Saturday, April 14, 2012

SABA destruction is a crime against the press: IFJ president says

SANA'A, April 14 (Saba) - President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expressed Saturday his deep resentment of the sabotage made in the Yemen News Agency (SABA) during the last year events.
After visiting the agency's building, Mr. Jim Boumelha said "The destruction I saw in SABA was a complete shock to me", describing it as a crime against the press and journalists in general.
The IFJ will spare no effort to cooperate with the Yemeni authorities to reinstate the Yemen news agency, Mr. Boumelha said.
"It is unacceptable that hundreds of journalists remain without work for over 9 months, while the authorities do nothing", calling on the Yemeni government to give top priority for restoring and equipping SABA building as soon as possible.
IFJ president, IFJ coordinator for the Middle East Munir Zaarour and Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) board members toured in some departments of the agency and were acquainted with the damage to the building and equipment by an attack occurred May 2011.
And toured the President of the International Federation of the number of sections in the press agency of the right of destruction, and briefed on the extent of the damage in the building of political and newspaper printing press of the new agency and public administration for editing the Arab and international levels.
Mr. Jim Boumelha arrived on Friday in Yemen. During the visit, he will hold talks with the President and Prime Minister on the situations of the press and freedom of expression in Yemen in addition to several issues pertaining to Yemeni journalists.
Mr. Boumelha will also take part in the enlarged meeting of the YJS branches' heads and unions committees' heads in the media institutions organized by YJS in cooperation with IFJ on April 13 -14.
The meeting will discuss essential issues concerning the YJS's statute and the achievements of the YJS's statute committee as well as the situation of the Yemeni state-owned media institutions.
Besides the journalism honor charter draft, issues of improving the journalists' living condition, protection and gender equality will be touched on in the meeting.
The meeting will pay tribute to the five journalists killed during the youth popular revolution, who are Jamal al-Sharabi, Hasan al-Wadhaf, Abdul-Majeed al-Samawi, Abdul-Hakim al-Nour and Fouad al-Shamiri.

11 people killed in Aden province

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 14, 2012- At least 11 people were killed, including 3 soldiers, in an attack by a Yemeni Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda in the Yemen's southern sea port of Aden.
Security sources said that Al-Qaeda militants attacked a checkpoint in Al-Jaola district on the road between Lahj and Aden provinces, killing at least 3 soldiers.
The troops traded fire with militants killing 8 of them.
Yemen's Defense Ministry website said that at least 13 al-Qaeda-linked militants and government troops were killed on Saturday in a clash at a checkpoint outside Aden province.
Militants opened fire on the checkpoint from two vehicles, prompting government troops to return fire, the ministry said on its website. Eight militants and five soldiers were killed in the exchange of fire, it added. One of the militants' vehicles was also destroyed.
Meanwhile Yemen air forces carried out on Saturday evening a strike against Al-Qaeda militants in the Yemeni city of Al-Byadha.
The air strike took-out a car believed to be carrying al-Qaeda militants on the road between al-Jaradi and al-Zaher cities, killing all passengers.
 At least 222 people including 183 militants have been killed in five days of clashes around the strategic south Yemen town of Lawder in battles between Yemeni troops backed by tribesmen and Ansar Al-Sharea, an Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda in the Yemen's southern province of Abyan.

National dialogue: The Path to Yemen’s Future

By Asma Al-Mohattwari
Even though the transfer of power from Saleh to Hadi represented a new chapter in Yemen’s history, Yemen still must overcome many challenges. The challenges are great: Yemen must form a new government consisting of an equal number of the GPC and JMP, the volatile military must be restructured, and Yemen’s economy is on life support. To help navigate these problems, the Gulf States put together the GCC Initiative to help Yemen. The cornerstone to this initiative’s success is the National Dialogue.
The national dialogue is one of the most important stages set out in the Gulf initiative after the election of a new president and new government is formed. National dialogue will reflect the views of all parties in Yemen. Chairman of Women section in the GPC Fatma Al-Khatri said “Parliament, the government, all political organizations, parties, and sects including Houthis, Islah and also the Southern Movement will participate in the national dialogue to build a new Yemen without any conflicts”.
All Yemeni should know that this dialogue is to be conducted for the general interest of Yemen. It is to be conducted to maintain peace, stability, development and prosperity in the country and to improve economic conditions and public services.
Many important issues will be discussed in the national dialogue including   conducting the national dialogue conference, restructuring the army and security services, addressing the issue of carrying weapons without license and outside the military and security, and State control. “We are waiting for the national dialogue which will reflect the views of all parties of Yemen, which are working to achieve reconciliation and shaping the future of Yemen through the formation of the new constitutional committee and the drafting of the Constitution” Al-Khatri said.
Officials say that one of the elements that will be discussed in the dialogue is the enactment of laws and legislations on transitional justice to support the national reconciliation, constitutional reform, electoral procedure and elections in 2012.
According to Al-Khatri the importance of the national dialogue is not clear “it is only the educated segment of society that is interested in dialogue because there is no sufficient awareness of it because there is not media coverage” she added.
The establishment of the national dialogue faces so many arguments as there are many different attitudes towards it. An official within the GPC said that Joint meeting parties want to postpone the national dialogue until restructuring the army because they believe that the success of the national dialogue will only be through stabilizing the security situation.
Mohammed Ali Abulohom, Chairman of the Organization of Justice and Construction said that the issue of restructuring the army is a necessity and the success of the national dialogue will only be through the security and stability that will be provided by the armed forces.
Unlike JMP, the General people’s congress does not want to delay the national dialogue as they believe that restructuring the army needs at least two years to be completed, and that the national dialogue can never be delayed for such long time. National dialogue is necessary to overcome the difficulties and challenges that resulted from the crisis Yemen passed through in the last year. Yemen cannot be improved unless the national dialogue is held.
Many in the south feel that the National Dialogue will not be successful if it doesn’t include the southern movement as part of the national dialogue. Officials say that it cannot be forgotten and that it must be the first issue to be discussed in the national dialogue. However, certain figures in the southern movement refuse to join the national dialogue and demand separation. Another part of them said that they will participate just to demand federalism as a solution for their problem. “We have to get rid of the tribal system and replace it with a modern one and federalism is the only way which can change Yemen’s future” Khaled Aobali stated.
According to Abulohom People should be aware of the meaning of transitional justice because it is a basic and good principle to solve the current situation. He also demanded officials and concerned authorities to clarify this point to the public. “National Dialogue will only work if elements are based on credibility and deal with this phase with transparency, equality and justice for all and the acceptance of others without the guardianship or exclusion” he advised.
Preparatory Committee has not prepared yet because of the Opposing Views of the National Dialogue.
The questions to be asked when the Preparatory Committee will be prepared and when the National Dialogue will start? Yemen is waiting for answers.

Houthi Movement: US Targeting Yemeni Revolution under War on Al-Qaeda

April 14, 2012
TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemen's Houthi movement deplored foreign meddling in the country's internal affair, and added that Washington is misusing the so-called war on the al-Qaeda terrorist group as an excuse to target the Yemeni revolution.
In a statement, the office of the Leader of the Houthi movement Abdel Malek al-Houthi underlined the necessity for the continuation of the revolution in Yemen.
"Americans' presence (in Yemen) is not aimed at confronting the imaginary enemy called the al-Qaeda; rather the interference and the presence of the well-equipped American forces is aimed at targeting the sons of the Yemeni nation and the country's free people and bringing the country in to a series of problems and plots," the statement added.
The movement further expressed confidence about the continuation of the Yemeni revolution and said no foreign plot is able to stop it.
The statement came as thousands of the Yemeni people staged a massive demonstration in Yemen's Northern province of Sa'ada on Friday and condemned the US military presence in their country.
Yemen has witnessed a popular uprising against the regime of Abdullah Saleh since January 2011.
Anti-regime demonstrators hold Saleh responsible for the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising. Yemeni people urge that Saleh and his allies should stand trial for their massive crimes and massacre of the people.
Yemen's new president Mansour Hadi took the oath of office before the country's parliament in February. He replaced Saleh, who ruled the country for 33 years before leaving office in a power transfer deal after over a year of political turmoil.
Hadi, who was Saleh's vice-president, was formally inaugurated following a single-candidate presidential election. The election was arranged as part of a US and Persian Gulf Cooperation Council-backed power transfer deal signed in November.
Meantime, people continue protests across the country, saying that they want Saleh and his allies and companions to stand on trial. They also protest that part of the cabinet is still formed of Saleh ministers and affiliates who should be tried instead of being given a post in the cabinet.

Al-Qaeda launches rocket at security chief house in Aden

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 14, 2012- A Yemeni Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda claimed on Friday that its fighters had launched a rocket at the house of the security chief in Yemen's southern sea port of Aden.
In a statement by Ansar al-Sharia posted on the Internet said that they killed three security officers in ensuing clashes on Thursday.
Yemeni army launched an offensive five day clashes against al-Qaeda militants, who had attacked a military camp outside Lawdar district of Abyan province.
Nearly 200 people have been killed since Monday during the clashes between Yemeni government forces alongside tribesmen and Islamic militants.
According to experts, al-Qaeda determined to capture the south Yemeni town of Lawdar in a bid to build itself a secure base in the Arabian Peninsula.
Lawdar district is located between three provinces gives it strategic importance, and it can also provide a safe haven from bombardment from the sea, experts say, adding that the militant group is seeking to extend its influence across the region.
The group seized control of a significant amount of territory in Abyan during the turmoil that led to the replacement of President Ali Abdullah Saleh by his deputy.
The conflict with the fighters in the south is only one of several challenges facing the new president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office in February vowing to fight al-Qaeda.
The Saudi Arabia and the United States hope the political deal will prevent al-Qaeda from getting a foothold near oil shipping routes.