Friday, 28 June 2013

Guantanamo Detainee Lawyer Calls for Removal of Prison Warden

Source : The Guardian,by David Remes ,American lawyer representing 15 Yemen detainees, 28/06/2013 

On 6 February, reacting to the military's attempt to search their Qur'ans, Guantánamo detainees began a general hunger strike. The strike has since broadened into a protest against indefinite detention. The strike is now in its fifth month and shows no sign of abating. The hunger strikers have vowed to strike until the US government stops searching Qur'ans and resumes transfers, even if that means they will strike until they die.

The military initially denied that there was a hunger strike. It now concedes that 104 of the 151 "low-value" detainees are hunger-striking, and that 44 of the 104 are being force-fed (although the military does not use the term "force-fed"). More than a dozen of my own clients are hunger-striking, including four who are being force-fed.

The Joint Detention Group (JDG) is responsible for detention operations, including handling the hunger strike. Previous JDG commanders approached detainee hunger strikes as management challenges. They sought to restore peace and order by finding solutions to the detainees' concerns. Under that approach, hunger strikes didn't last very long.

The current JDG commander, Colonel John V Bogdan, takes a different approach. Incredibly, Bogdan had never run a prison before his Guantánamo deployment. Even without such experience, he felt qualified to write the security SOP.

Bogdan won't reach out to the detainees to discuss anything until they end their hunger strike. The men, however, won't end their hunger strike until Bogdan starts addressing their concerns, particularly with respect to Qur'an searches. (Transfers must be addressed higher up.)

But Bogdan won't budge. He appears to view the hunger strike as an insurrection, not a protest, and is using every trick in the book, however brutal and cruel, to put it down. A modern-day Captain Bligh, Bogdan has eliminated communal living, moving almost all detainees into isolation cells. His guards have confiscated family letters and pictures and legal materials, and even toothbrushes, toothpaste and towels. The guards prevent the men from sleeping by keeping bright lights shining all night and removing the men's eye-shades. My clients report to me that guards also deliberately make enough noise to keep the detainees awake all night, and they are chilling the detainees by keeping their cells freezing cold.

In early May, when I was last at the base, Bogdan started using what amounts to religious humiliation to break the strike. Under a new search policy, if a detainee leaves his camp to meet with his lawyer, or have calls with a lawyer or his family, he must submit to a pat-down in which guards feel his genitals and buttocks. The detainee faces the same excruciatingly degrading search when he returns. Bogdan well knows how insulting this new invasion of personal space is to these devout Muslim men.

Predictably, such searches are inhibiting many men from making calls to their families and having contact with their lawyers. Two of my clients refused to meet with me, or take my calls, because of the searches. Many other lawyers have experienced similar refusals. In this way, predictably, these searches are preventing detainees from exercising their constitutional right to seek relief from the courts.

We have asked US District Court Judge Royce C Lamberth to order the government to stop placing detainees in this unacceptable position; the judge is due to rule any day. Whatever that decision, Bogdan will undoubtedly continue to find new ways to make the men suffer until they break their strike.

In a 20 May letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, military defense lawyers called for an examination of Col Bogdan's fitness for command, "based on the rapidly deteriorating detention conditions under his command and his heavy-handed response to the current hunger strike".

Bogdan should immediately be relieved of his command. But removing Bogdan would not go far enough. His practices are condoned by his superiors. When Marine General John Kelley, the Commander of Southcom, returned from a recent visit to the base, he dismissed the hunger strike as "hunger strike lite" and denied that any detainees are being force-fed.

To bring this human tragedy and military embarrassment to a close, the military should appoint a high-ranking officer with sound judgment and humane instincts to mediate an end to the hunger strike. Habeas defense counsel can make an important contribution to this process; we stand ready to assist.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Beyond Reproach: Who Rules in Yemen? Insurgents Or State?

Source:The Majalla, By Nasser Arrabyee, 25/06/2013

Four Yemeni provinces in the north and east have witnessed extremely dramatic events over the past few days. Despite the sporadic nature of insurgent clashes, the fighting in Sa’ada, Hajjah, Jawf and Marib provinces all had one thing in common: the absence of the government.

In Sa’ada, the main Houthi Shi’ite stronghold, at least two people were killed and twelve others seriously injured on Wednesday when a motorcycle suicide bomber, Ali Salem Al-Gharazi, blew himself up in the crowded Othman Mujalli Market in Sa’ada city. 

Observers say the bombing had the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda, especially as it came only days after a renowned Shi’ite cleric called at a funeral for jihad for those killed in clashes between Houthi Shi’ites and soldiers guarding the country’s intelligence headquarters in the capital, Sana’a.

In the neighboring province of Hajjah, groups of armed tribesmen have surrounded Hajjah’s central prison for more than ten days. The tribesmen are seeking to kill nineteen men languishing inside the prison before they may be released.

The men inside the prison, who are also from Hajjah, were put on trial for ambushing and killing Colonel Hamoud Kayed Hamza and three of his bodyguards in April 2011.

The Islamist party to which the accused men belong, Islah, demand their release, claiming that they are “revolutionaries” like the seventeen men who were released from Sana’a central prison after similar appeals were made earlier this month. The men were accused of involvement in the failed assassination attempt on former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in June 2011.

Concerning the case in Hajjah, Islah submitted documents to the general prosecutor and the current Yemeni president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in which they demanded the accused be released on the grounds that the men were revolutionaries. The party called for the file to be closed and the case be examined according to a transitional justice law currently being drafted by those involved in the national dialogue process.

But the twenty-three-year-old son of the slain colonel, Bashir Hamoud Hamzah, disagrees. “No, this is a purely criminal case, it had nothing to do with the revolution at all,” Hamzeh argued.

Hamzeh has the backing of his tribe, as well as those who knew his father as a “sincere security officer and tribal leader,” according to one of the men surrounding the prison. “If these men are released, this would mean that there is no need for courts and prosecutors; then we will be in complete chaos,” agreed Alaa Taher.

Last month, President Hadi, under pressure from Islah, ordered the general prosecutor to suspend the trial until the transitional justice law passed. “It would be easier for us to kill these killers if they are released, but it would be even more difficult for the president and all Yemenis to have justice and a civil state; there would be chaos,” Hamzeh contended.

On Tuesday, June 18, hundreds of armed tribesmen stormed and gained control of local government buildings in Jawf, a province in the northeast of the country that runs along Saudi Arabia’s southern border.

The tribesmen accuse the Islamist governor, Mohammed Salem Abood, and his aides of embezzling millions of Yemeni rials. They also believe he is favoring his own men and relatives from the Islamist party. Abood and other officials, including the man in charge of security, escaped the scene beforehand.

The spokesman for the attacking tribesmen, Hassan Abu Hadrah, also accused the governor of having signed secret documents with Saudi officials. “The documents signed in our names were only to justify more injustice against us,” Abu Hadrah said over the phone from where his men now occupy government buildings.

The Jawf tribesmen, especially Thu Hussein tribesmen, have appealed to Hadi to replace the runaway governor with someone who can prevent further bloodshed. Jawf’s tribesmen have closed the local branch of the central bank, fearing it may be looted. They have also formed, from among their number, popular committees to protect private and public property in the absence of government authorities.

Abood escaped to his tribesmen in the neighboring province of Marib, where angry tribesmen keep sabotaging the country’s most vital supply routes for oil, gas and electricity. Abood refutes claims that he left for Marib because his office was stormed. He stated that he went to Marib on assignment, saying that things were all right in his governorate.

This week, the Yemeni government sent additional military personnel to protect the electricity towers and oil and gas pipelines from saboteurs in Marib. Those deliberately disrupting supply hope to wield some power in having their demands heard. Often, they are pushing the government for the release of relatives accused of murder or linked to terror.

Before sending the additional forces, the government tried to appease some of the local leaders by paying them approximately USD 250,000, in the hope that they would then allow technicians in to repair the damage.

However, paying off some tribesmen angered others. Salem Ahmed Al-Dhemen, a leader from Damasheka, a region in Marib, defiantly announced he would keep sabotaging electricity and oil pipelines if the government did not meet his demands. Dhemen says he wants fair compensation for his father and seven other people from his family who were killed in 1994.

Dhemen says that the government has been procrastinating since 1994, and have yet to meet his demands. The ultimatum he gave ended on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. He threatened that, should the government not compensate him, he would sabotage electricity and oil lines in his area in Damasheka. Dhemen is one of three tribal leaders who publicly admit to sabotage to leverage the government. The government is unable to meet their demands, but it is also unable to prevent tribesmen from holding the country’s supplies hostage.

Tanks and armored vehicles with hundreds of soldiers are now surrounding the areas where saboteurs are based in the east of the country. The tribesmen who sabotage are not hiding: they are actually readying themselves to fight.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

UNDP support small projects in Hodeidah and Socotra island.

UNDP support small projects in Hodeidah and Socotra island.

Source: UNDP 18\06\2013

GEF-Small Grant Programme and representatives of NGOs and CBOs signing five Memorandum of Agreements to address environmental problems in their localities

Sana’a, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 – A signing ceremony took place at United Nations Development Programme office in Sana’a between the Global Environmental Facility, Small Grant Programme and five Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) from Hodeidah and Socotra to implement specific interventions to address environmental challenges in their localities.

“Water is already a scarce resource in Yemen, and the situation is getting worse. In the midst of transition and humanitarian challenges in Yemen, irreversible environmental degradation must be stopped – not least when we look at water resources and its management,” says Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN Resident Coordinator in Yemen.

Two of the five projects in Wadi Mawr, Hodiedah Governorate will focus on improving optimal utilization of flood water resources through rehabilitation of existing irrigation system to enable efficient methods. Both projects are co-financed by the Tihama Development Authority and the respective NGOs and will cover 14,500 hectors of agriculture land. Almost 11,180 families and 54,600 inhabitants will benefit from the two projects.

The three projects at Socotra Island aim to help local herders in Diksam Plateau to harvest rain-water for 430 families and livestock..

The total budgets of these five community projects amount to US$ 441,470. The Small Grant Programme of the Global Environmental Facility will provide US$ 151,500,the remaining amount of US$ 290,970 will be mobilized locally.

Since 2004, the Small Grant Programme of the Global Environmental Facility has financed projects in 57 communities across the country aiming at addressing local environmental challenges. The projects have been implemented by non-governmental organizations and community based organizations.US$ 1.6 million has been provided by the Programme and US$ 2.7 million was mobilized from respective local partners

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Families and US activists demand release of Yemen GTMO detainees

Families and US activists demand release of Yemen GTMO detainees 

Source: Press release, 17/06/2013

US Peace Delegation in Yemen and Families of Guantanamo Prisoners hold vigil at US Embassy demanding release

Sanaa, Yemen—At 10am on Monday, June 17, a visiting US delegation organized by the peace group CODEPINK will join families with loved ones in Guantanamo prison for a vigil outside the US Embassy in Sanaa. Motivated by the dire life-and-death condition of prisoners who have been on a hunger strike since February 6, they will demand that the 56 Yemeni prisoners cleared for release be released immediately, and that the others have speedy and fair trials.
“It took a dramatic hunger strike to call the world’s attention to the plight of these abused prisoners, most of whom have been held for over 11 years with no charges,” said Terry Rockefeller, a member of September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows whose sister died during the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. “Will it take the tragic death of a hunger striker for President Obama to move from words to action?” 
This past week, the US delegates heard heart-breaking stories from the Yemeni families. Working with the Yemeni NGO Hood, they decided to organize the first ever Yemeni-American vigil in Sanaa. The Yemeni families will bring letters to US Ambassador Feierstein explaining their plight. The American delegation will be fasting in solidarity with the prisoners. They will have banners, photos of the prisoners and some people will be dressed in orange jumpsuits. 
“I spoke out during President Obama’s May 23 speech, asking him why he refuses to release the 86 cleared prisoners,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “Weeks later, the prisoners’ health continues to deteriorate but we still have no action from President Obama. That’s just unacceptable

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Yemen transition political process going well, says UN envoy

Yemen transition political process going well, says UN envoy

Source: Report presented UN Security Council, 12/06/2012

Yemen 11 June 2013 Security Council Report - Final Check Against Delivery Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council Resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012)

1. Yemen is in the heart of its transition. Only a few days ago, I sat at the side of

President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Secretary-General of the GCC, Dr.

Abdel-Latif alZayani, to witness the 565 delegates of the National Dialogue Conference celebrate the midway mark of their deliberations with the launch of the 2

2. Delegates from all of the major political groupings in the country, including women

and youth are, together, shaping the future of their country.

In a country awash with arms and a history of conflict, such an inclusive process of dialogue is a great achievement. It shows the commitment of the Yemeni people to choose dialogue over violence and consensus over division.

3. Yet as the sad incident of Sunday shows, this transition is delicate. I regret to inform the Council that a clash erupted between security forces and Ansar Allah demonstrators outside the National Security Bureau in Sana’a, resulting in the death of several individuals and injuries to dozens more.

4. Nevertheless, Yemen is the only country in the region to emerge from the violence of 2011 with a peacefully negotiated agreement including a clear road-map and timeline for a broad-based democratic transition.

The Government and people of Yemen are

to be congratulated for standing by their words despite the challenges, and I urge them

to stay the course.

5. For the past few weeks, delegates have been divided into nine Working Groups, deliberating upon all the major issues facing the country, including the long-standing conflicts related to the North and the South.

As is to be expected when such large and diverse groups sit together, including political opponents and even enemies, existing wounds and grievances have been difficult to overcome and good will has been tested.

Deep divisions remain in the more contentious Working Groups such as on Sa’ada and

the South.

These will require careful facilitation and maximum good will on all sides.

6. Still, I am pleased to report that progress has been achieved across the board.

The majority of Working Groups have submitted their reports to the Plenary.

Over 100 recommendations, many of them involving constitutional guarantees for human rights, have been submitted to the Plenary for endorsement.

Despite the deep divisions in the Saada group, they managed to achieve consensus on a common vision of the roots of the conflict.

Going forward, the delegates still need to build consensus over major issues

Yemen 11 June 2013 Security Council Report - Final Check Against Delivery including the structure of the State, the system of government, and addressing the questions of the South and of Saada.

This work will be substantially assisted by the
creation of the National Dialogue Consensus Committee which was recently established
with the tasks to harmonise and reconcile the various recommendations and to assist in the reaching of consensus.
7. My team and other contributors have been working closely with the Conference bodies to share the full range of international experience, expertise and facilitation.
While we have no recipes to solve Yemen’s many challenges, sharing comparative experiences from other country situations has enabled the delegates to make more informed decisions as they explore different options.
The next and final session of the Plenary and Working Groups will be critical in reaching agreement on the principles and main contours of a future Constitution.
8. I am pleased to note that the “dialogue” is extending well beyond the Conference.
Men and women in Yemen are engaged in discussions and debates about the problems
of their country and its possible future.
People are participating in seminars, roundtables, and open tents put up in town squares.

The developments within the National

Dialogue Conference’s Working Groups are discussed daily in television and radio

programmes, newspapers and new media.

In the past few weeks, the Working Groups began their outreach to citizens across various parts of the country.

Collectively, they have visited 18 Governorates, and have spoken to over 12,500 people of all ages and backgrounds including members of local authorities, NGOs, labour unions, women’s and
9. On one such visit, a delegation member of the Military and Security Working Group was moved to tears at a visit to the Political Security Headquarters. She stated that, for her, this represented the “breaking of a wall of fear”.
In 2011, it would have been unthinkable for a delegation comprised of women and youth to be welcomed at the headquarters of an intelligence agency.
As President Hadi has remarked, we are engaged in more than a political transition; we are witnessing a transformation of the

10. The National Dialogue now underway will be followed by a constitutional drafting process.

The Government of Yemen has committed to make this constitution-making process fully transparent and inclusive.

The new constitution will be confirmed by a referendum followed by general elections for a new government, which will be endowed with full popular legitimacy.

We understand there are no guarantees for what lies ahead.

It is an undertaking of great hope in a fragile environment, where a range of perspectives and diverse interests are seeking to realize a new and better order.

Yemen 11 June 2013 Security Council Report - Final Check Against Delivery

11. In order to develop the foundations of a new Constitution, National Dialogue will need to find a consensual settlement to the Southern question. This is being addressed by a dedicated Working Group with a specific composition weighted in favour of the Southern Movement, “Hiraak”.
They will soon begin to debate proposals on the status of the South and a new State structure for Yemen.
Yet, some Hiraak remain outside the process.
The NDC in its first plenary, called for a committee to be set up to reach out to other Southern leaders. It is important for this to occur.

12. In the South, the streets are heating up.
Pent-up resentment of more than two decades of unaddressed grievances and systematic marginalization is reaching a tipping point. Southerners have grown wary of promises unmet. Since February, there has been a significant increase in the frequency and number of demonstrators flooding to the streets.
Organized acts of civil disobedience have been observed weekly, sometimes resulting in injuries and deaths. The establishment of the two Commissions to address the unlawful or illegitimate seizure of property and unjust dismissals from military and civil service was an important first step in addressing main grievances.
But while the huge task of collecting complaints and related submissions is well underway, the Commissions need far greater resources to accomplish their tasks and deliver effective remedies.
Moreover, without further confidence-building measures by the Government or tangible improvement in people’s daily lives, the voices of discontent will amplify, narrowing the space for dialogue.

13. There should be no doubt that the only peaceful route to progress of any kind is through open dialogue and importantly, addressing the legacy of the past.
The government has yet to meet its obligation to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the events of 2011 or to adopt a law on transitional justice.
Only with critical steps like these can Yemenis ensure a path to national reconciliation and embrace a new Yemen.
In the media, unfortunately, the partisan war continues to be played out.
Misinformation, fabrication and incitement are rife. Its time for politicians to stop instrumentalizing the media. A media truce is badly needed.

14. Other serious challenges weigh heavily on the transition.
The security situation remains fragile in many parts of the country.
Despite all efforts to counter Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), they remain a lethal threat.
Most recently, they have been trying to establish a foothold in Hadramawt with a view to control territory again.
Yemen 11 June 2013 Security Council Report - Final
Check Against Delivery

15. The number of assassinations of mid and high level security officials has increased. Although participating in the political process, key political factions remain armed and appear to be amassing more weapons, creating the conditions for further violence and instability.
Arms smuggling into Yemen continues with several shipments.

16. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues unabated, with more than half of Yemen’s population in need of humanitarian assistance to access food, health care, safe water and sanitation and more than one million children suffering from acute malnutrition.
Meanwhile, as stability has improved, 90 per cent of those displaced by fighting in southern Yemen (162,000 people) has returned to their homes.
In northern Yemen, the prospects for the return of 300,000 IDPs remain distant, and their basic needs are acute.
Despite the gravity of the situation, the Humanitarian Response Plan is only 30 per cent funded to date.

17. Despite these challenges, the political transition in Yemen continues largely on course.
Preparations for the electoral process by the elections commission are already under way, including steps to create a new biometric voter registry.
Registration is scheduled to begin in September.
The timeline leaves no room for any delays.
For the success of the electoral and voter registration process, close cooperation and coordination will be critical among the political parties, donor community and the government. Political parties of the former opposition expressed concern that local authorities, most governors, security chiefs and electoral staff were all appointed under the former regime and are all linked to the ex-ruling party.
They demand action be taken to build confidence in the electoral process.
GPC leaders, on the other hand, are opposed to any change in appointments, viewing that to be contrary to the GCC Initiative and the Implementation Mechanism (“Transition Agreement”).

18. Critical steps have been taken to restructure the armed forces.
Many of the military commanders who played major roles in the violent clashes of 2011 have been removed from their posts or been reassigned outside of the military.
A new structure for the military is being implemented, including the establishment of seven military regions.
Both the republican guard and the first armoured division have been dissolved and their units integrated in the new regional structure.
Despite these substantial moves, much remains to be done to ensure the professionalization of the armed forces.

19. Let there be no illusion, there are those who wish to undermine the transition.
Sabotage attacks on electricity lines have increased, causing misery and anger Yemen 11 June 2013 Security Council Report - Final Check Against Delivery throughout the country. Families are being plunged into darkness and unbearable heat.
I have witnessed people’s resulting frustration, exhaustion and increasing anger.
Last week, I spoke to many people in the city of Hudaydah, which has seen frequent protests in recent months.
Here and in many parts around the country, patience is wearing thin.
Attacks on oil and gas pipelines also continue.
The interruption of Yemen’s energy exports and constant repairs of its electricity lines is costing Yemen hundreds of millions
of dollars.
And while the perpetrators of the sabotage are said to be known, impunity prevails.
The people of Yemen are demanding justice.
Those responsible for these crimes must be brought to account.

20. I reiterated in all my consultations with political leaders that the only way to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Yemen is through the National Dialogue and the transition process.
All Yemenis have a solemn responsibility to advance their legitimate interests and aspirations through this process, in line with relevant Security Council resolutions and the Transition Agreement.

21. Yemenis have embarked on an extraordinary course, based on an agreed roadmap. They deserve to be supported and are counting on the international community, especially this Council, to fully understand the importance of continuing to walk with Yemenis through the entire transition process, to meet the challenges; and to deliver all available political and financial support.

22. Perhaps the most important ingredient for a successful transition is the persistence of all those involved. Experience shows that there is no off-the-shelf recipe, perfect formula or predestined outcome.
Yemen is its own unique country and people,
with their own rich history and complex dimensions.

23. A new dynamic is emerging in Yemen with the new inclusive politics.
Cooperation from all Yemeni sides is critical.
And this cooperation is not always forthcoming.
In tackling its own difficult political situation, Yemen needs at this time all the support of its friends. Unfortunately, despite substantial pledges of financial contributions through the
Friends of Yemen process, so far very little of this has materialised in actual transfers, outside of the significant Saudi contribution.
Here, I would like to pay tribute to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been the largest contributor and the first to deliver.
I hope others will follow suit.
This is the time to help Yemen by delivering on pledges and supporting the transition in every way. On the Government’s side, key reforms need to be completed as envisaged in the Mutual Accountability Framework.

24. For the Secretary-General, Yemen remains a priority and I will remain fully engaged with all sides to assist them along the way.
I commend President Hadi for his Yemen 11 June 2013 Security Council Report - Final Check Against Delivery leadership and the efforts of the Government of National Unity led by Prime Minister Basendwa.
The Yemeni people are counting on the Security Council to continue speaking in one voice in support of the transition. I commend the contributions and support of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Additionally, I want to thank the EU, Friends of Yemen and the active diplomatic community in Sana’a.
Together, we must do everything possible to ensure that the progress we have seen in the National Dialogue and other areas will lead to meaningful changes in security, governance, and development, with concrete improvements in the lives of all Yemenis to a more peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous future, in which human rights are protected by the rule of law.
The Yemeni people are demonstrating that they deserve no less.
Thank you Mr. President.


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Deaths and injuries in battle of announcing Taliban-Style Emirates eastern Yemen

Deaths  and injuries in battle of announcing Taliban-Style Emirates eastern Yemen 

New tactics and strategies of Al Qaeda

By Nasser Arrabyee,05/06/2013

Deaths and injuries are reported from fierce confrontations happening now in Safad area of Ghail Bawazeer in Hudhrmout east of Yemen where Al Qaeda is establishing Taliban-Style Emirates exploiting the country's unrest.

Recently Al Qaeda in Yemen has started a new war with new tactics and strategies. Exploiting chaos and unrest of transition, Al Qaeda is determined to establish Taliban-Style Emirates in remote areas where government is completely absent. 

The Yemen transition President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi is extremely busy with western-supported dialogue to establish a new state with new constitution  while Al Qaeda is expanding and recruiting everywhere in the poverty and conflict stricken country. 

Al Qaeda started this  new war only this week by killing the top security officials and targeting by suicide bombing the country's most vital resources like gas and oil in the far eastern part of the country where Al Qaeda  is establishing its Taliban-Style Emirates.

Asheher and Ghail Ba Wazeer towns in the eastern province of Hudhrmout were the first to be declared as Emirates, despite continuous threats by the  weak government that keeps saying it would not allow any establishment of these terrorist Emirates. On Saturday June 1, 2013, two Al Qaeda operatives riding motor-cycle killed brigadier Yahya Omaisi, commander of Air Force police in Sayoun city, Hudhrmout province where Emirates are being established. 

Only less than two hours later  in the same city, colonel Abdul Rahman Ba Shakil,director of  criminal investigations  of Sayoun was killed by placing and detonating an explosive bag in his car.

 The following day, Sunday June 2, at least 10 soldiers killed and injured when they tried to drive away two car bombs targeting the Yemen most vital gas refinery of Belhaf at border of Sayoun. Only one of the two  car bombs exploded in the security barrier outside the huge gas stations of Yemen LNG. 

The suicide bomber was cut into small pieces that were scattered at the outer entrance of gas stations.

The other car bomb was able to escape in the desert areas where government troops are less familiar than Al Qaeda operatives who know  the ins and outs of those areas. 

The targeted Liquified Natural Gas ( Yemen LNG), dominated by the French company Total  said after the suicide bombing that neither the production nor the exportation of gas had been affected by the terrorist bombing.

The 5 billion US dollars gas project of Belhaf was subjected to many similar terrorist operations despite the fact that the government assigned thousands of soldiers to safeguard and protect it.

 If survived from repeated terrorist attacks, this huge project is expected to give Yemen 50 billion US dollars over the  coming 25 years, that's 2 billion by year. 
One week earlier, colonel Majid Mutair commander central security of Sayoun was killed by Al Qaeda operatives. A total of 85 carefully chosen security and military senior officials were killed by Al Qaeda since the beginning of 2011, most of them in the eastern part of Yemen.

Despite all these assassinations and bombings by Al Qaeda which tries to take control and establish its state,the semi-ruling party of Islamist ( Yemen brotherhood) keep saying there is no Al Qaeda here in Yemen, it's only supporters of ExPresident Saleh who are behind all those assassinations and bombings. 

The spiritual leader of Islamists party, Abdul Majid Al Zandani had asked the President Hadi  to allow Al Qaeda to participate in the current national dialogue. 

After Hadi refused such proposals, Al Zandani described the whole dialogue process as a western conspiracy against Islam.

At the beginning of Yemen political crisis of 2011, Al Zandani went to the square of protesters, majority of them from his party, and told them that the Islamic Caliphate must be established and declared by 2020.

President Hadi and all his external supporters from West and Gulf seem to be very busy with the dialogue and optimistic about its results which are expected to be announced by next September as solutions for all these problems.
Maybe, they  all believe that US drones will eradicate Al Qaeda before elections of February 2014. 

But military commander of Al Qaeda, Kasem Al Raimi, said this week in sound statement that killing Osama bin Laden and Anwar Al Awlaki was not and would not be the end of Al Qaeda.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Actions not words Yemen says to Obama on Guantanamo

Actions not words Yemen says to Obama on Guantanamo

Source: Reuters, 05/06/2013

JEDDAH, June 2 (Reuters) - Yemen gave a qualified welcome on Sunday to U.S. President Barack Obama's promise to lift a ban on repatriating Yemeni prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, saying he now had to back up his words with actions.

Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said his government was building a "rehabilitation centre" to house Yemenis who have been detained at the U.S. camp in Cuba for more than a decade.

Obama promised last month to end the ban on transferring Yemenis back home, one of the main obstacles to clearing out the detention camp, and altered the rules for U.S. drone strikes.

Qirbi said that Obama's announcement "brings hope to families of the detainees in Guantanamo and to the detainees themselves who for 12 years have been in prison and have lost hope of getting out of Guantanamo".

"Obama now has to really put his words into actions," he told reporters in the Saudi city of Jeddah. "We will take (up) with the authorities in Washington how we can start the process based, of course, on the conditions that may be set by the Americans."

Of the 86 detainees who have been cleared for transfer or release from Guantanamo, 56 are from Yemen where al Qaeda's regional wing is active. Most of them were captured more than a decade ago following the 2001 attacks on the United States.

Repatriation of Yemeni prisoners was halted in 2010 after a man trained by militants in Yemen attempted to blow up a U.S.-bound plane in 2009 with a bomb concealed in his underwear.

However, Obama laid out conditions on May 23 for removing the moratorium including the construction of a rehabilitation centre for militants in Yemen.

Qirbi said the government was getting ready to take the detainees. "We are now in preparation of the rehabilitation centre for the detainees," he said after a meeting with Gulf foreign and finance ministers.

In the same speech, Obama said drone strikes could be launched only when a threat was "continuing and imminent" and would primarily be directed by the Defense Department instead of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Qirbi said drone strikes against suspected al Qaeda figures were unpopular in Yemen due to civilian casualties. "But they are at times a necessity... I think the conditions he has set will make sure these drone attacks are used in a proper manner."

On Saturday local officials in southern Yemen said seven suspected militants had been killed in two drone strikes that morning. (Reporting By Angus McDowall; editing by David Stamp)