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The Facts As They Are
Flood-Rocked Hadramaut Rebuilds, Two Years Later
Special: Indian National Day
Gloomy Forecast for Yemen’s Unemployment Figures
SUNDAY , Jan 31, 2011 I ISSUE 30 PRICE : YER 30 WWW . NAT IONALYEMEN. COM
Political Disputes Move to Yemen’s Streets
Massive protests in support of the ruling party gather in Sana’a
Political Disputes Move to Yemen’s Streets By Fakhri Al-Arashi What faces Yemen nowadays is clearly far less dynamic and widespread than what happened in Tunisia and what is going in Egypt. The ongoing political problem threatens the future of the current and future generations even more than the civil war in the summer of 1994 and the six wars of Sa’ada. Indeed, ﬁghting al-Qaeda and repressing the Southern movement’s campaign to secede may have less value in the government’s perspective than the ongoing disputes with the opposition parties. Politicians, diplomats, and international observers are interpreting the political situation in Yemen as an increasingly complex mess of party inﬁghting. Last week, President Ali
Abdullah Saleh met with the military and security ofﬁcers for the third annual conference of its kind. During his speech, the President was actively warning and conciliatory in his remarks. Since December of last year, the government has decided to break all deals with the opposition parties to continue the democratic process for the upcoming parliamentary election scheduled for April 27th. The action has raised deep misgivings on the dialogue between the government and the opposition parties, who complain of the nonexistence of transparency and lack of faith in the government’s ability to make change. Continued on Page (11)
Minister Diverts Medical Equipment to Hometown By Abdullah al -Salmi / NY The Minister of Public Health and Population, Dr. Abdul Karim Rasa'a, has diverted the delivery of CT scan equipment whose value is estimated at $250-300. The Chinese government had donated the medical machines to the Republican Hospital in Sa’ada to help treat those injured in the war in the North. According to the Ofﬁce of the Director General of Health in Sa’ada governorate, Dr. Hanbosh Hussein, the representative ofﬁce of the ministry told him that the minister himself, Mr. Rasa’a gave his instructions a week before on an ofﬁcial holiday to transfer the CT equipment to one of the hospitals in Hajja, in the minister’s hometown. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Health and
Population Dr. Omar Mojalli, who conﬁrmed the news, condemned the action, pointing out that the CT scan, medical equipment, medicines, and clothes were purchased at US $700 paid by the Chinese government to alleviate the consequences of war in Sa’ada. Mojalli reported that the Ministry of Health had implemented a plan for the distribution of such materials and equipment to three governorates: Sa'ada, Amran, and Hajja. He conﬁrmed that the CT scan was awarded to the governorate of Sa’ada because of the geographical remoteness from the capital Sana’a and the serious medical conditions, diagnosis of which requires the CT scan. Continued on Page (3)
Egypt Protests: Anti-Mubarak Demonstrators Dominate Cairo Protesters have taken over the centre of the Egyptian capital Cairo on the sixth day of demonstrations against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The police, who have been involved in violent clashes with protesters in recent days, have largely disappeared from the streets. There is a heavy military presence in the city, but soldiers are not intervening. Meanwhile, al-Jazeera's broadcasts via an Egyptian satellite have been halted. The Egyptian government had earlier ordered the Arabic TV channel, which has been showing blanket coverage of the protests, to shut down its operations in the country. Clashes between protesters and the security forces - mostly riot police - are reported to have left at least 100 people dead across Egypt since rallies began on Tuesday. Thousands have been injured as violence has
ﬂared in cities including Cairo, Suez and Alexandria. In Cairo, many protesters deﬁed an overnight curfew to camp out in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, the focal point of the demonstrations in the city.
An Associated Press report published last week put a microscope on the Global Health Fund’s recent global investigation’s findings, sending shock waves through the humanitarian world. The internal investigative report stated that the $21.7 billion world-wide budget of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria combat is facing significant challenges of corruption and fraud. Although Yemen was not investigated yet, the findings may have a large impact on Yemen’s ability to address HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria which has received a total of over $69 million from the Global Fund.
Many protesters once again climbed onto tanks and armoured vehicles around the square, with many soldiers apparently on friendly terms with the Continued on Page (3)
Egyptians bloodied by security services
Global Health Fund Scandal May Affect Yemen By Dan Driscoll
Chants of "Mubarak, Mubarak, the plane awaits" could be heard on Sunday morning, a reference to protesters' hopes that President Mubarak will step down and leave Egypt.
The extensive corruption was exposed by an internal audit of the newly reinforced inspector general’s office of the Global Fund. Even though only a small, initial portion of the funds’ financing was assessed, fraud and abuse was quickly found to be rampant, raising huge red flags for its global operations. The audit found that much of the money in many countries was poorly accounted for by using weak book-keeping and forged documents. These practices led to heavy abuses of the funding such as phantom training events that were paid for by forged receipts for per-diem payments, lodging, Continued on Page (8)
Military in Shabwa Receives Advanced Vehicles By Mohammed Abdalaleem Security apparatuses in Shabwa carried out a security campaign to purse suspected elements of al-Qaeda in the regions of Nusab, al-Saeed, and al-Hootah in Shabwa directorate. This campaign was held after a security ofﬁcial of Mayfa'a region in Shabwa was killed. An armed group’s attack in Azzan City claimed the life of the and local First Assistant who was the Deputy Director of Research, Aatiq al-Omari, and his another man was injured in Shabwa. In the meantime, Ataq city in recent days witnessed of a number of military attacks on Security headquarters, which led to the deaths of a number of soldiers and others injured during earlier periods. Also,
modern military vehicles had been distributed for the security apparatuses to gain control over the security situation in the governorate. On the other hand, hundreds of Bayhan tribe’speople in Shabwa , along with some tribes continue to carrying out sit-in, Azzan City in Shabwa. They refuse to receive the body of the assistant unless they reveal the perpetrators and arrest them. According to some sources, there is a local mediation headed by al- Sheikh Ali bin Rashid, Agent Governor of Shabwa and al-Sherif Ahmed Mohsen Abboud, chairman of the Executive Ofﬁce to reconstruct and to calm tensions in Maifa’a region. In the meantime, citizens in Shabwa condemned the killing of Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation.
National Yemen Al-Hota Palace Hotel Receives President of the Republic’s Award
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
By Saddam Alashmory Al-Hota Palace hotel in Hadramawt was awarded for its touristic excellence on the occasion of its ﬁrst anniversary. According to General Manager of programs and activities of the Ministry of Tourism, Ahmed alBiel, six touristic institutions have contributed to gain the award while the conditions and criteria have applied to al-Hota Palace hotel as a place whose historical and touristic signiﬁcance to Yemen combines both tradition and modernity. The award, estimated at YR 5 million, was handed down on 26 January in a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Tourism. Prime Minister, Ali Mujwar presented the award to the President of Board of Directors of the “Global Tourism Company,” Alwan al-Shaibani. In the meantime, Ahmed al-Biel
conﬁrmed the importance of the Presidential award in improving the appeal of touristic attractions and creating a spirit of competition among cities, villages and tourist sites. The award garnered much attention, and encouraged owners of touristic facilities operating outside cities to reach the optimal level of services. He pointed out that the award has encouraged creative initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable development of tourism. Alwan al-Shaibani announced that one million riyals was distributed to the staff of the al-Hota hotel and four million riyals will be allocated to small projects carried out by the people of Hadramaut valley, particularly those who are inhabit the area around the hotel. The total amount of the award is actually YR 10 million.
It was divided equally, with ﬁve million riyals allotted for the winning facility, in this case the al-Hota Palace hotel, and another ﬁve million for the city, village or touristic site in which the hotel is located. The committee has determined the dates and stages of evaluation, which consist of four stages of a speciﬁc to gain the award. It was scheduled to be announced by the Ministry of Tourism in the coming days to open the door and receive competition for the award of 2011. Furthermore, the ceremony displayed a documentary ﬁlm about the award for touristic excellence and another ﬁlm about the al-Hota hotel itself, located in Seiyun, which was built on the ruins of al-Hota Palace in the area of Khla’a Rashid.
National Yemen What if it would happen in Yemen?
Arab hopes for a promising future looks rather bleak, especially after Tunisia and Egypt. The two examples indicate the negative respect present within communities and their rulers in spite of the over obedience to all rules and instructions. The Tunsian people have said the last word as they kicked out their ex-Tunisian President and the Egyptian people look to do the same to their president. The two examples shared the same theme but the outcome has been completely different where the Tunisia protected the infrastructure of the country and focused on a precision strike on the president, while the Egyptian protests bluntly attacked Mubarak descinding the enormoity of the event into robbery and savage attacks on Egypt’s infrastructure, heritage, history and civilization – all the things that Egyptian should feel proud of. The two nations are well educated and they effectively made their point. Both were unarmed and they have faced all the types of police – local, riot specialists, special forces – and rendered them as impotent as their commander in cheif. I must confess I am quite worried to say what would happen if similar situations
unfolded in Yemen. Yemen is a country which is already witnessing intense tribal disputes and semiprotest in the southern governorates. I understand that Yemen is still controlled by the government and its officials are are still quite in charge. But as the Yemen government progresses through the initial process of constitutional amendments, will the opposition party use this situation to create the same mess of Tunisia and Egypt? The demand from the people that has been expressed in Egypt and Tunisia pales in comparison to the potential for chaos from the demands of the political parties found here. This could create a situation much worse, more feared, than many imagine. As Yemen is an armed country, the start of a revolution will not forgive any one. Revenge –unrelated to the revolution itself - will be the style and shots will be exchanged from the windows of the homes in which live. Is the year of 2011 where Yemen changes rulers and but also when the country will end? Why is it that Arab and Muslim countries seem to be the only ones that face these problems. Why not the in the United States, Europe, or somewhere else? Why is it that these other countries have the power to bless a protest or call for the respect of a country. I believe that because of these interferences of out side countries that causes Arabs to not value their own nation causing them to impatient with any concept of change. What ever the reason, lets hope that our country does not descend into violent chaos as a result of the Arab wide protests.
Continued From Page (1) Since the ministry had committed to the Health Ofﬁce in Sa’ada to secure those medical equipments, the ofﬁce had already completed all the requirements of the CT scan section in the Republican Hospital in Sa'ada . Dr. Magali expressed his wonder of what minister, Dr. Rasa'a, has done. He demanded him to handover the CT to the Republican Hospital in Sa’ada immediately. Minister Rasa'a justiﬁed his action by saying that he was afraid that the Houthis may have stolen the medical devices. A year ago, when the Minister of Health was on a visit to Sa’ada, he had promised to buy a CT scan for the hospital due to many cases which are referred from hospitals in Sa’ada to the capital
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Sana'a and the lack of this type of medical equipment in the war-ravaged North. Dr. Hanbosh Hussein noted to the National Yemen that the ministry has recommended the Ofﬁce of Sa’ada to supply the republican hospital in the governorate with medical equipment. According to Dr. Hanbosh, the health ofﬁce in Sa’ada has funded the section at over YR 1 million, according to the speciﬁcations proposed by the ministry. In the meantime, Dr. Hanbosh expressed his disappointment at depriving the population of Sa’ada of badly needed facilities, and he wondered why the ministry had requested the Ofﬁce of Health in Sa’ada to equip the section and wasted millions while the health sector derived no beneﬁt.
Fakhri Hassan Al-Arashi Publisher & Chief Editor
Noah Browning Deputy Editor
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
Armed Clashes Simmer in Shabwa From the early morning on Thursday, army forces deployed armored and military vehicles at main intersections and checkpoints to apprehend Southern Movement leader Nasser al-Nubia, Authority Chairman of the Southern Movement in Shabwa. Sources close to the activist, as well as the President of the Association of Retired Military Personnel conﬁrmed that crowds demonstrating in support of the movement had come from Bayhan, Nesab, Mepha’ah, Haban and some other areas around Ataq, capital of Shabwa governorate. Local sources reported that armored military and security
Four Soldiers Killed in al-Mukalla Ambush
vehicles ﬁred a hail of bullets on the roving crowds. In the meantime, an armed clash carried out between al Hirak elements and the security forces used heavy and light arms and the battle lasted for an hour as local shops were shut down and civilians sought shelter. In other developments, a number of the southern movement leadership was arrested last week in the area, including Nasser Thabit al-Awlaki, Salem al-Hol al-Khaliﬁ and some activists working in local schools. In the meantime, the security forces have warned the Movement against carrying out any demonstrations in Ataq in the coming days and weeks.
Four soldiers of the public security were killed along with one citizen on Firday in an ambush carried out by a group belonging to the al- Qaeda terrorist organization on the road between al-Shahr and Wadi Ais leading to the east, near the Southern city of al-Mukalla. The soldiers killed were Salem Bin Junaid, Rabea’a al-Jabri, Haitham Mohammed Saeed Jundi, and Naif Ba Sabri, as well as Chief Financial Officer of Hadramout, Omar al-Amoodi. An official source in Hadramaut confirmed that the incident occurred when an official mail car was heading
eastward from Shahr. They were intercepted by two motorcycles and had their cargo of retirees’ pensions looted. Moreover, the terrorist elements forced them to get out of the postal car and tied them up. Meanwhile, a second group fired on the security vehicle that accompanied the mail car, leaving 4 of the public security’s members dead. The third group fled promptly with the money estimated at YR 12 million. On the other hand, a local source stated that all the security points had been informed to pursue the offenders and bring them to justice.
generators were damaged, which caused the power to cut off in the city.” Eyewitnesses said that Hisham al-Yafa’ai, whose family had moved to the city due to the bombardment of their rural home, was found this morning at his home killed after a number of mortars had penetrated his room and he was seriously injured in the head and chest.
The city of al-Habilayn has witnessed the displacement of thousands people because of the ongoing confrontations. There was local speculation that the military may move toward al-Habilayn from the direction of al-Jada’a, one kilometre from the town. In the meantime, army tanks, rocket launchers and military vehicles remained deployed around al-Habilayn district.
Fierce Battles Rock Lahj After the region of al-Habilayn, in Lahj governorate, had witnessed a lull in violence for two days, the army on Wednesday night renewed shelling on the town, which is considered one of the major bastions for the Southern Movement. A man was killed and a child wounded during the confrontations, while loud explosions were heard in different parts of
the city during the past few weeks of ﬁghting between militants and the army. A local source noted to National Yemen, “The bombardment of the city killed one person named Hisham Askar alYafa’ai and injured a child called Moahib Mohamed Ahmed after the fall of artillery shells and mortar ﬁre on their houses. More than 20 houses as well as a number of shops and
Qaeda warns of 'Christian-Shiite pact' on Yemen An Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader warned Sunni Muslims of a rising "Christian-Shiite alliance" against them in an audio message released on jihadist forums late on Friday. Abu Sufyan al-Azdi called the participation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iran's former foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki at a conference on terrorism in Yemen "is the biggest proof of the Christian-Shiite alliance." "America and Iran became
one alliance against the Sunni people in the area," added the Saudi AQAP leader, who was formerly imprisoned for six years at the US detention centre in Guantanamo, in a 16-minute audio message. Azdi was referring to the annual Manama Dialogue, held in December by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies and billed as the "most important regional security meeting in the Middle East." The AQAP chief also warned Sunnis in Yemen that
they risked being massacred at the hands of northern Shiite Zaidi rebels, also known as Huthis, and urged them not to be caught unprepared. "Sunnis, be careful from the massacres... that happened in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen to happen to you while you are unarmed... prepare yourselves before it is too late... buy weapons... protect your religion, your lives and your honor." Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has been a
growing focus for the operations of his worldwide network, sparking a sharp increase in US military aid. But Al-Qaeda attacks had previously been largely confined to the capital Sanaa and to the mainly Sunni south and east of Yemen, rather than the Shiite-dominant north. In a statement dated November 25 and posted online on jihadist websites, the group called the Huthi rebels "legitimate targets" and said "new attacks are being prepared" against them.
Continued From Page (1) anti-Mubarak demonstrators. Sunday is the start of the working week in the Middle East, but many businesses in the capital are closed. Internet access remains intermittent. The BBC's Jeremy Bowen says that although key government buildings are under heavy guard, there appears to be a vacuum of authority in large areas of the city. Throughout the city, armed citizens' groups have formed to respond to the widespread looting and disorder that has accompanied the growing sense of lawlessness. In the northern coastal city of Alexandria, thousands of anti-government protesters marched on a mosque for the funerals of two demonstrators killed in clashes with police the previous day. There were reports from Alexandria that there is a heavy military presence and a tense atmosphere in the city. Mohammed Al-Asaadi Editorial Consultant
Across Egypt, thousands of prisoners are reported to have escaped from jails after overpowering their guards. Travel advice Western leaders have urged President Mubarak to avoid violence and enact reforms. Mr Mubarak has appointed a vice-president - intelligence chief Omar Suleiman - as he struggles to regain control. Aviation Minister Ahmed Shaﬁq has been appointed prime minister. Sunday saw a number of Egyptian political movements issue a joint statement calling on leading opposition ﬁgure Mohamed ElBaradei to form a transitional government. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government is watching events in Egypt carefully, and hoping to maintain peaceful relations with its Arab neighbour. The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza
Fuad Al-Qadhi Business Editor
Shukri Hussein Abyan Correspondent
Strip is closed, Palestinian ofﬁcials say. The US government, which previously had advised US citizens against non-essential travel to Egypt, is now advising Americans in Egypt to consider leaving the country as soon as possible. The UK has advised against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez. A number of other European countries have also advised against visiting the country. The unrest in Egypt follows an uprising in Tunisia two weeks ago which toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power. The Tunisian upheaval began with anger over rising food prices, high unemployment and anger at ofﬁcial corruption problems which have also left many people in Egypt feeling frustrated and resentful of their leadership. care of BBC News
Jihan Anwar Staff Journalist
AT THE SCENE Sunday provided some of the most amazing images of this uprising so far. In central Cairo, an army officer was carried aloft on the shoulders of cheering protesters. With tanks still on the streets, no-one yet knows if President Mubarak will order the army to turn against the protesters, but scenes like these are potent and powerful. Just off the main square, we found a reminder that people are still being killed and injured - a makeshift field hospital where volunteers were treating people shot by police; no anaesthetic and basic medical equipment to treat severe gunshot wounds. One doctor told me that 50 people had been killed in Cairo alone in the last 24 hours.
Naila Bamehriz Translator & Coordinator
The Facts As They Are
Mohammed Abdalaleem Shabwah Correspondent e-mail: email@example.com website:www.nationalyemen.com address:al-qiada st.
Fax: 01 251651
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Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
Karman Freed by Yemeni Authorities By Saddam Alashmory Yemen has reportedly released an activist who had led demonstrations against the president after her arrest sparked a renewed wave of protests in Sana’a. 30-year old Tawakul Abdul Salam Karman, a journalist and member of the Islamist party Islah, was detained last Saturday night. She was then released on a guarantee from her family, the Reuters news agency reported on Monday. Karman is one of most out-spoken defenders of press freedom, human rights, and the freedom of women in Yemen, in addition to being a writer, journalist and activist in the field of human rights and the head of the Sana’abased social advocacy organization “Women Journalists Without Chains.” She contributed to writing several reports about press freedom and corruption in Yemen, in which she encouraged national reconciliation, fundamental reforms, and religious renewal. She had declared as recently as last week, “I know they will shut down my organization if I continue. Then they will arrest me. They will also probably kill me in prison. But I won't stop. I am determined.” Although she had received a variety of threats, she paid no heed to them, all the way up until her arrest. She had led many sit-ins and peaceful demonstrations hold every week in the yard of al-Hurriyah, named by a group of human rights activists in Yemen. It is a place where many journalists, civil society activists, politicians typically hold weekly gatherings to demand their usurped rights. Security authorities arrested Karman in the capital Sana’a late on Saturday evening. She is a member of the Shura Council of the opposition Islah party and is the head of the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains. In recent days, she was accused of carrying out demonstrations in solidarity with the popular uprising in Tunisia, and demonstrating for the sake of the political change in Yemen. She was also accused of criticizing the totalitarian rule of Arab rulers and calling on Yemenis to overthrow President Ali Abdullah Saleh through a campaign of text messages and e-mails inspired by the recent protests which toppled Tunisian President Zine al-Abidin ben Ali. Eyewitnesses said that Karman was detained by police wearing civilian clothes while she walked on a central Sana’a street while she was on her way home with her husband, Mohammed Ismail al- Nehmi. Lubna al-Qadasi, an activist with “Women Journalists Without Chains” said, “the charge of the arrest suppos-
Tawakul Karman, center, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton edly involve ‘organizing illegal demonstrations.’ Tawakul’s whereabouts had been unknown, and the reason for her arrest has still not been officially announced.” For days before her arrest, dozens of activists had protested daily at Sana'a University for the second week in a row, demanding president Saleh’s overthrow, and now Karman’s arrest has been added to the grievances of the persistent demonstrations.
Karman was detained by police wearing civilian clothes while she walked on a central Sana’a street
Her detention created tremendous protests on Sunday, as police and security forces clashed violently with dozens of demonstrators. Eyewitnesses reported that police forces severely beat
activists and demonstrators. The traffic police attacked them, protestors reported, pointing out that the police tried to disperse the demonstrators with batons. Protesters, activists, and journalists were subsequently arrested, the most prominent of whom was lawyer Khaled al-Ansi, the executive director of Hood Organization and Ali al-Dailami, Executive Director of the Yemeni Organization for Defending Human Rights Journalists’ syndicate. The Journalists’ Union issued a statement in which they declared, “we will face all the reckless actions of the security apparatus against press and journalists." In response to the wave of arrests, two hundred demonstrators marched from the journalists’ Syndicate to the central prosecution office. A member of the General Committee of the ruling GPC condemned the arrest of Kerman and pointed out that the move was against the constitution, law, and customs of Yemen, while the opposition JMP considered it a crime and warned of dire consequences. A spokesman of JMP, Muhammad al-Qubati, claimed, “the detention of Kerman is a criminal offense.” For their part, civil society organizations described the detention as “an offensive terrorist act –the kidnapping is a deliberate plan organized by the security apparatus in
Yemen. A statement of the Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms declared, "This action will not deter throngs of various groups and social classes from continuing their demands for peaceful change and exposing the repressive policies of the authorities and the government bodies.” The authorities, from their side warned organizations or any political party against conducting “illegal marches or demonstrations’ unless they received an official permit in advance. The Yemeni Interior Minister, Al-Masri, in a statement issued by the state-run Yemeni News Agency “Saba” on Sunday, claimed that political parties and organizations are entitled to their constitutional rights and freedom of speech, but “not to confront security forces; we will continue applying the laws and regulations. Yemen is democratic, pluralistic and allows freedom of opinion,” he concluded. Karman has previously been honored by the U.S. Embassy for her activities. She received their prize for courage and she was selected by the international organization Reporters Without Borders as one of the top seven women who have made changes in the world.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
Flood-Rocked Hadramaut Rebuilds, Two Years Later By Ahmed Saeed Baza’al
En. / Abdallah Mohammed It has been two short years since catastrophe befell Hadramaut and al-Mahra governorates. Flooding and heavy rains on 23rd and 24th of October 2008 claimed lives of 68 people. In addition, 3,221 buildings were destroyed entirely and 3,830 more partially damaged, as well as the grave damage pummelling the infrastructure of the two governorates. Since the catastrophe, the local and national governments have struggled with how to fund and implement the desperately needed recovery effort. The percentage of financial losses is estimated at YR141 billion. In the wake of the events, President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued a decree establishing a reconstruction fund for Hadramaut and al-Mahra to compensate victims for what the torrential rains and mudslides claimed in their wake. Neighbouring and allied countries contributed to funding that initiative, as well as Yemeni donors from inside and outside Yemen. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and other Gulf’s countries distinguished themselves with their rapid assistance, as well as the World Bank, among other major international organizations.
How did begin?
compensation was made to the denizens inhabiting the coast of Hadramout to accomplish, as part of an aid package initiated in November 2009. However, those fishermen who lost their livelihoods in the more distant and less accessible al-Mahra governorate have yet to be compensated in full. Of all the areas targeted for emergency recovery aid, the
Newly-constructed bulidings provided by aid from the United Arab Emirates
agricultural sector received the lion’s share, at 70% of the projected total. The fund has reportedly fulfilled 80% of reconstruction for buried water wells, channels, pumps and other irrigation machinery. Work has also focused on compensating the owners of livestock in al-Mahra, which began in January of last year, which coincided with the Ramadan holiday. The most lucrative aspect of the local agricultural scene in the area, the date palm sector, was heavily affected. Palms are considered a crucial and historical aspect of
The reconstruction fund was established in December, soon after the disaster had been occurred. But the fund only began its conduct in March 2009 for an interim period of four months. Engineer, Abdallah Mohammed Muta’afi, agent of the Ministry of Public Works and Highways, was chosen as executive director of the Fund and the more structured governmental attention began in August 2009, almost a full year after the occurrence of the catastrophe. Within a short period, the owners of the partiallydamaged buildings have been compensated completely for their losses. Those whose property was entirely destroyed received compensation packages estimated at not less than 85% of their razed homes’ recorded contract value, in accordance with the approved allotments of the Fund. A still small proportion of all these structures, a little less than one third, have been completely restored, and people have resumed dwelling in them. The rest of the houses, according to repeated official statements, will be completed in the “near future.” Much of the news coverage neglected the damage of the inclement weather to the fisheries sector. But according to official figures, complete
any other, similar disaster in the future. Centers of floods prediction have begun work in coordination with Civil Defense and the Interior Ministry. In the Hadramaut valley, a disaster prevention committee has begun work, as the operational procedures are devised and implemented. In 2011, the government has projected the completion of
Mr. Khalfan al-Kanadi Hadrami social and economic life. For the purposes of rehabilitating that trade, a contract has been signed with the organization of agricultural services to import 250 thousand palm seedlings, which are of a highgrade and consist of a variety of distinctive types from throughout the Gulf and Arab region. There are also other sectors that have been addressed in the compensation package, such as the reconstruction of agricultural lands that lost irrigation ditches and suffered severed soil erosion as a result of devastating flooding. The Fund’s Future Mission According to a statement of the fund’s Executive Director, the work in the coming period will include a number of projects to completely reconstruct the entirely destoryed buildings, as well as to see to the livelihood of the victims’ families. In addition, projections have been made to developing plans and implementing projects to protect the governorates of Hadramaut and alMahara from the occurrence of
the infrastructure repairs of some regions, in agreement with the Ministry of Works and with the participation of the World Bank and the Kuwaiti Arab Fund for Development.
Sheikh Khalifa’s Project Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ruler of the United Arab Emirates, provided a donation to the victims consisting of 1000 housing units at the cost of $ 100 million AED. Speaking on this initiative, Mr. Khalfan al-Kanadi, director of the office of the UAE Red Crescent in Yemen said, “the donation aims to make up for what the disaster ruined in 2008. The people of the UAE sympathize with the affected areas in Hadramout.” Yasmine al-Awadi, engineer and assistant undersecretary for the housing sector in the Ministry of Public Works and Highways, commented that, “despite the challenges, difficulties, and the far distance separating the sites, the fund has successfully provided reconstruction of those areas, roads, as well as services. Coordination with the local authorities has been key to our efforts, and is key to resolving the problems of compensation.” Fahd Salah al-Aajam, Assistant Undersecretary of the Governor of Hadramout for valley affairs, weighed in, “currently, we are launching the last installment estimated at 10% for the entirely destroyed buildings, in which people are now living again.” Nasser Kair Bin Bakhit said, “with regard to houses built by the reconstruction fund in Sayhut, some have been already completed and some are still under implementation. We call on the Fund to follow up with contractors in order to complete the houses and enable those who are badly affected to get their own houses back.” Mohamed Awad al-Tamimi, a local council member in the al-Somme district noted of the efforts, “we are satisfied with what the fund has reconstructed, which is around 90% of buildings. Also, the majority of farmers have also been compensated.”
Partially repaired houses in Wadi Hadramawt
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
SPECIAL: INDIAN REPUBLIC DAY
India expands role in Middle East As India seeks to meet its rapidly growing energy needs, New Delhi targets the Middle East with a new diplomatic vigor. The Indian Navy has for years lent its hand to diplomacy in expanding the country's reach in the Middle East, by starting on a series of naval exercises with a number of Persian Gulf states. The Indian Navy has made port calls and conduct exercises with the navies of Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Djibouti. It has also used this opportunity to engage with the navies of other major powers in the region such as the US, the UK and France. India's growing interest in the Middle East has been palpable for quite some time now. As India's weight on the international scene has increased it has been asked to play a bigger role in the Middle Eastern as well. This includes a call to play a mediatory role between Iran and the West as well as to contribute towards stability in Iraq. Though India has tended to be cautious in defining a role for itself in the Middle East, there has been a gradual shift in New Delhi's strategic priorities in the region. There was a time when India stood accused of following an ideological policy in
the Middle East and ignoring states such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Today, it is these three states that seem to be emerging as the pivot of Indian foreign policy vis-àvis the Middle East. The end of the Cold War no doubt enabled India to follow a more pragmatic policy towards the region. India is no longer coy about proclaiming its gradually strengthening ties with Israel despite apprehensions in some quarters that the Arab world will not very take very kindly to these developments. On the contrary, it seems that the Arab world has reacted cautiously so far and has deepened its engagement with New Delhi for fear of losing India wholly to Israel. But the biggest test of this balancing act will be how India manages its relations with Iran, which remains Israel's most openly hostile neighbor. There is also a realization in India that its largely pro-Arab stance in the Middle East has not been adequately rewarded by the Arab world. India has received no worthwhile backing from Arab countries in the resolution of problems it faces in its neighborhood, especially Kashmir. There have been no
serious attempts by the Arab world to put pressure on Pakistan to rein in the crossborder insurgency in Kashmir. On the contrary, the Arab world has firmly stood by Pakistan using the Organization of Islamic Conference to build support for Islamabad and the Jihadi groups in Kashmir. Domestic constraints imposed by the large Muslim community in India have traditionally been a significant factor in shaping India's Middle East policy. While this remains a potent variable, there are signs that Indian foreign policy has had some
success in recent times in overcoming this constraint. Again, India's relations with Israel are a case in point. India has developed these ties despite a significant opposition from the left parties. More recently, India has chosen to side with the West on a few occasions on the issue of the Iranian nuclear program, keeping aside domestic political considerations. A major factor that is increasingly shaping not only India's approach towards the Middle East but also broader Indian foreign policy priorities is its burgeoning demand for energy.
With an economy that is projected to grow at a rate of 7-8 percent over the next two decades, meeting its rapidly increasing demand for energy is one the biggest challenges facing the country today. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the focal point of India's energy diplomacy has been Middle East as around 65 percent of its energy requirements are met by this region. It is in this context that India's relationship with Iran has come under global scrutiny in recent years. India's large and growing energy demand and Iran's pool of energy resources
make the two nations natural economic partners. However, with Tehran adopting an aggressive anti-Western posture and pursuing an independent nuclear program in defiance of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the ongoing instability in Iraq, India has been looking to expand its influence beyond the Persian Gulf to the Saudi peninsula. India has now emerged as Saudi Arabia's fourth largest destination for oil exports with Riyadh being the largest supplier of oil to India. As Indian interests in the Middle East have expanded in recent years, so has its willingness to play a larger role in the region. In the coming years, this will bring India into direct competition with China, which has also been expanding its profile in the Gulf. The US, of course, remains the primary power in the region and how major global powers engage with each other will determine the future of the regional and global politics. But it is clear that India's profile is set to increase even further in the Middle East. care of the International Security Network
Big Democracy: Appreciating the Miracle of India's Triumph Over Chaos By George Perkovich A toast to India on its 60th birthday: No country has more heroically pursued the promise of democracy. Against the odds of staggering poverty, conﬂicting religious passions, linguistic pluralism, regional separatism, caste injustice and natural resource scarcity, Indians have lifted themselves largely by their own sandal straps to become a stalwart democracy and emerging global power. India has risen with epic drama -- a nonviolent struggle for independence followed by mass mayhem and bloodletting, dynastic succession and assassination, military victory and defeat, starvation succeeded by green revolution, political leaders as saints, sinners and sexual ascetics. And yet, the Indian story rarely has been told and is practically unknown to Americans. India After Gandhi masterfully ﬁlls the void. India needs a wise and judicious narrator to convey its scale, diversity and chaos -- to describe the whirlwind without getting lost in it. It needs a biographer neither besotted by love nor enraged by disappointment. Ramachandra Guha, a historian who has taught at Stanford and Yale and now lives in Bangalore, has given democratic India the rich, well-paced history it deserves. Much will be new to American readers. Large-scale conﬂicts in India's northeast between tribal groups and the center have been as enduring, and in some
ways as important, as the more familiar violence in Kashmir. The framing of India's constitution from 1946 through 1949 should induce awe, especially in light of Iraq's post-Saddam experience. In the midst of HinduMuslim bloodshed, a ﬂood of 8 million refugees, starvation, and other profound conﬂicts, Indian representatives worked out constitutional provisions to protect minorities, keep religion out of state power, correct thousands of years of caste discrimination and redistribute power and wealth accumulated by still-regnant princely states. This was done with no external guidance or pressure. The drafting committee was chaired by an "untouchable," B.R. Ambedkar -- analogies are inexact, but imagine if James Madison at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention had been a freed slave. Specialists will quicken over insights from the private papers of Indira Gandhi's conﬁdant, P.N. Haksar, who gave his papers to Guha. These documents reveal, among other things, that it was the Soviet Union that proposed the 1971 treaty of cooperation and friendship between the two countries, and that suspicion of China motivated both nations more than was appreciated at the time. Miniature biographies of grassroots leaders and movements also enliven Guha's storytelling. Jay Aprakash Narayan -- "JP" -- plays a leading
role. A onetime friend of Nehru who became the bête noir of his daughter, Indira Gandhi, JP led a massive movement for radical governmental reform in 1974-75, which moved Indira Gandhi to declare a national emergency and suspend democracy. Some themes go underexplored: For example, why has the Indian Army abstained from interfering in politics, unlike the military in many other developing countries? And why has India given short shrift to primary education, even as it has developed technological institutes that rival M.I.T? Many chapters begin or end with India's future in doubt. "India is almost inﬁnitely depressing," Aldous Huxley wrote in 1961, "for there seems to be no solution to its problems in any way that any of us [in the West] regard as acceptable." He predicted that "when Nehru goes, the government will become a military dictatorship." Guha records that "ever since the country was formed there have also been many Indians who have seen the survival of India as being on the line, some (the patriots) speaking or writing in fear, others (the secessionists or revolutionaries) with anticipation." Yet, marvelously, India's survival as a democracy seems more assured than ever. Less clear is the nature of its relationship with America. Since 2005, the U.S. and Indian governments have moved toward nuclear cooperation,
reversing 30 years of U.S. policy against nuclear assistance to countries that refuse to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Washington clearly views India as a counterbalance to China's strategic power. But Guha records an important historical parallel. In 1962, China crossed disputed boundaries in the northwest and northeast of India. A shocked Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru abandoned nonalignment and pleaded for emergency U.S. military assistance. Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith wrote to President Kennedy: "The only Asian country which really stands in [China's] way is India and pari passu the only Western country that is assuming responsibility is the United States. . . . We should expect to make use of India's political position, geographical position, political power and manpower or anyhow ask."
Four decades later, another Harvard professor-cumAmerican ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill, championed the proposed nuclear deal with similar reasoning. As different as the presidents they served, Blackwill and Galbraith were tempted by strategic abstraction and a desire to raise "their" country -- India -- in American priorities. Yet supplying arms to India in 1962 did not make India any more deferential to U.S. foreign policy. Washington will delude itself again if it thinks that nuclear India will be a pliant instrument in its geostrategy. As long as India is a democracy, it will go its own way. To comprehend India's achievement, imagine if Mexico became the 51st of the United States, followed by Brazil, Argentina and the rest of Central and South America. Add Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to give this union the Sunni-Shia mix of
India. The population then represented in Congress would still be smaller and less diverse linguistically, religiously, culturally and economically than India's. If such a state could democratically manage the interests and conﬂicts swirling within it, and not threaten its neighbors, the world should ask little else from it. If we were such a state, we would feel that our humane progress contributes so much to global well-being that smaller, richer, easier-to-manage states should not presume to tell us what to do. Sixty years after Gandhi, India has earned greater appreciation than we give it. · George Perkovich is a vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of "India's Nuclear Bomb." care of The Washington Post
SPECIAL: INDIAN REPUBLIC DAY
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
A Discussion with Dr. Ausaf Sayeed Ambassador of the Republic of India Dr. Sayeed is a lover of Urdu poetry, an Arabist, and a geologist by training. His life as a diplomat throughout the Arab World is a testament not only to his talents -- and India’s efﬁcient meritocracy – but also the nation’s deep historic ties to the Middle East. The state ﬁnancier of Mukalla’s Quwaiti Sultan was Dr. Sayeed’s great grandfather.
A native of Hyderabad in the central subcontinent, India’s ambassador to Yemen spoke with nostalgic eloquence on the two countries’ common experience, and the role of a rising India in Yemen and throughout the region. What follows is a discussion with his Excellency of India’s past, present, and future in Yemen. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed
By Noah Browning We wonder if you could tell us a little more about the history between Yemen and India, given your family history and your intimate knowledge of the subject? From India, two dynasties were supported from Hadramawt, the Kathiri, and the Quwaiti, and there were other smaller ones. There was a strong exchange and a very strong relationship between the people of India and Egypt. Some of the people had originally come as warriors and they were employed with the Nizam of Hyderabad, which at that time was an independent kingdom and considered the richest in the world. And there were not only soldiers, but scholars and Suﬁ saints – so there was a very strong exchange between the two lands which has created a social and cultural impact, and you will ﬁnd many similarities between the two places. This relationship is indicated now by the presence of a vast Indian diaspora in Yemen, mainly in the southern part. Our estimate is around 100,000 around Aden and former South Yemen. Also, we have around 400,000 Indians who have Yemeni origin. There are 200-300 Yemeni tribes represented there. You still see the traces of the Indian presence in Aden through the Old Indian temples and churches. One signiﬁcant contact at that point was Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Aden, which was on September 2, 1931. He was actually going to London to participate in the second round table conference. Aden is the ﬁrst port of call after India on the international sea route, so this was the stop-over for people traveling further aﬁeld. Of course people greeted him very warmly at this point in time. A very famous journalist, an Arab journalist, Muhammad al-Uthman interviewed Gandhi. Before that also, several revolutionary leaders used to visit Yemen, such as the leader of the Indian National Army, who had joined hands with the Germans – he visited here two times. Aden was also a place of interment for Indian revolutionaries by the British – they thought the best thing was to remove them from the scene and put them in jails in Aden. Also, the route of the Indian hajj pilgrims. They used to go by ships in large numbers from Gujarat, just North of Bombay, on the way to Mecca in the 1800s and the early 1900s. Plague was widespread in those days, so Hajis used to be quarantined at the Kamaran islands. There remain a large number of graves for British soldiers as well as Indians, whose identities remain unknown. NY: There are reports that Yemen might be opening up a consulate in Hyderabad to serve the expatriate Yemeni
community there. What can you tell us about this? The Yemeni government has been contemplating this. The community in Hyderabad organized a reception for me and made a request to the Yemeni side, saying that there’s a huge diaspora there. Yemen has an embassy in New Delhi and a consulate in Bombay. Some of these people feel that there should be an additional consulate in Hyderabad. I already conveyed this to the Yemeni foreign minister during my very ﬁrst meeting with him, so it is up to the Yemenis to decide whether to have a consulate, or even an honorary consulate. It’s a Yemeni decision, we give the approval, but it’s a decision of Yemen. NY: How would you characterize the economic relations between the two countries? I would say that the relations are very good, very healthy. It is still growing, and there is a lot of potential. We have a trade of about $2.4 billion with Yemen, which is signiﬁcant. About 1.5 we are importing from Yemen, and about 700 million we are exporting. From Yemen’s perspective, I think we are the third biggest destination for their exports, so we are a big market for them. This does not include oil purchases; it is just general trade. I think there are many Indian companies that are interested in operating here and participating in investment in Yemen, particularly in the ﬁeld of oil and gas, as well as infrastructure and development.
In the ﬁrst round of selling oil blocs, seven out of eleven plots were awarded to Indian companies. There is a company based in Hyderabad, Nagarjuna Fertilizers Ltd., which has plans to invest more than a billion dollars in a gas-based plant at Balhaf. We also have Bharat Heavy Electric Ltd. (BHEL) which has been shortlisted in a 400 megawat power project in Maareb. But the potential we have not utilized fully – it can be more. So it’s my duty to create more business to business interaction. In this context, I must tell you that there’s a delegation from the Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce coming towards the end of February. They are visiting Sana’a as well as Aden. We are also expecting a Yemeni business delegation to visit India subsequently, perhaps in March. NY. Would it be fair to say then, because of India’s growing economy and population, that is a country that’s “thirsty for oil?” Will India look to Yemen to satisfy that “thirst?” No. We do see Yemen as a source of supplying oil, but it’s not the main source as of now. As you know, if you look at the Middle East as a whole, it’s a big source of our oil – 26% of our supply comes from Saudi Arabia alone, then another 15-20% from the UAE. From Yemen, we purchase 2.5 million metric tons a year, which is a small quantity, but it is important. You know, the Maareb crude is supposed to be of very high
Mahatma Gandhi visits Aden in 1931
quality. Indian companies are now going so fast, they are in need of oil and gas. And not just ofﬁcial or government companies are importing. There are many private companies. There are at least three private companies who have called me and told me that there is a requirement of one gas bloc, if they procure it. Unfortunately, right now all the gas reserves are committed long-term for different countries. It’s only when they have new discoveries that we can perhaps get access to them. But there is a great demand and Yemen is an important country which our companies are looking at. NY: What about India’s car industry? Are India’s cars heavily represented in Yemen? Yes, there is a good potential for the automobile market here. We already have a few agents who are representing certain Indian brands. For example, Mahendra is represented here. Mahendra makes good 4-wheel drive cars, and there’s a demand for that. Also, there are Tata buses here, which I have seen in Hodeida and other places. But you see, the automobile industry in India is also going so fast, there’s much domestic demand. NY: You’ve taken part in global trade talks, including the Doha Round. Does India demonstrate solidarity with the developing world in these meetings, and try to speak on behalf of countries like Yemen? India has always been a country that not only looked after its own interests, but the interests of the developing countries too. On the cotton issue, for instance, we have taken a position for the cotton growers, like Mali and others. Our positions have been well known as an important international player, especially since we have had a seat on the UN security council as a non-permanent member for the last two years. As Yemen is concerned, its quest to be a member of the world trade organization we support strongly. Not only that, we have developed our own programs to assist certain countries, so that their trade can increase. One such plan is the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme. This was announced by India unilaterally in April 2008, and it is directed at the 49 least developed countries in the world. Yemen is the only country on this list in the Middle East. Yemen has to simply sign a letter of intent that they would like to avail of this. It’s a big concession which would make around 95% of Yemen’s products duty free. We have offered this to Yemen, but they have yet to sign it – probably due to time taken in the decision-making. It is deﬁnitely in their interests, and in
my meetings with ofﬁcials, they have been very excited about this. But the practical implementation is taking time. See, other than oil, there are other products that are being exported. When hydrocarbons dry up – and this is something of a time-bomb – other non-oil industry sectors need to be developed. This concession will be handy to diversify the economy. NY: It is written in some of the embassy’s ofﬁcial literature that both Yemen and India are part of the “non-aligned” movement. What exactly does that mean for the political, or even the military relationship between the two countries? The term is a thing of the past,
and the world has changed. The group still exists, but the realities have changed now. The best thing about non-alignment was the lack of territorial ambitions. We didn’t expect to go into other countries and interfere in their affairs. We try to promote a world which is peaceful. This is not a new philosophy to us, and is one that was promulgated by Mahatma Gandhi. We never had an incident since India’s founding of any aggression against another country. We believe in sharing knowledge, and knowledge increases by sharing. In our relationship with other countries, our emphasis is more on training and capacitybuilding. In Yemen for instance, we are offering 32 scholarship programs. Within that we give 50 places in the Indian Technical Economic Program, started in 1964, and more than 120 countries avail of training facilities in India. Also, we have training for diplomats throughout the world, which is very popular. This year we have offered a spot to Yemen. India has a long history of exchange and collaboration with
Yemeni Universities, especially Aden Universities. Likewise, three Indian Universities now have cooperation programs with the University of Sana’a to strengthen their distance education curricula. On cultural ties, we had a cultural agreement with Yemen since 1999, but somehow, nothing much could be done. We would love to host a cultural week, of the kind we have had in Qatar recently, but this depends on further coordination with local authorities. NY: What do you make of the appeal of Bollywood in the Middle East, and even the whole world? Is this a reﬂection of India’s rise, and of a sort of Indian “soft power?”
The Bollywood movies have become so popular throughout the world in recent years. I think this is because they are light-hearted, often romantic, and contain morals and lessons which are universal. In general, they reﬂect very well on India and are a major means by which outsiders experience Indian culture. Take for example Shah Rukh Khan’s movie “My Name is Khan,” in which life as a Muslim in the United States is the subject. Here, one of India’s major stars portrays the difﬁculty of being a Muslim in America. Many lessons and themes are evident in these movies, which have a currency with viewers around the world. NY: Finally, some women in the ofﬁce would like to know when Shah Rukh Khan will be visiting Yemen. As soon as Yemeni ofﬁcials invite him, he could come! But you know, it’s quite expensive and involved to coordinate visits for Indian celebrities to other countries – I experienced this ﬁrst-hand in some of the earlier postings throughout my career.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
HEALTH Continued From Page (1)
Recent Global Health Fund investigation exposes rampant corruption and puts UNDP in the spotlight and travel expense claims. It was also found that millions of dollars worth of vital medicines were simply sold on the black market. One striking example were the phantom events that took place in Mali which stole over $4 million dollars – half of Mali’s Global Fund’s grant money for TB and Malaria. The results of Mali’s corruption shook the country, leading not only to the arrest of 15 people, but the sudden and unexplained resignation of the health minister just two days before the audit became public. Other equally wasteful accounts of widespread fraud were reported in Zambia, Mauritania, Haiti and Djibouti with many more countries left to be investigated. Despite not being named, it does not necessarily mean that the Yemen branch of the Global Fund is free from corruption or the fall out of these events. Already, the seven years of Global Fund funding in Yemen has had a contentious history at best. The original purpose of the Global Fund was to serve only as a direct financing mechanism in order for funds to reach programs quickly. Thus creating the means to skip the slow and bureaucratic processes of the United Nations programs and directly fund programs through out the world. With a mechanism to release funds quickly and efficiently, the Global Fund quickly became the “darling of the development world” backed by famous celebrities and powerful donors such as Bill Gates . As a result, in the first round of Global Fund funding for HIV/AIDs in Yemen, it worked directly through the Yemen National AIDS Program and the Yemen’s National Populations Council and designated them both as the PR, or primary recipient of funding. This novel approach quickly came to an end as an
assessment of first round by the UNDP recalled that “poor implementation...[and] weak management systems and cumbersome financial regulations hindered...[the] ability to successfully achieve its targets.” As a result, the Global
Fund backtracked on its original intent and designated the Yemen United Nations Development Program as its primary recipient for HIV/AIDS grant money to ensure more accountability and better distribution of funds. According to the Associated Press report, a similar switch happened in Zambia after the Global Fund decided its ministry was no longer capable of managing the grants. The Global Fund is still trying to recover over $7 million dollars in stolen money in Zambia. Ironically, the designation of the UNDP as the primary recipient plays a role as to why Yemen was not included in the findings of the Global
Fund’s initial world-wide internal audit and why it may never will. In countries that were investigated where the UNDP serves as a primary recipient, the Global Health report stated that the UNDP offices would not release any of its internal audits on the Global
Fund’s grants, citing “special privileges and immunity.” The UNDP responses has and will severely complicate the Global Fund’s investigations as the UNDP has now become the primary recipient in over 24 countries – managing $3.88 billion of the Global Fund’s grant money. Despite the move to UNDP as a primary recipient of funds to create better accountability, the results have had mixed results in the countries that have been investigated. The Global Fund noticed descripancies with the little information it was able to obtain in UNDP managed countries. One example was cited with the UNDP in Haiti where the Global Fund investigative
team was only given “abbreviated summaries devoid of factual detail,” the Global Fund investigative report continued as its investigative team noted “there was a $519,326 difference between the balance recorded by the UNDP and those in the [sub recipient] records. As such the [investigative team] has concerns over the thoroughness of the grant closure process.” There is increasing concern as the integrity of many U.N. agencies, including the UNDP, which has been under increasing fire recently as they have been accused of dragging its feet on addressing corruption in order to not scare its donors. These claims come as the U.N. dismantled its AntiCorruption Procurement Task Force two ago. Strong questions remain as to whether the UNDP office will fully release its internal audits or cooperate with the investigative efforts of the Global Fund. The UNDP must balance a precarious situation as it cannot withhold its information on the Global Fund’s grant money indefinitely, nor may it be willing to release it if extensive accountability problems exist. The Global Fund has reiterated that it will hold the UNDP responsible for any mismanagement of funds under its watch. UNDP spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the Associated Press last week that the UNDP is reassessing its policy that prevents it from sharing internal audit reports with the Global Fund. Ultimately, whether or not corruption exists with the Global Fund’s grant money in Yemen, the fall out from the misconduct of other countries may still threaten Yemen’s programs. The limited funding from the global fund is already extremely competitive among participating countries and will only become more so as a result of the corruption found.
Not only is Global Fund is pulling or suspending funds in countries where corruption is found, donors are starting to suspend their donations. Sweden and Germany, who planned to donate over $350 million to the Global Fund in 2011 suspended their payments until the corruption issues are solved. This news comes at an unwelcome time for the AIDS, TB and Malaria initiatives in Yemen. The proposal for additional funding for HIV/AIDS programs from the Global Fund was not successful. As a result, current programs will either be terminated or for an unknown period of time. Yemen intends to reapply for funds in the future, but possibly in an even
more competitive environment as more donors threaten to pull out. A source knowledgeable on the Global Fund’s status shared told the National Yemen that despite the lack of success in applying for additional funding it will hopefully force the government to step up to continue the Global Fund’s projects. However, the source acknowledges that what the government will not be able to cover enough. As for now, the Global Fund programs that provide assistance and life saving care to thousands of people in Yemen will remain in doubt until the dust settles from the recent corruption scandals and better accountability mechanisms are put in place.
Hasheesh in Ibb: City of the Blue Smoke Sky By Abdul-Ghani Al-Yusuﬁ For a long time, the ancient city of Ibb was known as the city of high mood – that is, hasheesh. It grows heavily in the green mountains found throughout the governorate, and especially in the al-Sahool valley, Ba’adan, al-Ta’akar, al-Tawabi and on the roofs of houses in Ibb city. Hasheesh dealers have been using the vegetable markets as one of the places for their high-volume sales, and the product is whisked efﬁciently to places of smaller-scale distribution, typically in public places like barber shops and cd stores. The very mention of Ibb has become synonymous with the mildly hallucinogenic herb in the minds of many Yemen. Verdant hills and valleys in the area are lush with the crop, especially in
the areas of Hafsah or Madfa’a. One of the old stories on the origin of the potent crop has it that hasheesh was ﬁrst imported to the area by Yemeni American expatriates in the United States. Joblessness is a major contributor to its widespread use in the area today. The government has implemented a multi-pronged campaign aimed at targeting dealers and suspected distributed. The security forces have successed in capturing a number of dealers, and even sentenced two to death. But the continual security campaigns against hasheesh traders may play a part in creating new alternatives among young drug-users, who often resort to prescription drugs, injections, or snifﬁng petrol or
painting materials. A prevailing view among many Yemenis is that the traditional custom of chewing qat provides users with a long pleasant diversion, which is enjoyed communally takes a while for its mild effect to set in, which in any event supposedly stimulates thinking. The same view has it that hasheesh is an individual habit where supposed addicts swim in a mood of magic and world of blurry dreams. The tree grows in summer in the hills and it needs time to dry after in sunny climates. The dry hasheesh of the area has a major effect and the user is said to suffer deterioration in ther personal appearance, like white hair, lost teeth, and shaking hands.
The strong police crackdown on smokers has seriously curtailed habit of midnight smokers in the small streets and allies of the city. Ingesting it in its fresh green form with food helps some users to consume more, yet smoking it in the form of cigarettes remains the favorite way. At the beginning of last year, security forces captured two thousand kilograms of hasheesh in the area in a major bust. This led a gang of trafﬁckers to attack the central police security in Ibb with a bomb, resulting in the injury of the soldiers on duty. Different plans and strategies in ﬁghting the habit in Ibb continues through security campaigns, offering training for young generation for future opportuni-
ties, and, predictably, expanding prisons to accommodate detained users. Many of those involved in the ﬁght against hasheesh empha-
size good training for policemen and the empowerment of NGOs to deal with addicts and discover and act upon early warning signs.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
Finance Ofﬁcial Laments Economy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance: Yemen resources are plenty, but the poor consumption of these resources affects the overall revenues of the State Dr. Abdullah Mikhlafi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance said last week that he expected the stock market to be launched over the next year. “The issuance of a presidential decree about the establishment of the securities will help accelerate the establishment of the market. “The market's success is linked mainly to a group which will work in the Securities Commission,” he said. He confirmed that a wellqualified staff is needed in order to ensure the success of this market. Mikhlafi emphasized, “it is not a shame if we benefit from foreign investment, in order to improve the
Yemeni economy and aids the local market.” Al-Mikhlafi went on to criticize the State’ administration of resources, “Yemen has plenty of resources, but the poor management of these resources have affected the overall revenues of the State. “I believe that the problem in our country is not a problem of economic resources, but it one of a lack of experience in managing them. We have diversified economic resources, but regrettably, they have not been managed optimally because of the funding gap experienced by the Yemeni economy”. “The current resources are
inadequate compared to our many responsibilities. The funding gap arises from the imbalances in the State’s budget. Thus, it hampers the exploitation of the available economic resources as well as the mineralresources.” he added. He confirmed that Yemen has non-oil economic sectors, such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing industries, but the lack of the implementation of the State’s budget and poor economic plans have a significant, negative impact on economic progress. Al-Mikhlafi called for the increase on subsidies for oil derivatives, pointing out the
additional appropriation of more than YR 200 billion at the end of 2010, mostly allocated to support oil derivatives. He confirmed the stability of the riyal exchange rate, pointing out that when the exchange rate with the dollar increased to 260, this was a result of speculation that led to the rise of the dollar exchange. "What controls the exchange rate is the amount of production of goods and services. It controls the stability of exchange to satisfy the needs of society and to identify the state's need for hard currency. If the country has a surplus in production,
the state will be capable through export of providing what it needs from the hard currency”. “The current situation has witnessed serious problems because we do not have sufficient goods and services; therefore, we still need subsidies from outside. When we need to purchase what the society needs from the outside, we need foreign currency. Accordingly, the price currency will remain on the rise”. “Recently, the stability in exchange rates is due to the successful fiscal policies of the Central Bank in controlling the exchange market and
Dr. Abdullah Mikhlaﬁ punishing speculators and moneychangers who are trying to manipulate the exchange rates,” he concluded.
Gloomy Forecast for Yemen’s Unemployment Figures By Fuad Al-Qadhi An economic report published this week expected that the number of entrants to the labor market have doubled significantly over the next five years. The economic report issued by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation stated the number of graduate entrants to the labor market will exceed 300,000 during 2015, which will increase the volume of unemployment in Yemen. The total unemployment according to the census results of 2004 reached approximately 689,000, distributed according to the educational level estimated with 30.4% being illiterate and 24.7% being “those who can neither read nor write.” “The period of 2004-2008 has witnessed a slight decline in the unemployment rate from 16.2% to 15%, which is still a high rate and indicates the inability of the national economy to generate enough jobs for the new entrants into the labor market,” the report stated. An analysis of age statistics revealed the highest rate of unemployment is among the young age of (15-24 years), estimated at 52.9%, and the age of (25-59 years) arrived at 44.4% of the unem-
Jobless men await work as painters ployment rate. The report said that the basic indicators of employment and unemployment during the last period shows the characteristics of the labor market, the imbalance between supply and demand in light of the limited sources of work, especially of those who are unskilled. On the other hand, the inefficient role of the educa-
tion sector, both public and private, has failed to reduce unemployment, in spite of the attention given to the education sector. Education has proven itself unable to move forward to bridge the gap of the local labor market. In the meantime, the report noted that many of the graduates are with no work because they fail to keep up with the labor
Ballots, not bullets, for reform in Yemen Stories about drone strikes and terrorist raids in Yemen overshadow those about constitutional reform. But the two can't be separated. Yemen's attempts to change how it governs itself are a vital part of its effort to combat separatism and terrorism. Anything the government proposes to ﬁght radicalism rests upon whether or not its citizens see it as legitimate. Thus, last month's raft of electoral amendments ushered in by the ruling party of the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh demand close inspection. Do they really constitute reform and will they promote Yemen's development and security? On ﬁrst glance the answer is yes. A new ban on the use of state resources, facilities, or power through public positions by political candidates was tucked away in one proposal for constitutional reform. It marks a heady change given Mr Saleh's electioneering of old.
It was not the last worthy measure passed recently by the parliament in Sana'a; the presidential term was reduced from seven to ﬁve years and the number of parliamentary seats to be held by women was increased by 44. In addition, more power was given to local ofﬁcials. But there was reason for discontent among Mr Saleh's detractors. Along with a slew of progressive measures, Mr Saleh's ruling-party ended term limits for the president. Mr Saleh is in his second term and would have had to step down after its completion. Not anymore. His critics fear that this is an effort by him and his supporters to ensure that he remains president for life. Given the enormity of the challenges he must contend with water shortages, radicalism, a dwindling supply of oil - one wonders why Mr Saleh would want to stay in ofﬁce. Still, Mr Saleh's party does neither the
president nor his country any favours by removing term-limits on the highest ofﬁce in Yemen, if only for the appearance that it creates. "Eliminating the two-term limit is a fall back from the spirit of the republican system," said Aidarous al Naqeeb, an opposition member of parliament. The intentions of Mr Saleh and his ruling coalition are difﬁcult to judge. As part of a peace agreement with the Houthis brokered by Qatar last February, 500 were released on Saturday. Hassan Baom, a key leader of the southern separatist movement, was also set free. Both are encouraging but Mr Saleh can still do more to bring detractors in from the cold. They too can offer more constructive proposals for reform. Ballots may bring imperfect results but in bringing about the reforms that Yemen requires, they remain far more constructive than bullets. care of The National
market’ needs. The results showed that greatest difficulties which faced graduates in the private sector is the difficulty of dealing in foreign language, operating machinery and equipment, and the use of computers. This inability varies among the graduates according to their educational level and the report noted that the
percentage of theoretical graduates who have registered for the official jobs in the Civil Service are about 65%, which means the difficulty is in finding job opportunities for them outside the Civil Service. While graduates of applied colleges are less than 10% and those of the technical institutes arrived at 25% among those working for the Civil Service. The report pointed out that graduates with vocational training or college education is estimated at only 28.1% of the total new entrants to the labor market. While the remaining percentage represents non-educated or low-skilled workers, including those who drop out of schools whether in elementary and secondary education or those who do not have the chance to get appropriate education or training. For that, the restructuring of institutions of technical and vocational education is required to fulfill the needs of the labor market. A recent World Bank report confirmed that the challenges of the labor market in Yemen consist of the lack of credibility, the gap between supply and demand, and employers’ negligence of the quality and quantity of educational and
professional institutions . Professor of Economics at the University of Sana'a, Mohammed Ali Jubran confirmed that despite the Yemeni government’s efforts to eliminate the rise of economic problems, the results were not encouraging. While unemployment in the country has reached a critical point somewhere between 29 and 34 percent, and estimated at 18 percent among young people. Unemployment reached its highest level among women up to 39.5 percent, compared to men with 13.1 percent. Gibran has proposed a strategy to eliminate unemployment in Yemen by replacing the Asian labor in the Gulf with Yemenis, pointing out that these countries can accommodate a million Yemenis every year. He has also suggested to establish a fund for unemployment and poverty in Yemen to unite the efforts of local, regional and international efforts. Also, it can accommodate three million workers in agricultural and grazing activity at a cost of three billion dollars, as well as to expand small industrial and commercial projects to accommodate a million workers at a cost of two billion dollars.
Japan supports 3 Education Projects in Al-Baydha, Dhamar, and Mahweet The Government of Japan has decided to extend 3 grants amounting to US$318,955 for ”The Project for Constructing Al-Mustaqbal School in Al-Malajem District, Al-Baydha Governorate”, “The Project for Constructing Khalid Ibn Al-Walid School in Wossab Al-Saﬁl District, Dhamar Governorate”, and” The project for Constructing Al-Fath School in Al-Rujum District, Al-Mahweet Governorate”. These three grants have come under Japan’s grant assistance scheme called “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects”, which aims at supporting smallscale community-based projects in the ﬁelds related to basic human needs, such as primary health care , basic education and water in developing countries. Mr.Mitsunori Namba, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of
Yemen and Mr.Haider Ali Mohammed Al-Ghashamy, Director of District Education Ofﬁce in Al-Malajem, Mr.Ahmed Ali Al-Solihi, Director of District Education Ofﬁce in Wossab Al-Saﬁl, and Mr.Mohammed Ahmed Jua'il, Director of District Education Ofﬁce in Al-Rujum signed the contracts respectively at the Embassy of Japan in Sana’a today. The grant to Al-Malajem District will be used to establish a new school named “Al-Mustaqbal School” in Al-Oqal village. Around 400 pupils are supposed to join the new school. They have been using houses of inhabitants and mosques as their provisional classrooms in that area. Another grant to Wossab Al-Saﬁl District aims to build an extension of Khalid Ibn Al-Walid School with more than 600
students in Bani Sa’eed village which is mountainous and isolated in Dhamar Governorate. The present school building is decrepit and lack of classrooms. Therefore some students are currently obliged to study under the trees. The other grant is to build an additional building for students in Al-Fath School. Due to the shortage of classrooms, numbers of students are now studying outside the building and the school is not able to receive in coming new students every year. The project will provide healthy and safe study environments for students, and encourage larger number of new students to attend the school. In the last Japanese ﬁscal year, Japan funded 18 projects in Yemen under the Grass-roots scheme with a total amount of USD 1.5 million.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
Youth Hope for a New Dawn in Egypt By Firas Al-Atraqchi As police stations and ministry of interior installations continue to burn through the night in many of Egypt’s cities, the Arab World is waking up to a new dawn. In more than 18 years of living in Cairo, I have never felt the sense of cautious hope that exists in Egypt now, particularly among young men and women who feel that for the ﬁrst time in their lives they may actually be able to determine their own destinies. Young Egyptians that say that despite the number of teargas canisters ﬁred at protesters and the number of those who have been beaten and detained, long-dormant patriotism and pride have been ﬁnally awakened. They feel emboldened by the positive changes in Tunisia and believe they share common cause and aspiration. Many of the students I teach at the American University in Cairo have taken part in the protests, avoiding tear gas, seeking refuge in shops and alleyways. They have been reporting and participating in the protests. Some have been beaten only to return the next day and face off with riot police. To them, they have known no other president, no other ruling party and no other political system. They have for years been groomed on the government’s realpolitik on the one hand, and the empty rhetoric of opposition groups on the other. They have made it clear to me that these opposition parties, long defunct and impotent, have been replaced by grassroots social action. Their fears of detention and torture have been supplanted by the need for better
living conditions and better wages. The protests have drawn Egyptians from all walks of life, many of whom have never participated in demonstrations and feel that the time has come for them to voice their resentment. What started with a few dozen protesters on January 25 quickly mushroomed as passersby and ordinary citizens joined in. This was the Arab Street – the silent majority which has ﬁnally found a voice to express palpable anger. Listening to the protesters, one gets the feeling that they have not been deterred by the severity of the beatings; rather,
their resolve has been hardened. In an unprecedented show of civil disobedience and open revolt, young Egyptians have clearly and forcibly delivered a message that is still resonating in the Middle East and North Africa: Authoritarian rule in the region is over. The common yet indigenous, denominators – political and economic disenfranchisement and disdain at rampant corruption – between the two countries were conveyed through social media networks, helping to create a momentum that seized popular anger and provided it with a dynamic that produced mass mobilisation on the streets of Tunis and Cairo. By calling for the ouster of
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, and persevering in the face of tear gas, water cannons and baton beatings, young Egyptian men and women have beat back decades of one-party rule, brutal repression against civil liberties, iron-clad control of the media, and corrupt economic policies. The protesters have been dismantling archaic forms of governance in which the ruler is considered to be beyond reproach and economic policies are determined by his self-preserving business elite allies. They are demanding equity in the distribution of wealth, an end to state corruption, greater employment opportunities and a
curb to rampant inﬂation. They want to be able to express themselves freely – both in mainstream media and online – without the specter of arrest, torture and imprisonment looming overhead. Just three months ago, Egyptian authorities released Kareem Amer, a blogger jailed in 2007 for defaming Islam and the presidency. His release came just a few weeks after several stations were taken off the air by the national satellite carrier NileSat for allegedly failing to abide by their contracts and/or failure to pay licensing fees. They are not interested in a change of government – as Mubarak promised on January 28 - and they will not be
dissuaded by repeated promises of economic reform and prosperity. They believe that Egypt’s current socio-economic malaise is rooted in the political system itself, a system which has not evolved since the ﬁrst revolution overthrew the King of Egypt in 1952. When the ruling National Democratic Party swept Parliamentary elections amid allegations of widespread fraud last November, Egyptian youth said that they felt their votes had been stolen and the entire process of political reform hijacked. Some observers at the time warned that the government would likely suffer a backlash. The young protesters that we now see on the streets of Cairo, Ismailiya, Suez, Alexandria and Mahala want a political process that safeguards their democratic participation. Few in Egypt have a desire – or expectation – to see Gamal Mubarak, the president’s son, inherit the presidency in a contrived political gimmick to convince the public that there was a democratic transfer of power. Among my students, Copts and Muslims alike, there is a call for social cohesion. In the aftermath of the bombing at the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, many Egyptians blamed the government for failing to adequately protect minorities andHassan allowing sectarian strife to Al-Lawzi fester. Now, the momentum – and history - is on the protesters’ side. Firas Al-Atraqchi is an associate professor of practice at department of journalism and mass communication at the American University in Cairo.
long term. There is direct correlation between continued momentum of the uprising and the need to remove Mubarak, his family and his political leadership from the helm. Also, the military will make its calculation on the basis of delicate balancing act that insures its own inﬂuence and privileges while not allowing the country to descend into chaos. And as the ultimate guaranteur of the national security, the Egyptian military must also take regional and international factors in consideration, notably the United States. Will the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian military play a new role for the United States? The Obama administration
has probably put the Egyptian military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Anan, on notice before he left the US capital on Friday, and explained what it can, could not or would not stand for in terms of the military's response to the revolt. Washington has been a major backer of the Egyptian military over the last three decades, supplying the country with around $2bn in annual aid mostly for military purposes. When the uprising broke out, Anan was in Washington as part of their annual strategising sessions. Clearly caught by surprise, the US has been a mere spectator over the last several weeks, as people took to the streets in
Tunisia or Egypt. The Obama administration continued its predecessor's policy of nurturing contacts and consultation with various Egyptian opposition groups in addition to the military. It understands all too well that the response of the Egyptian military will have far reaching inﬂuence, not only on the situation in Egypt, but also on other countries in the region, no less on its future relationship with Israel. For the military to be the guardian of the state's sovereignty and stability, it must be the protector of Egypt's future politics, not its permanent leader. care of Al Jazeera
Egypt's Military in a Quandary By Marwan Bishara As Egypt continues to unravel under the pressure of a popular uprising against the Hosni Mubarak government, we look at the role of its military as the guardian of sovereignty and national security. Where is Egypt heading after days of revolt? Clearly the way forward is not the way back. But since President Mubarak has opted for more the same old and bankrupt ways of dealing with national uprising, making promises of change and cosmetic alteration to governance essentially, all now depends on the momentum of the popular uprising and the role of the military. Mubarak's attempts to
delegitimise the popular revolt as isolated incidents exploited by Islamists has fallen on deaf ears at home and abroad. As the revolt continues to expand and gain momentum in major Egyptian cities and protestors demand no less than the removal of his regime, it's now the military's choice to allow for the change to be peaceful or violent. So far, it has opted for merely policing the streets without confronting the demonstrators, whether this will turn into a Tiananmen scenario of tough crackdown or not, will be decided in the next few hours or days. But Egypt is not China, and it could hardly afford such national confrontation.
But what else can the military do? The Egyptian military could follow the Tunisian military by refusing orders to shoot at demonstrators or impose the curfew. The military can replace Mubarak with a temporary emergency governing council or leave it for civilian opposition groups to form government in consultation with the military. This depends on the cost and beneﬁts of keeping Mubarak who's long been the military man at the helm of the regime. Appointing intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his vice president, and hence ending his son's chances for succession, will make little difference on the
POLITICS National Yemen Political Disputes Move to Yemen’s Streets
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
By Fakhri Hassan Al-Arashi What faces Yemen nowadays is clearly far less dynamic and widespread than what happened in Tunisia and what is going in Egypt. The ongoing political problem threatens the future of the current and future generations even more than the civil war in the summer of 1994 and the six wars of Sa’ada. Indeed, fighting al-Qaeda and repressing the Southern movement’s campaign to secede may have less value in the government’s perspective than the ongoing disputes with the opposition parties. Politicians, diplomats, and international observers are interpreting the political situation in Yemen as an increasingly complex mess of party infighting. Last week, President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with the military and security officers for the third annual conference of its kind. During his speech, the President was actively warning and conciliatory in his remarks. Since December of last year, the government has decided to break all deals with the opposition parties to continue the democratic process for the upcoming parliamentary election scheduled for April 27th. The action has raised deep misgivings on the dialogue between the government and the opposition parties, who complain of the nonexistence of transparency and lack of faith in the government’s ability to make change. The daily meeting of President Saleh with the various types of political players, businessmen, unions, local and international allies has made the head of Yemen quite exhausted of the ugly game with the opposition who, in his view, never respect any proposed deal for the future of democracy and the multiparty system. Friendly diplomacy between the two parties ceased ultimately, and the language of threats is a common strategy of using the street to prove their claims and to manifest their apparent disdain for the stability and progress of Yemen. President Saleh repeatedly refused to allow his adversaries’ desire for chaos and the cheap exploitation of poor people’s needs and emotions to advance political agendas. “The opposition wants power without elections,”
Demonstrators gather in favor of the president in Sana’a said Saleh during the security conference. We have proposed that the presidential term be for two rounds without the possibility of renewal, and it’s disgusting to hear the talk of inheritance of Yemen. “Those who call people to go into the streets want to fight investment and increase unemployment, which would increase the desire of the individual citizen for revenge against the government,” said Saleh. “We are a democratic country and the people enjoy full freedom and no one can compare Yemen to Tunisia. The constitutional amendments are a proposal from the governmental to the public, and are subject to a vote. “We postponed the elections for two years in order to allow the [opposition] joint meeting parties (JMP) to discuss their position with their members and now they are calling for a the third year of delays,” the President concluded, asserting that the conduct of elections is his presidential duty.
Opposition Protestors at a separate gathering
The military and security institutions are tasked with protecting Yemen, and it will need to face any incidence of looting or militia activity should protests turn more violent. “Yemen has suffered
of many personal interests,” the president continued. We honestly invite the opposition leaders for a TV debate for people to know who is violating the law and never concede their commitments or adapt their views.”
“Only God is perfect,” he declared. “For the people in Radfan, al-Dhalea, and Abyan, these people will leave and run outside like those who had to run in the summer of 1994,” he continued.
under the period of the imamate and is now paying the dues of democracy to continue in such a complicated community in which there are a range
President Saleh said that he would request from the people to forgiveness in case he committed a mistake or did not achieve his mission.
“There is no problem with the quota system and the parliament and Shura council are left for people to decide what they need. We are not a Sultanate, Imamate or Sheikhdom. We are a democratic country and that is resolute in the 26 revolution and the 14th of October revolution too.” In response to the president’s speech, the opposition parties rejected Mr. Saleh’s tone and accused him of muddling the facts. Hamid al-Ahmar, the head of the opposition JMP coalition, has appeared on an interview with Suhail private Yemeni satellite channel, which he owns, as well as in al-Sahwah daily Arabic newspaper. Al-Ahmar called for big protests throughout Yemen to oust president Saleh, calling it the most corrupt government in the history of Yemen, which helped increase unemployment and poverty in the country. Al-Ahmar said that the government is appropriating the natural sources of a
generation and using the government facilities and monopolies to stay in power indefinitely. Al-Ahmar said that the Yemeni people will bear not longer more poverty, and he characterized the speech of the president as repetitive and trite, except the call for a debate with the opposition parties. He claimed to have suggested having a debate with the president during the military conference itself. Al-Ahmar has proposed fifteen questions for the debate, focusing on what the government has achieved, dialogue between the opposition and government, and the rules for the upcoming parliamentary elections. “What is the legality of an individual’s amendments to the law, the inheritance of the presidency, and what are the guarantees for the people if their ruler acts with impunity? What are the signs that Yemen would not be like Tunisia? When will it be too much for the president to continue in this way?” A few crowds of opposition supporters gathered in Sana’a, Taiz, and Shabwa, and went into the streets to express their rejection to the new constitutional amendments for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The visit of the US secretary of state Hilary Clinton early this month has left many with an ambiguous impression of US views on the situation in Yemen. Clinton met with both President Saleh and the opposition parties. Clinton also met with Tawakal Karman, an activist and journalist who was captured and released the next day after an investigation by the national security authorities. Karman had been accused of sowing sedition in the country and calling for the ouster of his president and his family as well.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2011 Issue 30 www.nationalyemen.com
Move up? Move to OMV.
OMV-Yemen Scholarship Program
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