Blog archive: Yemen

  • 3rd March 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It's strange how Reuters grandly describes the prominent Yemeni separatist, Ali Salim al-Baidh, as "an exiled former president of South Yemen". At a stretch, it's technically correct but it's also misleading. Al-Baidh was secretary-general of the Socialist Party during the last few...
  • 2nd March 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Security forces in southern Yemen raided a house in Zinjibar (Abyan province) early on Monday and a gun battle ensued. Several people were killed, including Ali Saleh al-Yafei, his wife and at least two children, plus two or more soldiers. Reports differ on the number of casualties. According to...
  • 1st March 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Separatist demonstrations continued in Yemen yesterday, the second of “two days of southern anger” called to send a message to the international donors’ conference in Riyadh. Twenty-one people were reportedly arrested as result of  Saturday’s protests. The authorities ...
  • 28th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Thousands took to the streets of southern Yemen yesterday in protests timed to coincide with a meeting of the country’s international donors. Demonstrations were reported in the main towns of four provinces – Dhali, Lahij, Abyan and Hadramawt – but there seem to have been only minor outbreaks of...
  • 25th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    With the suspension of hostilities between the government and the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen, this seems like a suitable moment for a brief update on the continuing separatist troubles in the south. It is difficult to get an accurate picture because independent reporting of events in the...
  • 12th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    After six months, the latest round in Yemen's pointless war with the Houthi rebels is officially over. An agreed ceasefire was declared at midnight on Thursday. But a ceasefire is not the same as lasting peace. It doesn't mean the Yemeni government can sit back and do nothing (as...
  • 11th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On the face of it, the Arab Gulf states have every reason to want to help Yemen: if it finally tips over the brink, they will be among the first to suffer. But while none of them wants to see Yemen turn into another Somalia, the idea of a stable, prosperous Yemen is something they also find rather...
  • 9th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Despite talk of a ceasefire in the Yemeni-Saudi war with the Houthi rebels, fighting continues. AFP reports that 10 Yemeni soldiers died in the latest clashes, while the rebels say Saudi warplanes fired at least 150 rockets on Sunday, killing two children. One encouraging...
  • 8th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Tariq Alhomayed, editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, has been reflecting on that bizarre incident (reported here last week) when Tariq al-Fadhli, self-appointed leader of Yemen's southern separatist movement, hoisted an American flag at his home in Abyan while sounds of...
  • 6th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Calm analysis of Yemen's problems, by Yemenis from inside the country, is rather scarce but Abdullah al-Faqih, Professor of Political Science at Sana’a University, provides exactly that in an articleheaded "The challenges of dealing with Yemen’s deep crises". It's a clear and concise review...
  • 6th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    AFP is reporting that the Yemeni government has drawn up a ceasefire timetable and relayed it to the Houthi rebels via an intermediary. There is also talk of having the ceasefire implementation overseen by parliamentary committees. This is beginning to look more hopeful. At least one...
  • 5th February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A video purporting to show members of the Saudi armed forces torturing suspected Houthi rebels has been posted on the internet. The Washington-based Saudi Information Agency (critical of the Saudi regime) says:  The prisoners, who are suspected to be affiliated with the...

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