Tuesday, April 24, 2012

President Hadi meets FBI chief

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 24, 2012- Yemen’s President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi met on Tuesday with FBI chief Robert Mueller, who stressed the continued support of the US along with the international community to achieve the stability in Yemen during solving the Yemen crisis based on the Gulf initiative and its implementation.
The FBI chief promised that the United States would continue to support Yemen "with full force" in all respects. "US will provide the possible assistance in various aspects bilaterally with the international community to achieve the stability in Yemen," Mueller said.
During the meeting President Hadi praised the great interest of the United States' administration in supporting Yemen in difficult circumstances securing the country from the civil war.
President Hadi reviewed with the FBI chief what really have been achieved on the ground based on the GCC initiative, saying "We are arranging now for convening the national dialogue that would include all political parties, cultural and social sides in Yemen, without exception or red lines."
The meeting also discussed counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaeda as well as the possible means to strengthen the joint efforts to defeat the insurgents.
Meanwhile, Yemen's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the total number of militants killed in the restive southern Abyan province over the past two days in the latest bout of fighting at 52.
The ministry said that the Yemeni army seized some government offices from militants as they pushed deep inside the provincial capital of Zinjibar.
In a statement posted on the internet by Ansar al-Sharia, a group linked to al-Qaeda that its fighters has blocked the army advance, and challenged the authorities to issue "just one recent photograph showing troops inside the city of Zinjibar".
Also on Tuesday, an officer in Yemen's southern province of Lahej escaped an assassination attempt conducted by unknown men.
A security source said that Abdul Qader al-Shami, the head of security intelligence in Lahej was severely injured along with two of his bodyguards in a bomb blast.
The source stated that a bomb had been attached to his car and it exploded when he started the engine.
Furthermore, in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, where continued clashes between Yemeni troops and al-Qaeda militants, at least ten fighters linked to al-Qaeda were killed on Tuesday evening in an ambush conducted by tribesmen there.
Yemen's Defense Ministry said that tribesmen have ambushed the terrorist militants in Lawder district of Abyan province at eight-thirty pm.
The source mentioned that others were wounded along with the killed.

Top al-Qaeda commander killed in Yemen

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 24, 2012- The Yemeni Embassy in Washington said on Tuesday that a top al-Qaeda commander was killed during an airstrike conducted by Yemeni air forces on a convey in Yemen's eastern province of Mareb.
The embassy reported that Mohammed Saeid Al-Umda, alias Ghareeb Al-Taizi, was killed on Sunday when an airstrike targeted a militant convoy on al-Sanda district near Obeida valley.
Al-Umda was ranked 4th on Yemen's most-wanted list. He provided logistical and financial support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The militant escaped from prison in 2006, where he was serving a sentence for supporting an attack on a French oil tanker. In 2008 he was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison for targeting Yemen's energy infrastructure, the embassy said.
Umda was trained under Osama bin Laden's supervision in Afghanistan and was involved in the 2002 bombing of a French oil tanker off Yemen.
Lately, the U.S. drone has increased in Yemen, targeting al-Qaeda hideouts, killing and wounding scores of them.
According to an article the U.S carried out 21 airstrikes in Yemen since the beginning of May 2011. Eleven of those strikes have taken place so far in 2012.

African migrants stuck in Yemen yearn to go home

HARADH, Apr 24 – Thousands of Ethiopian migrants who are stranded in Haradh city along the Yemeni-Saudi border have expressed an eagerness to return home.
The Ethiopian migrants at the Yemeni-Saudi border live a difficult life with only one hope: to get back to their homes after their dreams of living a better life in the oil-rich Saudi Arabia has faded.
The migrants who came to Yemen through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on smugglers boats arrived at Haradh hoping to reach the oil-rich Arab Gulf countries. But Saudi Arabia have recently tightened its borders with Yemen to prevent African migrants from reaching its lands.
For at least three years, thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians have arrived annually in Yemen fleeing either hunger and poverty or persecution and war. Most of them transit from the Bosasso area in eastern Somalia, crossing the Gulf of Aden in smugglers’ tiny fishing boats.
Now stranded in Haradh, they depend on the limited assistance from a transit center run by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Unable to continue their journey into the Gulf countries due to tightened border controls by the Saudi authorities or to return home without any resources, migrants arriving from the Horn of Africa frequently find themselves stranded in Haradh without adequate food, shelter and water.
 “I just arrived here. I’m not registered, just arrived. And my friends here also want to register my name for evacuation to our country.”
A total of 103,154 new arrivals were registered in 2011, double the number of the previous year. In February alone, approximately 12,454 new arrivals were registered, of whom 10,496 were from Ethiopia.
Many of the migrants on the Yemeni-Saudi border suffer from fatigue, wounds and other signs of maltreatment as well as infectious diseases.
The living conditions for the migrants in Haradh are worsening due to the increasing number of new arrivals and depleted resources. Tensions are also rising between the migrants and the local community, the IOM said in a recent statement.
 “We have very limited funds, so yes there are thousands still waiting at the departure centre to be sent home. IOM is doing everything it can to send every single migrant who is willing to go back home. This is a humanitarian organisation, it depends on donors.”
Many migrants are reportedly suffering from diarrhea, malaria, respiratory infections and snake bites from sleeping in the open. Others are suffering from broken limbs, gunshot wounds and other signs of maltreatment by human traffickers and smugglers.
The majority of the migrants arriving in Haradh are exhausted by their long trek north towards Saudi Arabia after having survived the perils of their journey across the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea and a conflict-ridden Yemen.
 “We hope we are able to evacuate them all, but when we evacuate, for example 1,000 people, around 2,000 arrive here in the next month. The registration continues every day. We register between 100 to 150 new arrivals every day, and three months later the number reaches 300.”

Sacked Yemen general finally quits post: UN

April 24, 2012
Yemen’s sacked air force commander, who has refused to quit for weeks, on Tuesday left the post he has held for nearly three decades, the United Nations envoy to Yemen said.
 General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar has handed his duties over to his successor,” Jamal Benomar told AFP. “I personally attended the handover ceremony.”
On April 6, President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi issued a decree in which he sacked Ahmar, a half-brother of deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as well as the ex-leader’s nephew General Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, who heads the presidential guard.
Both generals had refused to quit, and Ahmar’s loyalists even surrounded Sanaa’s airport and threatened to shoot down planes, forcing its closure for one day.
The airport was reopened after international and regional powers voiced support for Hadi, who must restructure the army based on a Gulf-brokered deal that Yemen’s political parties have agreed upon.
When asked if General Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh had also agreed to quit, Benomar only responded by saying that “all of Hadi’s decisions are being implemented.”