Friday, March 18, 2011

President announces state of emergency, ban on carrying arms

SANA'A, March 18 (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced on Friday decision of the National Defense Council to impose a state of emergency across the republic, in addition to banning carrying arms in the capital Sana'a and the capitals of other governorates.

In a press conference held today, Saleh expressed his sorrow for the deaths and injuries took place today among citizens in Sana'a.

"There was a communication between Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries for mediation to heal the rip among the political parties in Yemen," Saleh said, affirming that what happened on Friday caused failure to these moves to bridge the gap and avoid bloodshed.

He renewed the early announced directives for all security systems to protect pro and anti- government sit-ins.

President expressed displeasure with the spread of anti-government protests in residential areas which annoys people living in such neighborhoods, pointing out that what happened was a result of confrontations between the locals and the protesters.

He affirmed that police did not fire any bullet as they are anti-riots police and do not carry any weapons.

Saleh said that if the protesters want to continue their sit-in, they should find other areas away from residential areas to avoid confrontations with the locals.

"A committee from neutral bodies has been formed to investigate incidents in Sana'a, Aden, Taiz, Abyan, Mareb, Jawf and Hudeidah to reveal reasons behind the incidents and to know who is responsible either the government or opposition," he said.

He considered those who were killed and injured as martyrs of democracy, affirming that the government will take care of their families.

In the news conference, Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri highlighted the circumstances of the incidents saying that preliminary information had revealed that the sit-inners outside Sana'a University have been attempting to break in houses nearby the university forcing the owners to form popular committees to protect their properties and homes.

"After the Friday inciting sermon outside the university, the sit-inners headed to the inhabited areas near the university destroying the barriers built by the people to prevent the sit-inners from pitching more tents and violent clashes took place then," said al Masri.

Armed people joined the sit-inners a week ago, he said, pointing out that the riot police did not have weapons to take control of the situation.

The riot police had nothing to do with the deadly violence and to the committees formed there by the people annoyed by the sit-inners, he said, urging media to clarify this fact to the public opinion.

Regarding the number of the victims, he said there were 25 dead and about 102 others injured from both sides, adding that some houses were burned and looted and that some of the owners of the houses were arrested and a man was thrown from over his house.

Defense Council expresses regret over university developments

SANA'A, March 18 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh chaired on Friday the meeting of the National Defense Council and government leaders that discussed the regrettable developments at Sana'a University in Yemen's capital on Friday.

The Council heard the report of Interior Minister which said that a number of the sit-inners outside the university moved after the Friday inciting sermon to nearby inhabited areas destroying cement barriers and breaking into some houses.

The sit-inners looted and burned houses and also threw a citizen from over his house and then deadly clashes between them and the people took place in which live bullets, sticks and rocks were used, the report said. The riot police tried to take control of the situation without weapons but they could not, added the report.

The Council expressed regret over the victims and approved to form a panel to investigate the incidents comprising of Justice and Human Rights Ministers, Chief Prosecutor and the State General Lawyer and three other members from the Joint Meeting Parties, the opposition coalition.

Furthermore, the Council ordered to list those who were dead as martyrs and to treat the injured.

Because of the current situation and to preserve the public security and the national unity and protect the private and public properties, the Council declared a state of emergency for 30 days.

Other issues on the agenda were discussed as well.

Republican decree over state of emergency in Yemen

SANA'A, March 18 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued on Friday the republican decree No 65 for 2011 declaring a state of emergency for 30 days in the country following the deadly events at Sana'a University after the Friday prayers.

The state of emergency was announced because of the riots and the attacks against private and public properties in some Yemeni cities including the capital Sana'a which can lead to civil war threatening the national unity, the public security and peace and Yemen's stability.

Yemen prepares to move its citizens in Japan within 48 hours

TOKYO, March 18 - The Yemeni embassy in Japan is currently preparing to help 13 Yemeni people, mostly children and women, in the quake-rattled Japan travel within 48 hours as directed by President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the cost of the Yemeni government.

In a statement by the Yemeni ambassador to Japan Marwan Numan to Saba, he pointed out that the embassy is in direct contact with the Yemeni community who are figured at 51 people.

The ambassador affirmed that there are no injuries or harms incurred on any Yemeni citizen in Japan.

Source: (Saba)

US condemns Yemen crackdown in 'strongest terms'

NEW YORK, Mar 18, 2011- President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism official condemned Friday "in the strongest terms" a brutal crackdown on protesters in Yemen that he said would "just feed extremism."

Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan, who has spoken several times to President Ali Abdullah Saleh in recent days, said he would call the Yemeni leader again later on Friday to raise his concerns.

In a bloodbath Friday in the capital Sanaa at least 41 people were killed and more than 200 wounded, raising the death toll in almost a month of protests against Saleh's 32-year rule to more than 70.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the use of force," Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan told journalists in New York, describing reports of the crackdown as "very disturbing."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also called Friday for an end to the violence.

"With regard to Yemen, our message remains the same. The violence needs to end, negotiations need to be pursued in order to reach a political solution," Clinton told journalists in Washington.

Source: (AFP)

Yemen's Tourism Minister Resigns from the Ruling Party

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Sana'a, Mar 18, 2011- Yemen's Tourism Minister, Nabil Al-Fakeh announced on Friday his resignation from the ruling General People Congress, and from his position as a minister of Tourism.

Al-Fakeh attributed his resignation to the current political situation in Yemen, and to the negative aspect of the Yemeni authorities and in protest of the violence against protesters demanding the fall of Saleh's regime, becoming the first cabinet member to defect in the crisis.

Last month, Yemen's Tourism Minister offered an initiative for President Ali Abdullah Saleh in which he urged him to hold presidential elections soon and in coincidence with parliamentary elections, expected at year end.