By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a, January 7, 2011- As 2011 draws to a close and 2012 begins, I will look back on the stand-out moments of the past year. I think the series protests and demonstrations across the Arab World in 2011 was one of the most widely publicized events of the year. Sparked by a series of uprisings in Tunisia in December 2010, protests soon spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Jordan.
In Yemen many events played out in the local scene in 2011, no doubt that popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, June 3 assassination attempt targeted him, and his singing on the GCC deal were the most important events that happened in the country. Not only that, but also many different events happened in the country as a result of the mass protests against President Saleh's regime some of these are still continued; however, the others are finished.
This selection is based on a survey conducted by me which included pressmen, politicians, thinkers, common people, etc. It is also made according to the extent of media coverage and attention given by people to these events.
Mass Protests against President Saleh's Regime
Yemen have been witnessing nationwide protests demanding the ouster of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his regime since mid-January when few students from Sana'a University staged to the streets after the falling of Tunisian President Zain Albdain bin Ali and fleeing to Saudi Arabi to celebrate this victory with Tunisians. At this time, Yemeni government was suffering different problems at the scene in political and economic fields, with ignoring from Yemen's president to reform these problems.
Days after Mubarak stepped down in February 2011, Yemeni protesters, seized a major intersection in the heart of Sana'a, which then came to be known as Change Square. in mid-February after the falling of Egyptian President and his regime millions of youths from different levels took to the streets calling for President Saleh to step down immediately. Not like the two revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt in which continued for days, Yemeni revolution is continuing till this moment. Still, before Yemeni youths taking to the streets in many provinces it preceded several events:
For first time and before the falling of Egyptian President and his regime on February 3, more than 20,000 Yemenis staged to the streets in anti-government protests demanding the ouster of President Saleh and his regime which were organized by the opposition coalition, Joint Meeting Parties, JMP and which considered the biggest ever since the wave of protests that hit the Arab region. The demonstration of the JMP came a day later of joint meeting headed by President Saleh with parliament and Shura councils in which he announced the freezing of the draft constitutional amendments, and issuing orders to open the electoral register for registering the people, who reached the legal age, in the voting lists. President Saleh also stopped constitutional amendments to give him a chance to rule for life.
Meanwhile, Yemeni opposition parties described the amendments as a coup on the Yemeni revolution and called on the people to stand against the oppression of the ruling party, at the same time they continue to protest outside the parliament building in order to press on the ruling party. The two sides Yemen's ruling party and the opposition coalition inked on Feb. 23, 2009, an agreement to delay the parliament elections previously scheduled for April 2009 to April 2011. However, both sides have accused each other of shrinking in implementing the agreement, which caused a long political crisis resulted lately in nationwide protests led by the JMP.
Saleh's step was described by observers as a late move especially after months of calling by the opposition coalition parties to reform the political system before JMPs block boycotted the parliament sessions and started protesting against president Saleh's regime and his ruling party strategies.
Since then protesters against Saleh's regime took to the streets in 11 locations throughout the country, with the largest crowds estimated in Taiz province, followed by the capital, Sana'a. Smaller crowds were seen in the provinces of Aden, Hodieda, Abyan, Shabwa, Mahweet, Baitha, Dhamar, Lahj and Hajjah. These nationwide protests against resulted in killing hundreds and injuring thousands, and effecting badly people's lives throughout the country, but finally after 10 months of daily protests forcing President Saleh to sing the GCC deal to ease him out after 33 years in power.
Friday of Dignity Massacre
After a month of daily protests against Saleh's regime at Change Squire in the Friday of Dignity at least 51 protesters were killed and more than 200 wounded, raising the death toll in almost a month of protests against Saleh's 33-year rule to more than 70 at the first month.
Observers said that action which described as a massacre against peaceful protesters was a big mistake committed by Yemeni government, despite the trade of accusation between government and the opposition. The crackdown on protesters was condemned by the U.S. and E.U countries which criticized strongly Yemeni government action and it was held the responsibility of that.
This action was exploited by the Yemen opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties which accused the Yemeni government of doing that. This action was a turning point against President Saleh which made protests spread everywhere all over the country. Even though, thousands of Yemenis joined the protests calling President Saleh to step down.
In the light of the massacre of Friday of Dignity, several senior figures, such as ministers, members of parliament, ambassadors, tribe figures, and military and security leaders resigned from the ruling General People Congress party accusing Saleh of killing peaceful protesters. Not only that but also close senior leaders and relatives from President Saleh's tribes resigned from their positions and joined with the protesters and announced their support to the youth protesters, like powerful General Ali Mohsen, the leader of First Armored Division and Powerful Sheikh Sadea Al-Ahmer, Sheikh of Hashed Tribe, which President Saleh belongs to.
Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar defects to Protests against President Saleh
Just days after the massacre of Friday of Dignity many senior figures in the ruling party and in Saleh's government joined to the protests that demanding President Saleh to step down, the stunning one was the announce of General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, who is the half brother of President Saleh, and regarded as the country’s most important military commander.
General Al-Ahmar, an uneasy partner of Saleh for thirty years, announced his mutiny following the massacre of at least 51 demonstrators. At least two hundred were wounded. The survivors said they were fired on by snipers in masks and by uniformed members of the Yemeni security services. Saleh denied the accusation of ordering the attacks against protesters.
In his comment on General Al-Ahmar's decision President Saleh said that any attempt to push him from office would lead to civil war.
Saleh was almost entirely aggressive. And he vowed not to be forced from office by anyone in the Yemeni military. He accused the protesters of being directed by foreign agendas. And he said the Yemeni opposition leaders, if given power, would turn on each other and send the country into anarchy. The overriding impression that Saleh conveyed is that he is ready for a fight.
General Al-Ahmar defection definitively tips the balance of power away from Saleh, making the latter's eventual exit a near fait accompli. Yet Muhsin is a widely considered a brutal military leader, and he has come to symbolize the dominance of one small tribe, the Sanhan, over the country. As a result, many Yemenis fear that his motives may be more sinister than democratic change.
Within the palace politics of Yemen’s Sanhan state, a small group of rival families simultaneously work together to preserve their collective economic, political and military interests and compete for that pool of interests. Thus, while Muhsin has long been a pillar of the regime’s inner circle, his relationship to the President is famously volatile. Considering the loyalty he commands within key factions of the Yemeni military, his announcement, coupled with the Defense Minister’s subsequent declaration of military support for the President, threatens to thrust Yemeni into conflict over control of the armed forces.
Ammunition Factory Explosion Killed more than 150 and Injured Dozens
At least more than 150 were killed and many others were injured in an ammunition factory explosion in Yemen's southern province of Abyan in southern Yemen.
There were many women and children from surrounding villages were killed and wounded in the attack while they went to the factory a day after it was raided by suspected Al-Qaeda militants.
The explosion took place in jaar district, after months of demonstrations targeting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Yemen govt loses control of six of the 20 provinces
March 29, 2011
After two months of popular uprising against president Saleh demanding his ouster, President Salel said in a meeting on March 29, that the government had lost control of six of the country's 20 provinces. These provinces are Sa'ada, Al-Jowf, Abyan, Taiz, Mareb, and Shabwa. Sa'ada and Al-Jowf were seized by Houthis followers, while the others were seized by Al-Qaeda cadres.
According to analysts who said that the main reason of that return to the lack of the Yemeni forces in those provinces when the Yemeni government forces has abandoned their force across the country, including areas where northern rebels have challenged the military and southern provinces where Al-Qaeda's Arabian branch has maintained sanctuaries and return to the capital Sana'a.
The collapse of the authority was acknowledged by the President himself, who told a committee from his political party that "six of the Yemen's 20 provinces had fallen".
On the other hand, by the Year's end Yemeni government has lost over 10 provinces, and security in the country is deteriorating dramatically.
On December 10, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos called on the international community to take steps to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arab country, warning that inaction could lead to a repetition of the dire situation afflicting Somalia.
She said a third of the Yemeni people go to bed hungry. Hospitals and clinics are overcrowded or not working at all, access to safe water is becoming increasingly difficult, and tens of thousands of children are losing their education due to school closures.
"Making matters worse, insecurity has forced U.N. agencies and other humanitarian organizations to cut back their staff or leave," she said and warned that "If we don't act now, the situation" in Yemen, which is the poorest country in the region, "could become a catastrophe."
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Announces Abyan an Islamic Emirate
As a result of widespread protests against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh broke out in February, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, has extended its focus in Yemen itself, taking over the port city of Zinjibar and other areas in the south. On March 29, AQAP announced Yemen's southern province of Abyan an Islamic emirate. It also tried to control other areas in the south, taking benefit of political turmoil in the country.
West countries are considered AQAP as a real threat for them. Yemen could be described as the spiritual home of Al-Qaeda since January 2009 when Al-Qaeda supporters in Saudi Arabia and Yemen formed the new Al-Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula.
The controlling of AQAP was acknowledged by Yemeni government in May when 25th brigade was besieged by Islamist fighters emboldened by months of upheaval in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state took over the coastal city of Zinjibar, just a few kilometers away from the barracks.
On September 10 thousands of Yemeni troops freed a brigade that had been under a four-month siege in the Abyan province by militants and insurgents with close ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. These battles between the two sides forced more than 100,000 people to flee to neighboring provinces.
However, till this moment clashes between suspected Al-Qaeda militants and Yemeni troops renew daily. Yemeni security forces have taken back control of parts of the city, but have failed to dislodge the militants entirely.
Opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh accused him of exaggerating the threat of Al-Qaeda and even encouraging militancy to scare Washington and Riyadh into backing him.
Despites security assistance to Yemeni government from the international community to combat Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the problem is going worse daily. And Sana'a regime will continue to trump the AQAP threat, inflating Al-Qaeda presence.
Wars in Yemen
Wars in Yemen erupted in several places as a result of popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
On May 23, Gunmen from Yemen's most influential tribe clashed with security forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital in Al-Hasaba Zone.
Gun battles took place at an empty school and in the vicinity of the building that houses the official news agency Saba. Two journalists in the building were injured. Fire broke out at the offices of Yemenia, the national airline, after gunmen clashed outside that was only for first day.
War in Hasaba has continued for days, but before it was sopped hundreds of people from both sides were killed and thousands wounded, in addition to hundreds of civilians who killed nearby.
Tribal leader Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ahmar had been an ally of Saleh. The two fell out after al-Ahmar joined nationwide anti- government protests that began in January. The opposition said in a statement that pro-Saleh forces tried to storm Al-Ahmar's house in an attempt to ignite civil war.
General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar who defected to protests calling Saleh to step down and his First Armored Division forces also clashed with Yemen's government forces in Sana'a and Taiz provinces these clashes resulted of killing and injuring dozens from the two sides.
The violence broke out in Hasaba a day after Saleh declined to sign an accord requiring him to give up power within 30 days. The six-member Arab Gulf bloc, which had brokered the deal, abandoned its efforts to bring about an end to the unrest.
Not only Hasaba witnessed clashes in Yemen but also there are several clashes between forces loyal to Saleh and tribal figures sided to protesters demanding the ouster of Saleh in Sana'a, Taiz, Arahab, Himad Khargia, and Nahem. Hundreds of people were killed and injured in these clashes from both sides besides thousands of causalities who lost their lives or their close relatives or their own houses and properties.
Attack inside the presidential palace
After almost four months of daily protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh demanding his ouster, President Saleh escaped on June 3, an assassination attempt targeting him and other high rank Yemeni officials inside a mosque in the presidential palace.
The assassination attempt forced President Saleh who seriously being burned over much of his body and having shards of wood embedded into his chest to fly to neighboring Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.
The departure of Yemen's battle-wounded president for treatment in Saudi Arabia set off wild street celebrations in the capital, where crowds danced, sang and slaughtered cows in hopes that this spelled a victorious end to a more than four-month campaign to push their leader from power.
Behind the festive atmosphere, many feared Ali Abdullah Saleh, a masterful political survivor who has held power for nearly 33 years, will yet return — or leave the country in ruins if he can't. Hanging in the balance was a country that even before the latest tumult was beset by deep poverty, malnutrition, tribal conflict and violence by an active al-Qaida franchise with international reach.
While Saleh is away, Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is acting as temporary head of state, said the deputy information minister, Abdu al-Janadi. The minister said the president would return to assume his duties after his treatment, though experts on Yemeni affairs questioned whether a return is possible in the face of so much opposition.
"Saleh will come back. Saleh is in good health, and he may give up the authority one day but it has to be in a constitutional way," al-Janadi said. "Calm has returned. Coups have failed. ... We are not in Libya, and Saleh is not calling for civil war."
His sudden departure raised many questions, including whether his Saudi hosts would bless his return. The Saudis have backed Saleh and cooperated over the years in confronting al-Qaida and other threats, but they are now among those pressing him to give up power as part of a negotiated deal. Saudi Arabia has watched with concern the anti-government protests that have spread to other neighboring countries like Bahrain and is eager to contain the unrest on its doorstep.
The president's absence raised the specter of an even more violent power struggle between the armed tribesmen who have joined the opposition and loyalist military forces under the command of Saleh's son and other close relatives. Street battles between the sides have already pushed the political crisis to the brink of civil war.
On September 23, president Saleh returned to Yemen after of being healed in Saudi Arabia for three month for wounds he sustained during an assassination attempt in June.
In his first major televised speech after returning, delivered wearing medical gloves over his burned hands, he barked that he never wanted power and would "reject it in the coming days" - an odd phrasing that his aides later explained meant he was not stepping down any time soon.
After the rocket attack on Presidential Palace Yemeni government first blamed Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for the attack, and then accused President Saleh's opponents in the opposition coalition and later on America, however; till this minute, no one knows who committed the attack against president Saleh
President Saleh authorizes his VP to conduct dialogue with opposition
For first time since 33 years of the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, president Saleh authorized some of his authorities to his Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to conduct dialogue with Yemen opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties according to the GCC Initiative to solve Yemen Crisis.
On September 12, 2011 President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued a presidential decree to give Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi a mandate to conduct a dialogue with the parties signatories to the Gulf initiative.
Upon the presidential decree No. (24), "Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi has the necessary constitutional authority to conduct a dialogue with the signatories of the initiative made by the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, reach an agreement on a lasting mechanism for the implementation of the initiative, sign it subsequently on our behalf and begin tracking its implementation under a regional and international auspice, leading to hold an early presidential election and ensure a legal and democratic transition of power".
Anwar Al-Awlaki killed in drone strike in Yemen
Anwar Al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, was killed in a CIA drone strike on September 30, American hailed it as a success for Washington and its partners in the fight against Islamic militancy.
Awlaki, 40, who was born in New Mexico and was of Yemeni descent, a key English-speaking propagandist for Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch, was killed in a drone attack in a remote Yemeni town, part of a campaign of airstrikes waged by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The U.S. government branded Awlaki a "global terrorist" last year. He had been targeted more than once by U.S. forces authorized to kill him because of what Washington believed was the role he played in radicalizing English-speaking Muslims and because of his alleged role in plots to attack U.S. targets.
U.S. intelligence had identified him as "chief of external operations" for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered the most dangerous of the militant network's far-flung branches.
Awlaki planned and directed attacks against the United States. In addition, Awlaki publicly urged attacks against U.S. persons and interests worldwide and called for violence against Arab governments he judged to be working against al Qaeda.
America called Awlaki's killing the latest example of "recent global CT (counterterrorism) success by the U.S. and its partners.
According to analysts Awlaki's death adds to a list of recent blows to al Qaeda, including the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan in May.
STEPPED-UP DRONE STRIKES
The United States has stepped up drone strikes in Yemen to try and keep al Qaeda off balance and prevent it from capitalizing on the strife and chaos gripping the nation.
Awlaki was the first U.S. citizen who the White House authorized the CIA or other U.S. agencies to kill because of his alleged operational role in militant attacks directed against the United States.
This authorization was issued after intelligence was collected linking him to a botched attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound plane in December 2009. He was also accused of helping to oversee a failed plot in October 2010 to blow up U.S. cargo aircraft.
The U.S. government also found that he had sought to use poisons including cyanide and ricin in attacks on Westerners and had contacts with a military psychiatrist accused of carrying out a deadly shooting rampage that killed 13 people in 2009 at the Fort Hood army base in Texas.
U.S. intelligence officials have said al Qaeda, the militant network that carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, has been severely debilitated by the loss of some of its top leaders.
Tawakkul Karman Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Long-time activist Tawakkul Karman received on October 7 the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Yemeni and the first Arab woman to receive the prestigious award. Karman won the prize with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.
The award came after months of daily protests against President Saleh, and the Nobel committee gave a nod to the Arab Spring, the wave of uprisings that have swept the Middle East, forcing out the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Karman knows among Yemenis as "the iron woman" and the "mother of the revolution." Despite the conservative Muslim and tribal society she has been the face of the mass uprising against the authoritarian regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The 32-year-old Karman has been an activist for human rights in Yemen for years, but when she was arrested in January, it helped detonate protests by hundreds of thousands demanding the ouster of Saleh and the creation of a democratic government.
Karman, a mother of three, originally hails from the southern city of Taiz, a city known for its prominent middle class and university intellectuals that has long been a hotbed of opposition to Saleh. Her father, Abdul-Salam Karman, was once the legal affairs minister under Saleh, but resigned to protest government corruption.
Karman had organized protests and sit-ins as early as 2007, referring to her regular gatherings outside government offices in Sana'a as the "Freedom square." She campaigned for greater rights for women and an end to harassment of journalists, heading Women Journalists without Chains, an organization advocating for press freedoms.
In December 2010, the uprising erupted in Tunisia after a local fruit vendor in the North African nation, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire.
In Yemen, Karman led protests in support of the Tunisians, sending out mobile phont texts to urge people to join. The small protests, comprising no more than 200 people, were broken up with water cannons and batons.
On Jan. 23, 2011 authorities arrested Karman.
The move was meant as a warning to her, but it backfired, sending a wave of women protesters into the streets of Sanaa and other cities, a rare sight in Yemen. Karman was released early the next day and by the afternoon she was leading another protest.
She and other organizers were further inspired by Egypt, where protesters seized control of Cairo's central Tahrir Square demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Days after Mubarak stepped down in February, Yemeni protesters, with Karman and other male protest organizers at the helm, seized a major intersection in the heart of Sanaa, which then came to be known as Change Square. Karman has been part of a council grouping the disparate protest groups and an organization representing the youth of revolution.
Since Feb. 17, the protest camp has remained in place, even as security forces have repeatedly opened fire on it. In a recent wave of fighting between security forces and dissident military forces in the capital last month, more than 150 people were killed, most of them protesters.
President Saleh signs Gulf Initiative in Riyadh
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah signed in Riyadh's Al-Yamama royal palace on the Gulf Initiative and its mechanism to hand over his powers to his Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi after 10 months of daily mass protests in the country against President Saleh and his regime.
Representatives of Yemen's ruling General People Congress party, and the opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting parties also signed the deal which is intended to end 33 years of President Saleh's rule.
Under the agreement, which Saleh had stalled for months in defiance of intense domestic and international pressure, the veteran leader will hand his powers to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution for himself and his family, although he will remain honorary president for 90 days.
The plan also calls for early presidential elections with in 90 days of the signing. It also calls for a two-year transition period in which a national unity government will amend the constitution, work to restore security and hold a national dialogue on the country's future.
Saleh's signature on the Gulf-brokered accord came after three times of backing away at the last minute.
Still, Saleh's signing is unlikely to appease the protesters on the streets who demand more sweeping political changes and who say Yemeni opposition parties that have approved the deal have been compromised by their longtime dealings with Saleh.
Even though, after Saleh's signing on the GCC deal protests against him is continuing in the whole country till this moment.
VP calls on voters to partake in presidential election on February
Under the GCC Initiative in which President Saleh signed three days ago in Riyadh and handed his powers to his Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution for himself and his family and remaining honorary president for 90 days.
Acting president Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi under the GCC issued a presidential decree No. (27) for 2011 calling on voters to head to the polls on February 21, 2012 to elect a new president.
The presidential decree was issued after reviewing the Yemeni Constitution, Law No. 13 of 2001 and the presidential decree No. 24 for 2011 giving Vice President a mandate to conduct a dialogue with the Gulf initiative's signatory parties, in addition to the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanism signed in Riyadh on November 23, 2011.
The decree stipulates that the early presidential election will be conducted under the management and supervision of the current Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum (SCER), the election law and electoral roll.
Yemeni National Reconciliation Government formed
Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued the republican decree No. 184 for 2011 forming the Government of the National Reconciliation.
Based on the nomination of General People Congress (GPC) and its allies and the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) and its partners, the decree announced the government's members as follows:
1- Mohammed Salem Basindwa - Prime Minister;
2- Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, Minister of Foreign Affaires;
3- Yahya al-Shu'aibi, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research;
4- Hamoud Ubad, Minister of Endowment and Islamic Affaires;
5- Amat al-Razzaq Hummad, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor;
6 - Omar al-Kurshumi, Minister of Public Works and Roads;
7 - Awadh Saad al-Socatri, Minister of Fisheries Wealth;
8 - Mohammed Nasir Ahmed, Minister of Defense;
9 - Saleh Hasan Sumai, Minister of Electricity;
10 - Hisham Sharaf, Minister of Oil and Minerals;
11 - Nabil Shamsan, Minister of Civil Service and Insurance;
12 - Muammar al-Eryani, Minister of Youth and Sports;
13 - Abdul-Qader Qahtan, Interior Minister;
14 - Mohammed al-Sa'adi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation;
15 - Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghr, Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology;
16 - Ali Mohamed al-Yazidi, Minister of Local Administration;
17 - Sakhr Ahmed al-Wajih, Minister of Finance;
18 - Abdul-Hafez Nomu'an, Minister for Technical Education and Vocational Training;
19 - Farid Ahmed Mujawar, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation;
20 - Abdul-Razzaq Yahya al-Ashwal, Minister of Education;
21 - Ahmed Qassim al-Ansi, Minister of Public Health and Population;
22 - Houriah Ahmed Mashhour, Minister of Human Rights;
23 - Mohammed Ahmed al-Mikhlafi, Minister of Legal Affairs;
24 - Qasim Sallam, Minister of Tourism;
25 - Abdo Razzaz Saleh Khaled, Minister of Water and Environment;
26 - Abdullah Aubal Mandhouq, Minister of Culture;
27 - Mujahid al-Quhali, Minister for Expatriate Affaires;
28 - Wa'ed Abdullah Bathib, Minister of Transport;
29 - Murshed Ali al-Arashani, Minister of Justice;
30 - Saad al-Din Ali Bin Talib, Minister of Industry and Trade;
31 - Rashad Ahmad al-Rassas, Minister of State for Parliament and Shura Council affairs;
32 - Ahmed Ali al-Amrani, Minister of Information;
33 - Jawharah Hamoud Thabet, Minister of State for Cabinet Affaires;
34 - Shaif Ezi Saghir, Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet;
35 - Hasan Ahmed Sharaf al-Din, Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet.
Yemenis, on Strike, Demand That Their Managers Be Fired
In a new pattern of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his regime, thousands of Yemeni employees across the country started demanding thtat their managers to be fired. The wave of labor unrest began for first time when employees of the national airline, Yemenia Airways, walked off their jobs, demanding dismissal of the director, a son-in-law of Mr. Saleh. The strikers accused him of plundering the company’s assets and driving it into bankruptcy. The government gave in to the demands.
Strikes spread through Yemen till this moment as workers demanded reforms and the dismissal of managers over accusations of corruption linked to the country’s departing president.
The strikes are following a pattern. Workers lock the gates to an institution and then storm the offices of their supervisors, demanding new bosses who are not seen as tainted by connections to the old government. So far, the chain of events has played out in several state agencies.
Analyses and protesters in Yemen described the strikes inside the institutions as the real revolution, and called it the institutions revolution.
New island appears off Yemen after volcanic eruption
At the Year's end on December 30 a new island appeared off the west coast of Yemen following a volcanic eruption, Nasa has announced.
The US space agency's Earth Observatory posted satellite photos showing a plume of white smoke rising from the ocean near the Zubair group of islands in the Red Sea on Dec 23.
"The image from December 2011 shows an apparent island where there had previously been an unbroken water surface." And "a thick plume rises from the island, dark near the bottom and light near the top, perhaps a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapour."
According to volcanologist, Rick Wunderman new islands are created by undersea volcanoes every few years, but many are not strong enough to withstand the wind and waves of the open sea. Adding the volcanic material in the Red Sea tends to be more durable.