Monday, 29 August 2011

 President Saleh calls for electing new President for  Yemen 

By Nasser Arrabyee,30/08/2011
The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for electing a new President for Yemen through democratic elections being arranged now by his deputy in cooperation with regional and international players.

In  speech on the occasion of Eid Al Fetr,Saleh said he is supporting all efforts being exerted by  his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi  to find a way out for the crisis.

"We can, as soon as possible,find many constitutional solutions to overcome this dangerous crisis which threatens our unity,freedom,and democracy, by bringing to success the significant and national  role being played by vice President," Said Saleh in his speech from the Saudi capital Riyadh where he was  treated from injuries he suffered in a failed assassination attempt in his palace early last June.

Saleh said he authorized his party to make dialogue with the opposition and ambassadors of US and EU about a a mechanism for implementing a Saudi-led Gulf-brokered deal to solve the power transition issue.

He said this mechanism should end up with "direct and free elections" for a new president of Yemen.

"This would achieve all aspirations  and ambitions of the people, mainly the youth, in change and development and combating corruption and removing all causes of conflicts and wars," Saleh said.

President Saleh said there are forces dreaming to take power by overthrows.

"The dark and backward forces who dream of taking power by overthrows,should remember the fact that is known by the whole world which says the power can be taken only by democracy," he said in obvious reference to his opponents especially the Islamists.

The speech of Saleh and his indirect and conditional call for presidential elections,came after leaks about American and Saudi efforts being exerted now in Riyadh to convince President Saleh to do four steps for solving the crisis. 

In the first step, Saleh should call for Presidential elections to be held by the end of this year. the second is that Saleh transfers all his powers to his deputy Mr. Hadi who is respected and accepted by all parties.
A national unity government chaired by the opposition should be formed as the third step.

The fourth step is formation of a military committee to re-structure the army and security forces which are under the leadership of Saleh's relatives.

Despite all these political efforts, tension is very high in the ground in  many places including the capital where three armed forces at least are competing for the control.

The defected general Ali Mohsen controls the area of Sanaa university, north-west,  and tribal fighters of the billionaire Hamid Al Ahmar control the area of Al Hasaba, not far from the center.

The most highly qualified and trained forces of the republican guards and central security control all exits and entrances and hill and mountains of the capital.

Young protesters in the sit-in square at the gate of university still  demand the immediate ouster of Saleh. 

They refuse any dialogue or initiatives although most of them belong to to the main opposition parties which are involved  in the initiatives.

Al Qaeda war in the south

About 30 Al Qaeda fighters and 10 soldiers were killed  battles over the last two days in the areas around the Al Qaeda declared Islamic Emirates  of Zinjubar in the southern province of Abyan. 

Al Qaeda is obviously exploiting the unrest to expand more and more in the south. In the semi-complete absence of the State, Al Qaeda is applying a Taliban style Shariah in the areas under their control.

For instance,on Monday August 29, 2011, Al Qaeda executed a man called Haidara Mansor Jabir in Jaar city, the first city to be declared Islamic Emirates this year. 

The execution of Jabir who was accused of murder two weeks ago, took place in a football playing  ground with hundreds of people watching.

Somali fighters flow to  help Al Qaeda

Earlier in the week, about  400 Somali fighters  arrived in the coastal town of Shukra in the southern province of Abyan where fierce battles are going on between Al Qaeda operatives and the government troops and loyal tribesmen, said local sources.

The Somali fighters are believed to be from the  Somali Al Shabab group that previously promised to send fighters to help Al Qaeda in Yemen.

The deputy head of the Somali community in Yemen said it is very difficult for Al Shabab to come to Yemen to fight with Al Qaeda.
But he said it is not impossible.

"I think it is very difficult for  armed Somalis to make it to Yemen,as the anti-piracy western forces are almost everywhere in the sea,"said Sadat Mohammed,the deputy head of the Somali community in Yemen.

"but because the Somali refugees flow to Yemen almost every day,so it is possible that a group of Somali fighters have already arrived disguised as refugees," said Mohammed.

Earlier this week, Al Qaeda fighters restored the coastal town of Shukrah after they defeated the tribesmen who were fighting them.
The sources also said that tens of Al Qaeda fighters come almost every day to Abyan to help their brothers,  who control almost the whole province,from the northern provinces such as Mareb, Al Jawaf, and Sana'a.

Meanwhile, about  40 Al Qaeda fighters were killed in  airstrikes carried out  Wednesday on Al Qaeda groups who tried to  attack three military brigades positioning in Dawfas area at the outskirts of Al Qaeda-declared Islamic Emirate of Zinjubar. 

The brother of the head of Al Qaeda Zinjubar,Jalal Bal Eid, was among those who were killed, the sources said.

About 15 soldiers were killed by Al Qaeda attackers on the brigades before the airstrikes were carried out on Wednesday.

The tribesmen of Abyan are still fighting with the troops despite tens of them were killed by mistaken airstrikes earlier this month by the government, and two suicide bombings which killed about 15 of them earlier this week.

More than 100,000 people displaced from Zinjubar and the areas around it to the neighboring provinces of Aden and Lahj due to the fighting which started after Al Qaeda controlled Zinjubar late last May.

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