Sunday, November 13, 2011

10 militants die in Yemen as UN pushes peace plan

By Jamal Al-Jashini

Associated Press / November 13, 2011

SANAA, Yemen—Yemeni government forces and allied tribesmen killed ten militants in attacks around the country Sunday, security officials said, as a visiting United Nations envoy met with embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh to push for a solution to the country's political crisis.

Security has collapsed across the Arab world's poorest nation during the nine-month popular uprising seeking to oust Saleh, who has been in power for 30 years.

Pro-Saleh forces regularly engage in deadly clashes with armed tribesmen and military defectors who support the protesters in Yemen's largest cities, and al-Qaida-linked militants have overrun entire towns in the country's restive south.

Meanwhile, international diplomacy has failed to stop the crisis. Saleh has refused numerous times to follow through with a U.S.-backed proposal crafted by Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors under which he would transfer power to his vice president in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Two of Sunday's clashes took place near Zinjibar, the largest town overrun by al-Qaida-linked militants in Yemen's southern Abyan province, now partially recaptured by the army. In one clash, tribesmen allied with government forces exchanged fire with militants at a checkpoint, killing three including two Somali citizens, an official said. In the other, the army shelled a militant position, killing five including two Saudi citizens.

In the Arhab region north of the capital Sanaa, Yemeni forces shelled positions held by armed anti-government tribesmen, killing two, another security official said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

In Sanaa, U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar met Saleh to push for a transfer of power.

The U.N. said Benomar's weeklong visit to Yemen was intended to encourage the Gulf-backed proposal, which the Security Council has endorsed.

Saleh agrees to allow his deputy to form new government, official says

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to authorise his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to form a unity government

By Saeed Al Batati,

November 13, 2011

Sana’a: Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to authorise his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to form a unity government following the approval of the GCC plan, the government spokesman, Abdu Al Janadi said on Sunday. The proposed government will be sworn in in front of Hadi not Saleh.

Under the deal, Saleh will step down in return for immunity from prosecution for him and his family. His deputy Hadi will handle a following a two-year-long transitional period.

At a press conference, Al Janadi confirmed that his government is all set to comply with the UN Security Council resolution 2014, but stipulated it should be applied collectively, calling upon the opposition leaders, who are overseas, to come back. He also accused breakaway units of the army of killing more than 14 people and injuring dozens in the city of Taez on Friday.

Tens of thousands of people protested in the capital Sana’a on Sunday to denounce government’s continuing crackdown on the protesters in Taez and calling for the arrest of Saleh and his aides for killing the protesters. Activists in Taez organised another massive rally. Both rallies were peaceful.

Yemen’s two main cities, Sana’a and Taez, witnessed a strike in which almost all businesses were brought to a standstill. The Organising Committee of the youth-led uprising called for more rallies Monday to ratchet up pressure on the president Saleh to resign.

Meanwhile, the United Nations envoy to Yemen Jamal Bin Omar, who arrived in Sana’a on November 10, was in talks with the government and opposition.