Weekly News Update 20 March 2014

Yemen Times

Yemen Times

Highlights:
Yemen’s quiet president
Al-Jazeera — 2 March 2014
A few days after one of the worst terrorist attacks in their country’s history, Yemenis tuned in to the state broadcaster for reassurance from their president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.  Hadi appeared onscreen – in a framed photograph, mounted on the wall behind a spokesman who read out the president’s comments. Sharp-eyed viewers noticed that Hadi, in the picture, and his spokesman, in real life, were wearing identical outfits: a dark blue suit, a crisp white shirt and a thickly knotted silver-blue tie.  For many, the TV no-show summed up Hadi’s presidency to date. Nearly invisible in his previous role as vice president, Hadi has continued to shun the public eye since becoming president two years ago, preferring by and large to let others do the talking instead.

The Popular Committees of Abyan, Yemen: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Security Reform?
Middle East Journal — 5 March 2014
The government needs to take urgent measures to bring the PCs under the purview of the Ministry of Interior and into the police forces. Not only will that prevent the PCs from becoming a problem, but it might also bring about much needed security reforms in a country where a weak central government has often relied on informal structures to face crises and security threats. “There is a great potential for the PCs. They want to be integrated into local police forces, and they will be the best at it. They know their communities, they know the people and the strangers who come in and out in their areas,” said Ahmed Alfadhli, a local tribal and civic leader who was the deputy chief of police in Abyan in the 1960s. “But this has to happen soon. A year from now it might be too late, and things will get out of control.”

Yemen’s National Dialogue
Middle East Institute — 10 March 2014
The difficulties in completing the transitional plan of the Gulf initiative stem in part from the nature of the initiative itself. The Gulf initiative was an agreement between the competing elite factions of the old Saleh regime that had split into warring sides during the “Arab Spring.” The street protests in Yemen were the final straw rather than the force that brought down the Saleh regime. As such, Yemen’s Arab Spring was more an internecine fight between regime elites than a popular revolt that deposed a dictator.

Houthis:
Yemen: Conflict Alert
International Crisis Group — 26 February 2014
In Yemen’s far North, a patchwork of ceasefires between the Huthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah, and its various adversaries is in peril. The Yemeni government needs to take bold action, in coordination with the international community, to prevent a relapse of violence that would almost certainly be more difficult to contain than the last round.

At least 13 killed in north Yemen clashes – security source
Reuters — 1 March 2014
At least 13 people died when Shi’ite Muslim fighters clashed with security forces in northern Yemen on Friday, government sources said, underlining the chaos still gripping the country two years after mass protests ousted its leader. The fighters were from the Houthi movement which is seeking to strengthen its hold on the north – one of a string of challenges facing an interim government also battling southern separatists, al Qaeda-linked militants and an economic crisis.

Rebels rally in Yemen city demanding government quit
AFP via Gulf News — 15 March 2014
Thousands of Al Houthi rebels marched through a provincial capital in northern Yemen on Friday to demand the resignation of the central government, which they accused of corruption, witnesses said. With many totting assault rifles and accompanied by vehicles mounted with rocket launchers, they chanted “down with the corrupt government,” as they paraded on the streets of Omran.

Conflict in Yemen’s north threatens political transition
IRIN — 24 February 2014
At least seven months of stop-start clashes in northern Yemen are hampering aid delivery and raising fears that conflict here could derail the country’s political transition process, according to aid workers and analysts. The intermittent clashes are mainly between Zaydi Shia al-Houthi tribesmen, Sunni Salafis and Hashid tribesmen. “The conflict has upset the balance of power in northern Yemen, which may present new challenges to President Hadi as he negotiates the implementation of the National Dialogue Conference outcome,” Fernando Carvajal, a Yemen specialist at the University of Exeter, told IRIN.

Shiite rebels, soldiers killed in Yemen firefight
AFP via Daily Star — 13 March 2014
Six Shiite rebels and two soldiers were killed in a firefight near Sanaa on Thursday, as Huthis press on south towards the Yemeni capital, tribal and security sources said. Eight of the Huthi rebels, also known as Ansarullah (Partisans of God), were wounded in the clash in Qaratel, a mountainous area 20 kilometres (12 miles) northwest of Sanaa, the sources said.

Yemen official: Houthis attacking Sana’a “suicide”
Asharq Al-Awsat — 15 March 2014
The Houthi movement is not moving to attack and seize the capital Sana’a, according to Yemeni presidential advisor Dr. Fares Saqqaf, who described any such attempt as “would-be suicide” in comments to Asharq Al-Awsat. Members of the Yemeni Shi’ite Houthi movement have advanced towards Sana’a over the past couple of weeks, sparking fears of sectarian violence breaking out in the capital. Yemen has mobilized its military, deploying troops around the capital after at least 40 people were killed in clashes between Houthis and Sunni tribesmen this week. At least four Yemeni soldiers were killed and five others injured on Thursday after Houthi rebels attacked a military convoy in the Hamdan area west of Sana’a, escalating the conflict.

Sectarian unrest draws close to Yemen capital
Asharq Al-Awsat — 9 March 2014
At least 40 people have been killed in three days of fighting between Shia Muslim rebels and Sunni tribesmen, as sectarian fighting draws closer to the capital Sanaa. Fighting in al-Jawf province, 140km northeast of Sanaa, claimed more than 30 lives on Friday and Saturday before government mediators managed to broker a truce. Fighting was still raging on Sunday in Hamdan, an area 30km northwest of Sanaa, with more than 10 people killed, officials on both sides said.

Clashes in northwest Yemen leave 30 dead, dozens injured –governor
Reuters — 9 March 2014
At least 30 people were killed over two days of clashes between Shi’ite Muslim insurgents and Sunni Salafi tribesmen in Yemen’s northwestern al-Jawf province, the provincial governor said, as chaos reigns two years after mass protests ousted the country’s leader.

Yemen army, separatists swap prisoners amid truce
AFP via Gulf News — 14 March 2014
Yemen’s army and southern separatists exchanged prisoners and agreed a truce Thursday in the violence-ridden southern city of Daleh. Local dignitaries handed over to a presidential envoy 30 soldiers captured by the Southern Movement, a military official said. He said that in return, the authorities freed 37 separatists.

Sectarian fighting threatens Yemen’s future
Al-Hayat via Al-Monitor — 24 February 2014
Yemeni member of parliament Mohsen al-Bahr told Al-Hayat, “The continuation of this conflict in the north of the country has catastrophic dimensions on the national level.” He warned that “the rule of the jungle” could govern relationships between regions, in light of the absence of a strong state that distributes sovereign resources, extends its authority and applies laws and regulations.  Bahr noted that some of the reasons for the conflict between the Ahmar clan and the Houthis can be attributed to the fact that “the reconciliation government deviated from stabilizing the security situation and was preoccupied with arranging its leaders and cadres and replacing the so-called members of the ‘old regime.'” For example, this led to [the government] being indifferent to the “siege and forced migration” that the Salafists of Dammaj were subjected to, according to Bahr. This was despite the presence of many military brigades in Saada and Amran.

Politics and Civil Society:
Will new Yemeni partition increase woes?
As-Safir — 24 February 2014
In reality, this “partition” meets — consciously or unconsciously — the interests and demands of the traditional forces in Yemen in general. These forces were the reason behind corruption, poverty, unemployment, conflicts, wars and the deteriorating security situation. The partition puts the traditional forces’ political interests above Yemeni citizens’ general economic and developmental interests. It also gives priority to the concerns of the conservative northern elites — concerns which have been generated following their wars with Ansar Allah in the provinces of Saada, Amran, Hajja, Al-Jawf and Sanaa in the past months — over the interests and demands of the northern citizens. The move also gives precedence to the interests and wishes of the traditional southern elites over the interests of the southern citizens.

Yemen’s decade of division
Al-Monitor — 4 March 2014
The most serious division in society is perhaps the sectarian split that emerged suddenly. When all other alliances were disintegrating, sectarian communities remained cohesive until recent years. The people then took refuge in their tribes and denominations. The sectarian division became the most dangerous of all, because it did not just end an alliance, but paved the way to a never-ending conflict. Yemen had known religious coexistence for decades. With the intensification of battles between Salafists and Houthis, the forcing out of the Salafists and Houthis reviving religious holidays such as Eid al-Ghadir (celebrated by Shiites) and Mawlid (the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday), vertical and horizontal splits have emerged. This division has been expressing itself through the barrel of the gun over the past months.

Presidential delegation aims to end fighting over Taiz water source
Yemen Times — 13 March 2014
A presidential delegation tasked by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi met on Tuesday with two tribal groups involved in a 17-year-old water dispute. The conflict has so far claimed the lives of 17 people of the Qurada and Al-Marzooh tribes, two warring parties in Sabr district in Taiz, while a further 100 people have been injured since 1997, according to Jameel Al-Samed, a local leader from Sabr who spoke with the Yemen Times over the phone.

Yemen’s federal plan a bold idea, but many hurdles remain
Reuters — 23 February 2014
The ink was barely dry on President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s plan to stabilise chaotic Yemen before the objections started pouring in. Leader of a nation seemingly on the brink of breakdown for years, Hadi had hoped he could appease rival political groups by creating a federal state of six regions that would give each more say over political, social, economic and security affairs.

Transitional roadmap merely defers Yemen’s real problems
The National — 11 March 2014
Rushed by time, the committee’s work appears to be badly done. It violates its own by-laws that emphasis that the number, and type, of regions must be done based on many important criteria, including social cohesion, geographical closeness, developmental and economic goals and cultural and social similarities. The final product violates most, if not all, of these indicators. First, and most dangerously, some regions have been reserved to a specific religious sect, marking the first time in Yemen’s history that an area has been officially designated to a sect.

Three years on no justice for Sana’a protest killings
Amnesty International — 18 March 2014
Yemen’s authorities have manifestly failed to hold a thorough and independent investigation into the deaths of at least 50 peaceful demonstrators and bystanders killed in Sana’a during one of the bloodiest incidents of the 2011 uprising, said Amnesty International. On the third anniversary of the “Friday of Dignity” killings, the organization is calling for the creation of an internationally assisted, independent commission of inquiry to investigate this incident and all other human rights violations committed during 2011.

Presidential decree buys more time for constitutional drafting process
Yemen Times — 11 March 2014
President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s Saturday decree to establish the Constitutional Drafting Committee stated that the new constitution would replace the constitution adopted in 1991 and amended in 2001 as well as the Gulf Initiative and its implementation mechanism singed on Nov. 12, 2011. According to the decree, the drafting of the constitution and the constitutional referendum must take place within a year from the date the decree was issued. This means that the new constitution must come into force by March 8, 2015. This overrides a previous requirement laid out in the final document of the National Dialogue conference, which states that the constitution must be drafted and put to referendum within a year from Jan. 25, 2014.

Yemen sanctions 3 new political parties
Al-Shorfa — 18 March 2014
Yemen’s Committee of Party Affairs and Political Organisations recently approved the registration of three new political parties, bringing the total number of political parties in Yemen to 42. The new parties are the Peace and Development party, al-Ummah (Nation) party and the Dialogue and National Initiative party. Of the parties operating in Yemen today, 20 were formed after the implementation of the Gulf Initiative that lifted Yemen out of its political crisis in 2011.

A New Role for Civil Society in Yemen
World Bank — 4 March 2014
Yemen has witnessed an increase  of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in recent years, their rapid growth reflected in their numbers – there are now more than 8,300 registered CSOs in the country, almost a quarter of them springing up since Yemen’s transition got underway in 2011, as well as many informal groups and networks. The vibrancy and dynamism of these CSOs reflects a long tradition of community solidarity in Yemen, where CSOs have the capacity to mobilize youth and volunteers within local communities. This is one of the most untapped resources in Yemen, creating a unique opportunity for the government to build innovative development partnerships and channel citizens’ voices.

Is Yemen’s revolution defeated?
Al-Jazeera — 22 February 2014
There is no doubt that real change will take many years, yet the foundations need to be built correctly. With no real reform of government institutions, no rule of law, deteriorating economy and a catastrophic humanitarian situation, conflicts throughout Yemen have dramatically increased. Three years after the Yemeni revolution, we are left asking ourselves: Can the Yemen model really succeed? And can there be peace without justice?

Praising Yemen’s transition as a good model misses facts
The National — 26 February 2014
Yemen is witnessing a deterioration of its already fragile social fabric, compounded by a breakdown of tribal norms. Foreigners are no longer the sole targets of kidnapping: children of notable businessmen are abducted, members of the national dialogue are held hostage and, more recently, women from prominent families are snatched to shame men. Most governmental operations are interrupted, and airports and seaports are subject to random shutdowns due to protests. In the “democratic model” that has become Yemen, everyday life comes with a penalty. In light of the clear absence of rule of law and the lack of accountability, Yemen has become the perfect realisation of Immanuel Kant’s “State of Barbarism”, a country managed and run by several guerrilla groups and individual leaders under the cover of government.

Smuggling:
Yemen faces increasing weapons, drugs smuggling problem
Al-Monitor — 14 March 2014
The Midi district, located on the Red Sea coast in northwestern Yemen, extends for 100 km (62 miles), but the security forces there complain of a weakness in their ability and capacity to control the port. Official bodies also complain that large arms shipments are entering through the port for the benefit of armed movements, especially the Houthi movement, which the Yemeni government has repeatedly accused of getting weapons from Iran. Bab al-Mandeb — the strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden — is one of the most important waterways in the world. But it is also one of the most important ports for smuggling arms, drugs and people. Hardly a week goes by without contraband being caught passing along its long coast. The same goes for the port in Mocha, which lies between Bab al-Mandeb and Midi in the north. Mocha was Yemen’s most famous port for nearly half a century, but now it has become a port for smuggling goods in multiple directions. It is used for arms and drugs smuggling as well as human trafficking from the Horn of Africa. It is also an outlet to smuggle diesel from Yemen to ships waiting in international waters that buy the diesel at international prices.

Press:
Yemen stops printing leading southern opposition newspaper
Reuters — 23 February 2014
Yemeni authorities have prevented a local newspaper linked to southern separatists from being printed at a government-owned press in Aden, editors said on Sunday, in a move that led to a protest in the port city. The Aden al-Ghad newspaper said officials at the 14 October Printing and Publishing house refused to print its Sunday edition on Saturday night, saying they were implementing instructions from senior officials in the capital.

Yemen’s Aden Al Ghad newspaper back in print
Reuters via Gulf News — 23 February 2014
A local Yemeni newspaper linked to southern separatists said on Saturday it was back in print after being prevented from publishing by the authorities a week ago. Yemeni authorities blocked the Aden Al Ghad newspaper from print at a government-owned press in the port city on February 23 in a move that led to a protest. The Saturday edition of the newspaper has been distributed after being printed in a privately-owned printing house, the editors of the newspaper said in a statement.

Journalists Constantly Harassed and attacked in Yemen
Reporters Without Borders — 13 March 2014
Two years after Abd Rab Mansour Hadi became president, the situation of freedom of information in Yemen continues to be very worrying, especially as regards violence against media personnel. With the help of reporting by the Freedom Foundation, a Yemeni NGO, and the Union of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders has registered more than 20 cases of harassment and violence against journalists, not only by armed individuals and groups but also by members of the security forces. All have gone unpunished.

Education:
Aid incentives lure girls to school
Yemen Times — 11 March 2014
According to 2005-2007 statistics of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Yemen’s rate of adult illiteracy (ages 15 and above) for men stood at 23 percent, while the figure for women was more than double that at 59.5 percent. According to Abdulla, the rate of illiteracy has shrunk because new schools have been opened in villages that previously had none, and illiteracy elimination centers have helped lower the number of illiterate girls in Yemen. “We are doing our best to build schools in rural areas, but it is difficult for us build schools in all villages around the country,” said Abdulla. But even when a new school is opened there is no guarantee that parents will allow their daughters to attend. Abdulla said that one solution is to build a classroom in the school that is devoted exclusively to the girls.

Security:
Yemen president dismisses powerful security head
Al-Monitor — 11 March 2014
The sacking of Qamish and appointment of a younger officer from National Security as his replacement was one of president Hadi’s strongest and most welcomed presidential decrees since he came to power in 2011. Qamish, a descendant of one of Yemen’s strongest tribes, was Yemen’s scariest man and had been in charge of destroying every political movement, party, individual or organization that challenged former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s power.

Al Qaeda threat still looms over Yemen’s stuttering transition
The National — 24 February 2014
These militants have exploited the power struggle between Mr Saleh, Yemen’s longtime ruler who was ousted in 2012 after a popular uprising, and his successor Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, the nation’s interim president. Factions loyal to the two are in a power-sharing government that took office as part of an agreement sponsored by Arabian Gulf states in 2012 to end the country’s political crisis. Yemeni officials claim there is evidence that Mr Saleh, Yemen’s ruler of 33 years, is using his extensive contacts among tribal chiefs, along with loyalists in Yemen’s security agencies and military, to undermine efforts to reform the army and police and embarrass his successor. US officials — who together with Jordan are leading the reform programme for the military and police — have discreetly warned Mr Saleh against trying to obstruct reform or the transition to democracy.

Saudis hardened by wars in Syria, Iraq join al Qaeda in Yemen
Reuters — 17 March 2014
Dozens of Saudi Islamist militants have left the battlefields of Syria and Iraq for Yemen, where their experience appears to have contributed to a spate of lethal al Qaeda attacks, a senior Yemeni security official said. The influx detected in the last few months is worrying for Yemen, a turbulent country where several hundred Saudi militants are already thought to be fighting alongside their Yemeni counterparts in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Car bomb damages local intelligence HQ in southern Yemen, wounds four
Reuters — 18 March 2014
Suspected Islamist militants detonated a car bomb outside the local headquarters of Yemeni military intelligence in the southern Lahej province on Tuesday, wounding at least four people, a security source said. In turmoil since mass protests in 2011 forced out former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen is home to one of al Qaeda’s most active branches as well as facing a separatist movement in the south and a Shi’ite Muslim uprising in the north.

Al-Qaida Destroyed Our Family
Slate — 3 March 2014
Yemen is not unaccustomed to violence. On a per-capita basis, it is the second-most-heavily armed nation on Earth (after the United States), and following the country’s Arab Spring uprising in 2011 there has been an uptick in political violence, terrorist attacks, and purported U.S. drone strikes that combined have led to thousands of casualties across Yemen. But even so, the Dhahab family has been particularly hard-hit. In the past two years, Khaled, a plump, middle-aged man made fidgety by years of violence, has lost at least four brothers, a cousin, and countless more distant relatives to fighting.

2nd anti-Al-Qaeda cleric killed in Hadramout
Yemen Times — 27 February 2014
Unidentified gunmen assassinated a cleric in Hadramout governorate Wednesday known for his strong anti-Al-Qaeda preachings. Imam Ali Bin Salem Bawazeer was leaving the Al-Rawda Social Foundation’s library  in Gail Bawazeer district when he was assassinated. Bawazeer was on his way to the Me’ian Al-Sheikh mosque, according to Sheikh Kamal Bamakhrama, another cleric in the district.

US drones kill local AQAP commander and bodyguard
Long War Journal — 12 March 2014
The US has stepped up the targeting of AQAP’s network in Yemen over the past two weeks after a more than five-week-long pause that began at the end of January. Since March 3, the US has executed four drone strikes inside Yemen. The March strikes have killed five local AQAP military commanders as well as eight fighters, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal. In addition to the March 5 airstrike that killed al Olyan, the US also killed Mujahid Gaber Saleh al Shabwani in a strike in Shabwa on March 3, and Ebad Mobarak Al Shabwani and Ja’afar Mohammad Jaber Al Shabwani on March 10.

Suspected al Qaeda militant killed in drone strike in central Yemen: tribesmen
Reuters — 11 March 2014
A suspected al Qaeda militant was killed in a drone strike late on Monday in Yemen’s central Maarib province, an oil-producing area where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates, local tribesmen said. The sources said three rockets, presumed to be fired by a U.S. drone, hit a car that a man who went by the name of Ebad al-Shabwani was driving. The car was completely burnt, the tribesmen said.

Fighting Old Foes in a New Yemen
US News & World Report — 25 February 2014
Change is afoot in Yemen, where a February 10 agreement has divided the southern Gulf state into a six-region federation. The survivability of this arrangement is uncertain, but America’s need to adapt to it is not. Over the past decade, Washington has devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to aid the Yemeni government with counterterrorism and security. On a tactical level, this approach has been successful; with the benefit of American aid, the central government in Sanaa has managed to dilute the operational effectiveness of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the terror franchise’s most potent and deadly offshoots. But America’s counterterrorism support has relied on a strong central government in Yemen, and has been funneled exclusively through the national capital. Now, as authority is divested and reorganized across the country, the U.S. will need to undergo a rethink in order to prevent al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula from influencing or exploiting the development of new institutions.

Yemen drone strikes, ambushes kill 10
Reuters — 3 March 2014
At least four suspected al Qaeda militants were killed in air strikes in Yemen on Monday, following the deaths of several soldiers in the south of the country, local officials and state news agency Saba reported. The U.S.-allied country which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia has been raked with lawlessness and violence since 2011, when mass protests forced long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Lethal Force Against Southern Protesters
Human Rights Watch — 13 March 2014
Yemeni security forces apparently used excessive lethal force against peaceful demonstrators in Aden on February 20 and 21, 2014. The government should promptly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the incident, which left one protester dead and five wounded, and hold all those responsible for abuses to account.

AQAP threatens further attacks against Yemen’s military
Yemen Times — 27 February 2014
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a 30-minute video on Monday, detailing four operations they launched in Yemen this past year and threatening to unleash more carnage on the military. The film, titled “Defending Against Aggression 3,” showed how AQAP militants broke into the headquarters of the Second Military Region in Mukalla, in Hadramout governorate, in late September of 2013; how they targeted Brigade 111’s headquarters in the Ahwar district of Abyan, also in in October; how they attacked on the defense ministry complex in Sana’a in early December of 2013; and how they stormed the security compound in Aden in late December, 2013.

Gunmen kidnap Czech woman doctor in Yemen
Reuters — 22 February 2014
A Czech doctor was kidnapped by gunmen in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Saturday, the third foreigner to be snatched this month, security sources said. The doctor was walking to work at a private hospital when the armed assailants blocked her way with their car and seized her, the sources said. The kidnapping, which highlights the increasing breakdown of security in the U.S.-allied country, follows that of a British oil worker by unidentified gunmen and a German abducted by Yemeni tribesman to press for the release of their jailed relatives.

Yemeni officials say 3 militants accidentally blow themselves up in explosion in south
AP via US News & World Report — 16 March 2014
Security officials in Yemen say three alleged al-Qaida operatives have accidentally blown themselves up while outfitting a car with explosives in preparation for an operation in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa. Tribesmen from the area and security officials identified the three, one Saudi and two Yemenis, as al-Qaida members. The group is known to be active in the province’s Habban region, where the explosion took place Sunday.

Hirak and security forces trade blame over death of Hirak member
Yemen Times — 18 March 2014
Hirak, also known as the Southern Movement, and security forces in Aden have accused each other of murdering Hirak member Mubarak Khalid Mubarak Al-Awlaqi, 26, on Friday in the Al-Mansoura area of Aden. Security forces have arrested several individuals associated with Hirak, and on Friday and Saturday Hirak members blocked several thoroughfares in the coastal city.

Gunmen kill 2 soldiers in Yemen ambush
AFP via Daily Star — 17 March 2014
Gunmen in Yemen’s southeastern Hadramawt province killed two soldiers in an ambush on an army patrol on Monday, a security official said.

UN:
U.N. to Assess Residents’ Risk in Southern Yemen City
New York Times — 1 March 2014
Alarmed by reports of rising civilian casualties in the southern Yemen city Al Dhale, United Nations aid officials are preparing a mission this week to assess the plight of residents caught in the crossfire between government troops and rebels fighting for the south’s secession from the north. United Nations officials said the visit to Al Dhale would be the first by international staff members in the last two months, when escalating conflict in the south, the government said, made the area too insecure to allow them access. That position changed when United Nations officials met senior defense ministry officials in the capital, Sana, the week before last and provincial authorities in the southern city of Aden last week.

UN authorises sanctions regime for Yemen
Al-Jazeera — 9 March 2014
The UN Security Council authorised sanctions against anyone in Yemen who obstructs the country’s political transition or commits human rights violations, but stopped short of blacklisting any specific individuals. The British-drafted resolution was adopted unanimously on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported. It leaves the imposition of asset freezes and travel bans on specific individuals to a newly created UN sanctions committee for Yemen, which will be made up of all 15 council members.

Security Council targets spoilers in Yemen
Al-Monitor — 2 March 2014
This is the Security Council’s strongest action yet in relation to Yemen’s political transition. Authorizing its actions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the Security Council sent a very strong message to Yemeni political factions regarding their actions in relation to the transition. Though the resolution primarily aims to sanction or warn Saleh, it also sends a clear message to other political factions, like the Houthis, that if violence continues to be their main tool, they will face the same destiny as Saleh.

Helping or hurting Yemen?
Al-Ahram Weekly — 13 March 2014
Meanwhile, Binomar, who is supposed to mediate between the conflicting sides, has seemed to fail to deal neutrally. At least in some of his speeches, Binomar has discriminated between the two sides, calling one “revolutionaries” and the other “not revolutionaries” (those belonging to the former regime), though the transition deal recognised both of them as equal partners. Saleh’s side has accused Binomar of bias as a result, and the Party and its allies have lodged an official complaint with the Security Council to this effect, causing political wrangles between the UN mediator and Saleh. UN Security Council Resolution 2140 is seen by observers as a “big stick” to support Hadi and Binomar, both of whom have failed to ensure a reasonable degree of consent, or at least to clear the air with Saleh’s side.

Saleh says UN resolution will return Yemen to the “dark ages”
Asharq Al-Awsat — 28 February 2014
Following the UN Security Council decision to impose sanctions on individuals judged to be obstructing Yemen’s political transition, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh attacked the resolution, saying it “returned Yemen to the era of occupation.” The UN on Wednesday passed Security Council Resolution 2140, which grants the authority to freeze assets and impose travel bans on individuals judged to be obstructing Yemen’s political transition for a period of one year. While the resolution did not explicitly identify those who were obstructing the peace process, Saleh was accused of doing so in a previous declaration by the UN Security Council in 2013.

UN, Arab League launches new humanitarian plan for Yemen
Ahram — 17 March 2014
A United Nations delegation convened at the Cairo-based headquarters of the Arab League on Monday to announce a humanitarian campaign for some 7.6 million Yemenis over the next year. The campaign, prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), will hope to rebuild communities, assist refugees and migrants and also ensure equal access to amenities for a wider portion of Yemenis, all the while tackling what the UN report called the root problems the country’s ongoing crisis.

Economy:
Yemen’s economic situation to worsen as oil revenues continue to shrink
Yemen Times — 13 March 2014
The Yemeni economy will continue to decline if the government cannot improve protection of its oil pipelines, according to economists. According to a report by the Yemen Central Bank released in mid-February, Yemen oil revenues declined by about $87 million in the past year. The report tracked oil revenue from January 2013 to January 2014.

Yemen’s foreign currency reserves decrease in January 2014
Yemen News Agency — 15 March 2014
Yemen’s foreign currency reserves declined to $5.23 billion in January 2014, with a decrease amounted to $120 million of the reserves of December 2013. Comparing to the recorded reserves in January 2013 reached $6.23 billion, the decline exceeded $1 billion in one year, according to the data of the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY).

Belhaf gas plant to resume operations
Yemen Times — 4 March 2014
About 1,000 Belhaf Liquid Natural Gas Plant workers returned to work in Shabwa governorate on Friday, three months after being evacuated because of security threats, local sources told the Yemen Times. Abdulla Mohsen, a security guard at the plant said that employees returned to the port after security was restored and forces sent for reinforcement were stationed in the area.

New credit fund will support Yemeni agriculture
Yemen Times — 6 March 2014
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced last week that it is planning to set up a credit fund to support and develop Yemen’s agricultural sector. Salah Hajj Hassan, the representative of the organization in Yemen, said this idea was proposed at the 32nd conference that was held Feb. 24–28 in Rome.

Diesel, propane shortage lead gas stations to shut down
Yemen Times — 18 March 2014
Gas stations around the capital have had to shut down this week following increased shortages of diesel fuel and propane gas. The last severe diesel fuel shortage occurred in early November 2013, when thousands of drivers were forced to queue in front of gas stations across the country in order to buy diesel and propane. Following the latest severe shortage, people have begun parking their cars and waiting for fuel to arrive.

College of Science faculty goes on strike at Sana’a University
Yemen Times — 18 March 2014
The teaching staff of Sana’a University’s College of Science have been on strike since Saturday. The faculty council voted late last week to halt studies at the college in protest over insufficient funding and a general lack of academic resources, such as poorly outfitted laboratories.

President: Yemen’s economy is in difficult situation
Yemen News Agency — 16 March 2014
President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi said on Sunday that Yemen’s economy is in a difficult situation due the exceptional and difficult circumstances experienced by the country. This came during his meeting  with a number of sheikhs and notables of Bani Matar area led by Sana’a Governor Abdul-Ghani Jameel.

Child Marriage:
Time to stop child marriage in Yemen and give girls back their childhood
CNN — 17 March 2014
To think of all the girls in my country who are forced into marriage, lose their personalities, their happiness and just have to obey what they are told to do, is what drives me forward in my work. Child brides don’t talk about it, but they suffer. A recent study in Yemen has shown that girls who have their rights taken from them in this way do not forgive their parents, and there is a breakdown of family relationships.

Film:
Beyond the Walls of Yemen’s Revolution:
New Yorker — 28 February 2014
Today, as the bloodshed continues in Syria and as Egyptian military rule digs in, the Arab uprisings are being described by some as failed revolutions. But political transformation should not be the only yardstick; cultural and social shifts have been set in motion. In “Karama,” we see women in the square, young and old, delivering speeches, strumming guitars, and beating drums—images of Muslim women rarely seen in the West. A post-revolutionary struggle is currently underway to secure rights for women, such as a ban on child marriage and a law that would reserve thirty per cent of all elected offices for women. And in a nation where the right to bear arms is more deeply ingrained than it is in the American heartland, we see unarmed tribesmen flashing peace signs and shouting “We’re peaceful” as they are fired upon.

Migration:
Fewer African migrants and refugees coming to Yemen
Yemen Times — 25 February 2014
There has been a massive reduction in the number of African migrants and refugees entering Yemen this past year, according to a Yemeni official. According to the International Organization for Migration, 107,532 African migrants and refugees entered Yemen in 2012. In 2013, this number fell to about 53,000. The continued construction of a wall on the Saudi-Yemeni border, along with new Saudi labor regulations on foreign workers in the kingdom contributed to the lower number of African migrants and refugees making their way to Yemen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s