Tuesday, March 15, 2011

U.S. Yemenis Hold Opposing Rallies on Yemen's Unrest

Nick Meyer and Jessica Barrow

DEARBORN, Mich, Mar 15, 2011- The ongoing mass protests in Yemen were the focus of two separate demonstrations at Dearborn City Hall last weekend as both supporters and opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh showed up despite freezing temperatures.

On Sunday, March 6, more than 200 people gathered on the steps of Dearborn City Hall to rally in support of anti-government protesters in Yemen.

While many of them had attended the string of recent rallies supporting all of the countries protesting during the ongoing Arab revolution, Sunday's mostly Yemeni American demonstrators felt it was necessary to shine the spotlight directly on their home country's struggle this time around.

Protesters chanted for Saleh to step down along with the familiar chant in Arabic translating to "The people want the regime to collapse."

"We came out in solidarity with the Yemeni people asking for peaceful change, 33 years is enough of the current regime," said Adel Mozip, a member of the Popular Support Committee for Youth Revolution in Yemen local organization.

"The rally was to support the people in the streets of Yemen and we also sent the message to call on the White House and U.S. Government to exert all pressure to ask Saleh to step down and for the regime to change."

Fellow demonstrator Suleiman Awad also came out.

"The turnouts are getting better with each rally as people begin to realize what's going on," he said.

Awad noted that he's from the south part of Yemen where opposition to Saleh is not nearly as strong as the north but he said that it is past time for Saleh to step down because of corruption. He said he was in the minority being from south Yemen at the protest but he said that he's fully behind the protesters.

"We're here to support our people back home in removing the regime, we have our own issue in the south but (I think) the goal now is to remove the regime this time," he said.

Another demonstrator, Ammar Abbas, said he was happy with the turnout and said that he believed the larger anti-Saleh turnout as compared to the previous day's rally against a regime change was an accurate reflection of the local community.

"I can tell you that in my experience most of the immigrants here are against the regime back there because this is the main reason they're here, they didn't like the corruption in their country," he said.

"Nobody wants to leave their country but they had no choice...they're wondering where (Saleh and his regime) got so much money, that's why people chanted that they want to sue the members of the regime, we want them to be held accountable because they're stealing everything.

"In Yemen the problem is the people are poor and not educated so they don't know what they're missing, they think they're living a good life but they're really not. Now, most of the people are saying they're fed up and enough is enough."

Saturday rally calls for Yemeni unity, support for Saleh

Another group from the Yemeni American community also rallied at City Hall on Sat., March 5 to protest the political unrest in Yemen. The group, unlike previous gatherings, was in support of Saleh.

The members waved both Yemeni and American flags, noting that, like the United States once did, Yemen should stay united and not divide north and south.

“We support our president,” said rally organizer Jamal Magalli. “We are calling for peace. Calling for the country to come together.”

The group numbered about a hundred protestors but received very little media coverage. Since the political unrest began, very little has been said about those in support of President Saleh, and this astounded Steven, a spectator, who attended the rally with a friend.

“I am surprised that this rally is in support of Saleh,” said Steven. “I spent time in Yemen and since I have been back, I have kept up with the news. This is the first time I am hearing of this. It's good to hear the other side of the issue.”

"We noticed always they always try to make everything bad and they don’t give us attention. We are wondering why. It is a question mark for us. They don’t give the whole opinion and give both sides,” said rally organizer Nabil Alghathi.

The protest, unlike others before it, was supported primarily by those of Yemeni descent, a fact that Alghathi says contributes to their legitimacy.

“A lot of people in other protests came and talked about Yemen. People from Lebanon and Iraq .They fight every week in those countries. Yemen doesn’t need that. We are different,” Alghathi said. “We have democracy in Yemen.”

“They are trying to turn Yemen into another Libya” said Magalli. “ We want peace.”

“We say no to devastation, destruction and nepotism,” said Alghathi. “We are in support of voting, support of an election, but we say no to a north and a south. Just one Yemen."

“I wish I could say to every Yemeni in the state, we have to get together. We are not together. This will not help our county if we are spilt,” Alghathi said. “If we cannot get together here in the United States, how can they do so there. We should get together at one table and see what is best for our country. If we cant get united here, then they wont be together there.”

Source: The Arab American News

Cabinet approves executive mechanism to employ 25% of job seekers

SANA'A, Mar 15, 2011- The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Ali Mujawar, approved on Tuesday the executive mechanism to contain 25% of job seekers of the total applicants for government employment at the Ministry of Civil Service and Insurance and its offices till 2010.

The mechanism will define the number of employment positions specified for every governorate and will absorb 25% the total employment applicants holders of the following degrees; PhD, MA, higher diploma, BA, post high school diploma and post primary school diploma.

It will conduct the comparison approach on the applicants based on priority of graduation.

The cabinet formed a supervision committee to oversee employment procedures in every district of the country.

Source: (Saba)

'US arms used on Yemeni protesters'

Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:42PM

Interview with Political Analyst, Sarah Marusek

Protesters in Yemen

While Yemeni President blames Israel and the US for the current uprisings, a political analyst says weapons used against the Yemeni protesters were mainly supplied by the US, who doubled its military aid to the country last year.

Press TV conducted an interview with Political Analyst Sarah Marusek in Beirut to discuss the topic.

Press TV: Sarah Marusek we just heard from two high-ranking military officers from Yemen who have defected to the side of the opposition. We have also seen tribal chiefs who have joined the opposition against Saleh. It's hard to see Saleh coming out of this, as he said he's going to do his most to defend his regime.

Sarah Marusek:These are definitely promising developments we're seeing in Yemen, finally. People have been coming to the streets everyday for so many days. It's very nice to see that now you have a lot of high-leveled defections happening.

I think this is a natural affect from what was happening last week when we had Saleh on Thursday saying he was willing to allow the country to draft a new constitution and only days later massive violence in the streets with people suffering, a lot of people were wounded and dying as well. And so I think that this really is the result of these conflicting actions by Saleh's regime, and many more are choosing to side with the protesters. So this a very good sign indeed for Yemen.

Press TV: Also can you give us your views on the reaction by Saleh, a couple weeks back, in which he has said that this has been orchestrated by Israel, under the watch of the US. It seems like there's a crack there at least on the surface of the tie Saleh has with the US. And of course we know Yemen serves in terms of the US, their interest with the fight against al-Qaeda?

Sarah Marusek: Indeed. Yemen is supposedly a key ally in the fight against al-Qaeda. Often time this is a sort of umbrella to allow arms shipment to be sent to Yemen to oppress Yemenis, not necessarily members of al-Qaeda.

So this has always been a very tenuous relationship on the ground although the US has held onto its ally President Saleh. Even last year US military aid to Yemen doubled, and so it's likely that a lot of the weapons being used against protesters are coming from this military aid from the US as well as the UK.

It's interesting to hear Saleh saying things like that, it also sounds very similar to what Gaddafi was saying in regards to the protests being promoted by the US or at the same time also being promoted by al-Qaeda.

I think these are just signs of desperate leaders who are trying to rally people maybe who aren't necessarily very involved with the protests. Maybe this is his attempt to get people who maybe aren't in the streets, because of political or economic reasons and he thinks that this is a way to mobilize them to support him, but it obviously isn't working at this point. This looks like the beginning of an end for Saleh.

Press TV: It's also interesting to look at the US recommendations to Yemen. US Advisor John Brennan said that President Barack Obama has urged Saleh to keep his pledge in terms of evolving power, but at the same time he said the opposition needs to support the plan. This in a way implies that the US wants Saleh to stay, does it?

Sarah Marusek: Absolutely. I think the Statement by Brennan is trying to make out that the protesters on the streets are in some way responsible for their current oppression, for the bullets that are being fired upon them. It seems absolutely ridiculous to call upon protesters to be responsible.

The call is that the protesters as well as the government have to come into dialogue. So there's no talk about really the government compromising, it's really more about the protesters having to disperse, and not take to the streets. So really it's a one way recommendation by the US, and it's not in any way supportive of the protest movement and the opposition. That was a really bad move, being now it seems that Saleh's regime is starting to crumble.

Press TV: I also want to mention Bahrain, in which one of the highlights of its developments today have been the Saudi military's movement into Bahrain. This comes as US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Bahrain and there's speculation that he may have had a hand in the approval of the Saudi military to move into Bahrain. Tell us what the repercussions of this may be because why would they need the Saudi forces? Why couldn't they just handle the situation themselves?

Sarah Marusek: This is of huge significance, who exactly requested the troops to come in? Was it the United States? Was it Secretary Gates when he was there on Saturday? Or was it the Saudi Monarchy? Or was it the Bahraini King, the Al-Khalifa regime.

It signals definite problems with Bahraini Monarchy and it shows that they're not necessarily going to make the concessions that they have been so-called offering for the last several weeks, and you may start seeing splitting as well. It's difficult because a lot of the forces King uses to defend his system are actually coming from Asia. They may be Bahraini citizens at this point but they're newly Bahraini citizens if at all, so the defections may not mean as much as they would in a place like Yemen.

Press TV: If indeed the US is the one who has given Saudi Arabia the approval for military intervention, as the UAE is also joining forces with Saudi Arabia, has it in a sense lost the clout in foreign policy in the region?

Sarah Marusek: I doubt that the US really ever had clout in foreign policy in this region and I think that the actions by Saudi Arabia are really similar to the actions of the Israeli occupation or the Iraqi occupation. And I think that this just shows a level of force in the face of democratic demonstrators. Some of them are even willing to still maintain a monarchy in Bahrain. They're not talking about radical changes in Bahrain; they're only talking about getting their rights, having access to jobs, to parliamentary seats.

So this is definitely a popular movement that the US should be supporting whole-heartedly, and instead it's allowing and ordering its allies' troops to invade the country. It's a huge disaster.

Source: Press TV

Warnings issued against travel to Bahrain and Yemen

By Elaine Attard
Malta, Mar 15, 2011-The Maltese government issued warnings against unnecessary travel to Bahrain and Yemen in view of the political unrest which is slowly escalating in the two Gulf counties.
According to government information there are 15 Maltese persons living in Bahrain and five in Yemen. Till yesterday, all expressed the wish to remain in their host country, however the Foreign Affairs Ministry is closely monitoring developments. The Maltese nationals were encouraged to keep in touch with their embassy in Riyadh.
The ministry recommended that the Maltese nationals leave Yemen using commercial means, as soon as they can, in the light of the intensity of unrest. There is tension and unrest in the country, which could deteriorate further, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, after confrontations between anti-government protesters and police intensified over the weekend, the government advised Maltese nationals to avoid unnecessary travel to Bahrain until further notice. The island state has seen a month of unrest with anti-government demonstrators demanding the reform of the monarchy.
Source: The Malta Independent Online

Information Ministry refutes reports of deporting foreign journalists

SANA'A, Mar 15, 2011- An informed source at the Ministry of Information denied on Tuesday media reports of deporting foreign journalists from Yemen

The source told Saba on Tuesday that "Immigration and Passport Authority has deported four foreigners due to their illegal stay in Yemen and violation of the visa and stay regulation."

Two of the foreigners entered the country in a tourist visa and overstayed, while the two others entered the country in a student visa to study Arabic language but they suspended study, the source added.

It made clear that they disappeared and lived in public neighborhoods and were arrested while impersonating reporters of foreign media without the ministry permission.

All journalists who enter the country and perform their works according to the followed laws and regulations are respected and given all kinds of support they need in Yemen, the source concluded.

Source: (Saba)

Foreign Ministry Recommends Ukrainian Citizens to Refrain From Making Trips To Yemen

Mar 15, 2011
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends Ukrainian citizens to refrain from making trips to Yemen.
Oleksandr Dikusarov, press secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced this to the press.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends citizens of Ukraine to refrain from trips to Yemen until stabilization of the situation in that country," he said.
Oleksandr Dikusarov said the situation in Yemen aggravates.
Although nine citizens of Ukraine are in the consular register in that country, Ukrainian diplomats have contacted 90 Ukrainian citizens living in Yemen.
No Ukrainian citizens are among victims of mass public unrest in Yemen.
Source: Ukrainian News Agency

Houthi sniper wounds soldier in Saada

SANA'A, March 15, 2011- A solider of the 107 Infantry Brigade has been injured by a Houthi sniper, Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry indicated that Houthi armed gangs have killed and wounded a number of citizens and soldiers in the governorate, saying that the security bodies will hunt those criminals involved in the crimes.

Source: (Saba)