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The Facts As They Are
Ibb Penitentiary: a Waking Nightmare
Massive Protests Throughout Yemeni Governorates
Qat, Cigarettes, Soda Consumed in Alarming Amounts
SUNDAY , Feb 6 , 2011 I ISSUE 31 PRICE : YER 30 WWW . NAT IONALYEMEN. COM
Propaganda in Action: GPC Pamphlet Translated
Yemen Protests: Between Reaction and Progress By Fakhri Al-Arashi Some observers of recent events noted that president Saleh was wily enough to appease the opposition in Yemen in his speech last Wednesday in front of the members of parliament, Shura council, and public, just one day before the planned opposition protests which was dubbed the “day of rage.” Sana’a, like the other governorates of Yemen, witnessed massive gatherings for protest and counter-protests from the competing political camps. The outcome of the day failed to meet the demand of some of the more impassioned protesters, who were expecting a wholesale uprising along the model set by the two other Arab states, Tunisia and Egypt.
President Saleh said he would not stand for re-election when his term expires in 2013 or try to hand on power to his son. He summed up the resolution with the phrase, “no extension, no inheritance, no resetting the clock.” In a hint of postponing the elections scheduled for next April, which the ruling party decided earlier to hold without waiting for the dialogue process to be completed, President Saleh suggested abandoning holding the legislative elections in April, responding to the demands of the parliamentary opposition, which has recently organized massive demonstrations hostile to him. Continued on Page (3)
U.S. Urges Yemen Opposition to Avoid "Provocation" The U.S. embassy in Yemen called on opposition groups on Saturday to refrain from "provocative action" and talk to the government following large street protests in the impoverished Arab country. Tens of thousands of Yemenis took part in peaceful protests for and against the government on Thursday during an opposition-led "Day of Rage," a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to step down in 2013. "We strongly urge the opposition parties to avoid provocative actions and respond constructively to President Saleh's initiative to resolve differences through dialogue
and negotiation," the U.S. embassy said on its website. "We call on all parties to continue the national dialogue and return to the negotiating table to reach an agreement that will be welcomed by, and best serve, the Yemeni people." The opposition drew more than 20,000 people in Sanaa, the biggest crowd since a wave of demonstrations hit the poor Arabian Peninsula state two weeks ago, inspired by protests that toppled Tunisia's ruler and threaten Egypt's president. Saleh, a shrewd political survivor, has backed out of previous promises to step aside. Continued on Page (3)
AQAP Executes Security Ofﬁcial in Sa’ada The al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula organization has announced the execution of deputy director of political security, Ali Mohammed Salah Al-Hussam on Tuesday. According to a spokesman of the group, whose communiqué appeared in an audiotape spread on the Internet, Colonel Al-Hussam has been executed “as a lesson to others.” The colonel was kidnapped in Sa’ada in August last year by the jihadi organization after Yemeni authorities had refused to release all the detained
activists of the organization, per its demands. Al-Hussam remained missing until alQaeda’s announcement that it was detaining him. He was kidnapped on 26 August from his home in the al-Thoobat region of Sa’ada governorate. According to a statement published on some jihadi web forums, “Colonel Hussam was running networks to spy on Muslims for the last twenty years. He was intimidating people and raiding the homes Continued on Page (3)
Popular rage spreads to Amman, where demonstrators gathered on Friday
An opposition demonstrator attending Thursday’s massive protests; his sign reads, “Thirty-three years of corruption, poverty, ignorance, and unemployment.” photos by Fuad al-Kharazi
'Anonymous' Hits Yemeni, Egyptian Government Sites
Government Sites for Yemen and Egypt targeted in week of protests By Brian Prince* organized about 500 support-
Hacktivists in the looselyaffiliated group 'Anonymous' painted a bull’s eye this week on Websites belonging to the governments of Yemen and Egypt. Members of the group launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against a number of sites, including the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the country's Ministry of Interior. “Welcome back to the Internet, #Egypt. Well, except http://www.moiegypt.gov.eg -you stay down #Jan25 #OpEgypt #Feb4,” the group tweeted Feb. 2. The attacks are believed to have been carried out in support of protests against the Egyptian government. According to the New York Times, Gregg Housh, a member of Anonymous, said the group
ers in online forums to bring down the sites for Egypt's Ministry of Information and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party. Housh personally disavowed any illegal activity. "We want freedom,” Housh reportedly said. “It’s as simple as that. We’re sick of oppressive governments encroaching on people.” Following the cyberattacks on Egypt, the Website of Yemeni President Ali Abdull a h Saleh,presidentsaleh.gov.ye, was knocked offline Feb. 3 following calls by Anonymous members for attacks on the site. The attacks marked another in a long list of Websites taken down by the group. In December, Anonymous was credited Continued on Page (3)
Propaganda in Action Among the various literature distributed at both the ruling party and opposition rallies on Thursday, this particular pamphlet was notable in its lurid depiction of its opponents. The ﬂyer tears into the most prominent opponents of the government, accusing them of being everything from Zionist to Iranian pawns, while warning that their agenda will only lead to “chaos and sabotage.” Comparison is made between major Islah party ﬁgure and Hashid Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar and Leila Trabelsi, the wife of the deposed Tunisian
President Zine al-Abidin ben Ali, who was regarded as terminally corrupt. Opposition and feminist activist Tawakul Karman is portrayed as a pawn of the United States, who began the recent protest movement under American orders. An opposition rally is shown with apparently digitally superimposed American ﬂags on the protestors. Finally, the opposition’s favorite poem, “If the people one day want life…” is contorted into an insult of the Joint Meetings Party.
Translated on Page (11)
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31
Congratulations on the Occasion of Your Engagement We congratulate brother Mostafa al-SuďŹ ani on the occasion of his engagement, and we wish for him a happy life and a good future.
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Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31 www.nationalyemen.com
Ibb Penitentiary: a Waking Nightmare By Abdul Ghani al Usiﬁ The Central Prison is no longer convenient for humanitarian use in terms of health and populations which exceeds twice the safe number. Radwan al-Bater, who spent time in the facility, said Ibb Central Prison penitentiary requires a speedy restoration and an expansion of classes and training centres. In fact, a paltry eight trainees have graduated from the sewing class after being trained for eight months at the expense of the prison administration, besides 24 trainees still in the process of studying. The penitentiary’s condition is no longer capable of accommodating prisoners, since it is located on the edge of a reservoir whose moisture has consistently caused disease among the inmates. Colonel Ali Saleh al-Ghani
said that the number of prisoners are 1400 in total, stationed to the murder section, which includes 800 inmates, the juvenile section with 200 inmates, the theft section with 200 inmates, and the women’s section, with 20 inmates. The Director of the penitentiary pointed out that Ibb penitentiary is allocated to accommodate only 800 inmates. Each inmate lies on a few small tile space, which escalates the risk of infectious disease and thefts as well. The director pointed out that Central Prison Penitentiary lacks a lot of essential facilities compared to other penitentiaries in Sana’a and Aden. The Women Section requires the speed of restoration of the old building which costs of 200 million riyals .The build-
Abyan Tribal Battle Claims Lives
Continued From Page (1) with DDoS attacks against several businesses and organizations in retaliation for the crackdown on WikiLeaks. Last month, police in the U.K. arrested a mix of teenagersand adults for taking part in the attacks. On Jan. 27 - the same day
as the U.K. arrests - the FBI executed 40 search warrants tied to the investigation of the December attacks. Housh was quoted as saying that the arrests will have little effect. *IT Security and Network Security News
Continued From Page (1) Analysts say Wednesday's pledge could be a genuine way to exit gracefully but he may also hope to wait out regional unrest and reassert dominance another day. "We continue to urge Yemeni security organizations and demonstrators to refrain from violence and for the government to respect its citizens' right to peaceful assembly and expression," the embassy said, adding there were a few outbreaks of violence despite security forces' restraint. U.S. President Barack Obama urged Saleh in a telephone call on Wednesday to
follow up on his reform measures with "concrete actions." Obama also told Saleh it was "imperative that Yemen take forceful action" against al Qaeda. The United States relies heavily on Saleh to help combat al Qaeda's Yemen-based arm, which also targets neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter. Instability in Yemen would present serious political and security risks for Gulf states. *Reuters (Reporting by Mohamed Sudam; writing by Firouz Sedarat; editing by Tim Pearce)
Al-Yaqean Newspaper Barred in Aden By Saleh Mansub The chief editor of al-Yaqean newspaper, Abdullah Musleh, conﬁrmed that the newspaper issue number 15 has been blocked in Aden governorate by members of the Political Security. The newspaper was barred
from being published on Friday afternoon and the hold continued into Sunday evening. Then it was released, and the reason for the action remains unknown, while some newspapers in Aden, such as al-Diyar, has been blocked several times.
Continued From Page (1) of innocent people as well as kidnapping some students from Dar Al-Hadith in the Damaj valley. Our partisans had been imprisoned in the political security,” according to the statement. Security authorities were
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given 48 hours to release the militants, Hussein al-Tais and Mashoor al-Ahdal, who were detained in a check point belonging to the Houthis in al-Jawf, afterward they were referred to the political security in Sa'ada.
Fakhri Hassan Al-Arashi Publisher & Chief Editor
ing consists of 3 cell blocks which include 500 beds as well a paved courtyard which serves as a recreation grounds. It also requires the completion of a reserve section which includes 200 beds at a cost of YR 30 million. In addition their are communication booths which enable prisoners to talk to visiting family members. The penitentiary is workings on building schools, training labs, renovation and maintenance and establishing of the training institute for the purpose of providing the inmates with sufﬁcient experience during their period in prison. There are some people imprisoned on the charge of stealing a mere YR 10 thousand riyals, who are jailed alongside hardened criminals.
Noah Browning Deputy Editor
An armed confrontation occurred between the al-Rahawi and al-Flays tribes in the centre of Ba Tes directorate, Abyan governorate, Monday morning, which resulted in the death of two and the serious injury of four other people. A source mentioned that the fight was initiated by two young men from the two tribes which developed into an
armed fight and ultimately resulted in the death of both, Ali Salem Faraj and Saeed Ali Faraj, as well as their cousins Khamees Ali Faraj and Mohammed Ali Faraj. Casualties among the al-Fleis were Mohammed Bashi and Hamada Almukassar, who were only injured. An earlier fight took place last Ramadan between the two tribes, and a member of the
al-Fleis was killed by general director of Khanfar directorate Ahmed Ghaleb al-Rahawi’s guards. Clashes happened again between the two tribes last week and an armed group from al-Fleis shot gunfire on Ahmed Ghaleb Alrahawi’s vehicle on the way between al-Hisn and Ba Tes directorates, causing the injury of the general director’s daughter
and son who was taken to Jordan for urgent treatment. Deep tension has risen in the area after the blocking of the main road leading to al-Hisn, Ja’ar, and Zinjibar by the al-Flays tribe, causing a traffic jam especially for large trucks loaded with cement from al-Wahda cement factory located in Ba Tes directorate 30km north of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan governorate.
Yemeni Journalist Released Two Weeks after Receiving Five-Year Sentence By Naomi Hunt and Gianluca Mezzoﬁore* Yemeni journalist and Al-Qaeda analyst Abdul Elah Haidar Shaia was released on Tuesday, two weeks after he was handed a five-year prison term for allegedly recruiting for Al-Qaeda and taking photos of potential Al-Qaeda targets for the Islamist terrorist group, reports said. He was released on a presidential order, according to news reports, although it was not immediately clear why he was freed. His release came a day before President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced that he would not run for re-election when his term expires in 2013, a decision that is believed to be linked to protests calling for economic and political reform that began after Tunisians successfully overthrew dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The Yemen protests were marred by violence against protesters, including journalists, who were reportedly harassed during demonstrations in the capital city of Mohammed Al-Asaadi Editorial Consultant
Sana’a. “We welcome the release of Abdul Elah Haidar Shaia from jail yesterday,” said IPI Acting Director Alison Bethel McKenzie. “We call on the Yemeni authorities to cease the use of illegal special courts to sentence reporters to prison simply for doing their job, and demand an end to the harassment of journalists covering protests.” Haider Shaia was sentenced on 18 January to five years in jail by a Sana’a based terrorism court for allegedly supporting Yemenbased Al-Qaeda members, according to IPI research at the time. He was found to be responsible for recruiting for Al-Qaeda, and of collaborating with the radio cleric Anwar Al-Awlaqi, a US-born radical cleric whose sermons are said to have inspired a terrorist attack in the US. “He was imprisoned because of his outspoken opinions opposing the regime,” Nadia Al-Saqqaf, editor in chief of the Yemen
Fuad Al-Qadhi Business Editor
Shukri Hussein Abyan Correspondent
Times told IPI at the time. “He was always on the red line. I think he was used by the government as an example with the purpose to scare the rest of the media.” Shaia was abducted by security agents and interrogated for several hours in July 2010, before being released, as IPI reported at the time. He has been in custody since August, and one of his lawyers, Abdel Rahman Barman, has reportedly said that his client was visibly tortured. Shaia’s legal team had also argued that the terrorism court was illegal under the Yemeni constitution, which explicitly prohibits special courts. A special Press and Publications Court, which was established in 2009 and has been a forum for the jailing of journalists since then, has been criticised for the same reason. Believing the court to be illegal, Shaia refused to file an appeal and didn’t attend several hearings, instead demanding that the judge
Jihan Anwar Staff Journalist
order the arrest of those responsible for his abduction and torture. These requests were denied. “He tried to challenge the whole system alone,” Al-Saqqaf said. “I think he tried to make a statement in order to defend himself, but he was not given the chance by the government.” The Yemeni syndicate organized a protest outside the court, claiming it was not a fair trial and that the sentence was a threat to freedom of speech in the country, Shatha Al-Harazi, a reporter for the Yemen Times, told IPI at the time. Shatha added that officers from the HOOD Human Rights Organisation had told her that every time Al-Qaeda wanted to bring news to the public they would try to contact Shaia. “For him it was a great scoop, but he was just doing his journalistic job, he was neutral,” she said. “He was not a spokesperson for Al-Qaeda.” *International Press Institute
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Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31
Missing Jewish Child Returns By Saddam Alashmory Bin Yamyen Umran al-Nahari, age eight, is a member of the Jewish community who went missing and was believed kidnapped in the city of Raida, 70 kilometers north of the capital Sana'a, in Amran directorate. Yahya Ya’aish, leader of the Jewish community, has commented that the boy’s disappearance was an accident, and talk of his abduction was a misunderstanding. Bin Yamyen disappeared in mysterious circumstances during the shabat day last week, in which Jews do not engage in work, on the grounds that Saturday is a day off to worship and fast. Bin Yamyen was kidnapped around the same time a death sentence was given to Abdel Aziz al- Abdin, who was accused of killing Masha al-Nahari, according to a source in the Jewish community. Two years ago, Jewish Yemeni Masha al-Nahari, was killed by Abdul Alaziz al-Abdin. The court gave him the death sentence after their appeals of the former sentence. The Judge, Abdul Bari Abdullah Oqba, gave him a sentence of five million and five hundred thousand riyals since the killer appartenly suffered from mental illness. Thus, he had been referred to a mental institution, according to the report of the prosecution. There are only 290 Jews in Yemen, and most live in the city Raida north of the capital Sana’a. According to Yahya Ya’aish, the number of Jews
continues to decline, especially after Israel and American Jewish institutions have recently organized flights for Jews’ evacuation because they are exposed to danger if they remain. After the death of Masha Ya’aish, the leader of the Jewish community in Yemen last year, about 110 Jews have been deported. The majority of remaining Jews stay in Yemen and
Raidah city due to their desire for performing their prayers, feasts, and other rituals together, as well as establishing schools to teach their children the Torah and Psalms. According to Yahya Ya’aish, son of Rabbi Ya’aish Bin Yahya, stable faith among the Jews in Yemen is stronger compared to other majority of Jews. He confirmed Jews do
not want to migrate out of Yemen and they wish to stay to preserve the traditions of thousands of years. “We live peacefully with Muslims. They do not discriminate between Muslim and Jewish communities in terms of living and housing, and their political rights. The Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh announced in 1996 that Yemeni Jews are entitled
to their political rights,” Yahya Ya’aish said. Currently, Jews in Yemen have two temples, and two private schools were established by Jewish American associations in the Raidah and Kharif regions. The two schools teach the children of the Jewish community Hebrew, Arabic, and English language, in addition lessons on the Jewish faith.
Also, there are a few Jews living in Sa’ada in the area of Aal Salem. A year ago, they were seven families consisting 45 persons in al-Haid Gareer village in Aal-Salem region. They left after they had been threatened with death by members of the “al-Shabab alMu’mineen” organization, led by Abdul Malik al-Houthi. Abdul Malik al-Houthi gave them only a week to leave the area and he stressed that the threats were actually intended to make the Jews flee. Abdul Malik reported that the people of the region were complaining of the Jews for their involvement in regional affairs and their bad morals. Therefore, the authorities provided housing for these families before they were moved to Sana'a to escape fighting between the rebels and government forces and in order to calm the international fears about Jews in Yemen. In the capital Sana’a, authorities approved their Easter Holiday and housed Jewish families in the heart of the capital, at the “tourist city.” After riots against the Jews in Yemen in the forties of the last century, when the State of Israel was established in 1948, there were sixty thousand Jews living in Yemen – most of whom promptly migrated. An estimated 48 thousand fled to Israel in the so-called “Operation Magic Carpet” over the next three years, according to media sources. In the meantime, the Jewish Agency and the Yemeni authorities negotiated on their departure.
Al-Dalea governorate, poverty and challenge of Survival By Saleh al- Mansub/ al-Dalea Al-Dalea governorate has recently been passing through a critical time. For a year now al-Dalea has been seized by protests, clashes, assassinations, and attacks on soldiers and civilians. A number of security obstacles have been implemented to intimate people. Unfortunately, alDalea remains unsafe. Security chaos, the targeting of military posts, and acts of banditry reflect the State’s total incapacity in confronting the current crisis. The citizens of the area have suffered from the deterioration of the social services as well as infrastructure because of the lack of security, already high food prices have been raised, and unemployment is exacerbated by slow economic growth, and investors have moved to the northern cities to escape economic crisis. The Southern Movement
in al-Dali was the first spark for other provinces and it is part of the reason for the current troubles. First, it led people to demand for the pensions of retirees and then it changed its policy to secession and the devolvement of state power, in addition to inciting people against citizens in the north. The region has witnessed ghastly incidents of bloodshed and killing, which have increased during the Movement’s recent activism. Recently, conflicts among leaders of the “Hirak” have weakened the Movement. In addition, Tamah’s hostile statements against the opposition party and his appeal for others to resign fromthe party and from the Hirak leadership is clear evidence of further lack of stability al-Dalea Many citizens strongly condemned the brutal attacks. Recent incidents include the
massive build-up of the army’s presence, the deterioration of standards of living. A significant number of local citizens blame the Movement for whatever rioting and chaos persists in the area, and clearly do not support their agenda. The governor of al-Dalea, Ali Qasim, has sought to resolve the governorates’ many issues after the previous governors had failed in resolving these problems. Also the ultimate security leader in the area, Ali Qasim’s widely-respected patience has enabled him to eliminate the most violent signs of crisis in al-Dalea, which is considered safer compared to the other governorates of Abyan and Lahj. On the other hand, some observers believe the current crises in al-Dali can been attributed to Ali Qasim, who is controlled by the regime.
Al-Dalea needs to create more opportunities for all these seeking jobs and to reduce prices to make more citizens believe in the State and support unity. Al-Dalea’s
citizens demand a stop to the current hostilities and a resolution for disagreements especially in a final and conclusive way. Citizens of al-Dalea have
repeatedly appealed to the government to fulfil peace and prosperity and solidify the tenuous peace to avoid the recurrence of disputes and clashes.
Education Ministry, Only 15km Away, Neglects School July 17 School’s students appealed to the President, Ali Abudullah Saleh, as well as the Minister of Education, Abdul Salam al-Jawﬁ, to build their ruined school located in the Haziez region in Sanhan directorate.
Students of July 17 School called on ofﬁcials to hasten reconstruction of the school to alleviate their suffering. They were complaining that they had lacked sufﬁcient facilities for seven years due to negligence and indifference,
for the neighbouring unit land "2B5" on which the school is located had been seized eight years ago. They said in their appeal, “it has been seven years and still we don’t have a public school in our region like other schools
in the Republic of Yemen.” They added, "As you know and everyone knows, schools throughout Yemen have reached plains, mountains and deserts – which is considered a major achievement. Actually, our region is only 15km away
from your ministry, still we don’t have any educational institutions in our region. Because of the increasing of student population from year to year, we rent a house for more than 600 students to study there.”
Dr/ AbdulSalam Al-Jouﬁ
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31 www.nationalyemen.com
Al-Qaeda Exhausts State, Dominates Security Agenda
A Security plan to pursue al-Qaeda elements By Mohammed Abdalaleem In accordance with a plan recently issued by the Yemeni Ministry of Interior, the security apparatuses will implement security deployment plan in the provinces to target al-Qaeda. They have set up security units to blockade al-Qaeda in 4 governorates of Abyan, Marib, Shabwa and Hadramout. In these governorates, anti-terrorism units will hamper al-Qaeda elements’ activities and seek a reduction of violence. In recent months, there have been increasing security checkpoints and provision of the security forces in the provinces with new security vehicles and weapons. Sana’a Spared Some attacks have occurred in some far-flung locales, but they failed due to the vigilance and wellorganized plans of security in the capital governorate, Sana’a. The Yemeni Interior Ministry has announced the foiling of a kidnapping attempt against four Czechs tourists in Sana'a while two policemen were wounded in the campaign carried out by the security apparatus. Western press and their interest in al-Qaeda in Yemen Many international newspapers from around the world have largely concerned about al-Qaeda in Yemen such as the Guardian and Independent Newspapers. These newspapers confirmed to their readership that Yemen is a haven for al-Qaeda and it has become like Afghanistan. The western newspapers stated that Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki, is a godfather of global terrorism, and that the paltry parcel bombs affair was in fact a massive threat to international security. Americans in Yemen Hillary Clinton made the first visit of a Secretary of state since James Baker in 1990, and she was followed shortly thereafter by the Chairman of Armed Committee for Arms Control of the U.S. Senate She reported that “al-Qaeda in Yemen is a real concern to America. This came as news to no one, as Yemen has long acknowledged the threat posed by al-Qaeda. The last visitor of her rank was James Baker, Secretary of State under the first George Bush, who graced Yemen with his presence very briefly in 1990. According to the media, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh had discussed the relations of the two countries with the U.S. Senate’s delegation in Yemen. The delegation was headed by the Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They discussed bilateral relations, joint cooperation,n and ways to strengthen and achieve the common interests of both countries, including cooperation in the field of
security, counter-terrorism, and military training. The Yemeni president confirmed his country's keenness on promoting bilateral relations and the cooperation between Sana’a and Washington. He praised the efforts of Yemen in combating terrorism and its role in supporting the international efforts in this area. From his side, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in U.S. Senate confirmed United States’ support to strengthen relations with Yemen and to support cooperation between the two countries to cover all the various aspects of political, economic, and cultural relations. Chief of General Staff, Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal, and the commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet stationed in Bahrain, Lt. Gen. Mark Fox, discussed joint cooperation and relations between the armies of the two friendly countries, especially in the areas of training, repairs, and the exchange of information and expertise.
‘‘ These newspapers conﬁrmed to their readership that Yemen is a haven for al-Qaeda and it has become like Afghanistan
The meeting reviewed the efforts of the two friendly countries in the fight against terrorism and piracy on the Somali coasts. They searched also ways to strengthen military cooperation so as to ensure the common interests between the two countries. During the meeting, the Chief of General Staff praised the steady development between the two countries. He pointed out the necessity of the mutual visits and frequent meetings among officials and the two countries. From his part, the commander of U.S. Fifth Fleet, appreciated Yemen's efforts and the positive results achieved in combating terrorism and the efforts of securing the international waterway in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. He stressed the necessity of creating a strong partnership with the Yemeni armed forces, especially in the maritime field. He confirmed the need of developing the Navy and Coast Guard of Yemen, and relations between the two friendly countries and the two armies as well. The
al-Qaeda, and the Houthi Challenges Yemen has been through three security crises and they need a long time to be overcome, especially the escalation of al-Qaeda in some Yemeni provinces, the southern movement, and al-Houthis. Thus, Yemen has been passing through a difficult phase as a result of great risks experienced by the security forces. Therefore, Yemen needs international aid and cooperation to achieve development. Trainers from Britain and America supervise the Yemeni security forces Some sources confirmed the arrival of military trainers from America and Britain to train Yemeni forces against al Qaeda and terrorism, which started to appear in some Yemeni provinces. But, official sources denied any foreign presence of military trainers from abroad. The continuation of tensions in Abyan province Abyan governorate remains a real concern for the Yemeni government and clashes occurred between al-Qaeda and the Yemeni army there often. The most grievous operation carried out by al-Qaeda left twelve army soldiers dead in an armed ambush in the area of al-Lawdar. The situation remains constantly tense. In the meantime, commander Maj. Gen. Brigadier General Mohsen Jezela has survived an ambush in which his soldiers were injured, also in al-Lawdar. Ongoing Crackdown in Shabwa In Shabwa, security incidents have been escalated and resulted in the death of an investigation officer in Mayfa'a directorate in Shabwa. While three were wounded in the attack on the security headquarters. But security apparatuses in Shabwa confirmed that they held currently in place a security campaign to pursue the suspected members of al-Qaeda in Shabwa directorate. Hadramout Troubles In the beginning of this year, a number of senior officials of the military leadership of the governorate were assassinated as a result of a explosive devices. Brigadier General Abdul Rahman al-Hili, a brigade commander in the area of al Kasha’a district in Hadramout directorate was subjected to an assassination attempt during his way to work in Hadramout. Accordingly, was he slightly injured along with his driver. In al-Mukala, the Commander of the Central Security was also subjected to an assassination attempt, for which the authorities hold al-Qaeda responsible. Marib Repeated clashes in Marib occur between the army of Yemen and al-Qaeda gunmen.
One of these clashes was an armed ambush set by al-Qaeda to lieutenant colonel, Nabil Aklan, the Chief Inspection Office in Marib, which claimed his life. Al-Qaeda claims 49 terrorist attack carried out in Yemen In a statement published by the media of Sada al-Malahem which is the media arm affiliated with al-Qaeda, 49 terrorist attacks were carried out in a number of Yemeni governorates over the past year in 2009. Yemen's Interior Ministry Yemeni Interior Ministry reported that 178 security men died over the past year 2010
and 1,030 were wounded in clashes with al-Qaeda and the southern movement. According to the Media Centre of the Ministry of the Interior, "dozens of security forces were killed and injured in 2010 in defence of tranquillity and stability. 178 officers and men were killed while performing their duty against al-Qaeda to achieve peace.” In the meantime, the number of complaints and grievances of Yemeni citizens have increased against outlaws affiliated to the Ministry of Interior estimated during the last year 2010. The statistics were issued by Centre of Information
Security for the Interior Ministry. The high number of complaints is due to the citizen's confidence that their demands against the ones who abuse the Ministry of the Interior and exploit it for their own corrupt benefit, will be fulfilled. Deterioration of the economy, tourism and oil sectors These problems have influenced Yemen, especially the places in which al-Qaeda is known to operate. Therefore, such places require security apparatuses to play their role in the fight against a total security breakdown.
National Yemen Yemen Protests: Between Reaction and Progress
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31
By Fakhri Al-Arashi / Photos by Fuad al-Harazi Saleh also called the JMP to a meeting with parliament, consisting of members of the Shura Council, to return to the dialogue again and form a government of national unity. “I call on the opposition to freeze all planned protests, rallies and sit-ins,” he added. Saleh presented an initiative which included the resumption of dialogue between the ruling party and the parliamentary opposition in what is known as the “national dialogue.” The opposition in Yemen is far away from repeating the songs and slogans of the revolutions elsewhere because of their mutual interests with the government. Their demands are for the improvement of their elite influence and in sharing power with them, or, at least, granting them more influence. In responses to the day of rage, National Yemen had a chance to speak to demonstrators in both camps. Mr. Abdul Qawi al-Ashari, a protestor attending the pro-government rally from Ibb, said “we came today to reject chaos, and express our support to the development of Yemen and not for leading Yemen off the brink for no reason. “These peaceful protests, both opposition and ruling party, shows that there is democracy and freedom of expression in Yemen. Rajah al-Kudami, a Sana’a official with the ruling party said, “we are here to confront the logic of fear and intimidation. “In my opinion, both gatherings will end safely and both will help maintain the unity of Yemen.” “Yemen is a special case, and we are not like Tunisia or Egypt; we are totally different. The president generously approved all the opposition’s demands yesterday: the constitutional amendments are frozen, there will be a return to dialogue, and he called for a unity government.” said al-Kudami. “The government is calling for the duty to follow the law, as the opposition is pushing for a delay in the elections. The government’s concern is to get us out of this crisis. Bakeel Abdullah, 14, said, “I love my country, and I love my president. Anyone who loves the country must do the same.” Ahmed Abu al-Rajal, a businessman, said, “What is the opposition’s excuse after the President’s offer? We gather here in force, but peacefully, to oppose those who want to destroy the country and rule its ruins.” “This protest is the call of those who care for the future of the country. The Egyptian president has listened to the
calls of the protestors there, but they still want more! The same story would happened in Yemen. This is part of an international conspiracy. Sami Abdullah, a motorcycle taxi driver, a massive placard of the president protruded from his seat, said, “Really, I don’t believe in either party – they will always be after their own gain. But the President stands above all this; I hope he stays forever.” At the opposition rally, student Haider al-Alimi, said, “We won’t let anyone crash this demonstration and sow strife. We must guarantee that these protests are peaceful, so the government cannot accuse us of being violent or unpatriotic.” 19-year old student, Ahmed Hadi, said, “we don’t believe in the president’s concessions; it’s just one of many lies he’s used to stay in power. Meanwhile, corruption, unemployment and poverty continue to spread throughout the country. We heard the same thing in 2006, when Saleh said he would never run again, but he still sits in his throne.” “We want a new government, one that could save the economy and give us some hope.” Ali al-Theib, a second year medical student, said that the situation in Yemen is totally different than in the other countries, because its opposition leaders lead them properly. “The JMP leaders have a clear strategy and they can shoulder the responsibility of leading Yemen out of these constants crises. “The government, mainly Ali Abdullah Saleh, is behind the war of Sa’ada and the problems of the south. The government is inciting the street whenever it feels like it, and the people realized that in Gulf Twenty, when the government was able to control the event, and later the South relapsed into chaos and violence. Khalid al-Anisi, head of a human rights NGO who was detained briefly last year for leading protests, said, “We are tired of games and political ploys. People are desperate, and need an improvement in their lives now. The president should understand this, and immediately form a government of national unity to address their concerns. “In his speech, he said that he will freeze the constitutional amendments. This will last until the crisis is over, and then he will resume his schemes. He is cancelling all political life. The reason for the increase of secessionism is the failure of the ruling party. They should leave the country. Attendee Ibrahim Mohammed Ali Azan said, “our ceremony is quite peaceful and we will not let any provoca-
teurs hijack our gathering. But if the government persists on its course, how can they expect these demonstrations to remain peaceful? “Our goal is to start in peace and it’s a messages we fight for. The JMP will change
the tone of ceremonies if the government will not turn to the language of logic. I say, “protest until Saleh leaves!’” Truck-driver Mohammed Dahan said, “we cannot let corrupt officials to continue to take our money and deny us
our rights. The Yemeni people will take back their rights by force if their demands are not met.” The speech of the president was not sufficient to us, and there is never any actual change. Bringing down the
system will be the only meaningful change,“ said Dahan. “We are against cheating and using public money for their personal gain. People will make it happen if those in power do not listen to their demands.”
“Popular Uprising” Started in Hodeida By Abdul Hafez Mo’jab
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31 www.nationalyemen.com
Massive Opposition Rally in Shabwa By Mohammed Abdalaleem
It was lately announced in Hodeida on Yemen’s Red Sea Coast the establishment of “national committees for uprising and peaceful revolution against corruption and tyranny in Yemen.” Local sources mentioned that a youth meeting took place Sunday morning in Hodeida city with the participation of several hundreds young male and female university students, activists, lawyers and journalist throughout Hodeida governorate. The meeting concluded with the establishment of the committees which will take part in gathering people and mobilizing them beginning from 3 February toward a peaceful popular uprising. It was also stated in the
establishment’s statement that these committees aim at continuing the peaceful revolution until citizens get their rights to live in dignity far away from “what the current ruling regime imposed in the way of starvation and impoverishment.” The statement also called all young people of Yemen to move forward through a radical change of all the pillars of the regime, and to “take into consideration prosecuting those who are preparing to escape after looting the wealth and property of the nation and the conﬁscation of the people’s rights and freedoms for the past thirty years at least.” The committee also praised the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt and all the efforts in
Yemen during the few past weeks. It also warned the authorities against any violent acts as a reaction against the people movements, as “the freedom of speech is guaranteed by law, about which their can be no compromise.” It also called all human rights organizations and media outless, both local and regional, to follow-up these uprisings and the authorities’ reactions, which they suggested, based on previous experience, might be repressive. A further warning was made against any acts of sabotage by members of the police or the army leveled against citizens’ engaged in peaceful revolution. Despite the recent nature of the founding of the People’s Committees, it quickly spread in a number of villages and districts of Hodeida Governorate as well as even among the local al-Zaraniq tribe, whose members interact in social networks like Facebook. Many teams emerged from these committees to protect the public and private properties from acts of harrassment, robbery, or looting which they suggested might be carried out by some ruling party supporters opposing their activity.
to call for social justice and our rights according to the law and constitution. We demand that salaries for government employees be tripled, and for the armed forces as well. We call on the beneficiaries of the Social Welfare Fund to have their benefit tripled, and we call on poor people to be taken care of,” al-Shami said. “We demand the government to give young people good job opportunities to decrease unemployment among people. We call for real sharing of wealth and oil, and we demand free and fair
The opposition Joint Meetings Party carried out a rally near the center of the Ataq, capital of Shabwa governorate. The rally attracted ten thousand attendees from various regions in Shabwa, and it was far and away the largest gathering there in recent memory. Zaid al-Shami, a member of Yemeni parliament and a major leader of the JMP, delivered a speech in which he congratulated the Egyptian people on their popular uprising. “We came out into streets
elections. We call on the cancellation of the elections committee, and we reject tyranny and the persistence of these elections,” he concluded. Nagy Muhsin al-Sumi, President of the JMP in Shabwa, said to the crowd, “it’s the right time to change. We reject the return to autocracy and the imamate. Yemenis have started a revolution against the current occupation and chaos, and there is no way to get rid of all these crisis unless we hold comprehensive dialogue involving all the Yemeni people.”
Silence in Ibb, Taiz and Hajjah and Violations in Aden, Lahj, Hodeida and Sana’a Twenty volunteers of civil society activists have participated in monitoring human rights violations in the demonstrations organized by the Yemeni opposition in Sana’a. No arbitrary arrest registered yet three cases of harassment by bullies were detected. An incident of an assault was monitored on demonstrators who went to the seventy square and denied access to the square and two of them were severely beaten by armed men in civilian clothes and threw stones at others before the soldiers of the Central Security intervened to disengage the clashes. In Hodeida Tareq Suroor Hood team coordinator in the
governorate was arrested against the background of his claim of releasing six detainees, who were released later on, and the destinies of the detained journalists Abdu hafedh Mo’jab and abdul hafeedh alhutami is still unknown. Sources said that he was kidnapped by gunmen in a car. In Aden the organization’s volunteers said that authorities banned entering to Kreter where the apposing party announced its festival. It also disrupted communications between the rest parts of the city, deployed military tanks and armored vehicles in the streets of the city, thrown tear gas and arrested 25 people
where two of them were seriously injured. In Tibn directorate, Lahj governorate two kids were arrested and citizens were banned from reaching the festival of the apposing party in jisr Alhusaini area by the central security forces that blocked traffic by to implementing an undeclared campaign. No violation cases registered in governorates of Taiz, Ibb and Hajjah and there are almost fifty young men carrying out a sit-open gate of Sana'a University, in Sana’a demanding the departure of the system. No case of violation registered against them until the moment
37 detainee, journalist kidnapped, two injured, bombs and prevention of access
Violence, Repression at al-Dhalea Rallies “The coming revolution is a revolution of the people against injustice and tyranny. The will of the people will triumph, regardless of the strength of the ruling party. The president's initiative went in vain,” Mansour Abu Assba’a said. Security checkpoints have been deployed in streets and prevented the masses to access to the square of the opposition coalition’s gathering. According to some sources, the soldiers manning the checkpoint of Naqil al-Shaim ﬁred a hail of bullets on people peacefully coming from the directorates of Juban, Damt and Qa’atuba. They were also reportedly prevented from reaching the square in which the rally was being held. Some checkpoints
were also set up on the road connecting al-Hasha to al-Dali and al-Hasha residents were prevented access and participation in the festival. In addition, citizens of Maris area were forced to walk on foot to the festival square, as road trafﬁc had been interdicted by security
forces. On the other hand, numbers of Southern Movement tried to inﬁltrate the festival of the opposition and clashes occurred between the JMP and the Southern Movement, as members of each strived to form the majority of the gathering.
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Horia: Yemen’s Rising Star and to convey a positive message with grace and eloquence. Q. Were there any artistic institutions which encouraged you as a young artist? - I would like to mention that the Artists Syndicate and the Yemeni Ministry of Culture offers little in the way of artistic encouragement, and there are not many art activities, which are only organized every now and then. I would like to build my artistic reputation outside Yemen to draw the attention of the artistic community. Q. You have said the current Ministry of Culture doesn’t have a role in your artistic career. What did the previous ministry do for you? In fact, it did not provide me anything, but when I met Mr. Khalid Rowaishan, the former minister, at the festival for the International Day for Women, at which I sang and he was highly impressed with my voice. He took pictures with me and promised in front of journalists to cultivate my talents, but he was unseated soon after that day, and my dreams of receiving any help from the ministry went with him. The former minister used to attend cultural and artistic activities and pay real attention to the arts. The ministry was totally different during his tenure
Horia Abdullah al-Rayashi is a young artist from Rada’a district in al-Baidha governorate. Horia is seventeen years-old. She is the third child in her family, the only girl among six brothers. Horia’s voice is as beautiful as Ahlam’s, the famous singer from the Gulf, to the extent you can’t easily differentiate between the
two. She is currently studying in the twelfth grade in al-Khansa secondary school in Sana’a. What follows is her first exclusive interview with a newspaper after her appearance last week on the Saba channel with the "Najm min Saba,” or “Star from Sheba” program.
By Abdul Razag Al-Azazi Q. What about your show in front of the public? In the Youth Palace in Sana'a, al-Khansa school organized a graduation ceremony. I was in the tenth grade and I placed in third. I performed the first song of Ahlam for the theatre, and I wasn’t nervous. The crowds were surprised by my performance and confidence. I participated in festivals, competitions, and activities that were organized outside the school, such as the "International Day for Women.” Also, I recently recorded a special song for cancer patients. Q. It is said that your success is due to your famous elder sister, Amal ? I used accompany her to various festivals and shows, and she used to introduce me to many famous artists. It was great opportunity to meet artists and develop contacts with them. It was an opportuinity for others to get to know my talent. As for what happened in the “Najm min Saba” program, on
Thursday before the last, the organizers had asked my sister if she knew any Yemeni women with beautiful voices. She replied, “my sister’s voice is excellent, and many poets and composers have praised her.” After that, the executive director of the program set the following episode to host me and it was the very first exclusive appearance for me. Q. So how do see yourself as different from your sister, Amal? I still remember the festival organized by the artist Nader al- Mathaji, who asked my sister to sing, but I sang in her place; it was set for a park, and she doesn’t like to sing in big public venues. Q. How were you first attracted to art? Not only my sister, Amal, but also my brother, Nasser, is an artist. He likes to sing in his friends’ weddings, graduation ceremonies, and parties, and he is also a member of a band. My father has a beautiful voice, but
‘‘ I would like to say that art is a great mission and the man is wild, but mild with music
he does not sing in anywhere except at home. Tribal customs prevented him from singing; however, he does not deprive us of his singing . Q. You have said your father didn’t sing because of traditions and customs, how did your father allow you to sing even though you are a girl? Actually, our community looks down upon artists. People consider any artist to showy, or no better than a wedding singer. I must make clear to you that I’m doing something distinctive and honourable; I sing in high-level festivals and activities. My father knows that art is the nutrition of the spirit. He knows that the times have changed and people have become more educated. Moreover, my father defends art from the criticisms of traditional people in the society. I would like to say that art is a great mission and the man is wild, but mild with music. Art should be used properly to serve the country and people
Q. What about artistic companies? Artistic companies in Yemen are being exploited, not actually invested in. The evidence is that one of the companies committed to give me a certain sum of money, but the articles of the contract prevented me from singing for other companies. So I refused their conditions, because art is precious, and needs to be spread. Therefore, I became certain that my album must be produced outside Yemen. I wish they gave art the priority, and not just money. I wish they supported the talents of artists without such an obsessive concern for gain. Q. What is your next performance? I need to be patient about it! I don’t like to perform any
song of my own songs, unless the opportunity and proper support are available to produce high level of art. Actually, I have two special songs on par of the Gulf artists. The great poet of the Arabian Peninsula, Ali al-Qahtani, as well as Mohammed Bin Aboud al-Amoudi, helped me to record those two songs and gave me their full support. I would be happier if I could travel to the Gulf to start my artistic career. Q. What did you do to make your dream come true? I have been communicating now with top local and international artists to draw their attention in the next few months. I want to prove that Yemeni Women can have great presence in the field of art. I will also show to the artistic community that Yemeni artists are exploited and that they do not even have adequate support. Q. What are your main achievements? I participated in competitions for the capital Secretariat’s schools, and I got the first place for the past two years in a row, and this year I hope to participate, but the cultural activity of the schools hasn’t started yet. I participated in the Fourth Forum for girls which was organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports two years ago. I was the one who opened the ceremony with a special song. But, when I want to compete, people said that my voice is too good to participate in such competitions. Recently, I have participated in a concert organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Sana'a. It celebrated the special friendship in the field of energy between Korea and Yemen. My sister was asked to sing and as usual I went with her. We were praised by the crowd there, and people said they had never heard such beautiful voices. The audience was told that before they left,
they had to hear my voice again, and I felt that everyone was happy and warmly applauded, even though they do not speak Arabic. Q.Who supports your artistic talent? My father helped me a lot. He and my mother supported my wish to develop my talent and to fulfil my dreams. Without them we couldn’t sing at all because of our conservative community, which especially the case for Rada’a, our home. My mother and my sister Amal, and the two poets al-Qahtani and al-Ammodi, as well as the composer, Ahmed Bin Gobl. Wahbiah Ibrahim, the headmistress of al-Khansa School also supports me a lot, and I couldn’t forget the artist, Nader Abdul Razak al-Mathhaji and Abdul Rahman al- Akfash as well.
‘‘ Actually, our community looks down upon artists ... I must make clear to you that I’m doing something distinctive and honourable
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Qat, Cigarettes, Soda Consumed in Alarming Amounts By Fuad Al-Qadhi A recent report has been issued by Transparency Center for Studies and Research that the number of people who chew Qat in Yemen amounted to a staggering seven million citizens. The report noted that the total money spent on Qat and its accoutrements, such as cigarettes, water, and sodas, arrived at 771 billion and 732 million riyals annually, which equals 3 billion, 878 million and 50 thousand dollars. The amount of plastic bags of Qat is estimated at 7 million bags per day, 300 million bags per month, and 3 billion and 600 million bags per year. Those bags end up either in the barrels of waste, on the streets of cities, rural areas, or agricultural land, which caused serious damages in the environment and soil as well. The report pointed out that if Qat’s purchase average is 300, it indicates that 2 billion and 100 million riyals is being spent per day, 63 billion per month and 756 billion riyals per year. Findings mentioned that about half a million Qat chewers smoke cigarette during their chewing sessions each day. Accordingly, they consume half a million packs of cigarettes, which equals 10 million cigarettes per day, 15 million per month, and 180 million per year. The annual average of consuming cigarettes is estimated at 3 billion and 600
million cigarettes that costs 27 billion in the year. The report added that about 500 thousand people drink 180 million of sodas per year during chewing Qat, estimated nine billion if the average price of the soda was is 50 riyals, which means Yemen produces three million bottles of water.
‘‘ it will be difﬁcult to be compensated since every one of the seven million lost annually 60 days from his age
According to official data, Yemen has imported 146 thousand and 506 tons of mineral water and sodas in 2006 from 25 countries. Those were estimated 10 billion, 235 million and 263
thousand riyals. Saudi Arabia ranked in the top of the countries, which exports 121 thousands and 310 tons of mineral water and sodas and those cost 7 billion, 531 million, and 272 thousand riyals. Thailand comes next in exporting mineral water and sodas which with an estimated one billion 323 million and 808 thousand riyals. The report confirmed that Yemenis spend four hours per day in chewing Qatwhich
equals 28 million hours per day, 840 hours per month, 10 billion and 80 million hours per year are devoted to the activity. And all the previous numbers are equalled to 420 million days and those are equivalent of 1,153,846 years each year, or 1153 centuries. Actually, it indicates the capacity of millions of Yemenis have consumed their age for more than one thousand and 1115 centuries and it will be difficult to be
compensated since every one of the seven million lost annually 60 days from his age. The report clarified some sources estimated that the area of Qat is about 250 thousand hectares, and consumed about 128 million cubic meters of the total water resources available in the country. The groundwater used in planting Qat is estimated at 3.4 billion cubic meters and its annual revenues reached a trillion and 250 million riyals and
arrived at 5 million riyals per hectare. Furthermore, Qat consumption of groundwater reached 800 million cubic meters per year. The report intensified that the cultivation of Qat caused a major threat to the continuation of life in many areas, especially in the capital Sana’a. Moreover, about 4 thousands of randomly wells used in planting Qat decreases the water streams rate of 3-6 meters per year.
Report: Grinding Poverty Persists in Yemen By Fuad Al-Qadhi the prices of rice, wheat, sugar and other staples. On the other hand, the high price of oil derivatives has an impact on the deterioration of the citizens’ living standards. Thus, the citizen’s purchasing power has highly decreased. A study of the third developmental, economic, and social plan aimed at eliminating poverty indicated that most of the poor people in rural and urban areas drink tea without sugar, eat rice without meat, and they only eat meat on Eid day. The study showed that the high prices caused economic problems for all citizens, women, men, and even children, with no exception.
‘‘ According to a recent study by the Ministry of planning on poverty in Yemen, 41.8% of people live below the poverty line. Despite development efforts aimed at reducing the statistic in Yemen, the ratio is still very high compared to other Arab countries. Surveys, especially the latest family budget survey of 2005/2006, indicated the disparity in poverty rates in Yemen, between rural
and urban populations reached 40.1% in rural areas and 20.7% in urban ones. According to the survey, the poverty gap amounted to 8.9% and the deﬁcit of individual in the budget of poor families arrived at 497 riyals, while it needed to reach 1431 riyals per month on average to eliminate the gap between actual expenditure of poor families and the poverty average line. Therefore,
the average is no longer able to bridge the poverty gap for the individual with high prices. The average is expected to be doubled or more in the circumstances and changes experienced by the economy of Yemen. High prices, particularly of food, during the past three years is due to several external and internal factors represented in the international economic crisis, which directly contributed to the rise in
most of the poor people in rural and urban areas drink tea without sugar, eat rice without meat, and they only eat meat on Eid day
Educated members of society, along with those engaged in manual labor and handicrafts in urban and rural areas as well as employees indicated that salaries no longer
fulﬁl their basic needs, which conﬁrmed a remarkable deterioration in the living standards of Yemeni society. In the meantime, the third phase of the governmental employees’ wages haven’t been completed and it is not expected to be completed before March of next year. The study points out the inefﬁcient role of development of the third developmental plan of 2006 - 2010 in most areas. In addition, women in urban and rural aren’t encouraged enough to take part in the economy. Data show that the gains achieved by third development plan are limited. The failure of the plan has had a grave impact on the development of the economic sector and ﬁsheries sector as well.
Furthermore, the deterioration of the oil and agriculture sectors have contributed in exacerbating poverty in rural areas. On the other hand, the tourism sector has witnessed heinous actions, such as kidnapping of tourists as well as a security unbalance in some cities in Yemen. Despite the decrease in poverty of the population living below the poverty line from 41.8% to 34.7%, the poverty rate has not changed and remained the same compared to the population living under the poverty line during the years of 1998 - 2005, which estimated nearly 7 million poor people. Moreover, there has not been a noticeable change in the poverty rate in rural areas, according to the poverty report in 2007.
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Oil Is Not Enough By Arafat Abdallatif Arraﬁd Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world and it has no chance of reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 if it does not change its policies. It is over-dependent on exporting petroleum, the rest of its productive system is very weak. The country will have to diversify its agricultural production, overcome its environmental problems – above all the exhaustion of its fresh water reserves – protect its products in the home market and become more competitive. At the political level it will have to implement stronger gender policies to enable women to really integrate into society. Yemen is ranked 140 out of the 182 countries on the 2009 UNDP Human Development Index. Nearly 45% of the population lives on less than USD 2 a day. Unemployment has increased in the last two years, causing income levels to stagnate; the economy is based mainly on petroleum and has experienced only modest development in other sectors. The country is in serious difficulties because of a big decrease in oil production, which accounts for an exceptionally high proportion of the budget. If the authorities do not take the necessary measures to quickly remedy the failing economy, the State will be unable to meet its obligations in the years ahead. The current situation: an overview The fuel of dependence According to official statistics, oil accounts for 35% of total domestic production, 70% of the State budget and 90% of Yemen’s exports. The country’s other productive activities such as fishing, tourism and manufacturing add up to no more than 10% of exports. These figures also show that from 2007 to 2008 petroleum exports fell from 17.42 million barrels to 9.46 million, which in economic terms works out at USD 522 million less income from this sector. A report by the Yemen Central Bank shows that income from gross petroleum exports fell by a record USD 803 million in 2009. According to the Bank, this coincided with a reduction in the Government’s quota of total gross oil production in the period January to July – 15 million barrels in 2009 as against 27.3 million in the same period in 2008. The report also noted that the decrease was partly a consequence of the big fall in international prices resulting from the world financial crisis – from USD 114.6 per barrel in 2008 to USD 53.7 in 2009. Other sectors The share of the other economic sectors such as agriculture and industry in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from 43% in 1990 to less than 18% in 2005. Meanwhile unemployment rose from 16.7% in 2007 to 35% in 2008. Official data show that an estimated 54% of the workforce is in the agricultural sector, but soil degradation and spreading desertification
pose a serious threat to these workers’ livelihoods. Qat, a herb used as a stimulant and energizer, which provides employment for a quarter of the entire workforce, requires more than 20 million work hours per day, covers more than half the cultivated land and absorbs enormous quantities of fresh water in a country with one of the most serious water shortages in the world (see below). The situation of women Women have made progress in various government and political party organizations, but they remain very much in a secondary role and the power to make decisions is still reserved for men, as shown by the following data. • In 1990, for the first time ever, women were given the right to vote, to be candidates and to enter public office. • There were no women on the Higher Election Committee in 2001, 2003 or 2006. • The percentage of women registered to vote went up from 15% in 1993 to 37% in 1997 and 46% in 2006. • The number of women candidates in parliamentary elections decreased from 42 in 1993 to 21 in 1997 and just 11 in 2003. • In the 2001 plebiscites on constitutional reform, some 30% of voters were women. • In the 2001 governing council elections there were 120 women candidates as against 23,892 men, and in the directors’ council elections 108 women and 21,924 men. • Only two women were elected to the national legislature in 1993 and 1997 (0.7%), and in 2003 there was only one (0.3%). • The 111 members of the Consultation Council are designated and include only two women .
The country is in serious difﬁculties because of a big decrease in oil production, which accounts for an exceptionally high proportion of the budget Armed conflict The country is fraught with armed conflict that has caused great loss of life and damage to Yemen’s infrastructure and, according to official sources, has also caused the displacement of around 200,000 people. On 11 February 2010 the Government made an agreement with the Al Huti group that put an end to six months of warfare in Sa’dah, but fighting continues sporadically. There are upsets in local governorships in the South caused by the secessionist “South Movement,”
conflicts over natural resources, tribal conflicts and a growing al Qaeda organization, all of which amounts to a constant threat to peace. Yemen and the MDGs Education The illiteracy rate in Yemen is 58.9% and the rate of enrolment in primary and secondary education is very low at 56.6%. This means that 2.9 million children and young people are outside the educational system, of whom 1.9 million are girls. According to official statistics there are 14,632 schools, but 20% of these have closed and many others operate in the open air under the trees or are just tin huts. There are more than 100 pupils per class. Workers in education make up 54% of the administrative apparatus of the State, but statistics show that 78.8% of school directors do not have university training and 4.4% have no schooling qualification at all. According to the 2003 education census, 17.5% of teachers are women. Teachers with university education make less than USD 150 a month, so they are forced to take other jobs to improve their quality of life. The Government has stated that 17% of the general budget goes to the education sector; in contrast defence and security account for more than 26%. Health According to an official Ministry of Health report, the country is very far from reaching the MDG health targets. The health sector budget is decreasing and hence so is the rate of health service coverage in the most vulnerable sectors. There are no specific criteria as regards infrastructure, employees, services, medicines, equipment or running costs. There are only 14,000 beds in the country’s hospitals and health centres, which works out at one bed per 1,600 persons. There are 7,300 doctors, one for every 3,000 people. Users of health services are dissatisfied and service providers are also very unhappy with the Ministry of Health because the pay is so
low, there is no stimulus and working conditions are bad. Another very worrying factor is that Yemen has only 125 cubic metres of water per person per year and its underground reserves are rapidly being used up. Reports from Parliament indicate that water pollution is the main cause of the diseases and epidemics that affect 75% of the population. A World Bank study shows that water shortage problems are worse in rural areas, where 81% of the population live. Some 34% of Yemenis drinks untreated water from wells or other unprotected sources, from small cisterns, mobile tanks or just surface water. Some 60% of Yemenis lives in areas where malaria is prevalent. Labour and social protection The country’s Constitution and labour and civil service laws are in line with international conventions concerning each person’s natural right to work, to receive a fair wage and thus to enjoy a decent quality of life. However, in recent years public policies have strayed away from these principles. The social security system covers all government employees but only 70,000 private sector workers, which means that more than 4 million of the economically active population have no coverage. There is no health insurance system. Poverty has increased and consequently there are now more than 500,000 children of basic education age (6–14 years) who have dropped out of school. Most of them help their parents in agricultural work or looking after livestock, but others live by begging or are taken to neighbouring countries illegally and made to beg or go into domestic work. The effect of trade agreements In 1985 following IMF and World Bank guidelines Yemen completely liberalized its trade. Since then it has lowered its customs tariffs to a minimum of 5% and a maximum of 25%, and this makes its own products less competitive against imports. The
country’s trade in agricultural products is in permanent deficit so it has to make up the shortfall in its population’s food requirements with imports. Food accounts for 33% of total imports and this is a heavy burden on the trade balance and the balance of payments.
Poverty has increased and consequently there are now more than 500,000 children of basic education age (6–14 years)
The industrial sector is markedly weak and lacks solidity as regards vertical and horizontal integration. It is still of only marginal importance in the country’s total production and as an employer. Industrial production is based on importing the prime and intermediate materials that are needed. The country is making efforts to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of 2010 although the WTO still considers that Yemen does not qualify. The role of civil society organizations According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, there are around 7,000 civil society organizations, more than 75% of which are involved in charity and aid work and provide various services for poor families. There are not many organizations in the human rights field and those that there are tend to be concerned with human rights in general (i.e., they do not focus on specific areas such as women’s rights or civil rights). In spite of this, many training sessions, workshops, conferences and other events
have been organized and there is debate about various problems in the sphere of human rights. Civil society organizations have also formed alliances and networks whose aim is to advocate for a range of improvements in the country’s political, civil, social, economic and intellectual life. These activities have not had any great effect on the general public as they tend to be limited to intellectual circles, but they have had some influence in the corridors of power such as Parliament and the central Government, which have begun to discuss several of the problems to which these organizations have called attention. There have not been any major changes, but some progress has been made in terms of the rights of women, children and the disabled and the promulgation of laws on transparency and anti-corruption. In order to achieve sustainable development and get on track to achieve the MDGs, Yemen must make radical changes to the way wealth is produced and distributed. In this effort, the State will have to play a crucially important role. Some economics experts have advised the authorities to progressively reduce the country’s dependence on income from oil (by 10%12%) and diversify sources of income to other sectors with a share of not less than 10%. This makes it essential to diversify agricultural production and to exercise suitable oversight and control over the environmental impact of productive activities, particularly regarding depletion of reserves of fresh water. This move to promote agriculture cannot even get under way until the tax laws are changed to enable domestic products to compete on equal terms with imported goods. In addition, much stronger gender equality policies and programs are needed so that women can become genuinely integrated into the educational, political and economic sectors of the country. *Human Rights Information and Empowerment Centre
National Yemen Propaganda in Action
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31
Translation of a pro-government leaﬂet distributed on Thursday
Contradictions of slogans and practices The engineers of a Zionist-American-Iranian Project are laughing at the ordinary citizen. They form terrorist groups that chant slogans against America and Israel, while their representatives behind closed doors meet the American leaders with the Jewish rabbis as well as the Iranian Intelligence ofﬁcers.
“No to Sabotage, no to Chaos”
Tawakul Karman, the daughter of a major leader of Islah party, receives more than $ 200,000 per year from the American embassy and meets in private dinner parties Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State, and then meets the secretary of state Hilary Clinton. Right after, preparations began for demonstrations which enlisted ordinary citizens to implement “transformational chaos.”
He who speaks about corruption and change became a sheikh by inheritance. He collected his wealth through conﬁscation, tax evasion, and prospecting for Israeli companies to deal in their products and introduce them to Yemen.
Layla al-Trabelsi’s properties: Al-Zeitoona Islamic bank Tunisian Telecommunication Company Tunisian airways
Hameed al-Ahmar’s properties: Saba Islamic Bank Sabafon Telecommunication Company Siemens German Company’s agency Real estates larger than Hodeida city Qatar Airways agency Baskin Robbins agency Kentucky restaurant Al-Junaid for perfume agency Apollo G Patchi chocolate agency - Acadia waste petroleum Alahdal and Alimad Company
“If the people one day want to live, then the JMP should shut up, because the traitors want to sell the country so people ﬁght each other.”
The doomed Hussein Intelligence ofﬁcers
A leader in the opposition meets the Jewish rabbis
Playing the odds: The contradicted ideological meeting of the JMP will create nothing but a fake projects which will achieve only the personal interests of the parties’ leaders, regardless of the national interests.
Dependence on the outside The immature opposition in Yemen depends on the outside and believes that the foreigner will lead it to power. If this is their philosophy in the opposition, then what would the situation in Yemen be if they could got into power?
Loyalty to America and rejection of the homeland
An idea to execute the “transformational chaos” concept was through “Wikileaks” which published documents targeting some of the Arab countries, while no document was published mentioning Israel or Iran or their nuclear programs. Some Arabic TV channels started promoting them as a part of an America -Israeli plan which targets the Arab world and works on redrawing the political and geographical map and creating chaos in the streets to topple the targeted Arab governments.
Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisﬁed with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Qur’an 2.120
It is a term given by the former American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice which stands for devastating and dividing the Arab world through sedition, sabotage, sectarianism, tribalism and regionalism where American client groups implement these acts and support them against the existing system, so it prevents the survival of existing systems and then delivers them to group swho care less about the country’s unity and its stability. This is how it assures that the new system remains under the American control. This is clariﬁed in the events of Iraq, which has become a country which is divided into three conﬂicted areas. It is also illustrated through what’s happening in Egypt to create a conﬂict between Muslims and the Copts through supporting movements of the opposition parties which have no vision for the country’s future.
Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation. Qur’an 26:38
The American term “transformational chaos,” which the JMP calls for, intends to change the national system through stirring up strife and sabotage to deliver corrupted ﬁgures who guarantee achieving American interests to power .
This is how it got started in Iraq and they plan to repeat it in Yemen
An apparent failure for America in Iraq and Afghanistan made the US implement other plans in other regions through working on changing the Arab systems to new conﬁgurations that convince its audience that change has happened. This enables the United States to control the new system for decades and shred the national unity in each country then turn it into small, conﬂicted mess that can be easily controlled.
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Issue 31