Thursday, 6 October 2011

Can Yemen Crisis  Be Internationalized More?

By Nasser Arrabyee/06/10/2011

Two important things have significantly affected the 9-month long political crisis in Yemen this week.

The CIA   most wanted  Yemeni-American terrorist Anwar Al Awlaki was killed in Yemen by American Hellfire missiles  in full and declared  cooperation from the Yemeni government.

The second thing is that the UN Security Council might interfere to put more pressure on Yemeni conflicting parties to end the crisis. 

After more than two weeks in Yemen, the UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar left Sanaa Monday October 3rd, for New York to brief the UN officials on the stalemate of Yemeni crisis.

Having met and listened to all parties, groups, and effective players,  Bin Omar said that all parties should take responsibility for rescuing their country, and the solution would only come from among them not from outside.

The UN envoy could not convince  the conflicting parties in Yemen to implement a plan he earlier suggested for " constitutional , orderly and peaceful" transfer of power from President Ali Abdullah Saleh according to a US-backed and Saudi-led gulf deal, the GCC initiative.
The parties still did not agree on some small details on the implementation  mechanism which should end up  with electing a new president for Yemen by the end of this year.

So, immediately after Bin Omar left Yemen,diplomats and observers started to say that a resolution from UNSC should be taken on the basis of the GCC deal and its UN implementation mechanism.

The opposition talks  happily about the possibility of having a resolution from SC to obligate all parties, while the government keeps welcoming all regional and international efforts for  a " constitutional and orderly" transfer of power.
The situation in the ground in side the capital Sanaa and other tribal places is in  a seemingly controlled war between government forces and loyal  tribesmen on one side, and opposition forces which include defected troops,  President Saleh's  rivals in Ahmar's family and other armed tribesmen who  allegedly defend the anti-Saleh protesters, on the other hand.

Observers say if there is any resolution from UNSC, it should be balanced and in the direction of pressing all parties to end the crisis not in favor of a certain party. 

Otherwise things will only be worse and worse in terms of insecurity, instability and sufferings of the people.

The interpretation of this special and unique case of Yemen is that the regime is divided into two groups who are now conflicting with each other over the power. 

And what makes this special and unique case even more complicated is that one group of this regime wants to win what it called a   " revolutionary legitimacy" after it hijacked the youth revolution, that wants Yemen to be free from the  two groups. 

The second group, however,  (Saleh and his supporters) is adhering to the constitutional legitimacy. 

The defected general Ali Muhsen and the tribal leaders, Al Ahmar's sons, who were always the essential part of Saleh's regime over the last 33 years, formed the group that is using the youth revolution to reproduce the same tyrannical and backward regime not the civil state that the  ambitious youth always demanded.

"So, the UNSC resolution,if any, should be obligating both sides and should be threatening both sides in case of refusal," said Najeeb Ghallab, politics professor at Sanaa university.

"There is lack of confidence between the two conflicting groups, so there should be  strong intervention to help them and rescue Yemen," he added.

Assassination of Al Awlaki

The  American officials kept saying  President Saleh should  also transfer power despite his cooperation for   the killing of the most wanted terrorist Anwar Al Awlaki earlier this week. 

But the timing of killing Al Awlaki seems to be  in the interest of thev wily and shrewd  president Saleh.

The Americans at least would have spent  few years not only few months to kill their number one enemy after Bin Laden.

 Al Awlaki was blamed for three terrorist attacks at least  on US from Yemen over the last three years.

The Yemeni government provided all kind of cooperation since the more serious searching on Al Awlaki started immediately after Osama Bin Laden was killed early last May.

Al Qaeda expert Saeed Obaid said that Al Awlaki was the main recruiter from US and the west in general.

 "If it's proved that Anwar Al Awlaki is dead, then 2011 will be the year of victory over Al Qaeda for US," Obaid said.

"It seems that the Yemeni political security (intelligence ) played an essential role in the murder of Al Awlaki," he said.

On Friday September 30, US Hellfire missiles killed Anwar Al Awlaki and Sameer Khan and two other Yemenis in Al Khasef  area between Mareb and Al Jawaf.  

The four men were in Al Awlaki's four-wheel drive Hilux car according to locals who saw Al Awlaki and his comrades days before the attack.

The locals told the weekly, Anwar Al Awlaki came to Al Jawf only 10 days ago and he was staying in  three places only.

The house of Salem Saleh Afrag, the local driver who was killed with him, was the first place . Al Awlaki was killed immediately after he left this house.

 Khamis Afrag, brother of Salem, is a leading member in the Islamist opposition party,  Islah.

The second place was the farm of local tribal leader Amin Al Okaimi in Al Jar area. Al Okaimi is a member of Parliament and chairman of the opposition Islamist party,  Islah. 

Many Al Qaeda operatives including Egyptians, Algerians and Libyans  are still hiding in the farm of Al Okaimi until now, said the local sources.  

The Islamist tribal leader Al Okaimi and his tribesmen have been controlling the eastern province of Al Jawf since last March  when the defected general Ali Muhsen encouraged them to dismiss the president Saleh's  loyalists and replace them.

The third place frequented by the slain Al Awlaki in Al Jawf, was the farm of  the Islamist leader Abdul Majid Al Zandani, wanted by UN and US as a global terrorist, in the area of Nebta in the same province of Al Jawf.

Al Awlaki survived a number of assassination attempt since May. The last was in September 20th, when he and the AQAP second man the Saudi national survived a drone attack in Al Mahfad, in Abyan province.

Battles are still going on and off in  Abyan, Ja'ar, Mudyah,  Lawdar in the southern province of Abyan between the government forces supported by the American trained counter-terrorism forces and Al Qaeda operatives.

It would be in the interest of Al Qaeda if there is any kind of  military interference from outside if all regional and international efforts failed to find  a political solution. 

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