Showing posts with label yemen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yemen. Show all posts

12/05/2017

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Strongman Who Helped Unite Yemen, and Divide It, Dies at 75

President of Yemen for 34 years whose refusal to leave the political stage plunged his country into further turmoil






 Ali Abdullah Saleh at a press conference in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in 2011. He likened his survival technique to ‘dancing on the heads of snakes’. Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been killed aged 75, held power in Yemen for almost 34 years – an extraordinary feat in one of the world’s most fractious countries. He likened his survival technique to “dancing on the heads of snakes” and his political career ended much as it had begun, in turmoil.


Between 1974 and 1978, the Yemen Arab Republic had three presidents in quick succession. Two were assassinated and the third fled after less than a month in office. A four-man presidential council then took over, in which Saleh soon emerged as leader. In July 1978, the People’s Assembly elected him president of the republic and commander of the armed forces, but there were few who expected him to last very long.


Coming from a lesser branch of the Hashid tribal grouping, he was born in the village of Beit al-Ahmar, near the capital Sana’a. With minimal education, he had risen through the military but had little in the way of a political base – a problem that he set about correcting during his first few years in office. What he lacked in education he made up for with his shrewd handling of people, gradually building a consensus which, besides the military, embraced businessmen and technocrats along with tribal and religious leaders. He had no particular ideology beyond republicanism and nationalism.
The high point of his presidency came in 1990 when, after years of on-off negotiations, Saleh’s Yemen Arab Republic united with the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen – the southern part of the country that had been ruled by Marxists since the British withdrawal from Aden in 1967. This initially resulted in a power-sharing agreement for the unified state – a coalition in which the ruling party from each side shared power and a presidential council chaired by Saleh with Ali Salem al-Beidh, the southern leader, as his deputy.
At the same time, Yemen opened up its political system; new newspapers and magazines proliferated and more than 20 parties competed in the 1993 parliamentary elections – the first to be held in the Arabian peninsula under universal suffrage. Promising as this seemed at the time, it was something of a mirage. The former regimes of north and south had unresolved differences which were allowed to persist under the guise of democratic differences rather than using democracy as a means to resolve them. Most important of these differences was the failure to properly merge the armies of the former northern and southern states, which led to them coming to blows during a brief war in 1994 that was won by Saleh’s forces.
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With his southern rivals out of the way and the whole army under his command, Saleh had an opportunity to consolidate Yemen’s national unity but instead he allowed grievances in the south to simmer, leading to a revival of separatist activism. From 2004, at the opposite end of the country, Saleh also fought an intermittent war against Zaidi rebels known as the Houthis, as well as militants linked to al-Qaida in various parts of the country. Saleh’s relationship with the jihadists was always somewhat ambivalent. They had helped him defeat the southern forces in 1994, and though he always claimed al-Qaida was an enemy, he had an interest in not eradicating it. Without the threat from al-Qaida, western countries would have been far less interested in giving him aid.
For years, Saleh was reputedly a regular chewer of qat – Yemen’s national drug – and, since it causes wakefulness, would often follow it up with tipples of whisky in order to sleep. It was at the whisky stage that Saleh got most of his worst ideas, according to one former prime minister who used to unplug his phone at 10pm to avoid presidential calls.
Saleh was also happy to play the democratic game so long as he kept on winning. In 1999 he submitted his own presidency to the electorate for the first time – and won easily, though it undoubtedly helped to have an opponent from his own party (whose campaign expenses Saleh had promised to pay). In 2005, he announced that he was stepping down. “Let’s transfer power peacefully,” he said. “People are fed up with us, and we are fed up with power.” Naturally, his party pleaded with him to stay and Saleh, feigning reluctance, remained in his palace.
Had he left office at that point, he would have done so with a fair record of achievements. He had unified the two halves of the country, had overseen the introduction of a multiparty system and had finally settled Yemen’s borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman, as well as the maritime border with Eritrea.
Like Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Saleh was widely thought to be grooming his son, Ahmad, to succeed him in the presidency. Legally, he was due to retire in 2013, though he had been making moves to change the constitution and continue for longer. His rule had also become increasingly repressive, with the local media in particular under almost constant attack. Then came the Arab spring.
At the start of 2011, popular uprisings broke out in Tunisia and Egypt, giving Yemenis ideas about political change, too. It soon became clear that the northern rebels and southern separatists were not the only malcontents; in fact almost the entire country had turned against Saleh’s rule.
While claiming that he was willing to leave office if allowed do so “with dignity” his behaviour suggested otherwise. Despite being abandoned by many within his own ranks, he clung on regardless while his power evaporated all around him.
There was a narrow escape in June 2011 when a bomb exploded in the private mosque of his presidential palace. Several of the worshippers were killed and Saleh, seriously injured, was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment.
Protest demonstrations in Yemen continued and it was not until February 2012 that Saleh was finally cajoled into leaving office. Under a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, he was replaced by his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, but the deal also allowed Saleh to stay in Yemen and granted him immunity from prosecution.
This proved disastrous because it allowed Saleh to make mischief from the sidelines. He still had a considerable support network and used it relentlessly to undermine his successor.
In pursuit of that goal he also formed a surprising alliance with his former enemies, the Houthi rebels. It was only because of Saleh’s support that the Houthis were able to seize control of the capital, Sana’a, in 2014, causing Hadi to flee. This later resulted in a Saudi-led military intervention aimed at restoring Hadi’s government – and a continuing humanitarian catastrophe.
Last week, in what seems to have been a planned move, Saleh turned on his Houthi allies and attempted to wrest control of the capital from them. He had clearly lost none of his political ambition but, for once, his snake-dancing skills failed him and Yemen’s wiliest politician came to a brutal and humiliating end.
He is survived by several children, including Ahmad, a former military commander.
 Ali Abdullah Saleh, politician, born 21 March 1942; died 4 December 2017

11/21/2017

When food is used as a weapon In Yemen

When food is used as a weapon IN Yemen.

WHAT HAPPEN IN YEMEN WILL NOT STAY IN YEMEN  
FOR EVER

 

  
This month Saudi Arabia tightened a stranglehold on the neighboring country of Yemen and 7 million people face starvation. The Saudi blockade is an escalation in Yemen's civil war. The United Nations says the war has now become a "man-made catastrophe." You've seen very little of this because the Saudis prevent reporters from reaching the war zone. Recently, we were ordered off a ship headed to Yemen. Days later the Saudis gave us permission to fly there but, after our equipment was loaded and our boarding passes issued, the Saudis closed the airspace so the plane couldn't take off. Even so, we have managed to get pictures out of Yemen to show you what the Saudi government does not want you to see. This will be hard to watch, but 27 million people in Yemen pray you will not turn away.


yemen-child-3.jpg
A child in Yemen
Hungry children cry. But there are no tears at the limits of starvation. Wasting bodies cannot afford them. This is the Al Sabeen Hospital in the Yemeni city of Sana'a. Ibtisam is two and a half. She weighs 15 pounds. Haifa is seven. She weighs 11 pounds. The images, and stories from the hospital, were sent to us by people that we hired inside Yemen. One child dies every ten minutes in the country according to the U.N..
David Beasley runs the World Food Programme, the U.N.'s emergency first responder to prevent famine.
David Beasley: It's just desperation and death. It is as bad as it gets. I don't know if I've ever seen a movie this bad.
Scott Pelley: We were headed into Yemen with the World Food Programme, the Saudis gave us permission to come, and then when we arrived they wouldn't let us into the country. What do you think they didn't want us to see?
David Beasley: I don't understand why they won't allow the world to see what's taking place. Because I think if the world sees the tragedy of this human sufferin', number one, the world will step up and provide the support financially for innocent children to eat. But when you get on the ground and see what I see, you see is chaos, is starvation, is hunger, and it's unnecessary conflict strictly man-made. All parties involved in this conflict have their hands guilty, the hands are dirty. All parties.



"We're on the brink of famine. If we don't receive the monies that we need in the next few months, I would say 125,000 little girls and boys will die."

In essence, the fight is between the two main branches of Islam. The Shia branch occupies much of the West, the Sunnis most of the South and East. Saudi Arabia, leader of the Sunni world, began airstrikes against Shia rebels, more than two years ago. The rebels, who are known as Houthis, are supported by Saudi Arabia's arch enemy, Iran, the leader of the Shia world.
Houthi rebels have plenty of blood on their hands, including the deaths of 1,000 civilians. But the U.N. says the Saudi coalition has killed more than 3,000 civilians; bombing schools, hospitals and Al Kubra hall, scene of a funeral last year. 132 Civilians were killed, nearly 700 wounded. Still, the deadliest weapon in Yemen is a blockade holding up food, fuel and medical aid.
David Beasley: We can't get our ships in. They get blocked
Scott Pelley: Who blocks the ports?
David Beasley: The Saudi coalition.
David Beasley told us the Saudis bombed the cranes that unload ships. The U.S. sent replacement cranes. But the Saudis won't let them in.
David Beasley: We ask any, any parties engaged in this conflict to respect humanitarian law, respect the rights of innocent people and give us the access that we need to provide the help that's needed.
Scott Pelley: It sounds like the Saudis are using starvation as a weapon.
David Beasley: I don't think there's any question the Saudi-led coalition, along with the Houthis and all of those involved, are using food as a weapon of war. And it's disgraceful.

yemen-child-1.jpg
A child in Yemen
The U.N. World Food Programmer is the largest humanitarian aid agency. The U.S. is its biggest donor, so the director is most often an American. Beasley was once governor of South Carolina.
David Beasley: We're on the brink of famine. If we don't receive the monies that we need in the next few months, I would say 125,000 little girls and boys will die. We've been able to avert famine, but we know three things that are happenin'. We know that people are dying. We know that people are wasting. And we know that children are stunting. We have a stunting rate in Yemen now at almost 50 percent. That means they're smaller, the brains are smaller, the body's smaller because they're not getting the food or the nutrition they need.
The World Food Programme's Stephen Anderson is trying to move millions of pounds of food to Yemen from an African port in Djibouti.
Stephen Anderson: The World Food Programme is mobilizing food for seven million people. Now what that looks like is a 110-pound bag of wheat flour. We're aiming to provide two million of those every month to the people of Yemen.
Scott Pelley: How long can you keep that up?
Stephen Anderson: Well, we're desperately praying for peace. Because that's the only sustainable way of really rebuilding the situation our stated objective is to try to prevent a famine from occurring.

stephen-anderson-in-yemen-food-distribution.jpg
Stephen Anderson distributes food
CBS News
While facing imminent famine, the people of Yemen are also suffering one of the biggest cholera epidemics in history. Nearly a million have been infected with the bacteria which inflicts diarrhea, dehydration and sometimes death. The disease thrives in dirty water. And water treatment and sanitation have collapsed in Yemen's cities.
Nevio Zagaria heads the World Health Organization's emergency response.
Scott Pelley: What do you have to have to stop the epidemic?
Nevio Zagaria: We should have peace. This is what we need to stop this epidemic. So we cannot solve the problem of cholera if we do not have a proper safe water supply, if we do not have proper sanitation. If we do not have the sewage treatment plant in the main town functioning and stop because it runs out of fuel as it happened at the beginning of this epidemic in the north of Sana'a for three or four months.
Scott Pelley: The main sewage plant in Sana'a ran out of fuel and didn't run for three or four months?
Nevio Zagaria: Yes. So 3 million people, huh?
About two million Yemenis have been forced from their homes by the war and there's been a big exodus of refugees that the world doesn't know very much about. Many of them have come 25 miles across the Red Sea to a refugee camp in the African nation of Djibouti. It is a testament to how bad things are in Yemen that the refugees believe that this place is so much better.
We've seen a few refugee camps in our time but this may be the most desolate with a drought of life and flood of sun. One worker told us we were smart to come in fall when it cooled off to 110.

Scott Pelley: How long have you been here?
Ali Shafick: Unfortunately 28 months.
Ali Shafick was once an architect in the Yemeni capital. His home was destroyed. He's alone here. And his despair was almost like madness.
Ali Shafick: To be jobless in this camp is very sad. The time is going slowly, very slowly.
Scott Pelley: The heat must be unbearable.
Ali Shafick: Heat? Yes, boiling. Starting from June, July and August. Three months. You cannot live, you cannot live here, three months. It's impossible to live.
Scott Pelley: And yet you do.
Ali Shafick: I have to be patient. I have to be patient.

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Djibouti refugee camp
CBS News
This mother, Ameena Saleh, told us her family left after Saudi led airstrikes killed more than 70 people in her town.
The planes would fly above us and fire rockets and missiles she told us. At night there was no sleep, they were holding the young ones. She said that her older son was saying 'we are going to die.' She told us we saw people die right in front of us.
Scott Pelley: A little while ago we heard a rumble from the direction of Yemen. That's the bombing, isn't it?
Yes, her husband said, it's near.
Scott Pelley: What do you think when you hear that?
Strong fear, she said. She said the terror is still inside us from the rockets, missiles and planes.
Ayman Gharaibeh runs Yemeni refugee relief for the U.N..
Scott Pelley: What lies ahead for these people, given where we are today?
Ayman Gharaibeh: Remember, the conflict is going into a third year, some people has been displaced for literally three years or going into their third year.  I honestly do not see any silver lining anywhere on the horizon that this is gonna end soon. And I'm afraid the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate. And we would go from a displacement to a famine, as happened, to cholera, and God knows what's next.

"All the children are gonna be dead. It's terrible."

The Saudi intervention in Yemen began with the rise of 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he's the son of the king and he's the defense minister. Salman is quickly reforming the kingdom's fundamentalist society. Recently, he lifted the ban on women drivers. This month, he arrested 200 Saudis including princes and media owners. He says it's a crackdown on corruption. His critics believe he's silencing his rivals. Salman's campaign in Yemen has now landed Saudi Arabia, for the first time, on the U.N.'s blacklist of nations that disregard the safety of children in war.
The Saudis have pledged $8 billion in humanitarian aid for Yemen, but they've delivered very little of that. The head of the Saudi humanitarian agency says that its aid to Yemen is, quote, "way beyond any damage caused by any attacks."

Scott Pelley: You met with some government officials involved in all of this, what kind of dialogue did you have with them?
David Beasley: Well we met with officials on all sides. They said all the right things. And we come back, everything that they agreed to on visas and access, so that we can get the equipment we need in, so we can deliver the food where we need to deliver it, and the technology and the health product -- you know -- terrible. The conditions are deteriorating in an unprecedented way and none of the commitments that were made, by any and all sides, have been fulfilled.
Scott Pelley: What future do you see for Yemen?
David Beasley: I don't see a light at the end of this tunnel. There's gotta be a big change. As the World Food Program, I've got my mandate to feed people. But also as a U.N. leader, I call upon the leaders of the world to bring the pressure to bear whatever's necessary to get the Saudi-led coalition, the Houthis and all involved to the table and end this thing. You keep goin' like you're goin', there's not gonna be anybody left. All the children are gonna be dead. It's terrible.
Produced by Nicole Young and Katie Kerbstat

60 Minutes, barred from Yemen,still got the footage





https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-barred-from-yemen-still-got-the-footage/ 

9/23/2017

YEMEN WAR TODAY UPDATE

YEMEN WAR TODAY
THE FORGOTTEN WAR
UPDATE 

 I Bring all what in the social media Today about Yemen war

A building destroyed after a Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen's capital Sanaa (AFP)
A building destroyed after a Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen's capital Sanaa (AFP)









8/30/2017

Buthaina Eyes turned to the icon calls to end the war in Yemen

Buthaina Eyes  turned to the icon calls to end the war in Yemen 




A shocking photo showing a young girl covered in bruises and with a badly swollen face after she lost most of her family in a Saudi-led air strike on Yemen has triggered a furious anti-war backlash.
Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, who is believed to be between four and five years old, does not know that her parents, five siblings, and uncle were killed when their home was flattened in an air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa on 25 August.
SANAA (Reuters) - Her bruised eyes still swollen shut, Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, believed to be four or five, doesn't yet know that her parents, five siblings and uncle were killed when an air strike flattened their home in Yemen's capital.


Despite concussion and skull fractures, doctors think Buthaina will pull through -- her family's sole survivor of the Aug 25 attack on an apartment building that residents blame on a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015.
The alliance said in a statement it would investigate the air strike, which killed at least 12 civilians.
Yemen's long war involving competing Yemeni factions and regional power struggles has killed at least 10,000 people. Millions more have been forced to leave their homes and face disease and hunger.
Aid agencies have called for a speedy resolution to the conflict, warning that the impoverished country is now victim to the world's greatest man-made humanitarian disaster.
Lying disoriented in her hospital bed on Saturday, Buthaina called out for her uncle, Mounir, who was among those killed in the attack.
Another uncle, Saleh Muhammad Saad, told Reuters Mounir had rushed to the family's house when Buthaina's father called him at 2 a.m. to say war planes were bombing their neighborhood in Sanaa's Faj Attan district. He never returned.
By the time Saleh got to the house, it was a ruin of broken concrete blocks and wooden planks. Hearing survivors groaning from beneath the rubble, he battled to free them.
"I could hear the shouts of one of their neighbors from under the rubble, and tried to remove the rubble from on top of (Buthaina's father) and his wife, but I couldn't. They died," he said.
"We lifted the rubble and saw first her brother Ammar, who was three, and her four sisters, all of them dead. I paused a little and just screamed out from the pain. But I pulled myself together, got back there and then heard Buthaina calling."
He said her survival had given him some solace as he mourned the rest of the family.
"Her sister Raghad always used to come up and hug me and kiss me when I visited. I used to say to her, 'Come on, that's enough.' And she would say 'Oh no it isn't!' and just keep hugging and kissing."
(Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Helen Popper)
Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters.



 UPDATE:
BBC


One-eyed unity with injured Yemeni girl


People in Yemen are sharing photos on social media of themselves with one eye closed in solidarity with a young girl injured and orphaned in an air strike.
Bouthaina al-Rimi's home in the Attan neighbourhood of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, was bombed and destroyed on 25 August. The blast killed her parents and six siblings.

By sharing photos of themselves closing an eye, people in Yemen are hoping to raise awareness of the crisis. Half a million children under five are suffering severe acute malnutrition, and the cholera outbreak is the largest in the world, infecting over 500,00 people.

The Arabic hashtag #Bouthaina_The_Eye_Of_Humanity and #I_SPEAK_FOR_BUTHINA have both been used more than 3,000 times since Wednesday.

Buthaina Muhammad Mansour being rescued from the site of a Saudi-led air strike on Sanaa which killed eight of her family members.

Wiam Adil Maktari's post on Facebook

Some Twitter uses called for an end to the war.

"For Bouthaina and all of Yemen's children, we say YES to the end of war,"





















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6/22/2017

In Yemen’s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

In Yemen’s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.