Friday, April 8, 2011

Two Pro-Saleh Protesters Killed in Sana'a

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Sana'a, Apr 8, 2011- At least two pro-government protesters were killed by the military loyal to General Ali Mohsen near change square in Sana'a.

Sources said the military attacked pro-Saleh protesters while they were coming from a rally for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. No more details were reported.

Anti Saleh Protesters Continue Protesting in Yemen

Apr 8, 2011

Millions of anti government protesters gathered for the 10th Friday of the revolution throughout the country demanding the fall of President Saleh's regime. The capital Sanaa saw the biggest anti protest since the beginning of the revolution where nearly one million took the streets.

Anti government chants continued for hours repeating, "O world listen to our demands, family rule has destroyed us."

"Oh Yemen revolt revolt, march towards the republican guards."

Just miles away from Sanaa change square, pro Saleh supporters continued to gather in large numbers. Saleh has been trying to send a message to all that if he steps down from power he does so with power and love of the people. "Yemen is in favor of President Saleh, but he is willing to step down for the love of the people," said senior Saleh official Yasser Awadhi.

Saleh and his ruling party has showed anger at the GCC initiative as it calls for Saleh to step down and guarentees immunity to him and his family. "This is degrading for the president, and the GCC is working in favor of those who want unconstitutional change in power," said Zaid Thari, a political advisor for President Saleh. "Saleh was elected democratically and shouldn't be forced to leave power."

Anti regime protesters in change square focused their speeches assuring the international community that the next government will fight terrorism and Al-Qaeda to ensure a safer future. "No one supports Al-Qaeda and the millions here will fight them," said revolution youth media spokesperson Adel Rabyee.

Hamood Hitar, the head of the government rehabilitation system for Al-Qaeda suspects preached the youth protesters today saying that Saleh's government used the al-Qaeda file to gain financial support while it knows it is not a real threat. "Al-Qaeda is not 10% of what the international media pictures it. The current regime wants Al-Qaeda to be an issue to receive international funds," said Hitar.

Revolution protesters gathered in nearly all of Yemen' provinces with Taiz, Hodieda, and Aden all gathering more than 400,000 each.

In Taiz, a girl was shot dead today by republican gaurd forces as she was protesting with her mother. Angered at the shooting, protesters starting marching towards the governors office. No clashes were reported.

Meanwhile, the organizing committee for the youth protesters rejected the GCC initaitive saying it does not fulfill all the demands of the youth. The commitee said that Saleh will not be forgiven by the people and will stand in front of international courts no matter what the negotaitions lead to. "He is behind the killing of innocent people. Be will not be forgiven," said an organizing committee representative.

Source: Yemen Post

Three protesters killed in Taiz

Taiz, Apr 8, 2011- Three anti regime protesters were killed and tens injured in Taiz when republican guards attacked protesters according to the medical team in Taiz change square. The attack took place at 8pm and at least four are in critical condition.

Earlier in the day, one protester was killed and hundreds injured when security forces attacked anti Saleh protesters.

Security forces accused the protesters of trying to cause chaos in the province and attempting to attack governmental property.

Source: Yemen Post

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Freezes Aid To Yemen

By Eyder Peralta

Apr 8, 2011-

In an exclusive, The Wall Street Journal reports that just as the protests against Yemen's president kicked off, the United States was in the beginning stages of sending a massive aid package to the country. But as President Ali Abdullah Saleh's people turned against him, the U.S. suspended the aid:

The first installment of the package, worth a potential $1 billion or more over several years, was set to be made in February, marking the White House's largest bid at securing President Ali Abdullah Saleh's allegiance in its battle against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group behind the failed underwear bombing in 2009 and the foiled air-cargo bombing plot in October.

For Mr. Saleh, the money would help shore up his shaky political position and reward the risks he took by bucking popular opinion and letting U.S. Special Forces hunt down militants inside his country.

But before the first check could be written, anti-Saleh protesters took to San'a's streets in an echo of antiregime demonstrations across the region. The Obama administration's suspension of the new aid spotlighted the unraveling of a troubled anti-terror alliance with a man who has ruled Yemen like a family fiefdom for three decades.

Throughout the protests, the U.S. has seemed firmly behind Saleh. But, as Foreign Policy explains, this weekend the U.S. finally threw Saleh "under the bus:"

On Tuesday, the Pentagon made it official, with spokesman Geoff Morrell saying the United States was "urging a negotiated transition [of power] as quickly as possible."

The relationship between Saleh and the U.S. is complicated. This BBC report on WikiLeaks documents released in December gives some background on how Saleh took responsibility for bombings carried out by the U.S., but then had no qualms about reneging on letting U.S. ground troops in the country.

But if the relationship between Saleh and the U.S. is complicated, the same diplomatic cables revealed the relationship between Saleh and the general of the Yemeni military is more intense.

More than a year before General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar took the side of the protesters, the Yemeni government almost tricked Saudi pilots into attacking al-Ahmar's headquarters by telling them the coordinates were of a rebel base. The Saudi pilots found the request strange and did not go through with the bombing.

Today, The Washington Post reports:

A senior aide to the general confirmed the version of events described in the cable. "This was not the first attempt by the president and regime to kill him," said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The aide said Saleh's staff gave the Saudis "the coordinates in a way to mislead them."Mohsen was inside the headquarters at the time, the aide said.

Ahmed al-Sufi, a spokesman for Saleh, denied the allegations and challenged the veracity of the cable. "It has no basis of truth, whatsoever," he said.

U.S. welcomes GCC effort to address Yemen crisis

Fri Apr 8, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Friday it welcomed efforts by the Gulf Coordination Council to address Yemen's political crisis and said all parties must take part in the effort for it to succeed.

President: We refuse foreign interference in Yemen affairs

SANA'A, April 08 (Saba)- Millions of supporters of the constitutional legitimacy, security and stability demonstrated on Friday at Al-Sabeen Square in the capital Sana'a where President Ali Abdullah Saleh welcomed them.

"We depend on our strength and trust on you and we take our legitimacy from the Yemeni great people, not from Qatar as this is a clear intervention in the Yemeni affairs and we reject what Al Jazeera dictates because we own our will," Saleh said.

He added that the will of the Yemeni people must be respected by sister and friend countries, rejecting working against democracy which Yemen adopted on May 22, 1990.

President greeted in his speech the Yemeni people, men and females, wherever they are whether they are in cities or villages for their national feelings.