Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Does Al Houthi call for re-implementation of Imamate in Yemen and political exclusion of women

Filed under: National Dialog Committee, Saada War, Women's Issues — by Jane Novak at 9:11 am on Saturday, November 10, 2012

Update: Houthis reach deal with JMP on some basic principles including need to restructure military, end media incitement on all sides and to overcome obstacles to southern participation in the dialog. Maybe the speech was pre-negotiation bluster to satisfy the Houthis constituency prior to the agreement with the JMP, maybe not.

Original: IN a speech on al Ghadir Day, Abdelmalik al Houthi appears to call for restoring the Imamate and restricting leadership to Hashimites, descendants of Mohammed. In years prior, Al Houthi’s statements supported the concept of the democratic state. The inability of the Saleh oligarchy to share power, and the subsequent failure of the Yemeni experiment in democracy 1990-2010, led to extremism in the southern position, which currently calls for independence, as well as giving credence to the al Qaeda narrative that democracy is a false system. Whether this was Abdelmalik’s hidden agenda all along or whether he was radicalized by a decade of war and political exclusion, there’s no way to go back in time.

NYR | YemenFox | Professor of sociology at Sana’a University considered the declaration of Houthi group leader to march toward Sana’a and restore the state to Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib as one of the obstacles that will hinder reaching a political settlement and normalizing the coming political and social conditions in the country.

Dr. Adel al-Sharjabi told “Yemen Fox” that the leader of Houthi group has to clarify to the public his stance toward the modern democratic civil state, and to get rid of violent thinking and armed way to impose his opinions.

In his speech on the occasion of al-Ghadir Day festival, Leader of Houthi Abdul Malik al-Houthi said that their struggle will go on until they restore power from what he called “Satan rulers” and return it back to Imam Ali bin Abi Talim- may Allah be pleased with him, and that their struggle will go on until people recognize that power is his and his descendants after him, and other loyalty is only to the devil and America.

Al-Shargabi said there are also tribal groups and factions in the army that possess weapons, calling on them to move away from violent way and adopt peaceful methods.

Professor of sociology at Sana’a University added that the coming National Dialogue conference represents an opportunity for the Yemeni people to get out of the current situation.

“If all Yemeni parties enter the ND conference with sincere intentions and tendencies to build a modern democratic civil state the conference will be a turning point in the history of Yemen,” he added.

Al-Sharjabi concluded that in case the ND conference fails, the country will be heading towards a darkened future, conflicts, and greater divisions in the situation the country goes through.

Houthis object to women and US ambassador at National Dialog Conference

Yemen Fox: Basha: Houthis object US envoy presence, not foreign tutelage

The Yemeni rights activist Amal al-Basha said that Houthi group should not impose their opinions by force and should not prevent others from expressing their opinions.
The activist expressed her full rejection of excluding woman from any political party under whatever religious denomination, and “if Houthi group announces clearly that it is against participation of woman in politics, we will stand against such position.”
Asked about her vision of woman’s future, especially with Houthis having declared to continue struggle to bring back the rule, Ms. Basha said that if any Yemeni sectarian or political current has an unfavorable position of woman participation in political action, we will be against it and will strive in order to secure these rights for women’s participation in politics.
Spokeswoman for the Technical Committee of national dialogue, praised Houthi representatives in the committee.
“Based on my dealing directly in the committee with representatives of Houthis, they seem not to have fanatical attitude against woman. When I suggested that an opening statement to be delivered in the name of women to the committee, they were the first who supported the proposal.”
She attacked Islah Party, which it said since its establishment has always been against political participation of women and against allocating seats for them in local councils or parliament.
Basha stated that Houthis do not oppose foreign tutelage on dialogue, but “they only objected presence of the US Ambassador in particular,” adding that this issue was discussed with them and they gave up this objection.
Commenting on the national dialogue, she stated that the process’s date has not been set yet and that such decision is to be made by President Hadi.

Update: Below is Abdelmalik al Houthi’s original al Ghadir Day speech regarding Imam Ali and the religious qualifications for leadership in Yemen. The traditional Zaidi view is that leadership should be restricted to virtuous Muslims and preferably Hashimites, ie- a theocracy. However in broader Zadi society that view evolved over the last half century. Abdelmalik spent the last decade refuting the idea that the Houthis wanted to restore the Imamate and bemoaning that the promises of democracy and equal rights were not fulfilled:

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله الملك الحق المبين، وأشهد أن سيدنا وقائدنا وقدوتنا وحبيب قلوبنا محمداً عبده ورسوله الصادق الأمين أرسله الله إلى الخلق داعياً إلى الحق، يهدي إلى الصراط المستقيم.

اللهم صل وسلم وبارك وترحم وتحنن على خير خلقك وخاتم أنبيائك ورسلك محمد وعلى آله الطاهرين.

أيها الإخوة المؤمنون الأعزاء الشرفاء الأوفياء.. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

وأرحب بكم في هذه المناسبة العزيزة والذكرى المجيدة، وأبارك لكم وأهنئكم وأسأل الله أن يكتب أجركم وأن يبارك فيكم وأن يتقبل منكم إنه سميع الدعاء.

أيها الإخوة المؤمنون الأعزاء :

في هذه المناسبة العزيزة التي أتت في ظرف مهم ومرحلة خطرة تعيشها أمتنا الإسلامية وشعبنا اليمني المسلم العزيز، أتت هذه الذكرى ( ذكرى يوم الولاية ) ذكرى لها شأن عظيم تجاه قضيةٍ أساسيةٍ بالنسبة للأمة الإسلامية، قضيةٍ مصيرية، قضية أساسية لدينها ودنياها.

أتت مناسبة يوم الولاية في مرحلة تسعى أمريكا فيها لفرض ولايتها على الأمة، الولاء في الموقف، والولايةَ في الأمر، والتدخل في كل شأن من شئون هذه الأمة، والتحكم بمصائر الشعوب الإسلامية والعربية، الأمر الذي يمثل خطورةً كبيرةً جداً على كل مسلم على دينه، وعلى دنياه، وعلى هويته الإسلامية، الأمر الذي ينسجم بحالٍ من الأحوال مع انتماء الإنسان المسلم لإسلامه، الإنسان المسلم الذي ينتمي إلى الإسلام ديناً وإلى أنبياء الله ورسله وخاتمهم محمد قدوةً وقادةً ومعلمين، وينتمي إلى نهج الله المقدس القرآن الكريم نور الله في عباده، لا ينسجم في بحالٍ من الأحوال أن يقبل أي فرد مسلم صادقٍ في انتمائه ثابتٍ على هويته بأن تحكمه أمريكا أو بأن يكون ولاؤه لها، أو تكون ولايتها عليه، إن الله سبحانه وتعالى قال في محكم كتابه “يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ”.

إننا من خلال إحيائنا لهذه المناسبة عندما نحييها بوعي وبفهم لمدلولها ونجعل منها منطلقاً أساسياً لترسيخ وتثبيت مبدأ الولاية بالمفهوم القرآنية فإننا نتحرك في الموقف الصحيح، عندما نرفض الولاية الأمريكية، الولاية في الأمر، الولاية في الشأن، التدخل في واقعنا وفي مصيرنا في شأن من شئوننا، والولاء لهم في الموقف، والولاء لهم فيما هم عليه من سياسات إجرامية وظالمة وهدامة لا تنسجم بحالٍ من الأحوال مع إسلامنا ولا مع قرآننا ولا مع أخلاقنا ولا مع مبادئنا، ننطلق مع هذا الموقف الذي هو نابعٌ من تمسكنا بكتاب الله سبحانه وتعالى، هو الموقف الطبيعي، الموقف الفطري، الموقف السليم، هم بأنفسهم ما كانوا ليقبلوا لا بولايتنا عليهم ولا بالولاء لنا من داخل شعوبهم.

فإحياؤنا لهذا اليوم هو واحد من تعبيرات رفضنا لولايتهم والولاء لهم وسعيٌ منا لتثبيت المبدأ الحق، الولايةُ لله سبحانه وتعالى، وعندما ننادي بهذا المبدأ القرآني ( ولاية الله ) فهو المبدأ الحق الذي تحتاج إليه الأمة حاجةً ماسة، حتى لا تكون أمةً مفصولة ً عن ربها ، عن نبيها ، عن قرآنها، عن نهجها، فتكون أمةً مغلوبة، لأن مبدأ الولاية هو المبدأ الذي يمكن أن يحفظ لأمتنا المسلمة كيانها وعزتها واستقلالها، إذا سقط هذا المبدأ فإن ورائه سقوط الأمة واختراقها وهيمنة أعداؤها عليها، أي ثقافة أو أي مبدأ أو أي فكر أو أي رؤية سياسية يمكن أن تحصن أمتنا الإسلامية من هيمنة أعدائها عليها من اليهود والنصارى ومن سيطرتهم على ولاية الأمر فيها والهيمنة عليها.

في هذه المناسبة العزيزة نحرص وبشكل كبير على تعميم حالة الوعي لمفهوم الولاية وفق الرؤية القرآنية وإدراكِ مدى أهميتها وما يترتب عليها، ونتحدث عن الموضوع كما قدمه الله سبحانه وتعالى في كتابه الكريم قال الله تعالى “إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ * وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ” هكذا.. إنما وليكم الله. الله، أراد لنا الله كأمةٍ مسلمة أن يكون هو ولينا، ما أعظمه من شرف، وما أسماه من تكريم، وما أسوأ وما أقبح وما ألئم من يبحثون عن البديل، من يبحثون عن بديل عن الله سبحانه وتعالى، وبديل عن ولايته جلَّ وعلا، أليس من الكفر بالنعمة ؟ أليس من اللؤم والخسة والدناءة. أي بديل عن ولاية الله سوى ولاية الشيطان، من يتولى أولياء الشيطان هو يتولى بذلك الشيطان ” أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِنْ دُونِي وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ بِئْسَ لِلظَّالِمِينَ بَدَلًا “.

وليكم الله يا مؤمنون .. يا أمة محمد .. يا شعبنا اليمني العزيز.. وليكم الله تتولونه، ترتبطون به هذا الإرتباط الوثيق، هذا الإرتباط الذي لا يمكن أن ينفصم والذي يترتب عليه كل خيرٍ وكل عزةٍ وكل فلاح، وكل خير في الدنيا والآخرة، وليكم الله يتولى كل شؤونكم، يتولى هدايتكم، يتولى تأييدكم بالنصر، يتولى رعايتكم، يتولى أمركم في كل شأنكم، فيما يرسمه من منهج، فيما يحدده من أعلام، في كل ما يدير به شأنكم كله، إنما وليكم الله، ولاية الله ولايةً شاملة فيها الرعاية فيها الهداية، ألم يقل الله ربنا سبحانه وتعالى ” اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ” إنها الولاية الإلهية التي تخرج من تمسك بها واعتصم بها وثبت على نهجها من كل ظلمات التظليل ومن كل ظلمات الجهل ومن كل ظلمات الظلم، يمنحه الله النور فيكون في هذه الحياة عزيزاً ومستنيراً بنور الله، ينوِّر الله قلبه وينير له الطريق فيعجز كل الأعداء بكل وسائلهم التظليلية من إظلاله، ومن تجهيله، ومن التلعب به، ومن تظليله من مبدأه أو في رؤيته للواقع، والولاية الإلهية فيها نصر عندما نتولى الله ونكون في إطار الولاية الإلهية نكون في طريق النصر، في طريق العزة، في طريق القوة، الله سبحانه وتعالى ” يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِنْ تَنْصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنْصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ” ثم يقول سبحانه وتعالى ” وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَتَعْسًا لَهُمْ وَأَضَلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ * ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَرِهُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالَهُمْ *أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ دَمَّرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ أَمْثَالُهَا * ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَى الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَأَنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ لَا مَوْلَى لَهُمْ ” ألم يقل سبحانه وتعالى في كتابه المجيد ” قَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ * وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَاكُمْ نِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ” سبحانه ما أعظمه، ما أقواه، سبحانه ما أجل كرمه، ما أعلى شأنه ويقول جل شأنه ” وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ” هذه ولاية الله. ولاية الله هي هداية، ونصر، وعزة، رعاية شاملة، إدارة كاملة لكل واقع حياتنا من منطلق رحمته، من منطلق حكمته، من منطلق لطفه، من منطلق قوته وعزته، وولاية الرسول صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ” إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ” الولاية الأخرى. البديل عن الله هو الشيطان، البديل عن الرسول هو من.؟ رموز الطاغوت، رموز الشر، رموز الباطل يضلوهم وطواعيتهم وكبارهم إجراماً وفسقاً من أولياء الشيطان.

يا مؤمنون ” إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ” وولاية الرسول صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم هي امتدادٌ لولاية الله سبحانه وتعالى والله قال ” النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَى بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ ” ولاية الرسول هادياً، قائداً للأمة، زعيماً للأمة، مديراً لشئون الأمة، يعمل على هدايتها، وتزكيتها، وبنائها، وإصلاحها، وتعليمها، وله الحق الطاعة وحق الولاء ” مَنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ “، ” كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًا مِنْكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آَيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمْ مَا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ”، ” إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ ” الذين آمنوا . الإمام علي عليه السلام بمؤهلاته الإيمانية الراقية والذي في مثل هذا اليوم الثامن عشر من شهر ذي الحجة في السنة العاشرة من الهجرة والرسول صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم عائدٌ من حجة الوداع وفي وادي خم بلَّغ ما أمره الله بإبلاغه بهذه الولاية.

الإمام علي عليه السلام ولايته هي امتداد لولاية الرسول قائداً من بعده للأمة قائداً، معلماً، مرشداً، زعيماً يعمل على هداية الأمة، يواصل مشوار الرسول صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في بناء الأمة، في هدايتها، في إدارة شؤونها، في تطبيق دينها وفقاً لمسئولتها العظيمة ودورها العظيم، الإمام علي عليه السلام أبلغ الرسول أمته في بلاغه الشهير والذي نحرص من خلال إحيائنا لهذه المناسبة أن نحافظ على ذلك البلاغ ليبقى للأمة عبر الأجيال، شهادة للرسول بالبلاغ وإكمالاً للحجة وإتماماً لها على الناس، الرسول خطب في الثامن عشر وقال في خطابه المشهور عندما وصل إلى الموضوع المطلوب (يا أيها الناس إن الله مولاي وأنا مولى المؤمنين أولى بهم من أنفسهم فمن كنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاه اللهم والِ من والاه وعادِ من عاداه وانصر من نصره واخذل من خذله) الإمام علي بمؤهلاته الإيمانية والربانية كان هو الجدير بهذا الموقع، كان لديه الكفاءة اللازمة لمسئولية بهذا الحجم، مسئولية عظيمة أن يخلف النبي صلوات الله عليه وعلى آله، ويتولى من بعده الموقع الأول في الأمة، هادياً ومربياً ومعلماً وزعيماً ومرشداً وبانياً لهذه الأمة.

الإمام علي بمؤهلاته التي كانت معروفة ومشهورة وتحدث عنها النبي صلوات الله عليه وعلى آله في مقامات متعددة، منها في مقام خيبر عندما قال صلى الله عليه وعلى آله (لأعطين الراية غداً رجلاً يحب الله ورسوله ويحبه الله ورسوله، كرار غير فرار يفتح الله على يديه) تجلى في ذلك المقام مستوى أهلية الإمام علي عليه السلام لتلك المسئولية العظيمة، رجلاً في مستوى المسئولية، رجلاً لديه الجدار لبناء هذه الأمة بالإرتقاء بها، بتعليمها، بقيادتها في مواجهة أعدائها مهما كانوا ومهما كانت إمكانياتهم، لديه هذا المستوى العالي من الإيمان، منزلةٌ، عظيمةٌ، ساميةٌ، رفيعةٌ عند الله العظيم (يحب الله ورسوله ويحبه الله ورسوله) هذا الرجل العظيم الذي يحبه الله ورسوله أليس جديراً منا بالمحبة.؟ أليس جديراً منا بأن نتولاه.؟ أليس جديراً بالمقام العظيم في قيادة الأمة وهداية الأمة.

في مقامٍ آخر والرسول يؤكد مكانة علي في الأمة ودورة المستقبلي الكبير من بعده قال صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم (أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنه لا نبي بعدي) مقام علي من محمد في أمة محمد مثل مقام هارون من موسى في أمة موسى، كيف يمكن للبعض أن يضع في هذا المقام غير علي وقد وضعه الله في المقام اللائق على لسان نبيه، علي بهذه المنزلة، من هذا الموقع كشخصيةٍ بعد رسول الله صلوات الله عليه وعلى آله ليس هناك في كل الأمة من هو في مستواه ولا في مقامه، عليٌ بمؤهلاته الكبرى في كل المجالات، في مجال العلم ( أنا مدينة العلم وعلي بابها ) .. علي قرين القرآن بل القرآن الناطق المهتدي بالقرآن، المستوعب للقرآن، المتمسك بالقرآن، الهادي بالقرآن، قال عنه المصطفى صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم (علي مع القرآن والقرآن مع علي) علي الذي هو على الحق متمسك بالحق، ثابتً على الحق، عاملاً بالحق، يهدي الأمة إلى الحق ويسير بها في طريق الحق قال عنه الرسول (علي مع الحق والحق مع علي يدور معه حيثما دار) علي بمؤهلاته، بكماله، بموقعه العظيم بعد رسول الله محمد أراد الله له أن يكون هو بكل تلك المؤهلات من يقود الأمة بعد نبيها، وأن تتولاه الأمة، لأنه النموذج الراقي لمن يلي أمر الأمة وعندما قال الرسول (فهذا عليٌ مولاه) هذا تعني .. هذا هو اللائق بهذه الأمة التي يراد لها أن تكون أمةً عظيم، يناط بها مهام عظيمة وجسيمة، هذا هو اللائق بهذا الدين العظيم، بأمة عظيمة برسول عظيم، وبمهام عظيمة، رجل لديه المؤهلات كلها في نفسه وتجاه الأمة، حكمة ورحمة، تحدث القرآن ونطق برحمة علي، بإخلاص علي، برأفة علي، الإمام علي عليه السلام الذي تصدق بخاتمه وهو راكع عندما دخل سائل إلى مسجد النبي وطلب من الناس أن يتساعدوا، لم يتعاون أحدٌ معه ممن كان حاضراً في المسجد، والإمام علي كان يصلي في أعظم لحظاته، اللحظات التي يعيش فيها خشوعه وإقباله إلى الله، وفي أهم لحظة وأعز لحظة وأكثرها انشغالاً بقلبه، إلتفاتاً إلى الله وخشوعاً إلى الله وهو في تلك اللحظة الأهم إنتبه لذلك الفقير الذي لم يتعاون معه أحد، وأشار إليه بخاتمه ليأخذه، نفسيةٌ ممتلئةٌ بالرحمة للناس والرأفة بهم والحرص عليهم، علي عليه السلام الذي آثر على نفسه وهو في أمس الحاجة إلى الطعام بعد إتمام صيامه ولا يوجد في البيت غير ذلك الطعام الجاهز للعشاء “وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا * إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا” هذا الرجل العظيم الرباني قرين القرآن تلميذ محمد، من هو بمنزلة هارون من موسى أراد الله له أن يكون هو ولياً لهذه الأمة المسلمة بعد نبيها، وفعلاً عندما آل إليه أمر الخلافة بعد فترة زمنية معروفة ثبت أنه عليه السلام بمستوى المسئولية، كان في مستوى المسئولية يتعامل من موقعه في الخلافة، يشعر بالمسئولية لا طامعاً ولا يعتبرها مغنماً، لا يعتبر السلطة ولا ولاية الأمر مغنماً ومكسباً للتسلط وجمع الثروة.. كلا. يعتبرها مسئولية لإحقاق الحق في إقامة العدل، لبناء الأمة، لهداية الأمة، لتزكية أنفسها، لبنائها بناءً عظيماً. قال عبد الله ابن العباس : دخلت على أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام بذي قار وهو يخصف نعله، فقال لي : (ما قيمة هذا النعل ) فقلت : لا قيمة لها. فقال عليه السلام : ( والله لهي أحب إلي من إمرتكم إلا أن أقيم حقاً أو أدفع باطلاً) لا قيمة للسلطة إلا إذا كانت وسيلة لخدمة الأمة، إذا كانت للرحمة بالناس، إذا كانت لهداية الناس بعيداً كل البعد عن الظلم، متورعاً يخشى الله، يخشى الله في عباده ورحيماً بالناس وهو القائل (والله لأن أبيت على حسك السعدان مسعداً وأجرَّ في الأغلال مصفداً، أحب إلي من أن ألقى الله ورسوله يوم القيامة ظالماً لبعض العباد أو غاصباً لشيء من الحطام، وكيف أظلم أحداً لنفسٍ يسرع إلى البِلا قفورها ويطول بالثرا حلولها) وهو القائل (والله لو أُعطيت الأقاليم السبعة بما تحت أفلاكها على أن أعصي الله في نملة أسلبها جلب شعيرة ما فعلت . ما فعلت) عدل حقيقي، الأمة التي ترزح تحت الظلم، الأمة الإسلامية التي تعاني من ظلم ما حل بمثلها على أمةٍ من الأمم، ما حل بمثل ذلك الظلم الذي تعاني منه لأنها ابتعدت عن ذوي العدل، عن ذوي الرحمة حتى صار وضعها على ما هو عليه، وعندما كان يقاتل الناكثين والقاسطين والمارقين لم يقاتل لتثبيت سلطان، ولا طمعاً في جاه، ولا طمعاً في مال، وهو القائل ( اللهم إنك تعلم أنه لم يكن الذي كان منا منافسةً في سلطان، ولا التماس شيء من فُضول الحطام، ولكن لنرد المعالم من دينك، ونظهر الإصلاح في بلادك، فيأمن المظلومون من عبادك، وتقام المعطلة من حدودك) وحينما كان ينادي في الأمة يدعوها لنصره، لتثبيت العدل، لإقامة الحق، للتأسيس لمستقبلٍ قائم على العدل والحق والخير لهذه الأمة فيتخاذل عنه الكثير من الناس ولا يستجيبون صم بكم عميٌ، كان عليه السلام يدعو الله فيقول ( اللهم أيما عبد من عبادك سمع مقالتنا العادلة غير الجائرة، والمصلحة في الدين والدنيا غير المفسدة، فأبى بعد سماعه لها إلا النكوص عن نصرتك والإبطاء عن نصر دينك فإنا نستشهدك عليه بأكبر الشاهدين شهادة، ونستشهد عليه جميع من أسكنته أرضك وسماواتك، ثم أنت بعد المغني عن نصره والآخذ له بذنبه) وهكذا كان عليه السلام في مستوى المسئولية واعياً بها، لا طامعاً بحكم ولا معتبراً لها مغنماً، من هنا نفهم أهمية ولاية الأمر في الإسلام وأنها يجب أن تكون امتداداً لولاية الله خاضعةً للمعايير والمؤهلات التي حددها الله، من يلي أمر الأمة، هذه أمة مسلمة نحن مسلمون من يلي أمرنا يجب أن تكون عنده رحمة، وحكمة، يجب أن يكون عارفاً كيف يربي الأمة، كيف يبني الأمة، كيف يطور حياتها، كيف ينمي اقتصادها، كيف يزكي أنفسها، كيف يواجه أعدائها، وعلى أساس دينها، وعلى أساس منهج ربها، لأن لولاية الأمر صلة وثيقة بإقامة الدين ولهذا قال الله لنبيه محمد “وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ”.

عندما أيها الإخوة الأعزاء نتأمل في واقع أمتنا اليوم، في واقع شعوبنا العربية المظلومة المقهورة المعانية عناءً لا نظير له في الأرض، نرى النتائج السلبية لعدم فهم ولاية الأمر وأهميتها وصلتها بواقع حياة الناس، وبدينهم ودنياهم، ولاية الأمر لها صلة بكل شؤون حياتنا، بكل شؤون حياتنا، إقتصادنا، عزتنا، أمننا، سلامنا، هدايتنا، ديننا، دنيانا، هكذا هي ولاية الأمر هي الأساس لبناء الأمة، هي أساس عزها، هي أساس بنائها، أساس قوتها، كل ذلك في صلاح ولاية أمرها، فكيف هو الوضع القائم.؟ ليس هناك أي معايير ولا مؤهلات لا قرآنية ولا إنسانية يعتمد عليها الحكام أو تعتمد عليها الحكومات التي تحكم على الشعوب العربية، لا أي مؤهلات ولا أي معايير ذات صلة بطبيعة المسئولية في ولاية الأمر، في أمتنا الإسلامية، في شعوبنا العربية يحكمنا حكومات جائرة، ظالمة، باغية، تذل الأمة، تقهر الأمة، وتجعل من الأمة أمةً مستعبدةً لأعدائها، خاضعةً مقهورةً مستذلةً لليهود والنصارى، ولاة أمر ليس لهم أي مؤهل، لا إنساني ولا قرآني ولا فطري ولا أي شيء، ولاة أمر وحكومات ظالمون مجرمون، طغاة، مستبدون، لم يفعلوا للأمة شيئاً، لا بنو اقتصاد الأمة، أمتنا الإسلامية في اقتصادها تعيش أسوأ من أي وضع لأي أمةٍ أخرى على الأرض، ولا بنو عزة الأمة، بل أذلوا الأمة، ولم يواجهوا أعدائها، ولم يدافعوا عنها، ولم يوفروا لها الحماية، وضعٌ مؤسف اعتمدت المسألة من دون أي مؤهلات، الحكومة سواءً في اليمن أو في أي شعب عربي لا تحتاج إلى أي مؤهلات لا رحمة، ولا حكمة، ولا دين، ولا ضمير، ولا شرف، يعتمدون على التغلب، وعلى التسلط، وعلى الانتهازية، وعلى فرض الأمر الواقع ليسطروا على الشعوب ولينفذوا في هذه الأمة أجندة الخارج المعادي.

عندما نتأمل المستوى والواقع الذي وصلت إليه أمتنا المسلمة فإنه كارثة كبيرى، كارثة كبرى أصبح من يقرر ولاية أمرها هي أمريكا، بمعايير أمريكا، بالمؤهلات التي تراها أمريكا والتي تكفل وتضمن قيام حكومات انتهازية على مستوى فضيع من الإنحطاط والظلم, والإنتهازية والإجرام، قادرة على تنفيذ مخططات الأعداء، فأصبحت أمريكا هي من تفرض حكومات، وهي من تقرر ولاة وتعين رؤساء، وتصادق حتى على الموظفين والمسئولين، ووفق معاييرها التي تضمن قيام حكومات متسلطة تنفذ أجندتها بعيداً عن كل المعايير الإلهية.

وهكذا وبأي حق، بأي حق تمتلك أمريكا التحكم في ولاية أمر الأمة الإسلامية وبأي معايير وبأي مؤهلات، من يستطيع أن يقول أن أمريكا تحرص وتسعى إلى أن نكون أمةً عزيزة، أمةً قوية، أمةً مستقرة، أمةً في مستوى مسئوليتها، وهل سيحرص الأمريكي حينما يعين حكومة أو يفرض سلطةً معينة على بناء قيمنا.؟ على بناء ديننا.؟ على بناء أخلاقنا.؟ هل لدى الأمريكي قواسم مشتركة معنا.؟ حتى يفوض هو في أن يقرر ولاية الأمر على حسب ما يشاء ويريد.؟

الأنظمة القائمة تتعامل مع ولاية الأمر على أنها مغنم مادي كبير وموقع للتسلط وللاقتدار للممارسة العدوان بحق الآخرين، يعني الحكومات القائمة يعتبرون السلطة ليس لخدمة الأمة وليست السلطة عندهم للدفاع عن الأمة، وليس السلطة عندهم من أجل بناء الأمة ولا من أجل بناء اقتصادها، ولا من أجل أمنها، ولا من أجل استقرارها، السلطة عندهم وسيلة للحصول على ثروات الشعوب من خلال وزارة المالية من خلال النفط، من خلال مصالح الشعوب التي ينهبونها، وسيلة للسيطرة والتغلب وممارسة التسلط والقهر والعدوان من خلال استغلال الجيوش ومن خلال استغلال المؤسسات العسكرية، السلطة عندهم إرضاء للنزعة التسلطية وهواية المناصب وعشق المناصب.

هكذا نرى ما يسمى بحكومة الوفاق، أثبتت ذلك وكشفت حقيقة بعض القوى المتلبسة بالدين الذي ما إن وصل إلى السلطة حتى تسابق موظفوه ومسئولوه للسطو على المال العام وعلى الوظيفة العامة وجعلوها نهباً وجعلوها مغنماً وليست مسئولية ولا قداسة لها ولا أهمية لديها سوى هذا.

لذلك أيها الإخوة الأعزاء نرى ضرورة أن تستمر الثورات الشعبية لأنها بداية تحرك في الإتجاه الصحيح، نحن شعوب مسلمة من حقنا أن نطالب بالعدل، وأن نُصرّ على إقامة حكومات عادلة، حكومات تقيم العدل فينا، حكومات تدافع عن الشعوب، لا تفتح بلدان شعوبها للعدوان والمعتدين، حكومات ترى عزة الأمة فوق كل اعتبار، لا تسعى للتسلط ولا للإذلال ولا للقهر. المعايير الإلهية هي معايير لمصلحة الناس، الله يريد للناس العدل فينبغي أن يكونوا هم من يتفاعلون مع ذلك ويحرصون على إقامته.

يجب أن تستمر الثورات ولو أن هناك جهود كبيرة لإفشال الثورات العربية واحتوائها وإعادة الشعوب إلى أسوأ من الوضع الماضي، هكذا يحرص الأمريكيون على إعادة الشعوب إلى أسوأ من الوضع السابق، يجب أن تستمر الشعوب في ثوراتها حتى يتحقق في واقعها ولاية أمر بشكل سليم وفق المعايير الإلهية، قائمة على العدل والرحمة والمؤهلات القرآنية، بدلاً من المؤهلات الأمريكية وما يحقق للأمة أن تتحول إلى أمة غالبة، قوية، عزيزة، متماسكة هو مبدأ الولاية ” وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ “.

يتحقق لنا يا أمة الإسلام، يتحقق لنا يا شعبنا اليمني العزيز، يتحقق لنا أيها المؤمنون كل مكاسب الولاية الإلهي إذا نحن تحركنا على هذا الأساس، إذا نحن تولينا الله، تولينا رسوله، تولينا الإمام علي، تولينا الذين آمنوا، التولي الصحيح، التولي لله الذي هو قائمٌ على أساس إيمان، وثقة، ومسئولية، وجهاد، وعمل، وطاعة، وتصديق، وثقةً قويةً بالله سبحانه وتعالى.

التولي للرسول إقتداءً به، تمسكاً به، سيراً على هديه، تمسكاً بنهجه، تولياً للإمام علي عليه السلام كرمزٍ للأمة بعد نبيها، وولياً لها من عند الله بعد نبيها صلوات الله عليه وعلى آله، هذا هو ما يفيد الأمة ويضمن لها من الله النصر والتأييد والعزة وفق هذا الوعد الإلهي الذي لا يتخلف أبداً لأن الله لا يخلف وعده، ولا يبدل قوله وهو جل شانه هكذا قال ” وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ”.

إن أمتنا المسلمة اليوم في ظل الهجمة الأمريكية والإسرائيلية عليها وهجمة دول الكفر عليها بين خيارين، وبين مسارين، وبين اتجاهين إما طريق تكون فيها غالبة، قاهرة، قوية، عزيزة، مؤيدةً من الله، منصورةً من الله، مسددةً من الله، وإما طريق تكون فيها الأمة مقهورة، مغلوبة، مستغلة، مهانة، الطريقان واضحان إما طريق الولاء لأعداء الإسلام الذي نتيجته الخسران وإما طريق التولي الحقيقي لله سبحانه وتعالى.

ونحن في هذا اليوم وفي هذه المناسبة نعلن ونؤكد مسارنا الذي كنا ولا زلنا عليه كمؤمنين مسار التولي لله، والتولي لرسوله، والتولي للإمام علي، والتولي لآل محمد صلوات الله عليه وعلى آله، والسير في نهج القرآن والإعتصام بالله، والتوكل عليه، والتمسك بنهجه، ولهذا رددوا معي دعاء التولي ( اللهم إنا نتولاك، ونتولى رسولك، ونتولى الإمام علي، اللهم تقبل منا يا أرحم الراحمين، اللهم إنا نبرأ إليك من أعداءك، ونبرأ إليك من أعداء رسولك، ونبرأ إليك من أعداء الإمام علي، اللهم ثبتنا بالقول الثابت، في الحياة الدنيا وفي الآخرة، واهدنا بكتابك الكريم، انصرنا بنصرك، وأيدنا بتأييدك، واجعلنا معتصمين بك، متوكلين عليك، إنك سميع الدعاء).

أشكر لكم هذا الحضور فأنتم إن شاء الله من أولياء الله وأولياء رسوله وأولياء الإمام علي عليه السلام

والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

http://youtu.be/13a3wplNOxs

القسم:

Misunderstanding the concept of “state”, Hashid tribesmen declare war on Houthis & pledge loyalty to Hadi

Filed under: Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 9:48 am on Sunday, September 30, 2012

1) head of the PSO Galed al Gamish has to go, neutrality or not, 2) loyalty to the state does not mean taking up arms unilaterally to wage a sub-war 3) the Houthi issue has to be resolved through dialog not arms 4) applying the constitution does not mean taking the law into your own hands or applying a violent tribal remedy, does Sadiq have any idea how contradictory and illogical that position is? 5) the Houthis have to stop expanding and fighting, there is no doubt, but Hashid tribesmen launching a seventh Saada war is only going to be another pointless blood bath and 6) Yemeni politics is comprised of various competing cults of personality in an ever shifting caste system.

Yemen Fox, Tribal unanimous agreement to free Sa’ada of Houthis

Sheikhs and officials of Yemeni Hashid Tribe reiterated their support to President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi in building the new Yemen.

At their Saturday meeting hosted by the Tribe’s senior Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmer, sheikhs and tribesmen of Hashid stated that they “will not remain tied-handed towards violence ongoing in Raida, Sa’ada, Hajjah and some nearby areas,” calling on other tribesmen to line up and unite position against “enemies of the nation.” (Read on …)

US Amb at Yemen National Dialog prep meeting prompts Houthis withdrawal, Updated: Southerners to withdraw over replacements

Filed under: National Dialog Committee, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 9:45 am on Monday, September 17, 2012

9/22: FNA: Following disputes last week between members of the Technical Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, first over Presidential Decree of 17 September and then over the presence of the US ambassador during an ordinary meeting with the Group of 10, the ordinary meeting for Saturday 22 September was suspended Friday evening.

A member of the Committee indicated other matters added to the reasons given to suspend the ordinary meeting. One reason was the failure to secure a meeting with President Hadi prior to his departure for London this week. Ms. Basha also indicated due to some members boycotting Committee meetings since last week the Saturday meeting would have lacked quorum.

Update 1: the replacement of the southern representative with Abdullah Hassan has or will prompt withdrawal of the southern delegation. More broadly, many southerners believe that north/south discussions is distinct, and dialog among northerners doesn’t concern them. I think if they came as a unified group who had the interests of southern citizens at the forefront, they could accomplish a lot of good, but there is the perpetual political posturing some of which is a holdover from the 1980’s.

Update 2: Wow, Feierstein tries public diplomacy for once and remarks on the arrival of the Marines; its a protection team for the embassy with a limited deployment in time and space, below.

Original: Today especially, when the entire Middle East is protesting the US, Feierstein decides he’s going to ride roughshod on the Houthis, in person. He could have at least asked before barging into the room. Its obvious his presence would prompt a response from the Houthis who marched against him yesterday from Change Square to Hadi’s house, and avoided the US embassy altogether. The main thing its to get the Houthis enfranchised and make the dialog happen, not to exert US hegemony over every step.

Things will be a lot less tense once Feierstien completes his term, and an extension would be a very bad idea. Also its a good idea to get a set of fresh eyes in the embassy, because Feierstein is factually wrong in certain areas and one driver of the disastrous US policy in Yemen.

Just a point, the Clinton State Department was extremely laid back when Saleh-paid thugs besieged several ambassadors including Gerald Feierstein for four hours in the UAE’s embassy where they gathered prior to signing the GCC agreement in May 2010. Finally they were flown out by helicopter, and Feierstein laughed and joked about it the same day. It was likely the same type of paid thugs who stormed and looted the US embassy this week.

Related: YT, Parliament rejects additional US Marines at embassy. At some points, diplomacy is actually called for. I think the position went to his head.

FNA: #Yemen – - Houthis withdraw from Technical Committee meeting FNA 17.09.2012 – Houthis withdrew from a meeting held by the Technical Committee, charged of preparing Yemen’s National Dialogue, in Sana’a this Monday morning, after U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein enter the room; arguing the diplomat was “overstepping national sovereignty boundaries.” Sharaf al Din and Mohammed al Bokhaiti – both representatives of Houthis on the Committee – expressed concerns over other factions’ lenience regarding the admission “of a foreign entity” at a meeting where “national security issues” were being discussed.

السفير الأمريكي بصنعاء جيرالد فايرستاين:
- أود أن أُعرب عن تقديري العميق للشعب اليمني لدعمهم السخي ورفضهم الواسع للعنف الذي وُجه ضد السفارة الأمريكية بصنعاء يوم الخميس الموافق 13 سبتمبر.
- بعد إجراء مشاورات وثيقة بين الولايات المتحدة والسلطات اليمنية، سيعمل عدد قليل من القوات الأمنية الإضافية وبشكلٍ مؤقت على المساعدة في جهود الأمن وإعادة الترتيب في السفارة. وتقتصر مهمة هؤلاء الأفراد على تقديم المساعدة في مرافقنا الدبلوماسية وحماية الدبلوماسيين الأمريكيين من العنف، ويعدُ التكليف المؤقت للقوات الإضافية لمساعدة البعثات الدبلوماسية الأمريكية التي تواجه تحديات أمنية شيئاً طبيعياً.
- تُكلف مثل هذه المجموعة على مدى قصير وبعد مشاورات وثيقة مع الحكومات المضيفة، كما أنها تعمل وفقاً للقانون الدولي.
-تم إتخاذ قرار إستخدام هذه المجموعة الصغيرة عقب مشاورات وثيقة أُجريت بين الولايات المتحدة والسلطات اليمنية.
- سنبقى صامدين، ليس فقط بالتزامنا في مساعدة الشعب اليمني، بل أيضاً في التزامنا بالصداقة الدائمة التي تطورت بين بلدينا وشعبينا. ومعاً، سنستمر في البناء على ذلك الأساس الذي وضعه أولئك الذين ضحوا كثيراً من أجل تحقيق تحولٍ سياسي سلمي ويمنٍ أكثر أمناً وديمقراطيةً وازدهاراً في المستقبل.

Potshots at US trainers in Aden, bombing at Saada rally, protests in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Aden, Counter-terror, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 9:29 pm on Friday, March 2, 2012

Reuters: – A gunman opened fire on a U.S. security team as it trained Yemeni soldiers in the south of the country, the Pentagon and a security official said on Friday, both denying reports from an Islamist group that a CIA officer was killed in the assault.

In the north of the country, a bomb blast hit an anti-U.S. protest, injuring at least 22 people, a rebel group that controls much of the region said. (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.

HRW documents Yemen’s Saleh’s crimes in Taiz including shooting ambulances, denial of medical care to civilians, while Saleh in US receiving medical treatment

Filed under: Civil Rights, Donors, UN, Medical, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The denial of medical care is one method of collective punishment indicative of the Saleh regime and was prevalent and well enforced during the Saada War. going back to 2005. How much urgent and necessary medical care Saleh is getting in the Ritz Carlton is questionable.

Yemen: Unlawful Attacks, Denial of Medical Care in Taizz
US, EU, Gulf Should Reject Immunity for Saleh, Aides

(New York, February 8, 2012) – Yemeni security forces stormed and shelled hospitals, evicted patients at gunpoint, and beat medics during an assault on Yemen’s protest movement that killed at least 120 people in the flashpoint city of Taizz last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is in the United States receiving medical treatment, received amnesty in Yemen for such attacks.

In the 75-page report, “‘No Safe Places’: Yemen’s Crackdown on Protests in Taizz,” Human Rights Watch called on the United States, the European Union, and Persian Gulf states to publicly acknowledge that the domestic immunity granted Saleh and his aides last month has no legal effect outside Yemen.

“President Saleh’s forces killed and wounded hundreds of civilians, evicted hospital patients, and blocked war wounded from reaching care,” said Letta Tayler, Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Saleh is entitled to medical treatment, but he and his aides have no right to immunity from prosecution for international crimes.”

When Yemenis took to the streets in January 2011 to demand an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule, Taizz, 250 kilometers south of the capital, Sanaa, became a center of both peaceful and armed resistance – and the scene of numerous human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war. “No Safe Places” is based on more than 170 interviews with protesters, doctors, human rights defenders, and other witnesses to attacks in Taizz by state security forces and pro-Saleh gangs from February to December 2011.
(Read on …)

Al Houthi calls for Civil State in Yemen at mass gathering

Filed under: Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Monday, February 6, 2012

For westerners, the term “civil state” may imply an end to military dictatorship, but in Yemen it has the additional connotation of equal rights among various religious denominations and minorities. It is the more acceptable substitute for the word secular, which some Yemenis misunderstand to mean denying or rejecting religion, as opposed to an impartial state protecting all religions and worshipers’ civil rights. In prior years, the state forbid the celebration of mainstream Zaidi religious commemorations like al Ghadir Day.

Yemen Post: Shiite Houthi leader, Abdulmalek al-Houthi, in Yemen called on Saturday for establishing a civil state that lives up to the people of Yemen, who took to streets demanding change.
In a speech he delivered in front of tens of thousands of his supporters, who gathered to commemorate the prophetic cradle anniversary in the northern Yemeni province of Saddah, al-Houthi called on political forces to respect the will and choice of Yemeni people.
A panel of qualified Yemeni experts should be formed to draft a new constitution, the Military Committee quickly restructures the army, and Security and Political intelligent Security should be dissolved, he demanded.
His followers have reportedly closed all routes from and to Saddah and forced the residents to use excessive fireworks, leaving at least one killed and two injured, local media reported.
“Such ceremony of this magnitude in Yemen to celebrate the prophetic birth anniversary is the fruit of the revolution, which brought down the head of the regime,” al-Houthis said.

SOHR report Dec 2011: human rights violations in southern Yemen

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, South Yemen, War Crimes, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:04 am on Thursday, February 2, 2012

Its a monthly report on state violence and other HR violations including by AQAP that is always precise in terms of names, dates, photos and locations, and it usually is issued within a month or two of the end date, except for those months with large massacres. The recently issued report for December 2011 lists three dead, as opposed to earlier months and years when many dozens were killed and hundreds were wounded in state violence against southern protesters and activists. The fatality totals in the southern protests (2007-2011) far exceeds the number killed by the state since the broader rev began in 2011, a distasteful metric of murder. (The UN SC forgave 33 years of atrocities in Yemen in the interests of “stability,” providing little incentive for Assad to stop his butchery.) In the following, I pulled out some AQAP violations of human rights for a future project but the entire report is available here at archive.org.

SOHR report Dec 2011

On Monday, December ,5 Sheikh Tawfiq Ali Mansour Juneidi ,nicknamed
“Hawas “the leader of the People’s Committees in the town of Lauder of
Abyan province ,died as a result of wounds sustained by a blast of an
explosive package targeted him on Friday, December ,2 and which also
caused the death of his colleague ,Ali Nasser Houshan .The Web site” ,Taj
South Arabia “reported that the People’s Committees protect the district
from the al-Qaeda operatives ,since it is believe that the al-Qaeda is behind
this assassination….

“Al Qaeda “operatives on the evening of Monday, December , ambushed
two vehicles to target a number of people from Almayaser Tribe from the
Farajs when they were passing in” Ekd “area between the districts of Lauder
and Wadiea .Aden News Agency said that the ambush caused injuries
among three people ,they are :Ahmed Hussein Ashal ,Hussein Ali Ashal and
Ahmed Mohammed al-Ghairi. (Read on …)

The South and the Northern Government: A Persistently Troubled Dialogue By Nedhal Moqbel

Filed under: South Yemen, War Crimes, guest posts — by Jane Novak at 9:00 am on Monday, January 30, 2012

As the title indicates, this is a guest post by Nedhal Moqbel

The South and the Northern Government: A Persistently Troubled Dialogue
By Nedhal Moqbel

A recent episode of “Agenda Maftouha” (Open Agenda) program, broadcast by BBC Arabic TV, discussed Yemen’s security situation. Among the program’s guests were the Southern activist Saleh Al-Jabwani and Colonel Abdullah Al-Hadri who represented President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s opposition. Mr. Al-Hadri dilated on Saleh’s crimes against protesters in Sanaa and Taiz squares and the destruction he left behind. However, Mr. Al-Hadri obviously got nervous and impatient when the issue of Southern secession was raised. As he responded to Mr. Al-Jabwani’s comments, Colonel Al-Hadri used an emotional speech and a sharp tone, contending that the current situation is the cause of the entire “Yemeni nation.”

“Our cause is one . . . why do you want to divide us amidst this continuous uprising?” added Mr. Al-Hadri. Wait a minute! Wasn’t it a “one Yemeni nation” when Southerners began their own uprising after 1994, demanding their right to a merely dignified life? Wasn’t it a “one Yemeni nation” when you and your boss (Saleh) brutally persecuted them? Weren’t those protesters your fellow citizens and, therefore, part of this “Yemeni nation”? Moreover, Mr. Al-Hadri stated that General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar was an honest military man who refused to stand by a dictator, and so did Colonel Al-Hadri and many others in the military. He said, “Yes, we used to be Saleh’s partners before. But when he stained his hands with blood and began to distort the country and foster Al-Qaeda, we decided to stay away and choose the homeland and the nation.” How devious! How provocative!

In a sympathetic tone, Mr. Al-Hadri spoke of Saleh’s crimes during the recent protests in North Yemen, stressing that this bloodshed was the reason he (Al-Hadri) and others like General Al-Ahmar seceded from Saleh. As if Saleh’s hands were clean until before these protests! What about the blood he has shed in the South since 1994? What about the thousands of Southerners whom he and his allies killed and wounded in that short-term civil war with military tanks and rockets? What about many extra thousands of Southerners whom they have killed, detained, tortured, and wounded since the outset of the Southern Peaceful Hirak? Why did Mr. Al-Hadri and his fellow military men not distance themselves from Saleh while he was shedding those bloods in the South? Why did they continue to support him, to represent his iron fist over the South? Why did they turn against Saleh only when his victims were Northern citizens?

Of course, my intention is not to attack anyone. I simply reject the twisted language Mr. Al-Hadri used to obscure the Southern cause. He went on, using the same emotional appeal: “It’s shameful to talk about South and North now . . . our cause now is that of a homeland and a nation.” Well! What is really shameful is that Colonel Al-Hadri does not consider the Southern issue itself a cause of an entire homeland whose lands and natural resources and jobs have been robbed, an entire people that used to exist independently but now is under a real occupation. What is really shameful is that Mr. Al-Hadri’s words echoed Saleh’s attitudes toward the South even though the former was presented in the program as an anti-Saleh figure. The same old regime being reproduced! No wonder that most of the oppositional figures affiliated with the “new” government participated in various ways in the 1994 war against the South. No wonder that they still unjustly and irrationally compare the Southern cause (a cause of a homeland) with the Huthi issue (a cause of a sectarian group).

Northern military figures like Colonel Al-Hadri know well the many injustices from which Southerners have suffered too long. Therefore, it is unacceptable that he accuse them of having “ruptured the country.” The country has been torn apart since the 1994 civil war. I wonder if Mr. Al-Hadri still remembers when his citizens in the North celebrated their “victory’ over the South on 7/7/1994; the Sanaa official TV then displayed Northern women uttering trilling cries of joy and Northern men chanting on streets, “Allah Akbar! Long live our leader Ali Abdullah Saleh!” On the other side of the country, Southerners were collecting the dead bodies of their loved ones in order to bury them. This black day, with all the sad memories it carries to Southerners, was made an official holiday and a national day to celebrate annually. Technically, unification ended in 1994 and was replaced by an occupation of the South and a robbery of its natural resource revenues, history, culture, and dignity. Who, then, tore up the previously unified Yemen?

The General People’s Congress and the Joint Meeting Parties are two faces of the same coin. The talk about having given Saleh immunity from prosecution is only half the truth. This “new” government has, in fact, given immunity to itself, too, since the majority of its officials were yesterday’s strong allies of Saleh’s. What we see now in the Sanaa government is the same old regime, and what we hear is the same old language, especially when it comes to the Southern problem. This government’s officials may undergo internal conflicts, but the Southern issue is always the thing that eventually brings them together due to their shared fear of losing the South with all its many treasures. Until Southerners achieve their goal of liberation, we will continue to hear the same rhetoric from Northern officials (and from Northern ordinary citizens) who often argue fearfully and impatiently, “there’s only one Yemen . . . unity is a red line . . . we’re ready to die for it . . . we’ll protect it with our own blood . . . unity or death.”

Comment by Jane: It is true that the atrocities toward the southern protesters (2007-2010) provoked little if any outrage in other parts of Yemen. During the Saada War, civil groups aligned themselves with the concept of civilian immunity without taking a stand on either side of conflict itself. Conversely during the southern protests, the arrests, torture and cold blooded killings elicited little sympathy. Beyond the absence of media attention, some in Sanaa expressed the opinion that southern protesters deserved it. In 2007/8, Southerners were really expecting that their counterparts in the north would join their uprising against the regime.

The lack of domestic solidarity against the state’s systematic attacks on unarmed southern protesters that in part caused the shift in demands from equal civil rights to independence. Remarkably, some of the current revolutionaries (who are seeking to overthrow the regime) deny that southerners have the right to seek independence although both movements deny the legitimacy of the state. From the outset of the current revolution, few efforts were made to reach out to the southern secessionists. And many southerners viewed the year long protests in Sanaa and other parts of the country in a disconnected way, not wholly unsympathetic, but as if the bloody events were occurring in another county. As I’ve said before, many view the unity government as an re-branding of northern power. some also view all northerners as privileged and part of the oppressive structure, when in fact disenfranchised northerners are very poverty stricken and thoroughly without basic services.

In terms of raw numbers, Saleh’s trail of blood, more southern protesters were killed than “northern” protester fatalities over the last year of the rev, and it occurred week after week in an atmosphere of domestic and international silence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

Police open fire on Southern Movement anniversary demonstration

Filed under: Security Forces, South Yemen, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:45 pm on Monday, January 16, 2012

Alsahwah.net – Three protesters and two policemen were killed, and 20 others were wounded on Friday as security forces used live ammunition against supporters of the Southern Movement.

Medics said that 26 protesters were taken to receive treatment.

Thousands of the Southern Movement’s followers protested on Friday to mark the annual anniversary of the civil war erupted in 1986 between fictions of the ruling regime then.

Witnesses said forces of the Central Security used gas bombs, live ammunition to disperse the protesters.

Press reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying that snipers shot fire on the protesters from the back of security forces.

Yemeni human rights organizations and political parties have called to swiftly identify those responsible for the killing of protesters and bring them to justice.

HRW: Unlawful Blanket Amnesty Bill Gives License to Kill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new improved Yemeni regime attacks the Life March

Filed under: Dhamar, Donors, UN, Ibb, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, War Crimes, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:38 am on Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thousands of bare foot, bare chested Yemeni youth terrify the barbaric Sana’a regime and the international community with their bleeding feet: Livestream.

The Life March from Taiz was attacked by Central Security forces in Sanaa with live fire and tear gas. Nine wounded marchers were transported to the field hospital in Sana’a Change Square. One fatality has been reported, Abeer AlFaten, murdered for walking. As is standard practice for a decade, security forces are preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded pedestrians. NYR

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. By re-branding the Sana’a dictatorship and shoving down the citizenry’s throat. the UN, US, EU and SA are publicly treating the entire Yemeni population like petulant children who don’t know what good for them.

The UN SC statement fails to acknowledge, much less take into account, the demand for political empowerment by both the revolutionaries and the southerners. Ironically, while the international community seeks to secure its own goals, these nations are in fact damaging their own mid-term security and national interests, at a time of opportunity, in facilitating the continued imprisonment of a millions determined for freedom.

From my article: The Obama administration’s insistence in retaining elements of the Saleh administration and security forces has thwarted the regime change demanded by millions and allowed al Qaeda to flourish in southern towns. Although US counter-terror efforts have had more latitude to operate since protests began, the Saleh regime and al Qaeda have long had a symbiotic relationship.

Read Noon’s article at Global Voices here: “These GCC states are not at all competent to deal with popular requests for liberty and freedom, not to mention democratic government, because they themselves are mostly despotic regimes,” observed Yemen’s Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC). “They themselves would never welcome such requests from their own people, let alone be ready to accommodate such demands by people in neighboring states.”

Yemen’s Gen Quiran re Taiz violence

Filed under: Aden, Civil Rights, Military, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:29 pm on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Qiran is also indicted in the murder of Ahmed Darwish in an Aden prison.

12/12/12

NYT

TAIZ, Yemen — Armed tribesmen had finally retreated from a pocket of this city, handing back to the state an education building they had occupied in recent weeks. The governor, elated, called it a breakthrough.

Dozens of people had been killed during weeks of violence. Cease-fires had come and gone. Now, the building handover again raised the possibility of a truce. For eight hours, the streets were quiet.

Then the tribesmen retook the building.

“I think we will succeed. Or not,” the governor, Hamoud al-Sofi, said Thursday, sounding exasperated. “We will see.”

Yemen has been caught in a cycle of protest, repression and factional fighting that simply will not let go, even though, as in Taiz, there are many moments that appear to signal a breakthrough, as when the president agreed to step down. The interim government that took power in Yemen last week amid guarded optimism faces an array of daunting challenges. (Read on …)

Dammaj siege in Saada Yemen: 46 days and counting

Filed under: Dammaj, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:10 pm on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/21/11 SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Nearly 200 people, among them 15 foreigners, have been killed in clashes over the past few weeks between an ultraconservative Islamist group and former Shiite rebels in northern Yemen, a military official and the leader of the Islamist faction said Wednesday. In Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Minister said four Russian citizens were among those killed. (Read on …)

HOOD documents 1000 disappeared Yemeni activists

Filed under: Civil Society, Civil Unrest, Judicial, War Crimes, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 8:12 am on Monday, November 7, 2011

The Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms (known as HOOD) launched an investigation into “disappeared” activists. HOOD, a credible organization, found that over 1000 protesters are jailed incommunicado and most likely enduring torture.

While many protesters were grabbed randomly, Yemeni bloggers, tweeters, facebookers and journalists are targeted in particular. Last Friday, millions* across Yemen marched, appealing for solidarity from people in the free world, but gained little western media coverage.

Its also likely some of the missing are dead. After nearly every protest, the state steals the wounded and corpses from hospitals and the streets to reduce the body count. At least three mass graves have been discovered since February.

One family came forward to report the Sanaa regime offered them $10,000 to accuse the opposition in their son’s murder, after he was shot in the eye and killed by the security forces.

Yemen Post: HOOD human rights organization announced that more than 1000 youth activists are still illegally being held by the regime only because they chose to protest peacefully. Among the imprisoned are eight women the organization claims.

Youth leaders in Sana’a marched on Friday raising banners and calling the international community to help in release those imprisoned by government forces and save them from the torture they are going through.

Abdul Rahman Barman, the executive director of HOOD told Yemen Post, “the number of imprisoned youth is on the rise and the world must stand against the government for the sake of humanity.”

“These youth are being tortured and attacked fiercely. Some leave government custody with their minds lost from the torture,” added Barman.

Though the last week of protests in Yemen have been peaceful, security forces have killed more than 900 since January.

Earlier witness testimony detailed brutal torture of prisoners, including children as young as 12, at the hands of Yemeni security forces.

Violence has increased since the UN Security Council passed resolution 2014 two weeks ago strongly urging Saleh to step down. Its par for the course.

During 1994’s civil war, President Ali Abdullah Saleh ignored two security council resolutions calling for the immediate end to the random shelling of Aden City. Saleh’s utter disregard for the resolutions and the forced imposition of unity on south Yemen in 1994 gives rise to southern Yemenis’ claims that they are “occupied” by the northern Saleh regime.

*Yemen has about 25 million citizens. About half are under 15. The marches demanding regime change take place across the nation, not just the capital, and draw the majority of Yemenis to the streets, weekly. Hundreds of thousands of youth activists and others are living in protest squares since February, refusing to go home until Saleh and his regime are deposed.

Yemen denies Syrian pilots killed were tasked with attacking protesters

Filed under: Lahj, Protest Fatalities, Syria, War Crimes, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 6:45 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011

Catching up, only 18 more drafts to publish or delete. I’m leaning toward delete, maybe backdate. This is just too absurd to pass up though. A Yemeni fighter jet crashed at the al Anad AF base in Lahj and seven passengers killed were Syrian pilots.

The regime’s denial that they were brought in to attack the protests is total blather; its more likely that one of the leaders in the Syrian Baath Party like, lets say errrr, Adbel Hafidh Kaid Noaman, hooked up the Syrian pilots for Saleh. UPdate al Masdar publishes the names of the dead and injured Syrian pilots.

Yemen denies opposition claims on the military aircraft crash 27/10/2011 Yemen Online: A military source has revealed the aircraft that crashed in Lahj province south of Yemen two days ago was carrying a number of Syrian and Yemeni trainers. The crash occurred during the landing in Al-Anad air base, as a result of a technical fault and an incorrect navigational measurement by the pilot. The landing took place over an area adjacent to the base runway.

The military source said that the accident had led to the killing of eight Syrian trainers and one Yemeni passenger. Seven other Yemenis escaped unscathed from the accident, including the pilot, Colonel Mahmud Yahya Muhammad al-Armazah, along with two Syrians.

The Syrian killed in the accident work as professional aviation trainers at the Faculty of Aviation and Air Defense. They have been providing fundamental aviation training for 11 years’ the military source stressed

The military source notes that the Yemeni armed forces do not need to seek the assistance of any foreign fighter pilots, as the media run by the Joint Meeting Parties (Opposition) claimed.

Yemeni tanks shell apartment building in Taiz, thugs kidnap corpse in Sanaa

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

yeah yeah Im not supposed to be here but anyway:

Taiz, tanks have been shelling residential areas for some time:

Qaa, Sanaa, another repetitive tactic, stealing the dead: NYR: “Saleh’s thugs drag a killed protester in a barbaric way and kidnap his body in todays attack on the peaceful march in Qaa”

Half million IDPs in Yemen; 1/3 kids malnourished, health services nearly non-existant

Filed under: Abyan, Children, Donors, UN, Economic, Refugees, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IDP’s in Yemen exceed a half million: 300K Saada, 100K Abyan, 200K (at least) Somalis; one doctor per 100K in some areas, one third of children malnourished, education on hold, humanitarian access denied and the whole UN relief project is underfunded by 40%:

Raxanreeb: U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said millions of people in Yemen face “a daily struggle for survival” due to conflict, poverty, drought, soaring food prices and collapsing state services. (Read on …)

Taiz doctor writes President Obama: its the Yemeni people verses a despot

Filed under: Taiz, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:15 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

To; Mr. Barak Obama,
The president of the U.S.A,
The White House, Washington D.C,
From: Dr. Abdulkader Alguneid, MD,
Taiz, Yemen.

Dear Mr. President,
You know that Saleh, has been president of The Yemen for 33yrs and I’m sure that you would agree that this is gross. You, Know that economy and standards of living are deteriorating, regularly and progressively. So, none can claim that Saleh, is, still, presiding, because of his competence. Saleh, has overstayed his welcome, for 33yrs, because of his monopoly on the military, security, Finance, Resources, Media, and Wisdom.

We, utterly, were disgusted with him and enduring his era is an evidence of Yemen people patience and stamina. Putting up with his failures, gaffes and farce acts was a source of great pain to us. (Read on …)

Yemen’s NRC Deplores Bombing of Taiz City, Medical Supplies Urgently Needed: Press Release

Filed under: Medical, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:07 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yemen’s NRC Deplores Bombing of Taiz City, Medical Supplies Urgently Needed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sanaa, Yemen (October 6, 2011)—Yemen’s Revolutionary National Council condemned the Sana’a regime’s random shelling of Taiz City and highlighted the urgent need for medical supplies for wounded citizens. (Read on …)

Revolutionaries are children and thieves: Yahya Saleh

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

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

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

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

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

By Erika Solomon

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

Houthis vs. Islah in al Jawf

Filed under: Islah, Local gov, Saada War, Tribes, al Jawf, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:10 am on Monday, October 3, 2011

The YT has a good write up of the conflict in al Jawf and comes to the conclusion the Houthis are expansionist.

Yemen Times: Sunni-Shiites war in Al-Jawf

War broke out five months ago between Houthi rebels – who are Shiite Muslims – and the locals of Al-Jawf governorate – themselves Sunni Muslims – 143 km northwest of the capital city of Sana’a.

Around 470 Houthis were killed and over 85 of Al-Jawf’ s citizens lost their lives in this four-month-long war, Sheikh Arfj Bin Hadban, a local tribal leader in Al-Jawf, told the Yemen Times. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Counter-terror chief randomly shelling residential areas in Arhab: Video

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes, political violence — by Jane Novak at 2:36 pm on Sunday, October 2, 2011

Are we really going to continue to place the safety of Americans in Prince Ahmed Saleh’s hands when he randomly murders Yemeni civilians? There must be reliable mid-level CT commanders. The following vid shows damage in Arhab, after extensive shelling by the Republican Guard:

Update: Regime bombing of residential areas kills seven year old.

Houthis incapable of not chanting against the US

Filed under: Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:11 pm on Friday, September 23, 2011

Houthis statement – Saada 23/09/2011 Tazahria mass demonstration was the morning of this day, Friday, 24 / October / 1432 e roamed the streets (Saada), attended by tens of thousands of people of the province who have flocked to it since early morning. In the march chanted the masses (you rebel you are free, America, behind the scenes) (Say to the silent or Nam, will participate in crime) (whatever is spilled or kill, any initiative would not accept) (forward ahead of the change, and God is our best advocate) (Felthna spirit of the martyr , he lived the life of the new). Presented during the demonstration a number of rhetorical words and paragraphs of poetry and Message Board.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Houthis nix anti al Qaeda protest in Yemen

Filed under: Saada War, USA, protest statements, protests — by Jane Novak at 5:32 am on Friday, September 16, 2011

Marib press reports the Houthis’ objection and anti-American paranoia caused the protests’ change from condemning al Qaeda. This from the group that chanted Death to America for six years and was fatwa’d as apostates and bombed by al Qaeda during al Tagheer Day last year. The march in Saada was themed “against the US conspiracy” whereas in the rest of Yemen it was the “Friday of Sincere Promise.” And a delegation from the southern independence movement was there in appreciation of the Houthis continued support of their situation.

al Tagheer: Tens of thousands province of Saada in northern Yemen on Friday, a protest to express their rejection of foreign intervention in the course of the revolution and U.S. intervention, which they said it was seeking to control the decision-making positions under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

And warned Houthis who control the province of Saada, which they called a U.S. plot aimed at a revolution of the Yemeni people. (Read on …)

Yemen opposition forms 143 member national council, updated

Filed under: JMP, Saada War, South Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:18 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It doesn’t appear to be the transitional council, but rather a unified front to lead the rev to the point of the transitional council. Its a good step if they make an action plan, drawing on input from their constituencies, as opposed to devolving into a top heavy, bickering entity that issues statements. They better have an English spokesperson unlike the JMP, CCYRC, Civil Coalition, the Southern Movement and the Houthis who all left the regime’s propaganda statements unchallenged in English for a decade. Photos.

Sahwa Net – Yemen opposition parties, the ruling party’s defected politicians met on Wednesday and formed a 143-member national council which aims at uniting various groups against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The council included representatives of civil society, members of the secessionist Southern Movement, and the northern Shiite Huthi rebels, as well as independent activists

According to Yemen’s opposition parties, the national council will lead the forces of the revolution until Ali Abdullah Saleh’s departure.

The opposition meeting was held at a hall in Sanaa University amid tight security enforced by the army’s First Armoured Division led by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who defected to the opposition in March.

More on the anticipated function from the WaPo:

Salem Mohammed Bassindwa, a top opposition figure, says youth groups and political parties named 143 council members to represent the people, a rare show of unity.

“This is a revolutionary council aimed at toppling the rule of the (Saleh) family and the remnants of this regime,” Bassindwa said. He clarified that it is “not an alternative to the government.”

The council members will elect a president and an executive body. It will also form “popular committees” in Yemeni cities, to be in charge of “protecting citizens’ properties and state institutions” at time of crisis and street clashes, he said.

Ok a listing of the names from News of the Yemen Rev in English

1. Ahmad Al-Qatabi
2. Ahmad Bahaj
3. Ahmad Bazarah
4. Ahmad Salem Obeid
5. Ahmad Said Hashed
6. Amat Al-Salam Raja’a
7. Amal Al-Basha
8. Ameen Al-Akemi
9. Ensaf Mayo
10. Bushra Al-Maqtari (Read on …)

Houthis accuse US of suicide car bombing in Al Jawf, Yemen

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Saada War, Yemen, al Jawf, protest statements, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Its al Qaeda and/or the Saleh regime that uses a remote control device to blow somebody up and/or convinces some hapless teen to become cannon fodder and/or puts a dead body in the car, and the Yemeni DNA lab that comes up with the positive ID in half an hour. As much as the Houthis are rabidly paranoid, its clear to them I’m sure that the long string of suicide bombings in Yemen would point to the AQAP murderers as the culprits in this one, either independently or as mercenaries. Maybe the Houthis are trying to de-escalate the situation by blaming the US because in no conceivable parallel universe did the US stage or execute a suicide bombing against the Houthis.

AQAP previously declared jihad on the Houthis and killed Badr al Din al Houthi (along with 14 others) in a suicide car bombing November 2010, also in al Jawf. Its this kind of irresponsible rhetoric which the Saleh regime uses to manipulate the public that the Houthis have condemned for years.

The national: SANAA // Rebel forces yesterday accused US intelligence agencies of plotting the car-bomb attack that killed two people and injured one in Al Matamma, north-east of Sanaa, on Sunday.

Al Houthi rebels said in a statement that the blast targeted a government complex in which their leaders were meeting.

“This is clearly a US intelligence-style criminal act,” the rebels said, while offering no evidence supporting their claim.

The blast came two days after the Al Houthi rebels and the Islamist Islah party agreed to a truce to end the fighting that had flared intermittently since March when Al Jawf province, in which Al Matamma is located, fell to the anti-government tribes.

The Al Houthis said the attack was intended to “provoke sectarian divisions between Yemenis”, adding that the attack was aimed to “help maintain the unjust regime” of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been facing six months of protests calling for him to relinquish power.

390,000 displaced in Yemen: UN

Filed under: Refugees, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:39 pm on Friday, August 5, 2011

About 275,000 still homeless after a brutal Yemeni/Saudi air campaign in the Saada governorate during the 6th outbreak of the Saada War. About another 70,000 as a result of the AQAP occupation of Zinjibar and other southern towns, About 10,000 displaced from Arhab and another 1000 in Taiz.

Governorate Number of IDPs Source
Sa’ada 110,000 UNHCR (31/05/2011)
Hajjah 105,673 UNHCR (31/05/2011)
Amran 41,996 UNHCR (31/05/2011)
Al-Jawf 24,491 UNHCR (31/05/2011)
Aden 62,079 Government (July 2011)
Lahj 15,859 Government (July 2011)
Abyan 13,349 Government (July 2011)
Sana’a 2,020 UNHCR (June 2011)
Total 375,467

New Displacement Figures since 15 July (Unverified)
Al-Jawf *1,500-3,500 July 2011
Arhab/Amran *9,500 18/07 – 31/07/2011
Shabwa *826 2/08/2011
Taiz *1,000 17/07/2011
Total *12,826 – 14,826

Update: a link would be nice, no? Relief Web

US Asst Sec Def in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, USA, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 7:35 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2011

I hope Panetta’s message to the Saleh regime was: if you keep bombing civilians, we’re going to take out the air force, including the Hueys.

US official in Yemen for military talks
Friday, 05-August-2011
Almotamar.net, Saba – Sana’a-Chief of General Staff, Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal met on Thursday US Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael G. Vickers.

During the meeting, al-Ashwal and Vickers discussed aspects of mutual relations and military cooperation between the two friendly countries’ armies and ways of boosting them, particularly their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the areas of training and rehabilitation.

The US official praised the efforts made by Yemen in the fight against terrorism. He expressed his country’s position in support of Yemen’s unity, security and stability.

Truce in al Jawf, robbery in Hodeidah, lies in the media

Filed under: Hodeidah, Islah, Saada War, Yemen, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 8:07 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The former governor of Ibb mediated a truce to the four months of clashes between the Houthis and tribes loyal to Islah. News Yemen Ah, an English article at the Yemen Post:

Clashes in the northern Jawf province ended on yesterday after Sheikh Ali Qaisi, a prominent Yemeni tribal leader, succeeded in reaching a ceasefire agreement between the Houthi fighters and Islah Islamist party fighters.

At least 110 people were killed over the last month in Jawf clashes. Islah party still controls the majority of the areas in Jawf provinces, while Houthis are trying to expand in the province. The fighting in Jawf started in late May and was non-stop until this week.

Islah party supporters control the military bases the government left behind after being pressured by pro revolution youth to leave the province.

Al-Hudaidah, an armed group broke into Hais post office and rob 16 Million Yemeni Ryals: NYR

US Embassy in Sana’a Disappointed at Fabrications in Governmental Media: Ting Wu, the economic officer at the US embassy in Sana’a expressed the embassy’s disappointment at governmental media outlets for sending fabricated news sourcing the US embassy in Sana’a as saying that the United States believes that President Saleh must return to Yemen in order for Yemen to resolve the political and economic crisis. YP

40 Dead in Arhab Yemen

Filed under: Military, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 10:57 pm on Thursday, July 28, 2011

The conflict in Arhab, Sanaa began after the Taiz massacre in May when the tribesmen locked down the Republican Guard base near Nehm to prevent further civilian slaughter. The Salehs responded by shelling villages and its been ongoing ever since. The state’s bombing of villages in Arhab is occurring at the same time as long term, near continual bombing in Radfan, ongoing clashes in al Jawf between the Houthis and Islahis, a long stretch of violence in Zinjibar, Abyan and increasing violence in Taiz including indiscriminate bombing. Violence against protesters in the squares is common, and ten were injured in Hodeidah yesterday.

These escalating cycles of violence across the country bear the same characteristics as the Saada War and the targeting of the Southern Movement: indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, blatant propaganda along with increased attacks on journalists, and collective punishment including denial of medical treatment. For more on the earlier conflicts, and how the state’s random violence bolstered the insurgencies, see my Sept.2010 article at Gloria.

SANA, Yemen (AP) — Fighting between Yemeni soldiers and armed tribesmen in a mountainous region north of Sana, the capital, killed at least 40 people on Thursday, a military official said.

The clashes in the Arhab region were part of a wider collapse in security across Yemen since the outbreak of an uprising six months ago that seeks to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Armed tribesmen are battling security forces in Arhab, the southern city of Taiz and elsewhere, while militants believed to be linked to Al Qaeda have overrun towns in the country’s south.

The fighting on Thursday began when tribesmen attacked a base belonging to the Republican Guard, said Sheik Hamid Assem of the Arhab tribe. The military responded by shelling and bombing tribal positions, Mr. Assem said. A military official in Arhab said 17 soldiers had been killed in the fighting and that troops had seen the bodies of at least 23 dead tribesmen.

US trained Counter-Terror forces attack Yemen civilians, again

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Protest Fatalities, USA, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 1:47 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011

This BS from DOD that there’s no proof that US trained, equipped and funded Yemeni CT units have been diverted to regime protection is just that: total BS. The Republican Guard is involved in nearly every massacre and the CT forces certainly aren’t countering al Qaeda. Current US policy of “hear no evil, see no evil” is seriously endangering the US as well as encouraging the slaughter of unarmed Yemeni citizens standing for equal rights. The US policy of giving the Saleh immunity for murder is the worst of all possible strategies in terms of US national security, and I don’t say that lightly or because I’m rooting for the protesters. When coupled with US drone strikes which frequently have “collateral damage,” the policy also demonstrates a blatant disregard for Yemeni life.

al Sahwa: Sahwa Net- A US-trained Yemeni counterterrorism unit has been dispatched to fight tribesmen in Arhab , outskirt of the Yemeni capital , Sana’a, military sources said.

Forces of the Republican Guards have killed more than 40 tribesmen, wounded dozens and displaced thousands of civilians in Arhab.

The Yemeni regime had used US-trained counter-terrorism units in fighting against the followers of a tribal leader in Sana’a which continued for two weeks lately of May.

Many Yemeni politicians raise questions about the use US-trained forces participation in combating tribesmen and not engagement in the war against Al-Qaeda terrorist in Abyan.

Update: a campaign was launched to boycott US and Saudi products, and for the first time in six month, US flags burnt in Taiz-due to the Obama administration’s weak approach to Saleh’s brutality and the US’s unwillingness to support the protesters, their goal (regime change) and their right to life.

Arhab, Sanaa: 30 dead, 80 injured, thousands displaced in months of bombing

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, Tribes, War Crimes, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:55 pm on Sunday, July 17, 2011

This all began months ago when the villagers locked down the RG camp as forces were deploying to attack some protesters. The villagers also captured and burned three helicopters in Nehm. The Saleh forces began randomly bombing residential areas and infrastructure in retaliation, a standard tactic. Arhab was also the site of the December 2009 US air strike and al Zindani is around there somewhere.

Yemen Post: A citizen was killed and three others injured when the republican guard continued shelling the district of Arhab on the outskirts of Yemen’s capital Sana’a on Saturday.

Local sources said the republican guard brigade 61 heavily shelled the village of Al-Obowa with artilleries and Katyusha rockets leading to the casualties and destroying homes and properties. (Read on …)

Houthis battle Islah in al Jawf

Filed under: Islah, Post Saleh, Sa'ada, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:48 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

Its been a low grade conflict in al Jawf for some time, as discussed earlier, the Islahis take turns with the regime forces fighting the Houthis.

Reuters: (Reuters) – Factional fighting in Yemen’s north entered its fifth day on Tuesday, bringing violence closer to the border with Saudi Arabia, while the United States’ top counter-terrorism official visited Sanaa.

Twenty-three people have been killed and dozens injured in the northern province of Jawf since clashes broke out on Friday between members of Yemen’s main opposition party Islah and northern Shi’ite rebels known as Houthis. (Read on …)

WFP gets food to areas of Saada, Yemen cut off from aid since 2004

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:54 am on Saturday, June 4, 2011

If Saleh goes to the ICC, his actions in Saada will be proved to constitute collective punishment of a civilian population, on a broader scale than is even going on today. The US, knowing CT aid was being diverted, did nothing about it or to aid the Yemeni citizens over the six years of the war beyond issue an irregular weak statement. It will be proved that Saleh deployed and supported al Qaeda (real al Qaeda like Ammar al Waeli) against the civilians in a near jihad, as the conflict was framed in religious terms by the government. The abu Jarabah al Qaeda training camp was known well before I wrote about it. The Saudis had a greater interest in destroying the Houthis than fighting al Qaeda. The Saudis refouled refugees, blocked aid and bombed the hell out of Saada for months, causing many civilian casualties.

Obama also deemed an internal affair the years long targeting of activists, protesters and media in the south, during which over 600 were killed by security forces and thousands arrested and tortured. Of course the kowtowing to Saleh and blindness to his slaughters began under G.W. Bush, or Bill Clinton if we count the Cole.

If the international community and media paid the slightest attention to the massive crimes against humanity in Saada, and to the repetitive slaughter of protesters in the south, they would recognize the same tactics today all across Yemen. Saleh is a predictable man: he bombs, he shoots, targets doctors and children, he lies and lies and then pulls al Qaeda out of the smoke.

The WFP feeding 416,000 starving people in Saada is good news. Some of these children have never seen a doctor or even a school.

YP: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its partner Islamic Relief in Yemen have resumed food distributions this week to the war-affected people of the northern governorate of Sa’ada.

Distribution was suspended in March due to the deteriorating security situation in Sa’ada city. WFP and Islamic Relief are now able to work again in Sa’ada city and Al Malaheet, as well as – for the first time — in the northern districts of Qatabir and Baqim, providing food mainly for internally displaced persons and returnees.

“This is a real breakthrough for humanitarian operations in Sa’ada governorate,” said Gian Carlo Cirri, WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen. “Most of the new caseload that we are reaching out to now have been cut off from aid since the very beginning of the conflict in 2004. Our plan is to further increase our support to other districts and to reach, in the short term, a total number of 416,000 beneficiaries. We hope that it will stabilize a dire humanitarian situation,” he said.

WFP launched an emergency operation in northern Yemen in 2007 that has provided food assistance to more than 300,000 internally displaced persons including 60,000 children under the age of 5 across Sa’ada, Hajjah, Sana’a, Amran and Al Jawf governorates. With the addition of people in the districts the UN food agency has so far been unable to reach, numbers will increase by around 116,000.

Yemen: protesters burnt alive, buried in mass graves

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, War Crimes, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:30 am on Friday, June 3, 2011

PROTEST CAMP STORMED, SET ABLAZE AT 3 AM

Over 250 at least were killed in Taiz, Yemen over the past four days. On May 29th, at 3 am, forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh attacked Freedom Square in Taiz.

Water cannons filled with gasoline sprayed tents where protesters were sleeping. Thousands of protesters were camping in the Square since February demanding Saleh’s immediate resignation. The tents were set ablaze and fleeing citizens shot by roof top snipers as they ran. Many were unable to escape the fires including the disabled and children as indicated by the photos linked below. The massive protest site was cleared after hours of carnage, with bulldozers scraping up the remains of tents and persons by the morning.

The protesters attempted to retake the square over the next days only to be shot point blank causing over one hundred additional fatalities.

MASS GRAVES

Reports are emerging that Saleh’s forces again kidnapped severely wounded protesters and took corpses. The practice of body snatching was first reported in Aden February 25th.

Protesters killed by security forces were buried in a mass grave in Aden on February 27 a ranking Yemeni official confirmed today.

The grave site is on the eastern edge of the Salahu Deen military camp, near little Aden, and was first reported last week.

The official said 15 protesters were buried together in an unmarked single grave about eight meters long, speaking anonymously due to the high risk of government reprisal.

In May, Saleh’s henchmen again captured critically wounded and the dead bodies dumping them in a mass grave chopped up in garbage barrels:

Sahwa Net, Sana’a- Medical sources at the Military Hospital in Sana’a have revealed that dozens of corpses of protesters who were killed by security forces were hidden by the Yemeni authorities in unknown places in an attempt to conceal evidence of crimes committed against peaceful demonstrators.

The sources affirmed that the Central Security and the Republican Guard kidnapped dozens of the killed and wounded persons and escaped them.

Security sources affirmed that the corpses of protesters were transferred from the Military Hospital’s mortuary in framework of a security campaign to conceal evidence of murder crimes committed by security forces against peaceful protests…

A Yemeni human rights organization, Hood, revealed that dozens of protesters’ bodies were taken into a cemetery at Artel area of the capital, Sana’a.

Hood further said that it received statements from medical sources saying that dozens of protesters corpses were taken to graves after the mid night on a Hilux, affirming that some residents of Artel area informed it, just after 12 hours of receiving those statements, that they found out a mass grave in which 15 bodies were buried.

HOOD, a leading and well respected human rights organization, reported that body parts were found in trash barrels in May likely of protesters disappeared in April:

Hood confirmed that it received information and testimonies written and documented about the central security forces and gunmen in civilian clothes attacking the demonstrators with live bullets, sharp weapons and poison gas on Saturday night 04/09/2011 in Zubairy Street and Ring Road, which led to the downfall of a number of dead and wounded.

Hood quoted witnesses saying that “Nearly 20 people were pulled to some personnel carriers and government vehicles transferred to an unknown destination and their injuries were at the head, neck, chest, abdomen and some of them had died.” Also, confirmed that it had received “certificates for a mass graves in the area of “ Bait Boss”, body parts were found in trash barrels in that area, it is believed it belong to protesters who were arrested during the massacre of Kentucky Round in Sana’a. Attorney General has received a notification of this.”

The Saleh regime simultaneously engages in mass arrests as it steals corpses and kidnaps the wounded. Family members hope their missing relatives are “disappeared” in the dungeons of Yemeni prisons, as thousands are. Current reports indicate at least 500 were taken the night of May 30th, and it is unknown how many are dead in a mass grave.

US RESPONSE

The US is continuing to urge Saleh to accept a proposal to resign with a promise of immunity for his crimes, which he reneged on three times already. Yemen’s opposition parties and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which sponsored the negotiations, have both withdrawn support for the deal. The US strongly supported Saleh since protests began as an important partner in counter-terror, and President Obama called Saleh a friend in a major speech on the Middle East in May. However Saleh’s duplicity in dealing with al Qaeda is unparalleled, well documented and a clear threat to US national security.

Opposition parties and the protesters coalition have both pledged to continue cooperation with the United States in fighting al Qaeda after the fall of Saleh. Nonetheless, the policy and statements of the Obama administration remain limp and muted in the face of continuous atrocities, an inexplicable response to the millions in Yemen seeking a civil, democratic state. It is the divisions containing US trained CT units, headed by Saleh’s relatives, that are engaging in horrific crimes against Yemeni citizens, often with US supplied equipment including tear gas and vehicles.

PHOTOS

A large protest in Taiz February 21st rattled the Saleh regime. Thousands camped out in Freedom Square continuously until May 30 when the square was cleared by fire and bullets.

A protest march in Taiz May 6 affirmed solidarity with protesters in southern Yemen

For photos of the citizens burnt alive, click here (warning extremely graphic).

This video shows Saleh’s thugs shooting straight into the crowd on May 29th, hours before the square was assaulted, but doesn’t show anybody being hit:

15 protesters burnt alive in Taiz, Yemen, over 50 killed as state clears Freedom Square

Filed under: Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:54 am on Monday, May 30, 2011

The international community is concerned about a power vacuum resulting in violence after Saleh’s departure, but a more immediate concern is the continuing slaughter of citizen protesters. It should be clear to all concerned that there can be no immunity for Saleh.

Update: Estimates from the field hospital are that 190 wounded were seized by security and over 400 protesters arrested.

Yemen Post
At least 50 protesters were killed in Taiz today in continuous attacks by government security forces, medical sources in Taiz confirmed. Bushra Maktati, a leading human rights activist in Taiz said that freedom square has basically disappeared after bulldozers took down all the tents and burnt everything down.

She added that over half a million Protesters were always at freedom square and now it is empty. “More than 52 have been killed among them 15 burnt alive while the were sleeping in thier burning tents,” said Maktari. (Read on …)

Zanjibar, Abyan under bombardment: residents, Update: Arhab

Filed under: Abyan, Sana'a, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies, reconfigurations, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:46 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011
Urgent message to Human Rights Organizations

The city of Zinjibar in the Province of Abyan in Yemen is under heavy bombardment that includes large bombs and rockets, fired on them by the Government forces of the Yemeni Regime. Various reports indicate that there are dozens of civilians are under the rubber of their homes and bodies scattered in the streets of the city. The residents of the city are calling for immediate help to stop the atrocities against them which are being carried out in the pretext of fighting “AlQadia”. They need, on urgent bases humanitarian aid of food & medical assistance and most of all protection from the madness of the regime.

Saleh creates the chaos and then bombs it. Typical.

Bombing Arhab now: the 101 brigade is bombarding Arhub area, attempting to rescue the Rep. Guards 26 Brigade, Mareb Press Update: Zindani’s house bombed.

Top Republican Guard commander calls Saleh a butcher

Filed under: Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 1:43 pm on Thursday, May 26, 2011

Colonel Ali Ali Shaddadi Ahdillat commander in the Republican Guard issues an important message to his brothers and his colleagues, Republican Guard officers and members of the Republican Guard units, and says Saleh is a butcher and a killer and not to follow his orders anymore. Link


This may be the straw that broke the camels back. Its quite significant. The Republican Guards are the unit headed by Saleh’s son Prince Ahmed. Coupled with the earlier tribal excommunication, I’m nearly optimistic for a quick resolution. Tick tock.

What is that noise? The creaking groaning dying throes of the Saleh regime. The military sent out a text message; tomorrow’s pro-Saleh demonstration in Sanaa should be rather quiet. Update: tomorrows pro-Saleh demo canceled.

Saleh’s thugs burn woman alive in Sanaa? Update probably not

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Security Forces, War Crimes, Women's Issues — by Jane Novak at 4:30 pm on Sunday, May 22, 2011

I’m hoping this is another false story planted to discredit the opposition media. Update: I am increasingly skeptical as no one saw it and after 24 hours the family hasn’t come forward. There was another fake two months ago where a female student leader was supposedly arrested in Hodiedah. HOOD announced and retracted a notice about a boy raped to death in Sanaa. False stories planted by the regime are designed to undermine the opposition media. The photo accompanying the story is of a Saudi women and a different news story.

SOS: Human Rights Activists seek the International Community’s support

A statement issued by Sister Arab Forum

Today, a female protest activists in Yemen , Ghania Alaraaj was burned to death by the pro-regime tugs in Sana’a, who were spread in the southern part of the capital Sana’a , and cut roads in the morning in Sana’a.

We call upon the International Community to help activist from such brutal acts by Saleh regime.

Mass graves of kidnapped protesters in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Society, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:57 pm on Monday, May 16, 2011

I’m reposting my article from March 3 on this topic below the fold because I couldn’t remember where the first mass grave was: on the eastern edge of the Salahu Deen military camp near little Aden. Apparently the government of Yemen is repeating the practice in Sanaa, stealing corpses in an effort to reduce the known number of fatalities. The following is an article published today at al Sahwa:

Sahwa Net, Sana’a – Medical sources at the Military Hospital in Sana’a have revealed that dozens of corpses of protesters who were killed by security forces were hidden by the Yemeni authorities in unknown places in an attempt to conceal evidence of crimes committed against peaceful demonstrators.

The sources affirmed that the Central Security and the Republican Guard kidnapped dozens of the killed and wounded persons and escaped them.
(Read on …)

Child soldiers in Yemen

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Demographics, Donors, UN, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:54 pm on Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beeb: The UN has added two groups in Yemen and two in Iraq to its annual list of those recruiting or abusing children during armed conflicts.

During Yemen’s recent civil war, as many as 15% of the pro-government militia and 20% of the Huthi rebels were made up of children, the UN says.

Even though that conflict was now over, nobody knew where the children were, said a UN special representative.

The annual report said children were involved in warfare in 22 countries.

“2010 proved another tragic year for children in conflicts all over the world,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict

Two protesters killed in Al Baydah, 16 killed yesterday

Filed under: Sana'a, Taiz, USA, War Crimes, Yemen, al-Bayda, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Thursday, May 12, 2011

According to the protesters, 16 were killed around the country yesterday and 300 injured. Another three were killed in Taiz. The WaPo is reporting two dead in al Baydah and the takeover of the Oil Ministry in Taiz. Its just so depressing.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni police trying to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in two cities Thursday killed two and wounded at least 47, some by gunfire, according to witnesses. In one of the cities, protesters overran a government building.

Gunmen fired at protesters in the central city of Bayda from the roof of a building belonging to the ruling party, killing two people and injuring seven, activist Ghazi al-Amiri said. In the southern city of Taiz, police fired live ammunition and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators there, injuring 40 people, said field doctor Sadeq al-Shujah…Taiz has been a hotbed of anti-government protests. Activist Nouh al-Wafi said crowds seized control of the Oil Ministry building and hung a banner over the entrance on Thursday that said “Closed until further notice by order of the youth revolution.”

And some typical meaningless statement from the State Department that few in Yemen are even aware was issued. Saleh is intent on retaining power and the violence will continue. Nothing has changed since day one except people stopped hoping on Obama or believing the US has any commitment to democratic values.

On Thursday the U.S. State Department offered its support for the deal and demanded that in the meantime, Yemen’s government stop firing on protesters.

“We call on the Yemeni security forces to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence and respect the rights of the Yemeni people to freely and peacefully assemble and express their views,” spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

“We call on the parties to sign and implement the terms of the (GCC) agreement now to ensure an orderly, peaceful transition of power,” Toner said. “This transition must begin immediately.”

Houthi statement denies autonomous region, agreement re Faris Manna

Filed under: Sa'ada, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:55 am on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This statement notes officials looted the bank before they left, another statement issued later in the day reiterated the Houthis do not seek a state within a state.

Yemen – Saada
30 / 3 / 2011

The system tries to intimidate people from the Yemeni revolution, claiming that Yemen disintegrate into several parts, including (Saada), which said it had seceded from the rest of the country. (Read on …)

Houthis welcome military commanders to the revolution, updated

Filed under: Military, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Protests crowd map and incident ticker.

Update: skirmishes or small armed conflicts reported between army and the Special Forces in Hadramout, Hodiedah and Aden. The army took control in Hadramout and Aden, in Hadramout the special forces are in control. In al Jawf, tribesmen overran the Special Forces compound. Three of five military zones joined with the protesters.

The Hodeidah air base defected but SF trying to arrest its commanders. English! Sahwa Net- After the commander of the Hodeidah Air Base Brigadier Ahmed Alsnhani declared his support to the Yemeni protestors on Tuesday, forces of the Republican Guards are surrounding the base, sources said. Update: 1st armored division will counter any attack on Hodiedah airbase. Update: Republican Guard withdraws from Hodeidah airbase.

At Taheer has a list of 116 military commanders and officials that defected yesterday.

Original: Rearranging the pieces on the chessboard into an entirely new configuration in a single day. Updated with original text below, complete with videos of rallies calling for Saleh to go, they also warn of reconstituting the same system under a new name. Hassan Zaid and the al-Haq party also welcomed Ali Muhsin’s defection. Its an astounding political re-alignment in under 24 hours. Where is AQAP in all of this?

al Sahwa Mass demonstrations on a number of districts of Saada, Houthi welcomes the accession of military leaders of the revolution and calling for leav

Thousands of citizens in Saada province today in a number of departments to maintain the system, demanding the departure of Ali Abdullah Saleh immediately and hand over power to the owner of real people.
A spokesman for the group, Mohammed Abdel-Salam al-Houthi in accordance with “NewsYemen” that thousands took part in rallies and directorates Haidan Dahyan and Razeh, advertisers welcomed the accession of military leaders, politicians, diplomats and all the honest world of the peaceful revolution of youth.

He called on the demonstrators, according to Abdel-Salam all the honest world to join the revolution and to spare the young Yemen chaos and sedition, and stressed their continued demonstrators in a peaceful struggle until the fall of the regime.

I don’t know which way is up anymore but Saleh’s threat of civil war has everyone jumpy.

مسيرات حاشدة في مديريات محافظة صعدة تطالب برحيل النظام فورا ورفض كل أشكال المبادرات
by جرح صعدة on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 11:13am (Read on …)

20 killed in al Jawf in battle between Houthis and tribal/mil forces

Filed under: Military, Saada War, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 8:27 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yemen Post

At least twenty people were killed and others injured in clashes in Yemen’s northern province of Al-Jawf between Yemeni troops and their tribal allies and Houthi group.

The fighting was over the control of a strategic military installation at the entrance to the northern province of Al-Jawf, which the rebels, also known as Houthis, have taken over.

At the end of battle in which has continued for two days , Houthis were able to gain complete control of the site, which had two tanks and a number of military vehicles

Putting a face on Yemeni political prisoners in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 10:29 am on Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is a follow up to our earlier post regarding Yemeni political prisoners in Saudi Arabia: YCFHR: Saudi Arabia imprisons Yemenis since Saada War # 6

alkebsiSAprisoner.jpg

Name: Muhammad Qasim Kibsi
Nationality: Yemeni
Age: 23 years
Place of Arrest: Investigation Riyadh – Saudi Arabia.
Date of Arrest: 2010
Accusation: political – sympathy with the rebels in Saada Houthis.
(traveled from Sanaa to deal with his sick mother with cancer in the blood in hospitals in Riyadh – Saudi Arabia, was arrested by a hoax from the Yemeni authorities to the authorities in Saudi Arabia).

YCFHR: Saudi Arabia imprisons Yemenis since Saada War # 6

Filed under: Refugees, Sa'ada, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Houthis returned the Saudi soldiers they had captured as a condition of the cease fire. The continued incarceration of Yemenis in Saudi Arabia is a sore spot, especially as the PR notes, there’s been videos leaked of beatings. Saudi Arabia refouled, refused entry to, civilians seeking safety from the bombing, a violation of international law. The Saudi bombing of Saada was indiscriminate, and the arbitrary arrests and continued detention of hundreds of Yemenis without charge are also illegal under international law. You’d think the Saudi Arabia would just return the prisoners and be done with the issue but apparently they are busy outlawing protests of their own. YOHR contact information below. I also have the list of names in Arabic.

The Yemen Center for Human Rights requests from King of Saudi Arabia to direct and order to reveal the names of all the Yemeni prisoners and work to release them promptly (Read on …)

The mass grave in Aden

Filed under: Aden, Protest Fatalities, War Crimes, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:52 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2011

Protesters killed by security forces were buried in a mass grave in Aden on February 27, a ranking Yemeni official confirmed today.

The grave site is on the eastern edge of the Salahu Deen military camp, near little Aden, and was first reported here last week.

The official said 15 protesters were buried together in an unmarked single grave about eight meters long, speaking anonymously due to the high risk of government reprisal.

On Friday, February 25 Yemeni security forces launched a broad assault in Aden resulting in twenty-two fatalities among residents who have been identified, a number likely to rise. Over 100 demonstrators were also wounded by gunfire. The deaths occurred in several locations across Aden in what appears a pre-planned onslaught of state violence in the governorate which had seen increasing numbers of anti-government protesters.

The official death toll is four. The state blamed opposition parties for the deaths.

Residents reported homes were strafed, and police shot directly into crowds, Human Rights Watch reported. Many protesters were arrested, some pulled from hospitals by security forces. Ambulances were blocked and the dead, dying and injured on the streets were pinned down by gun fire.

In an apparent effort to mask the death toll, Yemeni security forces raided hospital morgues in Aden and transported corpses to the Basuhaib military hospital in Tawahi. Medical sources at Basuhaib hospital confirmed the protesters bodies were later taken away by the military.

The burial took place in the early morning, Sunday, February 27 after the bodies arrived from Taqahi in two military trucks.

The state continues to withhold information from families regarding the identities of arrested protesters.

Rights groups have urged Yemen to halt assaults on peaceful protesters.

Dozens of reporters were beaten and harassed during the protests.

Tens of thousands gathered Friday, March 4, in a massive funeral march for Hael Waleed Hael, 18, that began in Mallah, Aden and ended at the Alqatee cemetery in Crater City. Mr. Hael was shot to death on Mallah’s main road during the assault on Aden.

Jane

Yemen shoots protesters in Amran, 2 fatalities: Houthis, witnesses

Filed under: Amran, Protest Fatalities, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

Two killed, 11 wounded in Amran, police claim when security opened fire on protesters near the police station. An early statement on the Houthi website said many were killed in a bombing but the later statement from the Houthis clarified two. Saada was carpet bombed during the six Saada wars, beginning in 2005. Civilian areas including villages and cities were destroyed and thousands were arbitrarily arrested. A strong case exists against President Saleh for war crimes and crimes against humanity from the conduct of the military over the last several years, including blocking food and medicine to the entire region in a deliberate attempt at starving the people into submission. Update: witnesses report the security was shooting machine guns into the crowd and the “bomb” was shot from a tank not by air. HOOD is saying two killed. Additional fatalities were reported when protesters returning home were accosted at a security checkpoint. Ah English:

Harf Sofyan, Yemen (CNN) – Security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters in northern Yemen on Friday morning, killing two people and injuring nine others, witnesses said.

The forces fired into the protesters in Harf Sufyan city to try and disperse them, witnesses said. Three army planes flying over the crowd also attacked the protesters, witnesses said.

The vast majority of the protesters were Houthi rebels, according to Mohammed Abdulsalam, a spokesman for the group

Seven dead ID’d in Aden, Houthis protest again

Filed under: Aden, Protest Fatalities, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Saturday, February 26, 2011

A report from the Jakarta globe identifies four dead in one protest in Aden yesterday and 40 injured, as government blames the protesters for the deaths. Also Houthis protested yesterday as well. Another report below in Arabic lists seven killed and 49 wounded last night. There are more bodies in refrigerators to be ID’d according to the note. Earlier 19 fatalities were identified killed in Aden and 124 injured from Feb 16-21.

The lying dogs deny any security forces were shooting protesters, instead they blame the southern movement. It would be funny if there weren’t so many killed and injured.

Saba: Yemen denies media reports on shooting protesters in Aden
ADEN, Feb. 26 (Saba) – A security source in Aden governorate denied on Saturday reports of mass media on shooting protesters in Mo’alla city of Aden by security forces on Friday night. “An armed group of separatists belong to what is called “the movement”, who fired aimlessly from some buildings the protesters, security men, electricity office’s employers and citizens”, the source said.

According to an AFP tally based on reports by medics and witnesses, at least 19 people have now been killed in almost daily clashes at anti-regime protests since they erupted on February 16. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda in Yemen executes Col Ali Hosam, PSO officer kidnapped in Saada

Filed under: 9 hostages, Saada War, Security Forces, aq statements, attacks, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:28 pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That is really disgusting, and a sad ending to a complicated story. Col Hossam was kidnapped after the Houthis captured Hussain al Tais in Saada and turned him over to the state. Why didn’t the security forces launch some kind of raid on Abu Jubarah? There were pretty good odds that’s were a lQaeda was holding him, as I wrote at the time. Full details, click here. Update: Now in English:

Yemen Online The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing executed a top intelligence official after Sanaa government refused to swap two al-Qaida detainees for the senior official, a video tape posted by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on the internet on Tuesday said.

“Deputy Director of the Yemeni Political Security Service, Colonel Ali Mohammed Salah al-Husam, was executed, with bullets fired at the back of his head, after he admitted that he had spied on Mujahedeen in the previous years,” they said in the 17-minute videotape. The group said al-Husam was running a network of espionage in Saada for 20 years and had snatched many of al-Qaida-related ideology students and held them incommunicado in prisons.

“The execution of this officer is also a message to those intelligence officers who still work for Sanaa government and the U.S. intelligence agencies,” the group added. Last September, the AQAP set 48 hours for Sanaa government to swap two al-Qaida detainees for al-Husam.

“There will be no way to know the fate of this agent unless the government releases the two brothers, Hussain al-Tais and Mashhour al-Ahdal, within 48 hours,” according to their statement which posted on Sept. 21 website. (Read on …)

AQAP declares war on Yemen’s Houthi movement over Sunni displacement when 300,000 Zaidis fled state bombing

Filed under: Amran, Presidency, Religious, Sa'ada, Saada War, al Jawf, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 10:17 am on Saturday, January 29, 2011

There’s over 300,000 displaced in Sa’ada by the Yemeni military’s (and Saudi) attacks and bombing, and AQAP is declaring war because the Houthis forced people to move??? Is al Qaeda’s Saed Shihri trying to be stupid or does it just come naturally? Like many, AQAP is out of touch with the moment.

Well thats convenient timing for Saleh. a) The Yemeni military cant re-start the war at the moment but the terrorists can, b) It certainly shows the international community that they neeeeeeeeed Saleh, c) Nothing like a good crisis to distract the people’s hostility toward the state, d) With the Houthis in control of large swaths of those areas, the officially facilitated smuggling operations into Saudi are impacted and profits diminished, e) How can you buy weapons (and resell them on the black market) for a war that’s over? f) Saudi funds rise and fall in relation to perceived threats.

SANAA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Leader of al-Qaida militants in Yemen declared “holy war” against the Houthi-led northern Shiite rebels, in an audio message posted on the internet by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Friday.

“To our Sunni fellows in northern Yemeni provinces of Saada, Al- Jouf and Amran, we (AQAP) announced jihad (holy war) against Iranian-backed Houthi Shiite advocates,” Saeed Ali al-Shihri, deputy leader of the Yemen-based AQAP.

“The jihad against northern Shiites has been declared since the implementation of the AQAP’s twin martyred car bombing attacks against convoys of the Shiite rebels’ followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26 of the last year,” he said.

In the 17-minute audiotape, the Saudi fugitive al-Shihri justified his group’s war against the Shiite rebels by claiming that the sectarian-motivated Houthi rebels attacked and displaced many Sunni families in the north.

Last December, the Sunni-devoted AQAP claimed responsibility for twin suicide car bombings against convoys of the Shiite rebels ‘ followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26, 2010, which left over than 90 Shiite followers dead, including the group’s Shiite spiritual leader Bader al-Deen al- Houthi.

OK maybe they are just idiots:

Opinions: An Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader warned Sunni Muslims of a rising “Christian-Shiite alliance” against them in an audio message released on jihadist forums late on Friday.

Abu Sufyan al-Azdi called the participation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iran’s former foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki at a conference on terrorism in Yemen “is the biggest proof of the Christian-Shiite alliance.”

“America and Iran became one alliance against the Sunni people in the area,” added the Saudi AQAP leader, who was formerly imprisoned for six years at the US detention centre inGuantanamo, in a 16-minute audio message.

Azdi was referring to the annual Manama Dialogue, held in December by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies and billed as the “most important regional security meeting in the Middle East.”

The AQAP chief also warned Sunnis in Yemen that they risked being massacred at the hands of northern Shiite Zaidi rebels, also known as Huthis, and urged them not to be caught unprepared.

“Sunnis, be careful from the massacres… that happened in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen to happen to you while you are unarmed… prepare yourselves before it is too late… buy weapons… protect your religion, your lives and your honour.”

Abdelmalik al Houthi outlines nine steps taken in pursuit of peace

Filed under: Diplomacy, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:40 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

Its google translate but I can read it.

Statement explains the steps we have made through the presence of the National Committee and reveals the lie in allegations by the Authority, issued January 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Is the authority and we are back in all views when they talk about the situation in the northern provinces shun all the steps we have made either after the cessation of the sixth war directly or through the presence of the National Committee. (Read on …)

Yemen extradites Egyptian “mercenaries”

Filed under: Diplomacy, Other Countries, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saleh looking for a quid pro quo? Diverting attention from Zawaheri’s supporters in AQAP?

Yemen Extradites ‘Mercenaries’, Says Foreigners Help Rebels – Paper
Yemen Post Staff: Yemen extradited four Egyptians to their country after they had been arrested while fighting the Yemeni army in support of the Houthi rebels in Saada, a Kuwaiti newspaper has reported. (Read on …)

Yemen levels new accusations at Houthi rebels

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:16 pm on Thursday, January 13, 2011

That petulant thug, Field Marshall Ali Abdullah Saleh, is going to show Clinton who is boss by threatening to re-ignite the Saada War.

Yemen ObserverAl-Houhti rebels violate Qatar-brokered peace deal, Saleh

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Wednesday that al-Houth rebels are violating the Qatari-brokered peace deal that stopped the war between the rebels and government troops early last year.

“If they the rebels will not stop violating the agreement, the would be held responsible for the consequences,” the official news agency Saba quoted Saleh as saying in a phone conversation with the Qatari prince Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani who is leading mediation efforts to bring peace to Sa’ada.
(Read on …)

Yemen: Houthi prisoners released after mediation

Filed under: Saada War, Targeted Individuals, Yemen, hostages, prisons — by Jane Novak at 11:29 am on Monday, January 3, 2011

These 428 were actually released, some after years and many broken pledges, thanks to the good offices of Qatar. There was a second release of several dozen and several hundred remain in jail.

Yemeni government releases 428 Houthis and gets back 10 military vehicles
30/12/2010 News Yemen: The government on Thursday released 428 Houthis who in return freed 10 military vehicles. (Read on …)

Grassroots National Dialog Committee Meets Houthis Representatives in Saada Yemen

Filed under: Civil Society, Corruption, JMP, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:52 pm on Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is a huge development that will not please the Yemeni government in the least. The NDC is a grass roots initiative bringing together reformists and concerned citizens, including many prominent personalities from across the political and social spectrum including some from the GPC. They’ve held several consultative meetings and issued many statements. Some members (like Tawakkol Karaman and Ahmed Saif Hashid) resigned due to the committee’s non-performance. Others have accused the group of seeking to replace the parliament. But its more substantive than any other initiative for reconciliation including the Saleh regime’s endless barrage of threats, empty promises and lies.

Dialogue Committee, Houthi Group in Coordination Deal
Yemen Post: The national dialogue preparatory committee and the Houthi Group reached an agreement at their meeting in Saada on Thursday for forming a joint commission to coordinate addressing various national issues. (Read on …)

Sa’ada Yemen: 350,000 still displaced and 18,000 returned as of December 2010

Filed under: Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:29 pm on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Relief Web< Yemen – Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2011

Source: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Date: 15 Dec 2010

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

- In early November, a USAID/OFDA Regional Advisor (RA) visited Sana'a, Yemen, to review the humanitarian situation and response in northern Yemen. During the visit, the RA met with USAID/Yemen staff and other U.S. Government (USG) officials, and representatives from U.N. agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Government of Yemen (RoYG). (Read on …)

Violence flairs at Houthi checkpoint in northern Yemen

Filed under: Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 12:31 pm on Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yemen Post: At least 12 Houthi followers were killed, and 15 others wounded in an exchange of gunfire that erupted between Houthi followers and tribesmen in Sa’ada Province. (Read on …)

Politcal Prisoners Released in Yemen: Southern oppositionist Hassan Baoum and 22 Zaidis who celebrated al Ghadeer Day

Filed under: Judicial, Saada War, Sana'a, Targeted Individuals, statements — by Jane Novak at 3:35 pm on Friday, December 10, 2010

For more on the al Ghadeer arrests in Amran, click here. Mr. Baoum, leader of one of the southern independence factions was arrested early in November. More at Aden News Agency.

News Yemen: Political sources said Friday that presidential directives issued to release the leading figure in the Southern Movement, Hassan Baom, his son and his colleagues. Sources also said that 22 supporters of Houthis, arrested on the al-Ghadir Day in Amran, have been released.

Al-Haq party welcomed the releases of detainees and called on the government to release all detainees and make real peace in Sa’ada. It also called on political parties and human rights organizations to play a role over the detention of innocent people without any legal justification for more than five years.

Al Iman University employees linked to al Ghadeer AQAP terror attack, report Update: al Iman students targeted Taiz governor

Filed under: Hodeidah, Religious, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, anwar, political violence, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:33 am on Monday, December 6, 2010

‎Al Iman is headed by Sheik Abdulmagid al Zindani, a specially listed terrorist and political ally of President Saleh. Anwar al Awlaki was a teacher at al Iman and is a member of AQAP which claimed the suicide attack in a written statement. The Houthis have denied that Badr al Din was killed in the attack and say he died of natural causes the next day. Update: Below the fold is an article from from Naba that I’ve been meaning to post since last week about the arrest of six al Iman students in Taiz (who trained in at a mosque in Hodeidah) for terror related charges including a plot to attack the governor of Taiz and vital installations. One member of the cell was killed 10/25/10 aboard a motorcycle when his bomb exploded prematurely.

‎”Aden Times – Special Monday 06/12/2010 Announced local sources Yemen on Monday implicated members of the University of Islamic Faith and administered by Sheikh Abdul Majeed al Zindani-a prominent cleric in Yemen- in the assassination of the spiritual leader Badr Eddin al, who had already announced Houthis his death in November 24 (November) last year. The Yemeni police detained a number of employees of the Islamic University, which take from the capital of Yemen, Sana’a based on suspicion of carrying out the assassination of those. (Read on …)

Houthis arrest Islah student at Saada checkpoint

Filed under: Islah, Saada War, prisons, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:51 am on Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Yemen Post reports a student from the Islah party was arrested in Saada. At least the Houthis acknowledged he is in detention, unlike the Yemeni government which holds people incommunicado for months. Also I think it is unlikely the Houthis are going to get drunk and torture him for fun, like happens sometimes in southern prisons. During the sixth war, the Houthis gave the captured soldiers qat, a true sign of humanity, and released video to show their good health, a comfort to the families. For the first time we get to watch the Houthis rule. They have already arrested some homosexuals who were hanging out in a market. If they continue to arrest people of various stripes, as time goes on they will have to set up some kind of Sharia based court.

When the Taliban insurgency established a judicial system in Afghanistan, they would up whipping many teen age girls and publicly executing Afghan government workers. I expect more maturity and self control from the Houthis and a judicial system is based on individual responsibility and facts, not the global grudge match that characterizes the criminal court system in Yemen. But the issue is, as it is everywhere in Yemen, command and control. The loosely organized Houthis, once they took responsibility for the local population, are also responsible for the actions of every fighter toward the locals.

Yemen Post: Houthis arrested a student participating in a conference for Islah Party that took part in Saada province. Local sources said that Ahmed Ali Alhamati, a student in Saada University, was arrested at a Houthi checkpoint in Aned town and taken to Houthis Headquarters in Thahian district. Tribal sources told Yemen Post that Houthis confirmed the detention of the student, denying any effort to release him.

On the other hand, the General Union of Yemeni Students denounced the detention, asking Houthis to free him, and calling to keep away students from conflict with the authorities. At least 26 people have been killed and several wounded in two suicide bombing attacks against Houthis in northern Yemen two weeks ago.

AQAP claims to have killed Badr al Din al Houthi in car bombing

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, War Crimes, aq statements, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:28 pm on Friday, December 3, 2010

On any day, the Houthis are more credible than al Qaeda. But if al Qaeda killed Badr al Din al Houthi, a widely respected scholar by many Yemenis, then Abdelmalik al Houthi–who already defeated two national armies–is going to decimate AQAP or at least entirely expel them from Saada and the surrounding regions under his control. Regardless of what anyone thinks of their goals or ideology, there is no denying the Houthis have already won (by not losing) against two national armies and well stocked air forces. They held out for six years and six wars and Operation Scorched Earth. The Houthis inflicted substantial defeats against the military forces of Ali Mohsen al Ahmar including capturing important territory, large amounts of weapons and numbers of soldiers. Why AQAP would think its strategically a good move now to declare war on the Houthis is a mystery. One explanation is somebody is trying to reignite the war, and AQAP is the last card in the deck. The twist is now both groups are calling each other American agents. But as is very clear by now, the Houthis are not beholden to any foreign power and are not mercenaries-for-hire like AQAP.

Hindustan Times: Al-Qaeda said on Friday the aging spiritual guide of northern Yemen’s Shiite rebels was among those killed in a suicide bombing in November, dismissing accounts that Badreddin al-Huthi died of natural causes. Huthi was among the dead on November 24 when Al-Qaeda bomber Abu Aisha al-Sanaani al-Hashemi struck a Shiite procession in Al-Jawf, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said in a statement on an Islamist website.

The rebels, observing an uneasy truce with Sanaa since February, said a suicide car bombing killed 23 fighters or backers at the religious procession, but that Huthi, an asthma sufferer, died a natural death a day later. (Read on …)

The Houthis view of al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP): a beneficial clone

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, UK amb, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:04 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is not a statement from Abdelmalik al Houthi directly but the analysis does give a good overview of the Houthis world view regarding al Qaeda in Yemen verses the real al Qaeda, and its relation to Saudi Arabia, the Saleh regime and the bombings last week. The thinking is much more sophisticated than “Al Qaeda is an American creation.” What they say is that the al Qaeda in Yemen is distinct from the al Qaeda of bin Laden because the genesis of the organization in Yemen was guided and exploited by both the Saleh regime and the Saudis. The continued presence of al Qaeda operatives and Afghan Arabs in the Yemeni military, intelligence, security forces and mosques and their participation in the Saada War demonstrates that it is a distinct and artificial organism. Other operatives, mercenaries, receive salaries from the state and even health insurance, the author states, and this cloned al Qaeda has carried out numerous plots (from the assassinations of the socialist leaders in the 1990’s to the 2009 kidnapping of the Germans) designed to relieve pressure from Saleh and bolster Saudi Arabia, and it paves the way for US intervention in Yemen. Much of this is historically correct and not a view unique to the Houthis, it overlaps in many places with the southerners and other Yemeni observers’ conceptualization of AQAP in what I call the Anti al-Qaeda narrative. Unfortunately I got the article in Arabic, and the following is a google translation, the original below:

Some still believe the existence of the so-called al-Qaeda in Yemen, as an organization sub-base I’m not den that is hostile to the intervention of the Americans and their allies in the region, and this is an illusion refuted by the reality of this organization and the reality of its operations, and ratings of his enemies, and the source of funding, and the goals established in Yemen for it,

That there is no confusion in Afghanistan organization called al Qaeda linked to bin Laden and Zawahiri, regardless of connections and its role and functions assigned to it hidden a lot of observers, including the relationship between the Americans and older since the wars in Afghanistan and the Soviet Union,

In Yemen, Al-Qaida real it can not be established here, (Read on …)

Houthis set up checkpoints for al Qaeda, Updated 15

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Amran, Sa'ada, Saada War, al Jawf, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 3:20 pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2010

There’s a lot of related material below, including a statement by Abdelmalik and videos from Badr al Din al Houthi’s funeral. The rebel-manned check points in northern Yemen were established with the advent of the Saada Wars in 2004. Check points in al Jawf and Amran were in place well before the Houthis began their investigations into the two bombings. (Its still unclear if those attacks were suicide bombers or remotely controlled.) Even dignitaries were checked into the region and often escorted since the ceasefire. They caught Hussain al Tais last August at a checkpoint if I recall correctly.

The Houthis area of control is growing, a result of alliances with some tribal leaders including Shaifis and other Sunni sects as recently noted. In addition to mediating and resolving some long standing tribal disputes, they forbid women from shopping alone in the markets, arrested some homosexuals and banned smoking among the ranks. The explicit focus on capturing al Qaeda operatives is new, and following the deadly al Qaeda attacks, logical and necessary. The Houthis turn their prisoners over to state’s security forces at the same time that they forbid residents from cooperating with the state.

According to the Mareb Press article below, Abdelmalik is blaming the US for the deadly attacks last week as a plot against Muslims. Their counter-terror efforts are not a a “tribal awakening” ala Iraq, but an independent uptick in security procedures for the benefit of the residents that converges with US interests. We are under attack by the same enemy, but the Houthis don’t see it that way.

The Yemeni government committed substantial war crimes against the Houthis and more importantly, the civilian population in Saada, since 2005. US acquiescence was interpreted as control. Well over 200,000 remain displaced and starving to death, mostly women and children. The Houthis, like many Yemenis, believe al Qaeda is a US creation and Anwar al Awlaki is a US stooge. The Houthis are going to entirely expel Al Qaeda from their region and find and punish those responsible for the two attacks. But they think the attacks were a part of a US plot for controlled chaos.

The Houthis’ chant is Death to America, and has been since the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003. They insist it is a nuanced political statement. I have always had an issue with the ability of children and teenagers to discern that difference. At the same time, the evolved Zaidi theology of the Houthis (some say regressive but we can say, revivalist) retains the strong prohibitions against targeting civilians and is generally as counter-takfirist as the various sects of mainstream Zaidi theology.

IRIN Checkpoints: Houthi supporters have set up checkpoints on roads connecting the three governorates (ed-Al Jawf, Saada and Amran) and arrested people suspected of being linked to AQAP. The local independent news website al-tagheer.net reported that in retaliation for the suicide attacks, Houthi followers arrested several Sunni scholars in Al-Hamati village, Majaz District, Saada Governorate. The village’s population is known to be affiliated with Salafism, a puritanical creed within Sunni Islam. (Read on …)

Report: AQAP claims suicide attacks on Zaidis in al Jawf and Saada

Filed under: Saada War, TI: External, aq statements, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:14 pm on Sunday, November 28, 2010

I don’t know about this, it depends on which website and other variables.

WaPo: Al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing killing Shiite tribesmen in northern Yemen. In a statement appearing Sunday on extremist websites, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula described the Shiites as “despicable plants” to be uprooted, according to the SITE Intelligence Unit, which monitors such sites.

In this case, the only thing that would be worse than a false flag attack (al Qaeda as a deniable proxy) is a real attack, but AQAP is insane if they think they can win against the Houthis. The targeting of the al Ghadeer procession and the convoy en route to Badr al Din’s funeral, beyond being horrific, is also insulting on a deep level and in a personal way to Abdel Malik. And the Houthis would be at a tactical disadvantage if they face continued attacks in that they don’t target civilians, and they won’t retaliate in kind, but that may be a strong strategic advantage. This makes no sense on AQAP’s part to open up a new front now. Maybe the Houthi control of some areas of Saada and al Jawf is diminishing AQAP’s capacity, especially with their operational focus on Saudi Arabia and cross border business enterprises.

Reuters:Nov 28 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s regional wing has claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed at least 23 Shi’ites in northern Yemen and threatened more attacks, according to a statement posted on the Internet on Sunday. “The mujahideen … decided to begin with this martyrdom-seeking operation in defence of the honour of our Prophet Mohammad … and in defence of our Sunni brothers,” Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in the statement posted on Islamic websites….The al Qaeda statement, dated Nov. 25, said the group had formed special units to attack the Shi’ite rebels, whom it accused of killing Sunnis, destroying their homes and forcing them out of areas under rebel control.

Update: well its the same stationary as the AQAP letter setting the timeline for the release of Hussain al Tais…

al Masdar Online: Announced what is known as al-Qaeda in the Arab fault responsibility for a suicide attack targeting Shi’ite al-Jawf province in northern Yemen last Wednesday, killing 17 people and wounding others. (Read on …)

Houthis accuse Feierstein of murder, US “Dismayed” Denies

Filed under: Donors, UN, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes, Yemen, al Jawf, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:10 pm on Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Houthis are doing their own investigation of the suicide attacks which they say points to sheiks in Amran, recently visited and paid by the new US Ambassador. It shows how isolated and out of touch the Houthis are–many have never been out of Saada, much less Yemen. They are out of touch with reality as well as the broader world.After years of chanting “Death to America,” the movement seems more immature, paranoid and conspiracy minded than ever, not ready for prime time at all. Its thoroughly reckless to charge the US Ambassador with paying tribal sheiks to murder worshipers and mourners. “Dismayed” is one of those words the US State Department uses when it is really bothered.

CRI
The U.S. embassy in Yemen on Sunday denied allegations that the U.S. government was behind last week’s twin bomb attacks on the Houthi-led Shiite rebel followers in north Yemen, which left dozens of people killed and injured.

“The Houthi media office claimed that the U.S. government planned one or both of these events, which took place on Nov. 24 and 26,” the embassy said in a press release posted Sunday on its website.

“The U.S. embassy was dismayed to learn that the Houthi media office made such ridiculous and baseless allegations. These claims dishonor the families in north Yemen who lost their family members and friends in the twin suicide bomber attacks,” it said. (Read on …)

Yemen arrests three year old Sabri Suhaibi in Habilayn, spurring protests which trigger bombing, Update: baby released from jail

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Lahj, South Yemen, War Crimes, political violence — by Jane Novak at 2:58 pm on Saturday, November 27, 2010

Update: the baby was released from prison after 24 hours. Prison conditions in Yemen are truly horrific. Another young detainee is 15 year old Moataz Alasiaii.

threeyearoldarrested112010.jpg

Sabri Ahmed Mohsen Suhaibi, three years old, was arrested along with his father on Saturday in the city of Habilayn, Lahj. Aden FM reports his fifty year old father pleaded, “Take me and leave him.”

Local reports indicate “Habilayn was bombed with light and heavy weapons and aircraft flying in the sky of the city today after a protest against the arrest of one of the citizens named Mohsen Suhaibi, a citizen 50 years and his son, child 3 years old. Mohsen Suhaibi does not recognize the authority of the occupation regime.”

For God’s sake, get this child out of jail. Furthermore, it was a perfectly legitimate protest. Who wouldn’t protest the arrest of a three year old? And in response to the demonstration, the military attacks the city, instead of releasing the kid. Next they will call him al Qaeda. Beyond the immorality and inhumanity of arresting a child to torture the parent, the act is surely against international law.

Update: The Yemen Post reports on the arrests and ensuing clashes:

Fierce clashes erupted between the military camp stationing in downtown Al-Habilain in Lahj Province and gunmen in which light and medium weapons were used…The fighting started after soldiers arrested a separatist activist, Muhsen Al-Suhaibi, 43, from Yafi’a, the sources said, adding that the arrest took place while on his way back after he drove his kids to school.

Also lets take a look at this, the PSO torturing imprisoned democracy activists with electric batons in Hadramout:

torturewithelectricbatons.jpg

Local sources said on Friday that the Yemeni occupation forces proceeded to torture ثلاثة من نشطاء الحراك الجنوبي السلمي في وادي حضرموت خلال احتجازهم Three of the southern movement of peaceful activists in Wadi Hadhramaut during their detention بسجن الامن السياسي بسيؤن. Political Security Prison Bsiwn. (Read on …)

The common denominator of the two suicide al Qaeda attacks in Yemen, Updated

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, Sa'ada, Saada War, TI: Internal, War Crimes, Yemen, al Jawf, attacks — by Jane Novak at 6:37 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

Mareb Press reports that a Marib Sheik, Mubarack Saleh Al-Mashan, was at the scene of both al Qaeda suicide car bombings (the al Ghadeer day procession from Marib to Saada and the convoy going to pay respects in Dhayan, Sa’ada to the al Houthi family). The Sheik survived both attacks. Al Mashan is also an adviser to the Ministry of the Interior and recently became a supporter of the Houthis.

Update: Al Mashan blames the US in an interview with Ansar al Allah: after the incident and met with Sheikh Almcn and we had a brief conversation with him which he said…Regarding the incident, the car bomb which we were today, he is a U.S. plan unveiled aimed at the disintegration of Yemen using pretexts and flimsy so-called al Qaeda, and that the beneficiary of and behind this are the Jews, and that the purpose behind all these criminal acts is to turn Yemen into the case like Iraq and Afghanistan. And it didn’t occur to him that he may have been the target? The list of potential puppet masters of the attacks is long.

Update 2: Below is an earlier interview with al Mashan explains why he chose to join the Houthis.

(Read on …)

Mohammed Abdulsalem is the only official Houthi spokesman

Filed under: Communications, Media, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 12:42 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

The Houthis in Yemen have no official website. Ansaralallah, Almempar, Saddahonline and others are all independent initiatives created by like minded persons, but the sites themselves are beyond the Houthis control and do not represent them officially. None of the websites are funded by the Houthis and editorial control is in the hands of their proprietors. The sites often reprint Adbelmalik al Houthi’s statements and other articles and analysis as well as report the news of Sadda, and they are quite a valuable window in that way.

As the Houthis stated during the sixth war, Mohammed Abdulsalem is their official spokesman and the Houthis media office communicates only by email. There is also no official Houthi facebook page or facebook group either. Its an important distinction to keep in mind going forward, especially now that they are under attack, apparently by al Qaeda. Many news organizations take statements from the Almenpar website and attribute them to the Houthis but unless its a statement attributed to Abdelmalik or Abdulsalem reprinted on the website, the rebels aren’t saying it, the webmaster or author is.

Al Qaeda suicide bomber targets Shia mourners in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Marib, Sa'ada, Saada War, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:26 pm on Friday, November 26, 2010

This is such a bad development that I can hardly wrap my mind around it.

Suicide bomber kills Yemen mourner AFP
SANAA — A suicide bomber killed a tribesman on Friday travelling to the funeral of the spiritual head of Shiite rebels observing an uneasy truce with Yemen’s government, a rebel spokesman and tribal sources said.

The bombing in northern Yemen also wounded another eight tribal dignitaries who had travelled up from the east of the country for the funeral of Badreddin al-Huthi, who died on Thursday at the age of 86, the sources said. (Read on …)

The Houthis announce the death of Badr al-Din Al Houthi

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Thursday, November 25, 2010

Badaradinalhouthi.JPG

The Houthis announced the passing of the scholar and patriarch Badr al-Din al Houthi at 86

Mourn to the Yemeni people and to the sons of our Arab and Islamic world and the death of Mr. Rabbani, the great scholar Al-Quran Mohammed Mujahid oppressed / bin Amir Badr al-Din al-Houthi God’s mercy the mercy of the righteous. (Read on …)

Bumped: Suicide car bomb targets al Ghadeer procession in al Jawf, Yemen killing 17, Update: Houthis blame US

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Religious, Saada War, TI: Internal, al Jawf, attacks, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 8:40 am on Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The post was bumped because the suicide attack today may be in retaliation for the Houthis capture of Ali Hussain al Tais and other al Qaeda operatives in Saada, which prompted the al Qaeda kidnapping of Sa’ada PSO deputy Ali Abdul Hosam. Maybe. (The regime’s counter-spin was that al Tais, a former Gitmo detainee surrendered.) What it feels like is the bombing of the al Salman mosque which precipitated the fifth Sa’ada war and the kidnapping of the western medical workers, which precipitated the sixth.

Original: In an overt al Qaeda attack on Yemeni civilians, a suicide car bomb targeted an al Ghadeer procession in al Jawf, Yemen. Fatalities are estimated at 24 including two children and a Sheik in his 80’s. The Saada Wars began in 2004 between the al Qaeda infested Yemeni military and a small group of Shia rebels. The sixth war ended in a truce early this year. Hundreds of thousands of Saada residents are still displaced by the fighting, and many are in al Jawf. Al Ghadeer day, a mainstream Shia holiday, was outlawed in Yemen from 2005 through 2008 and many were arrested for their religious observances. Last year some boys lighting firecrackers (a traditional means of celebrating) were arrested in Sana’a. This year Abdelmalik al Houthi issued a statement urging worshipers to take part in celebrations and to conserve their bullets, and not fire into the air.

I’m curious if this bomb matches any other al Qaeda car bombs including the September 2006 twin attacks on the oil installations, the July 2007 al Qaeda attack on the tourists in Marib, the August 2008 car bombing in Sayoun and the September 2008 attack on the US embassy.

An outbreak of intense clashes near the Saudi border between the Houthis and “pro-government tribes” was already straining the truce. While all of al Qaeda’s tactics are deplorable, targeting people who are going to pray is particularly repugnant. This is the first time there has been an open al Qaeda attack on the Houthis, normally they pretend to be soldiers or tribal volunteers. In this case it may be the inverse, soldiers pretending to be al Qaeda. All the lines become blurred in Sa’ada. Unfortunately there are plenty of brainwashed teen-agers to deploy as suicide bombers.

Update: the Houthis blame the US for the crime, seriously. See statement and article below. In another statement to the WaPo, they suspect al Qaeda, but the Houthis think that al Qaeda is a CIA proxy so the statements are not contradictory.

Update 2, 24 dead including two children, CNN: Almasmari said he had spoken to government officials who blamed al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni wing of the network calls itself. The officials declined to be named, he said, saying they were not authorized to speak to the media. Almasmari said AQAP recently said the procession was a legitimate target for attack.

Update 3: In retaliation for the Houthis capturing several of the al Tais in August. The Houthis turned them over to the security forces. Al Qaeda then captured the deputy PSO chief in Sa’ada and issued a 48 hour deadline in September. Since then nothing.

YemenOnline.Nov24,2010 – No one claimed immediate responsibility but a tribal leader told Yemen media that Al Qaeda carried out the attack as retaliation against the Houthis for detaining five Al Qaeda operatives earlier this year.The explosion -– believed to have been detonated by a suicide bomber in a car -– targeted Shiite tribesmen on their way to a holy festival, known as Ghadeer, in Jawf province south of the Saudi border. As many as 30 people were injured….Local sources said Islamic militants were likely behind the attack: “Al Qaeda affiliates believe that celebration of Al Ghadeer is not Islamic. The sources said Al Qaeda repeatedly issued fatwas that Al Ghadeer is ‘Bedah’, not (a) truly Islamic occasion to celebrate.”

(Read on …)

the Metamorphasis of the Houthis

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 12:12 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2010

Woops, this was in draft since October… An article in Mareb Press “penetrates the secrets of the Houthis” and their success in Yemen. And apparently like many other Islamic movements, the Houthis picked up the slack for the state.

For context, an excellent three part series in SABA on al Jawf notes the utter lack of the state in the governorate, including the fact that only 4% of the governorate has electricity. The articles can be accessed here for part one and here for parts 2 and 3.

One interesting point in the RAND report, Regime and Periphery in Northern Yemen, The Huthi Phenomenon, was the continuing evolution of insurgencies. While the Houthis can’t be classified as a typical insurgency, they certainly are fighting the state. Now we get to see what happens, after six years, when they stop fighting and start to rule. In an article discussing their new deal in al Jawf, the author states they restored law and order that has been missing, the article says, for 40 years and broke the bones of the bandits who were wrecking havoc (a figurative expression perhaps.)

They began the penetration of the governorate by sending teachers and assuming other functions normally assigned to the state which is entirely absent. They restored order to the market including prohibiting women from shopping alone in the market, and started hassling the gays. Several were taken into custody and turned over to the security where they are “until this moment still languishing.” They prohibited smoking among the ranks (sounds like Mayor Bloomberg.) While noting the state encouraged tribal wars, the article below notes that many revenge wars have been ended by the Houthis.

Yemen Today: One of the elders of Al-Jouf Yemen’s claim: – Houthis prepared to intervene by force to end the vendetta between Hamedan and Shoulan (Read on …)

New fighting in Saada

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:07 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2010

I still have to get the Houthis side of the story, despite all their outrageous photoshops of US troops. There is a more immature, irrational and hysterical tone to their propaganda lately. They thought a Hollywood movie from a decade ago outlined some secret plot against Yemen.

Dozens of Houthi Militants Killed, Injured in Saada Clashes, Yemen Post Staff:

At least 27 Houthi militants have been killed and dozens of others injured in continuous clashes between the militants and a pro-government clan in Yemen’s northern Saada province.

The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday the casualties were the result of three-day fighting in the Manbah district in which heavy weapons have been used. (Read on …)

France, not US, gave Saudis intel on Houthis

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:44 pm on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am glad to see the US State Dept recognizes there are substantial war crimes committed by the Yemeni government in its conduct of the Saada War, and the UK recognizes that as well apparently. These crimes really need to be factored into the overall equation going forward.

MTP: A year ago, Saudi Arabia was fighting a nasty border war against the Houthi rebels across its frontier with Yemen. The Saudis began bombing Houthi targets inside Yemen on Nov. 5, 2009, but the airstrikes were inaccurate, and there were reports of civilian casualties.
(Read on …)

Houthis think the low budget film, “Rules of Engagement,” from 2000 portends a giant plot against Yemen in 2010

Filed under: Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:12 pm on Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I wrote them back yesterday to ask if the movie King Kong means a giant ape is en route to climb a building in New York or if space aliens are coming to earth like the movie Alien. But apparently they are so into this conspiracy theory (the US has a plan for them, AQAP is CIA and the war on al Qaeda is just a guise for the war on the Houthis) that everything they see becomes part of their paranoia. There may be some plans by great powers for Yemen, but the idea that this ten year old movie is part of it is ridiculous. This is about the fifth time I received this in the last two days. Its also posted on the the Ansar al Allah website:

Heed the yarns American conspiracy to Yemen
‫ alerted to the plot threads of America Yemen

Site Ansar Allah | | Special – Abdul Rauf Aldhiani

The American conspiracy to Yemen, are part of the reality of the conspiracy against the Islamic nation in general under the name of (the New Middle East)!?

The plot threads started in the U.S. to Yemen since 2000 almost, with the production of “Hollywood” film entitled (Rules of Engagement Rules of Engagement), the film tells the events of the entry of U.S. forces to Yemen. The film is a writer and former U.S. Secretary of the Navy, “James Web.”

After that, I made the facts of the events of the destroyer “Cole” in 2001, and its impact on the plot began to practice, where he laid the foundation stone for the suit and the presence of terrorists in Yemen. (Read on …)

Bad intel from Yemen to Saudi Arabia promted crisis of confidence

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, prince, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:53 am on Sunday, November 7, 2010

There have been many false and/or unsubstantiated statements from Yemen to the Saudis, one such incident prompted the canceling of the third donors conference in February 2009 when Yemen had to retract their announcement of seven arrested Saudis. The al Masdar article notes Yemen’s announcement of the arrest of a Saudi financier without notifying the Saudis (and they still have no confirmation) and during the Saada war giving coordinates for the Houthi leadership but really the location was General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar… Part of the difficulty in unpacking the “terror attacks” in and from Yemen is that sometimes different factions of the (Yemeni) royal family acts through their jihaddist proxies.

al Masdar: What is behind the deterioration of the relationship and lack of trust between the security of Yemen and Saudi Arabia?

Along with several other things, the incident revealed “packages” recent deep crisis of confidence between the security of Yemen and the Saudi government, and apparently it is a reflection of the deteriorating relationship between the two regimes, or vice versa. (Read on …)

Half of children under five in western Sa’ada have acute malnutrition

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Sa'ada, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:29 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SABA: Nearly half of the 26,246 children aged 6-59 months screened in five western districts of Saada in July 2010 were found to be suffering from global acute malnutrition; in one area, the proportion was as high as three out of four children. Overall, 17 per cent of the children screened suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 28 per cent from moderate acute malnutrition.

“Malnutrition is the main underlying cause of death for young children in Yemen, and therefore this grim situation could spell disaster for the children of Saada,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “As winter approaches, thousands of children are at serious risk if we are not able to act immediately.” (Read on …)

Saudi funding of the Saada wars

Filed under: Iran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:00 pm on Monday, October 11, 2010

Yemen Times, David Hughes, NATO Review
Throughout the conflict, President Saleh has accused the Iranian government of militarily, financially and politically supporting the Shia uprising in Sa’ada. Although the latter might be a possibility, no concrete and verifiable evidence supports the first two allegations. For its own political purpose, Iran has played this game allowing others to exaggerate its regional power and military reach. When Saudi Arabia started to echo Yemeni complaints of Iranian intervention, it condemned joint Yemeni – Saudi action.

Although it is true that the Houthi movement cannot fund the insurgency with pomegranates and grapes, many argue that the Yemeni government is accusing Iran to extract precious resources from the US and Saudi Arabia to fund its military repression in Sa’ada. Saleh knows how sensitive these two countries are to Iran’s growing regional power and may have been playing on these fears to help secure his regime.

While Iran’s involvement remains a matter of speculation, Saudi Arabia’s is much more real. Indeed, it has numerous reasons for concern: Iran’s growing clout in the region; the development of a Shia movement in Yemen; the import of a Shia –Sunni civil war into Saudi Arabia; and wider border instabilities.

Yemen allegedly received $10 million per month in 2007 from Saudi Arabia during the war. The Saudis also intervened physically in November 2009 with extensive air and naval power. Saudi Arabia has even lost over 100 troops and border forces, with 5 being held by rebel forces. With Saudi military operations failing to defeat the insurgents on the Yemeni border, this might encourage Iran to be more proactive in Sa’ada to pressurize the Saudis. Consequently, while this affair is originally local, many experts accept a regional narrative.

Corruption in Sa’ada Water Contracts

Filed under: Corruption, Sa'ada, Saada War, Water — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010

All the more egregious because people there are starving and without water. They are allocating money to buy diesel when the Red Crescent already donated the diesel as well as overcharging and providing phantom services.

Update: English: Yemen Observer:

Studies & Economic Media Center (SEMC) revealed corruption scandals at Local Water Institution in Sa’adah province costing the government YR 100 million. (Read on …)

Marib Sheikhs Declare Loyalty to Houthi?

Filed under: Marib, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:49 am on Monday, October 4, 2010

Nothing on this yet from the al Houthis. As the money runs out, people switch sides.

Marib Sheikhs Declare Loyalty to Houthi Yemen Post Staff

A number of Marib sheikhs including advisor to Interior Minister brigadier general Mubarak Al-Mashan arrived in Saada on Sunday to declare their loyalty to the Houthi Group after a meeting with Houthi leader in Jawf Province two days ago, sources reported. (Read on …)

The 71 Hashimite prisoners of Houth, Amran

Filed under: Amran, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 7:35 am on Saturday, September 25, 2010

These are the Hashimites arbitrarily taken prisoner based on their religious affiliation by Hussain al Ahmar’s forces in Houth, Amran. For prior report, click here. This is not related to the show that went on in al Hota, Shabwa. After the assault on Houth, Hussain al Ahmar issued a statement that the prisoners weren’t all in his tribal prisons, they are in official state prisons. But how does Hussain al Ahmar have the authority to go around rounding up villagers based on their religion and put them in official jail? That is actually a worse scenario that indicates Yemen is thoroughly out of control as has already devolved into various fiefdoms.

1. 1. العلامة / قاسم حسن قاسم السراجي
2. 2. عبدالخالق عبدالرحمن عبدالله الشرعي
3. 3. علي محسن حسين الــديـدي
4. 4. عبدالرحمن محمد محمد المتوكل
5. 5. حسين علي يحيى الشرعي
6. 6. صالح أحمد حومي
7. 7. عبدالقادر أحمد قاسم السراجي
8. 8. عبدالباسط محمد حسن الـديـدي
9. 9.أيمن عبدالقادر شرف الـديـدي

10. حمزة يحيى محمد السراجي

11. عبدالله صالح سباعي

12 (Read on …)

40 dead in renewed Sa’ada clashes

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 7:40 am on Friday, September 24, 2010

Africaasia Fighting in mountainous north Yemen between Shiite rebels and an army-backed tribe over the past four days has left at least 40 people dead, tribal and rebel sources told AFP on Wednesday. (Read on …)

Saada has always been an important base for al Qaeda

Filed under: 9 hostages, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen, abu jubarah — by Jane Novak at 8:34 am on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The al Tais al Qaeda group functions as General Ali Mohsen’s al Ahmar’s mercenaries in the Saada War. I have written about them extensively. They have official passports, transit the border with Saudi Arabia easily and many have military positions. They are big in the honey business. Al Qaeda has been active in the Sa’ada War since 2004. Everyone knows this, including the US, but they got a pass as “militants” not necessarily connected to the main Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. This was an entirely incorrect assessment. Additionally, the headquarters of the Dar al Hadieth network is in Dammaj, Sa’ada as well as the Abu Jabarah training camp, which houses about 500 jihaddists on a rotating basis. Last I checked on Abu Jubarah, there’s no women or children there, just terrorists training. The Sa’ada region has been closed to journalists and international agencies since 2004.

Bottom line: the Houthis captured General Ali Mohsen’s boy, Hussain al Tais, and AQAP is agitating for his release by kidnapping a Yemeni official. The primary and pressing issue at this moment though is to interrogate Hussain al Tais about the location of the German and British al Qaeda hostages.

Reuters: SANAA (Reuters) – The Yemeni wing of al Qaeda has claimed the August kidnapping of a senior intelligence official in the northern province of Saada and demanded the release of two imprisoned militants. (Read on …)

Deputy PSO Chief Captured by Al Qaeda in Saada, to exchange for their leader Hussain al Tais captured in al Jawf by the Houthis

Filed under: 9 hostages, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen, al Jawf, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:42 pm on Monday, September 20, 2010

At the time of the Germans’ kidnapping, in Sa’ada in June 09, myself and others published reports of Hussain al Tais’s (and the al Tais al Qaeda gang in Sa’ada’s) possible involvement. (Actually for five years I have documenting the al Qaeda in Sa’ada including al Nabi who fought there in 2005 and is now commissioned to fight in the south.) So recently, the Houthis captured Hussain al Tais in al Jawf, handed him over to the PSO in Sa’ada, and then al Qaeda kidnapped the deputy PSO to bargain for al Tais’s exchange. The AQAP statement on al Tais also proves that they are in Sa’ada. Its a very important base for them. But maybe someone should ask al Qaeda to return the other four European hostages, (two German parents, their infant son, and a Brit) before they give him up. But clearly al Tais can’t remain in custody- because he actually knows something. The Yemeni government will release him or kill him. Link at Marib Press. But the one at al Masdar Online translates better:

Source Online – Special
Al Qaeda in Yemen (Base of Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula) claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Colonel Ali Hussam Mohammed Salah, deputy director of Political Security in the province of Saada.

And demanded that al-Qaeda in a statement in this regard, published positions on the Web site, the government release two members of the al-Qaeda said, “they captured in a point belonging to the Alhouthein in al-Jawf province, after that, the Houthis Shiites surrender them to the Director of the Political Security Saada Yahya Almrani according to confessions deputy director of political security prisoner to us. ” The statement said.

And the granting of the statement of organization, dated today, Monday, 11 October 1431 the government 48 hours to release (Hussein goat and famous VMA) in return for disclosing the fate of the alleged “spy” Deputy Director of Political Security kidnapped al-Qaeda. (Read on …)

In commemoration of the first anniversary of the Al’adi massacre

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes, guest posts — by Jane Novak at 9:42 am on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

For a video of the massacre, click here.

Human Rights violation during the sixth war at the north of Yemen:
The case of Al’adi Massacre
Written by: Abdalah Sharafadin

Yemen, a country located in the western south of the Arabian Peninsula, has witnessed six violent wars in the north, in Saada governorate and Harf Sufian district between the Yemeni government and insurgents called Houthis. Houthis claim that they suffered a severe marginalization by the government which subsequently escalated into a war waged by the government in 2004. They claim that they had no chance but confront the war and defend themselves against the absolute death threats by the government. Each round of war is marked by a wider war zone and more violence than the former one. The first war ended with the killing of the founder of the rebels who is called Hussein Al-Houthi in which the group was named after. The tension after each war devolved into a new war and this happened six times. (Read on …)

Hussain al Ahmar’s forces attack villagers in Hout, Amran

Filed under: Amran, Civil Unrest, Religious, Saada War, Tribes, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:04 am on Friday, September 10, 2010

(Update: Now its a war of threats.)

This is one version of the story but the town is still under siege. Armed tribal mercenaries under the command of Sheikh Hussein Al-Ahmar attacked Hashimite families in the town of Hooth, Amran, two weeks ago. The villagers were Hasimites, not Houthi supporters, giving rise to the charge of ethnic cleansing.

On Saturday August 21st, a tribal mercenary of the Hashid murdered an unarmed Hashemite youth, Mohammed Zaid Al-Hoothi, in Hooth. The murderer had brother who was killed in the sixth war in Sa’adah. The murderer escaped to Hussain Al-Ahmar’s house in Hooth. The Hoothi family asked Hussain to submit the murderer to justice. Hussain refused and sent two messengers to the Hoothi family telling them that they can not ask that because their son was in Sa’adah and thus not entitled to redress if he is killed. (His blood has no value in the tribal concepts). The Hoothi family said to the messengers that they do not accept that and they consider it an insult.

The Hoothi family buried the body Sunday evening. When receiving the guests, as all the Yemenis do, some tribal mercenaries started attacking them under the pretense that it was Hussain al Ahmar’s tribal committee searching for weapons in the Hashemite houses. Some clashes broke out Sunday evening at one house the al Ahmar loyalists. By Monday morning, thousands were attacking the city; bombing, shooting. About 80 people were kidnapped and remain in al Ahmar’s tribal prison as well as some state prisons. The Yemeni army cut Sana’a-to-Sa’adah road and a siege is in place around Hooth. As we know, the Saudis are unhappy with the Doha agreement and Hussain is financed by the Saudis.

al Wasat: يسود منطقة حوث التابعة لمحافظة عمران توتر حاد منذ مطلع الأسبوع الجاري إثر اندلاع مواجهات بين قبائل العصيمات وأبناء منطقة حوث والتي أسفرت عن مقتل وجرح العشرات من الطرفين في ظل غياب أي دور للسلطات في احتواء الموقف المتصاعد. Region there is Hot in the province of Amran tension sharply since early this week following the outbreak of clashes between tribes living in a region Alasemat Hot, which resulted in the killing and injury of dozens of parties in the absence of any role for the authorities to contain the escalating situation. ولاتزال قبائل العصيمات المسلحة تفرض حصاراً على منطقة حوث التابعة لها في حين احتجزت ما يقارب 67 مواطناً من المنتمين للمذهب الهاشمي. The tribes still Alasemat armed siege on the area’s Hot in when they detained about 67 citizens of belonging to the doctrine of Hashemi. وبدأ انفجار الأحداث على خلفية مقتل محمد مطهر زيد الحوثي من أبناء حوث قبل ثلاثة (Read on …)

Saudi Intel Led to Lauder Air Strikes on Saudi Al Qaeda in Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Air strike, Counter-terror, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 1:59 pm on Monday, September 6, 2010

Al Qaeda using civilians as human shields would only make sense if the Yemeni government or al Qaeda had any respect for civilian immunity, which neither does. How did they “escape” Lauder? Supposedly the Saudi, Battarfi, ordered the attacks on Yemeni security forces in Abyan. All these Saudis should go home and fight their war on Saudi soil not in Yemen.

Saudi named new leader of Al-Qaeda in Arab Peninsula
Saudi Gazette
RIYADH – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen and using it as a launching pad for targeting the Kingdom, has appointed a Saudi of Yemeni origin, Khaled Battarfi, as the leader of the organization in Abyan Governorate, a Yemeni government official disclosed to Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
The move follows the killing of the former leader Jameel Al-Anbari in an air strike on March 14 that targeted the organization’s members in Moudiah city, said Ahmad Ali Al-Qufaishi, director general of Lodar Province, which is located in southern Yemen. Speaking by telephone, he said Battarfi, 35, who is also known as Abu Miqdad Al-Kindi, is the “Shariah-in-charge” in the terrorist organization in Yemen. (Read on …)

Saudi War Crimes in Sa’ada, Yemen Used UK Planes

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, UK, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:53 pm on Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yes, Saudi Arabia was indiscriminately bombing residential areas in Yemen for months. UK Press

Tornado fighter-bombers supplied by the UK to Saudi Arabia are “extremely likely” to have been used in attacks on civilians in Yemen, human rights campaigners have said.

Amnesty International UK called for the Government to suspend all arms supplies to Saudi Arabia pending a full investigation.

The UK must ensure that any support it has provided for the jet fighters “did not facilitate violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, by the Saudi Arabian air force,” it said. (Read on …)

Yemen overdue on payment to Sa’ada tribal militia

Filed under: Economic, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:47 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2010

As the state runs out of money, this is the latest in a series of clashes with soldiers and tribal fighters prompted by overdue salaries.

News Yemen: Security forces have clashed with some fifty protesters, who supported the army in the war against Houthi rebels in northern Sa’ada and wounded during the conflict, near the 1st Armored Division in the capital Sana’a.

Protesters demand the government to pay YR120,000 (almost $600) for each as compensation for injury. Protesters said the government promised to pay them the money but it did not fulfill the promise.

Eyewitnesses said protesters blocked the highway against the 1st Armored Division with iron barriers and big stones and threw stones at security forces. Protesters have also attacked a police car and assaulted a security officer.

Security have opened fire in air to disperse protesters and unblocked the highway, eyewitnesses said. But they said that three soldiers were seen laying on the ground and ambulances were seen rushing to the scene. Sixth war in Sa’ada came to end last February, but many people still suffer post-war consequences.

Updated: PSO Deputy Kidnapped in Sadda by al Tais family in Abu Jabarah?

Filed under: Saada War, Security Forces, hostages — by Jane Novak at 3:43 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On September 20, AQAP issued a demand for the release of Hussain al Tais in exchange for Ali Hosam. details here. The spraying in the face is similar to an incident several years ago against a southern journalist.

Original: We all remember abu Jabarah in Saada, where the al Qaeda training camp is, under the direction and protection of Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, who was also seeking to negotiate in Lauder. The al Tais family pop up regularly as hard core jihaddists with close connections to Ali Mohsen. The Yemen Observer notes: The Sa’dah Deputy security director (Ali Abdulhusam) was kidnapped by armed gunmen after being spraying him with an anesthetic and taken to an unknown place..This case is similar to that of the kidnapping of the German doctors who were found dead in one of the Governorate’s directorates.

Earlier on Abu Jubarah and the German hostages.

Saada Online – Special
Friday, August 27th, 2010 م

Revealed local sources in Saada province for “Saada Online” for important information about the kidnapping of Deputy Director of Political Security in Sa’ada, “Ali Hussam,” saying that the armed elements had abducted Thursday from his home in the neighborhood of “officers” in the center of Sa’ada, and signs that fingers point to the family of “Al-Tais” known by their affiliations to the extreme and of being officers in the Northern Command Bank and living in the valley of “The Abu Jabara,” said a local resident that the kidnapping may have been due to demand, “Al-Tais,” the release of a relative with detainees at the political security.

It is noteworthy that the abduction “Ali Hussam,” is very similar to the details of the abduction of German doctors and indications are that and also their views of “The Abu Jabara,” especially since the kidnapping was the center of the city of Saada, where there are military units, military and security services intensively , reported media sources confirmed that two men stood in a jeep, Morocco, on Thursday in front of the home of Colonel Hussam, and roads door and when he went out to them they fired on his face spray anesthesia and he fainted and they carried him to the back of the jeep, which was brought down the curtain on the rear to block the vision of her own Customs . Sadah Online

Full text of the YO story below:

The Sa’dah Deputy security director was kidnapped by armed gunmen after being spraying him with an anesthetic and taken to an unknown place.

The kidnapping story of Sa’dah deputy security director is still mysterious.

As the security authorities decline to give any information, the local council’s General Secretary Mohammed al-Emad showed reservation when speaking to News Yemen.

This case is similar to that of the kidnapping of the German doctors who were found dead in one of the Governorate’s directorates.

The deputy security director Ali Abdulhusam was kidnapped by unknown gunmen while he was leaving his house for afternoon prayer in the officers’ area in the middle of Sa’dah city last Thursday.

Sources say that gunmen in a jeep intercepted him and took him to an unknown place.

The sources also said that two men standing in front of Abdulhusam’s house sprayed

an anesthetic on his face and took him unconscious into the jeep’s box, covering the rear of the car to conceal the plates.

The source said that the Jeep was seen crossing al-Gablat road south east of Sa’dah and that is it took Atwah road heading to Nashor area.

Yemen and Houthi Group Sign Agreement Scheduling Implementation

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:44 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

That’s good and hopefully will avert a seventh war. A mutual timetable provides a good structure but the oversight is still up in the air. The Houthis view below the fold:

Qatar (Doha) – Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani witnessed this evening the signing of the explanatory appendix of the executive program schedule for the implementation of the 22 points which were signed between the Yemeni government and the Houthis Group, State-run Qatari News Agency reported. (Read on …)

CIHRS: To the Obama administration: Don’t defile your hands with the blood of innocent Yemeni Civilians

Filed under: 3 security, Counter-terror, Security Forces, USA, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:55 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies strongly condemns the Yemeni army’s shelling in the Lawdar district in the Abyan province, Southern Yemen, which has severely harmed the civilian population located there.

It is with deep concern, that CIHRS observes the nearly week-long shelling campaign, supported by heavy artillery and tanks, which has prompted hundreds of Yemeni families to flee the Lawdar district and take refuge in the mountains as the authorities continue their military siege of the area, sealing off all entrances and exits. According to information received from Yemeni human rights organizations and other sources, at least three civilians have been killed and dozens more injured, among them at least two children, while the artillery fire hit a local market and severely damaged homes, agricultural land, and a nursery.

The assault was launched after several Yemeni troops were killed in an ambush by either al-Qaeda operatives, as the Yemeni authorities claim, or elements involved with the Southern Movement. Exiled Southern Yemeni officials and leaders of the Southern Movement state that the attack was launched in an attempt to turn the international community against the peaceful Southern Movement by associating it with terrorism. It should be noted that the Yemeni regime used Yemeni fighters returning from Afghanistan to quell the rebellion in the South in 1994. Consequently, al-Qaeda began to establish a base in the area, which later became the largest in the Arab world.

The Yemeni authorities have persistently sought to stigmatize the popular protest movement and its leadership in the south as terrorists, in an attempt to justify the use of excessive force and increasing repression against citizens in the Southern provinces.

CIHRS would like to bring attention to the fact that the Southern province of Abyan has been the target of a series of brutal attacks over the last year. One of the bloodiest attacks took place in December 2009 ; when the Yemeni army, with support from the U.S. government, launched two air strikes on alleged al-Qaeda camps. At least 42 civilians were killed in these raids, most of which were women and children.

CIHRS stresses that counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda should not be used as a pretext for the international community to turn a blind eye to the grave abuses perpetrated by the Yemeni government against individuals suspected of affiliation with al-Qaeda; or against the regime’s political opponents. A noticeably large segment of the citizenry has become the target for various types of collective punishment in light of the militarization of the country and the civil strife being stoked by the regime in the Sa’ada region, North of Yemen, and the South to secure its monopolization of power. In this context, CIHRS would like to bring attention to the fact that it is these very policies that created such fertile ground for al-Qaeda to grow in the Arabian Peninsula.

Additionally, These policies have created an auspicious atmosphere for the recruitment of more terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers, both from inside and outside Yemen.

CIHRS further warns that the unconditional support given to the Yemeni regime by the U.S. administration and some parties in the EU will only exacerbate the dangers of terrorism. Numerous individuals are swayed to terrorism on a daily basis, driven by their growing sense of injustice and injury, which is fed by the daily practices of extrajudicial killings; abductions; forced disappearances; torture; repression of peaceful protests; vicious attempts to silence the press and human rights defenders; the increasing political, economic, and social marginalization of broad swathes of the population; the rampant spread of corruption; in addition to the spread and ascendancy of an extremist religious discourse fostered by the Yemeni regime itself.

Thus, CIHRS believes that averting the threat of terrorism requires concerted efforts by the international community to push Yemen to construct a rule of law; prevent impunity for grave human rights abuses; adopt an enlightened religious discourse; and refuse to sacrifice human rights under the justification of combating terrorism. Yemen’s allies in the fight against terrorism must guarantee that the military, security, and financial aid given to the Yemeni government is not used to perpetrate more war crimes and crimes against humanities or violate the rights of suspected al-Qaeda members or the thousands of Yemenis civilians who are paying a catastrophic price for the policies of the Yemeni regime, which threaten to bring about the wholesale collapse of the central state.

CIHRS

No Yemeni Govt Presence in Harf Sufyan

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:18 am on Friday, August 20, 2010

Yemen Post:

The quiet situation in Harf Sufyan district after the bloody battles last July draws numerous unanswered questions. The battles killed dozens from both sides and had 228 soldiers held hostage. Observers believe that the Qatari mediation helped to calm down the situation, while local analysts believe that local mediations were the main and only reason behind the end of fighting in Harf Sufyan. Houthis not only control Sa’ada governorate, but also control the strategic military site of Al-Zaala which oversees the main road linking the capital Sana’a with Saada city. (Read on …)

Freedom for Political Prisoner Walid Sharafuddin, Video English Version

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:49 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Walid Sharafuddin is a political prisoner in Yemen whose wife was beaten during a peaceful protest in his favor, story here with photos. The following is a plea for the release of Walid in the spirit of Ramadan.

State and Houthis Agree to New Talks

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 3:04 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

That’s more good news. The first issue they should discuss is access routes for the urgently needed humanitarian aid. Qatar has done some good work for years on the issue. The situation needs impartial monitors on the ground. (No, I am not calling for foreign intervention, just saying that both sides have very loose command and control.) From the Yemen Post:

Yemen and Qatar agreed the government and the Houthi Group will send delegations to Doha in the coming days to sign a minutes over the 2007 Doha-brokered peace deal between the two sides, informed sources said on Monday.

The move was agreed during the short visit of Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim Al Thani to Sana’a. (Read on …)

Saada Refugees Begging for Food During Ramadan

Filed under: Saada War, Tribes, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 1:05 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

They were hoping for some dates and sweets but there’s no food deliveries since June due to various conflicts and road closures. The widows and children are begging for food.

AMRAN, 17 August 2010 (IRIN) – Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northern Yemeni governorate of Amran, including 1,800 in the governorate’s only IDP camp, Khaiwan, have been hit by food aid delivery delays, according to aid workers. (Read on …)

Children of Saada War Suffer Numerous Traumas

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Refugees, Sa'ada, Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 5:35 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

UNICEF and Government of Yemen jointly launch the First Inter-Agency Comprehensive Child Protection Assessment Report in Conflict Affected Areas in the north of Yemen:

Key Findings:
* 68% of children interviewed have been subjected to domestic violence
* 8% of all abused children have admitted exposure to sexual exploitation perpetrated by host communities, aid workers and others
* 7.9% of IDPs and affected families have had one child killed as a result of the conflict
* 10.3% of children of these families have been injured as a direct result of the fighting from both sides of the conflict
* 21% of children reported that they saw someone being injured or wounded
* 7.1% had witnessed someone being killed
* 10.2% of families reported that their children had been subjected to detention by both sides of the conflict
* More than 15% of the fighters from Al-Houthi and tribal militias are Children below 18 yrs.
* 2.1% of displaced and affected families have indicated that at least one of their children is still missing
* High illiteracy levels amongst care givers in displaced and affected regions, 73% of fathers and 85% of mothers are illiterate without appropriate learning or educational opportunities

Houthis Release 100 Yemeni Soldiers and Tribal Fighters

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 4:44 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

According to Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA.ir), Yemen’s Shia Houthis said they released on Monday 100 soldiers and pro-government tribesmen they had captured in clashes last month, in the second such move aimed at cementing a fragile truce in the north of the country.

“These releases came … on the occasion of (the Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan, and to prove our seriousness in bringing about peace and creating conditions for a resumption of mediation by Qatar,” Houthis spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam said.

The Houthis, who announced a similar release on Sunday, and the government have welcomed an offer by Qatar to try to revive a Qatari-mediated peace agreement in the north of the Arabian Peninsula country.

Faras Manna Interview: All weapons sales legal, National Security corrupt and Houthis get all weapons from the Yemeni military

Filed under: Corruption, Proliferation, Saada War, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 1:50 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fares Manna is the president’s partner and was released from National Security jail after two months (following the incident of the shipload of Chinese weapons). He was recently sanctioned by the UN for selling weapons in Somalia despite an international ban. In an interview at al-Masdar, Manna makes some interesting claims:
- all the Houthis weapons were purchased from the Yemeni Military and systematic leakage occurs by a particular method due to the collusion by some aspect of the military
- the National Security Agency in particular is corrupt and no reform in Yemen is possible without the cancellation of the National Security
- he says he legally brokers deals with Russian, Ukranian and Eastern European countries (as I said in 2005) to purchase arms for the state and he also resells and ships arms all over the Middle East and Africa (which would include Somalia)
- all his transactions are legal according to Yemeni law
- the merchants of war reject peace with the Houthis and instigate new conflicts
- he himself lost over $100 million when his houses were bombed, they were will stocked with weapons as directed by the state, he was storing the arms so they didnt fall into the hands of the Houthis, but the National Security failed to supply the correct intelligence to the state.
- Manna is launching a peace initiative in Sa’ada, more at the Yemen Times.

For more on Fares Manna and weapons smuggling, see our category “Proliferation”.

The interview from al Masdar:

أطلق تاجر السلاح اليمني فارس مناع نداء استغاثة باسم اهالي صعدة وطالب الدول الخليجية عامة والمملكة العربية السعودية وقطر خاصة بالتدخل وتقديم الدعم والمساهمة في إعادة إعمار المحافظة. Yemeni arms dealer called Knight Manna distress call on behalf of the people of Saada and called the Gulf States in general and Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular to intervene and provide support and contribute to the reconstruction of the province. وفيما حمّل الدولة مسؤولية انتشار السلاح في الاسواق اكد ان السلاح الذي يحمله الحوثيون يعود اصلا الى الجيش اليمني. The state took responsibility for the proliferation of arms in the market confirmed that the weapons carried by Houthis back originally to the Yemeni army. (Read on …)

Saada Destruction Cost of Nearly a Billion Dollars in Six Months

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:09 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

IRIN: SANAA, 3 August 2010 (IRIN) – Head of the government’s Reconstruction Fund (RF) Mohammed Thabit says the UN World Food Programme (WFP) should stop giving food to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and contribute instead to the reconstruction of Saada Governorate. (Read on …)

Yahya al Houthi Objects to US Mil Aid Used in Saada War in Letter to Parliament

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:06 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yahya al-Houthi, an MP and brother of Abdel-Malik, sent a letter to the Yemeni parliament about the Senate’s finding the US military aid may have been mis-used (diverted) to Saleh’s efforts against the Houthis. Its extremely difficult to believe that the transfer of mil aid comes as a shock to anyone in DC. The Sa’ada region has been cut off from journalists since 2004, and the civilian casualty toll is anyone’s guess, but the Yemeni regime’s tactics are clearly in violation of international law and include sustained blockade and indiscriminate bombing. While Saleh is using US military support against the Houthis, he is also using al-Qaeda operatives as mercenaries and has been doing so since 2005-ie, the US is equipping an (al-Qaeda supported) jihad against Shia civilians. The Yemeni state itself calls it a jihad and has produced fatwas claiming “Houthi blood is free.” This is not news, but an ongoing pathetic failure of integrity and foresight.

We continue to expose our deep concern of the military and financial help of Western and especially the assistance the United States, European Union, as well as Arab aid provided to the system of Yemen in response to Western demands to provide such assistance to the regime in Yemen, and we reiterated our concern that such assistance will increase the tension conditions in our country and increase the unjust compulsion, the arrogance and injustice, emphasizing that he would use the aid in the suppression of the people and strengthen the dictatorship and the rule of domestic and install the corruption, rather than commitment to a democratic political and institutional governance, and it will expand the popular discontent against the corrupt system more, thereby expanding the cycle of violence and prolonging it.

We are today before the important recognition of the Chambers of the U.S. published a lot of media sources, reporting on the health of our apprehension of that aid has recognized that the system used actually against Houthis, rather than hunt for alleged terrorists, and people saw that it did not distinguish between one was people of all age groups and orientations of the target of bombs and missiles and one incident of camp the normal people too-distant future where the regime killed this aid, scores of children and women and the elderly, as well as it beat for the accommodation of prisoners from the Yemeni military in Sa’ada, where he spent more than 100 prisoners, as well as hit the markets and the displacement camps and cities inhabited by the civilian population. (Read on …)

Houthis Capture Military Post and 70 Soldiers in Amran

Filed under: Amran, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:37 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There has to be some neutral supervision of the cease-fire implementation.

Update: Khaleej Times: Houthis free 200 captured soldiers from the 72nd Regiment of the army’s Republican Guards (commanded by Prince Ahmed).

Gulf Times: Shia rebels took control of a strategic army post in north Yemen yesterday and captured some 70 soldiers, in the latest clash to endanger an increasingly fragile truce, army and tribal sources said. “Houthi (rebels) took control of a military position in Al Zaala and captured all remaining soldiers,” a tribal source said. “Violent clashes erupted since the early morning hours.” A local military official said the rebels captured some 70 soldiers. (Read on …)

Al-Dhalie Still Blockaded for Over Two Months

Filed under: Military, South Yemen, War Crimes, al Dhalie — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Friday, July 23, 2010

I had thought the peace convoy from Taiz had more of a lasting effect. Also its the anniversary of the clashes in Zanzibar which killed 17 and wounded more than 20 “because they raised their voices demanding the restoration of the state and still the occupation regime committed massacres and crimes against our brothers in the south, but today Dali is surrounded and encircled from all sides that the area of the city of Dali five square kilometers There are five military brigades and more than twenty military barracks to prevent food and medicine from our brothers in Dali.”

GPC-JMP Agreement: Houthis Approve, Southerners Call Conspiracy

Filed under: GPC, JMP, Saada War, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:14 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ali Nasser Mohammed President of the PDRY “vehemently denied published allegations that he and other opposition leaders in exile were consulted before signing of the Framework agreement between the GPC and the JMP, Naba News reported. Nasser described the claims as “a slander with only one goal, to smear, with no basis in reality, adding that he would love it so much if the ruling party as well as the opposition parties could start solving the big problems rather than get trapped in small ones.” Southern leaders within Yemen are unanimous in their denunciation of the accord, calling it a conspiracy. More on the agreement below the fold.

Daily Star: SANAA: Shiite rebels Monday came out in support of an agreement between the ruling party and the opposition to embark on a national dialogue between Yemen’s numerous rivals. “We express our satisfaction and support for the agreement between the Common Forum and the [ruling] General People’s Congress,” the rebels said in a statement. (Read on …)

49 Killed in Amran Threatening Sa’ada Truce

Filed under: Amran, Parliament, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 8:09 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Its a powder keg waiting to go off. Its unclear if its a tribal clash or a military one since the Houthis are fighting with “Army backed tribes.”

SANAA — Fighting in mountainous north Yemen between Shiite rebels and army-backed tribes over the past four days have left at least 49 people dead, threatening a fragile truce, tribal and rebel sources said on Wednesday.
(Read on …)

US Sanctions Awlaki, Yemen will Release 437 Prisoners

Filed under: Saada War, US jihaddis, USA, prisons — by Jane Novak at 9:17 pm on Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two entirely unrelated stories, 1) US freezes Anwar Awlaki’s assets and criminalizes providing material support to him; 2) After February truce agreement and May’s amnesty announcement, there’s still over 400 rebels in jail and dozens of southerners. In theory, Saleh agreed to release them but we’ve heard it dozens of times before. He uses the prisoners as a bargaining chip against the opposition and the general public.

Gulf Times: Yemen’s government has agreed to free more than 400 people, mostly northern rebels, as the Arab state tries to launch a dialogue with opposition groups, an opposition leader said yesterday.

An opposition coalition and the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party signed an agreement yesterday to set up a joint body for a national dialogue, state media reported.

The government is trying to halt conflict in the northern province of Saada with Shia rebels as well as with secessionists in the south.

“As demanded by the opposition in order to sign the agreement, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has issued a directive to free 27 from the southern movement and 400 with links to the fighting in Saada,” the opposition figure, who declined to be named, told Reuters. (Read on …)

Half Million Documented Refugees in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Somalia — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Wednesday, July 14, 2010

170,000 migrants from Somalia and 330,000 internally displaced by the Saada Wars, Yemen Times:

Head of the UNHCR Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, Ambassador Peter Woolcott, visited Yemen from July 5 to July 10 to observe the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons in the country, an especially important visit since the UN refugee agency is in the midst of a funding crisis…“We are dealing with something like 170 thousand refugees and 330 thousand IDPs,” he said. “These are very large numbers from any standpoint.” (—) But he believes that for many, resettlement is only a dream because of the small number of refugees who are able to start new lives in countries outside Somalia.

“Some one thousand are resettled from Yemen each year, but the number of refugees is 130,000,” he said. “They are very dependent on essentially the handouts and generosity of the donor community and UNHCR.” (—) UNHCR Yemen appealed in February 2010 for USD 39.1 million. Afterwards, this figure was revised to USD 52.1 million to cover the needs of both refugees and internally displaced persons in 2010. So far the Yemen Appeal remains funded at just 44 percent of overall needs.

Qatar to mediate between govt and southerners and again with Houthis

Filed under: Diplomacy, Saada War, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:24 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Doha agreement reactivated and Qatar will attempt to mediate in the south, but with who? I hope it works out but during the Doha ceasefire, the regime could not manage to uphold its end of the agreement.

Earthtimes: Sana’a, Yemen – Qatar is initiating efforts to mediate between the Yemeni government and its southern opponents amid escalating separatist violence in the south of the Arab country, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said on Tuesday.

“We will be happy to participate in finding any solution that helps preserve the Yemeni unity,” the Qatari Emir told reporters after talks with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a. “We are always with our brothers in Yemen to help in there problems,” he said…. The Qatari government will also resume its mediation efforts to cement a fragile truce between Shiite rebels and the government in northern Yemen, the Yemeni president said.

Saleh said the Qatari efforts would be based on a 2007 Qatari-brokered peace agreement signed by representatives of the Yemeni government and the rebels in Doha.

“We agreed to reactivate the Doha agreement,” Saleh told reporters after the meeting at the Presidential Palace in Sana’a. Yemeni officials declared the collapse of the Qatari mediation in August 2009, accusing the rebels were unwilling to abide by its terms.

Yemeni Military destroyed 78 Houses in Lahj since June 21

Filed under: South Yemen, War Crimes, reports — by Jane Novak at 8:39 am on Saturday, July 3, 2010

TAJ sent the following letter to the UN and a variety of Yemen’s donors and international organizations highlighting the war crimes and destruction the Yemeni government wrought on its own citizens in the last week. The document includes the names of the homeowners whose property was destroyed, giving us some kind of estimate on the newly displaced in South Yemen. With 78 homes destroyed and an average of ten to twenty living in each dwelling, Yemenis are big on extended family, then there are between 700 to 1500 citizens homeless, displaced, as a result of the latest assault. As we recall from the state’s campaigns in Sa’ada, Yemen has a tendency toward collective punishment of the civilian population in areas of conflict including the withholding of food as a tactic of war, random bombing of residential areas and the denial of access to medical services to injured persons. The US deems the whole bloody mess an internal affair, giving Sana’a the green light to crush various sectors of the population, in the misguided hope that Saleh will turn his attention to al Qaeda once things get quiet again. But things may never get quiet again. Either way, the US narrative of civilian immunity loses all legitimacy and the al Qaeda narrative of a US double standard on human rights gains credibility.

Your Excellency,
We would like to put you in the form of what is happening from the painful events and sufferings that are happening to the people in Juhav directorate in the province of Lahj in the south (South Arabia), as consequences of the crimes committed by the Yemeni occupation forces in its military campaign since Monday 21/06/2010 until today.

The situation is getting worse because of the siege at the Directorate, where residents, pacifists and houses were bombed with various types of heavy and light weapons, tanks, rocket launchers, artillery guns and Huns, which led to the destruction of houses on the heads of women and children, the infirm, the destruction and ways of life and infrastructure, including electricity and water services and the imposition of a state of emergency on movement of people, hampering patients chronic diseases such as kidney failure and heart disease, diabetes and pregnant women from going to the hospitals and stopping the students from going to perform their yearly exams, paralyzing life, making the citizen’s life hell for unendurable as was the case of violation of human rights and we have provided an example of the citizen Mohammed Mohsen who was kidnapped from (Ibb hospital) by the Yemeni forces who tortured him to death and thrown his body on the side of the road near his village in Sweida and found many traces of torture on his body and neck due to hanging.

On the other hand, there are many private properties and premises that were demolished and destroyed particularly in the following town ; AlQarna; Aluzla; Alsuaida; Aaniem; Alnujid; Blass; shaggo; Taqmur; Aladania and Alquraiat .

The names of owners of these destroyed houses in appendix no. 1 (Read on …)

US Bumps Humanitarian Aid $42 Mil and Calls for Saleh to Act in Good Faith

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 12:19 am on Friday, June 25, 2010

The US is deeply troubled now? What a load of hooey. There was five months straight of carpet bombing of civilians and there was nada, nothing, zip from the US except a blatant disregard for civilian slaughter- in the north and the south. The US is troubled by the violence now only because the resumption of war will mean that Saleh will remain distracted from a dedicated counter-terror posture against al-Qa’ida. However, thats the point. The regime is structurally reliant on corruption, repression and detante with al-Qaeda. This is pathetic.

Peoples Daily: The United States is “deeply troubled” by violence in the northern Yemen and calls for a comprehensive dialogue between all opposition parties and the government, said the White House on Thursday.

“We are deeply troubled by reports of fresh outbreaks of fighting in Sa’ada, and urge full compliance with the ceasefire agreement announced in February, and an end to the violence,” said a White House statement, referring to recent violent conflicts in the northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada.

“The United States calls for a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue between all opposition groups and the ruling party. Such a dialogue needs to be undertaken in good faith and with haste by all parties to address legitimate grievances and increase stability in Yemen,” said the statement. (Read on …)

Amran Tribesmen Demand Payment for Service in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Amran, Economic, Military, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:56 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

The tribal paramilitary hasn’t been paid, violence ensues. I believe this happened in the last wars as well, likely the money got pocketed if it was paid at all.

Yemen Post: An army officer has been killed and three soldiers and unidentified number of tribesmen injured in the clashes that are still continuing between the army and tribes in Al-Ashah district in Amran Province. (Read on …)

Sa’ada War Truce Crumbles as State Reneges on Prisoner Releases

Filed under: Judicial, Saada War, hostages — by Jane Novak at 10:09 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

The state’s failure to release the prisoners as required by the truce itself, not to mention the May 22 amnesty announcement, was predictable. It happened in every cease fire since 2005. Similarly, little reconstruction occurred over the last five years despite all the funds donated and numerous announcements. Of the 3000 political prisoners, the breakdown is roughly 1000 entirely innocent (arrested for suspected sympathy with the rebels), 1000 rebels and 1000 southerners arrested during protests or during night raids on activists’ homes. Also several journalists. There’s still about 2200 in jail and its a continuing source of friction and a bargaining chip against the larger populace, but as the RAND report correctly notes, the truces are a tactic of war, not a method of peace.

SANAA, 24 June 2010 (IRIN) – Abdulmalik al-Houthi, leader of the Shia rebels in the northern governorate of Saada, has accused the government of reneging on amnesty promises made by President Ali Abdullah Saleh on 22 May.

Saleh had announced an amnesty for all imprisoned southern separatists and Houthi rebels in the north during a speech to commemorate unification in 1990.

“Instead of releasing our fellow citizens in line with President Saleh’s amnesty, security authorities in the government are launching new arrest campaigns against our men,” al-Houthi said in a statement on 22 June.

According to local media reports, fewer than 800 of the more than 3,000 prisoners believed to be covered by the amnesty have been released.

Asked why the government had not released all of the prisoners under the amnesty, Interior Ministry official Lutfi Nisari said only: “This is a presidential affair.” (Read on …)

Despite gov’t propaganda, Houthi prisoners not released, road blocked

Filed under: Presidency, Saada War, prisons — by Jane Novak at 1:38 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2010

Also new battles leave many dead, wounded and missing.

Yemen Post: Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi has urged the Yemeni authority on the release of Houthi detainees and to convert what he called the declaration of May 22 to the ground.

According to a press release issued by Houthis Information Bureau, the power is still waffling on the release of the detainees so far, reported media sources, have got a copy of the statement. (Read on …)

Child Land Mine Victims Urgently Need Medical Treatment

Filed under: Children, Medical, Sa'ada, Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 7:58 am on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2.JPG

An article covering the press conference is available here at the National.

SEYAJ Organization for Childhood Protection
Summary of press conference on victims of mines and explosive remnants of war
Child land mine victims urgently need medical treatment

May 31, 2010

SEYAJ detailed the horrendous apathy toward children and women who are victims of land mines and explosives in the northwestern province of Saada. Desperate their desperate medical condition, these victims are neglected and lack of access to medical care, even in the minimum standard by provided by hospitals and health centers.

The director of SEYAJ said at a press conference in Sana’a on Monday, May 31, 2010 that the injured had been expelled from the hospitals. The mattresses were pulled from beneath them and they were asked for money for their stay although they received no medicines. The shrapnel was not extracted from their bodies, despite that their injuries were received more than two months in most cases.

The victims of land mines live in harsh humanitarian conditions in the capital Sana’a, where they were not admitted to government hospitals, contrary to the directions of the president and the decision of the Minister of Public Health and Population that required treatment for all victims of war at the expense of the state. (Read on …)

Six dead as government denies deniable tribal proxies

Filed under: Saada War, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:59 am on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

With the Sa’ada War formally under a cease fire, flare-ups like this portend the possibility of a seventh war. The Yemeni government deploys deniable proxies in many areas and against many opponents. Much of the ruling family’s authority in peace time is deployed through indirect tribal means, the politicization of the civil service and manipulation of the state budget. What are called ungoverned areas are more correctly termed indirectly governed. Regime affiliated tribesmen fought for the regime during six wars with an appalling lack of discipline and command and control. Reports of looting and arbitrary violence against non-combatants are a characteristic of all the wars. And the state is trying to spin this latest conflict as a random tribal clash when it is symptomatic of the continuing power struggle between the Houthi rebels and the state. The issue of who is in control of the schools is not about buildings but about religious freedom.

update: Saudi Gazette: 10 dead 14 wounded

update: Houthi press releases calls it an ambush:

May 31, A source at the Information Bureau of the Houthi that the elements of the Authority in Beni Aouir province of Saada, the last night ambushed a group of supporters and led the ambush killed one person and wounding two others, the source said those elements paid by the authority aimed at stirring up trouble and strife when calmed down things back to normal, saying, when you want power to make things quiet you can do that, that we have observed by Holiday unit until now, when you want to spark things can ignite a crisis at the touch of magic through to instruct its members to carry out hostile acts, either ambushed or cut through.

June1, Crowd of thousands of supporters of Houthi era to this day in the city of Dahyan for the funeral of the bodies of their dead in ambushes yesterday and said our source is that the crowd was still growing. One of those killed in an ambush yesterday is a senior leader of the group and is known as Abu Haidar, his / Ahmed Hussein Salem. Our source said that a senior commander said the group has been the assumption by many posts in several areas in Sa’ada and Sufian, and it is one of the experienced military leaders, which fought the fiercest confrontations and battles during the past years. The source said the death toll at 5 and they would put their bodies to the cemetery of martyrs in the city Dahyan.

SANAA, June 1 (Reuters) – : Six people were killed in clashes between Shi’ite rebels and government-allied tribesmen in north Yemen, rebel and tribal sources said on Tuesday, in violence that could undermine the region’s uneasy four-month truce. (Read on …)

Child Soldiers and Child Victims

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Demographics, Saada War, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:01 pm on Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A war against children, fought by children on both sides.

the Naitonal Annual study also finds young soldiers fighting on both sides
(Read on …)

Houthis Write Haaretz Again about Al Qaeda in Yemen Supporting Terrorists in Gaza

Filed under: Palestinians, Saada War, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 7:31 am on Monday, May 24, 2010

Another communication supposedly from the Houthi rebels exposes an al Qaeda in Yemen training manual sent to terrorists in Gaza about how to build a small plane for a terror attack. This story line is among the most bizarre coming out of Yemen, and that’s saying a lot, but there are specifics and it does highlight a new tactic that may be deployed. Several of the AQIY Sada al Malahim magazine issues spoke about defending Gaza. But while Wahishi and al Reimi and al Qaeda in Yemen do pose a threat, there are several other al Qaeda groupings and individuals operating in Yemen, associated with external cells, that are not media hounds like AQIY and operate under the radar. Its also true that the Houthi rebels ideology is diametrically opposed to al Qaeda, and Jewish people lived in Sa’ada alongside the Zaidis for centuries without incident. Wahabbi extremists were responsible for the recent targeting of Yemen’s Jews and the murder of the Rabbi.

Haaretz: Yemen Al-Qaida training Gaza groups to attack Israel

Documents sent to Haaretz by Shi’ite separatists in Yemen that opposes Al-Qaida points to regular, direct contact between Al-Qaida and Gaza Strip supporters.

The Yemen-based arm of Al-Qaida recently sent members of the organization in the Gaza Strip a training manual with instructions for building a light aircraft and using it against Israeli targets near the border with the Strip. The plane is powered by a car engine and can be used to launch explosives into Israel.

Documents sent to Haaretz by a group of Shi’ite separatists in Yemen that opposes Al-Qaida points to regular, direct contact between the Al-Qaida organization in that country and supporters in the Gaza Strip. Some of the latter are active in Al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad, which has carried out terror attacks against resorts in Sinai.

The Shi’ite rebels who passed the latest communication, and several previous ones, to Haaretz, are demanding Yemeni government recognition of their civil rights. They are keen to distinguish themselves from Al-Qaida. (Read on …)

Updated: The Houthis Wanted to Hold a Rally in Dammaj???

Filed under: Dammaj, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dammaj??? Why would the Houthis want to hold a rally in Dammaj? A ceremony for the families of the war dead. (I guess Dammaj wasn’t bombed during the war, and the Yemeni and Saudi air forces only made terrible bombing “mistakes” on pro-rebel villages.) The article aptly describes Dammaj as a pro-government stronghold. It also among the main Salafi strongholds in Yemen and includes the world renounced Dammaj Islamic Institute, headquarters of the Dar al Hadieth chain of schools. Dammaj has faced allegations for years of recruiting some or maybe a few of its students for al Qaeda.

Seven were killed in the clash between the rebels and the “pro-government tribal fighters.” Much of Yemen’s pro-government tribal fighters were trained or include known al Qaeda figures. For example, Ammar al Waeli is there now, although the government says he is dead. In the fifth war, 2005, it was Khalid Abdul Nabi who, oddly enough, the government reported as dead in 2004. This is really an odd development.

Update: It was in the context of a week long series of rallies to highlight the thousands of orphans and widows who need support.

WaPo: SANAA (Reuters) – A gunfight between Yemeni Shi’ite rebels and pro-government fighters killed seven people in the deadliest clash since a February truce calmed a northern war, officials said Thursday.

The clash broke out after dozens of armed rebels descended on a village — said to be a pro-government stronghold — for a rally in support of families of rebels killed in the war that raged on and off since 2004, a local official said.

The tribal fighters, who fought alongside the state in the war, tried to stop the rebel rally, and a melee erupted.

“The Houthis wanted to hold a rally in Damaj but the locals prevented them. They engaged in a quarrel, which escalated to an armed clash in which three tribesmen and four Houthis were killed,” a local official said, referring to the rebels by the clan name of their leader, Abdel Malek al-Houthi. A rebel official confirmed a clash had occurred.

Convicted Innocent Man Still in Jail after Time Served

Filed under: Civil Rights, Saada War, Trials — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ali Ibrahim al-Rahman was arrested when he went to visit his brother in jail in 2007, and later charged with involvement in the fifth war’s battle at Bani Hushaish, although he was in jail since the fourth war. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to three years in May 2009. In February, Ali was eligible for release counting time served, but he is back in the PSO prison and remains among hundreds of other innocents jailed in regard to the Sa’ada Wars.

Al Esheraki- Ali Ibrahim al-Rahman (21 years old) students and a Yemeni national who lives in the area Shoveler – the Yemeni capital Sanaa

2- تم اعتقاله قبِل ثلاث سنوات وتحديدا بتاريخ 14ابريل 2007م أثناء زيارته لأخيه عبد الخالق اِلسياني في اِلسجن المركزي بصنعاء بدون أي مسوغ قانوني ولا يوجد عليه أي تهمة 2 – he was arrested three years ago, specifically on April 14, 2007 during a visit to his brother, Abd al-Khaliq al-Saiani in the central prison in Sana’a, without any legal justification and there was no charge

3- تم سجنه في الأمن السياسي ومن ثم السجن المركزي لمدة عام تقريبا 3 – was imprisoned in the Political Security Central Prison and then for almost a year (Read on …)

North and South, State Violence Continues

Filed under: Saada War, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:05 am on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Southern Protests Threaten Stability a report from IRIN: Aidarous al-Naqeeb, a member of parliament from the opposition Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), told IRIN up to 150 protesters had been killed and more than 500 injured since the SM emerged in 2006.

Reuters Three people were wounded in a north Yemen city market as rebels exchanged fire with pro-government tribes who then cut the road between the northern rebel stronghold and the capital, officials said on Tuesday… The pro-government tribe cut the road in revenge for rebels killing a tribe member four days earlier, officials said.

Rebels said “government elements” opened fire on shoppers in a market on Monday and later cut off the main road to Sanaa. “They put the province under blockade conditions, showing that they are getting outside support in order to stir anxiety and chaos once more,” a statement on the rebels’ website said.

5000 IDPs Near Death as Qatari Aid Diverted to Black Market

Filed under: Donors, UN, Haradh, Saada War, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:30 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

The donated tents are being diverted into the black market for smugglers to use as tarps on their shipments while thousand in an unofficial refugee camp are near death from starvation and disease.

HOOD: After preventing a Qatari aids :Five thousand displaced persons face death in Haradh,

Translated by:Nisreen Shadad

More than five thousand displaced persons (IDPs) face death in al-Qufl camp; unofficial camp, as a result of the lack of humanitarian aids.

The number of the IDPs is increasing and so their pitiful situation worsens. The Heavy rains affected IDPS’ health because of the contaminated and stagnant water, which is infectious diseases.

Moreover, the high temperature and living in a terbal (a type of tent or cover made of plastic) let their lives unbearable.

“The Local Council prevented a Qatari aid to provide them with tents,” said one the HOOD authentic sources. “There are a big number of international aids, that are smuggled to the black-market and used to cover the traders’ goods,” the sources added.

The IDPs demanded the humanitarian organizations to rescue their lives, otherwise they will die out of hunger
(Read on …)

‘Reports of Saudis kidnapped in Yemen lack verification’

Filed under: Amran, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:22 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

Update: Saudi Ambassador, four were kidnapped by a tribe not the Houthis and released, Yemen Post

There is just so much of the Yemeni regime’s propaganda coming out of Reuters lately. I wonder how much it costs to buy a wire service. In this case, the Saudi government says it has no knowledge of a Saudi citizen kidnapped by the Houthi rebels as Reuters earlier reported. Saudi Gazette

SANA’A – A Saudi diplomatic source at the Kingdom’s embassy in Yemen said that he has no information about reports that Saudi citizens were kidnapped and then released by Houthi rebels near Amran Province 30 km north of the Yemeni capital.

The source emphasized that the embassy has been following up these reports with the responsible authorities at the Yemeni Ministry of Interior in an attempt to verify them.

Gaza, al Qaeda in Yemen, the Houthis, Israel and Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Palestinians, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, TI: External, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:16 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

This is such a bizarre story, not readily believable. The Houthi rebels intercepted communications from al Qaeda in Yemen to an anti-Hamas Salafi group in Gaza and they sent it to Haaretz. Al Qaeda in Yemen is planning to send Somalis from Yemen to Gaza for attacks and also to attack Jews in Yemen and launch a rocket from Saudi Arabia on a nuclear reactor in Israel. The Houthis, in sending the letters, are trying to demonstrate the difference between their ideology and al Qaeda’s in a bid to elicit US support for their cause, which they say is an end to discrimination by the Yemeni government.

Haaretz

The Yemen-based arm of Al-Qaida is examining the possibility of infiltrating terrorists into Israel disguised as Somali refugees crossing the border from Egypt or even as new immigrants from Ethiopia.

Shi’ite rebels yesterday sent another letter to Haaretz, the latest of several, in which they quote from a letter sent by Al-Qaida to members of a Salafist group in the Gaza Strip that is opposed to Hamas. (Read on …)

Yemen Govt Reneges on Peace Terms Again, 7th War Looms

Filed under: Janes Articles, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:24 am on Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Peace with Dignity in Yemen, Can the Cycle of Endless War be Broken?

Each of the six Sa’ada wars in Yemen was a photo copy of the one before, except the bombs got bigger, the children more frail and the jails more crowded. The Yemeni government systematically denied food, medicine and international aid to civilians in the northern Sa’ada province as a tactic of war since the first in 2004. Indiscriminate government bombing in the second round of war in 2005 displaced over 50,000 civilians. By the end of the fifth war, 120,000 were refugees. In the sixth war that began in August 2009, a joint Yemeni-Saudi bombing campaign flattened over 9000 structures including mosques, schools, and entire villages. With the state’s Pyrrhic victory in February 2010, the number of internal refugees had swelled to a quarter of a million. Human Rights Watch is calling for an investigation into potential war crimes.

In February, the Houthi rebels released 178 civilian and military men in their custody and returned the bodies of several Saudi soldiers. Yemen announced the release of 161 Houthi detainees. However the Yemeni Organization for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) said only 32 detainees were released out of a total of 2,000.

The failure of the state to release imprisoned rebels signals the eventuality of a seventh war Dr. Abdullah al Faqih, political science professor at Sana’a University, explained. “The fact that the regime is still holding the Houthi prisoners means that hardliners within the regime are still planning a new round of war. With the Houthi joining the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, the prospects of a new war seem greater,” he said.

Opposition politician Hassan Zaid estimated that about 1000 prisoners are still in jail with an additional 500 disappeared, “Most of the arrested are innocent…They were taken simply because they are belonging to the Hashimite or Zaidi sects,” Mr. Zaid said. Other estimates go as high as 3000.

A History of Broken Promises

Some rebel fighters and innocent bystanders have been in jail for years, although the Sana’a regime repeatedly announced their release. After mediation in May 2005, President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised to release approximately 600 persons imprisoned without charge. He issued an unnumbered pardon decree on 25 September 2005. On March 3, 2006, Yemen’s state-run media announced the release of 630 prisoners after 80 parliamentarians visited Sa’ada.

On March 22, 2006, The Arab Sisters Forum reported, “Most of the relatives told us that only about 150 detainees had been released so far.” In April 2006, rebel leader Abdelmalik Al-Houthi said many of his followers were arrested as they returned home following the general amnesty. He said no more than 80 of his followers had been released. The rest of the freed prisoners were victims of arbitrary arrest who had no connection to the rebel forces.

A prisoner exchange was also part of the peace agreement negotiated by Qatar ending the fourth war in June 2007. The rebels released 96 prisoners of war during Ramadan in September. On September 20, despite the president’s written instructions to release 500, only 67 rebel fighters were freed along with several arbitrarily arrested citizens.

In 2008, the Yemeni government repeatedly announced that 380 more prisoners were released, but many of the prisoners named actually were freed a year earlier and were not rebels. A government appointed fact finding committee was jailed after reporting that the state failed to implement several terms of the 2007 cease fire including the release of rebel prisoners.

Arbitrary arrests

Beyond capturing and often torturing rebel fighters, the state engaged in “preventive arrests” based on religious identity, geographical location or family associations. Human Rights Watch broadly categorized the civilian prisoners as state hostages, Hashemites, or Zaidis traveling in hot zones or suspected of sympathizing with the rebels. Journalists who reported on the war were also arrested.

The Yemen Times reported in May 2005, “Government and security forces would assault villages looking for Houthi suspects and demanded that all males are to come out and give themselves up…The prisons are packed in Sa’ada with hundreds – some say thousands of suspected Houthis, most of whom do not have any clear charges against them or even have any links with the Houthis.” The pattern continued through 2009.

For example, in September 2007, the Dignity Organization for Human Rights appealed for the release of 47 including juveniles detained for over a year in al-Noseirya central prison in Hajjah. The Geneva-based organization said Yemen’s Political Security Organization (PSO) had randomly rounded up innocent Zaidis. The Hajjah prisoners made the news when they refused to break their Ramadan fast at the same time as the prison guards, five minutes earlier than Shia dictates allow, and were shackled in leg irons and beaten.

Six members of the Tamy family who disappeared over three years ago along with five from the Moid family were recently discovered in the PSO prison in Hajjah. Another 28 men found there were arrested without charge within the last year, including some after the peace announcement in February 2010. Several sources have said that arbitrary arrests in Sa’ada are continuing despite the latest peace deal.

The children of some of the detainees appealed to President Saleh last week, presenting drawings of their missing fathers. The event, organized by the Women’s Media Forum and HOOD in Sana’a, was entitled, “I have the right to live with my father.” Ali al-Dailami, director of the event, said some of the children hadn’t seen their fathers in years. Arbitrary and incommunicado imprisonment of innocent citizens throughout Yemen diminishes the legitimacy of the state and stokes social tensions.

Many children are also in jail and subject to routine torture. In 2007, Ahmed Saif Hashid, an independent Member of Parliament, conducted a survey of prisons and found 16 juveniles, aged 10 to 16, in the PSO prison in al-Hodeida. The children were arbitrarily arrested in connection to the Sa’ada War.

In one interview, 12 year old Nabil old said he was taken from his class room to prison. “We have been beaten by the soldiers and officers, we have been beaten with sticks while we were handcuffed. They beat us and lay us faces down”. Hussein, 13, told Mr. Hashid, “We have been beaten, handcuffed. They beat us as soon as we arrived before even interrogating us. I saw Qasem fainted while his head was bleeding. Some of us have been made naked and they took off all our clothes.”

Starvation in Peacetime

The children in prison are not the only Yemeni kids in mortal jeopardy. Tens of thousands of children in Sa’ada are on the verge of starvation including two year old Hassan. The toddler lives in a cave with his pregnant mother, her grandmother and several other family members. Their house was destroyed in the fifth war. On a good day, Hassan eats a little bread and drinks dirty water.

When the boy hears an airplane, he falls to the ground and covers his head. A UN Children’s Fund survey in 2008, before the expansive sixth war, found that 92% of Sa’ada children had been exposed to armed conflict. Most exhibited symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, on a level at par with traumatized populations in Palestine and Nepal.

In the sixth war, dozens of children were killed in their own homes, in markets and in refugee camps by Saudi and Yemeni bombs.. Many starved to death and many more will. Of the 250,000 internally displaced, only about 30,000 are in the abysmal UN refugee camps.

The UN is short about $40 million it needs to continue distributing life saving food rations in Sa’ada beyond June. Nationally, over two million rely on UN food aid. The US announced a grant of $4.8 million in food and cooking oil for Yemen, and an intended donation to Yemen’s Special Forces of a $39 million dollar military transport aircraft. Yemen’s other donors have not contributed to the UN fund. In years past, corrupt officials embezzled millions of dollars in international aid.

A third of Yemenis are malnourished and a seventh war would exacerbate the crisis. Yemen’s performance in several ceasefires since 2004 is a tale of failed expectations: no reconstruction occurred, the military failed to pull back, and disengagement was never completed. The state needs to enact confidence building measures with the rebels to sustain the fragile peace, a vital priority for the nation. However hundreds if not thousands of rebel prisoners and innocent civilians remain in jail, and arrests are continuing. While the Sana’a regime is propped up by warmongers with financial interests in resuming the conflict and hard liners with ideological motives, western donors appear at a loss for an effective strategy in Yemen. Clearly only Yemenis themselves can avert the looming national catastrophe.

-Jane

39 Prisoners in Hajjah, Arbitrarily Arrested, Still in Jail

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes, prisons — by Jane Novak at 3:30 pm on Saturday, April 17, 2010

The following list names 39 men jailed in relation to the Sa’ada War, suspected of Houthism although they were not engaged in the war at all, who remain in jail despite the February ceasefire:

1 Name Location((zone)) in the prison from..
2 1 Abd urahman Muhamme Tamy Washa/Hajjah 3 years *ago
3 2 Muhammed Abd Ulkarym Tamy Washa/Hajjah 3 years
4 3 Esma’ail Ali Tamy Washa/Hajjah 3 years
5 4 Ali Hussayn Tamy Washa/Hajjah 3 years
6 5 Mahmud Ali Hussain Tamy Washa/Hajjah 3 years
7 6 Ali Muhammed Hasan Tamy Washa/Hajjah 3 years
8 7 Muhammed Ali Al Moa’aid Washa/Hajjah 3 years
9 8 Ali Hussayn Al Moa’aid Washa/Hajjah 3 years
10 9 Aziz Hussayn Al Moa’aid Washa/Hajjah 3 years
11 10 Abd Ulhakim Al Moa’aid Washa/Hajjah 3 years
12 11 Ali Muhammed Al rukhmy Washa/Hajjah 5 months
13 12 Ahmed Nasser Al waghirah Washa/Hajjah 5 m
14 13 Abd Ullah Abd Ullah Mashyb Washa/Hajjah 7 m
15 14 Jaber Hussain Mashyb Washa/Hajjah 7 m
16 15 Tawfiq Muhammed Haddan Sa’ada 2 Years
17 16 Ali Muhammed Al Moa’aid Aflah / Hajjah 3 years
18 17 Saleh Sa’aid Al hamdany Kutaf/Sa’ada 7 m
19 18 Qassim Hussain Daqea’a Haydan/Sa’ada 7 m
20 19 Jamal Hussain Hamed Athamer/Sa’ada 7 m
21 20 Muhammed Yahya Hamed Athamer/Sa’ada 7 m
22 21 Ahmed Hussain Al ssofi Athamer/Sa’ada 7 m
23 22 Abd Ulaziz Al mahbashi Al muhabisha/Hajjah 18 m
24 23 Ahmed Ajlan Al ne’emy Al muftah/Hajjah 18 m
25 24 Abd Usalam Al ne’emy Al muhabisha/Hajjah 7 m
26 25 Abd Ullah Muhammed Al muhadwary Al muhabisha/Hajjah 7 m
27 26 Fahd Mansowr Al aqhumy Kuhlan asharf/Hajjah 1 year
28 27 Abd Urahman Khaled al ne’emy Kuhlan asharf/Hajjah 1 year
29 28 Mattary Al muqrany Haydan/Sa’ada 7 m
30 29 Hameed Yahya Al muqrany Haydan/Sa’ada 7 m
31 30 Jaber Hussain Juhayz Aferah/Sa’ada 2 m
32 31 Jaber Al hezzy Aferah/Sa’ada 2 m
33 32 Abd Ulaziz Al awathy Ibb 2 m
34 33 Jaber Hussain Jabhan Razeh/Sa’ada 2 m
35 34 Sadan Hussain Jabhan Razeh/Sa’ada 2 m
36 35 Hasan Al rahwy Kuhlan asharf/Hajjah 3 m
37 36 Esma’ail Ahmed Al madwamy Al muhabisha/Hajjah 3 m
38 37 Jubran Hussain Majash Munabeh/Sa’ada 5 m
39 38 Abd Ullah Muhammed Al tha’eny Washa/Hajjah 5 m

Al Houthi Office Responds to Human Rights Watch report

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:31 am on Saturday, April 17, 2010

Its a google translation but you can get the idea. Arabic below:

In the name of God the Merciful
Saada, Yemen
2010/4/14

Brothers in / Human Rights Watch Distinguished
Greetings:

We appreciate your concern to the beginning of the safety of civilians and we thank you for your efforts you have made in this humanitarian issue, and you have some observations on what was in your latest report on the sixth war in northern Yemen.

First: that your condemnation of the Government of Yemen and Saudi Arabia does not rise to the level of horrific massacres against civilians, although we documented these crimes and we have published on the media and the testimonies of the citizens and the injured. (Read on …)

Sa’ada prisoners, trials remain hot topics

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Monday, April 12, 2010

Four to trial on charges of spying for Iran:

Yemen put four Shi’ite rebel supporters on trial on Monday on charges of spying for Iran in a move that could strain a truce to end a northern war that drew in neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia last year.

Prosecutors asked for the death penalty for the men, a prosecution official said. The four were accused of handing Shi’ite Iran photographs of security and military installations as well as ports and islands, the indictment said. (Read on …)

War Crimes in Yemen, Amnesty International has photos

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 7:13 pm on Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Until they release the photos, here’s some photos and witness testimony from 2005: click here and here and here and here and here.

Amnesty International via News Yemen The scale of the devastation caused by Yemeni and Saudi Arabian aerial bombardments of the northern Yemeni region of Sa’ada has been revealed in hundreds of images obtained by Amnesty International.

The pictures, given to Amnesty International by an independent source and taken in March 2010 in and around the town of al-Nadir, show buildings destroyed between August 2009 and February 2010 during the latest in a series of clashes between Yemeni forces and supporters of a Shi’a cleric.

Among the damaged or destroyed civilian buildings photographed are market places, mosques, petrol stations, small businesses, a primary school, a power plant, a health centre – and dozens of houses and residential buildings.

“This is a largely invisible conflict that has been waged behind closed doors. These images reveal the true scale and ferocity of the bombing and the impact it had on the civilians caught up in it,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.

“This information has only now come to light through Yemenis who fled the conflict and have reached other parts of the country.”

International humanitarian law forbids the targeting of civilian objects, as well as indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians, during conflicts. If such attacks are carried out deliberately, they are war crimes.

Saleh orders protesters, rebels and journalists freed

Filed under: Hadramout, Media, Presidency, Saada War, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:20 pm on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I really hope this is true, not only for the individuals detained but also for the chance of a lasting peace in the Sa’ada War. It would be the first evidence of learning I’ve seen yet, usually its the same mistakes over and over, and bigger and bigger. The political prisoners are a hot button issue that just creates more instability and resentment. Of course this is coming on the heels of the sentences in the south including the college professor sentenced to three years for an article. As always the same caveat, I’ll believe it when I see it. The regime announced the release of 635 Houthis several times from 2005-2008, but they were never actually released. Now they are announcing 161 prisoners were released but no one can confirm it yet. Another tangential question is, are there going to be al Qaeda mixed in, as an accommodation to the fact that some of the leadership fled to Somalia.

News Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered the release of all detainees in connection with anti-government protests in Hadramout province over the past months including journalist Fuad Rashid.

President Saleh’s order came in response to a call by leading members of the Joint Meeting Parties, political and social figures and members of the local authority and the Shura Council for the release of all detainees, MP for Islah party Mohsen Basura told News Yemen.

The JMP’s members have urged President Saleh to release detainees in order to pave the way for a national dialogue and making peace in Hadramout, Basura said.

On Monday, President Saleh ordered the authorities in Hadramout to release journalist Awadh Kashmim who was detained for two weeks.

The authorities have also recently released 161 Houthi rebels arrested during conflict with the army in northern Sa’ada.

Last Wednesday, the opposition Joint Meeting Parties demanded that the authorities release detainees and stop pursuing political activists and journalists as one of several conditions to start a real dialogue on political and economic reforms in the country.

Wanted al Qaeda Terrorist Ammar al Waeli in Sa’ada Recruiting

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, personalities — by Jane Novak at 8:46 pm on Friday, April 2, 2010

WaTi In Yemen, it is also difficult to know where Islamic fundamentalism ends and support for al Qaeda begins, said Yemeni political analyst Ali Saif Hassan. Yemen’s conservative Salafi branch of Sunni Islam is growing rapidly, he said. But he noted that just because Salafis share ideological roots with Osama bin Laden, it does not mean they support al Qaeda. Salafi religious zeal has made it easy to recruit believers who have nothing to do with al Qaeda to fight socialists in the south, and northern Shi’ite rebels. “They support the government and have free reign to operate,” Mr. Hassan said. (Read on …)

The State Run al Qaeda Camp in Northern Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Janes Articles, Saada War, TI: Internal, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:42 pm on Monday, March 29, 2010

In Yemen, al Qaeda’s training camp in the Abu Jabara valley is no secret. It is in an old military camp between Sa’ada and al Jawf provinces, near the Saudi border, and it houses hundreds of Yemeni and foreign al Qaeda loyalists.

Acting as mercenaries for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, al Qaeda operatives fought in the Sa’ada War against the Houthi rebels. As a result, hundreds of jihaddists gained battlefield experience during the five years of brutal war. In an interview with Jane Novak, Yemeni politician Hassan Zaid, recommended the terrorists in Abu Jabara be disarmed now that the war has ended.

Corrupt al Qaeda

Despite their high flown rhetoric, Quoranic citations and photo-shopped internet magazine, al Qaeda in Yemen is just as corrupt as the Saleh regime itself. The enmeshment of al Qaeda with Yemen’s subverted military and intelligence services is a product of long standing relationships that stretch from the caves of Afghanistan to the presidential palace in Sana’a.

The sixth round of the Sa’ada War ended in February when President Saleh declared a ceasefire. Yemen’s ability to construct a durable peace is doubtful. Disengagement is moving slowly. A frank assessment of the underlying issues of exclusion, religious pluralism, development and equality never occurred.

The rebels are required to turn in their weapons as one condition of the cease fire. Opposition politician Hassan Zaid said the terrorists in the Abu Jabara al Qaeda camp should be disarmed as well. “This group sours the atmosphere of peace,” Mr. Zaid noted to al Tagheer.

Al Qaeda with Official Passports

The rebels are Zaidis, a Shiite offshoot, and claim religious discrimination by the state. Mr. Zaid leads the Zaidi oriented al Haqq opposition party and previously headed the Joint Meeting Parties, Yemen’s opposition coalition. He disputed the notion that he was the rebels “spiritual leader” as regime propaganda to the Yemen Post.

In my interview, Mr. Zaid confirmed that the al Qaeda fighters in Abu Jabara participated in the war against the Houthi rebels. “Our brothers said there are around 500-800 (al Qaeda) fighters training there under General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s command,” he said.

A powerful military commander, General al Ahmar is President Saleh’s half brother and, as commander of the North West region, led the war against the rebels. Al Ahmar recruited fighters for Osama bin Laden during the Afghan jihad in the 1980’s and is reputed to facilitate several al Qaeda groups in Yemen.

“They are well armed and holding authorized (official) ID which enables them to move between Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Zaid said. “They joined the government to fight the rebels. They are well supported and financed by (sources within) Saudi Arabia, and they are better-off, richer, than other Qaeda members in Yemen.”

Foreign al Qaeda in Northern Yemen

The al Qaeda group in Sa’ada includes foreign fighters, but the presence of westerners is unclear. In March 2009, the southern weekly Attagammua reported, “Local sources in Saada confirmed that members of various Arab nationalities as well as citizens from different provinces” were in Abu Jubara. The papers sources noted “the striking emergence of Salafist groups in the city of Saada, and the effort to build a center for Yemeni al-Qaeda in Yemen.”

The independent Yemen Times reported foreign fighters in Sa’ada the same month: “Thousands of Jihadist groups, or Salafia – including Yemenis and foreigners from neighboring Arab and non-Arab countries (were) gathering against the Houthis in coordination with the army under the management of military centers and sheikhs…”

In June 2009, al Eshteraki, mouthpiece of the Yemeni Socialists Party (YSP), said that large numbers of al-Qaeda operatives and other jihadist organizations in the Abu Jabara camp had gathered to meet “the Shiite tide,” represented by the Houthi rebels.

“It was originally an official camp of the armed forces of Yemen that was abandoned,” al Eshteraki reported, noting the camp is under the stewardship of Afghan Arabs inducted into the Yemeni military after they fought for President Saleh in the 1994 civil war. Usama bin Laden supplied fighters and arms to President Saleh’s jihaddist forces as they battled southern socialists in the 1994 civil war, the New York Times reported.

In December 2009, Attagammua again reported that al Qaeda terrorists who returned to Yemen after fighting American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were in Sa’ada, fighting for the Yemen state.

State Support

The sixth round of the Sa’ada War broke out in August. In October, with the war raging, the Houthi rebels’ website, al Menpar, published an article referencing the Abu Jabara camp that alleged a high level al Qaeda leader had sold al Qaeda’s services to the Yemeni state.

“They agreed that the government will provide them with light weapons and the Al Qaida fighters will participate in the war against the rebels. Omar Obadah and his followers who just came back from Saudi Arabia (had) received some training in Afghanistan.”

According to al Menpar, some current al Qaeda leaders in Sa’ada were previously imprisoned in Saudi Arabia and others had escaped in the infamous 2006 al Qaeda jailbreak in Yemen.

“Many sources affirm that this coalition is beneficial to both parties, the Yemeni government, and al Qaeda leaders, and the Saudi’s as well. The Saudi embraced and supported (the camp) because they consider the Houthi rebels in the north as infidels from their perspective,” the article concluded.

In January 2010, Saada Online found a similar arrangement between al Qaeda and the state. The al Qaeda camp in Abu Jabara valley is funded by Saudi sources, the investigation found. After receiving arms and ammunition from the government, the al Qaeda mercenaries “attacked the rebels from behind” the Saudi border. The al Qaeda group coordinates through intermediaries at General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s office, the site said, noting some al Qaeda operatives were integrated directly into the military, and the group has freedom of movement across the Saudi/Yemeni border at the al Baqea crossing.

The sixth Sa’ada War took a heavy toll. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are internal refugees. Months of extensive bombing by Yemeni and Saudi air forces targeted markets, mosques, hospitals and refugees. Over 9000 structures were damaged. The Abu Jabara camp was not. It is thought that six western hostages kidnapped in June 2009, a German family and a British engineer, may be located in Abu Jabara. The external focus of al Qaeda in Yemen is a logical outcome of its merger with Yemeni state institutions.

UN Unable to Reach Refugees in Amran, al Jawf and Outside Sa’ada City

Filed under: Amran, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 6:34 pm on Saturday, March 27, 2010

UN re-opening office in Sa’ada City.

Reuters: “Now the situation is better we are just planning to send the staff back again as soon as next week,” he said, adding that life is back to normal in Saada city. The office houses various U.N. relief agencies.

Humanitarian access is needed to other areas in Saada as well as al-Jawf and Amran governorates, where continued insecurity and land mines have hampered or delayed aid distribution, a U.N. statement said Friday.

“Security is the same as it was before the war … Outside Saada city we still don’t know because we have not been there.”

Houthis Free Prisoners

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 10:10 pm on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lets just hope the Saleh regime has the good sense to do the same, and not- as happened numerous times previously- announce the prisoners’ release repeatedly while keeping them in jail.

SANAA — Shiite rebels in north Yemen freed on Tuesday the 178 prisoners they were holding, a mediator announced, and said they were complying with a ceasefire that ended six months of fighting on February 12. (Read on …)

IFJ Slams Yemen’s “Brutal Inhumanity” to Mohammed al Maqaleh

Filed under: Media, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:38 pm on Sunday, March 14, 2010

News Yemen: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today accused the Yemeni authorities of “brutal inhumanity” in their treatment of a leading editor who has been subject to kidnapping, detention and denial of access to basic medical treatment for six months.

“The ordeal of Mohammed al Maqaleh is a scandalous story of neglect and brutal inhumanity,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “We fully support our colleagues in the Yemen who demand his immediate release and an end to all the violations of his rights.” (Read on …)

Al-Haq Party Denounces the Minstry of Endowments Bias against Zaidism

Filed under: PFU, Religious, Saada War, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:31 pm on Saturday, March 13, 2010

News Yemen

The right party condemns the targeting of the Great Mosque in Sana’a, and holds the Minister of Awqaf the responsibility of creating sectarian conflicts (Read on …)

Four Killed in Southern Yemen as Protests Swell

Filed under: South Yemen, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nothing like a crackdown, tanks assaults, tear gas and inflammatory language to bring stability.

NYT: Yemeni forces launched an attack Thursday to recapture a government building occupied by separatists in the south of the country, setting off a gunfight that killed two people, a local official and witnesses said. (Read on …)

US Invests in Saleh, Sa’ada Refugees Starving

Filed under: Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:39 am on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Of 250,000 Sa’ada War refugees only 30,000 are in the UN camps. Its too early to send them home, many have no homes to return to as cold weather and malnutrition threatens children. UN appeal is still unfunded, may cut programs for want of $16 million. A good report on
US funding notes that it overwhelmingly targets security not the population:

Congress has enacted roughly $218 million in US assistance for FY2010, of which $170 million or 78 percent has been in the security domain [Train and Equip (Section 1206), Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR), and International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE)]. This dwarfs the development and diplomatic sums provided to Yemen and transparently communicates the American investment in President Saleh.

Who gave Faris Manna the $20M?

Filed under: Libya, Proliferation, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:38 pm on Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Libya? Faris Manna is a major weapons dealer, and was moving guns all around the region for years. He was also on the mediation committee representing the government in talks with the Houthi rebels. His brother Hassan was the governor of Sa’ada until he was fired after his brother’s arrest. When the shipment of Chinese weapons was seized, high ranking and influential Marib Sheiks blocked the road in a bid to persuade the government to release the cargo.

Sahwa Net- Al-Mithaq newspaper, the mouthpiece of Yemen’s ruling party, the General People’s Congress, has accused the former governor of Saada Hassan Mana’a of supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels in weapons… (after) he told a Yemeni newspaper, Al-Masdar, that (Deputy Minster of Interior, Mohammad) al-Quasi failed to run the battle with the Houthi in Saada.

Manna threatened to talk about who funded the purchases for the rebels, which usually results in appointment as an ambassador, a lethal raid, nasty articles and/or a government contract. (Read on …)

Funeral for Southern Yemeni Tortured to Death

Filed under: Civil Rights, Security Forces, South Yemen, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 8:14 am on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

(ed-This poor guy was just sitting in his car when the police grabbed him, tortured him brutally for three days and then shot him in the head in a bit of drunken hilarity.)

tamah2010funeral.jpg

Thousands of Southern Yemenis marched in the funeral Monday of 28 year old Fares Zaid al Tamah, who died in police custody in Aden on January 30. Mr. al Tamah was allegedly tortured to death in the latest incident of escalating government violence against activists and protesters in Yemen.

Separatist sentiment is running high in southern Yemen where 70% of residents favor dissolution of the unified state. Activists claim they have been illegally occupied since 1994’s civil war while southern oil deposits and land were looted by the tribesmen and relatives of northern President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The deceased was arrested in Abyan in his Landcruiser, his relatives said, while he was listening to an audio of the singer Aboud Khawaga, whose material often includes political themes.

Mr. al Tamah was killed following three days of torture, activists allege. He was hung from the ceiling upside down for 12 hours, burnt with cigar butts and shocked with electricity, other prisoners in the Malla police station reported. On January 30, Mr. al Tamah was found dead on the floor in a pool of blood by visitors.

Stretching for miles, the funeral march began at Aljamohria hospital in Aden and concluded at the southern martyrs cemetery Radfan, Lahj . Mr. Al Tamah was buried alongside dozens of other southerners killed by Yemeni security forces.

Protests began in 2007 calling for equal rights and political inclusion and were met by mass arrests. Dozens of unarmed protesters have been killed by police in southern Yemen, Human Rights Watch found. A pattern of wide spread and brutal abuses characterized the state’s response to the growing protests, triggering a spiral of “repression, protests, and more repression.”

A report issued by a southern activist last week detailed 147 civilians killed by Yemeni security forces in the last year.

In November, Amnesty International issued a statement noting that “torture and other ill-treatment are widespread practices in Yemen and are committed, generally with impunity, against both detainees held in connection with politically motivated acts or protests and ordinary criminal suspects. Methods of torture and other ill-treatment are reported to include beatings all over the body with sticks, rifle butts, punching, kicking, prolonged suspension by the wrists or ankles, burning with cigarettes, being stripped naked, denial of food and prompt access to medical help, as well as threats of sexual abuse.”

HOOD, a leading Yemeni civil rights advocacy group in Yemen, disclosed this week that it had obtained video evidence of prisoner torture at the Criminal Investigation Prison in Taiz province. Ammar al-Tayar, 23 years old, was in custody of the Shar’ab al-Salam Security after a family dispute on January 16, 2010. Al-Tayar alleged he was subjected to beatings, electric shock and burning at the prison by three men while he was blindfolded. The video tape revealed scars and other indications of the torture, which were on his upper region of the shoulders, back, fingers and different parts of his body.

The UN’s Committee against Torture found the “widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment” in Yemen. Yemen failed to appear as requested at the UN Committee’s examination.

Journalist Mohammed al Maqaleh described his four months of torture to a union representative in February as including severe beatings, mock executions and starvation. Amnesty International has repeatedly issued statements warning that southern editors Hasham, Hani and Mohammed Bashraheel are at risk of severe torture since their “arrest” in January.

29% of Child Mortality in Sa’ada War due to Starvation or Lack of Medical Care: SEYAJ

Filed under: Children, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes, reports — by Jane Novak at 12:49 pm on Monday, February 22, 2010

Dawn

SANAA: One hundred and eighty-seven children have been killed since August in the conflict in north Yemen, a report by the local SEYAJ children’s rights organisation and the UN Children’s Fund said on Monday.

The report also accused both north Yemen Shiite rebels and a pro-government militia of using child soldiers. 71 per cent of the 187 were killed in the fighting, while the remainder died from lack of food or medical services, the report said.
The most recent round of a six-year conflict between the rebels, also known as Huthis, and government forces began on August 11, when the government launched an all-out offensive aiming to crush the uprising. (Read on …)

9000 Buildings Destroyed in Sa’ada, Early Estimate

Filed under: Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:15 pm on Sunday, February 21, 2010

The article is refreshingly accurate (considering its the quasi-governmental Yemen Observer) in stating no reconstruction in Sa’ada was ever accomplished since the war began in 2005. But the statement comes in the context of FM al Qirby begging for money. There were several reconstruction funds established, including by Qatar, and money was spent, just not to rebuild the destroyed houses. The Yemeni government announced several times that “loyal” villages would get aid first, and some funds were spent on villages that suffered no damage.

Homes, water facilities, schools and mosques were destroyed by Yemeni government and Saudi aerial bombing. (Houthis mortars targeted mostly government buildings and military targets.) Many homes in Yemen accommodate extended families of up to 20. If there’s 7000 homes destroyed, then 140,000 of 250,000 internal refugees are unable to return home. Even once the war stops for good, there’s still nowhere to go, and some of these kids haven’t been to school for five years. The ceasefire is still holding with a total of three Saudi prisoners released by the Houthis, but the rebels have redeployed instead of abandoning their border positions to Yemeni troops.

Yemen Observer: Yemeni foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi called on neighboring countries and international donors to contribute to the reconstruction of Sa’adah upon the conclusion of the conflict.

Initial surveys of the damages in Sa’adah governorate are estimated in the billions of dollars, with upwards of 9,072 private and public institutions in need of reconstruction and development since the latest round of conflict erupted in August 4, 2009 between al-Houthi rebels and government forces.

The Sa’adah reconstruction Fund was established by presidential decree in July 2007 and was assigned YR 10 billion. However, since the establishment of the fund, nothing has been accomplished due to the continued disturbance and unrest in Sa’adah governorate.

About YR 50 million was utilized in September 2007 as an operative expanses while agencies conducted an evaluation of the damages suffered in Sa’adah governorate suffered since the war began in June 2004.

Officials of the Sa’adah reconstruction fund have estimated the reconstruction losses to begin at $500 million, with that number expected to increase exponentially as the true extent of the damages come to light.

Aid to Sa’ada Refugees Cut Off for Six Months, Possibly

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:39 am on Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Food, medicine, blankets would be nice…

SANAA, 16 February 2010 (IRIN) – Government officials and aid workers are gearing up to carry out humanitarian needs’ assessments in previously inaccessible areas, thanks to an 11 February truce between Yemen’s army and Houthi rebels in the northern province of Saada which appears to be holding.

“Once security conditions allow it, a comprehensive needs’ assessment will be carried out in all war-affected districts,” Pratibha Mehta, the UN resident coordinator in Yemen, told IRIN.

“This [the ceasefire] will enable humanitarian assistance to reach civilian populations who have been cut off from services since the outbreak of the sixth round of fighting in August 2009,” she said.

Aid workers and local government officials are keen to make the most of the calm, but the track record of such ceasefires is not good, and helping the 250,000 internally displaced persons [IDPs] – scattered in several camps or staying with relatives – is difficult.

According to Saada Governor Taha Hajer, the ceasefire would help the government reconstruct Saada and allow IDPs to return to their homes. “We should put the tragic past [six months of fighting] behind us.”

Prisoner Exchanges may Undermine Cease Fire in Sa’ada

Filed under: Janes Articles, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 1:18 pm on Sunday, February 14, 2010

The fifth round of the Sa’ada War ended Thursday when Yemeni President Saleh agreed to a cease fire with the Houthi rebels. The six point truce requires the rebels to unblock roads, withdraw from government buildings, return arms and release all prisoners including Saudi soldiers. The rebels also pledged not to attack Saudi Arabia.

However, the issue of prisoner exchanges is threatening to undermine the fragile peace in Yemen’s long simmering northern war. The Saudis issued a 48 hour ultimatum for the return of their soldiers, but the status of rebel prisoners in Saudi and Yemeni custody has not been addressed. A video posted to LiveLeak shows Saudi authorities brutally whipping the feet of prisoners, purported to be suspected Yemeni rebels. (Read on …)

Cease Fire Spurned

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:04 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This article is well worth reading but the following is certainly true:

Houthi’s Ceasefire Offer Spurned
Saada War Rages On
By RANNIE AMIRI

To understand the true motive behind the relentless bombardment, one only need return to the primary demand of the rebels: an end to the ever-increasing socioeconomic marginalization and religious discrimination of the Zaidi community in Yemen.

This war was not just to aid the fledging Saleh regime in combating an enemy far less threatening to its existence than al-Qaeda, but to send a clear message to Saudi Arabia’s own citizens who suffer the same systemic and institutionalized discrimination as do the Zaidis. Namely, Shia Muslims, Ismaili Muslims, Sufi Muslims and any who dare challenge the authority of the House of al-Saud or the doctrines of the officially-sanctioned Wahabi school of thought.

Southern Political Prisoner Killed in Jail, Triggers Protest

Filed under: Civil Rights, Security Forces, South Yemen, Targeting, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 11:19 pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

Killed while in police custody in Ma’alla

Aden News Agency:

Local sources in Aden – one the largest cities in the south of Yemen- have declared that the political prisoner ( Faris Zeid Abullkareem Tamah ) was killed by the police of Al-Malla’a city in Aden, after being kept there for days, while the circumstances of his death still unknown until this moment. (Read on …)

Southern Politician Assassinated

Filed under: Abyan, South Yemen, Targeting, War Crimes, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:58 pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

World Bulletin

A Yemeni provincial opposition politician thought to be active in a southern separatist movement was gunned down in south Yemen, his party and local residents said on Monday.

The Yemeni Socialist Party said Saeed Ahmed Abdullah bin Daoud was shot dead on Friday in the southern town of Zanjibar in Abyan province, adding on its website that the province was in “an unprecedented state of disorder”.

Zanjibar residents said bin Daoud, a member of the Socialist party’s leadership committee in the town, was also involved with southern separatists seeking independence from the central government.

There was no immediate word on the reasons for the killing.

Yemen’s Second Largest Weapons Dealer in Custody

Filed under: Proliferation, Saada War, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 5:49 pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh the Houthis “stole” 20 truckloads of weapons, and Faris failed to report it until they were well away. Lets see what happens now. No one ever goes to jail in Yemen. I had thought Faris Manna was Saleh’s partner, just like the oil smuggler Tawfiq Abdel Rahman Tawfiq Abdel Rahim. I wonder if the theft occured before or after the Defense Ministry imported a shipload of Chinese weapons destined for the rebels with forged documents. The reason Yemen keeps accusing Iran of supplying the Houthis is because without that red herring, it become clear that Yemeni officials are themselves selling weapons to the rebels. Its not just fall off, small deals and captured weapons going from the government side to the rebels. Hey, lets increase in military aid

al Arabiya: Yemen on Sunday arrested the second biggest arms dealer in the country just days after the capture of another top dealer, whose weapons depot was stolen by rebels fighting the government in the north, Al Arabiya TV reported. (Read on …)

Saleh Importing Algerian Terrorists to Fight in Saada War

Filed under: Dammaj, Presidency, Saada War, TI: Internal, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:44 pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

Not only are they fighting on behalf of the regime against the Houthis but they gained entry through facilitiation by officials. Many are at Dammaj. Apparently this group was in Yemen for some time. Aden Gulf Network

Informed sources revealed that a number of Algerians took part in some battles based on Yemeni territory between the conflicting parties to the conflict there.

أضافت ذات المصادر، أن عددهم يزيد على عشرين عنصرا أغلبهم من ذوي الاتجاه السلفي، تنقلوا إلى اليمن بطرق رسمية عبر المطارات وبجوازات سفر سليمة، منهم من تنقل إلى المملكة العربية السعودية وأقاموا هناك بطريقة غير شرعية أين انقضت الفترة المحددة لتأشيراتهم، وبعدها تحوّلوا إلى الأراضي اليمنية، والبعض الآخر منهم سافر إلى سوريا وليبيا ليتنقلوا بعدها إلى اليمن. Same sources added that they are over twenty components, mainly with the Salafi trend, moved to Yemen through airports and official passports of sound, many of whom moved to Saudi Arabia and settled there illegally Where the specified period has elapsed for their visas, and then turned to the land of Yemen , and some of them traveled to Syria and Libya to move around then to Yemen. (Read on …)

“Hidden roles between Sanaa regime and al-Qaeda”

Filed under: 9 hostages, Saada War, Security Forces, TI: Internal, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:47 am on Friday, January 29, 2010

More buzz on Ali Mohsen from al Wahdawi below the fold. This investigative report from “Saadaonline” is not too surprising:

Ali Mohsen coordinating with al Qaeda in Sa’ada
Salafi leaders integrated directly into the military
Tribal militias and other groups armed by the military
Zaidi mosques handed over to Salafis
Kidnappers were unable to relocate the hostages initally because of Houthi control of many areas and were forced to leave the bodies inside the military controlled Al Jbarah valley
Yemeni government behind the recent declaration of jihad if western troops enter Yemen

Hidden roles between Sanaa regime and al-Qaeda

Special News Saada
20/1/2010

we talk about Saada previously and the hijacking of doctors in
Saada province on the role of a hidden secret and to coordinate with the secret coordination with pro Government:

Especially in the area of Wadi (Valley) Al-Abu Jebara
we talked previously about the history of this valley and where Al Qaedeh fighters training.

Funds, which pumps by Saudi princes and their relationship with Osama bin Laden through private sources, News Saada inside the corridors of military bases and political situation in Saada

During the latest sadah War mostly at Abu Ali font , we got field information that confirm that :ABADAH and TAYS group and other groups from WADY- Valley- Al JBAREH had met with local officials of Sadah and received ammunition and weapons to confront Al Hoothy from behind, and that what really happened .

Those days we got secret and confidential information when news focused on Qaeda in Yemen. The information said that there is currently coordination between military commanders/ eaders loyal to Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar through his office in Saddah, the aim of this coordination is bolstering and unify their actions against Al Hoothy. (Read on …)

Saudi “Aid” Keeps Yemen Fractured

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 8:37 am on Friday, January 29, 2010

True. By paying money directly to the sheiks, the Saudis divorce the sheiks’ relationship with and accountability to both state and their constituencies, the tribe. Victoria Clark at the Independent

Saudi aid in the security field is already reckoned to be around double the $140m to be offered to Yemen by the US this year, and there is more – harder to quantify precisely – in the form of mosque-building, charity and religious education. But the hardest Saudi aid to quantify is the cash flowing straight out of a Saudi “Special Office” to the sheikhs of many Yemeni tribes, especially ones located anywhere near the Saudi border.

A Yemeni civil rights activist laments the Saudis’ financial clout, portraying it as one of the chief banes of Yemen’s existence: “Although Yemenis hate Saudis,” he explains, “the Saudis know how to spread their influence by their wealth and they have corrupted everything in Yemen.” He claims that two thirds – in other words, 6,000 of Yemen’s approximately 9,000 tribal sheikhs – benefit from Saudi handouts, the most powerful of them to the tune of $3.5m a month.

The Saudis’ apparent reluctance to invest in the long-term development and improvement of the country and help educate its people is what makes Yemenis baulk at the now frequently voiced Western opinion that Yemen’s rich neighbours, rather than any Western countries, should be taking the lead in supplying aid to Yemen.

Yemen Arrests Arms Dealer and Government Mediator Faris Manna

Filed under: Crime, Diplomacy, Ministries, Proliferation, Saada War, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 11:28 am on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Faris is also the brother of the governor of Sa’ada. Faris Manna was one of Yemen’s primary weapons traders for some years before he was appointed to the government mediation committee tasked with negotiating with the Houthi rebels. Apparently what he negotiated was a weapons deal.

When some aspect of the Defense Ministry imported a ship load of Chinese weapons, destined for the Houthi rebels, Faris was placed on a black list of arms dealers. Does the arrest demonstrate Western pressure having an effect or is it another ploy by the Saleh regime? I have never yet seen a high ranking Yemeni official held accountable for any crimes.

al Masdar Online: After surrounding his home in Sana’a
الأمن يعتقل رئيس لجنة الوساطة بصعدة الشيخ فارس مناع Security arrested the Chairman of the Mediation Committee Saada Sheikh Faris Manna
المصدر أونلاين- خاص Source Online – Special

علم “المصدر أونلاين” من مصادر مؤكدة إن الشيخ فارس مناع شقيق محافظ صعدة ورئيس لجنة الوساطة السابق بين السلطة والحوثيين قد اعتقل اليوم الخميس من منزلـه في أمانة العاصمـة. Aware of “online source” from confirmed sources that Sheikh Faris Manna brother of the governor of Saada, Chairman of the Mediation Committee between the Authority and the former Huthi was arrested on Thursday from his home in the capital. (Read on …)

Houthis Claim Proof of Yemen Govt Financing and Facilitating Al Qaeda

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 4:30 pm on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Well, I’d like to see their proof. There’s a lot of talk but not many documents, details or witnesses.

Press TV: Yemen’s Houthi fighters accuse the Sana’a government of fueling violence in the country in a bid to attract financial backing from the United States.

The Shia resistance fighters charged the central government with forging an al-Qaeda cell in Yemen, adding that the abduction of foreigners in the country is another part of the scheme planned by Sana’a.

The Houthis insisted that they have evidence showing that the Yemeni government supplies arms to and finances militants throughout the country.

Yemen finally admits its holding journalist Mohammed al Maqaleh

Filed under: Media, Saada War, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 9:38 am on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Amnesty International:

YEMEN ANNOUNCES IT IS HOLDING JOURNALIST

Yemen’s Minister of Information has announced that the Yemeni authorities are holding journalist Muhammad al-Maqalih. However, the authorities are still refusing to give any information about him, including his whereabouts. He is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

Muhammad al-Maqalih was abducted on 17 September, by men in civilian clothes, believed to be from the security forces. Eyewitnesses told his family that he was taken by a group of men who arrived in a white minibus, which had its licence plates obscured. In December 2009, the Minister of Information officially announced that the security forces are holding him. It is not clear which security force is holding him or where he is being held, and the reason for his detention is not known. (Read on …)

Ali Mohsen’s Training Camp Attached to al Iman University

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:25 pm on Monday, January 18, 2010

There we go. I think I wrote something very similar in 2005 after my head stopped exploding, but its good to see it in the New York Times. (See my Feb. 2006 article, Al Qaeda Escape in Yemen, Facts, Theories and Rumors for a comprehensive round-up of the situation then that brought us here now.)

Ali Mohsen, bin Laden recruiter, using Afgan Arabs in the Sa’ada War, and possibly training al Iman students at his military camp next door. The US funnels money pretty directly to Ali Mohsen, according to Robert Kaplan in Imperial Grunts. The US is funding a jihaddi that targets Zaidi civilians with indiscriminate bombing and deliberate starvation? The Houthis have always claimed the Sa’ada war was intent on the irradication of Zaidism itself. The strategic location of Sa’ada for al Qaeda can’t be underestimated.

NY Times: Mr. Mohsen, a general who is currently prosecuting the war against a Houthi rebellion in the north, also recruited thousands of Yemenis to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. His brigades returned victorious, and Mr. Saleh has used them since to help defeat the south in the 1994 civil war and against the Houthis. Some fighters, of course, have migrated to Al Qaeda, and there are imams here more radical than Mr. Zindani.

When north and south Yemen were united in 1990, Sheik Zindani accepted Mr. Saleh’s rule and was granted this huge area of government land on the western edge of Sana for the university — adjoining a large military base, which is Mr. Mohsen’s headquarters. There are rumors that students sometimes get military training there, which Mr. Abu Ras also denies.

Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager in Sa’ada indoctrinates the military in Friday sermons and they hand out religious tracts to soldiers that say Houthi blood is free. This is the guy who was instigating against foreign medical workers prior to the kidnapping of the Germans.

Saudis Bomb Refugee Camp? (Again)

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:24 pm on Monday, January 18, 2010

Arab Monitor: Meanwhile sources claim that Saudi fighter planes launched two separate missile attacks against a camp for displaced persons located about 15 km north west of Saada and four attacks in the Jabal Qatabir region. Al-Houthi sources also claim they managed to repel Yemeni government forces from regaining control in the area north of Saada. Sanaa had hoped that a Saudi Arabian military intervention against the al-Houthi movement on and beyond the borders with Yemen would help back up the government in its stand-off with the separatist ambitions in the south, in an effort to ultimately liberate military capacities for the US-dictated crack-down on al-Qaeda clusters presumed to be hiding out in Yemeni territory.

82 Saudi Soldiers Killed Since Saudi’s November Intervention

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saudis claim to have “cleansed” a village. Homes and mosques bulldozed. Meanwhile, cold weather threatens the lives of the 200,000 displaced war refugees, and Yemen’s blockade on aid continues.

NY Times: Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s assistant defense minister, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, said Tuesday that Saudi forces had killed hundreds of Yemeni rebels occupying a border village, as fighting between the rebels and Yemen’s military also intensified nearby in the Yemeni city of Sadah. (Read on …)

Sa’ada: “They’re trying to starve them out”

Filed under: Biographies, Military, Presidency, Saada War, Security Forces, War Crimes, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:46 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wow a really good article on the Sa’ada War, Saleh’s relatives commanding security forces and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s conduct of the Sa’ada War. It lays the facts out for the obvious conclusion about why the war just won’t end.

Globe and Mail: There have been tens of thousands of casualties and about 100,000 people in Yemen’s northwest triangle are now under siege – trapped by a combined force of the Yemeni regular army on one side, the Republican Guard on another, and Saudi military forces along the border between the two countries.

“They’re trying to starve them out,” said Abdel-Ghani Iryani, a development consultant and political analyst, who says he still can’t figure out what the war against the Huthi is all about. (Read on …)

New UN Estimate: 200,000 Displaced in Sa’ada

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 1:32 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Yemeni government refuses to stop bombing, even for a week, to enable aid shipments to the war refugees. UN News Center

12 January 2010 – Thousands of people continue to flee as the latest round of fighting between Government and rebel forces in the Sa’ada province of northern Yemen enters its sixth month, said the United Nations refugee agency, which last month put the number of uprooted at 175,000 but now estimates that it could be higher. (Read on …)

108 Jihaddists were Released in Feb 09 as Concession to al Qaeda

Filed under: South Yemen, TI: Internal, War Crimes, arrests, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:19 pm on Monday, January 11, 2010

Update: Yemen denies with the standard claim that al Fadhli is linked to al Qaeda. As usual they fail to explain why al Fadhli was a member of the Saleh government for over a decade handling the “jihaddists file” which they transfered to someone else after al Fadhli’s defection.

Original post: Wow, this is interesting stuff, and current! Its about time al Fadhli dished a little dirt.

-the January 09 meeting with Saleh and the dozens of Jihaddists was to ask them to broker a deal with al Qaeda whereby al Qaeda would leave Yemen in exchange for money. Saleh was negotiating with Wahishi through back channels and would have happily sent them to Saudi Arabia or Somalia.

- the release of the over 108 jihaddists at that time was part of the negotiations. The Yemeni government defended the release as “aged member of the Aden Abyan Islamic Army who were never charged with anything.” According to Tariq al Fadhli, they were al Qaeda members.

- Saleh requested al Fadhli assassinate four southern leaders, which was when he defected. Hundreds of southern politicians were assissinated by Saleh’s proxies in the period between unity in 1990 and the civil war in 1994.

From the Telegraph: Yemen offered to free all al-Qaeda militants held in its prisons last year if the group agreed to leave the country, a former senior government official has claimed.

Although the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s president, released 130 of its fighters as a goodwill gesture, al-Qaeda’s leadership in Yemen rejected the deal, according to Tariq al-Fahdli, who has since joined an outlawed group fighting for the secession of the south.

“Because we were previously with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Saleh asked us to act as a broker,” Mr Fahdli said, adding that the president had offered to pay the group money to move to Somalia, Saudi Arabia or another country.

Mr Fahdli was recruited along with fellow veterans who fought Soviet occupation in Afghanistan to form a militia against communists in south Yemen during a 1994 civil war.

He said he defected last year to a new movement fighting for southern independence after Mr Saleh asked him to kill the secessionists’ four leaders. (Read on …)

Yemeni Government Subverted by Al Qaeda, al Houthi

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Media, Ministries, Saada War, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:35 am on Monday, January 11, 2010

Member of Parliament and rebel spokesman Yahya al Houthi, translated by the Iranian Press TV, alleges al Qaeda infiltration into key Yemeni ministries (media and intelligence). But its not news. I’d like to add to the list the Political Security, National Security, aspects of the military as well as the certain passport and tourism offices as additional Yemeni government institutions subverted by al Qaeda.

A Yemeni Parliamentarian says al-Qaeda enjoys strong support from the government of President Ali Abdullah Salih and runs key ministries in his cabinet.

Exiled Yemeni lawmaker Yahya al-Houthi — who is the brother of the Shia leader, Abdul-Malek — accused the government of allowing hundreds of al-Qaeda militants into the country.

He said members of al-Qaeda are in charge of many key ministries in the Salih administration including ministries for media and intelligence. (Read on …)

Yemen Continues to Block Aid to War Refugees

Filed under: Children, Presidency, Refugees, Saada War, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:32 am on Monday, January 11, 2010

Alert Net – Escalating fighting in northern Yemen is preventing vital supplies reaching thousands of people fleeing a war between government forces and rebels, aid groups say. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Hidden War: CNN Video Report

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:56 pm on Friday, January 1, 2010

Watch this, click here.

Dammaj Students Fighting Houthis For Two Weeks

Filed under: Dammaj, Saada War, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 6:19 pm on Friday, January 1, 2010

From what I can gather, there’s armed combat between Dammaj students and the Houthi rebels. There’s a great influx of students to Dammaj. Some Saudi scholars traveled to the southern border and are “educating” the soldiers, which could mean a number of things.

It became 1431 on December 18. “Raafidah” is an objectionable term that I can reproducing here only to keep the text original, since I’m not hotlinking it.

Timeline of Events in Dammaaj

The following is a brief summary of recent events that have taken place in Dammaaj, one of the few strongholds of the Sunnah and its people. It is taken from a post on sahab mostly by Abu ‘Abdullaah Husayn al Kahlanee. (Read on …)

Northern Rebel Leader Abdelmalik al Houthi Killed? Updated with videos

Filed under: Saada War — by Jane Novak at 6:04 pm on Sunday, December 27, 2009

The following report is from the Yemen Observer, owned by President’s Saleh’s press secretary. In unconfirmed news, the YO reports the death of Abdul Malik al Houthi, leader of the rebel forces in the Sa’ada governorate where war raged since 2004. I wouldn’t underestimate Yousef al Madani’s capacity as a tactician and operational commander. Below the fold, various videos of the aftermath of the Saudi and Yemen bombing campaign in Sa’ada.

YEMEN – The top leader of rebels in Sa’adah, northern Yemen, Abdul Malik al-Houthi has died after he was seriously injured in an air strike two weeks ago, military and independent sources said Sunday. (Read on …)

Food Runs Out at Mazrak Camp Triggering Protests

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 7:41 pm on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Why is the food running out at the UN refugee camp (established for civilians fleeing the Yemeni government bombing)? Because the Yemeni government won’t establish a humanitarian corridor. There’s thousands of other internally displaced persons who haven’t gotten any support since war broke out in August.

Sahwa Net – Hundreds of the displaced of Al-Mazraq camp in the western Yemeni province of Hajjah protested on Saturday as their essential supplies of food run out. (Read on …)

Less Stability After Foreign Interventions

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, TI: Internal, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:19 am on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Arab Monitor:

Yemen’s government farer away than ever from restoring political stability

Sanaa, 22 December – Saudi Arabian Deputy Defence Minister Khaled bin Sultan admitted that his country’s military intervention in neighbouring Yemen has so far resulted in 73 soldiers killed and 470 wounded, while 26 are missing. According to him, 12 of the missing are believed to have been killed, while the fate of the remaining 14 is still unclear. Following these announcements, the Deputy Defence Minister said his country’s armed forces are mulling an attack on the border village of al-Jabiriya, where the al-Houthi movement is still present. (Read on …)

73 Saudi Soldiers Killed in Saada Since Nov 2

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 4:51 pm on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The civilian casualties of Saudi airstrikes must number over a thousand. Saudis say operations are winding down:

(CNN) — Fighting that has spilled from Yemen into Saudi Arabia has killed 73 members of the Saudi security forces since November 3, a Saudi spokesman said Tuesday.

Another 26 Saudi soldiers have been reported missing since clashes broke out between Saudi forces and Houthi rebels from northern Yemen, said Abdul-Rahman Al-Hazza, spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Information.

The assistant Saudi minister of defense, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, announced the casualty figures Tuesday, al-Hazza said..

“Scaling back” is a good idea at this point… (Read on …)

Sa’ada War Among World’s Worst Humanitarian Crises

Filed under: Sa'ada, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:44 am on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh my! Someone noticed that the Yemeni government is deliberately starving tens of thousands of people in the war zone in Sa’ada:

Guardian: There is no question that civilians are increasingly victimised in conflicts and further cut off from lifesaving assistance, often deliberately,” said Christophe Fournier, the MSF international council president. “In places like Sri Lanka and Yemen, where armed conflicts raged in 2009, aid groups were either blocked from accessing those in need or forced out because they too came under fire. This unacceptable dynamic is becoming the norm.”

The press release::
Five prior unsettled wars in Yemen’s northern Saada Governorate led to a sixth in 2009, the most intense so far. The Yemeni army ratcheted up its offensive against a rebel group drawn from the dominant community in the region, and the humanitarian fallout was unprecedented. Civilians and non-military targets such as hospitals were heavily affected by fighting. Hundreds of thousands were displaced and humanitarian assistance came to a virtual halt. A malnutrition emergency was discovered among children uprooted from their homes. For the first time, a foreign neighbour, Saudi Arabia, was drawn into the conflict, further complicating the plight of civilians. (Read on …)

Foreign Al Qaeda Fighting for Yemen Govt in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, TI: External, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:39 pm on Monday, December 21, 2009

Yemeni local sources report that jihaddists who had earlier fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are now fighting for the Yemeni military in the Sa’ada War against the Houthi rebels. (Read on …)

GCC to Establish “Quick Reaction Force”

Filed under: Donors, UN, GCC, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:11 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Sort of like NATO for dictators? Will crush any calls for power sharing, civil rights or financial transparency…. Any attack on Saudi Arabia is an attack on all, they say, gearing up for Sa’ada intervention apparently.

KUWAIT CITY, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to establish a regional quick-reaction force in part due to conflict along the Yemeni border with Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

Saudi Arabia Returning Fleeing Civilians to War Zone

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:54 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

Refouling, when civilians are not granted refuge but instead returned to the battle field.

Arab News

Saudi troops stationed at the border with Yemen reported on Saturday receiving “a large number” of Yemenis fleeing fighting between Yemeni forces and rebels in the mountains of Al-Malaheet and Razah. The Yemenis arrived at a border checkpoint in Al-Milaihi and were transferred to internally displaced refugee camps in Yemen after they were checked medically. The Yemenis were taken to the Tawwal point of entry and transferred back into Yemen.

54 in Three Families Killed in Missile Strikes in Sa’ada

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 6:28 am on Monday, December 21, 2009

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni Shi’ite Muslim rebels said Saudi air attacks on northern Yemen killed 54 people on Sunday, many of them women and children.

The rebels, who often report attacks by Yemeni and Saudi fighter planes, said on their website that the strikes destroyed five houses in the town of Razeh, in mountainous Saada province where they are based. The report could not be verified… Last Sunday, the rebels said at least 70 people were killed in a Saudi air raid on a market in Razeh. That attack could not be confirmed either.

The following video documents the recovery efforts at one house where a 30 year old man, his wife and three children, his 63 year old mother and a niece were killed in an air strike. Scalps in a bucket somewhere around 7 minutes in:

US Launched the Missiles in Abyan?

Filed under: Air strike, USA, War Crimes, statements — by Jane Novak at 9:02 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

What a disaster!!! What a stupid and reckless move in such a volatile place. Did they rely on Yemeni intel sources? Could they be that stupid? Well you got duped President Obama, 14 kids are dead and Qasim al Reimi “escaped,” which in itself was entirely predictable. Saleh is brilliant tactician. He is wedded to the US now, despite the fact that he is a war criminal. (Read on …)

Yemen Govt, “airstrike targeted a training camp with tents” in Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Military, South Yemen, War Crimes, arrests — by Jane Novak at 2:32 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

It was a training camp with tents, the Yemeni government says, not a traditional Bedouin village in Abyan. And they surrounded the “al Qaeda camp” and launched a ground assault after the bombing. CNN doesn’t mention the civilian casualties (broadcast on al Jazeera) or MPs statements calling for an inquiry into what appears to be a airstrike on a civilians or even former president al Beidh who predictably issued a long poetic missive in Arabic only. They, and many others, regurgitated the Yemeni government’s line in its entirety. The language barrier is the opposition’s to overcome. Love this: “Qassim Al-Raymi, the military commander for al Qaeda in Yemen and two ‘known’ accomplices were able to flee…” Unbelievable. Presumably they meant the Arhab raid, not the Abyan one, although its muddy from the reporting.

(CNN) — An airstrike in Yemen earlier this week killed a leading al Qaeda figure there, a Yemeni government official said Friday.

The official, who is not named because he is not authorized to speak to the media, told CNN that Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Ali Al-Kazemi was killed in an airstrike in the southern province of Abyan on Thursday, along with “scores of operatives.” (Read on …)

Obama to Saleh: Go Ahead and Murder Your Citizens, We Don’t Care

Filed under: Abyan, Presidency, Saada War, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Friday, December 18, 2009

The wholesale slaughter of Yemenis by their government is well documented. Tactics include bombing, shooting in the head, and intentional starvation. The recent HRW report on the deliberate killing of protesters in Southern Yemen is augmented by their earlier reports on the withholding of aid to Sa’ada civilians, indesriminate bombing and mass arbitrary arrests. Yemeni prisons are filled with innocent people. The US can really no longer say that “Sa’ada is a mystery” or the situation in the south is confusing. Apparently the Obama adminstration is willing to trade off 22 million people for an occasional al Qaeda raid here and there. More frustrating is that Yemen’s counter-terror efforts, when they infrequently occur, are more smoke and mirrors. The bombed children and starving families and activists in jail have been sacrificed for nothing.

Saleh gets telephone call from U.S. President Barack Obama
Thursday, 17-December-2009
Almotamar.net, Saba – President Ali Abdullah Saleh received on Thursday a telephone call from U.S. President Barrack Obama. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Raids in Yemen: a Show and a Massacre, US Applauds

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Military, War Crimes, arrests, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:35 am on Friday, December 18, 2009

Lets review. a) Qasim al Reimi manages to escape just minutes before the raid north of Sana’a in Arhab. Looks good on paper if you believe in fairy tales. b) Yemen bombs a Bedouin village in Abyan, where separatist sentiments are running high, killing over 60. The Yemeni military say the dead number 30 and were al Qaeda but the photos show women and children. The casualty lists show extremely poor Bedouin families wiped out en masse c) Obama calls Saleh and says “Good Job!” The Western media uses headlines like “Yemen Forces Strike Al Qaeda, Kill 34.” Its like deja vu all over again.

YemenOnline.Decembe 18- Three of al Qaeda members escaped from the last military attack carried out by security forces in a number of areas in Yemen yesterday.Kassim Al-Reami,Hisam Mogali and the third one is believed to be a non-Yemeni have escaped during the attack into unknown area .

al Jazeera: At least 34 people have been killed in raids on suspected al-Qaeda hide-outs and training sites in Yemen, security officials have said. (Read on …)

Other Sa’ada News

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:06 am on Thursday, December 17, 2009

BBC: Somalis forced to fight for rebels under threat of execution.

And ta da, a good analysis, International Crisis Group Yemen: “Disorder on the Border”, Joost Hiltermann in Foreign Affairs:

In June 2004, the Houthis, a group of rebels in the Sa’dah governorate of northwest Yemen, began taking up arms against the Yemeni national army. They claimed, and continue to claim, to be defending their own specific branch of Shia Islam — Zaydism — from a Yemeni regime they say is too dependent on its northern neighbor, Saudi Arabia, and its partner in the war on terrorism, the United States. Yemen’s political and military leaders have labeled the Houthis a terrorist group supported by Iran. This smoldering civil war attracted little outside attention until last month, when, on November 5, Saudi Arabia sent its warplanes to bomb Houthi positions around the border, both on Saudi territory and inside Yemen. It was Saudi Arabia’s first cross-border military intervention since the Gulf War in 1991. (Read on …)

Saudi Intel Opens Sana’a Office to Coordinate War Efforts and to Hunt and Kill al Qaeda

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, USA, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:00 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yes, the PSO and other Yemeni security agencies are seriously compromised by al Qaeda infiltration. The Saudi intell in Sana’a are working with Prince Ahmed Saleh, who heads the Special Forces and Republican Guard. So far, in the Sa’ada War, Saudi Arabia is helping President Saleh with money, media propaganda, intell on the ground, tanks and other weaponry, fatwas, a naval blockade, arrests and deportations and air support including bombing villages. Meanwhile Saleh, with all due bluster and pomp, hotly rejects external interference or mediation. The article mentions Qamish, head of the PSO, who had the pissing match with al Qaeda cell leader Hamza al Qaiti after a trio of mortar attacks early in 2008. Al Qaiti blamed al Qamish for a double cross (or faulty equpment) when the mortars missed. Al Qaiti was killed shortly thereafter and before the September 2008 attack on the US embassy.

UPI Dec. 15 — Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service has established a station in Yemen’s capital ostensibly to help coordinate a joint campaign against northern Shiite rebels along the kingdom’s border.

But its main task is understood to be hunting down the Yemen-based operatives of a resurgent al-Qaida that threatens the Saudi monarchy, and eliminating them with extreme prejudice…The Saudi General Intelligence Presidency, the kingdom’s principal intelligence agency, set up its Sanaa operation in June following talks between King Abdallah and Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 40 years. (Read on …)

Yemen Threatens Human Rights Watch after Damning Report

Filed under: Donors, UN, Security Forces, South Yemen, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 10:00 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The report is here.

SANA’A, Dec. 16 (Saba)- The state spokesman, Minister of Information Hasan al-Lawzi condemned Wednesday the incorrect information issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) over human rights and press freedom in Yemen.

The spokesman said in remarks to Saba that these information are based on false reports on human rights and the freedom of press in the country… Al-Lawzi put responsibility on the HRW two representatives to correct the situation so as not to affect cooperation relations between Yemen and the Human Rights Watch in the future.

US Categorically Denies Bombing Yemen or Any Direct Military Involvement

Filed under: Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:30 pm on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The last time the Houthi rebels made allegations of direct US bombing was in 2005. The current charges of US bombing are the first in this outbreak of the war and came immediately after General Patraeus said in an interview, “”We offer variety of security assistances to Yemenis as we do almost with many countries in the region, in addition to training and education programs we provide to the Yemeni military.” But thats the normal policy for years already. The US also announced the US special forces were training Yemen’s military. Maybe the rebels thought that was a new policy but its not. In November, six Yemeni military officials trained with the Marines in NC. And whenever the bombs get bigger or more precise in Sa’ada, rumors fly of US involvement. (Read on …)

Saudis Arrest War Refugees, Bomb Civilians

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:40 am on Saturday, December 12, 2009

KHaleej Times

11 December 2009, RIYADH – Saudi forces have detained 1,805 people so far this month on the border with its southern neighbour Yemen where it is battling Shiite rebels, the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Friday. (Read on …)

Massive displacement continues

Filed under: Saada War, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:29 am on Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yemen: Massive displacement continues Source: UNHCR, Alertnet Thousands of civilians continue to flee their homes in northern Yemen as the fighting between government troops and Al Houti forces enters the fifth month.

Situation in Sa’ada province remains tense and the newly arriving internally displaced people (IDPs) report clashes in Haydan, Beni Muath, Eel Ammar and Al Taleh areas. The situation in Razeh district is of particularly serious concern as civilian population there faces restrictions of movement and lack of basic services such as electricity and water. Shortages of food and other commodities have pushed the prices sharply upwards and more and more people are unable to afford their basic needs. (Read on …)

US: No Proof of Iranian Backing in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Iran, Saada War, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:27 am on Saturday, December 12, 2009

MANAMA (Reuters) - A U.S. official said on Friday he had no proof that Iran is supporting Shi’ite rebels who have seized some Saudi territory, a position at odds with a Yemeni claim that the rebellion has Iranian backing. (Read on …)

Ali Nasser Mohammed’s Nephew Assassinated

Filed under: Security Forces, South Yemen, Targeted Individuals, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:56 pm on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Several outlets and other sources are reporting the murder of former President Ali Nasser Mohammed’s nephew in a cold blooded assassination, story here at Aden Press. Clearly both retribution and a tactic of intimidation.

More Dead Civilians, Mostly Babies

Filed under: Children, Saada War, War Crimes, photos — by Jane Novak at 5:18 pm on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanks to “I dont know” in the comments, a Youtube video of the 12/7 air raid, I think.

Related: Does white smoke equal white phosphorous? I haven’t a clue.

US Senate Calls for Ceasefire and Aid to Displaced Yemenis

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Saada War, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:56 am on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So glad they are paying attention and that the whole statement wasn’t about al Qaeda. They actually mentioned the refugees, food and medicine!

Matoob Business WASHINGTON – The United States and its international partners must “use all appropriate measures” to keep Yemen from becoming a “failed state,” the US Senate said in a recently approved resolution. (Read on …)

Wife of Kidnapped UN Worker, Walid Sharafuddin, Beaten by Police

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Targeting — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Monday, December 7, 2009

waleed_UN.jpg

As War in Yemen Rages on, Political Prisoners Languish: The Case of Waleed Sharafuddin

As the state of Yemen “teeters on the brink of failure”, the government of Yemen is scrambling to hide the unprecedented humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Sa’ada War.

Hundreds of thousands are displaced, starving and beyond the reach of aid groups. Food, water and medicine in the region are under government blockade and at critical levels. Military bombing is indiscriminate and targets inhabited homes, villages, cities as well as rebel hideouts in the mountains.

As a result of the regime’s desperate attempts to limit news reporting, citizens through out Yemen are subject to state violence, intimidation and arbitrary arrests.

Journalists are a frequent target. The independent News Yemen website was hacked in December. “According to the sites US hosting company, the IP of the hacker traces back to the director of the Internet Department in the Ministry of Telecommunication,” a News Yemen statement read. (Read on …)

Al Mazraq Refugee Camp, Yemen

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA — by Jane Novak at 10:10 pm on Saturday, December 5, 2009

dying_baby_mazraq.jpg

This 15 month old toddler is in the al Mazraq refugee camp, or was. The child may be dead by now. The UN is struggling to save hundreds of children like this one from dying of malnutrition in the Yemeni refugee camps. But due to lack of funding and lack of access, they are really struggling. Tens of thousands of children are outside the camps and beyond the reach of food aid, as the Yemeni government continues to deny access. If there are 200,000 (notice that number going up?) internally displaced Yemenis, than statistically at least 100,000 are under the age of 15.

Yemeni Civilians, War Refugees

Filed under: Saada War, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 5:51 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

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Al Mazraq Camp Nov. 2009

HRW Lists Multiple Actions by Warring Parties that Harm Yemen Civilians

Filed under: Donors, UN, Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 5:47 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

Human Rights Watch

(New York) – Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Huthi rebel forces involved in the armed conflict in northern Yemen should take all necessary measures to spare civilians from the fighting and ensure that they receive humanitarian assistance, Human Rights Watch said today. (Read on …)

As Yemeni Kids Starve, Saudi War Refugees have Air Conditioned Tents

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia — by Jane Novak at 1:03 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

With over 150,000 internally displaced persons, Yemeni refugee camps are not only squalid but woefully understocked on water, food, medicine and tents. A shipment of high energy biscuits is a triumph. There are tens of thousands of refugees not in the camps who have recieved no support since the war broke out again in August. On the Saudi side, the tents are air conditioned, and the families receive three hot meals a day and $300/week cash payments. So if the Saudis are bombing Yemen, maybe they should send some air conditioned tents to those vicitims of their actions as well. (Read on …)

Moroccan Commando Join Saleh’s Forces?

Filed under: Military, Other Countries, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:50 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

The reports of Moroccan commandos have been floating around for a few days, here’s one. So now in the Sa’ada war we have the Yemeni army and air force strongly augmented if not led by Saudi troops and air strikes. As well as reports of Jordanian and Moroccan special forces on the side of the Yemeni government. These foreign militaries previously received much US aid and training. Can’t the US get them to stop bombing civilians and enable the food and medicine to flow? There are children starving to death in the refugee camps. Once the smoke clears, there’s going to be bodies everywhere. All for the sake of propping up an irrational, brutal, anti-democratic dictator who utilizes al Qaeda when convenient. Its really a hair brained policy that is entirely counter-productive to both long term and short term US goals. Its also immoral and the kind of actions that give al Qaeda fanatics a platform. Related: Yes, the worst possible move at the present moment is Predators.

Amnesty Calls On Saudi Arabia to Investigate Yemeni Civilians Killed in Bombing

Filed under: Saada War, Saudi Arabia, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:37 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

This is a follow up on our earlier report, Children in Yemen Killed by Saudi Bombs. Amnesty is asking for an investigation, just like the UN said Yemen must investigate widespread torture, and Amnesty called for an inquiry into the disappearance of Mohammed al Maqelah and the killing of 87 civilians in September in a bombing assault reported by al Maqelah. Saudi Arabia is really taking the wrong path here by bombing civilians.

Amnesty: Amnesty International has urged the Saudi Arabian authorities to investigate the reported killing of seven civilians in an air raid attack in the Sa’da region of Yemen. (Read on …)

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