No Place for Gays in Yemen By Shuaib Almosawa 16 August 2013
SANA’A, Aug 16 2013 (IPS) - As he gets ready to go to a café in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, Husam tucks his long tresses inside a hood before getting into the back of his friend’s car.
“Still problematic,” his friend tells him, assessing him in the rear view mirror. Husam pushes his hair further inside. A short drive ahead, they stop at a checkpoint, one of the many that keep an eye on Sana’a’s heavy traffic. A soldier grabs a torch, shines it on Husam. His long lashes blink in the harsh light. (read more)
A boy stands next to his grandmother, Noor Awad al-Houla, 60, at their house in the southern Yemeni town of Jaar on February 1, 2013. The woman suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed after an air strike hit a neighboring house last year that was targeting al Qaeda-linked militants. (Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters)
Living in Terror Under a Drone-Filled Sky in Yemen By Vivian Salama, the Atlantic 29 April 2013
A small house, once made of large cement blocks, is reduced to rubble in a sea of untouched homes and shops in Jaar, a town in South Yemen's Abyaan governorate. There are no signs of life where that house once stood -- no photos, furniture, and certainly no people left behind. In May 2011, the house was struck by a drone -- American, the locals say. Some believe the sole occupant, a man named Anwar Al-Arshani, may have been linked to Al Qaeda, although he kept to himself, so no one knows for sure. As Al- Arshani's house smoldered from the powerful blow, townspeople frantically rushed to inspect the damage and look for survivors. And then, just as the crowd swelled, a second missile fired. Locals say 24 people were killed that day, all of them allegedly innocent civilians. (read more)
Separate attacks injure 5 Yemeni journalists, relatives Committee to Protect Journalists 26 April 2013
New York -- The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a series of serious assaults on the Yemeni press that have left at least five journalists or their family members injured.
Unidentified men shot at Mansoor Noor, a journalist for the news website 26 September, on April 17. The gunmen fired on Noor in the street in the southern city of Aden as he was on his way to the office, the Yemen Journalists Syndicate and the media watchdog Freedom Foundation said. Doctors were forced to amputate Noor's right leg, which had been hit several times.
On April 21, unknown individuals attempted to abduct the 13-year-old son of Mohammed al- Hudhaifi, a reporter for the news website Mareb Press, in the Al-Rawdah neighborhood of Taiz, the website reported. The assailants, who were riding in a white Toyota HiLux truck with license plate 3/39528, ran over Wahib al-Hudhaifi after they failed to kidnap him. Wahib is now recovering from head and leg injuries. (read more)
Drone Strikes Turn Allies Into Enemies, Yemeni Says By Charlie Savage, New York Times 23 April 2013
WASHINGTON — A Yemeni man who studied at an American high school told Congress on Tuesday that a drone strike on his village in Yemen last week terrified his neighbors, turning them against the United States in a way that terrorist propaganda had failed to do.
The man, Farea al-Muslimi, said his friends and neighbors used to know of the United States primarily through “my stories of the wonderful experiences I had” here. “Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the fear they feel at the drones over their heads. What the violent militants had failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant.”
A man killed in the strike was well known locally, Mr. Muslimi also asserted, and could easily have been arrested by Yemeni forces. (read more)
Yemen: Trapped between Iran, Saudi Arabia United Press International 15 April 2013
SANAA, Yemen, April 15 (UPI) -- Yemen has been a battleground between the West and al- Qaida for years. It's also torn by what amounts to a three-way civil war.
Now it's emerging as an arena in the religious-driven confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
After years of internal conflict and the enforced 2012 departure of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a political deal with the Americans and the Saudis, there was hope that one of the Arab world's poorest nations was seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
But once again Yemen, strategically located at the southwestern tip of the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula and dominating key shipping routes, is caught up in the deepening power struggle between Shiite Iran and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf. (read more)
Russian Red Cross worker shot in Yemen: security source Reuters 26 March 2013
A Russian aid worker working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen in the Yemeni capital on Tuesday, a security official said.
"The foreign worker was in the car of an international organization when she was shot in one of Sanaa's streets," the official said, adding that the woman was in critical condition. (read more)
Hundreds of Yemenis Still Without Homes, Victims of Regional Violence By Sadeq Al-Wesabi, Yemen Times 21 March 2013
Children at an IDP camp in Hajja governorate. Children are some of the most vulnerable in the camps, lacking formal education and exposed to life-threatening diseases.
Over the course of the last 1o years, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have been displaced from their homes, victims of separate—but similarly violent—regional conflicts in the northern and southern governorates.
This number of internally displaced people, or IDPs, is now more than 500,000, according to the Executive Unit for IDPs Camps in Yemen, a state organization formed in 2009. (read more)
Children at an IDP camp in Hajja governorate. Children are some of the most vulnerable in the camps, lacking formal education and exposed to life-threatening diseases. (Rammah Al-Jubari)
Five killed in Yemen clash between al Qaeda fighters, militia Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Erica Billingham, Reuters 21 March 2013
At least five people were killed in Yemen when a pro-government militia attacked al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants on Thursday, residents and militia sources said.
U.S.-allied Yemen has been grappling with an Islamist insurgency since popular protests forced President Ali Abdulah Saleh to step down in November 2011.
The United States considers Yemen an important ally against al Qaeda which it fears could use the country to plot attacks against its interests, and has regularly used drones to hit suspected militants there. (read more)
Yemen: Yemeni armed tribesmen are supported by the Yemeni army to fight with al-Qaeda fighters in Loder (AFP)
Several killed in Yemen suicide attack Al Jazeera 4 March 2013
A suicide car bomb driven by a suspected Al-Qaeda fighter has rammed into a building in south Yemen used by pro-government armed men, killing 12 of them, a member of the group and medics said.
Leading members of the armed group were holding a meeting in the building which is a government office, when the attack occured on Monday, a member of the armed group that have fought the fighters alongside the army said.
"A suicide car bomber from al-Qaeda managed to reach the office of the Popular Resistance Committees in Loder, and detonated the explosives at the gate," he added. (read more)
Yemen’s ousted leader urges ‘forgiveness’ amid calls for prosecution in deaths during uprising By Associated Press, Washington Post 27 February 2013
SANAA, Yemen — In his first public speech in more than 18 months, Yemen’s ousted autocratic leader Ali Abdullah Saleh pleaded for “forgiveness of the past” on Wednesday amid warnings of U.N. sanctions and calls for prosecution of those responsible for the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising.
His speech in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa marked the first anniversary of a transfer of power in 2012 that followed massive protests and sit-ins. With Saleh pictures and flags, tens of thousands of Saleh supporters gathered near the presidential palace, chanting “the people want Ali Abdullah Saleh.” Saleh arrived in an entourage similar to the presidential convoy while a top Saleh party politician, Sultan al-Barakani, addressed the crowd by saying, “welcome the brother, the leader.”
“We call for reconciliation, shaking hands and forgiveness of the past to build a new Yemen. Forget about the past and look at the future,” he told the cheering crowd. (read more)
Violence grips southern provinces - point of no return say separatists By Yemen Post Staff 25 February 2013
For the fifth consecutive days, Yemen southern provinces are gripped by an escalation in violence, with reports of armed clashes in Aden - southern seaport city - Seyoun and Mukallah - eastern province of Hadhramawt - between separatists and the Central Security Forces.
On Monday afternoon in Crater, residents reported seeing from the Security Forces chasing down unarmed Haraki militants - Southern Secessionist Movement - down alleyways and streets, weapons at the ready.
Just after Asr, a Doctor in al-Haddadin Street - Crater - witnessed an armored vehicle pursuing two civilians on foot, while two snipers were shooting live ammunitions. "I heard shooting and screaming... a few seconds later I saw two young men running while being chased by an armored vehicle. A sniper started immediately shooting at them. I could see the bullet hitting the balconies right above them. Those two men were unarmed and could not have been much over twenty years old." (read more)
Yemen president urges dialogue as protests mar south trip By AFP, Ahram Online 25 February 2013
President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi said Monday that dialogue was the only way to solve Yemen's problems, as violence marred the third day of his visit to the south where security forces clashed with activists.
Hadi arrived Saturday on a surprise visit to the south, his first since becoming president in February 2012.
On Monday he met officials in Aden as four protesters were wounded when police opened fire to disperse a demonstration in the southeastern city of Mukalla, reports and witnesses said. (read more)
Three killed in Yemen ahead of protest rally Al Jazeera 22 Feb 2013
Police in Yemen have shot dead three people who were heading to a rally in Aden for southern independence, as the deeply divided country marked a year since the ousting of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president.
Officers said on Thursday that a passer-by was also killed when, according to Southern Movement member Fathi Ben Lazraq, "they [the police] fired on activists trying to reach the place where the rally was being held" in the city's Parade Square.
Reports said police were trying to prevent clashes between them and the Al-Islah (Reform) party, which held a demonstration in the same square in support of national unity and of interim President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. (read more)
Supporters of the separatist Southern Movement gathered in Aden to rally for southern independence [Reuters]
Group Accuses Yemen of Ignoring Protesters’ Killings By The Associated Press, New York Times 12 February 2013
SANA, Yemen (AP) — Human Rights Watch accused Yemen on Tuesday of failing to investigate the 2011 killing of 45 antigovernment protesters during the uprising against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The group said in a report that top former officials, including Mr. Saleh’s relatives, should be held responsible for the deaths in the March 18, 2011, confrontation in which the government unleashed security forces on the demonstrators in the capital, Sana. Mr. Saleh stepped down last year.
Letta Tayler, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, warned that “if Yemen doesn’t fairly investigate and prosecute those responsible for this deadly attack, it risks perpetuating the culture of impunity at the heart of Yemen’s uprising.” (read more)
Credit: Reuters (17 June 2011)
Genocide and politicide warning: Yemen By Genocide Watch 1 March 2012, updated 25 April 2012
On 22 May 1990 the Republic of Yemen was founded, unifying the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the Marxist People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen). The former president of the North, Ali Abdullah Saleh, became the first president of Yemen, although, he lacked support in the South. The political divisions between the former two countries were so overwhelming that in 1994 a civil war broke out. The secessionist southerners were defeated and the civil war aggravated the subordination of the south.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world. Its UNDP human development index stands at 0.462, whereby Yemen ranks 154 out of 187 countries in the world. The country is thorn by three security issues: the separatist insurgency in the South, the Zaida Shia rebellion in the North (the Houthis) –supported by Iran through arm supplies– and the increasing presence of Al Qaeda. In addition, Yemen has to deal with Somali refugees, including Al Shabaab militants. Yemen has been called "a failed state" due to its divisions.
In January 2011, Yemen joined by the popular uprisings called "the Arab Spring". The desire for democratic change resulted in peaceful demonstrations by Yemeni citizens, which were violently repressed by government forces. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, at least 270 people, 120 in Taizz alone, died during the protests (read more). Government officials have recently admitted that in fact over 2,000 Yemenis died. Although Yemen seemed to be a hopeless candidate for democracy, non-violent democratic protests continued. The fact that one third of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded to Tawakkol Karman, along with two other women leaders, encouraged the movement. It was an important symbolic victory for the voices of the Arab Spring, as well as for the role of women in the transition to peace and democracy. Symbols matter. They are how people think.
On November 23, President Saleh eventually agreed to transfer his power to Vice-President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution. Vice-President Hadi is known for his compromising nature. The Yemeni Parliament passed the necessary legislation in January (read more). On February 25, 2012 President Hadi was sworn in before the Parliament. Two days later a ceremony took place which was attended by former president Saleh.
The transition to greater democracy in Yemeni politics has had many shortcomings. Only one candidate ran in the first Presidential elections and the family of former president Saleh still controls the security sector of Yemen, in particular the army and the security agencies (read more). Recently, there have been rallies denouncing the dominant presence of former president Saleh's loyalists in the armed forces. However, President Hadi will guide the democratic transition in Yemen for two years. The challenges facing Yemen remain very high and necessitate a strong central government. The threat of Al Qaeda was evidenced again by a lethal bombing the day of President Hadi's swearing-in (read more).
Genocide Watch has downgraded the risk of genocide and politicide in Yemen from stage 7 (active massacres) to stage 6: potential massacres. Genocide Watch welcomes the recent transfer of power in Yemen and the large participation in elections by Yemeni citizens. However, the following risk factors are evidence that the security situation in Yemen is still of great concern. The roots of national identity and democracy are shallow. Yemen could again degenerate quickly into violence.
There is still a governing elite in Yemen, dominated by Sunni Muslims. The government has to overcome this polarization by effectively incorporating and pacifying Shi'ite rebels in the north and the separatist movement in the south. The National Dialogue planned by President Hadi needs to represent members of these other communities.
The Yemeni government is incapable of governing some remote areas in the country that are characterized by tribal animosity, kidnappings, brigandage and anarchy. Al Qaeda has a strong foothold in those regions and hundreds of soldiers have died during clashes since the new president took office.
The Security Sector of Yemen needs urgent reform. In several cities there are still scattered command groups under military, paramilitary or tribal leadership, despite their connection to former president Saleh and the human rights violations they committed during the Arab Spring.
Food shortages have increased insecurity in Yemen.
An Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Yemen crucified an alleged US spy, and posted a video of the crucifixion on YouTube, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) said on Wednesday. The Washington, DC-based media watchdog said the man had been crucified by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Al-Shari’a for allegedly directing US drones targeting terrorists in Yemen. It said the YouTube clip was posted on Monday.
The victim was crucified on an electric pylon in south Yemen’s Abyan province.
A sign above the man’s head showed the flag of the Al-Qaeda-linked group and text from verse 5:33 of the Koran: “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.”
(c) 2012 The Times of Israel
Al Qaeda in Yemen urges Muslims to kill U.S. diplomats over film
15 Sep 2012
DUBAI (Reuters) - The Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda urged Muslims on Saturday to step up protests and kill U.S. diplomats in Muslim countries over a film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad which it said was another chapter in the "crusader wars" against Islam. (read more)
Sept membres d'Al-Qaeda tués au Yemen
7 juin 2012
Sept membres d’Al-Qaeda ont été tués jeudi dans un raid aérien et des combats dans le sud du Yémen où l’armée poursuit une offensive contre le réseau islamiste, a indiqué un responsable local.
L’armée de l’air a lancé un raid contre la banlieue est de Jaar, une ville de la province d’Abyane contrôlée par Al-Qaeda, tuant cinq insurgés islamistes et blessant trois autres, a indiqué le responsable.
En outre, a-t-il ajouté, deux autres insurgés ont été tués dans des combats avec les comités de la résistance populaire, des supplétifs de l’armée, à Batiks, un village au nord-ouest de Jaar.
Les combats ont éclaté lorsque des combattants d’Al-Qaeda ont tenté de s’infiltrer dans Batiks, d’où le réseau a été chassé la semaine dernière par l’armée, a-t-il expliqué.
L’armée a lancé le 12 mai une offensive contre Al-Qaeda pour tenter de reprendre Zinjibar, la capitale de la province d’Abyane, Jaar et d’autres localités de cette province, contrôlées depuis l’an dernier par le réseau extrémiste.
Depuis le début de cette offensive, 423 personnes ont été tuées selon un bilan compilé par l’AFP à partir de différentes sources : 315 membres d’Al-Qaïda, 68 soldats, 22 supplétifs de l’armée et 18 civils.
Yemen suicide bomb massacre ‘beginning of Jihad,’ says Al Qaeda
By Ahmed Al-Haj
21 May 2012
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military parade rehearsal Monday in Yemen’s capital, killing 96 soldiers in one of the deadliest attacks in the city in years, officials said. Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group said in an emailed statement that it had targeted the defence minister, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, who arrived at the heavily secured city square to greet the assembled troops just minutes before the blast ripped through the area.
The bombing left a scene of carnage, with scores of bleeding soldiers lying on the ground as ambulances rushed to the scene. Several severed heads were on the pavement amid large pools of blood and human remains.
“This is a real massacre,” said Ahmed Sobhi, one of the soldiers who witnessed the explosion. “There are piles of torn body parts, limbs and heads. This is unbelievable. I am still shaking. The place turned into hell. I thought this only happens in movies.” (read more)
A still image taken from video shows army personnel helping injured soldiers at the scene of a suicide attack in Sanaa on Monday, May 21, 2012. A uniformed man blew himself up in the midst of a military parade rehearsal attended by senior
Credit: Amira Al-Shariff – The New York Times
When Tawakkol Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 7 October 2011, she became a standard-bearer for the Arab Spring and for the role of women across the Middle East (read more).
World Press Photo 2011
A woman hugs a wounded relative inside a mosque used as a hospital during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on October 15, 2011.