Wednesday, August 17, 2011
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | August 17, 2011
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in a televised address that he will soon return to his country, which is currently in the midst of severe anti-government protesting. Saleh is recovering in Saudi Arabia after a June 3 assassination attempt.
See you soon in Sanaa," the Yemeni leader said in the speech delivered to loyalists Tuesday.
Saleh also spoke to the youth of Yemen, telling them not to be fooled by opposition leaders, who he claims are agents of Muslim extremists and Marxists.
"We will meet your needs and we are ready to address them with a sense of national responsibility," Saleh said.
"But those narrow-minded people who have hateful tribal culture have seized your project. This is not your culture; you have grown up against the backdrop of the revolution, republic and the Yemeni unity. But this culture is inherited from ancient eras."
On the same day as the address was aired, around 26 people were killed in clashes between local tribes and government forces. In the Arhab district, about 25 miles from Sanaa, the Republican Guard bombed villages, killing at least 17 women and children and nine fighters, according to CNN.
Throughout June and July there were rumors that Saleh would return to the country he has ruled for 33 years, but as tribal groups and other parties with ties to the government gradually abandon the leader, the chance he will actually return is increasingly slim.
In a direct message to Saleh, the United States has urged the President not to return home. Facing intense resistance on his home soil, in May, Saleh agreed to step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Yet, after surrender documents were drafted, Saleh refused to sign them, sparking street battles in the capital city.
He is now saying that he will hold general elections, but not until next year. So far, demonstrators are not satisfied and are demanding an immediate regime change and governmental reform.
Saleh has been in power in Yemen for 33 years. He still has a number of supporters in Yemen, but many of his allies have joined the anti-government movement. During his rule, Saleh often used internal conflict as a means to secure power, but rival groups -- such as Islamic militants and Socialist rebels -- are united in their displeasure with the President.
He was elected President in 1994, four years after the unification of North and South Yemen in 1990.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Yemen's opposition groups elected 143 members of a national council set up to forge unity against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"Our concern about the country has pushed us to establish the council," Mohammed Basindwah, the president of the National Dialogue Committee at the Joint Meeting Parties coalition, told reporters today in San'a, the capital. "It is meant to secure the country in case the regime starts a war."
The national council will work to intensify pressure on Saleh to step down and help protect public and private properties in areas where the central government no longer maintains a presence, according to a document distributed by the Joint Meeting Parties.
Mass protests since February in the Arab world's poorest country have demanded the removal of the president, inspired by popular revolts that ousted the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Saleh has been under renewed pressure to end his 33-year rule after spending more than two months in neighboring Saudi Arabia recuperating from injuries sustained in a June 3 attack.
Security forces and Saleh supporters killed one protester and wounded 16 late yesterday in the port city of Hodiedah, Abdhafiz Majib, an activist, said in a phone interview.
Attack On SabaFon
Unidentified gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades today at the head office of SabaFon GSM, a mobile-phone network operator, in Sana'a, the al-Sahwa opposition website reported, without saying where it got the information. Sheikh Hamid al- Ahmar, an opposition tribal leader, is the company's chairman.
Bahrain Telecommunications Co., the nation's largest phone operator, bought a 20 percent stake in SabaFon in March 2007.
The protests have cost the Yemeni economy about $8 billion since the start of the year through July, Al Hayat newspaper said on Aug. 14, citing Trade Minister Hisham Sharaf. Tourism revenue may plunge to less than $50 million in 2011 from $1.1 billion last year, he said, according to the London-based newspaper.
U.S. officials have called for an immediate transfer of power, saying the process can happen even as Saleh convalesces in a Saudi palace. Saleh has remained defiant, saying yesterday in a speech to tribal supporters that he was returning home.
His remarks came amid reports of new talks on a transfer of leadership that would involve him handing over authority to Vice President Abduraboo Mansur Hadi while keeping his title. The proposal includes the formation of a new government and elections for head of state, a senior Yemeni official who was briefed on the negotiations said Aug. 12.
The decision by the main opposition coalition to form a national council was "a declaration of a civil war," Abdu al- Janadi, deputy information minister, said on Aug. 10.
August 16, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Troubling new evidence possibly linking Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen believed to be living in Yemen, with the September 11 terror attacks, is under scrutiny by the House Homeland Security Committee.
Detailing these new concerns, a letter sent [May 26, 2011] to AG Holder by the Committee's Chairman, Peter King [R-NY] states in part:
"With the years of hindsight into al-Awlaki's growing status within al Qaeda, including his involvement in the Christmas Day 2009 attack, there exists the critical need to reexamine the facts surrounding al-Awlaki and the 9/11 attacks. For instance, The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States...suspected that al-Awlaki tasked Jordanian national Eyad al-Rababah in May 2001 to assist two 9/11 hijackers in finding an apartment. Al-Rababah eventually transported four of the hijackers from Northern Virginia to Connecticut and then Paterson, New Jersey, where they met four others. That group formed the core of the conspiracy to prepare and collaborate for the 9/11 attacks..."
The Committee is requesting documents relating to this aspect of its ongoing probe of the extent to which American Muslims are being radicalized, as well as asking for access to various JTTF personnel who may have knowledge of the dealing of al-Awlaki, vis a vis 9/11.
From his residence in the Saudi capital Riyadh, President Saleh delivered his speech to over 8,000 local tribesmen participating in the Yemeni Tribes General Conference held in Sana'a.
He also said that the opposition were remnants of Marxists and Imamates "who want to take the country back to the times before 26 September and 14 October" revolutions.
He also said that there was need to discuss all the available data and how to get Yemen out of the crisis.
The following is the text of President Saleh’s recorded statement.
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,
Let me first congratulate you on the occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan. I salute you and pay tribute of respect to you for convening such a conference and I hope that it will conclude with effective decisions and recommendations. I have here with me my brothers parliament speaker Yahya al-Ra'i and prime minister Ali Mohammad Mujawar. They also salute you and salute your conference, which is being held amid dangerous and important circumstances.
We must discuss all the available data, all the events in Yemen, and how to get our country out of the crisis - the crisis which was fabricated by some political forces to reach power. We welcome the opposition and tell them that "you can reach power through ballot boxes, not through coups, statements, denunciation, insults, or irresponsible speeches."
Every bad word will return to those who say it. We disdain replying to such irresponsible agents. We shoulder the responsibility of building Yemen, its unity, and the security of its land and people. We have worked over 33 years in our political programme to fulfill the promises we made to our people: First, restoring the historic Marib dam; second, extracting oil, consuming it locally, and exporting it; third, exploring gas, investing it locally, and exporting it; and fourth, generating electricity from gas in Marib.
We have worked on the most important objective of the Yemeni revolution, which is the unification of Yemen, which was achieved on 22 May 1990. We should maintain this historic and great achievement. Establishing universities and vocational institutes across the homeland is another achievement. They were established to compensate for the hateful past, whether it was the patriarchal regime of Imams or the centralized regime in the south of the country. Yes, this is our project. Our project is freedom, democracy, political pluralism, and the peaceful rotation of power.
Establishing a local authority with full power is another objective. We have started with electing the secretariat generals of the local authority councils and the heads of local authority councils in the governorates. This is a further step until making amendments to the constitution and laws that allow us to hold direct elections and give local authorities more power. This would help limit centralization and introduce the concept of decentralization. These are our objectives and project which we have struggled for and partially achieved.
Regarding the project of what is called the youth revolution carried out by young men and women in the square outside Sana’a University, you must know that they have seized your project. They have seized it by blocking roads in Al-Hasabah, the airport road, Amran Street and Al-Qiyadah Street. This is the civilized project of the new youth revolution.
They have seized your revolution by assaulting state institutions, Yemen News Agency SABA, the Properties and Real Estate Authority, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Public Administration and the Yemenia Airways. They have also assaulted the Ministry of Interior and the Public Institution for Water.
O young men and women in the square outside the university, this is the civilized project for change. They have stolen your project at a time when you have been living in that place for three or four months. Many of you are independent and have some ideas, requirements, and ambitions.
We will meet your needs and we are ready to address them with a sense of national responsibility. But those narrow-minded people who have hateful tribal culture have seized your project. This is not your culture; you have grown up against the backdrop of the revolution, republic, and the Yemeni unity. But this culture is inherited from ancient eras. Yes, they have seized your revolution by blocking the Al-Sittin Street and setting up trenches, roadblocks, and barriers in the capital Sana’a. This is the youth revolution that seeks change and the departure of the current regime to bring a new regime.
Salute the new regime of blocking the roads, the regime of assaulting the Armed Forces' camps and security forces in Arhab, Bani-Hashish, Naham, and in Taiz. This is the new civilized project of the forces of change that call for the departure of the regime to bring a new regime. This is the new regime. Yes, this is the force that our youth need to learn about. They are minor remnants of Marxists and secessionists. Second, they are from the Taleban, and you know the Taleban in Afghanistan. They are an integral part of Taleban. Third, they are remnants of Imamates.
These want to take us back to the times before 26 September and 14 October; before October, we had a colonial system in the South, in Aden, the occupier did not give much to the districts and governorates in the South, this is why the blessed 14 October Revolution came to get rid of the occupier and its effects.
But unfortunately, a central tribal system, not an educated tribal system, came to allow the people to use three names instead of four names when mentioning full name as part of scientific progress. The youth revolution project includes denying gas to people. Second, this project denies Marib oil to the citizens. Denying diesel and bombing electricity towers are also part of the youth revolution project.
O young men and women, they seized your revolution. Those opportunists, merchants of war, bandits, land traders, and oil exporters, they are the ones calling for change and this is the youth revolution.
Conferee brothers, allow me to hail the great Yemeni people for their stances about the criminal act that took place at the Al-Nahdayn Mosque in the Presidential Palace. They have prayed, praised, and fasted as a vow for the safety of this country from conspirators, malevolent people, and those of chronic diseases - which they inherited from their hatred or from their families, if possible.
Allow me to tell for the people once again that most of the leadership was exposed to that criminal act that took place at the Presidential Palace and which is unethical and against all values. Let there be political opponents and programmes on which we disagree or agree. Let dialogue take place and not booby-trapped vehicles, attacks on camps, detonation of mosques, or the killing of souls on streets, all of which are against Islam, especially since there is political party which is called the Joint Meeting Parties [JMP] that holds the banner of an Islamic party. What Islam are they talking about? What did you do for Islam? You have deformed and hurt Islam, and you have bothered the citizens with your acts. You are several groups or factions under one party; you have salafists, jihadists, Al-Qaeda and Taleban.
This is the so-called Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore, I pity the youth who are misled by them and who are sent to attack camps to be victims of opportunists, whether from the Islah party or not. Opportunist elements – Al-Zindani elements - are sent to the camps. Why? The camps are present since the 1960's and do not interfere in your affairs. Why do you attack them? Those camps secure the capital, protect you from bandits, protect public property, and protect the travelers from Marib, to Jawf and the capital Sana’a.
This is the youth revolution they are talking about. We are not holding on to power or holding the banner of either power or death. This is unlikely; we were forced by our supporters and people to remain in power in 2006. We had called on all political forces to choose their candidates for the elections. Truly, the JMP hired a presidential candidate, because the ones they had hired did not dare compete or offer programmes.
They know themselves and they know their value in reality. What is their value? There is no need to go into details here as you already know them. Now they are looking for new recruits for the presidency and the government. Why not be civilized and responsible, neglect all these trivial issues, and act as great men?
We should be as great as our Yemeni people. Let us go to the ballot boxes together. Any democratic country in the world is subject to such crises; these things happen everywhere. The only demand of any opposition is early elections, and this usually happens.
Here, they called for early elections, and then they rejected the invitation to early elections, demanding the formation of a national council, presidency council, and military council and demanding the path to be corrected before 2013.
We are legitimate until 2013, and it is not the legitimacy of someone who wants to stay in power by force. I wanted to leave before the incident of the Presidential Palace mosque. I wanted to leave back in 2006 but our great Yemeni people, men and women, forced me to stay. This is why we sacrifice, and will always do, for the sake of the glory and honour of every Yemeni.
Dear conferees in Sana’a, on this occasion I would like to congratulate you once more on this conference. I greet all those who attended this conference and thank all those with double-loyalties for missing it. We should be together and loyal to God, the homeland, revolution, republic, and unity. These are our national principles.
Those who hop from one place to another are known for looking for interests. They join the presidential group, then move to the 1st Armed Division, then leave both, and then go to Al-Hasabah looking for money. These people are well known since the revolution started.
We warn those who are paying money to sabotage Yemen, whether they were brothers or friends. Beware! the Yemenis have been steadfast ever since the beginning of the revolution. There were international forces paying the Yemeni people, both the government and the opposition. These superpowers include Egypt, Russia, China, and other Arab states. Nonetheless, this plan failed and righteousness and principles prevailed.
I would like to thank you for your steadfastness. I would also like to thank the institutions, businesses, local authorities, armed forces, and security forces for their steadfastness in protecting the security and stability of this nation.
We want also to protect constitutional legitimacy which we willingly chose through the ballot boxes.
I would like to thank those who run away and defected from the state institutions, be those civilians or military men. Some of them defected at first among those accused of corruption and some others wanted to leave so they left, along with the so-called youth-led revolution.
They were looking for a position. Such people had double loyalties and were affiliated with many parties before coming to us. They profited and benefitted from us. Then, when they heard about the revolution of the youths, change, and the departure of the regime they ran barefoot and naked to the university square. These people were abandoned from the start by parties, tribes, society, and the official and civil societies .
People rejected them because they were not advocating principles. They are only politics-mongers, profiting from the situation and experts. They are talkers and philosophizers who know nothing about running a country. They only know about how to run their own interests.
Greetings to you yet again, from the political capital Riyadh, from the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A special greeting is also sent to the Kingdom's leadership and great people, who greeted us amid difficult circumstances which were complicated by the great number of casualties among politicians, army officers, and civilians who fell in the attack on the Presidential Palace.
They also welcomed wounded people who received medical treatment including handicapped individuals, others who recovered and some others died. There were 19 dead, for your information. There were more than five handicapped. The number of those who sustained medium and slight wounds exceeded 240.
That was the incident of the Presidential Palace. That was the peaceful and smooth transition of power. Again, that was the peaceful and smooth transition of power.
I am addressing our people and addressing the brothers and the friends. We do not object a peaceful and smooth transfer of power. But we should transfer power to Vice-President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi. This man is a great struggler. It is not important for us whether transfer of power is carried out or not. What matters most are the following questions: Are you planning to pull out the armed men from the streets? Are you planning to lift the trenches and street barricades set up in the capital and elsewhere? Are you planning to stop highway banditry and vendettas? Do you really want to become good citizens on whom order and law can be enforced, as is the case for others?
Your answer is no! You want an order and a law which could be enforced on others and you stand above order and law.
Are the street shows and motorcades taking place in the cities will end soon? Who are the citizens you are talking about? We are all equal before the law. Anyone who takes part in an official motorcade is well known. But whoever possesses money and a few cars could have a motorcade.
So, we hear people saying this is the motorcade of such or such a figure, and the traffic policeman is asked to open the road for the cars. Why are you attacking traffic policemen? Why do you not support order and law so that our people could respect you? Our people do not respect whoever ridicules them or shows arrogance.
I would like to wish you a blessed end of Ramadan and may God's peace and blessings be upon you and see you soon in the capital Sanaa.