Sunday, April 22, 2012

US supports Yemeni leader''s decisions on GCC initiative - US diplomat

SANAA, April 22 (KUNA) -- US Ambassador in Sanaa Gerald M. Feierstein here on Sunday said the decisions made by Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi were not subjected to the consensus of the political parties who signed the GCC initiative to solve Yemeni crisis.
In a press statement, Feierstein explained that there was a relationship between the agreement and the transitional government and its decisions, adding that his country refused any indication to the necessity of that President Hadi must discuss his decisions with any bodies before being issued.
He reiterated the US and international community's support of President Hadi and the Yemeni National Reconciliation Government for the sake of implementing items of the GCC initiative agreement, which organizes the transition of authority process in Yemen within two years and three months.
The US diplomat called for dismissal of military leaders who refuse to comply with Yemeni President's decisions, in respect for constitutional legitimacy, noting his country expected solving of this problem within the next few days, without ruling out any procedure taken by international community against sides hampering the GCC initiative.
Also, he added that the 10 sponsoring countries to the GCC initiative have announced their full support of President Hadi's decisions on military restructuring moves, pointing out that such decisions fully harmonized with the spirit of the GCC initiative and to what Yemeni people voted for in the early presidential elections on February 21.
In addition, the US diplomat affirmed that the UN envoy for Yemen Jamal bin Omar, who is currently visiting Yemen, was going to submit a report to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on May 17, in which UNSC would decide on what procedures were necessary against those who try to hamper implementing the GCC initiative.
Moreover, Feierstein continued that a US technical military team was to visit Sanaa again at the end of next month to provide the Yemeni leadership with assistance regarding reconstruction of the Yemen military in accordance to the GCC initiative.

Airstrikes killed militants in Mareb and Abyan provinces

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 22, 2012- At least three al-Qaeda militants were killed on Sunday in an air strike conducted by Yemeni air forces in Yemen's eastern province of Mareb.
The air strike took-out a vehicle believed to be carrying al-Qaeda militants on al-Sanda district near Obeida valley, killing at least three passengers.
Witnesses said that the vehicle turned into a charred skeleton along with its passengers.
In Yemen's southern province of Abyan, where fierce clashes between Yemeni troops and militants linked to al-Qaeda,  at least 17 militants were killed on Sunday in an air raid near Lawde, about 150 km northeast of Zinjibar, Abyan's provincial capital.
Yemen's Defense Ministry said that the deaths toll it would raise to 57 in the last three days.
On Saturday the Yemeni air force carried out two airstrikes in the province of Abyan against al-Qaeda hideouts, killing scores of militants. According to the Defense ministry, the attacks also left five people wounded.
Yemen's military regained part of a strategic southern city yesterday after an intense battle with al-Qaeda militants left 19 people dead as the government tries to purge the insurgents from their strongholds.
More than 250 people have been killed in the fighting and airstrikes in southern Yemen over the past two weeks. US drones and Yemeni warplanes have regularly targeted southern regions.
The war on al-Qaeda is one of the most challenging tests facing the country's new president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. He took power after Saleh stepped down in February as part of power-transfer deal brokered by Arab Gulf countries and backed by the United States.

Red Cross says French staffer abducted in Yemen

The Associated Press
April 22, 2012
GENEVA – A Frenchman working for the Red Cross in Yemen has been kidnapped and there has not been any contact with his abductors, a spokeswoman said Sunday.
The man was taken from his car, which was stopped on a road while he was being driven to the port city of Hudayda, International Committee of the Red Cross spokeswoman Marie-Servane Desjonqueres said. The group declinted to identify him.
 “We are of course very concerned about the security and safety of our colleague,” Desjonqueres told The Associated Press. “And we are calling upon the abductors to let him go safely, immediately and unconditionally.”
She said the delegate was kidnapped Saturday afternoon on the road about 30 to 40 kilometres (20 to 25 miles) before Hudayda, from where he had planned to fly to the capital Sanaa.
Two Yemeni drivers who also worked for the Red Cross were briefly captured, then released during the abduction, she said.
 “For the time being, we don’t know the identity of the captors,” she added.
Kidnapping of foreigners is frequent in Yemen, where hostages are used as bargaining chips to secure release of Yemeni prisoners or to get cash.

French Aid Worker Kidnapped in Western Yemen

April 22, 2012
A French aid worker was kidnapped by gunmen late on Saturday in Yemen's western port city of Hodeida, an official of the interior ministry told Xinhua.
"Gunmen snatched a French man, who works with the International Committee of the Red Cross, when he was returning from the northern province of Hajh to the port city of Hodeida in a convoy, " the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping yet.
It was the second kidnapping targeting westerners in Hodeida in a month after suspected al-Qaida members abducted a Swiss woman working as a language teacher on March 14. The kidnappers are still holding the women and demand a ransom.
Also in March, al-Qaida snatched a Saudi diplomat in the southern port city of Aden. They later moved him to neighboring Abyan province and demand a ransom and the release of the militants in Saudi prisons, according to the Saudi interior ministry.
Yemen has long been plagued by kidnappings of foreigners by powerful tribesmen and sometimes terrorists who seek ransoms or their demands being granted by the government, including the release of jailed clansmen.