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 …)

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