Sunday, December 25, 2011

US ambassadors to Yemen announcements provoke controversy

Mohammed al-Kibsi
Dec 25, 2011
Yemen’s revolutionary council and peace Laurent Tawakul Karman condemned the announcements of the US ambassador Gerald Feierstein that said the Life March from Taiz to Sana’a was not peaceful.
The revolutionary council demanded that ambassador Feierstein most apologize while Tawkul Karman in her face book described the announcement as brutal. “How did he know that the march would turn violent,” she wondered. Some other youth affiliated to Houthi even demanded the US ambassador to leave Yemen.
Feierstein had said in a press conference held at the embassy on Saturday that the march of life that was approaching Sana'a aimed to erupt chaos and violence. “It seems to have the intention not to carry out a peaceful march, but to get access to Sana'a in order to generate chaos and provoke a violent response by the security forces”, US ambassador said.
“Peace is not only not to take up arms, for example , if 2000 people decided to protest to the White House in US, we do not consider it a peaceful act and will not allow this,” US ambassador added.
These announcements provoked controversy and anger among the youth and opposition activists that organized the march.
According to opposition sources over 9 demonstrators were killed when some of the demonstrators changed their route and tried to head to the Presidential complex.
They clashed with the security barriers set ups to prevent them from reaching to the presidential complex in al-Sabein area in the south of Sana’a.
The protesters affiliated to the JMP accused the so called Shabab al-Somoud affiliated to Houthi of derailing the march and of erupting chaos and violence.
Thousands of protesters who marched from Taiz south of Yemen entered Yemen's capital Saturday after a 5-day march passing three Yemeni provinces.
Prior to the march the General People Congress Party (GPC) that is the ruling party called on the sponsors of the GCC peace deal to pressure on the Joint Meeting Opposition Parties JMP to respect the deal and stop provocations accusing them of sponsoring the march of life to temper the peace deal.
President Saleh in his press conference held on Saturday few hours before the incidents accused Hamid al-Ahmar of financing the life march.
He also accused him of being in charge of the June 3 assassination attempt that targeted him and other high rank Yemeni officials that resulted in killing dozens including the speaker of Yemen Senate late Abdul-Aziz Abdul Ghani and wounding man others including the president himself, the former prime minister and the speaker of the parliament.
Saleh called on the opposition parties and all other parties to commit to the GCC deal as a whole matrix but not to be selective.
The president also said that he would leave Yemen to the United States not only for medical treatment as was announced by some UN officials but also for some political affairs.
He said he would leave and stay abroad so as to give chance for the interim government to organize the early presidential elections. However he said he would come back to Yemen to lead his ruling party GPC when in the opposition.
The violence underlined the continuing turmoil in Yemen even after Saleh signed a GCC brokered deal that was backed by UNSC resolution last month by which he handed his powers to his vice president and committed to step down completely within 90 days.

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