Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yemeni Businessmen Club Launches first Annual Economic Report

Yemeni Businessmen Club Launches first Annual Economic Report

SANA'A- Feb 23, 2011- The Yemeni Businessmen Club launched on Wednesday the economic report 2010 at a press conference in the capital Sana'a.

­At the conference, chairman of the Club's board of directors Ahmed BaZarah said the report was the first annual report by the Club and came as a follow-up to the economic essays issued in 2009.

The objective of the report was an objective analysis including the viewpoint of the Club towards the economic and investment environment through presenting issues and suggesting solutions to problems, he said.

Furthermore, the report reviewed big challenges facing the national economy and proposed solutions that can help overcome these challenges within the comprehensive national reform agenda, added BaZarah.

"The report highlighted the most important future trends for Yemen's continuous participation in drawing up policies and proposing solutions to different problems topped by economic challenges," he said.

"It also presented a detailed vision of the situation of external trade and investment in Yemen as well as the cash and banking situation, with a special focus on free trade zones on which Yemen pins hope to achieve sustainable economic and social development."

In addition, the report highlighted challenges that faced Yemen's economy in the last year topped by oil depletion, expanding expenditures, the state budget deficit, soaring rates of unemployment and poverty, the population growth and water dwindling and scarcity, he concluded.

Source: Saba

Yemen urged to halt escalating crackdown after two reported killed in capital

Yemen urged to halt escalating crackdown after two reported killed in capital

Sana'a – Feb 23, 2011- Amnesty International has today urged the Yemeni authorities to end its crackdown on anti-government demonstrations after two protesters were reported to have been killed in Sana’a.

They would be the first fatalities in the capital since the outbreak of unrest earlier this month and bring the total killed to 16, including 13 in the southern city of Aden.

The two protesters reportedly died after being shot on Tuesday night, when security forces, aided by men described by witnesses as “thugs”, stormed a group of people who had set up a protest camp outside Sana’a University.

“This disturbing development indicates that the heavy-handed tactics which we have seen the security forces using with lethal effect against protesters in the south of Yemen are increasingly being employed elsewhere,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“If the authorities continue in this manner, more demonstrators will inevitably be killed, particularly as more protests are due to take place in cities across Yemen in the coming days. People must be allowed to assemble and protest in peace.”

The situation in Aden remains tense with residents reporting an undeclared “state of emergency” amid a heavy security presence.

‘Ali ‘Abdu al-Khalafi became the latest fatality in Aden yesterday after he passed away after being shot in the head on 22 February, when security forces reportedly fired on protests in the Khormaksar district of the city.

Another person died in Ta’izz on 20 February after being wounded in a protest there on 18 February, when security forces were also reported to have opened fire on demonstrators.

Amnesty International has also learned that the leader of a political opposition group in southern Yemen has been detained.

Hassan Ba’oom, who is in his 70s and in poor health, was arrested by security forces on 20 February at an Aden hospital where he was being treated for a broken leg. He is reportedly being held incommunicado in the Central Prison in Sana’a.

One of the leaders of the opposition coalition Southern Movement, he had reportedly called for a “Day of Rage” against the Yemeni government to be held in the south.

“If Hassan Ba’oom is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly, he is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Philip Luther.

“The authorities must also ensure he receives all necessary medical treatment without delay and that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.”

Scores of others have been arrested following protests in Aden on 16 February. They are believed to be held without charge or trial in al-Mansurah Central Prison.

Protests have been taking place in Aden and other places in southern Yemen since 2007 against perceived discrimination by the government against southerners and, increasingly, in favour of the secession of the south of the country.

Following demonstrations in the capital Sana’a and other cities in recent weeks calling for the president to stand down and regime change, protesters in Aden have started to make similar demands.

The Southern Movement is an umbrella movement of political groups, some of which want the south of the country to secede.

Source: Amnesty International

Yemen Cabinet Approves Economic Change to Cut Poverty, Saba Says

Yemen Cabinet Approves Economic Change to Cut Poverty, Saba Says

By Vivian Salama –

Sana'a- Feb 23, 2011- Yemen’s Council of Ministers approved economic changes to reduce poverty and invest in new projects, Saba News Agency reported late yesterday.

The measures include a plan to prevent Yemen’s budget deficit from widening more than 3 percent from 2011 to 2015, the state-run news agency reported.

The constitutional reforms are pending approval by the country’s House of Representatives and Shura council.

Saleh Orders to Prevent Protest Violence, Protect Sit-ins

Saleh Orders to Prevent Protest Violence, Protect Sit-ins

SANA'A- Feb 23, 2011– President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered on Wednesday the security authorities to prevent any clashes between the pro- and anti-government protesters.

He urged to protect the sit-ins to ensure there will be no violence and that both sides can express themselves peacefully without chaos or hurting each other.

Moreover, Saleh urged the pro- and anti-regime protesters to be alert and take precautions to prevent saboteurs from infiltrating into the protests to incite and commit violence.

Source: (Saba)

Armed Group Attack the Central Security Headquarters in Lahj

Armed Group Attack the Central Security Headquarters in Lahj

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Lahj- Feb 23, 2011- Unidentified armed group attacked on Wednesday the headquarters of Central Security forces in Lahj province, kidnapping an officer and others.

Captain Mohamed Ali Al-Fakeeh, the leader of the headquarters and two soldiers were kidnapped by the armed group.

Eyewitness said that an exchange of gun fire took place in Labos district in which several of the two sides were injured. No more details were reported.

NDI Director: Saleh Has Precious Opportunity for Peaceful Power Transition

NDI Director: Saleh Has Precious Opportunity for Peaceful Power Transition

By Fuad Rajeh

Sana'a- Feb 23, 2011- Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Democratic Institute Leslie Campbell said on Wednesday that Yemen's President Saleh has an opportunity to achieve a peaceful transfer of power.

At his meeting with Shura member Sadiq Al-Ahmer, Campbell said Saleh really has a precious opportunity to be the first Arab leader to do that as protests demanding the ouster of regimes are continuing to sweep the region, the Alsahwa website reported.

He stressed that Saleh fulfils his recent promises including not to run for president and not to bring his son to power after his term expires in 2013.

The National Democratic Institute will work to bring together the regime and the opposition in Yemen to implement the recent terms of President Saleh, he said, adding: "if the NDI succeeds in achieving that, a remarkable progress will be seen then in the country".

President Saleh announced earlier this month concessions after the revolt that ousted Tunisian president including pledges he will not run for president and bring his son, Ahmed, to power after him, and a call for the opposition to come back to the dialogue table.

He also promised robust political and economic reforms and renewed the call for the opposition to participate in a national unity government.