Blog archive: Yemen

  • 1st February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This Yemeni ceasefire business is getting confusing. Yesterday, the government appeared to reject the offer from the Houthi rebels. But now Yemen's National Defence Council says it "will have no objection" to ending military operations if the rebels abide by all six of the government-...
  • 31st January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Once again there is speculation about a ceasefire in the war with Yemen's Houthi rebels – though whether it will actually happen is anyone's guess. The cause of the speculation is an audio recording by the rebels' leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, posted on the internet. In the recording...
  • 29th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Coinciding with the London conference on Yemen, Saudi Arabia  announced that it had won its war with Yemen's Houthi rebels.  The fighting does appear to have stopped, at least for now, though it's not the first time the Saudis have claimed victory. In December, in a...
  • 28th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There were a number of encouraging signs from yesterday's international meeting in London about Yemen. The first is that it didn't get too preoccupied with al-Qaida and recognised that the country faces "many urgent problems" (to put it mildly) which are inter-related and need to be tackled across...
  • 21st January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On Wednesday the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a session about Yemen and the transcripts are now online. Overall, I think the committee got a pretty good picture of the "Yemen problem" – a valuable antidote to some of the rubbish that is being churned out in the American...
  • 19th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The international conference on Yemen, due to be held in London on January 27, is expected to last only a couple of hours, Ivan Lewis, the Foreign Office minister responsible for the Middle East told parliament yesterday.  This does sound rather a short amount of time to spend on...
  • 15th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An email received from Yemen suggests the widely-reported killingof Adbullah Mehdar (or Mihdar) may not have been the victory against al-Qaeda that it was made out to be.  My correspondent writes: "The informed thinking down here is that Mehdar was not al-Qaeda but a senior tribes-type...
  • 14th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Mohammed al-Alwani, managing editor of the Yemeni websitesahwa.net (linked to the Islah Party) has received a telephoneddeath threat from a man claiming to work for the government's Political Security Organisation. Harassment of Yemen's non-governmental media has been stepped up...
  • 13th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The humanitarian crisis caused by the Houthi conflict in northern Yemen is rapidly getting worse. Yesterday the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Andrej Mahecic, announced revised estimates for the number of people displaced by the fighting – putting the total at 200,000. This is an...
  • 11th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An editorial in the Washington Post at the weekend argued in favour of sustained, long-term – and probably expensive – American support for Yemen. So far, so good, but several things bother me about this editorial. First, the headline: "Why it's wrong to rule out nation-building in Yemen"....
  • 8th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It's an unfortunate fact of life that whenever Yemen becomes front-page news, sensible commentary about the country becomes harder to find. Here, though, are two pieces worth reading. One is from Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. The other – appropriately headed "Aiding Yemen or aiding Saleh?" –...
  • 4th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Concerned about the "regional and global threat" from terrorists in Yemen, Gordon Brown is to host an emergency summit in London later this month. Yemen, at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, is a country that tends to be off the radar except when something untoward happens affecting...

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