Thursday, February 24, 2011

British Embassy Launches Scholarships for Yemeni Potential Leaders

British Embassy Launches Scholarships for Yemeni Potential Leaders

Sana'a- Feb 24, 2011- The British Embassy and the British Council have opened the doors for Yemeni women and men to apply for Chevening Scholarships to study one year Masters in one of the internationally leading universities in the United Kingdom in the academic year 2011/2012.

“This year the British Embassy and the British Council will be focusing on candidates planning to undertake study related to economic and social development; e.g. programme and budget management,” the British Embassy in Sana'a said in a press release sent to News Yemen on Thursday.

Chevening programme has been making a significant impact on the personal and professional development of Yemeni scholars since it began in 1983 and there are over 130 Yemeni Alumni so far, according to the press release.

“Chevening scholarships are prestigious awards which create positive change in the lives of individuals and societies,” the press release said.

The programme, funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, aims to support capable individuals to pursue a career that will take them to a position of leadership within their own country, the Embassy said. The press release said the deadline for applicants is March 15, 2011.

Source: News Yemen

INTERVIEW-Yemeni Tycoon Shrugs off Risk from Unrest

INTERVIEW-Yemeni Tycoon Shrugs off Risk from Unrest

* Hayel Saeed sugar refinery due to open next year

* Government working on re-tendering airport project

* Yemen's location a boon despite poverty, tycoon says

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

SANA'A- Feb 24, 2011- Accustomed to instability during five decades in international business, Yemeni businessman Abdul Wase Hayel Saeed shrugs off the unrest in his homeland as another chapter in Yemen's turbulent history.

The soft spoken 70-year old, whose family's empire stretches from Egypt to Indonesia, is building a $230 million sugar refinery in Yemen he says will open next year and expanding scores of businesses ranging from biscuits to an oil concession and a Porsche franchise.

"When we built our first factory in 1970, Yemen was emerging from civil war. No one accepted to go into partnership with us. We employ now 16,000 people in the Yemen factories alone," Hayel Saeed told Reuters in an interview.

"What we are seeing is a cloud that will pass. Yemen is ripe for all kind of investments. This is a country with cheap labour force and an unparalleled strategic location," he said.

Hayel Saeed, who is also active in politics, heading the parliament's transport committee, would not be drawn on the demonstrations demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule, but he expected compromise to be reached between the president and his opponents.

The unrest, prompted by the fall of Tunisia's and Egypt's presidents, has killed at least 15 people. Saleh has said he will not be pressured out of power by opponents he said were advocating anarchy, but promised to protect peaceful protesters.


Pictures of a young Saleh opening Hayel Sayeed businesses hang at the group's headquarters, along with photos of Taiz, a mountainous province from where Hayel Saeed's father embarked on a rags-to-riches journey that took him to France and back.

The sprawling business empire, set up by the father and his three brothers, is now among the mightiest in the Middle East, comprising banking, insurance, trading, industry, commodities, construction, oil, pharmaceuticals, health services, real estate and two factories in the United Kingdom.

More than 40 U.S-educated members of the third generation help run the business, an indication of the deficiencies of the domestic education system, which Hayel Saeed says is unable to cope with a 3.7 percent population growth and an addiction to qat, a stimulant leaf chewed by over half the population.

"Yemenis spend over $7 billion year on qat. It's a disaster. Think of the damage to health, the labor hours lost," said Hayel Saeed, co-founder of the Yemen Without Qat organisation.

Yemen, he said, still has decent ports and roads, with the government working on re-issuing a tender for a new eight-runway airport to replace the decrepit Sanaa airport after a dispute with a Chinese company that was awarded the project.

He points to 400,000 tonne wheat silos the Hayel Saeed group has along the coast, and two million tonnes a year of palm oil the group imports from Asia, processes in Yemen and re-exports mostly to Africa.

"Aden is five nautical miles from one of the world's most important shipping routes. It makes sense to set up businesses with an eye on exports, like we did," Hayel Saeed said.

"If a foreign investor is considering a project in Yemen we'll look into taking a minor stake to help allay any fears he might have," he added."

Yemen's national income per capita was a little over $1,000 and foreign direct investment stood at a mere $129 million in 2009, according to the latest World Bank figures, but the counrty has drawn interest from the Gulf, including a $600 million real estate project in Sanaa being built by Qatari Diar.

Source: (Reuters)

U.S. ends ban on air cargo from Yemen

U.S. ends ban on air cargo from Yemen

Ban had been in place since the discovery of two parcel bombs in late October

By Manila Bulletin

WASHINGTON- Feb 24, 2011- The United States (US) has lifted its ban on US-bound air cargo shipments originating in Yemen, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.

A global security alert was sparked in October by the discovery of explosives in two parcels posted from Yemen.

The two potentially lethal parcels were addressed to synagogues in Chicago and contained the explosive PETN hidden in ink toner cartridges. They were uncovered in Dubai and Britain on October 28.

Source: (AFP)

General prosecutor directs to investigate citizens' claims

General prosecutor directs to investigate citizens' claims

SANA'A- Feb 24, 2011 -General Prosecutor Abdullah al-Olefi directed on Thursday all chairmen, attorney generals in the capital Sana'a, Aden, Lahj and Taiz governorates to quickly investigate claims received by them which happened to the participants and protesters regardless of its political trends, the defense ministry's 26 reported on Thursday.

The directions stressed on the overall supervision on the work of judicial acts to carry out actions according to their specializations in protecting protests regardless of their political trends.

The general prosecutor called upon Minister of Interior and chairmen of security in all the Republic's governorates to do their legal obligations in these circumstances in the country, confirming their adherence to the law issued by National Defense Council in

protecting all citizens who are participating in peaceful protests.

The general prosecutor called on all participants in the protests from all political parties to respect public and private properties and do not attack them as such acts regarded as criminal acts punishable by law.

Source: (Saba)

Yemen: Bring Attackers on Rights Group’s Guard to Justice

Yemen: Bring Attackers on Rights Group’s Guard to Justice

The Yemeni government should bring the attackers on a human rights group to justice. The authorities need to send a message that work of rights defenders will be respected.

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

(New York)- February 24, 2011- The Yemeni government should bring to justice the armed men who attacked a guard providing security at a local human rights organization, Human Rights Watch said today.

The attack raised broader concerns for the security of human rights defenders at this critical time, Human Rights Watch said.

At 2 a.m. on February 24, 2011, five assailants armed with sticks and daggers repeatedly stabbed a guard at the Sanaa offices of the Yemen Observatory for Human Rights (YOHR), seriously injuring him, the group's director, Muhammed al-Mikhlafi, told Human Rights Watch. Members of the group, which has been collecting data on casualties resulting from the daily anti-government protests since February 11, 2011, received threatening phone calls in days prior to the attack.

"The Yemeni government should bring the attackers on a human rights group to justice," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The authorities need to send a message that work of rights defenders will be respected."

Armed pro-government provocateurs have repeatedly assaulted anti-government demonstrators over the past 10 days while security forces failed to intervene, and even facilitated such attacks.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders provides that countries should "take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of everyone against any violence, threats, retaliation, adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action" as a result of their participation in human rights activity.

Human Rights Watch urged President Ali Abdullah Saleh to respect the internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and association, and called on the authorities to bring to justice those who threaten or attack civil society groups, media, and peaceful protesters.