Monday, March 21, 2011

Yemen Countdown


March 21, 2011, 3:51 pm

It’s hard to see how President Ali Abdullah Saleh can hold on. Only 45 minutes or so after Al Jazeera published the list below, Yemen’s Embassy in London, including its ambassador, flew the coop. Saleh dismissed his own cabinet on Sunday; three of his ministers had already resigned. Now senior military figures are turning on him.

The Magazine’s cover article on Yemen seems as if it were published a very long time ago, except it wasn’t. The headline, “Is Yemen the Next Afghanistan?” feels anachronistic; today we would probably ask, Is it the next Egypt?

From Al Jazeera’s Yemen live blog, shortly before 2 p.m. New York time:

8:41pm (Yemen time): An update of the rapidly growing list of defections and resignations in Yemen:

Army Officers:

Brigadier Ali Mohsen Saleh, head of the North Western Military Zone

Brigadier Hameed Al koshebi, head of brigade 310 in Omran area

Brigadier Mohammed Ali Mohsen, head of the Eastern Division

Brigadier Nasser Eljahori, head of brigade 121

General Ali Abdullaha Aliewa, adviser of the Yemeni supreme leader of the army

General Faisal Rajab, based in the southern province of Lahij

“Dozens of officers of various ranks” – AFP


Abdel-Wahhab Tawaf, Ambassador to Syria

Mohammed Ali al-Ahwal, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Ambassador to Jordan

Ambassador to Egypt

Ambassador to Kuwait

Ambassador to China

Ambassador to Algeria

Ambassador to Indonesia

Ambassador to Iraq

Ambassador to Qatar

Ambassador to Belgium

Ambassador to Pakistan

Ambassador to Czech Republic

Ambassador to Spain

Ambassador to Germany

Ambassador to Oman

Ambassador to the UN

Charge d’affairs to Tunisia

Representative to the Arab League

All embassy staff in Washington except the ambassador

Local Officials:

Ahmed Qaatabi, Governor of Yemen’s southern province of Aden

Himyar al-Ahmar, Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Mayor of Aden

3 MPs

Advisor of Yemen’s premiership

Source: The New York Times

Growing pressure from Europe for Yemeni leader to step down

Mar 21, 2011

Paris/Brussels - France and Italy called Monday on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign, with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe saying he believed his departure was 'unavoidable.'

International outrage mounted after some 52 people died and hundreds were injured on Friday, as security forces attacked protesters calling for Saleh's ouster in the capital Sana'a.

'We say to Yemen, where the situation is worsening, we believe today that the departure of President Saleh is unavoidable,' Juppe said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

His Italian counterpart, Franco Frattini, said the EU needed to take the same line it had taken with Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi after he was accused of shooting his own people - he was told then to 'relinquish power immediately.'

'When people are killed in the streets, when there are these kinds of action, Europe should always intervene in the same way,' Frattini told reporters.

But a joint statement issued by EU ministers after their meeting was more measured, calling only for 'an orderly political transition' and urging the Yemeni government 'to engage in constructive, comprehensive and inclusive dialogue.'

The ministers' remarks came as Yemeni ambassadors to Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin and London and the consul in Frankfurt sent a message to the president 'asking him to respond to the demands of the people and resign to avoid bloodshed.'

The news was reported by France's Le Monde newspaper, which quoted Khaled Al-Akwaa, the ambassador to France.

In a further signal of the international community giving Saleh the cold shoulder, Frattini said that a 'Friends of Yemen' meeting planned for next week in Saudi Arabia had been cancelled.

The developments follow a series of defections by top security officials to the opposition and the reported resignations of several ambassadors, including the ambassadors to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Nations.

Source: M&C

Yemen beats Singapore 3-0 on aggregate in relocated Olympic qualifiers due to protests

By Associated Press, Monday, March 21, 3:23 PM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Yemen won a two-match series against Singapore 3-0 on aggregate in 2012 Olympic qualifying after winning 1-0 Monday despite having to play in a neutral country due to anti-government protests at home.
Mohammed al-Khadher Ahmed al-Ambari scored in the 14th minute at Khalifa Stadium to reward a dominant display by Yemen. It was his second goal in two matches.
FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation chose Al Ain as the neutral venue after deciding the Yemen capital of Sanaa was unsafe due to the protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The move came after the two-leg series was twice delayed.
Yemen will find out its second-round opponent in the March 30 draw. Matches will be played June 19 and 23.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ban Ki-moon Contradictory on Yemen and Libya

by PL — last modified Mar 21, 2011

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned violence against civilians in Yemen, but justified the Western bombings of Libya, asking the world to "speak with one voice" on that aggression.

In a joint press conference in Cairo with the secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, Ban praised the support given by the 22-nation bloc to strong and decisive measures against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

Ban condemned the use of live ammunition against the anti-government protests in Sanaa, and urged an end to repression against peaceful demonstrators, while also expressing concern about uprisings in other Arab nations.

Apart from criticizing the regime of President Ali Abdulah Saleh, Ban referred to the current situation in Libya and said that is important that the international community speaks with one voice to implement the second resolution of the UN Security Council.

Ban said that the without the support of the Arab community it would have been impossible to implement the resolution approved on March 18, which was seen as a response to Moussa after he tried to correct the Arab League's stance on Sunday and condemned the indiscriminate bombings of Libya.

Yemen imports cooking gas as local supply is cut

Date: 20 Mar 2011

Ali Saeed

SANA'A, March 20- The Yemeni government said on Sunday that a ship carrying around 6,400 tons of cooking gas is on its way to Yemen's shores.

This shipment will ease the acute shortage of gas in the country caused by the suspension of the local supply from Marib due to the ongoing unrest in the country, Mohamed Al-Bawsani, director of the technical department at the Yemen Gas Company, a state-owned company responsible for the marketing and supply of cooking gas.

The Safer cooking gas plant in Marib and Aden oil refineries fill Yemen's domestic supply of cooking gas. According to the director, whenever there is a crisis, Yemen resorts to imports.

"Trucks supplying gas cylinders from Safer to Sana'a and from Sana'a to other cities were suspended from bringing gas due to the unrest in the country," he said.

Al-Bawsani explained that the company has stores of cooking gas cylinders stockpiled in the capital Sana'a and other Yemeni cities to face similar shortages. At the moment the company, distributes the gas itself directly to citizens in its shops around various cities.

He highlighted that the company is looking for an alternative supply to use until the nationwide uprising is over.

Mohamed Hassan, a citizen in Sana'a city told the Yemen Times that he has been looking for gas for a week and could not find any. He claims that gas shops in Sana'a are running out of gas cylinders.

"I went to several gas shops in my area, but there was nothing," Hassan said.

Abdo Al-Hubaishi, a gas shop owner in Sana'a said that his shop has been short of gas for more than a week. He is now waiting for the gas company to provide him with supplies so his customers can obtain gas in his neighborhood.

Um Khaleel, a housewife in Hodeida told the Yemen Times that she has been looking for gas for two weeks ago and could not find any.

"The gas suppliers here distribute only to a few people and many citizens are left without gas for their homes," she said.

Al-Bawsani said that this shortage has caused a panic among citizens and has resulted in an increase in demand for gas nationwide.

"Some people want to buy more than they need. We have seen some people who usually buy two cylinders and now want to buy seven," he said.

Source: Yemen Times (YCPMI)

UK "extremely disturbed" by events in Yemen: Cameron

LONDON, Mar 21, 2011- (Reuters) - Britain is "extremely disturbed" by events in Yemen, which has been torn by protests and violence, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

"We're obviously extremely disturbed by what is happening in Yemen, particularly the recent events, and we've urged every country in that region to respond to the aspirations of its people with reform and not with repression," Cameron told parliament.

Snipers killed 52 anti-government protesters on Friday, prompting President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sack his cabinet and declare a state of emergency for 30 days.