Yemen's Dictator, Saleh, Still Resistant
Playing Tricks to Stay in Power, as More Forces Join the Revolution
November 20, 2011
GCC deal in both Riyadh and Sana’a
By Nasser Arrabyee & Zaid al-Alaya'a
Yemen Observer, Nov 18, 2011
- 10:17:43 PM
The signing on the GCC deal and its implementation
mechanism would take place early next week in both the Saudi capital
Riyadh and the Yemeni capital Sana’a, said government sources on
The initial signing would happen in Riyadh and then the
final would be in Sana’a. The Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi
would sign both documents for the government side, the sources said.
It's been one week now since the UN envoy arrived to Yemen to end
the 10-month long political crisis.
In the first week of his
current sixth round, Jamal Benomar has achieved very little, but still
seemed determined and optimistic to achieve more before he briefs the
Security Council on November 21st, 2011.
On Tuesday November
15th, Benomar discussed with President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the
presidential palace in Sana’a the steps of transferring the power
according to the internationally and regionally supported deal which was
brokered by the Saudi-led six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council,
In the meeting Saleh said he is sticking to the GCC and the
UNSC resolution 2014 which urged the conflicting parties to implement
the GCC deal.
Benomar said the UN resolution 2014 calls for a
compromised political solution based on the GCC deal. The political
solution is an early presidential elections with the opposition and
ruling party agreeing on one candidate.
This candidate would most
likely be the current vice president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
However, leaders of the Islamist-led opposition parties are still
outside Yemen until late Tuesday despite the repeated calls for them to
come back from Benomar, US and EU ambassadors. However, they are
expected to get back and meet Benomar before he leave Sana’a on Saturday
November 19th, 2011, for New York to brief the UN Security Council on
what he achieved.
Benomar said the international community would
condemn any party that would not stop violence and violation of human
rights. He also said there would no guarantees for any violator of human
rights and freedoms.
He regretted the continuation of
violence from the armed conflicting parties which caused a lot of
sufferings to civilians. He said he and UN is against violence from any
President Saleh said he is ready to step down within 90
days maximum if his deputy reached a scheduled mechanism for
implementing the GCC deal.
"I am not clinging to power, whoever
clings to power is a mad," Saleh said on Monday in televised statements.
But Saleh said without reaching an agreement on how and when to
implement the GCC deal, Yemenis will go to an all-out civil war.
Two important and controversial issues faced the UN envoy since he
arrived last week.
The ruling party wanted the GCC initiative to
be signed simultaneously with its implementation mechanism while the
opposition wanted President Saleh or his deputy to sign the GCC first
and then its implementation mechanism signed in Riyadh later.
ruling party wanted the leaders of the opposition to get back from
outside Yemen to finalize the last details of the implementation
mechanism of the GCC. To find a middle point, the signing on the two
documents (GCC deal and its implementation mechanism) might happen in
Riyadh and Sana’a. The initial signing would happen in Riyadh and then
the final would be in Sana’a. The Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi
would sign both documents for the government side.
general of the socialist party, Yassin Saeed Noman, secretary general of
the Islamist party, Abdul Wahab Al Ansi,and chairman of the national
council, Mohammed BaSundwa are still mobilizing support outside Yemen
since middle of October and they do not want to get back until the GCC
is signed despite the American and European calls for them to get back.
The ruling party also wants guarantees from opposition or from
international community to end protests as soon as the national
government is formed according to the implementation mechanism of the
The opposition keeps saying their protesters have the right
to demonstrate and sit in regardless of any agreement between the
Furthermore, there are three considerable groups who
completely refuse the GCC deal as a solution for the Yemeni crisis.
In south, the southern separatist movement group refuses the GCC
deal and describes it as a northern issue that has nothing to do with
The Shiite rebels of al-Houthi in the north also
refuse the GCC deal as something that excludes them and enhances the
persecution from the sunni groups from which they have been complaining.
The GCC deal is believed to be in favor of the historic opponents of
the Shiite al-Houthi group.
The sunni Islamist party, Islah and
the defected general Ali Muhsen, who is very close to Islah and who led
six wars against al-Houthi, are the historic opponents of al-Houthi
Al-Houthi group is the second largest and influential
group after Islah that dominates the Yemen main opposition coalition
which includes Islamists, Socialists and Nasserites.
UN special envoy to Yemen visited Yemen for the 6th time this week as he
continues his efforts to promote a peaceful solution to the country's
He is due to write up a report on the situation
on the ground in a few days as provisioned by the 2014 UN Security
Benomar expressed his disappointment and
sadness at a press conference in regards to the armed clashes which took
place in the southern city of Taiz and led to the death of innocent
civilians, amongst whom women and children.
"We are concerned over
the suffering that Yemeni people continue to endure in the face of so
much violence, electricity black-out, fuel penury and water shortages.
Always it is women, children and elderly who have to bear the blunt of
it all," said Benomar.
He further added: "The UNSC clearly stated
that Yemen needed to found a solution to its political deadlock based on
the GCC brokered proposal. It is time for leaders in Yemen to work hard
at finding a way out which will end the current situation. This
agreement has to be conducted and reached through a political process
led by Yemenis as our job is only to facilitate the negotiations and
ease the way for all parties involved."
Benomar stressed that he
had conducted a series of meetings with the different political
factions, social figures and civil society organizations as well as
other groups in the hope to help unlock the stalemate. The UN envoy
added that the conversation was still ongoing, saying that he was hoping
that Yemenis will soon reach a compromise.
"We made contacts with
several members of the Joint Meeting Parties as well as its members who
are abroad. By keeping the communications channels open we are hoping to
speed up the negotiation process, reaching an agreement soon. We stress
that all parties involved in the surge of violence and all those
responsible of human rights violations will be held accountable.
UNSC resolution was balanced and we will continue our work, urging all
parties to respect international conventions.
In regards to the
mechanisms of transfer, there had been an agreement on the general
aspects of the matter. Essentially questions relating to the
transitional period were agreed upon in my presence.
We can therefore
say that there has been some great advancement within the country's
Furthermore, all sides agreed on the next
presidential elections candidates.
All parties need now to
continue their mutual efforts as only a political solution could end
Yemen's ongoing crisis, as stated clearly by the UNSC. "
to a question put forward by the Yemen Observer regarding the
involvement of all sides of the political arena in any given agreement,
Benomar responded that indeed the situation in Yemen was rather
complicated since political parties were legions and that it was this
very fact which was making the situation in Yemen so intricate and
delicate to deal with.
He noted that there were many sides to the
conflicts which were shaking Yemen, with armed militia loyal to
different groups opposing the government forces.
"There is the matter
of Arhab in the north, the secessionist movement in the south and the
problem of al-Qaeda in Abyan of course," said Benomar.
that he wanted to stress here is that the political process towards a
solution can only be achieved if all sides agree and if all sides are
included within the dialogue. So there has to be a wide participation.
There is a strong need for a broad national dialogue, it is not
enough for the GPC and the JMP to hold talks, all parties within the
nation need to be included in whatever decision will be taken.
said that they also hope that the re-formulation of the Constitution
scheduled for the transitional period will involve all sides until
common grounds are reached. "We hope that it would be an opportunity to
end a number of current issues.
It will be a historical chance for
Citizens in Yemen are suffering as a result of this
political crisis, as there have been many human rights violations on all
sides, there is a humanitarian crisis and a great number of families
have been displaced in many areas for fighting is ongoing. All this
could end quickly if a political solution is found.
"This is a
country with a special history, culture, complex tribal structure and
the solution for the Yemeni crisis can only be a Yemeni solution this is
from the reality of this country. That's why we were very careful in
terms of our role that is very much a supportive role, a facilitation
role. It is the Yemenis who will need to make the hard decision on how
they are going to live with each other on how they are going to build
the future," Benomar told the Yemen Observer.
From March to
this month, hundreds of people were killed and injured in fierce battles
between Islah and Houthi in Al Jawf, Saada and Hajja provinces. Each
group wants to control as much as possible of these provinces in the
absence of the central government because of the current unrest.
On Monday November 14th, 2011, for instance, 10 people from both sides
were killed after al-Houthi fighters arrested and killed a suicide
bomber allegedly from Islah who tried to blow himself up in a big group
of Al Houthi followers who were celebrating their sacred annual day of
Al-Ghadeer in the area of Matoon, in al-Jawf province, north east of
The third group that refuses the GCC deal is al-Qaeda.
This terrorist group denies both the opposition and the government and
described them as the "agents of Americans, the enemies of Muslims and
In the areas under their control as Taliban-Style Islamic
Emirates in the south of the country, al-Qaeda whips, cuts hands, and
executes as punishments for anyone who violates what they call Shariah
Yemen's Saleh warns his opponents against attacking
SANAA, Nov. 19, 2011 (Xinhua) --
Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh on Saturday warned his opponents
that the response would be "harsh and decisive" if the latter continue
to attack the Republican Guard forces.
Saleh made the warning in a statement during his inspection visit to
the 4th Brigade Republican Guards in the suburb of Sanaa.
"We warned the opposition-led defected army and dissident armed
tribesmen against repeating aggressions on the military bases of the
Republican Guards in the districts of Arhab, Samaa, Frijah, Bait Dahra,
Nihm and Naqeel bin Ghailan (in northern Sanaa province)," the
statement, carried by the official Saba news agency, quoted Saleh as
telling the loyalist troops.
"We tell them that's enough ... Our response will be harsh and
decisive," Saleh added.
Saleh said that he supports the political change, but he is against
violence carried out by the defected army and dissident armed tribesmen.
"Yes, ... we support change against all corrupted political forces
and we at the presidential office are ready to make sacrifices for the
country, but you (Republican Guards) will stay on even if we step down,
because your are the power, you are the safety valve of the homeland,"
The Yemeni government has been in the grip of a 10-month-long
political crisis triggered by mass protests demanding an end to Saleh's
Senior security officer killed by gunmen in southeast Yemen
ADEN/SANAA, Nov. 19, 2011 (Xinhua) --
A Yemeni senior security police officer was shot dead on Saturday
afternoon in attack by unidentified gunmen in the southeastern province
of Hadramout, a security official said.
Two unidentified gunmen on a motorbike opened heavy fire on a
military vehicle, killing a high-ranking security police officer in al-Mukalla
city, the provincial capital of Hadramout province, a local security
official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
"Major Seaid Lardhi, director of the Criminal Investigation of
Mukalla, was shot dead by two masked attackers near a crowded public
market in the central city," the official said, adding that "he was
taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly
He added that a bodyguard of Lardhi was wounded with a gunshot by the
militants who then escaped the scene.
The attack bore the hallmarks of the al-Qaida terrorist group,
according to the official.
Hadramout province, some 794 km southeast of Sanaa, witnessed
sporadic shoot-outs and motorbike attacks targeting security and
intelligence officials during the past few months as government
authorities usually accuse al-Qaida militants.
Fears mounted that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) may
exploit the upheaval that have been rattling the impoverished country
since late January to expand its foothold.
Yemen's Saleh files case against opposition for presidential
SANAA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) --
Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh' s office said Friday that it is
filing a case against members of the opposition and defected army for
the June 3 bomb attack on the presidential compound to the public
prosecution, official Saba news agency reported.
Saba gave no further details, but Saleh's aides have earlier charged
opposition's powerful tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar and his brother
Hameed, as well as defected General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar with
masterminding the attack that killed at least 13 high-ranking military
and government officials and injured 87 others, including Saleh.
However, the opposition coalition denied the accusation on Aug. 7.
The move came hours after the opposition leaders reiterated their
stance to the visiting UN envoy Jamal bin Omar that Saleh should sign
the UN-backed initiative for power transfer before resuming any
Meanwhile, the opposition accused Saleh's forces of killing two
bodyguards of dissident Sheikh Himyar al-Ahmar, a brother of Sadiq al-Ahmar,
in Sufan district in northern Sanaa on Friday, according to the
The UN envoy is now trying to persuade the 33-year ruler to sign the
UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative to transfer power
peacefully and end violence.
Bin Omar was expected to leave Yemen late on Friday to present his
report on the progress of implementing the UN resolution 2014 to the
Security Council, which was issued on Oct. 21 and called on Saleh to
sign the GCC initiative.
Yemen's Saleh sacks defected generals in initial reshuffle
SANAA, Nov. 17, 2011 (Xinhua) --
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued a decree on Thursday
replacing nine of the defected generals with new brigade commanders and
chief of staffs, in an initial reshuffle targeted restive provinces of
Saada, Al-Hodayda and Abyan.
The nine military positions were under the command of Major General
Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who defected along with his First Armored Division
in March and joint the protest movement calling for Saleh's ouster.
The reshuffle included the posts of the commander of the Army Air
Force in western provinces of Al-Hodayda, the commander of the military
base in the northern province of Saada which was involved in a six-year
war against Shiite Houthi rebels and the commander of the 25th
Mechanized Brigade in the southern province of Abyan that has been
battling al-Qaida militants since May, said the decree posted on the
Defence Ministry's website.
Officials said more dissident generals in northeastern and southern
provinces are expected to be sacked within the next few days.
Saleh, confronting protests demanding an end to his 33-year rule
since late January, has been under pressure from the international
community to sign the UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council initiative to
transfer power peacefully and end the 10- month-old unrest.
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