Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

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.

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 …)

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.

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 …)

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.

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 …)

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 …)

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 …)

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