Saturday, August 20, 2011

VP meets tribal group members

SANA’A, August 20 (Saba)- Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi met on Saturday members of the preparatory committee and representatives of the General Conference of the Yemeni Tribes, which recently concluded in Sana’a.

During the meeting, the Vice President praised the participants in the conference for taking their national responsibility, calling on all Yemenis to preserve the country’s security, stability and tranquility.

"We support any efforts or conferences work for national principles and maintain the country’s security, stability and tranquility. All political parties, civil society organizations, tribal leaders and social, political and legal figures should take their national responsibility", the Vice President said in the meeting.

"We must be aware that Yemen is under the worst and unprecedented political, security and economic crisis, especially since our economy is weak", he added.

Hadi also pointed out that the international community agrees on the importance of maintaining Yemen’s security, stability and unity and calls for full and unequivocal cooperation to end the current crisis in Yemen.

The Vice President also said to the attendees that there are good and important signs on the way of resolving the crisis.

"Today we are better than before on the way of helping Yemen avoid bad slides, wars and desolation, and provide easy access to the safe stage and resolve outstanding issues peacefully and through political means", he said.

For his part, Assistant Secretary-General of the General People's Congress, Sultan al-Barakani reviewed the results of the tribal conference aiming at maintaining the people’s safety, security and stability as well as securing roads and institutions and preserving national principles and constitutional legitimacy.

Yemen Opposition National Council elects Ba Swondwa the Head of the Council

By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a, August 20, 2011- Yemen's opposition National Council elected on Saturday Ahmed Ba Swondwa, a key opposition leader and former foreign minister from the southern port city of Aden, as its president.
Sakher Al-Wajeh, a member of the current parliament, was elected as its technical head, while Horea Mashhoor was named as its spokewomen.
The 143-member National Council was formed Wednesday by two opposition groups in a bid to consolidate their fledgling movement. But Saturday, two dozen of its members announced they were quitting in a row over representation.
Opposition groups have tried to unite and form transitional government councils in the past but so far their attempts have been patchy, pointing at an increasingly fragmented movement.
See Also, Yemen Opposition National Council

Six armed men killed in attack on Yemen military camp

SANAA | Sat Aug 20, 2011

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Six armed men were killed in an attack on a military camp of the Republican Guard on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital on Saturday, the website of the ruling party said.

The incident occurred 20 km north of Sanaa, it said.

"The brigade repelled the attack and caused the terrorist elements heavy casualties and forced them to flee," the website reported.

Saleh to return to Yemen on Wednesday: official

SANAA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A ruling party official said Saturday that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is in Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation after he was injured in a bomb attack on his palace in June, is due to come back to Sanaa on Aug. 24.

"President Saleh will return from the Saudi capital of Riyadh to Sanaa on Wednesday on the eve of the 30th anniversary of establishing the ruling party General People's Congress (GPC)," Abdul Hafid al-Nahari, the deputy of the GPC media department told Xinhua.

He also said his party was preparing for large-scale celebrations across the country to greet Saleh and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the party's establishment.

"After his return, the president will launch a dialogue with the opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) based on a power-transition deal initiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) to end the country's prolonged political crisis," he added.

Yemen has been embroiled in a political crisis since the eruption of protests against Saleh's 33-year rule in late January.

The opposition formed a National Council on Aug. 17 to prevent Saleh from returning or resuming his presidential duties. However, Saleh vowed to return and stay in office until 2013.

Yemen tribesmen kill four Islamists in south

ADEN, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Yemeni tribesmen killed four Islamist militants in the southern Abyan province on Friday, a day after a Yemeni jet bombed another southern location killing at least five militants.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government has lost control of some areas in the south after months of political turmoil and mass protests demanding an end to his three-decade-old-rule.
On Friday, the militants were ambushed and killed in the southern town of al-Urqub, a security official told Reuters.
A day earlier, a Yemeni air strike hit the southern coastal town of Shaqra as well as two sites where militants had gathered in the town of Zinjibar, an official told Reuters. He was unable to give details of casualties in the Zinjibar operation.
Shaqra fell to the militants on Wednesday. It is the third town to be seized by militants following Jaar in Abyan province in March, and Zinjibar, the provincial coastal capital, in May.
Protesters and opposition parties suspect Saleh has deliberately loosened security to allow militants to act more freely, in an attempt to illustrate the dangers of a Yemen without the veteran leader.
Yemen's army in July launched an offensive on militants suspected of having ties to al Qaeda. Islamist militants, some possibly linked to al Qaeda, may be exploiting a security vacuum as Saleh and his allies fight to stay in power.
Army units, backed by tribal fighters who have grown frustrated by the state's inability to drive out the militants, have been struggling to retake Zinjibar, which lies east of a major shipping lane where some 3 million barrels of oil pass daily.
In a separate incident, 10 people -- mostly women and children -- were injured in an explosion at a clothes market in al-Qatn in the southern Hadramout province on Thursday, which targeted an army officer and his family, a security official told Reuters.
Witnesses said they saw a man throwing a hand grenade and later fleeing in a car. The officer and his family survived unhurt, the official said.
Saleh, in power since 1978, said on Tuesday he would soon return home from Saudi Arabia where he is recovering from a June assassination attempt in which he was wounded.
Popular protests against Saleh erupted during uprisings that ousted the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt this year, but the Yemeni leader has clung to power, defying international pressure and three times backing out of a Gulf-brokered transition deal.

23 Yemeni opposition leaders withdraw from National Council

SANAA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Some 23 opposition leaders from Yemen's southern regions, who were among the newly-established 143- member National Council, announced their withdrawal from the anti- government body in a statement late on Friday.
The 143-member National Council was formed on Wednesday, a day after Saleh in the Saudi capital of Riyadh where he received treatment after he was injured in a bomb attack on his palace in June, vowed in a speech to return soon to Sanaa to resume his duties until 2013.
"We were surprised that our names were included in the list of National Council without acknowledging us," said the joint statement by the 23 leaders, including former president Ali Nasser Mohamed, former Prime Minister Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas and head of Islamic Islah (reform) party in the southeastern province of Hadramout.
The 23 leaders said they refused to join the council because it lacks of balance between members from southern and northern provinces.

Yemen's Acting President Warns of Talibani-style State in Abyan

Sana'a, August 20, 2011- Acting Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi warned Friday that al-Qaida wing is gearing up to establish a Talibani-style state in the country's southern province of Abyan, official Saba news agency reported.

"The resurgent al-Qaida group collected its elements and leaders from Yemen's provinces and some Arab and Islamic countries and deployed them to Abyan, taking advantage of the country's ongoing political crisis in order to set up an Islamic state there, " Hadi said in a phone conversation with Robin Searby, the counter- terrorism advisor to the British prime minister's office.

The warning came two days after the al-Qaida militants regained control of the country's strategic coastal city of Shaqra in Abyan after days of fierce battles against government troops.

Shaqra is the third town seized by al-Qaida in Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa, after the terrorist group took control of Abyan's capital city of Zinjibar and nearby Jaar town late in May.

Local officials told Xinhua that "the terrorist group is planning to take more cities in Abyan and its southeastern neighboring province of Shabwa despite the fierce crackdown by the Yemeni army forces and continuing U.S. air strikes."

Saba said Searby expressed his hope for a quick and peaceful end to the Yemeni political crisis that has rattled Yemen for months.

"Searby stressed that British Prime Minister David Cameron and his government support the security, stability and unity of Yemen as the Arab state is strategically important at the regional and global levels," Saba added.

Tens of Thousands of Yemeni Protesters Rally to Support National Council

Sana'a, August 20, 2011- Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters staged rallies across Yemen on Friday to support the newly-established National Council that unified opposition factions seeking to oust embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The 143-member National Council was formed on Wednesday, a day after Saleh in the Saudi capital of Riyadh where he received treatment after he was injured in a bomb attack on his palace in June, vowed in a speech to return soon to Sanaa to resume his duties until 2013.

The National Committee of Peaceful Revolution Forces is due to convene on Saturday to elect a chairman and a 20-member executive board to work out all possible peaceful means to prevent Saleh from returning and push the country towards post-Saleh transitional period, according to the council's representatives.

Following Muslim Friday prayer, the protesters in a west district of the capital Sanaa chanted "Yes for the National Council to lead our peaceful revolution."

"The National Council will achieve all the revolution's goals," read a banner raised by the protesters who gathered under protect by soldiers of the defected First Armored Division.

A few miles away, around 1,000 people joined a pro-government rally to support Saleh, raising pictures of the embattled president and banners reading "Thanks God for your safety," and " We are waiting for your return."

The government accused Hamidal-Ahmar, a leading opposition figure, and General Ali Mohsenal-Ahmar, the commander of the defected First Armored Division, of planning and carrying out the assassination bomb attack on the presidential palace on June 3, which injured the president along with many high-level officials and killed 13 people.

The accusations were published late Thursday by the state-run Saba news agency. The opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties ( JMP) dismissed the alleged charges, describing them as " fabrications" and warning of targeting leaders of Saleh's government.