire stories, never investigating or disputing basic assumptions.

4- Western nations’ first and overwhelming concern in Yemen is al Qaeda; whether or not you believe al Qaeda exists independently of Saleh, they do.

5- The Southern Movement is not just going to fade away

6- Unity within the revolution arises from accepting diversity and endorsing full equal rights for the weakest; authoritarian muscle tactics are what triggered the rev in the first place

7- Protest marches are a step but not the only step; the Southern Movement marched from May 2007 through January 2011 when protests began in the capital without a broader strategy

The US

1- Saleh will never willingly resign but will pretend to agree time and time again

2- Saleh will play the al Qaeda card and mobilize his jihaddist minions when challenged

3- Saleh will never act in the best interests of the nation, only in his own and the regime’s interest

4- Saleh is as batsheet crazy as Qaddafi and similarly believes in his own lies and majesty

5- Saleh is mercurial, and whatever his position today, it will change tomorrow, accompanied by an entirely contradictory propaganda package.

While the Yemeni youth can be excused their learning curve after 30 years of dictatorship, the US should have know all this from day one.

Saleh the mass murderer returns to Yemen from Saudi Arabia: state media

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:55 am on Friday, September 23, 2011

He is like a sickness, a disease that has plagued Yemen for 30 years and is killing it now. He is a walking disaster. How could the Saudis let him leave? There’s going to be a lot of blood shed before he goes again. We are going on five straight days of violence already. Saleh paid AQAP to take over Zinjibar, there is no doubt. When is there going to be a US policy in Yemen that is forward looking and matches the realities on the ground?

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni state television and radio say President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to the country from Saudi Arabia after an absence of more than three months following a rocket attack on his compound.

The media say Saleh arrived in Sanaa by private plane at dawn on Friday, as heavy fighting raged in the Yemeni capital. There were no other details.

Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia in June, after he was seriously injured in an attack on his presidential compound.

Yemen’s turmoil began in February as the unrest spreading through the Arab world set off largely peaceful protests in the deeply impoverished and unstable country.

Maybe Saleh took Obama’s UN speech (defining the enemy of the Yemeni people as a corrupt system and the solution as early elections) as a green light: “In Yemen, men, women and children gather by the thousands in towns and city squares every day with the hope that their determination and spilled blood will prevail over a corrupt system. America supports those aspirations. We must work with Yemen’s neighbors and our partners around the world to seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition of power from President Saleh, and a movement to free and fair elections as soon as possible.” ( Politico)

Conversely, maybe the US’s giddy statements last week (Brennan, Nuland) anticipating the VP’s signing the GCC accord on Monday irked him.

Head of Dialog program, al Hittar says Saleh regime pays al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Presidency, Religious, Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:18 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Of course Saleh is paying al Qaeda and has been paying al Qaeda to do his dirty work for years and the payments are ongoing. Judge Al Hittar who met many of the AQ leaders through the dialog program says now what I said in 2005, not one was reformed. He also says as I have said that the main conduits between the regime and the terrorists are through the security and intelligence services. Saleh and his relatives use AQAP as an instrument of foreign policy like they use the fanatics domestically. And the US must know this if everyone else knows it and has known it. Brennan must be deliberately lying with every statement and the embassy entirely content to knowingly betray millions of Yemenis in order to protect this relationship. The question is the US afraid of Saleh, in cahoots with Saleh or just stupid?

al Hadath (google translated): Chairman of the Commission launched a dialogue with members of the former al-Qaeda in Yemen and the Minister of Endowments and Guidance outgoing Judge Hamoud al-Hattar, a scathing attack on the Yemeni regime and accused him of “supporting a number of al Qaeda members in the show to frighten the West, and the suppression of the Yemeni revolution.”

Hitar announced in a statement the “Rai”, “that he knows many members of al-Qaeda in Yemen during his dialogue with them when he was chairman of the dialogue with Islamic militants, who are now dealing with the Yemeni regime and receive financial rewards.”

Hattar said, “It interlocutors over the past years did not return one of them, and did not Ihor number of al Qaeda who is dealing with the system, and accused the regime that gives them bonuses, refusing to reveal their names.”

He pointed out that “there is a committee of the system communicate with the base made ​​up of three officers, one in a private guards and the second in the national security and the third in the Interior.” And the contradictions of the opposition in their statements of information such as a «base» or not explained that «the media discourse of the opposition and the revolution was not successful », calling at the same time the opposition and called them« rebels »to« correct their mistakes ».

Terrorist mercenary Fahd al Quso strongly denies relationship with Saleh regime

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Presidency, USS Cole, fahd — by Jane Novak at 4:02 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There was a deal from the time of the Cole bombing that is relatively unbroken until today. Fahd had to deny that he is Saleh’s stooge because the public perception is that they are nothing but guns for hire.

Memri: Indicted USS Cole Bomber Fahd Al-Quso Strongly Denies Association with Yemeni Regime

The September 19, 2011 issue of the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi featured an interview with Fahed Al-Quso, a senior operative of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), wanted by the US for involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole. Al-Quso discusses the situation in Yemen, as well as the ongoing clashes in the south of the country between government forces and a previously unknown jihad group called “Ansar Al-Shari’a,” supposedly linked to Al-Qaeda.

Protesters reject Saleh’s latest stall tactic (empowering Hadi)

Filed under: Transition, VP, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:14 am on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As clear from day one, negotiations with a liar only produces more lies. Anyone who gives any credibility to Saleh’s sincerity is sorely misguided. After agreeing and reneging three times to transfer power, Saleh’s empowering the VP to negotiate is a ridiculous and overt stall tactic. For several years, negotiations between the JMP and the GPC were unable to reach any consensus on implementing the electoral reforms that were agreed to in 2006 because the parties never began talks; the GPC threw up road block after road block, which led to the postponement of parliamentary elections scheduled for 2009. Even if the GPC, Saleh, Prince Ahmed et al had an ounce of sincerity, the protesters won’t stand for it, and they won’t be corralled into an Egypt-type outcome where the intelligence chief rises to VP. The following is a comprehensive summary of latest developments in Yemen:

(AP) SANAA, Yemen — Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Yemen on Tuesday to protest the latest attempt by the country’s president to evade pressure to step down, as the U.N. called for an inquiry into the government’s use of lethal force against protesters earlier this year. (Read on …)

Video three French citizens kidnapped in Hadramout

Filed under: Hadramout, Other Countries, Presidency, Yemen, hostages, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 4:21 pm on Monday, September 12, 2011

Damn. Its so shocking to see a video like that in Yemen but at least there’s no mention of AQAP or an AQ flag behind them. Article at al Masdar (ar). They were kidnapped after France expressed support for the revolution and urged Saleh to step down immediately.

Update: In French, each said his name and then the man speaks, apparently reading from a paper in front of him, that they were abducted in Yemen. The French man says that he was speaking on the 102 day since the abduction, which means it was registered before five days.

He said that the French government did not do anything for their cause, to free them, and directed his appeal to the French people, before the end of the video cuts off his words.

ah better. English:

ADEN — Three French aid workers feared to have been kidnapped in Yemen appeared in an online video on Monday nearly 11 weeks after they went missing, saying their abductors’ demands have not been met.

Al-Masdar Online, an independent Yemeni news website, posted the video on its website showing a man and two women, and saying that they were the French aid workers taken hostage in the southeast on May 28.
(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.

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

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

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

SABA:

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

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

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

Saleh’s new dreams: a figure head president and early elections

Filed under: Post Saleh, Presidency, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 6:06 pm on Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Saleh floats the figurehead idea. By the next day, he is already unsatisfied and he comes up with something new, that Sadiq al Ahmar and Ali Mohsen have to to leave the country first. What is the next stall tactic going to be? He changed his position since the start of the rev 100 times at least.

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) — New talks on a transfer of leadership in Yemen foresee President Ali Abdullah Saleh surrendering power to his deputy while keeping his title, a senior official said.

The proposal includes the formation of a new government and elections for head of state, said the official, who was briefed on the negotiations. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to comment publicly. Saleh has agreed on the plan’s outline, though details still have to be worked out and the opposition hasn’t given its consent, the official said. (Read on …)

But does he object as president or head of the ruling party?

Filed under: Presidency, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:20 pm on Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saleh objects to some parts of the GCC deal. How could anyone believe he would implement anything correctly Well maybe they don’t and its all a big game. After Saleh went on TV, 17 of 21 provinces held mass protest marches, drawing together millions of Yemenis in outrage.

WaPo:

A Yemeni official says the country’s embattled president objects to key issues of a U.S.-backed deal that has him transferring power to the country’s opposition in return for immunity from prosecution.

The official says Ali Abdullah Saleh spoke during a meeting with his top party officials in the Saudi capital Riyadh, where he is recuperating from severe burns sustained in a June attack on his compound in Sanaa.

The official says Saleh objects to the mechanism of implementing the deal…Yemen’s state TV aired a brief footage of the meeting, showing Saleh with medical gloves covering his burnt hands.

China continues to shill for Saleh

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

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


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

English.news.cn 2011-08-05

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

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

Yemen’s Saleh released from hospital, stays in Saudi

Filed under: Post Saleh, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:48 am on Sunday, August 7, 2011

Its ironic that the racist Saleh, who laughingly called southerners “Somalis” as an insult, is several shades darker now. Its funny that jurists are arguing if he has been incompetent for 60 days, which constitutionally triggers new elections, when Saleh has been incompetent for decades. Its pathetic that the shriveled up old megalomaniac thinks he and his family can still rule.

Related post by News of the Yemeni Revolution, a great site for hourly updates from across Yemen in English on FB: “Deputy Secretary-General of the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, Sakhr Alwajeeh, denied what was confirmed by the US ambassador in Sana’a on undisclosed negotiations between the ruling party and the opposition. Alwajeeh confirmed that there are no negotiations at all for the transfer of power between the opposition parties (JMP) and the ruling party (GCP).”

NYR later notes the mythical negotiations got stuck when the GPC insisted Saleh will transfer his power as head of the ruling party, which was rejected by the JMP who require Saleh transfer his presidential powers. Saleh’s side has never negotiated in good faith and will never carry out an agreement in good faith. The JMP has never been an effective mechanism of representation It was the failure of the entire political system, the JMP and GPC, that brought about the revolution. Negotiations between these two sides is not the solution–the solution as the youth said from day one is for Saleh and his family to go.

8/6 RIYADH AFP — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh left hospital Saturday, more than two months after he was wounded in a bombing at his Sanaa residence, but he will remain in Riyadh, a Saudi official told AFP.

“The Yemeni president left the military hospital this evening at 9:00 pm (1800 GMT) after receiving the necessary treatment and was taken to a temporary residence for a recovery period,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He did not say how long Saleh would stay, as an uprising continues in Yemen against his government.

Saleh was admitted to the Saudi military hospital the day after the June 3 attack on his official residence. He appeared on television on July 7 for the first time since the bombing, covered in bandages.

Three days later, he was shown on television receiving John Brennan, US President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser. Saleh was in better shape than in his earlier appearance, although burns on his face were still visible.

The White House said Brennan had called on Saleh during the meeting to sign a transition plan sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that would see him cede power within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Since Saleh’s departure to Saudi Arabia, Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has assumed power but has not been designated the de facto head of state.

The opposition, meanwhile, has called for the creation of an interim council, to prevent Saleh’s return.

PR firm Bell Pottinger confirms work for Yemen government

Filed under: Transition, UK, USA, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:44 pm on Thursday, July 28, 2011

From War and Peace in the ME: “Bell Pottinger, the British public relations firm, is working for the government of Yemen, the company’s chairman Lord Bell confirmed to Robert Booth.” While they are not working directly for Saleh, but some new mystery division of the Yemeni government, the stated goal is to obtain a favorable transition including immunity for Saleh’s many war crimes both before and after the revolution began. How do you spin bombing a refugee camp? And then bombing a hospital? Denying food to tens of thousands and then openly stating that its a tactic to pressure the residents to expel rebels? Saada War 6 is enough to convict Saleh not to mention 1-5, the violence against southerners, thousands of isolated crimes and the hundreds of deaths since February.

The PR firm is carrying out communications work for an unnamed special entity that has been created within the Yemen government to ensure a transition to newly elected government.

It is unclear which part of the government the firm, but the goal of the communications campaign appears to be in line with a proposal by the Saudi-led Gulf Co-operation Council for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stand down in return immunity from prosecution. (Read on …)

Road map for Yemen

Filed under: Political Parties, Transition, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 6:54 am on Monday, July 25, 2011

The US has vetoed any plan that doesn’t leave most of Saleh’s regime in tact. The protesters from the beginning wanted a complete regime change and a transitional council. Thus the six month delay. The opposition parties said today there will be no dialog before a power transfer. The ruling GPC is talking about elections, and Saleh is planning on coming back in August.

Yemen Post: The first road map to end the Yemen political crisis was announced and pro-democracy youth were not forgotten.

The opposition Justice and Building party called for the formation of a 345 member national council to lead the country for one year while youth were given 40 percent of seats in the council.

The road map calls for the involvement of all political factions equally and a presidential council of 11 people. (Read on …)

Nashiri’s defense motion opposing the death penalty should include Yemen’s govt’s culpability in the USS Cole attack

Filed under: Presidency, USS Cole, Yemen, al nashiri — by Jane Novak at 3:09 pm on Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Miami Herald reports on Nashiri’s legal teams’ motion to take the death penalty off the table. Beyond challenging the legality of the death penalty on the basis of torture, delay and jurisdiction, the lawyers should assert the Nuremberg defense: Nashiri was just following government orders.

The (pdf) motion makes the point that Nashiri’s lawyers are unable to travel to Yemen to investigate exculpatory evidence and mitigating circumstances.

There is a strong circumstantial case that the Saleh regime, or top elements of it, had foreknowledge of the attack and furthermore, facilitated the murder of 17 US service members.

Saleh’s Interior Minister Hussain Arab issued the travel documents that afforded Nashiri free passage prior to and after the attack, as well as weapons permits. (Arab was later appointed to the Shura Council and remained a Major General in the army until he resigned a few months ago.) Saleh sent several top Yemeni officials to Port Aden the evening prior to the terror attack. The Saleh regime obstructed the US investigation. Nashiri was sheltered in Yemen immediately after the bombing with the knowledge of government officials. All those tried and convicted in Yemen for the terror attack were released years early, including al Quso and al Badawi, per a deal with Saleh. There are also witnesses in Yemen who say Nashiri is “wearing a shirt to big,” and culprits (in the government) were never charged.

Its not news. Why Bush (and DOD) gave Saleh a pass on the USS Cole attack, and why Obama called him “a friend” a few months ago, is beyond me. Saleh is no friend to the US. For more on the miscarriage of justice, for the victims not their murderers, see my friend Gary Swenchonis Sr.

July 17 2011 marks 33 years since Saleh took power in Yemen

Filed under: Presidency, Taiz, Transition — by Jane Novak at 11:43 am on Sunday, July 17, 2011

First Saleh took the presidency, then he took everything else. Taiz City marks the anniversary with a massive protest demanding self-government:

Its a “day of rage” all over Yemen, 33 years can do that. ( Video here of aftermath of RG bombing in Taiz that killed four at random. Water cannons in Hodeidah. Gunfire heard in Sanaa as supporters fire in the air.) Thanks to the incompetence of the Obama administration, the US is (correctly) seen as extending the longevity of the regime by siding with a few corrupt elites over 22 million citizens. So many people in Yemen were joyous when Obama was sworn in and believed the Hope ‘n Change propaganda that was the essence of Obama’s platform.

There’s some shrill and shallow analysis (I’ll try to find the link again) that asserts the battle for hearts and minds in Yemen was lost a decade ago–and the proof is the USS Cole bombing. Bizarre. In reality, the Cole bombing is proof that the elite have been double crossing the US for a decade. The diverse Yemeni people aspired to and formed a unified consensus for the democracy that was supposed to underpin 1990’s unity. Yemen is the only country with national protests against political Islam, against al Qaeda and in favor of a civil government. The tribes are battling al Qaeda because the government isn’t doing a very good job of it. But when the securocrats assert Yemen is a lost cause, and that the drone campaign is taking place in a vacuum, then animosity toward the US becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

US policy seems designed to strengthen the al Qaeda narrative and sphere of influence. The hypocrisy of US statements about democracy is staggering when the US is overtly thwarting the mass effort to reform a brutal tyranny. The US’s push for immunity for Saleh and his relatives, while the slaughter continues daily, may be related to US complicity in Yemeni war crimes for a decade. It may be the US is implementing the Saudi agenda. It may have to do with trying to salvage something from the US investment in Yemen’s CT forces. But the Obama administration is demonstrating, at every opportunity, that the taking of Yemeni lives is an inconsequential act, whether by Saleh’s guns or US planes.

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — Fighting flared in Yemen’s volatile south Saturday, as security forces — backed by armed tribesmen — battled Islamic militants in the region, eyewitnesses said.

Hundreds of tribesmen joined the fight in the town of Zinjibar, vowing to stand strong until Islamic militants leave Abyan province.

“We will not stop until the terrorists leave the province. We will fight and have nothing to lose,” said Masood Mansoor, one of the fighters. “This land is ours and we will not allow it to be a safe haven from outlaws.”

Civilians killed by Yemeni gov’t as AQAP uses citizens as sheilds

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, TI: Internal, Transition, USA, Yemen, attacks, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 8:43 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

The article doesn’t make note of the enhanced US role in the conflict, directly and indirectly. But its undeniable that the Yemeni regime is currently committing war crimes, and has committed mass violations and mass murder for years in the Saada War, in the south as well across the nation.

HRW 7/9/11, (Aden) – Yemeni forces may have killed dozens of civilians in unlawful attacks while fighting an Islamist armed group in southern Abyan province since May 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The militants in Abyan, called Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), may have unlawfully placed civilians at risk by deploying in densely populated areas and engaged in looting and other abuses, Human Rights Watch said. (Read on …)

“We did not expect Obama to be so weak”

Filed under: GPC, Islah, JMP, USA, VP, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 5:48 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

This weeks compendium of ridiculous US statements about Yemen, including during the Brennan visits to Saleh in SA and with Prince Ahmed and the JMP in Sanaa, comes on the same day the US and the international community recognized the Libyan rebels as the legitimate authority in Libya. In Yemen though the US continues to blame the protesters for the uptick in al Qaeda activity, instead of the illogical and unprincipled US policy fostering the stalemate. The Obama administration also threatened the JMP that the international community would not to recognize a transitional council, should one be formed as the protesters have been demanding. Such a transitional council would be “meaningless” said another western diplo because of the presence of a parliament, VP and government. The reality is that the current parliament’s term expired two years ago and prior to that, it functioned as a rubber stamp for Saleh and an instrument of grand corruption. The parliament is another rigged institution of GPC hegemony, comprised of loyalist Sheikhs, businessmen and active duty generals. Most of the reformists within the GPC resigned in March.

In Saudi Arabia Brennan asked Saleh “to fulfill expeditiously his pledge to sign the GCC-brokered agreement for peaceful and constitutional political transition in Yemen,” according to a White House statement. How could Brennan even say it with a straight face? The US is just stalling.

Al Masdar 7/6/11: JMP opposition leader Yahya Abu-Osbu’a.spoke of threats from some Arab and foreign countries not to recognize the Transitional Council, which the opposition intends to form to manage the affairs of the country which is living under a vacuum for a month. Abu Osuba at a political forum Monday evening in Change Square that the countries that had threatened to do so are Saudi Arabia and the United States and European Union countries. (Read on …)

Republican Guards open fire on bus in Taiz, teen killed

Filed under: Business, Security Forces, South Yemen, Taiz, Transition, Trials — by Jane Novak at 12:28 pm on Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yemen Post: Republican guards killed a 14-year old boy in Yemen’s Taiz province on Wednesday, where a massive demonstration was held coinciding with protests in other cities to urge the youth-led protesters to finish their revolution and to refuse external mandate or interventions.

Locals at Street 60th at the city’s entrance said republican guards fired at passengers inside a bus killing the teen and injuring others. The incident took place amid insecurity in Taiz, which saw deadly clashes between the army and armed tribesmen in the past weeks.

In other Taiz related news, Haykel Saed Corp is negotiating between the families of the protesters killed by forces under the supervision of lunatic security chief (transferred from Aden after several bloodbaths) Abdullah Qiran. There’s no resolution yet as the families are demanding a trial. Qiran was also charged with the murder of Ahmed Darwish tortured to death in Aden jail. One major outstanding protesters’ demand is the purge and reformation of the security forces.

Organizing committee attacks independent protesters in Yemen

Filed under: Military, VP, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:44 pm on Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Organizing Committee is associated with the JMP and Islah in particular, and the First Armored Division of Ali Mohsen. When the protesters attempted to march to VP Hadi’s compound, they were obstructed by the FAD and several scuffles ensued. Many were shocked that the protesters’ supposed protectors were attacked them. (Mohsen is also big on immunity for Saleh, and therefore himself, for prior war crimes.) This was the incident when al Khaiwani was accosted. In several later incidents, members of the Organizing Committee attacked protesters in various locations. There’s several videos of the confrontations. The Civil Coalition and the CCYRC are both independent distinct entities from the Organizing Committee. The following article is from the Yemen Times.

Youth protesters attacked by Islah members in Change Square

SANA’A, June 15 — Violence against independent youth protesters increased this week with both the first armored division and members of the Islah Party attempting to disrupt a march by youth against the acting president’s house. (Read on …)

“Revolution Coordination Committee Gives 24 Hour Deadline for Hadi Clarification”

Filed under: VP, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:15 am on Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yemen Post: The supreme coordination committee of the Yemeni uprising (Shabab) has given vice president Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, the acting president while Saleh is being treated in Saudi Arabia, a 24 hour headline to clarify his position towards the popular uprising and whether he will participate in a transitional council or not.

It also held him fully responsible for violence and carnage by the army in Arhab, Sana’a, Taiz, Zunjbar, Abyan, and other Yemeni cities since he is managing the country’s affairs at present.

The committee said in a statement, “calling for that, we believe there is no constitutional legitimacy but the revolution’s legitimacy and we will work with the country’s forces to form a transitional council within the hours following the duty of Hadi which will be in charge of managing the country’s affairs over nine months according to specific responsibilities”.

The statements identified these responsibilities as follows:
1- assigning a national personality agreed by all to form an efficient government
2- dissolving Parliament and Shura
3- trying and pursuing all those involved in killing and cracking down on the protesters
4- assigning a specialized panel to prepare a new constitution for the Yemeni republic that should ensures a modern civil state
5- forming a national election committee from competent personalities within 15 days since forming an interim government
6- setting a date for the vote of the new constitution and a date for parliamentary elections
7- forming a national council to be in charge of solving the south issues and other issues created by the Saleh regime topped by the tribal revenge
8- reformulating the components and responsibilities of the national security, political security systems on national bases and to be under the interior ministry
9- restructuring the army on national bases

“Ruling Party: No Dialogue Until Saleh is Back”

Filed under: GPC, Presidency, Transition — by Jane Novak at 7:58 am on Friday, June 10, 2011

Ruling Party: No Dialogue Until Saleh is Back, Yemen Post:

The ruling General People Congress party insists that no negotiations can take place in the absence of President Saleh. “The ruling party will wait until its leader, President Saleh, is back to Yemen. He will be back soon and it will not harm the opposition to wait a couple of days,” said Abdu Ganadi, the deputy minister of information.

The youth organizing committee said that protesters will not sit and watch as both government and opposition stall the revolution and negotiate. “Our steps will be quick and vital. The revolution will succeed and anyone standing in front of the youth will be held accountable,” said Ridwan Masood, a member of the committee.

Yemen Wed June 8, updates: Proxy War in Abyan

Late update: Saleh: late night in Sanaa and Taiz, over two hours of heavy gunfire so far from pro-Saleh forces shooting in air at news of his return or good health. Simultaneous in Dhamar, Hadramout. In Aden, govt cars seen shooting live rounds (more celebration?) Over 20 wounded in Sanaa arrive at the field hospital. According to friends in Saudi Arabia, theres no report airing about Saleh’s good health and return, and Mareb Press just retracted the report that Saleh wanted to return in 24 hours. However “celebratory” gunfire continuing for hours already. The RG is going to be cranky tomorrow.

Sanaa: Ali Mohsen meets US, EU ambassadors; forces intercept two attacks on Acting President Hadi’s compound. Reports also disbursed protesters demanding a transition council, near Hadis compound, dozens injured. Vid, al Khaiwani arguing with Askar Zoail, Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager who incited soldiers with sermons on jihad against the Houthis at a mosque in the fifth Saada war. Al Khaiwani was later nearly kidnapped. Later video indicates Zoali’s forces shooting into the air. See below for Mohsen’s role in Abyan fighting.

JMP: did not meet with Hadi, expect to meet within two days; seek Hadi’s formal declaration that Saleh’s reign is over, threaten to unilaterally create transitional council with protesters.

Protesters: demand transitional council immediately in mass demo, “In Sana’a, a spokesman for the youth-led protesters in the change square outside Sana’a University said, after thousands of people marched Street 60th, they had given a 24-hour deadline for the concerned political parties to form a transitional council otherwise the revolutionaries will do that.”

Taiz: still tense, sporadic clashes on the outskirts of town. The Al Qaeda district is the name of the suburb, not a AQAP hideout. Three killed Maweah and Thikra

Ibb : YP: Government forces clashed with armed tribesmen in Qaeda district, Ibb province, 30 miles off Taiz province. According to the tribesmen, the goal of the tribes is to get rid of all government forces attacking the people. “Security forces are now using this lawless time in the country to loot and attack civilians. We will not allow our people to be attacked and will ensure that they are safe from any attacks from pro govt thugs,” said a tribal fighter.

Hodiedah: roads leading in blocked by pro-Saleh thugs.

Saudi Arabia, “Yemen’s neighbor and the biggest GCC country, said after a June 6 Cabinet meeting chaired by King Abdullah that the proposal is still viable, and called on Saleh to accept it. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, will also send Yemen 3 million barrels of oil to alleviate fuel shortages, Yemen’s state news agency Saba reported yesterday.” ( SFgate)

Saada: Mass protests in favor of the end of the regime and against all plots on the rev.

UNICEF: Yemen facing humanitarian disaster.

State Department briefing; must read

AQAP: a decent analysis at Foreign Affairs of relation between tribes and AQAP and prospect in the post-rev phase.

Zinjibar: reduced to “hell” with fighting among unclear sides: < <"There is a cat-and-mouse game going on in the streets now between the army and armed men. I can't tell who's who among them any more,"... The fighting has reduced Zinjibar, once home to more than 50,000 people, to a ghost town without power or running water.>> Most residents of Zinjibar fled to Aden where many are sheltering in public buildings. The Central Security forces of Yahya are attacking the refugees as they flee.

The armed parties appear to be the national military, local tribesmen, local militants (both Saleh’s and Mohsen’s) and the defected army but I’m checking. Update: Gah!!! Armed members of the southern movement also maintaining security on some roads, and for sure they would be described by the regime as al Qaeda. If this is true, southerners carrying arms and creating their own security checkpoints outside local villages in various governorates, its new. (I deleted the areas where they are deployed or the regime will start bombing them.) It needs to be double checked. But being rebuffed after asking to coordinate security with the international community leaves few options. However as security fails, its likely the Southern Movement will reject new deployments by either Saleh’s forces or Mohsen’s forces. The only possibility is Aliwi who has a better reputation in the south than Hadi (as unlike Hadi he didnt attack civilians in the 1986 civil war, according to local lore.) And Mohsen is Mohsen.

Abyan: Local direct reports indicate military airplanes dropped two bombs today recently. Vid here of warplanes that bombed Abyan City, per local sources.

Another says the attack was on tribesmen who took up arms in the face of military assaults. “Ms. Novak – Greetings – I would like to clarify what is happening today in the province of pilgrimage in southern Yemen as a witness elders – the army is firing different weapons on the housing Almutnyen and Batalli tribes touched by the bombing respond and of these forces and drops dead from both sides.” Still no names on the militants leaders, but likely remnants of the localized jihaddist group AAIA operating under another new name. Upon asking, it seems that most discussions on southern forums regarding Zinjibar are operating on the assumption (as am I) that Khaledabul Nabi* is leading the jihaddists in Abyan but no eye witness confirmation. Ja’ar and Zinjibar are close enough. In 2009, Nabi was fighting on the side of Saleh in the battle of Ja’ar, another jihaddist proxy war.

Update, Southern Yemen: Ali Mohsen’s forces are in Abyan, see YT article Rebel soldiers engage militants, but are described below as “gunmen” so these could be the jihaddists as well. Majority of Mohsen’s soldiers are either graduates of Iman Univ or loyal to Zindani, per local buzz. The defected military issued a statement though that they were going to intervene in Abyan as military, and that may be what is triggering an armed (defensive) response by the southern movement if there is indeed an armed response. When the article below talks about forces loyal to Islah, it sounds like they mean armed militants loyal to Mohsen and Zindani. Maybe this is what Nuba meant by an invasion of Zindanis forces.

So Abyan could be a proxy war between Saleh and Mohsen with both sides using militants and military men and equipment. and the southerners who take defensive positions attacked by both. Now I really have a headache. Saada source comments, “That’s exactly whats happening with al Jawf,” and likely why the Houthis are fighting there, as a defensive measure.

Al Jawf/ Marib: Battles reported and continue over last months between Houthis and “Islahis” in conjunction with Mohsen’s forces, with back up from pro-Saleh forces according to news and local sources. Explains positioning of large amounts of troops there. Both the Mohsen forces and Saleh forces, militants and military, are fighting the Houthis in rotation. These developments bring into question both Mohsen’s alleged reformation and his commitment to the youth rev goals. Maybe he is just out to finally wipe out the Houthis and the Southerners. Clarification: There’s no troops on the al jawf/Saada border. Troops and militias of both Saleh (Republican Guards and militias) and Mohsen’s army and militias are on the border of Aljawf/Mareb and also inside both Aljawf and Mareb. There’s quite a number of troops in Saada but they are non-combative.

Yaf3press: Lapin: genocide and the destruction of cities, “Zanzibar and Jaar .. and forces loyal to the Reform Party (ed-Islah) and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar involved in control of southern Yemen. (Read on …)

US: Saleh injuries include burns, internal bleeding, Pentagon stops CT training for Yemeni forces

Filed under: Counter-terror, Presidency, Transition, USA, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 1:03 pm on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today they stopped training? Not in February when dozens of protesters in Aden were slaughtered with live fire, shooing into houses and at medical workers. Not in March when apparently well trained snipers killed 58 largely by head shots and not in May when the Republican Guard set the protesters camp ablaze, killing well over 100. I had thought when we cut the funding we cut the training. I hope its clear to all that Tariq, Yahya and Ahmed can and will have no part in the security forces after the restructuring. Furthermore the MAZ Corp. (Yahya) has to be dismembered and the other corrupt financial deals exposed regardless of where it leads.

AP: WASHINGTON – Obama administration officials said Tuesday that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was more badly injured than thought in a blast at his compound last week, complicating the U.S. response to increased instability in a key battleground in the war against al-Qaida. (Read on …)

Yemen protesters demand interim council and power transition, Updated: lists floating, Update 2: lists pulled

Filed under: Transition, Yemen, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:42 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ah everybody getting on the same page. It is the same demand (or close) of the international community since Saleh’s incapacitation. The JMP and GCC already signed the GCC agreement. Saleh reneged three times and is no longer relevant except for the specter of his return, which should be quashed by the Saudis ASAP. A revolution by its definition deposes the existing regime.

Update: I saw a workable list for the 20 person interim council but I’m not going to publish it for fear of turning it into a hit list. But things are moving. Excellent. Update 2: Lists pulled, meaning taken down.

Sahwa Net- A million-strong demonstration is to be held on Tuesday afternoon in Sana’a to demand forming an interim council and prevent Saleh from the return to Yemen.

The demonstration which to is head to the residency of the Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi would call for forming an interim council in 24 hours, otherwise the protesters, as they warned, would form the council.

Waseem Al-Qirishi, a spokesman for the Organizing Committee of Revolution, affirmed to AFP that the youths of the revolution decided to escalate their activities after they heard that Saleh would return to Yemen in the upcoming days.

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

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

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

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

Republican Guard refuses to stand down, Updated

Filed under: Security Forces, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:35 am on Monday, June 6, 2011

Attacking citizens Intra-brigade clashes in Taiz despite the cease fire. Battle in al Habylean, Lahj. RG reinforcements en route to Taiz halted on Ibb road by locals. Snipers kill 3 of al Ahmar’s men in Sanaa. Nine soldiers killed in the south by “gunmen.” Prince Ahmed and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse have to stand down, as well as Mohsen’s men and the defected military. Sadiq al Ahmar pledged to honor the cease fire as long as the Saleh forces do. GCC, EU, US all urge restraint. The enmity and rivalry between Ahmed and Ali Mohsen has deep roots. Ahmed moved into the palace, not Hadi, and more from Comment Middle East:

The position of state television remains the same, indicating that the regime is still in tact, even if it has been decapitated. More worrying for the protesters is Hadi’s reported statement that Saleh will return in the next few days. Even if this is not feasible due to Saleh’s apparent condition, it is clear that those who back him are still clinging on, and still maintain some sort of influence over Hadi.

This should not take away from the sense of joy and achievement being felt in Sana’a and the rest of the country. Although there are still sporadic bouts of violence, especially in the second city Taiz, the sound of explosions has been replaced by that of fireworks, and people have been flocking to the protest squares around the country to celebrate. If anything, a large presence in the protest squares would indicate to those still unsure that the regime is done for.

The protesters have also indicated that, although they welcome the departure of Saleh, it is only the first of their demands, and that they will not leave their tent cities until all their demands are met. In the focus on the al-Ahmar – Saleh rivalry many analysts have overlooked the power of the youth movement, which is huge in a country where the average age is 17.

As per usual in Yemen things are being done unusually….

Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani has an optimistic view that Saleh is not returning, the political process will take hold and describes lingering skirmishes as expected and diminishing.

There’s a Bill of Rights floating around, pdf. Hadi chairs meeting security council.Otherwise quiet but tense. Military prepares to storm Zinjibar.

Update: late night explosions and/or clashes around the Presidential palace in Taiz.

Timelime of a tyrant, timeline of protests

Filed under: Post Saleh, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:34 pm on Sunday, June 5, 2011

VOA

From Jasmine Revolution to Widespread Unrest
January 22: Students/protesters gather at Sana’a University, calling President Saleh to step-down.
March 1: Tens of thousands of activists demand the ouster of President Saleh.
March 8: The government deploys military vehicles in Sana’a, police open fire on protesters.
March 18: Security forces fire on protesters in Sana’a, killing at least 52 people, wounding 100+.
March 20-21: President Saleh dismisses his entire Cabinet, some senior military commanders join the protesters.
April 2-3: Opposition leaders urge President Saleh to hand over power to VP al-Hadi, he refuses.
April 5-8: President Saleh accepts invitation from the six-nation GCC to hold talks in Saudi Arabia with opposition representatives.
April 10-11: GCC foreign ministers urge President Saleh to transfer his powers to his VP.
April 14-15: Opposition leaders give President Saleh a two-week deadline to resign.
April 17-18: Thousands demonstrate across Yemen, despite facing live ammunition from government forces.
April 19: The U.N. Security Council meets on Yemen since the protests erupted. Russia, China reportedly prevent the council from publicly endorsing a draft statement.
April 21-25: The GCC presents President Saleh with a plan for ending the political impasse.
April 30-May 1: Main opposition coalition accuses President Saleh of refusing to sign the Gulf agreement, as required by the plan.
May 15: Main opposition coalition says the GCC plan to end the country’s political crisis is “dead.”
May 21-22: Opposition says it has signed a Gulf-brokered deal that would see President Saleh’s transfer of power within a month. Saleh denounces the proposed deal as a “coup.”
May 23-26: Deadly gun battles break out in Sana’a between security forces, oppostition tribesmen take control of several government buildings.
May 27: Opposition tribal leaders say they are talking with the government, cease-fire is in effect. International calls continue for Saleh to leave office soon.
June 3: President Saleh, five other Yemeni officials are wounded in a rocket attack on the presidential compound in Sana’a.
June 4: President Saleh’s forces, oppostion forces accept a Saudi-brokered cease-fire. A truce negotiated a week earlier quickly deteriorated. Saleh flies to Saudi Arabia for treatment. VP Hadi takes over.
June 5: Celebrations in the capital, Sana’a, after word spreads that President Saleh left the country.
July 7: President Saleh delivers his first video address since traveling to Saudi Arabia for treatment, his faced darkened from severe burns, bandages visible on his hands.
July 17: Tens of thousands of people rally, waving flags, chanting anti-Saleh slogans, on the 33rd anniversary of President Saleh’s autocratic rule.
July 19: Mainstream opposition coalition announce a new alliance to unite all anti-Saleh forces, days after youth groups, activists form their own 17-member “transitional council.”
August 7: President Saleh is discharged from a Saudi hospital, moved to a Saudi government residence.
August 9: State-run news agency announces President Saleh will return to Yemen, despite international calls for him to handover power.
August 16: President vows to return to Yemen soon, expresses a willingness to transfer power to a deputy in an effort to bring peace to the country.
August 17: Anti-government activists meet in Sana’a, elect a 143-member “national council” that will explore ways of taking power from President Saleh.
August 23: PM Megawar returns from Saudi Arabia, becoming the first senior official to return home after being injured in the June assassination attempt of President Saleh.
September 12: Saleh authorizes his deputy to begin talks with the opposition, gives authority to VP Mansour to sign off on a GCC plan to transfer power, and to allow a coalition to form a national unity government. A GCC representative left Yemen with no word of a deal.
September 18: Clashes between pro-Saleh forces and opposition forces escalate, resulting in the death of almost 100 people.
September 23: President Saleh returns to Yemen, calling for a truce, talks to end his country’s political crisis.

(Reuters) – Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounded in an attack on his presidential palace on Friday, has flown to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

Below is a timeline of Saleh’s 33-year rule.

July 1978 – Saleh takes power in then-North Yemen. (Read on …)

Yemen: Presidential power transfers to VP al Hadi, Saleh exits Yemen

Filed under: Presidency, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:30 pm on Saturday, June 4, 2011

After an entire day of contradictory reports on Saleh’s health and whereabouts, the Deputy Minister of Info announced on al Hurra that Saleh and 24 family members are in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, and presidential power has been transferred to VP al Hadi. I’m assuming the GPC and the four horsemen (may be three now if Tariq is really killed) consider this as a temporary arrangement; where as the protesters see it as the beginning of the end. I’m in shock.

Updates, unofficial and official:

Ali Mohsen submits his resignation to Hadi

NEW JOKEs: SALIH REFUSE TO SIGN FOR SURGERY WITHOUT PRESENCE OF THE OPPOSITION

THEY SAID, ELECTRICITY SHUT OFF IMMEDIATELY IN SAUDI ARABIA AT THE ARRIVAL OF SALIH

Royal Court of KSA issues official communique that Saleh is in SA for medical treatment while some Yemeni officials insist he’s still in Yemen. Bin Ali said to be at Saleh’s reception at the airport.

Alarabyia correspondent reports seeing Saleh walking from the plane, which means not badly injured and odd if he had surgery earlier today

BaFadhl on AJA: Ali AlAnesi, head of Nat Sec, announced formation of an (unconstitutional) military council to cover for Saleh

Taiz under full control of the rev and celebrating with fireworks.

Hadi also in command of the armed forces.

Al Jazeera back in Yemen.

Several reports indicate that the explosion was caused by a bomb planted in the mosque by a RG commander but there’s still many varying accounts.

Celebrations in Sanaa with people chanting, “The people finally overthrew the regime.” Some explosions despite cease-fire.

Southern secessionists ask “Can anybody hear us, facing threat of a new system of al Zindani or al Qaeda seizure? Where is the UN as we seek to create a system of stability and security in the provinces? Is there anybody supporting us against al Qaeda?

Yemen’s Saleh retaliates against Hamid al Ahmar’s home, Update: Saleh medical treatment in SA

Filed under: National Dialog Committee, Presidency, Protest Fatalities, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:42 am on Saturday, June 4, 2011

Update: Is he or isn’t he in Saudi Arabia? Even the international media is issuing contradictory reports. The CCRYC recommends the formation of local governing and security committees. Ali al Ansi, head of the National Security, in a very Alexander Hague move, some call coup attempt, announces he is forming a military council to run the country until Saleh recovers. Others from the GPC say al Hadi should be in charge but that’s unconstitutional, not that the GPC cares much for the constitution.

Original: Its entirely unclear who launched the attack on the presidential palace: still nine theories and no evidence. Several of the wounded from the palace were flown to SA. One thing is clear, the State Department’s contacts in Yemen are so bad or so duplicitous that Toner was announcing Saleh was uninjured based on those sources. “Our Embassy staff are reaching to contacts on the ground there. We’ve received conflicting reports regarding the attack on the presidential compound, including who was injured and whether or not anyone was killed. While we have heard that President Saleh was uninjured, we can’t – we cannot yet independently confirm that… We’re saying that we have heard that he was uninjured through our contacts, but we’re still unable to independently confirm it.”

CNN: “Those transferred (to SA after attack on palace) include prime minister, Ali Mujawar; deputy prime ministers Rashad al-Alimi and Sadeq Amin Abu Rasand; Shura Council Chairman Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani; Parliament speaker Yahya Al-Raee; and Shura Council Chairman Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghan. A Yemeni official who asked not to be named told CNN that Saleh was in the mosque when two “projectiles” were fired during Friday prayers. He confirmed the death of Sheikh Ali Mohsen al-Matari and four bodyguards. State-run news agency SABA, citing a source in Saleh’s office, said three guards and the sheikh were killed.”

al Masdar reports Saudi doctors were flown in to treat Saleh. Al Arabya and al Jazeera reporting Saleh will be (or is) flown to SA for treatment. Reports also indicate the SAudi King negotiated a cease fire in Sanaa.

Who is treating the injured protesters? Maybe the US can send that floating hospital offshore to treat the thousands injured and without care or air drop medical supplies and food.

Ahram “Ten people were killed and 35 others wounded when Republican Guard troops shelled the home” of Sheikh Hamid on Friday, in an apparent tit-for-tat attack, an aide in his office told AFP on Saturday.
(Read on …)

Obama condemns in strongest terms attack on Yemen president

Filed under: Presidency, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 3:26 pm on Friday, June 3, 2011

After Saleh’s forces killed hundreds in Taiz including some who were burned alive, The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a announced it “condemns the unprovoked and unjustified attack on peaceful demonstrators in Taiz on the evening of May 29th, in which several demonstrators were killed and many more wounded.” Contrast that with today’s stronger statement after a mortar on the presidential palace, likely from inside the palace:

Statement by the Press Secretary (of President Obama) on Violence in Yemen: The United States condemns in the strongest terms the senseless acts of violence today in Yemen, including the attack against the Presidential Palace compound in Sana’a as well as other attacks in Sana’a and throughout the country. We call on all sides to cease hostilities immediately and to pursue an orderly and peaceful process of transferring political power as called for in the GCC-brokered agreement. Violence cannot resolve the issues that confront Yemen, and today’s events cannot be a justification for a new round of fighting. We urge all sides to heed the wishes of the Yemeni people, whose aspirations include peace, reform, and prosperity.

In meetings held June 1-3 in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan and his Saudi and Emirati counterparts expressed deep concern at the deteriorating situation throughout Yemen. Mr. Brennan said that the United States would continue to coordinate closely with both governments on developments in Yemen in an effort to help bring an end to the violence.

The US is bombing Libya but condemns an attack on Saleh? What? The US policy on Yemen is both illogical and immoral. There’s no organized political opposition in Libya at all, and rival tribes; what is the double standard all about? Despite the Pentagon’s re-branding of Saleh, he is not now and never was a good partner against al Qaeda. If I don’t understand US policy even slightly, you can imagine what Yemenis are thinking.

Update: here’s an article by the president of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies who thinks Saleh can outwit the protesters by provoking a tribal war, and that the March massacre in Sanaa was perpetrated by regime irregulars who took it upon themselves to open fire. It shows the sorry state of some analysis that is premised off Saleh’s propaganda and out of touch with the Yemeni rank and file and the tribesmen themselves. The Taiz massacre was plotted at the highest levels, as is likely of the Sanaa massacre as well.

Update: Spin baby spin and then do it faster.

Reuters:The Pentagon said on Friday it had no evidence that Yemeni counter-terrorism forces trained by the United States have been used against protesters demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“We’re watching closely the violence that’s occurring in Yemen,” Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said as violence raged in the Yemeni capital, where protesters are demanding an end to Saleh’s nearly 33 years in power.

“Right now we have no evidence that any of the counter-terrorism forces that we have trained are being used against protesters. We have seen reports that they have been engaged with armed forces and are looking for more information on that,” Lapan told reporters.

Its clearly the Central Security and Republican Guard that are shooting unarmed protesters. What armed forces are the CT units within the CT and RG fighting, the al Ahmars, the Nehm tribesmen? What the Pentagon will accept as “proof” in this situation is unclear. The US mil needs to come to grips with the reality that it is going to lose the thousands of man hours as well as the millions of dollars invested in Saleh’s family. If anything, some of the equipment can be saved. But if the US wants to establish good CT relations with the next government of Yemen, it really needs to stop issuing idiotic statements providing Saleh with cover. Saleh’s forces killed over 100 in Taiz including dozens burned alive and 500 are still missing. It was planned at the highest levels. This is Obama’s friend who we are going to trust on al Qaeda? US policy in Yemen is a disaster of the highest magnitude.

Update: It couldn’t get more bizarre, but thats business as usual for Saleh who also accused the US of bombing the USS Cole as recently as 2006. Saleh’s spokesman accuses the US of assassination attempt and US responds the US is focused on cooperating with the Yemeni government: (Read on …)

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh lightly wounded in attack on palace: updated, seriously wounded

Filed under: Presidency, Protest Fatalities — by Jane Novak at 10:00 am on Friday, June 3, 2011

The state announced minor injuries to Saleh during a mortar attack inside the palace compound at prayer time. There’s nine versions already. Sadiq al Ahmar denies it was his forces. Stories floating include an inside job (mutiny), defected pro-change military, renegades and a total fabrication etc. Hamid al Ahmar said to al Arabya that Saleh masterminded it himself as an excuse to launch heavier attacks on the al Ahmar bros. Some contend its logistically impossible to shell the mosque from outside the palace.

YemRevNews: Confirmed news that Rashad Al-Alemi is currently in ICU in 48 Hospital (RepGuard Hospital) along with other officials. Iman Ali Al Matari reported killed. Speculation from Yemenis now includes a US smart missile, but if that was the case, Saleh would be a goner. If the regime is reporting Saleh is slightly injured, odds are its more serious because their first instinct always is to lie. Update: reliable sources indicate the injuries are severe, despite the regime announcement that they are minor cuts.

The audio is getting a mixed reaction from Yemenis, some of whom dispute it was him. If Saleh is out of commission, do Ahmed and the nephews (the four horsemen of the Apocalypse) battle among themselves? One reaction: “Yemenis relate Saleh to Alqaeda & now he’s sending audio tapes like OBL. I won’t be surprised if he’s in a cave now.” Saleh said seven were killed in the attack today.

WSJ Online: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh suffered light injuries to the head on Friday when the presidential palace was shelled by the opposition, according to government officials. (Read on …)

Libya funding Saleh’s slaughter

Filed under: Libya, Presidency, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:46 pm on Monday, May 30, 2011

Saleh adopts Gaddafi’s strategy and money: Reports indicate the situation in Yemen has been influenced heavily by huge cashflows provided by the Libyan tyrant to his counterpart in Yemen. The first payment (equivalent to US Dollars 200 million) was delivered in cash two months ago to Saleh’s envoy to Libya, the notorious businessman Shaher Abdul Hak, sources report.

Libya has a long history of meddling in Yemen via payments to various individuals and groups.

US finds more excuses to stall: fear of “tribal rivalries”

Filed under: Transition, Tribes, USA, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 2:03 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saleh will never agree to an orderly transition of power. Al Ahmar is not exploiting the situation by firing back when Saleh’s forces attacked.

Today 1) snipers firing on protesters in Taiz and artillery, 2) bombing al Habiylan, Lahj 3) bombing Zanzibar, Abyan after handing it over to militants 4) the bombing in Nehm, Sanaa yesterday destroyed dozens of homes. 5) bombing in Arhab, Sanaa today.

Youth Rev Organizing Com: Delay in discussing Saleh’s crimes at the UN Security Council gives him more time to commit massacres against Yemeni people

Reuters: “We are very concerned that the unsettled situation in Yemen is bringing longstanding tribal rivalries to the surface, which is further complicating the process of reaching an agreement on an orderly transfer of power,” one senior official said, offering the U.S. position on condition of anonymity.

“Tribal as well as extremist elements are attempting to exploit the current instability in order to advance their own parochial interests.”

While U.S. support for Saleh has eroded, Washington also has serious misgivings about the wealthy and powerful Ahmar clan and considers it unlikely to help bring about sweeping reform should it gain further clout,

Sweeping reform?? The US is now seeking sweeping reform but but the GCC plan that the US is married to guarantees no reforms at all.

Saudi King calls for Saleh’s departure: Mareb Press

Filed under: Presidency, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:26 am on Saturday, May 28, 2011

According to Mareb Press, Saudi Arabia withdrew its objection to sending Ali Abdullah Saleh to the UN’s ICC, and King Abdullah called for Saleh’s departure, an excellent development. But there’s nothing in the western media about the call.

Diplomatic sources said that the Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz told Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a telephone conversation with him yesterday he ’should be giving up’ for power after a bloody confrontation with all the Al Ahmar in Sana’a during the last few days…The sources added that the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council yesterday decided to take a complete file of Yemen to the UN Security Council to take decisive action shifting to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the authority immediately after the GCC states has made strenuous efforts to persuade him to do so during the last period.

I have the documentation and a timeline of Saleh’s violations of international law. The year 2005 alone is enough to convict Saleh of crimes against humanity. 2009 was another doozy between crimes against the southerners and in Saada. Bringing Saleh to the ICC is an important development that will foster national cohesion, as it is the Southerners’ long standing demand and will broaden national understanding of crimes in the south as well as Saada. The hundreds killed in recent protests and financial crimes are additional topics.

A trial balloon? Pressure tactic? al Masdar reports the information came from a Saudi TV talk show and has not been announced in the official Saudi media. Al Arabyia is reporting it now as well.

(Read on …)

What to expect from Yemen’s Saleh in Nehm, Updated

Filed under: Presidency, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 3:19 pm on Friday, May 27, 2011

Saleh will likely approach the conflict with tribesmen in Nehm the same way he did in Saada, by committing massive human rights violations in order to pressure the fighters.

During the Saada War, 2004-2010, Saleh bombed civilian refugees, villages and hospitals. The state systematically blocked food, gas and medical supplies as a matter of policy. The state refused permission to international aid organizations to treat wounded civilians (not to mention Houthis).

Journalists were banned from the region for five years and punished when they wrote about the conflict. Saleh redeployed US trained counter-terror units to the region and used US supplied equipment in the conflict.

Internal refugees were about 56,000 in 2005 and grew to over 300,000 by 2009. The few UN refugee camps established were so poorly stocked that infants died of malnutrition within the camps. However the vast majority of refugees sheltered in the mountains or fields or with relatives. Child malnutrition in Saada remains well over the national average of 50%.

Saleh operated with complete impunity and little criticism from the US, under both Bush and Obama, even though he was deploying al Qaeda fighters, because he was the only game in town. As it feigned ignorance of the slaughter, the US’s primary concern in Yemen was and remains counter-terrorism. Somewhere around 2009, the EU and UN began making some noise.

The Saada War was not a civil war. Human Rights Watch said the state’s actions warranted an international inquiry into violations of international law, specifically collective punishment of the civilian population.

Saleh really is a butcher as Sadiq al Ahmar said. While many circumstances are different in the current situation, that basic fact is not.

Update: 120 homes destroyed in Nehm. In Yemen, extended families live together and a minimum of ten per home is realistic. Then nearly 1500 are displaced by one day of Saleh’s wrath. The other predictable factor in this conflict is that the tribesmen are the better fighters although under-equipped. They seized nine tanks and three helicopters in one day. Thats how the Houthis got most of their weapons–from the state.

Yemen Post Local in Nehm said that the government was attacking the villages with Meg 29 warplanes. Nehm tribal leader Sheikh Saleh Najeed said that the government forces have until now destroyed more than 120 homes in Nehm with the air attacks.
He said that two of the military bombers landed in villages of Nehm and refused to attack the tribes. The planes are now in the control of the Nehm tribes and the soldiers who were aboard the helicpters are now with the tribes. They are in total 24 soldiers in total.
The death toll from Nehm tribes is 18, while more than 65 are injured.
Tribes confirmed that they have taken 9 tanks from the republican guards.

Too good to be true? Tribal mediators working on deal for Saleh’s departure, Updated

Filed under: Presidency, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:14 pm on Thursday, May 26, 2011

If he is going without being killed, this is the way–tribal mediation. The mediators working to end the fighting between Saleh’s forces and al Ahmar’s are also working on an exit strategy for Saleh. See the earlier posts today for more on the tribes as the only check on executive authority in Yemen. This is the one negotiation Saleh can’t BS his way out of.

I’m not really worried about a civil war among the population, ongoing fighting between the forces maybe. Yemenis remember better than anyone the bloodbaths that came before, and this new generation has internalized principles of democracy.

Socially the protesters became akin to a new tribe, but with a protected status by all tribes, like every Yemeni woman has a protected status. When snipers murdered 58 protesters on March 18, literally half the regime resigned as a matter of personal honor not as a political statement. When Saleh shelled Sheikh al Ahmar’s house, it was another affront to the personal honor of every tribesman in Yemen, even opposing tribes. I’m hoping he’s gone by tonight. Earlier Saleh ordered the arrest of Sheikh Sadia al Hamar and his brothers. It doesn’t mean much.

Update: The mediators are Abdulqader Hilal and other prominent sheikhs including Fayez Mannaa, Ismail Abu Huriah and Awad Ba Wazir.

3feb.com: (Saleh decides to leave) sources: the new mediation work to find a way out of the Sana’a airport security for his family
(Read on …)

Yemen’s tribes begin to stand against Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, Protest Fatalities, Tribes, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Thursday, May 26, 2011

The only way Saleh will leave is by force, that’s been clear for years. The only effective check on executive authority in Yemen is the tribes, and they may just do it now. Beyond “the call” from al Ahmar, I am tracking down another tribal statement that the death of Saleh is now halal.

Update: its here at al Masdar: Sheikh Khalid Al Awadi said if the fighting is not ended in two days, tribesmen are ordered to leave the military and join the youth revolution in the squares of change and freedom, ie- Sanaa and Taiz. The title of the article is The blood is free after the killing of President Saleh meaning halal. Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar said to Reuters, “Saleh will leave Yemen barefoot.”

The only thing the US can do in this situation is issue a clear, multi-sentence statement against Saleh, promising US humanitarian aid to the following government, in order to demoralize any of Saleh’s followers who are wavering. Freezing his funds would be a good step as well initiating any action at the UN, today. Then the USG, the Yemeni protesters, tribes, opposition parties would all be on the same side, a good place when Saleh is dethroned, which is coming, wrought with destruction and blood in its path, but its coming.

In the last decade, whenever Saleh initiated hostilities against domestic groups like the Houthis or Southerners, the way he did it increased the opposition forces substantially. There are strong norms supporting civilian immunity and the tribal concept of protected places in Yemen. That was the thesis of my 15 page report at MERIA, Comparative Counter-Insurgency in Yemen, September 2010.

The following is a good article as usual from Ahmed al Hajj for the AP. The Hashid tribal confederation is the most powerful in Yemen, but the Bakil is the larges. The mortar attack on the compound of the paramount sheikh of the Hashid, Sadiq al Amhar, killed Saleh’s own mediators. Moreover it was also extremely rude by Yemen standards. They are an extremely polite people, quite lovely actually.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Intense battles spread across Yemen’s capital Thursday between government forces and opposition militiamen from powerful tribes that warn of civil war unless embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh steps down. At least 28 people were killed as the four-day death toll neared 110…

Under Yemen’s ancient codes, tribal leaders can declare that members follow their orders above all others. This potentially gives tribal chiefs the power to order government soldiers from their clans to stand down. (Read on …)

Over 50 killed in overnight clashes in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: Presidency, Protest Fatalities, Sa'ada, Tribes, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 7:24 am on Thursday, May 26, 2011

President Saleh never had any intention of stepping down and played the international community very well for three months. He drew out negotiations, and reneged three times on signing the agreement he dictated to the US and Gulf countries. Then he attacked the mediators, besieging the US ambassador on Sunday with an armed mob of ruling party loyalists. Monday Saleh began shelling the compound of his main tribal rival, Sadiq al Ahmar in Sanaa the capital.

Clashes raged for hours. Tuesday Saleh sent his negotiators to the al Ahmar home (some say with a tracking device serendipitously planted on one of them) to mediate an end to the violence that he started. Then he bombed the compound, killing his own people who were still in the home. This of course triggered more clashes between the military and defected military with tribesmen on both sides that continues today. Saleh is claiming to be the victim, another standard tactic in the wake of state violence.

Saleh is now showing his true face to the world and his intention to retain power at all costs. President Saleh devastated the northern province of Saada, bombing for years (2004-2010), displacing 300,000 citizens and then blocking aid to the internal refugees. He ravaged the south and openly slaughtered hundreds of unarmed pro-independence protesters (2007-2010). He will do it to the capital Sana’a without a twinge of conscience.

After three months of nationwide pro-democracy protests, over 100 casualties mostly by head shots, and over 10,000 injuries among the unarmed protesters, yesterday President Obama finally said, as a one line throw-in during a press conference in the UK, “We call upon President Saleh to move immediately on his commitment to transfer power.” The only way Saleh will go is by force. The important impact of a clear Obama statement, if it ever occurs, will be to demoralize Saleh’s supporters not encourage any rationality on Saleh’s part.

During Obama’s hour long Middle East policy speech a week ago, huge throngs of protesters around Yemen waited as Obama ticked through the nations in the region, expounding on each. When he got to Yemen, Obama called Saleh his friend. Yemen also only had one line in that speech: “President Saleh needs to follow through on his commitment to transfer power.” The deal Saleh turned down afforded him immunity from prosecution and scheduled presidential elections in two months, a shoe-in for his son, Ahmed, head of the Republican Guard and the counter-terror unit.

Update, US position remains wimpy. There is a blackout of both news and electricity in Sanaa, besides the language barrier. This limp statement is not going to even penetrate: May 26 (Reuters) – The United States condemns the violence in Yemen and believes it underscores the need for a peaceful transfer of power, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Thursday.

Yemen Post: The head of office for Sadeq Ahmar, Abdul Qawi Qaisi said that more than 50 people were killed and 110 injured in last nights clashes between Hashed tribes and republican guards.

Clashes continued for more than eight hours near Sana’a International Airport and in Hasaba zone of Sana’a.

The Defense Ministry announced earlier today that four more were killed yesterday evening by Hashed tribes.

Tribes in Arhab confirmed that nine tribesmen were killed in clashes between Arhab tribesmen and republican guards last night.

The government has not yet announced its casualties from soldiers.

“5 rockets turned the dark night into daylight around 3 am today in Sanaa these rockets are supplied by the US to saleh and he used them on Sh. Sadeq’s house today they are preventing the people from leaving Sanaa, and the Hasaba district looks like Gaza or Beirut in the 80’s with buildings riddled with ammunition holes today the clashes did not stop and there are un confirmed roomers that Ahmed Ali Saleh was shot and seriously injured by one of his body guards.”

Saleh shells his own mediators at al Ahmar home

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Transition, Tribes, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:49 pm on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Qamish is now with the revolution. The documents from the interior ministry were seized and are in secure location.

1) They used a Howitzer canon to strike the al Ahmar house, where Saleh’s mediation committee was on the phone with him negotiating a cease fire. The committee are all injured with Sh. Mohammed Mohammed Abu-Louhoom announced dead a few minutes ago. PSO head Galeb Al-Qamesh is seriously injured. The attack brought new tribes into the battle on the side of the protester when their sheikhs were attacked. The ministries of Local Authority and Education fell. (Read on …)

Saleh’s forces attack Sadiq al Ahmar’s home, many updates incl Hashid tribesmen flood in to Sanaa, JMP at house, timeline

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, Transition, Tribes, Yemen, political violence, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:22 am on Monday, May 23, 2011

Last update: Tribal mediation succeeded in ending the clashes. Saleh’s mediators were Sanhan Sheikh, Ahmad abu Horia and the Ghalib Al-Qamish, the head of the Political Security.

al Sahwa reports that heavy clashes using a variety of weapons have been raging in the vicinity of Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar’s house in Hasaba, Sana’a between Saleh’s militia, Republican Guards, Central Security and Sadeq’s guards for at least 2 hours as of 9:30am EST. Sadiq is paramount sheik of the Hasid tribal confederation, and in theory is Saleh’s sheik since Abdullah al Ahmar died. Update: the sides were CF and RG vs. Sadiq guards (Hashid tribesmen) and some military forces from Ali Mohsen al Ahmar.

Yemen Post reports 18 dead: Clashes started at 1pm local time when armed gunmen backed by central security forces attacked the residence of Yemen’s powerful Hashid tribe leader, Sheikh Sadeq Abdullah Ahmar eyewitnesses said. At least 100 gunmen have been shooting directly at the residence for hours now…

Headquarters for Yemenia airways in Sana’a caught on fire after tens of armed gunmen shot directly at the building, eyewitnesses said. In addition, tens of live bullets are being shot at Saba News Agency and dozens of employees are surrounded inside the building…Eyewitnesses and confirmed sources said that Ahmar tribes have seized the Commerce and trade Ministry building in Sana’a.

I believe the SABA building and likely Yemenia are being used by the CS to shoot from, which is why they are being shot at; its not an attack on the state media per se. Its going on for more than four hours already.

Updates: -Saleh attacked with the Najda (Emergency Police) as well as elements of Central Security and Republican Guards and hired mercenaries. – RPGs fired at Interior Ministry. -Salehs forces withdrew but its not fully over. -Injured includes a child - Video here -YPost: Hashed tribes seize the ruling GPC headquarters in Sana’a and Ministry of Trade and Commerce & 600 armed Ahmar tribesmen -road to the US embassy still blocked by armed GPC members

Timeline from a friend:

Republican Guard(RG) & CSF units attacked sh.Sadeq’s house at 1:12pm local time at the time leaders from the JMP were inside the house, sh. Sadeq was not.
at 3:00 pm the entire area was secured by sh.Sadeq’s men
the Al-Saeeda Airlines building fifth floor was in flames.
the RG are sending reinforcements to secure the ministry of interior which is now in flames.
At 5:00pm the Sh’s men have secured the building of the GPC head quarters, Ministry of trade, Saba news agency and were advancing towards the ministry of telecommunication.
at 5:30pm bombardment using Doshka, Tanks, and cannons are heard in the area.
sh. Hameed Al-Ahmer moved the past couple of days from his house in Hadda to the same house.
Sh. Sadeq issued the “Tribal Call” which in effect calls every tribesmen to join him in defending his honor, attacking one’s house is a great dishonor in tribal law.
at 6:30pm new clashed erupted at the entrance to Sanaa at the Azreqaen point as thousands of tribesmen are answering the tribal call are flooding towards Sanaa.

Both sides are a mix of military/security, tribesmen and militia. As long as the state does not attack in Saada, maybe this can wind itself down. There are thousands of troops on the Marib/ al Jawf border, last estimate was over 10,000, eight brigades if that makes sense, maybe divisions. Update: the troops are still in the same locations along the border and road to Sanaa where they have been for more than two months. Fierce clashes are continuing in al Jawf though

Saleh has been storing weapons in schools and government buildings for a week supposedly (including possibly the Ramah girls school). Beyond the military stocks, the state has confiscated a quarter of a million weapons over the last two years in furtherance of the weapons ban. It was never likely he destroyed all of them. I figured he’s resell them; I hope he doesn’t have them stockpiled. The reports of distributing weapons to thugs and GPC members have been consistent and are further augmented by many leaked documents that indicate a nationwide strategy under the direction of the interior ministry.

Update an English round up from AP: (Read on …)

EU condemns and deplores yesterdays events in Yemen

Filed under: Diplomacy, Transition, UK, political violence, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:32 am on Monday, May 23, 2011

I wonder if Saleh understands that jeopardizing the lives of the diplomats is a worse breech than not signing?

YP: Council adopted the following conclusions:
“The European Union is following events in Yemen with extreme concern. (Read on …)

Saleh planned clashes to thwart transition: leak

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh loyalist gunmen besiege UAE embassy, surround US embassy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh rejects JMP signatures on GCC deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clinton statement on Unity Day

Filed under: Transition, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 5:01 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Politico: “President Saleh needs to follow through on his commitment to transfer power. The government of Yemen must address the legitimate will of the people.”

“The United States will continue to support the Yemeni people as you work toward a unified, stable, democratic, and prosperous Yemen. We continue to call for a peaceful transition of power so that the citizens of Yemen may one day realize your aspirations.

“Our two nations have shared a strong friendship for many years based on mutual respect and mutual interests. On this national day, know that the United States continues to be a partner and friend to all those who strive for a better future for Yemen.”

Clinton’s Unity Day message to Saleh is beyond the pale. For years the US’s only alliance was with the mafia of a government while Saleh openly slaughtered, tortured and starved his own citizens. Since the protests began, the US overtly belittled the protesters and froze them out of the negotiations as their demands will displace the entire regime, not just the war criminal Saleh. The southern movement was also frozen out and is a little cranky about it. Even if Saleh signs, there’s still a month to wriggle out of it. And the agreement itself, if implemented, retards political development rather than fosters it. Its a deal designed to retain as much of the corrupt, incompetent structure as possible. Nobody wants an actual democracy but the protesters. Its a recipe for disaster.

JMP signed, Saleh next

Filed under: GPC, JMP, Presidency, Transition — by Jane Novak at 4:28 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yemen Post: The Joint Meeting Parties, the opposition bloc in Yemen, signed on Saturday a GCC-brokered power-sharing deal yet to bear the signature of President Saleh who insisted on concluding that early tomorrow morning.
The GCC Secretary General, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, arrived in Yemen late today for a fourth visit to push the West-backed deal, which was unveiled in April.
Al-Zayani failed on his previous visits to secure the plan as Saleh backed twice from signing at the last minute.
President Saleh will ink it later tonight or tomorrow morning to resign in a month after 33 years in office.

As usual an excellent analysis and overview in The Trench:

Saleh’s rhetoric also portends to conflict rather than a “peaceful transition.” Rather than demonstrate any semblance of rational thought, Yemen’s embattled president proceeded to contradict himself with his normal slander. Hitting the JMP first, Saleh declared that the opposition could never defeat him through “the ballot box.” Instead, the “Joint Conspiracy Parties want to reach power through rivers of blood.”

He then blamed the JMP and AQAP for every death and injury. Why, then, does he need an immunity clause if nothing is his fault?


Read it all here
for a thorough A-Z overview.

Saleh’s wants the world to use white glasses

Filed under: Presidency, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 4:06 pm on Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tomorrow will be an important day.

Al-Qaeda will take over, if the regime left, Saleh says Saturday, 21-May-2011
Almotamar.net, Saba – Sana’a- President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday that al-Qaeda could take over many governorates in Yemen, if the regime left, on the contrary of what the seekers for powers keep saying.

President Saleh made the statement, while delivering a speech in a celebration held in the Capital Sana’a on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the Yemeni National Day, May 22.

“Those who seek for power said if the regime left, al-Qaeda will vanish. Al-Qaeda will complete its control over Marib, Hadramout, Shabwa, Abyan and Jawf. These governorates will be forced to accept al-Qaeda, because they do not want the Joint Meeting Parties (JMPs)”, Saleh said. (Read on …)

New lies from the world’s biggest liar

Filed under: Elections, Presidency, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:12 am on Friday, May 20, 2011

Saleh the mass murderer says he want to avoid bloodshed.

(Reuters) – Yemen’s entrenched President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for early presidential elections in a speech to a pro-government rally Friday, though he gave no details on when or how the election would take place.

“We call for an early presidential election to prevent bloodshed … in a smooth and democratic way,” Saleh told a cheering crowd of supporters.

There’s a billion dollar counter-terrorism industry that is less profitable because bin Laden is dead. Many well paid bin Laden contractors need an enemy and a new money machine. Unfortunately, its that idiot Awlaki and AQAP. Maybe the whole thing really is about money. Obama certainly has no principles if he didn’t acknowledge the millions of Yemeni protesters and the hundreds who died for democracy, murdered by his friend Saleh. Beyond being stupid and counter-productive, ignoring the protesters is just rude.

US policy in Yemen is so bad that it appears they are deliberately trying to trigger a war. Maybe the CIA is laundering money through Saleh and directing some of the arms shipments. Maybe the US military knows that Saleh was involved in the USS Cole bombing and ordered some of the terror attacks on tourists, and kept working with him anyway. Maybe the State Department knew in 2005 that Saleh was diverting US CT aid to his jihad in Sa’ada, using chemical weapons and employing al Qaeda. Bush didn’t mention Yemen for eight years. Whatever is making Gates, Obama and Clinton crawl up Saleh’s ass now, its not the threat of AQAP, which US policy is heightening, and its not well intentioned concern for the fate of Yemen or the stability of the region. There’s a significant risk of a blood bath on Sunday, Unity Day, by the (US trained, funded and equipped) security forces, or by proxy, now that Saleh has the green light.

GPC denies Saleh to sign deal Sunday

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

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

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

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

Obama gives Saleh green light to slaughter protesters

Filed under: Presidency, USA, USS Cole, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:54 am on Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama hearts Ali and threw the protesters under the bus, again.

There’s really not much else to say. Obama’s only reference to Yemen in the big speech was to call Saleh a friend and urge he carries out the transfer of power deal which Saleh rejected yesterday. One sentence on Yemen in a one hour speech, thats it.

What a slap in the face to the millions of Yemeni protesters. The speech was also badly structured in that it set up expectations. Obama started out praising the Tunisians lavishly, then the Egyptians, and then promised Tunisia and Egypt oodles of money, then the Palestinians got half of Israel. But when it was Yemen’s turn, Obama didn’t even acknowledge the Yemeni protesters at all, no moral support, not even the slightest nod. Maybe the brain surgeons at the State Department and military think they can demoralize the protest movement into giving up. Its not going to happen. (Read on …)

Brennan calls Yemen’s Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:34 pm on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

He urged him to accept the GCC plan for the sake of the Yemeni people. That’s not an approach that’s going to work considering Saleh is a mass murderer who stole and looted every material asset of the nation. The 100 days just gave him time to hide his assets and redeploy the troops. Update: Wow a really good post, indeed a must read, at the Trench, click here.

WH.gov Readout of John Brennan’s Phone Call with President of Yemen

Assistant to the President John Brennan called President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen this morning to urge Saleh to sign and implement the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered agreement so that Yemen is able to move forward immediately with its political transition. Brennan noted that this transfer of power represents the best path forward for Yemen to become a more secure, unified, and prosperous nation and for the Yemeni people to realize their aspirations for peace and political reform. He affirmed the commitment of the United States to stand with the Yemeni government and people as they implement this historic agreement, foster economic development, and combat the security threat from al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. Brennan also reiterated that all parties must refrain from violence and proceed with the transition in a peaceful and orderly manner.

The US standing with the government must mean that the US will run interference on any potential prosecutions.

Yemen’s President Saleh revises everything

Filed under: Presidency, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 10:50 am on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saleh’s interview is mind boggling, especially when Saleh announced his candidacy for president in 2006 from al Iman University, but there’s utter hypocrisy on every other topic as well.

Muslim Brotherhood & Eman University, nurture al-Qaeda-Saleh
Saturday, 14-May-2011
Almotamar.net – Sana’a- Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said that al-Qaeda organisation is present in Yemen as it is present in many countries. They take advantage of climates of chaos and instability for spreading and extending and the war on this organisation and what it represents of terrorism is continuing without leniency in it.
(Read on …)

Yemen to deploy cadets to protest sites, will use force

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:03 pm on Monday, May 16, 2011

Not mincing any words, Saleh is basically promising a bloodbath while justifying the use of students as enforcers. He must be short on military, tribesmen and jihaddists.

SANA’A, May 16 (Saba) – A security source has said that various security agencies will take drastic steps to strengthen security measures and restore the prestige of the state throughout Yemen.

In a statement to 26sep.net, the source added that a security plan will be implemented in cooperation and coordination with the various security agencies to redeploy security forces in areas of unrest.

“The students of military and security academies will go down to the streets and security posts to contribute to promoting security and stability and protecting social peace”.

The source noted that the security forces will not hesitate to use force to restore their prestige if the elements that are against the law and constitutional legitimacy go too far and commit any acts that would harm the security of the homeland and the citizens, as it is a national duty that makes it imperative for the security services to deter anyone who is tempted to try to disturb the tranquility of the community.

GCC deal officially dead

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

Saleh killed it.

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

Saleh refuses to resign, reinforces troops, urges shooting protesters

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

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

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

Yemen’s Saleh rejects US calls for quick transition

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen protesters intent on marching to palace, give up on US

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Thursday, May 12, 2011

In the last three months, the US actively thwarted and slowed the Yemeni revolution and supported Saleh at every turn, bringing us to the current disastrous predicament. Promising immunity to a dictator who is actively slaughtering his own citizens doesn’t engender confidence in the US’s commitment to human rights, democracy and justice. There may be a bloodbath if the protesters march to the palace, but with the international community including the GCC lined up behind Saleh, the protesters are running out of options to force a transition. The long term impact for the US is the palpable hardening of sentiments. Awlaki is indeed a dangerous demagogue intent on mass murder and his death cult has set its sites on the US, as Wahishi made clear yesterday, but trading off 22 million people and the future of a nation for narrow counter-terror concerns doesn’t make much sense in the long run. There really should be a way to accomplish both goals, especially since its the US trained CT units that are slaughtering the protesters.

The escalation plan is available at www.facebook.com/ccyrc

In case of killings, we through big part of the blame to the international leaders and organizations who kept silent towards our peaceful revolution. We blame GCC neighboring countries for not supporting the people of Yemen but supporting saleh.

We came to a conclusion that our beloved country Yemen has no Oil and is not threatening Israel, therefore, our problem with Saleh shall be dealt with internally and payed by our bloods. We came to a conclusion also that the pro-democracy governments are only pro oil and interest supporters.

GPC: Saleh won’t resign before an end to “sit-ins, the military mutiny, road-blocking, Houthi rebellion, separatist movement and terrorism”

Filed under: GPC, Presidency, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 6:41 am on Sunday, May 8, 2011

The GCC initiative is doomed to failure because, and for the umpteenth time, is a stall tactic for Saleh to consolidate and regroup his forces and support. Update: Opposition parties set two day deadline for Saleh to accept. AFP: “We renew our commitment to the Gulf plan but the other party (the president) must also demonstrate its seriousness within the next two days,” the Common Forum said. “Any further delay or procrastination on the part of the president to sign the agreement will force us to back the ‘choice of the people,’ opposing the plan,” it said in a statement.

Almotamar.net – Sana’a-Assistant Secretary General of the General People’s Congress (GPC) Dr Ahmed Ubeid bin Daghr has affirmed Sunday, “No one can predict of what matters will go to if the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) remained on the same irresponsible stands towards the homeland.”
(Read on …)

Saleh reveals intent to retain power

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

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

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

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

Saleh’s latest ploy- will sign agreement in Yemen

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

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

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

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

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

Saleh afraid of coup if he leaves Yemen to sign agreement

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

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

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

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

Saleh backpeddles on deal to resign

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

That didn’t take long.

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

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

Saleh devises nifty stall tactic, world swallows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yemen’s VP Hadi not a “southern” southerner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

باللغة العربية

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

Yemen Govt releases al Qaeda terrorists

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, arrests, prisons, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:02 am on Monday, April 11, 2011

This article by Sarah Philips is true. I have an eyewitness and I wrote it on the blog somewhere. I thought it was about 30 al Qaeda released from prison, but 70 is possible. Same date. Following is an excerpt but read it all:

Australian YEMEN is at an extraordinary juncture, but 32-year stalwart President Ali Abdullah Saleh won’t go without a fight and he is using every trick in the book to cling to power. The most problematic trick is his penchant for releasing militant jihadis from prison when his legitimacy with the West is strained.

While the story has not been widely released, local security sources have confirmed that this is just what he did on March 8 when he quietly granted 70 al-Qa’ida suspects their freedom from a political security prison in Sanaa.

In other words, the man whom the US continues to look to for assistance against al-Qa’ida in Yemen has – again – released al-Qa’ida suspects from jail.

Youth Coalition Reiterates Demand for Saleh’s resignation in light of continuing atrocities

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 9, 2011

بيان عاجل

إن ما تشهده ساحة التغيير بصنعاء من هجوم مكثف ومن محاور متعددة من قبل قوات الأمن المركزي والحرس الجمهوري ومجاميع البلطجية , مستخدمين في هجومهم الرصاص الحي والمطاطي وقنابل الغازات السامة والعصي والهراوات لمجزرة ممنهجة بحق الشباب العزل والمعتصمين سلميا محاولين جر الشباب الثائر الى العنف وتحويل مسار الثورة السلمية البيضاء.
(Read on …)

Yemen pulls ambassador to Qatar

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

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

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

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

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.

US ignored multiple warnings on Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:31 pm on Friday, April 8, 2011

This cable names names where others are largely redacted, WaPo

Hamid al-Ahmar, an opposition party leader and a prominent businessman, vowed to trigger the revolt if Saleh did not guarantee the fairness of parliamentary elections scheduled for 2011, according to a classified U.S. diplomatic cable summarizing the meeting. The sheik said he would organize massive demonstrations modeled on protests that toppled Indonesia’s President Suharto a decade earlier. (Read on …)

Sanhan sheikhs deny assassination attempt on Ali Mohsen

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 7:54 am on Thursday, April 7, 2011

Denial issued following the clash and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s statement. (Its the same way they killed Hussain al Houthi, an ambush during a supposed mediation.) According to al Ahmar’s statement, a flyover by two MIGs was the signal to open fire.

Yemen Post Staff: General Ali Mohsen Ahmar told media outlets that pro Saleh snipers were mixed with the mediation committee sent by President Saleh to help in solving the crises between Saleh and Ahmar. According to Ahmar, the snipers were preparing to assassinate him along with members of the mediation committee. “Gun shots were fired at our direction and I was a target of an assassination attempt,” said Ahmar.

Sanahan Sheikhs denies claims of attempting to assassinate Ali Muhsen
[07/April/2011] SANA’A, April 06 (Saba) – Sheikhs of Sanahan, Belad al-Ros and Bani Behlol tribes have denied the claims made by the 1st Armored Division’s Commander Ali Mohsen about attempting to assassinate him.

In a press release issued by them in the 26 September website, the sheiks said that such claims are sarcastic and untrue, affirming that the no one in the convoy has a weapon. (Read on …)

US continues unrelenting support for Saleh the illegitimate dictator

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:19 pm on Friday, April 1, 2011

Feierstein trying to divert attention from the protests to the economic problems is rather ironic when Yemen’s economic disaster is largely a product of the Saleh regime’s corruption, embezzlement and mismanagement. The economic challenges are important and add more weight to the argument that Saleh must go now. No reforms are possible with Saleh (and his relatives) at the helm. Its rather hypocritical of the Obama administration to discuss Libya in idealist terms and then flat-out deny the Yemeni people a chance for self-determination.

What about dissolving Safer Oil company last week? Was that good economic policy or the attempt to white wash years of corruption, smuggling and embezzlement? What about emptying the banks to pay the pro-regime protesters? What about looting international aid? Yes lets chat about economic issues.

United States supports Yemen’s unity, stability, security
[30/March/2011] SANA’A, March 30 (Saba) – The United States of America confirmed on Wednesday its support for Yemen’s unity, security and stability as well as its democratic approach. The statement made by the American ambassador to Yemen Gerald M. Feierstein in a meeting that brought together with the Secretary-General of the General People’s congress (GPC) Sultan al-Barakani. (Read on …)

US support of Yemeni dictator considered green light for atrocities

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:19 pm on Thursday, March 31, 2011

What was it Colin Powell said, “You break it, you own it.” The US effectively shut down the democratic transition in Yemen, and every future casualty that Saleh induces, directly or through proxy, will be laid at Gates’ feet. So far there’s 150 burned to death in Abyan in a Saleh ploy. I have never seen Yemenis so angry and disillusioned with the US, even after US airstrikes wiped out a village of mostly women and children. One of the USG talking points on Yemen is that its politically fragmented, but the wrongheaded US policy of unconditional support for the madman Saleh has had a unifying effect. Unfortunately the longer the stalemate goes on, the stronger the hardliners narrative among the opposition becomes. The US is actively undermining faith in democracy and in the good will of the international community. The US is shutting itself out of the next government by clinging to this one.

If the US was trying to create an environment conducive to al Qaeda by proving all its allegations, this would be the policy: backing a strongman over the best interests of the nation, overlooking coldblooded massacres, condoning and rewarding corruption, and demonstrating that US interests in Yemen outweigh by far the rights of Yemeni citizens to the rule of law. US officials have justified the position in terms of cooperation on counter-terror, but a more preposterous claim is not possible. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they chose this course without conjuring up blackmail or corporate financial interests or maybe Saleh implanted a double agent. It makes no sense. Even considering the massive disconnect between the USG and everyone outside the elite circle, its obvious that Saleh has been a duplicitous al Qaeda appeaser and facilitator for a long time. Its thoroughly illogical that Obama is trading a nation’s chance at a decent future to ensure US CT units can roam Yemen with bad intel and dubious thresholds under the guidance of Saleh’s son and nephews who also head criminal networks.

Yemeni protesters slam remarks of U.S. Defence Secretary al Sahwa31/3/2011 – Sahwa Net

Sahwa Net- Yemen’s peaceful protesters have slammed comments of the US Defence Secretary, Ropert Gates, considering his remarks a green light for Saleh to commit further crimes against the peaceful protests.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that their primary concern with Yemen’s uprising is the vacuum it may create for groups like AQAP to gain power.

The protesters expressed their determinstion to overthrow Saleh’s regime and create a democratic and civil country that would stand against radicalization, violence and despotism.

They urge the International community to understand Saleh’s regime which use terrorism as a card to get assistance, stressing that Saleh’s stay in power would pose a threat for regional and international security and stability.

They further called friendly states to stand by the Yemeni people and protect Yemen from falling into chaos and division, pointing out that Saleh is currently doing best to make Yemen unstable and a haven Al-Qaeda and terrorism.

Yemenis accuse US of collusion with Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, USA, USS Cole, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:17 pm on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The US has been working with Ali Abdullah Saleh, the war criminal, regional mafia kingpin and al Qaeda facilitator for decades as a matter of necessity, but now Saleh is on his way out. Sooner or later, he’s going. The US military leadership (Gates, Mullin) appears unwilling to contemplate the departure of Saleh and dragged him back from the brink of the abyss. Saleh was leaving Thursday until the US got involved in the negotiations. A Yemeni opposition MP, Mohammed Sabri, said: “The US defence minister’s exaggeration of Al-Qaeda has encouraged the regime.” On Sunday, Secretary Gates reiterated how good of a partner Saleh is in counter-terror, but its not true. If it was, we’d have Awlaki a long time ago and the Cole bombers wouldn’t have escaped twice and then been freed.

It can’t be that the US military bought the ‘09 reformation theory. Are they are afraid of chaos and/or Zindani? General Ali Mohsen is promising to resign and leave the country, taking care of one concern. The US investment in time and money on the CT units over the last year doesn’t have to go down the drain; someone besides Prince Ahmed and Duke Yahya can run them, so why the heavy lobbying efforts? Gates squaring off against the Yemeni people is not in the US national interest. The longer the transition takes, the higher the risk of political violence. “Al Qaeda” declared an Islamic Emirate in Ja’ar and is preventing women from the streets. Saleh’s plan is violence and chaos. The longer he sits in his chair, the more violence and chaos there will be.

Saleh is arming al Qaeda and releasing them from prison (approx 30 and approx March 8). At the same time, the Yemeni government arrested 87 and disappeared 25 citizens for protesting. There’s “no planning” for Saleh’s departure even though the Saleh regime is clearly unsustainable. Did the US embassy sit in on the negotiations for transition in Tunisia and Egypt? I can understand why some Yemenis are spinning wild theories (like the US is seeking a stronger al Qaeda in order to occupy Socotra, as an example) to explain the US position, because there’s no logical answer why the US would support the obviously guilty, dirtbag Saleh. Meanwhile the US spent $550 million in bombing Libya out of our commitment to humanitarian and democratic ideals…

Another theory, “The Yemeni opposition gave the US Embassy a full program for post-Saleh Yemen including the anti-terrorism plan. However, the US is still supporting Saleh. The matter has two possible reasons; whether Saleh gives the US many confidential privileges or Al-Qaeda is an American game and Saleh is just a player of the team.”

Another accusation: Official spokesman of the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, Mohammad al-Sabri said the U.S. Department of Defense has complicity of the benefit scheme to meet the people’s peaceful revolution. He considers Saleh’s spreading chaos and killings in Yemen including the death of 120 people after an explosion of a munitions factory to be the tip of the iceberg.

Another question: “The Revolutionary Youth Movement rejects any reconciliation with Saleh and calls on the international community to take a clear stance regarding his alliance with violent movements including al Qaeda.” Its a confusion that the US brought on itself by justifying support of Saleh in terms of al Qaeda. And an article News Yemen publishes a letter to Obama that brings up US corporations in Yemen (calling for a boycott) and the fact that there was no transitional plan in Egypt when the US began calling for Mubarek to go, and laments the contempt and hatred that the Obama administration is generating with its continued support of Saleh.

Also, Marib Press: Citizens in Hadramout thwart state plan to target foreign workers with IED. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda will go when Saleh does: MP Ashal, updates

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Presidency, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First, Police beat 14 year old to death in front of his father, claim immunity under emergency laws. Second, Yemen photoshops pro-govt rally photos; its cheaper to change the photo than to pay twice the number of people to attend. Third: NYT: Saada’s governor, deputy governor, and other officials fled the province by military plane on Wednesday with a truckload of currency from the central bank, according to witnesses.

Fourth, many politicians and political figures are disputing the state’s propaganda play regarding al Qaeda in Abyan. There’s conflicting reports on how and why the building exploded when the locals entered, and if there are any actual al Qaeda even the al Nabi version. The injuries are horrible. It makes sense that the other building seized was a radio station: WAQAP is on the air. Last week, the state distributed weapons in other locations like Aden and “overlooked” looting per witnesses. JMP statement: “This horrible crime came after the order of the authority to openly withdraw its military and security in favor of Qaeda and other armed groups, in a desperate attempt of President Saleh to confirm his argument that Yemen is just a ticking time bomb.”

Members of parliament joined with the statement of Member of Parliament Ali Ashal that, “The security forces in Abyan province handed over to their al-Qaeda groups within the new scenario of power targeting the security and stability of the country at the expense of survival for president.” He says there are documents.

MP: Al-Qaeda will be totally destroyed after Saleh
Sahwa Net:

Sahwa Net- Member of Parliament Ali Ashal has said that security forces handed over military positions for Al-Qaeda militants in a new scenario in which Saleh plans to use al-Qaeda card to stay in power.

Ashal said citizens in some areas could fail Saleh’s plans, affirming that there are documents that prove the Yemeni authorities coordinated with Al-Qaeda to hand it over military positions. (Read on …)

Saleh: no more concessions

Filed under: JMP, Presidency, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 3:24 pm on Sunday, March 27, 2011

Positions harden all around. Thugs attack female protesters in Ibb, 15 injured.

Saleh went from saying he would go in 2013, to the end of the year, to the end of the week, to the end of the day and back to 2013 again with the GPC suggesting forming a new govt to get them there. The time bomb in Yemen is Saleh.

Almotamar.net, Saba - President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Sunday that he would not offer more concessions in future. This came in President Saleh’s speech at the fourth session of the General People’s Congress (GPC)’s Standing Committee held Sunday in the Police College in the capital Sana’a and attended by over one thousand GPC members.

He noted that all concessions have been made by him so far were not decided individually, but in coordination and agreement with the GPC’s leadership. He said,” When we respond to demands is not out of weakness but to avoid destabilization security of the homeland , bloodshed and killing of souls.” (Read on …)

US blunder of a decade keeps on going

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:37 pm on Sunday, March 27, 2011

Its a disaster for the US and Yemen. The protesters are not going to give up until Saleh is gone. And the longer it goes on, the harder it is to mitigate Islah with moderates.

Yemen’s Saleh warns of ‘chaos,’ US keeps lifeline: President Ali Abdullah Saleh has warned of Somalia-like “chaos” in Yemen if he steps down without an agreed successor as Washington said on Sunday his fall could endanger its fight against Al-Qaeda.

Highlighting the multiple challenges facing any ruler of Yemen, suspected Al-Qaeda militants seized control of Jaar, a town in the restive southern province of Abyan, security officials told AFP.

Comment by a person not me: “It is very clear that the authorities intentionally pulled out of Abyan and Saadah and triggered violence (at least in Abyan) to say that Al-Qaeda has already been preparing to take over parts of south Yemen. They are trying to create something similar in Shabwa so they would create the illusion that the south is now seeking independence and create a sense of chaos and blaming it on the youth and opposition. Will the US and world take the bait again? From experience, they don’t seem to have a high IQ when it comes to Saleh’s maneuvers and lies. Very nasty and dirty games indeed, all to remain in power with any price!”

Taiz: “Protesters reject any initiative that does not provide for the departure of the system and the handover of power to a transitional council and make preparations to mobilize two million on Monday to demand the departure of the system.”

Sanaa: In reaction to the president’s speech, protesters are now demanding his trial as well as his departure.

Saleh draining the banks to pay off the pro-regime protesters.

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 …)

Saleh in for the long haul?

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 25, 2011

Not the rhetoric of a guy leaving tomorrow but someone who has new hope of clinging to power. There’s so much political wrangling behind the scenes, where did the renewed optimism come from? The important aspect of the Yemeni transition plan is that the protesters are determined not to hand power to a military council like in Egypt, but a civilian one. As all these crooks and presidential relatives are eventually thrown out, the US needs to understand that what they’ve invested in some of these top leaders is lost and new relationships must be formed with the new powers. Otherwise the US CT ops will undermine the new structure by relying and empowering Saleh-era contacts.

(CNN) As for security, Saleh said to the crowd that “you are the military and security of the nation” but stressed that the government “will challenge” those who “challenge Yemen.”– Yemen’s president, speaking to thousands of people at a pro-government demonstration on Friday, underscored his intentions to have a dialogue with protesters and make concessions in order to avoid bloodshed. (Read on …)

Shabwa falling as Ali Mohsen and Ali Saleh make exit strategy

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Transition, Yemen, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 1:56 pm on Thursday, March 24, 2011

Update: but then Saleh made some Ghaddafish crazy speech blaming the JMP and urging the youth to form a political party and giving every indication that he is hanging on until the end.

This is what I meant earlier that both are going, Ali Mohsen won’t overtly take power. Gates better get to work on that post-Saleh plan. This is the only revolution that the people will have kicked out the president before the US switched sides to support the people. If Ali Mohsen is suddenly a good guy and kicked out the Central Security out of much of Shabwa, via tribal proxy, can we have Anwar Awlaki now, please?

Shabwa falls: Tribal leaders loyal to the youth revolution took over seven military compounds in Shabwa, all previously belonging to the Central Security Forces. Central security forces were able to take most of the artillery before leaving the compounds. The military compounds are located in the districts of Maayfa’ah, Habban, Nisab, and in Saeed. “We will not allow governmental forces to enter our region. The military compounds are now loyal to the revolution youth, and will defend the people with our lives,” said tribal leader in Maayfa’ah district.

Shabwa in total has 17 districts in total, and the four that fell today are considered the most pivotal in the province. The districts of Habban and Saeed are home to two big oil facilities are tie the roads of Shabwa with major provinces in Yemen including Hadramout and Aden.

Official sources confirmed that President Saleh met yesterday with General Ali Ahmar in order to come up with an initiative to save the country from any future bloodshed. According the an official source, President Saleh has agreed on step down as early as Saturday on condition that General Ali Ahmar also steps down. “Both sides have agreed to step down, but dialogue today are to reach an agreement over who will rule after Saleh steps down,” said a senior official source.

The Yemeni transitional plan, or one of them

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

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

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

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

Saleh: will step down in December, won’t allow military coup

Filed under: Presidency, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:55 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sisters Forum says 99 killed nationally and 2000 wounded since protests began in January.

Update: JMP rejects Saleh’s offer to step down January 2012. Friday declared “Marching Day.” Military deployments in Aden after police withdraw.

original: Ali Mohsen in a war criminal, a mafia kingpin and rejected by various groups in Yemen including southerners, Houthis and democrats. Saleh should hand power to a caretaker government and Ali Mohsen should be put on trial and be made to return his millions to the state budget where he stole it from in the first place.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s embattled U.S.-backed president said Tuesday that a military coup would lead to civil war and pledged to step down by year’s end but not hand power to army commanders who have joined the opposition. (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 …)

Yemen bans all official travel w/o presidential approval

Filed under: Presidency, Targeting, Yemen, political violence, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 2:10 pm on Monday, March 14, 2011

Two officials escaped over the week-end apparently and another reverberation to the disclosure that several of Saleh’s relatives have diplomatic posts at the embassy in DC, article says:

بعد فرار مسئولين.. أوامر عليا تحضر سفر أي مسئول دون الرجوع لمكتب الرئاسة (Read on …)

Saleh promises the moon but no one believes him

Filed under: Presidency, Reform, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:30 am on Thursday, March 10, 2011

He promised a new constitution, parliamentary system, national accord government, regional governance and a new election law based on proportional representation, all by the end of 2011. It is was what was on the table in return for the JMP’s capitulation in 2006, and over the next five years, Saleh and his cohorts blocked every attempt to bring these initiatives to fruition. Saleh has just lost all credibility because he has lied at every turn.

Update: Now that JMP is not jumping on the proposal, GPC says proposal was to people not the JMP But the people instantly rejected it as well.

Update: elections cannot be held on time SCER until rolls revised:

SCER discusses new tasks following voters’ rolls cancellation

SANA’A, March 10 (Saba) – The Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum (SCER) discussed on Thursday priorities in the light of law No. 6 for 2011 amending law No. 26 for 2010 in accordance with law No. 13 for 2001 to cancel the 5th article of Law No. 26 for 2010.

The commission affirmed, in the light of the this enforced law, that it could not hold parliamentary elections on time according to the current voters’ rolls until it revises and amends voters’ rolls in accordance with article No. 12 of Elections and Referendum Law.

“embattled” Saleh..

(RTTNews) – Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said that he is ready to make constitutional reforms that will transform the country into a parliamentary democracy. (Read on …)

Saleh rejects JMP plan, accepts Zindani’s

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 2:16 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reuters: – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected an opposition plan for him to transfer power this year, as demonstrations against his three-decade rule over the impoverished nation swelled into hundreds of thousands.
(Read on …)

Zindani backs Saleh with call for Islamic state

Filed under: Presidency, Religious, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:11 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NYT: SANA, Yemen — As thousands of demonstrators for and against President Ali Abdullah Saleh took to the streets on Tuesday, a cleric who is a former mentor of Osama bin Laden joined them to call for the replacement of the government with an Islamic state. (Read on …)

Saleh blames the US for regional unrest, calls for unity govt

Filed under: Civil Unrest, JMP, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:39 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fox: Huge protest in Sanaa and Saleh takes his fallback position, its the external influences and the JMP

“The events from Tunisia to Oman are a storm orchestrated from Tel Aviv and under Washington’s supervision,” he said. “What is taking place on Yemen’s streets is just a copycat attempt.”

Dispatched with a tweet? ahaha
PJCrowley Philip J. Crowley
The protests in #Yemen are not the product of external conspiracies. President #Saleh knows better. His people deserve a better response

Update: Kirby denies

Qirbi denies apology for Obama 05/03/2011
NewsYemen, Sana’a:
Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-President Ali Abdullah Saleh did not apologize to the American President Barack Obama as the most common. Qirbi said in a statement yesterday evening, the first Thursday in favor of “Obama explained what he meant in accusing the United States and” Israel “in the manufacture of chaos in the Middle East, evidenced a letter to a politician,” Israeli “explains it.” He stressed that the benefit was meant in his speech what is happening in the Arab world and stand behind it from the agenda and not Yemen.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s president offered Monday to form a unity government with opponents who want him out of office — provided protests against him stop. Opposition swiftly rejected the gesture. (Read on …)

Yemen opposition plays Saleh’s game

Filed under: JMP, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:18 am on Sunday, February 13, 2011

What happened to the demand he fire all his relatives from the leadership posts in the military and security forces? How about a full and transparent accounting of public funds? They should have demanded something tangible. They also disassociated themselves from the protesters, as they did in 2005. These reforms and the dialog to bring them about were agree to following the 2006 election, and haven’t happened yet. Its not only the US that prefers stability over progress…

13/2/2011 YemenOnline: (Xinhua):

Yemen’s opposition on Sunday accepted a political reform initiative offered earlier this month by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in which he pledged not to seek another Presidential term or hand over power to his son. “We accept the political reform initiative offered by President Saleh on Feb. 2,” the opposition coalition said in a statement. ” We are ready to begin the national dialogue with the President’s ruling party as of this week.” (Read on …)

Saleh gives out more money after fall of Mubarek

Filed under: Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:05 pm on Friday, February 11, 2011

I was waiting for that. More meaningless promises. Yemen doesn’t have money to give away. These are the raises that were promised after the 2005 fuel riots and never implemented.

Yemen PostIn his first Appearing after Mubark’s Fall, President Saleh Announces new Reforms: President Ali Abdullah Saleh chaired on Friday evening an expanded meeting with the National Defense Council, political leaders and the security committee.

This meeting came after Egyptian President Mobark’s resignation in which he handed his authorities to the Egyptian Military Council peacefully after the call of the of Egyptian people to step down.
President Saleh discussed several issues regarding economic reforms and the efforts of construction and modernization of the armed forces as well as issues related to improving the wages of government staff and personnel of the armed and security forces.
He also approved new measures to launch the financial allowances for government employees, following the application of the 3rd phase of the strategy of wages and salaries in order to improve their living conditions.
President Saleh endorsed necessary measures to reduce public expenditures of all government facilities and stop purchasing any accessories or building any unnecessary buildings, giving priority to equip the completed buildings and facilities.
During the meeting he stressed the need to combat tax evasion and take legal action against taxes and customs duties evaders.

Yemen opposition parties call on Saleh to fire his relatives

Filed under: JMP, Military, Presidency, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 12:15 pm on Friday, February 4, 2011

That’s a new, interesting and on-point demand. President Saleh’s relatives have mass land holdings, own much of the nation’s businesses and also head the military and security forces. There’s not much chance of the military taking the side of the people in Yemen.

4/2/2011- YemenOnline
Yemen opposition calls president to sack his son and relatives from high security and military positions

Leaders of the Joint Meeting Parties JMP (Opposition) have called Yemeni president Saleh to sack his son Ahmed Ali from the leadership of the republican guards and other relatives that occupied high positions in security and military forces in Yemen. President Saleh must take these step to confirm the credibility for reform” Opposition leader Zaid Al-Shami says.

“Yemen president expresses regret over opposition rallies demanding his ouster”

Filed under: Presidency, protest statements, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:42 pm on Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aw poor Saleh, maybe if he wasn’t such a liar and hadn’t broken every promise he ever made, people might believe him. So the opposition admits an agreement not to call for Saleh’s resignation but says things got out of control, the young people have a tendency not to follow instructions.

Xinhuanet: — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday expressed his deep regret over the opposition’s insistence on organizing constant protest rallies against him, a day after he promised to stand down in 2013 and not to hand power over to his elder son.

“I hope my meeting on Wednesday with the members of the Parliament, consultative Council and the military as well as the initiative I offered to the opposition would eradicate the tension between us and them,” Saleh said in address aired by the country’s state television this evening, hours after more than 20,000 supporters of the opposition struck streets of the capital Sanaa demanding his ouster. (Read on …)

Yemen’s fragmented, immature and disconnected opposition

Filed under: JMP, Presidency, Reform, protests — by Jane Novak at 6:23 pm on Thursday, February 3, 2011

True. The JMP missed a good opportunity to reach out to the southern opposition. With the external pressure and an enhanced coalition, they might have forced real reforms. All the reports today sound as if the contest is to be the mayor of Sanaa, which maybe it its.

The National: On numerous occasions, party leaders have openly opposed him during news conferences, only to sit with Mr Saleh later in the day behind closed doors.

Experts believe that opposition parties are still not ready to govern and there is no obvious successor to Mr Saleh.

Unlike Tunisia, Yemen’s six opposition parties are united under the umbrella of the JMP, however, Ali Jaradi, the editor in chief of Yemen’s independent Ahale newspaper said the situation could quickly change. “Currently, the JMP is uniting the opposition against one person, which is Saleh.” But when he is “out of the picture, disputes among them will start due to them being from six differently ideological political parties”.

The Yemeni political analyst Mohammed al Khaberi said the goal of Yemen’s largest opposition party, Islah, is not to rule but to change the regime and ensure a transparent government. All other JMP parties want the opposite, and are craving the seat of the government. They see Islah as a brick wall standing in front of their political ambitions. (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 …)

Yemeni President’s big speech to undercut tomorrow’s protests falls flat

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Political Parties, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:31 am on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

President Saleh was very smart in a way to agree to all the JMP’s demands before the protest. On paper he looks reasonable, but its all lies as its been all lies over the last three decades. The JMP distanced itself from the public with its technical demands, and gave themselves some cover, but I’m sure that tomorrow the people will be chanting Go Saleh Go.

1- direct governor’s elections (the big innovation of governors elections was just more smoke and mirrors as the GPC dominated local council leadership elected Saleh’s choices. In those cases where an independent was elected, results were overturned.)
2- delay in Parliamentary election (originally scheduled for 2009 but delayed to lack of consensus on reforms)
3- not to run again (he pledges this before every election but gets convinced again)
4- no constitutional amendment end to term limits
5- national unity government
6- in exchange for no protests
7- pledges won’t install his son, Prince Ahmed, but there’s other clones like the nephews, currently in charge of army and security services whose election would ensure a continuity of the current elite in the GPC, security forces, businesses etc. Like in Egypt, its not just the president but a whole conglomerate of intertwined corruption that has to go for a fresh start.

For a contemporaneous history of elections and electoral disputes in Yemen from 2003 to current, see my category Elections.

Yemen OnlineYemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, said on Wednesday he will not seek to extend his presidency in a move that would end his three-decade rule when his current term expires in 2013. Eying protests that swept Tunisia’s leader from power and threaten to topple Egypt’s president, Saleh also vowed not to pass on the reins of government to his son. He also appealed to the opposition to call off protests as a large rally loomed.

“I present these concessions in the interests of the country. The interests of the country come before our personal interests,” Saleh told his parliament, Shoura Council and members of the military.

“No extension, no inheritance, no resetting the clock,” he said, making reference to ruling party proposals on term limits that had been seen as designed to enable him to run again.

The move was Saleh’s boldest gambit yet to stave off anti-government turmoil spreading in the Arab world. Analysts said it was an attempt to avert a showdown with the opposition until after regional unrest cools. (Read on …)

Jane’s Top Ten List of Saleh/Mubarek Similarities

Filed under: Presidency, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:41 pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1- media censorship makes all problems disappear, actually there are NO PROTESTS, its all opposition propaganda
2- plain clothes police who arrive in vehicles with official license plates to kidnap activists
3- crowds of civil servants regularly bussed in to chant lovely things like, “Our blood for you oh Ali”
4- both are old senile men with brain damage who dye their hair and hate the internet
5- wont run in next election!!! Saleh said that before he won the last three elections
6- announces will reform, two years later announces really really will reform (continue for decades )
7- magic glasses make millions of starving kids on the streets invisible, and other unflattering statistics a foreign conspiracy by people who can’t find the country on a a map,
8- prisons worse than your worst nightmares and palaces like a Hollywood set
9- more money than Oprah but a nominal salary, must have hit lotto several times
10- Junior!!!! and a whole second generation of elite with a Porsche and foreign education

Hosni and Ali, two bums in one pair of trousers.

Saleh orders release of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Shaea

Filed under: Media, Presidency, Trials, aq statements, arrests, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wow, Saleh is really scrambling to appease everybody. Shaea was kidnapped in August and arrested in September, tried and sentenced to five years for supporting al Qaeda after releasing several interviews and statements from Anwar al Awlaki. The YJS and international media advocates have been lobbying for his release. Update: Yemen Post reports he’s out.

News Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh has reportedly ordered the release of imprisoned journalist and expert of terrorist groups’ affairs AbdulElah Haidar Shaye. (Read on …)

Junior Saleh gets military brigade to rival General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s, Bumped for denial

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update: Regime denies the Al Quds Alarabi report that baby Khaled is a colonel; he is a second lieutenant and was not given a military commission, Mareb Press reports. Update2: And English.

Reports over Saleh’s son appointment untrue – Defense source [30/يناير/2011] SANA’A, Jan 30 (Saba) – A source at the Defense Ministry dismissed on Sunday media reports lieutenant Khalid Ali Abdullah Saleh had been appointed commander of the Mountain Infantry Division. The source told Saba the reports on the appointment including one published by London-based al newspaper Quds al Arabi were totally untrue and baseless. Some media outlets including papers and websites like to fish in troubled waters and they are not correct because with fabrications and unreliable reporting they abuse their profession, the source

Original: Junior gets an army! One division stationed outside Sana’a and another by Bani Hushaish (Houthi stronghold near Sana’a.) Is Saleh getting worried about a popular uprising or a military coup? This kid is in his 20’s and his qualification is his bloodline not his experience or knowledge. A major part of Yemen’s military weakness is nepotism in the command structure.

KhaledSaleh.JPG

al Masdar Media sources said that President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently introduced a new military forces under the name “mountain infantry division,” comparable to the First Armored Division, led by veteran military man, Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

The Quds Al-Arabi newspaper quoted sources as saying that the document see the leadership of these forces developed assigned to the younger son of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Colonel Khaled Ali Abdullah Saleh, a man in his twenties and graduated last year from the middle of the Royal College Sandhurst.

Other sources have confirmed for the “online source” the health of the news and explained that the Infantry Division, mountain, comprising three brigades, stationed the First Brigade in the mountains of Bani Hashish east of the capital Sanaa, and stationed the Second Brigade in the mountains of the Asama adjacent to the capital of Sana’a in stationed third in the Mountain City Radaa province white

AQAP declares war on Yemen’s Houthi movement over Sunni displacement when 300,000 Zaidis fled state bombing

Filed under: Amran, Presidency, Religious, Sa'ada, Saada War, al Jawf, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 10:17 am on Saturday, January 29, 2011

There’s over 300,000 displaced in Sa’ada by the Yemeni military’s (and Saudi) attacks and bombing, and AQAP is declaring war because the Houthis forced people to move??? Is al Qaeda’s Saed Shihri trying to be stupid or does it just come naturally? Like many, AQAP is out of touch with the moment.

Well thats convenient timing for Saleh. a) The Yemeni military cant re-start the war at the moment but the terrorists can, b) It certainly shows the international community that they neeeeeeeeed Saleh, c) Nothing like a good crisis to distract the people’s hostility toward the state, d) With the Houthis in control of large swaths of those areas, the officially facilitated smuggling operations into Saudi are impacted and profits diminished, e) How can you buy weapons (and resell them on the black market) for a war that’s over? f) Saudi funds rise and fall in relation to perceived threats.

SANAA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Leader of al-Qaida militants in Yemen declared “holy war” against the Houthi-led northern Shiite rebels, in an audio message posted on the internet by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Friday.

“To our Sunni fellows in northern Yemeni provinces of Saada, Al- Jouf and Amran, we (AQAP) announced jihad (holy war) against Iranian-backed Houthi Shiite advocates,” Saeed Ali al-Shihri, deputy leader of the Yemen-based AQAP.

“The jihad against northern Shiites has been declared since the implementation of the AQAP’s twin martyred car bombing attacks against convoys of the Shiite rebels’ followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26 of the last year,” he said.

In the 17-minute audiotape, the Saudi fugitive al-Shihri justified his group’s war against the Shiite rebels by claiming that the sectarian-motivated Houthi rebels attacked and displaced many Sunni families in the north.

Last December, the Sunni-devoted AQAP claimed responsibility for twin suicide car bombings against convoys of the Shiite rebels ‘ followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26, 2010, which left over than 90 Shiite followers dead, including the group’s Shiite spiritual leader Bader al-Deen al- Houthi.

OK maybe they are just idiots:

Opinions: An Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader warned Sunni Muslims of a rising “Christian-Shiite alliance” against them in an audio message released on jihadist forums late on Friday.

Abu Sufyan al-Azdi called the participation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iran’s former foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki at a conference on terrorism in Yemen “is the biggest proof of the Christian-Shiite alliance.”

“America and Iran became one alliance against the Sunni people in the area,” added the Saudi AQAP leader, who was formerly imprisoned for six years at the US detention centre inGuantanamo, in a 16-minute audio message.

Azdi was referring to the annual Manama Dialogue, held in December by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies and billed as the “most important regional security meeting in the Middle East.”

The AQAP chief also warned Sunnis in Yemen that they risked being massacred at the hands of northern Shiite Zaidi rebels, also known as Huthis, and urged them not to be caught unprepared.

“Sunnis, be careful from the massacres… that happened in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen to happen to you while you are unarmed… prepare yourselves before it is too late… buy weapons… protect your religion, your lives and your honour.”

Yemen: Opposition parties mull next move

Filed under: Civil Unrest, JMP, Presidency, Reform, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:48 am on Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saleh suddenly wants to talk. And reform. Maybe the JMP will decide to ratchet up their protest colors from pink to fuchsia. Watch out if they get to red. Update: Woops, Saleh made the announcement but forgot to invite the JMP to dialog.

Yemen Post: Opposition leaders will sit today to discuss the President Saleh’s call to end protests and come to the dialogue table.
The call by the president came after he met with high ranking officials from the ruling General People Congress GPC party yesterday.
Sources in the opposition told Yemen Post that they will not have dialogue with the ruling party until all decisions made by the ruling party over the last three months be cancelled.
The opposition source also mentioned that they are not optimistic about returning to the dialogue table with the ruling party as history has shown that dialogue always makes matters worse due to the negligence of the ruling party.

Yemen: Plain clothes security operatives attack protesters at Egyptian embassy

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, Sana'a, Security Forces, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:43 am on Saturday, January 29, 2011

Update: Very tacky to pull your jamiba on a woman. That’s Tawakkol Karaman.

Jan29jambya.jpg

Emerates247: Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed on Saturday with the regime’s supporters in Sanaa, an AFP journalist reported.

Plainclothes police also attacked the demonstrators who marched to the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa chanting “Ali, leave leave” and “Tunisia left, Egypt after it and Yemen in the coming future.” — A female activist, Tawakel Karman, who has led several protests in Sanaa during the past week, said that a member of the security forces in civilian clothes tried to attack her with a dagger and a shoe but was held by other protestors.

HOOD condemns:

Condemns the Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms savage attack on Saturday 1/29/2011 at the demonstrators heading for the Egyptian embassy in a peaceful demonstration of solidarity with the Egyptian people against what the Egyptian authorities of the killings outside the law against Egyptian citizens defenseless. (Read on …)

“Having dictators as your allies is never a good idea,” Walid al Saqqaf

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:17 pm on Friday, January 28, 2011

Walid al Saqqaf contrasts Egypt’s #Jan25 nationwide popular uprising with protests held in Yemen’s capital, which are led by opposition parties and therefore more self restrained, diplomatic and strategic. Yet both are protests which ultimately demand dignity. Listen to the interview or below are excerpts:

WNYC Today on The Brian Lehrer Show, Walid Al-Saqaf, founder and administrator of Yemen Portal, a news and multi-content aggregator focused on Yemeni news, talked about the protest in Yemen and his own free speech advocacy.

Anti-regime protests in Tunisia have ignited public demonstrations in other pockets of the Arab world. In the last week, Egyptians have taken to the streets of Cairo en masse to demand the resignation of their leader, Hosni Mubarak. Most recently, on Thursday, Yemeni protesters flooded the nation’s capital city of Sana’a to call for their president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to cede control of the government.

Yemen is one of the poorest nations in the Middle East, and Saleh has presided over the country’s deterioration for the past 32 years. While protesters are railing against the same kind of corruption and improper governance that Tunisians and Egyptians face, Walid Al-Saqaf said that Yemen’s movement appears to be less revolutionary and more conservative than the others taking shape. (Read on …)

Death threats, hacking and calm follow Yemen protests

Filed under: Civil Society, Civil Unrest, Media, Presidency, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 9:35 am on Friday, January 28, 2011

When bribes, cloning, apologies and counter-protests are not enough, there’s always the threat of fines, death threats and hacking news sites. They can’t shoot protesters in the head in Sana’a like they do in Radfan and Habaylean, or bomb residential areas like they do in Saada. The state of Yemen is certainly not going to institute and implement any meaningful reforms, so it comes down to the same pile of tricks.

The streets in Sana’a are empty today and the “northern protest movement” may just fizzle out because the opposition parties are as afraid of disrupting the status quo as the regime and the people with jobs don’t want to risk their families’ dinner. Tawakkol Karaman has been leading protests in “Freedom Square” every Tuesday for at least a year. The new thing was the university students were charmed by the fall of Bin Ali, and it seems most of Yemen is chewing qat and watching TV. (The Egyptian protests are mesmerizing.)

Following the 2006 election, the JMP relinquished its claims of voter fraud and ballot stuffing in exchange for promises of electoral and constitutional reform, which never occurred, thereby leading to the postponement of the 2009 parliamentary election. But one strong factor in the decision at the time was the JMP’s fear of spiraling instability, a legitimate concern.

Yemen Online: Un-known hackers have manipulated yesterday by the last updated news that published on YemenOnline on the last events in Yemen . Yemenonline editors found the all the latest updates that covered the demonstrations against the president have been deleted .

It’ seems an undeclared war against freedom of expression and what happened means that there is control over the sites and there are those who intervene to manipulate by the news and articles using new technology ’ Jamal Al-Awadhi editor in chief of YemenOnline said.

Regarding the death threat on Tawakkol Karaman, Amnesty, UK reports:

Tawakkol Karman, the president of the Yemeni NGO Women Journalists without Chains, was arrested on 23 January for taking part in a student demonstration in Sana’a. The demonstration expressed solidarity with protests in Tunisia and called for an end to the rule of the current Yemeni president, who has been in power since 1978.

Ms Karman was released a day later and charged with taking part in an unlicensed protest. Dozens of other activists were also arrested and charged with the same offence.

According to information received by Amnesty, Tawakkol Karman’s brother was reported to have received a phone call on 26 January asking him to either confine his sister to her house or “those who weaken the whip of obedience would be killed”. (Read on …)

Yemen President attacks al Jazeera coverage of Yemen protests

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Other Countries, Presidency, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 5:07 pm on Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yo-Yo Boy, the problem is not the coverage. The function of the media is to report, not to suppress dissent and enhance unity by broadcasting pro-regime propaganda. Attacks on Yemeni journalists have become more brutal as public dissatisfaction grows, but censorship only increases tension.

Saleh calls Qatar Emir, attacks Aljazeera, Thursday, 27-January-2011, Almotamar.net, Saba -: President Ali Abdullah Saleh telephoned Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on Thursday asking to urge Aljazeera Satellite Channel not to abuse its profession while reporting on the situation in Yemen.

The channel should stop incitement, exaggeration and distorting the facts, and furthermore it should avoid acts that encourage unrest, violence and sabotage in the Arab countries, Saleh urged. (Read on …)

President Saleh bribes Yemeni protesters again

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, Reform, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:32 pm on Thursday, January 27, 2011

sanaaprotestjan272011.jpg

With the advent of protests in the capital, President Saleh promised a raise for the military, somewhere around $40/month. There are an approximate 600,000 on the military payroll, and an average of ten dependents each, meaning about a quarter of Yemenis will directly or indirectly benefit from the raise, if it is in fact implemented. And promising pay raises is a tactic that has worked before in Yemen to defuse social tension.

President Saleh previously and successfully promised wage increases in order to short circuit civil unrest. In response to the 2005 fuel riots, Saleh enacted the revised Wages Strategy which purported to offset higher fuel costs with salary increases for civil servants. Designed with a multi-staged roll-out, the failure to implement the second phase of the strategy later triggered strikes, notably by the teachers union, when the “type of work” bonus over base line pay was not dispersed to those qualified. In negotiations, the teachers union demanded the salary increases should be retro-active to the date they became law. Saleh’s current promise to increase military wages is being framed by the regime, correctly, as implementation of the third phase of the 2005 Wages Strategy.

In the weeks prior to the 2006 presidential election, Saleh promised a bonus to civil servants–payable after the election. Another regular tactic in response to anti-government protests is the counter pro-regime protest. Often school children and civil servants are ordered to attend under penalty of retribution. Students who did not attend protests were prohibited from taking their finals. Arrests, arbitrary violence and suppression of the media are other characteristic tactics of the Sanna regime, deployed against Southern protesters and civilians in areas of the northern Houthi rebellion. These tactics invariably swelled the ranks of the Southern and Houthi opposition movements, and if implemented again in Sana’a will have the same effect on the new born Northern protest movement.

Yemen Post: In a move described by observers as unhelpful and aiming to avoid a revolt like the one that forced Tunisian President out of office and out of the country this month, the Cabinet approved at its weekly meeting on Tuesday to start implementing the third phase of the Pay Strategy as from next month.

It ordered the Ministries of Civil Service and Insurance and Finance to prepare the executive mechanism to start the strategy that calls for a 30 per cent rise in the wages of the state employees. (Read on …)

Anti-Saleh, anti-regime protests in Sana’a, Yemen 1/27/11

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 2:20 pm on Thursday, January 27, 2011

It was just a matter of time. Too bad the US is on the wrong side of the fence. It would have been good to hedge their bets a little. And if the state starts shooting people in the head in Sanaa like they do to protesters in the south, will the US keep as quiet or is there some kind of double standard based on location and media coverage? Hundreds of protesters have been killed in South Yemen by security forces in the last three years.

New York Times: “I fear Yemen is going to be ripped apart,” said Mohammed Naji Allaw, coordinator of the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedom, which was one of the organizers of the protests. “The situation in Yemen is a lot more dangerous than in any other Arab country.”

He said a phrase often heard these days is that Yemen faces “tatasawmal” — the Somalization of a country that witnessed a civil war in the mid-1990s.

Part of Mr. Allaw’s worries sprung from the inability of the opposition to forge a unified message. Some are calling for secession, he said, while others are looking to oust the president through popular protests. Yet others, he said, simply wanted Mr. Saleh to undertake a series of reforms before elections in April.

Khaled Alanesi, a colleague of Mr. Allaw’s at the human rights group in Sana, said: “The opposition is afraid of what would happen if the regime falls. Afraid of the militant groups, Al Qaeda, the tribes and all the arms here.” (Read on …)

Yemeni president invites opposition abroad home and announces salary increases

Filed under: Presidency — by Jane Novak at 8:05 am on Monday, January 24, 2011

Ali has all the solutions… I am being sarcastic of course. Although Yemen’s military budget is among the highest globally as a percentage of GDP, soldiers are poorly paid and equipped. The proposed raise is $25.00/month, which is a lot of purchasing power in Yemen, and intended to ensure loyalty among the ranks. But if he is unable to deliver, as often happens for example the 2005 Wages Strategy, then Saleh’s unfulfilled promise of a raise will only generate more discontent.

News Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh has asked Yemeni people to forgive him he if has made mistake and said he would not allow “creative chaos” to destroy Yemen which he said is not Tunisia.

In his speech addressing a conference of the armed forces and security leaderships held at the Air Forces headquarters in the capital Sana’a on Sunday, President Saleh called on the political forces to “return to dialogue and stop inciting chaos.” (Read on …)

Tawakkol Karaman refuses to leave jail without other detainees

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Media, Presidency — by Jane Novak at 7:38 am on Monday, January 24, 2011

They all do this, Fahd al Qarni, al-Khaiwani etc. Its important not to leave the others behind in jail while the spotlight is still on the situation, but sooner or later their friends drag them out. CNN reports Karaman ultimately went home after a promise that the others would be released. She’s on a hunger strike. Hopefully everyone else will be released shortly and all will be well.

Yemen Post: Kerman refused to be released without the detainees who were arrested while defending her yesterday. According to official sources, 21 protesters and activists are still in jail.

Karman is currently protesting inside the prosecutions office in Sana’a where she vowed not to leave until all were released. (Read on …)

Rock of Ages

Filed under: Presidency, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 11:45 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

In 1978, Jimmy Carter was elected US president and Ali Abdullah Saleh assumed the presidency of the Yemeni Arab Republic.

rockofages.jpg

Yemen’s president: “The country is fine…”

Filed under: Elections, Presidency — by Jane Novak at 6:58 pm on Monday, January 3, 2011

1/3/11, Saleh remains delusional:

President Saleh.gov.ye MUKALA- President Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated on Monday his call to the Joint Meeting Parties (JMPs), topped by the Islah Party, to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections. (Read on …)

Yemeni President Saleh snubs the US State Department’s Feltman

Filed under: Presidency, USA, Yemen, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 10:26 am on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yemen: President Saleh refuses to meet US official after Wikileaks cables
20/12/2010 News Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to receive the US Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, in protest to Wikileaks cables on Yemen, al-Ahaly independent weekly quoted special sources as saying. (Read on …)

Is a general amnesty what Yemen needs? Updated

Filed under: Janes Articles, Presidency, Reform, political violence, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:31 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

International lawyer Adel Al Dhahab diagnosed the central obstacle to reform in Yemen: so many are guilty of serious legal infractions. There is no latitude for reform when the establishment of the rule of law would penalize those who are required to implement it. The structural component that has been missing from all proposed solutions to Yemen’s crises is a general amnesty.

Mr. Al Dhahab is a Yemeni practicing law in Canada with vast experience in civil activism, international law, the intricacies of Yemen’s political affairs and the social and tribal dynamics in Yemen.

Al Dhahab explained in a recent paper, The Missing Step, “What Yemen needs is an amnesty that will pardon all offenders across the board, whether political crime or corruption or tribal offenses. It requires selecting a cut-off date where selected crimes that occurred prior are nullified and crimes that happen after are prosecuted. “

Amnesty is a mechanism endorsed by the UN in exceptional circumstances. It was implemented in Algeria in 2006 and Iraq in February 2008. The concept of amnesty also has a strong basis in Islamic law, a prerequisite in the conservative country. (Read on …)

New Yemeni Ambassador in the UK

Filed under: Ministries, Presidency, UK — by Jane Novak at 8:19 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

When will they change the UN and US ambassadors, both Saleh’s brother-in-laws from various of his four wives who have been ensconced for ages and ages?

LONDON, Dec.09 (Saba) – Queen Elizabeth II received at her Buckingham Palace in London credentials of the new Yemeni ambassador to the United Kingdom Abdullah Ali Al-Redhi.

The ambassador conveyed greetings of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his wishes for the queen, her family and people of the United Kingdom all success and progress…For her part, Queen Elizabeth II hailed the bilateral relations between the friendly countries and the level which has been achieved ,welcoming and hoping him all success in his tenure.

Yemen to cut half billion dollars in perks, payolla and subsidies to senior officials

Filed under: Corruption, Presidency, Reform, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Friday, December 3, 2010

Good! 4.5 billion YR is about 220 million dollars US. Another area of enormous expense with disproportionately small return is the foreign embassies, which are used as a mechanism for getting outspoken politicians out of the country. For example the actual winner of the al Jawf governor’s election and the first member of Parliament to resign in protest of corrupt practices were both shipped abroad in diplomatic positions. In 2005, Yemen made repeated announcements that it would be closing unnecessary foreign embassies and reducing staff at others in an effort to cut costs. In the end, after months of hullabaloo, one Yemeni embassy was closed, Oct.11, 2005, Romania.

Academic scholarships abroad are important for Yemen’s future but are largely an entitlement to the sons and daughters of influential persons, bypassing much more qualified applicants. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands are on the military payroll but perform no military service, including some al Qaeda. Military commissions are often awarded by tribal sheiks as patronage and the sweeping exclusion of applicants by region (especially the south) during recruitment has triggered riots. The state also has trouble collecting what is due, whether taxes or the millions are owed in electricity bills by high profile persons. There’s really a lot that can be done to rationalize the Yemeni governmental budget, but it remains to be seen if its Romania all over again.

SANA’A, Dec. 3,2010 – SABA: President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered last Thursday to reduce the proportion of fuel spending given to senior officials estimated at YR 4.5 billion annually. The order comes within the austerity plans, economic and financial reforms and plans to reduce the public budget deficit.

Other measures Saleh has urged included rationalizing the public spending, limiting funds given for medical treatments outside the country, parties, hospitality, advertisement and other unnecessary activities.

The decision could save the budget about YR 10 billion a year.

Saleh: SCER from judges, trashes southern separatists as rabid dogs

Filed under: Elections, GPC, JMP, Judicial, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:43 am on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It is important to note that under current rules of voter eligibility, the 30,000 northern soldiers transferred to Aden and Abyan for the Gulf Cup would be allowed to vote in those governorates. One of the important electoral reforms that the EU observers recommended following the 2006 presidential election was to require military personnel and businessmen to vote in the district of their residence, and disallow place of employment as a domicile. None of the recommendations have been instituted although both the GPC and JMP agreed at the time. The failure of electoral reform led to the two year postponement of the parliamentary elections in 2009. The voter rolls contained many dead persons, children and more male voters than Yemeni men. Another area of disagreement with the JMP was the composition of the SCER, the oversight body for elections and referendums. Various western governments and organizations are pushing for the elections to be held on time in 2011, which would add a veneer of legitimacy to the Saleh regime and its designated representatives in Parliament.

SABA: ADEN, Nov. 30 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on Tuesday for electing a new Supreme Committee for Election and Referendum (SCER) from the judicial authority. (Read on …)

No big surprises from Wikileaks on Yemen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Monday, November 29, 2010

Another non-surprise, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry denies the cables are accurate:

Yemen’s stances obvious, WikiLeaks memos do not concern it-Yemen FM
Wednesday, 01-December-2010
Almotamar.net – An official source at the Yemeni Foreign Ministry has commented on the documents leaked by WikiLeaks site and what it publishes in a number of newspapers about Yemen by saying that what came in those documents on what was discussed between Yemeni officials and the American side was not considered accurate and true reporting of what had actually been exchanged in those meetings. (Read on …)

Shaher Abdulhak sold weapons to Saddam

Filed under: Iraq, Presidency, Proliferation, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

An interesting article today from Norway detailing the relationship and illegal arms transfers between Saddam and Saleh with Shaher Abdulhaq as intermediary. The father of the murdered Norweigan girl made an impassioned plea yesterday for Yemen to turn over Farouk Abdulhaq to stand trial in Norway, but its not likely to happen.

Google translation, Nettavisen: Farouk’s father sold aircraft parts to Saddam

The father of murder suspect Farouk played a key role in illicit weapons sales to the dictatorship, according to the CIA report….

Shaher Abdulhak also has a close relationship with the country’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and must have carried a number of shady business which has violated UN sanctions against Iraq, according to CIA documents. (Read on …)

Three oppositionists face death penalty for pre-electoral violence

Filed under: Elections, Islah, Presidency, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:58 am on Sunday, November 21, 2010

THREE MEN AT IMMINENT RISK OF EXECUTION
Three men in Yemen had their death sentences sent to the President for ratification in mid-October. If the sentences are ratified by the President, they could be executed at any time.

Amnesty International: The three men, Shaikh Khalid Nahshal, Mabkhout ‘Ali Nahshal and Abduh Muhammad Nahshal, were among 32 people charged in connection with the killing of at least one government official in the district of Khayran in northern Yemen in September 2006. This happened following a dispute over the local and presidential elections and an exchange of fire between a group of armed men and the government official in charge of Khayran. In 2007 six of the defendants were sentenced to death, but three had their sentences commuted to prison terms in June 2009, following an appeal. The remaining 26 received prison sentences. In January 2010, Shaikh Khalid Nahshal, Mabkhout ‘Ali Nahshal and Abduh Muhammad Nahshal had their death sentences upheld by the Supreme Court.

Family of deceased kidnapped sailor Wagdi Akram wants his body back, they appeal to President Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, pirates — by Jane Novak at 10:28 am on Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The family of Third Officer Wagdi Akram wants to bury him in his homeland with dignity and ceremony of mourning. Its a small thing to ask. The man is dead already and they need his body before it begins to rot. There are several accounts of how Mr. Akram died, each more horrific than the next, but “suicide” doesn’t seem likely. The ship was high jacked by Somali pirates in March. Nine Yemenis are among the captive sailors. The family’s statement today follows the HOOD’s press release yesterday indicating the pirates threatened to sell the hostages’ kidneys and eyes if they don’t get the $ 1 million in ransom. Read the text of HOOD’s statement here. Update: Yemen Times article here.

Adania family calls for President to intervene to release the body of her son from the hands of Somali pirates
The life of Aden / special

Family appealed the citizens “Akram Mohsen,” President of the Republic to intervene promptly and urgently to release the “body” son “and my grandfather,” who was killed by Somali pirates late last month after the abduction of the vessel in which it operates off the coast of Ahwar governorate of Abyan. (Read on …)

Disaster! Cabinet approves new draft law restricting media

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Parliament, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:09 pm on Sunday, November 7, 2010

The only thing worse than the old press law is the new press law. It sounds lovely in the Orwellian Saba-speak, but its really bad. The ratification of the law would have a long term negative impact on Yemen’s development and counter-terror efforts. The only thing that keeps the state honest is the media, and they suffer for it terribly. The law is now in the Parliament for ratification. Saleh is ramming through all the most unpopular initiatives including non-reform of the election laws while western attention is on AQAP. Update: A good write up from the Yemen Times here.

Cabinet approves new draft law of press and publication
[02/نوفمبر/2010]
SABA
SANA’A,Nov.02(Saba)-The Cabinet approved on Tuesday the new draft law of press and publication, in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ali Mujawr.

The Cabinet directed Ministers of Information, Legal Affairs and Parliamentary and Shura Council Affairs to follow up the completion of necessary constitutional procedures for issuing the law. (Read on …)

Another guy thats got to go, al Alimi

Filed under: Local gov, Ministries, Presidency, Security Forces, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:40 am on Sunday, November 7, 2010

Al-Alimi receives EU counterterrorism coordinator

Thursday 04 November 2010, 26 September Net

Deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Security Affairs and Minister of Local Administration Rashad al-Alimi met on Thursday with the European coordinator for counterterrorism M. Gilles de Kerchove. (Read on …)

Religious Committee including Zindani to guide public policy to return to Islamic Law

Filed under: Presidency, Reform, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:00 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010

The ecosystem of al Qaeda in Yemen includes official public discourse legitimizing the concept of takfirism, the obligation to jihad in “occupied Muslim lands”, and the supremacist Wahabbi doctrine which is propagated in schools as well as mosques. The threat of the Talabanization of Yemen, the broad indoctrination of the public–including the military–into the al Qaeda mindset is thwarted by many indigenous safeguards but not the government. Saleh is willing to accept the input of these hard core religious clerics but not representatives of the disenfranchised citizenry including the residents of Saada and the south.

26 September Reference Scholars Committee to Provide Consultation and Advice began its activities today by providing its advice to the president on latest developments inside and outside Yemen.

In his meeting with the committee on Tuesday, the president stressed on the rule and duties of the scholars on educating people on their religious and others issues and guiding youth the right path and be away of extremism.

The scholars stressed on integrating efforts and unifying national fronts to face crises created by some elements. The president then got acquainted with the committee’s activities and preparations taken to start duties in respect to national public issues referred to it to provide consultation to the president on them.

The committee was formed on October by a republican decree last month. President met with scholars last Ramadan and discussed with national issues.

According to the decree, the committee will examine issues referred to them by the president. It will also be in charge of solving differences between any disputing parties and to convince them to “return to” Islamic law. Saba

Shaea accused of advising Anwar al Awlaki

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Presidency, Trials, Yemen, Yemen-Journalists, anwar — by Jane Novak at 8:58 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

Abdulelah was charged with an assassination plot on Saleh according to RSF, recruiting foreigners for al Qaeda and agitating for attacks with its leadership. The catch all of “armed gang” carries a ten year penalty. Yemen has staunchly defended Anwar al Awlaki as a preacher and said they have no evidence against him, yet they are charging Abdulelah with aiding Awlaki. Some reports indicate that Shaea is also charged with producing the Echo of Epics magazine for AQAP, but accusations launched in the government papers in the build up to any trial are often not the same as the charges brought by the state in court.

In the session, the prosecution accused the two defendants of belonging to an illegal armed gang and supporting the Al-Qaeda network”. According to the indictment, Shaea had attracted foreign mercenaries and urged them to join abovementioned gang to targeting strategic interests and foreign embassies in Yemen .” (Read on …)

An assassination plot on Yemeni President Saleh?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Presidency, TI: Internal, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There indications that there is some plot afoot to assassinate President Saleh and his son, Ahmed. This would explain Saleh’s renewed interest in bombing al Qaeda. US officials notified Saleh in the summer of 2009 that there was some intel about AQAP plans to target the top of the regime. The only way the assassination of Saleh would benefit AQAP is if the replacement is even more amenable to them, for example General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, who is Ahmed’s rival to the throne and who would enable the further entrenchment of an al Qaeda state. The charges against Abdulelah the journalist are entirely unsubstantiated, and include being part of this plot to assassinate Saleh and Ahmed, which may indicate that the plot, if it exists, is coming out of al Wahishi’s faction.

Sahwa NetJournalist Abdul-Elah Haidar who was arrested by the Yemeni authorities on August is to be referred to the Specialized Penal Court on Wednesday. The lawyer of Haidar, Abdul-Rahman Barman, said Hiadar was accused of provocation for the killing of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his son, Ahmed, and belonging to an armed sabotage gang of al-Qaeda.

CNN, 12/09: “Solid intelligence” from U.S. and Yemen services finally persuaded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh last summer to accept increased help in fighting al Qaeda in his country, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
After years of pressure from the United States to crack down on al Qaeda in Yemen, Saleh was persuaded to accept help after he was presented with intelligence that al Qaeda “was targeting inner-circle Yemeni leaders,” and that there was a growing number of terrorist training camps in Yemen, the official said.

Professor Sues Yemeni President for Interference in Judiciary

Filed under: Judicial, Presidency, Reform — by Jane Novak at 12:11 pm on Friday, October 1, 2010

Professor Files Lawsuit against Saleh and Speaker, Yemen Post

A criminal law professor at Sana’a University has filed a lawsuit against the constitutionality of article 293 of the procedure law No 41 for 2002 that entitles President Saleh after the approval of the Supreme Judicial Council to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider rulings. (Read on …)

Saleh establishes psuedo virtue and vice committee to deal with public issues

Filed under: Presidency, Religious — by Jane Novak at 1:46 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

It would be nice if they called for justice and an end to the theft of public money, but likely they will fatwa the reformers and democrats. The premise that it is un-Islamic to oppose a Muslim leader is very convenient if you are a Muslim leader. Saleh is seeking legitimacy from government clerics and scholars because he has lost it constitutionally and among public opinion. Its not a way to create consensus but to avoid the need for it. Its long been an al Qaeda demand as well.

Presidential decree to establish Islamic scholarly committee

SANA’A, Sep. 30 (Saba)- A Presidential decree No. 16 for 2010 was issued on Thursday stipulating the establishment of Islamic Scholars Committee tasked with providing consultation and advice. The Committee will mainly target the government so as to ensure the national interest according to the Islamic Sharea.

al Tagheer (Read on …)

Updated: The same clerics who threatened jihad on US now part of national dialog

Filed under: Dammaj, Elections, Presidency, Religious — by Jane Novak at 7:13 pm on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update: And members of the Commission as announced by the President consisting of “Sheikh Abdel Majid al-Zindani, Judge Ahmed Mohammed al-Shami, Mohammed Ismail, Urban, and Hussein Mohammed Hadar, and Ali Baruiz, Ahmed Bamwalim, Mohammed Ali Marei, Abdul Malik minister, Omar Bin Hafeez, Nasser al-Shaibani, Abdullah Bahermz “.

OP: The JMP already discounted and disowned them as part of the dialog. Saleh is stressing the importance of grounding the discussion in religious legitimacy. Meanwhile the scholars position has been that opposition to Saleh is illegitimate under Islamic law. Al Masiri, the Salafi head of the Dar al Hadieth institute in Marib, said as much on TV during a rally during the 2006 presidential campaign

President receives dialog reference scholars committee SANA’A, Sep. 21 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh met here on Tuesday with the scholars committee formed early in September as a reference for the national issues, including the national dialog. (Read on …)

Barak Obama Writes Ali Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, Reform, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:01 pm on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

White House press release:

Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer on the visit of Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan to Yemen (Read on …)

President Saleh urges clerics to fight Al Qaeda?

Filed under: Counter-terror, Presidency, Religious — by Jane Novak at 8:56 am on Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who al Zindani? al Masiri? the same clerics who threatened jihad against the US? the head of Dammaj, al Hajouri? President Saleh is the main purveyor of the al Qaeda ideology when he calls the Houthis and the Southerns apostates, and when the Defense Ministry issues fatwas that Houthi blood is free.

President Saleh urges clerics to fight Al Qaeda
Source: Xinhua , 07/09/2010 via NAB: SANAA-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday urged religious clerics to take part in fighting al- Qaida’s ideology after the terrorist group intensified deadly attacks in east and south of the country, state news agency Saba reported.

In an address at a mosque, President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on religious clerics to play a role in combating al-Qaida’s ideology across the country’s mosques by counseling local people. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Member Al Zaidi Renounces June Deal with Yemen President Saleh

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen's Lies, aq statements, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:31 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saleh never keeps his promises to anyone. He’s a compulsive liar or has some pathology where he’s unable to keep his word. But this mechanism of negotiation with al Qaeda really isn’t working and hasn’t worked for quite some time. If all the jihaddists Saleh made a deal with band together, its going to get ugly. Al Zaidi surrendered in June after being released from jail in 2006. ( Click here for an interview with al Zaidi in 2009 in which he discusses his imprisonment and prior dealings with Saleh. Al Zaidi says he was never a member of al Qaeda and was imprisoned because he was a personal friend of Mohammed bin Mohammed al Ahdel. )

News Yemen: A leading member of al-Qaeda in Yemen has renounced an agreement with the government to stop violence and terrorist activities in the country, independent source reported on Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with the Yemeni independent weekly Al-Wasat, Khalid al-Zaidi, a leading member of al-Qaeda in the northern province of Mareb, said that his agreement with the government not to cause any instability in the country has been renounced.

Al-Zaidi said he met with President Ali Abdullah Saleh last June and wrote a pledge not to carry out any sabotage acts in the country on condition that the government releases al-Qaeda prisoners and cancel all convictions against him. He said that “the agreement has failed as the government has not fulfilled what we have agreed upon.” (Read on …)

Yemen says Al Qaeda Claims Exaggerated

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:32 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

Ali Saleh played his game so well, that the blowback is coming to haunt him. The deliberate conflation of state jihaddists with the AQAP nucleus got a lot of people confused. There’s no doubt that AQAP has global ambitions but its the subverted members of the security and other social figures that enable their capacity and legitimize their message. Update: AP: gee al Qaeda is now the main threat, Saleh says. The guy can turn on a dime.

Yemen says US exaggerates Al Qa’eda threat The national: SAN’A // Yemen said today that US officials have exaggerated the size and danger of al Qa’eda in Yemen, and insisted that fighting the jihadist network’s local branch remains San’a’s job.

A Yemeni official has denied what he called “press leaks published in US and Western media that exaggerate the size of al Qa’eda and the danger that it poses to Yemen’s stability and security,” according to Saba, the state news agency. (Read on …)

Yemeni President Saleh in the UK

Filed under: Presidency, UK — by Jane Novak at 12:54 pm on Wednesday, August 11, 2010

hip hip cheerio

LONDON, Aug. 11 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh arrived on Wednesday in Britain’s capital, London, on a visit during which he is meeting Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior UK officials. The talks will focus on the bilateral relationship and ways to boost cooperation in all areas. (Read on …)

Al-Qaeda Attacks Strengthen Yemeni President Saleh: Editorial

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

Bingo. Yemen Post

Government Hoping for more Qaeda Attacks in South

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

UN designated weapons smuggler Faris Manna released

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

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

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

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

More Unkept Promises: Four on Trial Not Released due to Prosecutor’s Objections

Filed under: Iran, Presidency, Trials, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Monday, June 7, 2010

Its amazing how many of the president’s orders are not followed. In this case its the four on trial for spying for Iran. But why even make the announcement of the amnesty if there was no intention of releasing all the detainees? Its good propaganda for the international and domestic audiences but all it did was raise expectations and then cause greater frustration when the amnesty was not implemented, for example the recent rioting in prisons by the political prisoners. Its funny the prosecution says the order is not legal but very little in the Yemeni judicial system is legal or constitutional.

Yemen Times:SANA’A, June 6 — The prosecution in Sana’a has objected to the president’s amnesty on four Yemeni citizens accused of supporting the Houthis and spying for Iran.

This objection came during a trial session of four defendants on Sunday morning at the Specialized Penal Court in the capital. The prosecution said that the amnesty is illegal as the defendants are still being tried and no verdict has been issued against them. (Read on …)

Despite gov’t propaganda, Houthi prisoners not released, road blocked

Filed under: Presidency, Saada War, prisons — by Jane Novak at 1:38 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

Also new battles leave many dead, wounded and missing.

Yemen Post: Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi has urged the Yemeni authority on the release of Houthi detainees and to convert what he called the declaration of May 22 to the ground.

According to a press release issued by Houthis Information Bureau, the power is still waffling on the release of the detainees so far, reported media sources, have got a copy of the statement. (Read on …)

Happy 20th Anniversary Yemen!

Filed under: Judicial, Presidency, Trials, prisons — by Jane Novak at 9:06 am on Saturday, May 22, 2010

I know there are many different views on unity, the government and Yemen’s history itself, but one thing we can all agree on is that Yemen is an amazing country, worth all the effort and sacrifice that people put in over the last 20 years to make it better.

To mark the occasion, Saleh pardons everybody. The journalists will be the easiest to track and hopefully they all walk today. The Houthi rebels have been pardoned five times already, so its questionable whether they will really be released, but it would go a long way toward ratcheting down the tensions if they were. Many remain “disappeared” despite the peace deal. As for the southerners, many journalists and politicians are being held under charges of undermining unity and many others with no charges at all. Also we have to watch to see if there is an exodus of al Qaeda from the jails, which I think is rather likely.

More details from Nasser Arrabyee

“According to this dialogue, it is possible to form a government of all the influential political parties represented in the parliament,” said Saleh, speaking in the city of Taez, 230 kilometres (140 miles) southwest of Sanaa…He said the amnesty would apply to “all outlaws” — a reference to the southern separatists, and “anti-government elements who were arrested” in the north, where the Shiite rebels are based on the border with Saudi Arabia. The pardon would affect an estimated 800 prisoners linked to the southern separatists and about 2,000 Shiite rebels or sympathisers in the north. Saleh said that the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), which is agitating to re-establish south Yemen as an independent state, would be a principal partner in the political dialogue.

Its not the YSP that is agitating for independence. Some YSP members have joined the southern movement but the party is seen by many southerners as a sell out to “northern” interests.

TAIZ, May 22 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh pardoned on Saturday all journalists on trial and those sentenced due to public right cases.

The pardon was granted as the president attended the festival organized on the 20th anniversary of unification in the western province of Taiz.

In his address to the nation on the eve of Unification Day, Saleh ordered to release all detainees held in connection with the Houthi rebellion in the far north, which ended in February this year, and the rioting in some southern provinces.

Yemeni President’s Convoy Ambushed

Filed under: Lahj, Presidency, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:05 pm on Saturday, May 15, 2010

President Saleh wasn’t in the car but Deputy PM for Defense and Security Rashad Mohammed al Alimi was. Al Qaeda or the southerners is the question. The paper is following the lead of the Yemeni government in pinning it on the southerners, and beyond assassinating several security officers, al Qaeda hasn’t targeted any Yemeni officials, ever.

Xinhuanet: Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Rashad al-Alami survived an ambush by gunmen of separatist movement in the southern restive province of Lahj on Saturday, security officials said.

“Two security escorts were killed and another four were seriously wounded when they returned fire against the armed attackers,” an official of the Interior Ministry told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

According to the official, the accident took place Saturday afternoon in al-Habilain town in the province of Lahj, as the official convoy was traveling from the southern port city Aden to Sanaa.

(Read on …)

Saleh Threatens to Castrate Opposition, TV Deletes Remark

Filed under: Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:00 am on Monday, May 10, 2010

Keep it classy Ali.

Threatened to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh that he would resort to cut off the genitals of all the leaders of the joint meeting and the southern movement in the event that did not stop these leaders for their opposition to the regime led by, came the threat of benefit within the context of his speech at the gala workers on Monday in Sana’a and was heard by thousands of workers and officials. (Read on …)

“Saleh shows more resolve than ever before,” US State Dept

Filed under: Counter-terror, Presidency, US jihaddis, USA   — by Jane Novak at 8:42 am on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Suckers. The US State Dept AGAIN congratulates Yemen on air strikes that killed civilians not terrorists. Its not even in dispute that 43 civilians were killed in Abyan. The US needs to come up with a more nuanced phrase because the current one appears very callous. Also Mueller was in Yemen praising the regime’s counter-terror efforts according to government press releases. Other reports indicate that he discussed the Gitmo detainees, which is out of their scope, and/or extraditing Jaber Elbanah and Anwar Awlaki, both US citizens. I guess they gave up on al Quso and al Badawi. And of course the normal regime line will be that its against the constitution, but Yemen signed an extradition treaty with Spain and extradited Nankli, who was in jail forever, a few years ago. Granted Nankli was Spanish-Syrian but when does Saleh follow the constitution anyway?

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula had already shown itself to be a formidable threat to Yemen’s internal security, with attacks on the Yemeni security forces, as well as a threat to Saudi Arabia, with an August 2009 attempted assassination against the head of counterterrorism in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Nayif. The administration recognized the threat in Yemen as from day one, and has been focused on Yemen since then.

The U.S. strategy in Yemen recognizes that Yemen has not always had the political will or focused attention to address its problems. We are encouraged that President Saleh and his government have shown more resolve than ever before to confront AQAP and to engage with the international community on domestic non-security issues. The United States commends Yemen on its December counterterrorism operations and we are committed to continuing support for security initiatives and economic-development initiatives.

RSF Names President Saleh as “Press Predator”

Filed under: Media, Presidency — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Tuesday, May 4, 2010

RSF: “There are 40 names on this year’s list of Predators of Press Freedom – 40 politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias and criminal organisations that cannot stand the press, treat it as an enemy and directly attack journalists. They are powerful, dangerous, violent and above the law.” RSF ranks Yemen 167 of 175 on press freedom index.

RSF: Ali Abdallah Saleh had ruled the Arab Republic of [North] Yemen since 1978 before becoming president of the unified Yemen in 1990. The authorities reinforced their already tight control over the media in 2009 in order to impose a news blackout on military offensives taking place in the north and the south of the country. At the same time, vague and subjective concepts in the 1990 press law such as attacking “national security,” threatening “national unity” or undermining “the country’s foreign relations” are used to gag journalists. Since May 2009 many journalists and netizens have been arrested, or in some cases kidnapped, and then sentenced to long jail terms accompanied by an archaic ban on writing. Eight independent newspapers are currently subject to a printing ban for “separatism.” The Internet has not been forgotten. And the authorities have created a special court for press offences, which forms the cornerstone of their repressive system.

Bashraheel Sons Not Released According to Presidential Directive

Filed under: Media, Presidency — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Thursday, April 29, 2010

because two of the defendants weren’t brought from prison to attend the session… If Saleh wanted them out, they’d be eating lunch at home by now.

Mareb Press: أجلت المحكمة المتخصصة في قضايا وامن الدولة النظر في القضية الجنائية المرفوعة من النيابة الجزائية ضد رئيس تحرير صحيفة الأيام الموقوفة منذ مايو الماضي ، الي يوم الأحد القادم نظرا لعدم حضور كافة المتهمين الذين من بينهم نجلي رئيس التحرير هاني ومحمد اللذان يقبعان في سجن البحث الجنائي Court adjourned specialized in the issues and state security in a criminal case filed by the prosecutor’s office against the editor of the days suspended since last May, to next Sunday due to failure to attend all of the defendants, among whom two sons, editor in chief, Hani and Mohamed, who MSV prison CID (Read on …)

Despite Promises, Southern Prisoners in Hadramout Not Released

Filed under: Presidency, South Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 7:52 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

Time after time, after time after time, Saleh makes promises and fails to deliver. The Bahsraheel sons are still in jail after last week’s announcement of their impending release and 30 prisoners in Hadramout are on a hunger strike to force the president to live up to his word that political prisoners in the governorate would be released. The strikes by a variety of unions are related to the failure of the state to implement the 2005 Wages Strategy that was devised following the fuel riots.

Yemen Times SANAA, April 20 (Xinhua) — Up to 30 Yemeni political prisoners arrested over anti-unity counts went on an open hunger strike, protesting not being released, security officials said Sunday.

The prisoners began an open hunger strike on Saturday to press local authorities to free them upon a pardon granted by the country’s president early this month, according to a statement signed by the relatives of the detainees. (Read on …)

Regime Busses Civil Servants, Students to Pro-Govt Rally

Filed under: Employment, GPC, Presidency, Religious — by Jane Novak at 5:52 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

Its like a pro-government rally in North Korea or Cuba but the adoring crowds are less synchronized and color coordinated. Yemen Post

Thousands of Yemeni people, students and state employees gathered on Saturday at the Al-Thawra Stadium for the carnival called and organized by the General People’s Congress, the ruling party, the National Coalition Parties and civil society organizations within the celebrities on the 20th anniversary of unification. (Read on …)

Saleh Interview vs. Billboard

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, South Yemen, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Thursday, April 8, 2010

A PSA from your friendly neighborhood dictator: Unity or Death!

unity or death.JPG

The following is really an incredible interview. Saleh is quite delusional. Murdering your own citizens in “normal” and a regular democratic practice, he says. Everything is fine in the south, and there’s no cause for concern but the idea of federalism is aposty! Saleh also retracts prior accusations of Iranian support of the Houthi rebels.

He who calls for secession has no place among sons of the Yemeni people: President
Monday, 05-April-2010 Almotamar.net – President Ali Abdullah Saleh has emphasized that the Yemeni unity was founded to stay and protected by the will of the people and there is not worry about it from any tempests or bubbles emerging every now and then.

In his response to a question on the situations in the southern and eastern provinces, President Saleh said, “The situation in the southern and eastern provinces is ordinary and some media outlets rage or magnify what happens in Yemen, as it is considered a democratic country, whether those were sits-in or demonstrations or protests, happen in Yemen as it happens in any country in the world.” (Read on …)

Saleh orders protesters, rebels and journalists freed

Filed under: Hadramout, Media, Presidency, Saada War, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:20 pm on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I really hope this is true, not only for the individuals detained but also for the chance of a lasting peace in the Sa’ada War. It would be the first evidence of learning I’ve seen yet, usually its the same mistakes over and over, and bigger and bigger. The political prisoners are a hot button issue that just creates more instability and resentment. Of course this is coming on the heels of the sentences in the south including the college professor sentenced to three years for an article. As always the same caveat, I’ll believe it when I see it. The regime announced the release of 635 Houthis several times from 2005-2008, but they were never actually released. Now they are announcing 161 prisoners were released but no one can confirm it yet. Another tangential question is, are there going to be al Qaeda mixed in, as an accommodation to the fact that some of the leadership fled to Somalia.

News Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered the release of all detainees in connection with anti-government protests in Hadramout province over the past months including journalist Fuad Rashid.

President Saleh’s order came in response to a call by leading members of the Joint Meeting Parties, political and social figures and members of the local authority and the Shura Council for the release of all detainees, MP for Islah party Mohsen Basura told News Yemen.

The JMP’s members have urged President Saleh to release detainees in order to pave the way for a national dialogue and making peace in Hadramout, Basura said.

On Monday, President Saleh ordered the authorities in Hadramout to release journalist Awadh Kashmim who was detained for two weeks.

The authorities have also recently released 161 Houthi rebels arrested during conflict with the army in northern Sa’ada.

Last Wednesday, the opposition Joint Meeting Parties demanded that the authorities release detainees and stop pursuing political activists and journalists as one of several conditions to start a real dialogue on political and economic reforms in the country.

Lies, lies, all lies

Filed under: Oil, Presidency, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 5:30 pm on Friday, March 26, 2010

Nasser Arrabyee MARGARET WARNER: As you know, there is great concern about the degree of corruption here. And that’s one reason why the aid that was agreed to several years ago by the international community, most of it never came here.

What are you doing about that perception and, at least in the view of most international observers, the reality that a lot of money that is given here in assistance is not spent for the purposes it was intended, and does go to benefit the private interests of people in the government and inner circle?

ALI ABDULLAH SALEH (through translator): These are mere lies. This information are baseless, and it is not true. It’s within the framework of a campaign of lies against Yemen, unfair campaign against Yemen, against the security and the stability and democracy of Yemen.

Also funny: Yemen Post headline, Oil Minister Does Not Believe in Oil Depletion Rumors

South Yemen unrest an internal affair US says, Saleh launches tank assault

Filed under: Presidency, South Yemen, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 9:18 am on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

03/03/10 News Yemen: The visiting US Department of State Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, said in an interview to official al-Thawra on Wednesday, the crisis in southern Yemen is a Yemeni internal affair, but he said issues behind the crisis should be solved.

Immediately afterward, Yemen cut the phone lines and launched an assault in the south that included night time raids of activists, arrests, and military assaults on Dhalie and other locations with tanks and armored vehicles. As the tanks are firing, Saleh invites the southerners to dialog, while the GPC pushes the line that whole thing is the JMP’s fault: “well-known leaderships in the JMP manage the action of those stray forces and deal with them as the military wing of the opposition.”

(Read on …)

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