Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anti and Pro Government Protests to be Held in all Yemen's Provinces

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Sana'a, Apr 21, 2011- Yemen's opposition, the Joint Meeting Parties, JMP, and youth revolution will hold huge protests against embattled Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh in all Yemen's provinces demanding his immediate ouster for him and his regime.

Tomorrow's Friday will be called by '' the Friday of Last Chance'' in which it will be held in Sana'a in Al-Seteen Steet for the first time.

Yemen's opposition and youths will hold the tenth Friday in which was preceded by nine before.

In return, the supporters of President Saleh will hold demonstrations in Yemen's capital, Sana'a and in the other provinces in "the Friday of Reconciliation".

Millions of anti- and pro government protesters hold huge demonstrations in all Yemen's provinces each Friday.

Lavrov urges conflicting parties in Yemen to negotiate

LJUBLJANA, April 21 (Itar-Tass) -- The conflicting parties in Yemen should negotiate and come to terms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in the wake of reports about a UN Security Council session on Yemen, which ended inconclusively, without adopting a joint statement.

"Nobody called for a vote,” said Lavrov. “There was a discussion of the situation and of what can be done to help."

"The Yemenis must agree among themselves," said Lavrov.

As Lavrov pointed out, the demands put forward by the opposition in many Arab countries are fair, but quite often, hoping for help from abroad, the opposition refuses to come to the negotiating table. Lavrov is certain that "it is up to the conflicting parties to seek accord, without expecting that someone would help them."

Earlier, the UN Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the situation in Yemen. At the consultations, convened at the initiative of Germany, UN Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe briefed the Security Council members on what was happening in that troubled country. Then, some delegations suggested adopting a statement for the press, but the delegations of Russia and China exercised their right to consult with their capitals.

Russia did not block the adoption of a Security Council statement on the situation in Yemen, a diplomatic source at the UN headquarters told Itar-Tass. "The question of issuing a UN Security Council statement on the situation in Yemen was raised without any prior discussion, so the Russian delegation in accordance with the rules of the Council exercised its right to consult with the capital," the interviewee said.

"The situation in Yemen requires a detailed study," the source said. He drew attention to the fact that after the closed consultations at the Council there followed a leak to the press.

"Information based on leaks from the UN Security Council is contrary to the rules of the Council," he said.

US Ambassador to Yemen solves gas crisis

By Mohammed al-Kibsi, Abdul-Aziz Oudah
Sana'a, Apr 21, 2011- A Yemeni government official source praised the efforts exerted by the ambassador of the United States to Yemen for convincing tribesmen affiliated to the Islah opposition party to stop blocking gas containers from reaching to the capital Sana’a and to other provinces from Marib province in the north of Yemen.
The capital Secretariat (Sana’a city) is witnessing a sever crisis in cooking gas as all cooking gas shops closed down in the face of people. Three months has now passed as the government and the opposition exchange mutual accusations over the causes of the gas disappearance since the beginning of the protests.
The Yemen Gas company announced Saturday importing twenty thousand tons of cooking gas from abroad, while the opposition says that they have already warned of such action because Yemen is a major liquefied gas exporter in commercial quantities and has exported 60 million tons last year to world markets.
An official statement announced that the cooking gas import is a temporary measure because subversive elements have disrupted Marib route, however the opposition “Islah party” accused in its website the national security authorities of holding the gas tankers at major entries and prevented them from entering the capital and the other governorates.
Official media said that efforts exerted by the ambassador of the United Striates of America to Yemen Gerald Feierstein during the past days resulted in convincing leaderships and military leaders that rebelled to open the road of Marib –Sana’a to facilitate transporting gas supplies to the rest of Yemeni provinces.
According to these Media elements from the JMP, especially from the Islah party, had under incitement by elders from the JMP and some military leaders who announced their rebellion against the constitutional legitimacy, had blocked the road to prevent trailers from transporting cooking gas for more than four weeks now and that caused a real crisis in providing gas for the citizens and caused them suffering in this regard.
The Yemeni government has expressed its thanking and appreciation for the efforts of the US ambassador for convincing leaderships of the JMP that are behind this act to allow the passage of gas supplies as the first that are affected are the citizens rather than the regime.
In a related issue a security source in Marib said that a JMP dominated tribe, particularly by the Islah party are disrupting the route at several points on Marib –Sana’a route and have looted and burned down some of the gas tankers to prevent them from reaching Sana’a , adding that these elements have stopped Saturday two gas tankers and burned them after threatening with death the security unit escorting them.
The commander of the two gun mounted vehicles guarding the tankers, lieutenant Ahmed al-Hafashi said that a large group of gunmen have burnt down the two gas tankers after heated arguments with the guarding force in Madghal area, when the gunmen fired at the tankers while the drivers and the guarding force personnel ran for their lives because the attackers were greater in number and were armed with heavy weapons.
The Yemeni Gas company has regretted in an official statement the continued subversive actions by outlaws who interrupt the gas tankers, especially those on their way to the capital. The company expected to distribute large amounts of cooking gas within the next two days and supply all Yemeni markets with this vital commodity pointing out that the overall daily need of the Capital Secretariat and all governorates is 80 gas tankers.
Citizens in many residential neighborhoods had cut off roads and main streets, held demonstrations and gatherings as shots were heard during some of these gatherings communities leading to security forces interventions. There were clashes in some areas such as the al- Ragas, al-Zira’a and other areas.
Cooking gas shops’ owners deny that that they are the cause of the crisis as there are different reports of those behind the crisis. The shops owners say that the Gas company has stopped supplying them for two months now, since the beginning of the youth protests, adding that the company only supplies relatives of influential tribal and areas’ leaders.
Some areas have registered the names of families living in the Capital areas to supply them with gas so as to prevent tampering with prices, however citizens say that three weeks have passed since the registration and no gas was provided with the appearance of some trucks selling the gas cylinders at YR (3700 -5000.)
A national alliance for combating natural liquefied gas’ deal and other suspicious transactions 'an entity afiliated to the Joint Meeting opposition Parties' has accused the government of stopping the cooking gas supplies from entering the capital through one of the Republican Guard’s units outside Sana’a, alleging that unit 312 of the Republican Guard has prevented 200 gas tankers from entering Sana’a.
Commenting on news from Saba news agency of the arrival of a Russian Gas vessel to Aden port, the chairman of the Executive Alliance Authority, Mohammed al-Absi said, “ We have warned, in vain, of the disastrous consequences of natural liquefied gas deal on the Yemeni people, because while the Yemeni gas is sold to Korea at $ 13 per thousand cubic feet, we import it from Russia at the world prices of $ 32.
The Yemeni Oil Minister said that the cooking gas crisis that Yemen is witnessing since the beginning of this year, is due to tribal disruption to gas tankers, adding that since his appearance at the Parliament in 2010, the interruptions to the gas route of Sana’a – Marib which supplies the capital and other governorates have escalated. He pointed out that since January of this year the Marib route North of Sana’a has seen 30 cutoffs while it has seen 80 interruptions in 2009.
Source: Yemen Observer

UAE official due in Yemen soon

SANA'A, April 21 (Saba) - UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al Nahyan will arrive in Yemen for a three-day official visit.

Well-informed source declared the UAE official would hold talks with Yemeni officials from the government and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMPs) to review visions presented by the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in regard to implementing the GCC's initiative to address Yemen's current crisis.

During his visit, al Nahyan will also discuss ways of enhancing cooperation aspects as well as joint coordination between Yemen and the UAE in several fields to serve the common interests, the source added.

One Soldier Killed and others Wounded

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Sana'a, Apr 21, 2011- At least one soldier was killed and others injured during clashes between republican guards and tribesmen in Yemen's southern province of Lahj.

Sources said that tribesmen from Southern Movement attacked a camp belong to the republican guards in Yefea district killing at least one soldier and wounding others.

Sporadic clashes have been continuing for months between tribesmen from Jabel Ali area demanding the moving of the republican guard camp to another area.

Gulf region envoy in Yemen to discuss crisis

By Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Ghobari

Apr 21, 2011

SANAA (Reuters) - The Gulf Cooperation Council's secretary general met Yemen's president in Sanaa on Thursday to present the GCC's views on ending a political crisis threatening to plunge the country into further violence.

Gulf Arab and Western states -- long-time backers of President Ali Abdullah Saleh -- have been seeking to negotiate an orderly transition of power to end over three months of unrest.

Protesters demanding democratic reforms in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state insist the veteran president step down after 32 years in power.

A Yemeni official told Reuters GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani presented Saleh with a new initiative, developed after the GCC met both government and opposition representatives this week.

"We welcome this new initiative and we will deal with it positively," the official said, but he declined to give any details.

Earlier in April, a GCC initiative proposed presidential powers be transferred to the vice president until an election and promised Saleh and his relatives immunity from prosecution.

The opposition rejected it and Saleh, who officially accepted that proposal, has given mixed signals on his readiness to step down. He voiced defiance again on Wednesday, saying he would stand firm amid "conspiracies and coups."

"Those who want power or to gain the seat of power should do so through the ballot box," he said. "Change and departure will be through voting via the legal framework of the constitution."

Saleh has said he would not seek reelection when his term ends in 2013, and later vowed to stand down this year after organizing parliamentary and presidential elections.

But the opposition and protesters have little faith in his promises and want him to quit first.

"This speech is to raise spirits, but it's no longer logical because the people have had their say, they say an immediate departure is necessary," said Sultan al-Atwani, the leader of Yemen's Nasserist party, part of an opposition coalition.

"It (the government) needs to prepare for its departure, voluntarily or by force."


Yemeni officials also expect a visit on Saturday from the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates.

Opposition leaders said it was unclear if Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, currently the president of the GCC's rotating council, would also meet them.

As rounds of negotiations drag on, violence has flared. Protesters tested security forces' limits by marching past the defense and other ministries in Sanaa on Wednesday and burning tires in the streets of Taiz, south of the capital.

The death toll has been rising. Six people died from their wounds when police opened fire at protests in Sanaa and Taiz on Tuesday, bringing the count of demonstrators killed to 123.

The potential for fractious Yemen to further descend into chaos or bloodshed has been a concern for Washington and neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer.

Both countries are intended targets for al Qaeda, which has reestablished itself in mountainous Yemen in recent years.

Saleh has warned of chaos if he is forced out of office, suggesting there could be civil war and militants could benefit.

But the opposition, which includes the Islamist Islah party, says it could do better at maintaining control and accuses Saleh of making deals with militant groups in the past.