Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yemen tribes unite to hasten Saleh's overthrow

July 31, 2011

YEMENI'S tribal leaders have announced the creation of a coalition to bolster six months of popular protests seeking civil rights and the overthrow of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"Saleh will not rule us as long as I am alive," Sheik Sadiq al-Ahmar, the powerful head of the Hashid tribe, said after being appointed head of the new coalition against the Saudi-backed regime.

The Alliance of Yemeni Tribes was revealed during a ceremony at the headquarters of the First Armoured Division, whose leader, dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmad, joined the protest movement in March.

The coalition pledged "to protect and defend . . . the popular and peaceful revolution" of Yemenis, who have been holding sit-ins and protests throughout the nation since January against the Saleh regime.

"Any aggression or threat against the protest venues . . . will be considered an attack against the tribes," the group said.

Mr Saleh belongs to the Hashid tribe, which backed the regime until it broke ranks to join the protest movement in March.

The veteran Yemeni strongman has been in hospital in Saudi Arabia since early June, reportedly for operations on wounds he suffered in a bomb attack on his presidential palace.

Up to 600 leaders and tribal chiefs attended the ceremony on Saturday, where a 116-member consultative council was formed to challenge the Saleh regime.

Tribal leaders wield much influence in Yemen. In March, Sheik Sadiq announced his support for the protesters and called for the overthrow of Mr Saleh, who has ruled for 33 years.

Source: The Australian

What are the causes of Yemen current economic crises?

By: Fares Anam

Sana'a, July 31, 2011- What are the causes of Yemen current economic crises? And who stands behind it? And what is the real solution to end it?

As Usual, Yemenis are ready to receive the Holy Month of Ramadan, but this year it seems different. Citizen began its reception by new dose of increased fuels by 130%. Yemeni markets witnessed a drastic increase in some necessary and basic foods, leading joy to tun into sadness. Yemen has witnessed an economic collapse crisis since five months. Yemen Observer went to the streets of Sana’a and asked people about the real reason of the collapse of the economic situation in Yemen and who stands behind it? And what’s the real solution to solve the economic crisis? This is what people had to say about it.

Thaer alqahtani 26 Logistic assistant I can tell you briefly that a lot of people are out of job since what happened (demonstrations) and what they said “they go out for the poor people”, it is not true at all “it is all lies”. Now everyone will suffer because what is happening.

Even the rich people are suffering by closing their business. In addition, some people were fired from their occupations.

A lot of western companies are closing and there will be fewer jobs available. Also, Yemen will suffer the worst crises in YEMEN’s history Because of the unstable situation a lot of investment will take place in other countries, they will find a stable place and peaceful people.

Actually, this crisis will extend and not only in the economic area but also in the social area such as the relationship in the family.

The real answer about who’s behind it? I can’t think of a person or a society or country or anybody.

I asked everyone, whether in Yemen or outside. Yemenis must concert endeavors to preservation the Economic from tumbling till disaster. We proclaim the wise leaders whom have huge influences between all parties to see for Yemen first before “An axe hit our Heads”.

The solution in my point of view is the election. We should be more civilized and follow the system; we are not in the jungle we should respect each other and go to the ballot box.

This is the final step for everything that is happening; but also the beginning of a new system.Even though it will be a little difficult, it will start to run and we will start a normal life again without fighting for who governs Yemen.

Abdulraheem al-Tam Employee In my point of view, the reason of this economic crisis is the sins that people committed in their life and those people who are sitting in the change square lead by the joint meeting party are the real reason of this crisis.

The government also involved in exaggerating this problem by cutting fuel and electricity power. I think the real solution to get rid of this crisis is returning to ALLAH and leaving the sins and returning to the Quran. The Youth and people who are protesting in all squares must return to their homes because the revolution failed. They did not do anything when the president left to Saudi Arabia for treatment.

The government must work hard to end this problem to make people fast the holy month of Ramadan peacefully.

Omar Basha 22, Security employee In my point of view, Yemenis are living these days with concern because of the coming of Ramadan and continuing the demonstrations in the streets since six months. This political crisis leads to an economical crisis with a shortage of fuel, diesel and skyrocketing food prices.

This crisis doubled every day and our economic collapsed because of the disaster caused by the bombing oil pipelines and electricity towers in Marib. I think there are outlawed people whose stand behind this crisis and living in al-Hasabah or in Arhab.

We ask all people who have religious and humanist conscience to rule their mind and deal with this crisis in a rational way because Yemen comes first before any personal benefits. Protestors shall not wage war on the state and nation.

The youth must make concessions like the President Saleh made to avoid chaos in Yemen. We can’t live in this bad economic situation in Ramadan. I think that we must turn to the right path and protesters must give concessions to end this crisis.

Almeqdad Jameel, 25 Administrative officer The cause of the bad economic situation in Yemen is the weakness of the current government and its satisfaction with this situation in order to be a crisis, not a revolution. It is a crisis contrived by the regime that leads to lack of oil derivatives.

The electricity power functioned upon the arrival of the United Nations delegate and shut down upon their departure and that it is evidence that confirms that it is a fabricated crisis.

I confirm that it is a revolution not an artificial economic crisis by the regime. I see that the best solution to end this crisis is to hand over power peacefully to the hands of young people.

Because the wheel of history will not be turned back, no matter how fabricated crises forms like oil, electricity or water or food and beware of manipulation of the living of the poor citizen, which will lead to an (armed) revolution. I mean when the citizen can’t find anything to fill his hunger, so he will take it by force. Fadhle Makki, 30 Translator & Interpreter All of us here in Yemen are suffering from a very difficult situation nowadays.

But, it is not a new thing for Yemen. Why Yemen? Why not one of our neighboring countries? Why everyone blame the other. The government blames the opposition parties, and the opposition parties blame the government. Even people started to blame each others.

So, who is to blame for this crisis? As a matter of fact, we can not blame any of those alone. We are a whole community and integrated components that form this whole society which combines together to form this country we all love “Yemen.” If it is so, who is left to blame for the aggressive conditions we are passing through, and what is the best way to get us out of it. In the first lines above, a question was asked “why Yemen.”

The answer is Selfishness. Some wonder might arise like “what does selfishness have to do with all this?” But after thinking deeply, the answer will be as clear as the afternoon sun. Selfishness is the reason for all the bad things that happens to Yemen which we are all part of it. Most people think about themselves.

Their idea about developing and improving this country is absolutely wrong. They think that improving themselves individually will improve the whole country. If they are well, Yemen will be well.

That is the reason why anyone, who gets a higher position in any governmental facility, department or section, starts thinking of how to get individual benefits for himself, how to develop himself, not the country.

They did not realize that by developing the whole country, they will develop themselves and others at the same time. So, the solution is so easy and clear.

But we all have to participate to implement it; the government, the opposition parties and every individual in this country.

We all have to leave selfishness behind and think of the good things we have to do for the whole integrated society to create a happy Yemen again. We have to dispose of the grudge we hide against each others. If it is difficult to just think of Yemen and think of “us” not “me.”

Air raids killed our allies, says Yemen government

Sunday 31 July 2011

Air strikes in southern Yemen targeting militants supposedly linked to al-Qaida accidentally killed 40 pro-government tribesmen on Saturday, Yemeni authorities have admitted.

Government forces are battling various opposition groups across Yemen, from within the capital to many of the outlying regions, as an uprising against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh that began six months ago has proved impossible to crush.

US-ally Mr Saleh has been in hospital in Saudi Arabia for over a month but has so far refused to give up power, insisting that he must "oversee" any planned elections.

The military have been commanded by his son in his absence.

AQAP publishes the biographies of its members killed in Yemen

Majid al-Kibsi

Jul 31, 2011

Sana'a - Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula announced the names and the biography of its members who were killed at Abyan in its latest issue of inspire magazine last week.

The last issue of inspire Magazine run by al-Qaeda mentioned the name of its members who were killed by the Yemeni Army during the conflict in Abyan and the cover held a photo for Osama Bin Laden who was killed in an American assault operation in Pakistan in May.

Qaid Salim Talib Snian al-Harithi also known in AQAP as Abu Ali al-Harithi, During the fighting in Abyan, his vehicle was struck by a missile from an American drone according to the magazine. The Ministry of Defense said that he was killed in a car explosion in Marib in addition to six other members. Al-Harithi was ranked by the Yemeni Authorities as the most wanted man from al-Qaeda. He was considered as the main planner of attacking the USS Cole destroyer on December 12,2000.

Ammar al-Wa’ili started fighting with Al-Qaeda in a very early time in his life. His father was a leader of the Jihadist in Yemen who was appointed by Osama bin Laden to open a training camp in the area of Sa’adah. This was where the young boy spent his early years. He traveled to Afghanistan as a young boy and spent years fighting and training with al-Qaeda. Hassan al-Aqili, also known as Fawaz al-Ma’ribi, He and six other members were about to execute an operation on a large checkpoint near Aden.

He was the Amir. “The operation began. The mujahidin ravaged the checkpoint in no time, killing everyone except one soldier. He ran somewhere and hid himself. He was a sniper. As Fawaz went to look for him as a lion looks for its prey, the sniper shot him in the neck.” Said the article about him and continued “The bullet entered from the side of his neck and came out the back. He let out a laugh and collapsed to the earth.

The brothers quickly rushed to the apostate. Then one of them took out a knife and severed his head.” Al-Aqili was the person in the cover of Inspire fourth issue according to the magazine.

Ali Saleh Farhan, From the tribe of al-Jalal in Marib, Ali Saleh was hit in the chest by a sniper’s bullet while fighting in Abyan. Sami al-Dali (AKA Abu Hatim ) from Habrah, Sana’a. He attended a college in Sana’a to study and within the first few days, he left it and joined al-Qaeda.

The Magazine also reviewed the biography of Abu Hashim al-Sana’ani. When in Sana’a, he took part in various operations with the brothers. He was an active member of AQAP in their fight against al-Houthies and quickly became an expert in light and heavy weaponry.

When he was posted in Saada, he trained the brothers in weapons. The inspire Magazine is now being distributed via internet, and it contains information regarding the Jihadists, fatwas, training of using weapons and instructions to make bombs.

Source: Yemen Observer

Senator Casey: Al-Qaida is a threat in Yemen

July 30, 2011

By Sen. Bob Casey Jr.

Since the beginning of the year, we have seen stories of political transformation across the Middle East in places such as Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain and Syria. Similar unrest has occurred in Yemen, the only Middle Eastern country experiencing a political transition where al-Qaida maintains a vibrant presence.

From the attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000 to recent attacks in the last two years, Yemen has been used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks on the U.S. The implications of the transition in Yemen will have a significant impact on U.S. national security, requiring a deliberate and thoughtful response. This is why I chaired a recent Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing to examine these concerns.

During this period of sweeping change in the Middle East, Yemen often goes overlooked. However, the power vacuum left by President Abdullah Saleh’s evacuation to Saudi Arabia after an assassination attempt in June has led to serious questions over the government’s ability to prevent al-Qaida from gaining a stronghold in the country, as well as broader concerns about the humanitarian and economic crises plaguing Yemen today.

Al-Qaida’s presence in Yemen is not new, but it has grown worrisome. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has been linked to multiple attacks against Americans in recent years. We all remember the foiled Christmas Day bomber attack in 2009, which revealed AQAP’s strategy of direct attacks on the U.S. homeland. And in October, Yemeni terrorists targeted the U.S. homeland with cargo packages containing explosives.

One of these packages was bound for Philadelphia International Airport and could have caused serious harm to Pennsylvanians. As U.S. senator for Pennsylvania, I am committed to ensuring that the Obama administration is doing everything in its power to address this threat to U.S. national security.

Counterterrorism in Yemen must be a central tenet of our national security strategy. But it is clear that our counterterrorism concerns in Yemen are closely intertwined with complex political, economic and developmental challenges, and therefore must be part of a comprehensive policy approach.

First, we need a better understanding of the Yemeni opposition and prospects for democratic reform. Acting President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has a weak power base, and the political opposition appears fractured between a prominent coalition called the Joint Meeting Parties and other influential individuals, such as Ali Mohsen, former commander of the 1st Armored Division, and Sheikh Sadeq al Ahmar, leader of the powerful Al Ahmar family.

Meanwhile, the validity of the recently announced 17-member transitional council, or “shadow government,” remains unclear. What is clear, however, is that a transition process eventually will take place, and the U.S. must be prepared for this post-Saleh government, whatever form it might take.

Second, we must address the serious humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which has only gotten worse as a result of the recent unrest. Yemen is the poorest country in the region, where the average citizen survives on less than $2 a day and one-third of the population is undernourished.

Some predict that Sana’a could be the first capital to run out of water, sometime within the next decade. These conditions can contribute to the development of extremism. While the U.S. cannot solve all of these daunting challenges, we should continue to support efforts that mitigate their potentially devastating impact.

Third, the U.S. and our international partners should develop a long-term strategy on conflict resolution in Yemen. The significant development concerns noted above can exacerbate tensions between and among different armed groups.

In a country rife with tribal conflict, most notably the northern Houthi rebellion and southern secessionist movement, al-Qaida has found safe haven. This is a clear example of why our counterterrorism strategy must have a civilian component. USAID has conducted programs aimed at fighting youth extremism, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our able diplomats must continue to engage with all nonviolent and democratic-oriented elements of society to ensure that we understand and can better react to the aspirations of the Yemeni people.

To achieve the goal of fighting extremism that can breed terrorism, Yemen cannot be viewed through the single lens of counterterrorism. In a country where vast political, security, humanitarian and development challenges continually converge, the U.S. must endeavor to formulate short-term and long-term policies to achieve our core national security goals. I will continue to work on policies that better meet the legitimate needs of the Yemeni people and ultimately combat the threat that al-Qaida poses to the U.S. homeland and to the state of Pennsylvania.

Sen. Bob Casey Jr. is the senior senator from Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.