Archive for the ‘U.S.’ Category

U.S. Navy to Return to Aden Port

April 11, 2008


Interesting. The “possibility”…if they hand over all the Cole bombers?

 

U.S. Navy Yet To Return to Aden

By christopher p. cavas

Once terrorists have chased out United States forces, do those forces go back?

Not in the case of Yemen and the USS Cole.

The Navy confirmed April 10 that no port visits have been conducted in the port of Aden since the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 wounded in the attack, which took place during what was intended as a brief refueling stopover.

Aden is in a key location for U.S. and coalition forces, who routinely operate out of nearby Djibouti and patrol the Horn of Africa region.

The issue was broached April 8 during a Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee hearing when Chairman Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., mentioned he’d recently been told “naval ships don’t go back into Aden” since the attack.

“A person was talking to me,” Kennedy said. “This person mentioned to me that this has some significance, because they’re trying to make the point that Al Qaida is making, that once the United States leaves, it doesn’t come back. And they were using the fact that there had been the attack on the Cole and we haven’t had a Navy ship that’s come back into Aden.

“And they used other examples – the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia – that once Americans have left places, they don’t come back. And if they leave in Iraq, they’re not coming back.”

Terrorists attacked a U.S. apartment building complex called Khobar Towers in June 1996, killing 20 people, including 19 U.S. service members, and wounding 372.

“It was just an interesting point,” Kennedy said, admitting it was “sort of an off-the-wall question.”

Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, deputy chief of naval operations, replied that he would check on the correct answer, supplied two days later by a Navy spokesman.

“The Navy has not conducted port visits in Yemen since the attack on the USS Cole,” said Lt. Clayton Doss. “We are working closely with Yemen on a range of issues, including the possibility of port visits.”

Kennedy said the issue came up when he was preparing for Senate hearings begun earlier on April 8 with Army Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. ground commander in Iraq.


AQ-Yemen Strikes Again?

April 7, 2008

 

It appears as though al Qaeda influenced elements have attempted to target westerners again. This time, instead of going after the US embassy, they launched mortars at a housing complex in the affluent suburb of Hadda. I know that the there is a secured complex next to the (Best Western) Haddah Hotel (you can see the rows of houses in the  SW corner of the complex above). The Yemen Observer called the targeted buildings the “Kuwait Housing Complex,” a name I am not familiar with.  It is note worthy that Hadda Hotel is on the complete opposite end of Sana’a from the US Embassy and the other western hotels.  The article from al-Ghad says that the buildings hit housed employees of Safr Oil (Formerly Hunt until it was turned over to the Yemeni government). It also says that “casualties were transported by ambulances”…which is contrary to the English reports which said there were no casualties.

UPDATE: AQ-Yemen has claimed credit. The claim wasn’t posted in the forums though…this isn’t strange necessarily strange for the new al Qaeda in Yemen. It also appears I was right about the location. This article says it was behind the “Ramada” hotel owned by Kuwaiti investment – I guess its a Ramada now instead of a Best Western – getting classier.

Blasts Hit Foreigners’ Complex in Yemen

By AHMED AL-HAJ

SAN’A, Yemen (AP) – A housing complex used by foreigners in Yemen’s capital came under attack late Sunday, with explosions shattering windows and prompting residents to evacuate with suitcases and boxes.

Nobody was injured in the attack on the upscale Haddah neighborhood. The U.S. Embassy said “three explosive rounds” hit the compound, with two blowing up inside and the third outside.

“The Embassy advises all U.S. citizens to exercise caution in this area of the city,” the statement said.

After the blasts, Westerners were seen evacuating the compound. Some rolled suitcases and carried boxes to vehicles with diplomatic plates. Women huddled in idling cars, while children lugged backpacks.

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FM Source: al Badawi Extradition Refusal, Not Security, Caused Forum Cancellation

January 28, 2008

So it had nothing to do with security, nor the status of al Badawi in Yemeni custody…only the refusal of Yemen to extradite. This explanation would be convenient for Yemen, as the constitution prohibits extradition – it allows them to throw up their hands and say its not their fault, they’re bound by the constitution. The U.S. went into the extradition “negotiations” knowing they would be denied all along. It would be silly to use that as an excuse - unless its masking other reasons…like security or PR. 

“Forum for Future” was never canceled for security reasons: official source   

SANA’A, Jan. 28 (Saba)- Official source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied on Monday media reports that ” the US government informed Yemen about the cancellation of holding “Forum for the Future” in Sana’a and decided to hold it in another Arab country due to security reasons”.

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Seche Believes al Moayad is Innocent – Not!

January 26, 2008

                    

This story has been in the Yemeni press for a few days now…good to see it was finally picked up by an English paper. From the other reports, it sounded like Seche was trying to explain to the sheikhs how his personal belief carries no weight in an independent judiciary…its not surprising that they didn’t understand.

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Rice Snubbs Yemen Over al Badawi

January 24, 2008

So Yemen has decided not to host the conference on Bush’s Mid-East Initiative, “Forum for the Future.” Their official reason involves some sort of technicality with timing. Seriously though, they must think we are all a bunch of hameer - Yemen would jump at the opportunity to host this thing…at any time. All you have to do is look how proud they were to be hosting a delegation of congressional staffers

The question is, is this really State punishing Yemen for policies that run counter to the global war on terror, or is it something more? Is this simply a shot across the bow, like withholding the millennium challenge funds?  I am not 100 percent convinced that anger over al Badawi, or even generic “security concerns” are the only reason for Rice’s refusal to attend. Franky, recent and recurrent stirrings over the al Moayyad case, Guantanamo and the Palestinian issue make a visit by the Secretary politically unwise at this time, if ever. I’m not trying to deny that an actual physical threat to Rice may exist (although I probably don’t think it is as high as many), only that other factors may very well be at play - such as the broad dislike of the American government among Yemenis, and Yemen’s inability or unwillingness curb the expression of it. Public demonstrations won’t hurt the regime, in fact they may strengthen it, by presenting the regime to the U.S. as an American ally in the face of public opinion to the contrary. It also generates sympathy for the regime’s political concessions such as the jihadist catch-and-release program.

Given Yemen’s strategy of playing both sides, Rice in Yemen will most likely never happen…it would be too much like the mistress coming to a family dinner.  

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CLARIFICATION: US Congressional STAFFERS Meet With Yemeni Ministers

January 22, 2008

Yemeni-American reporter Munir Mawari has been doing some home work and he discovered that the “American Congressional Delegation” visit that has been publicized in Yemen lately is actually only congressional staffers:

“This is misleading story and media scandal. I checked with the Congress and have been informed that none of the US Congress members visiting Yemen. The delegation consists of 13 staff members from those who work for the congress. The Yemeni government is misleading its own people to show that US legislators are supporting Yemini Democracy.”

Good job Munir! 

Congress Meets Yemen Education Minister: “Appreciates” “Pracitical Steps”

January 21, 2008

“Practical steps” – like stepping stools for the kids forced to learn by peering through schoolhouse windows? – overcrowding is a big problem. 

Education minister meets US congress delegation

[21 January 2008]

SANA’A, Jan. 21 (Saba)- Minister of Education Abdul-Salam al-Jawfi met on Monday with a delegation from the US Congress and reviewed with it strategies and programs in fields of basic and secondary education as well as efforts being exerted to improve input and output of educational activities.

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Propaganda on US Congressional visit to Yemen

January 20, 2008

Al-Arhabi acquaints US congress delegation on reforms in Yemen

[20 January 2008]

SANA’A, Jan. 20 ( Saba)- Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Abdul-Karim al-Arhabi met on Sunday with the American Congress delegation whom he showed nature of economic and political reforms Yemen has carried out in the framework of National Reforms Agenda,indicating Yemen’s keenness on making use US parliamentarian experiences.

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Yemen Denies Reports of Gitmo Repatriation Refusal

January 17, 2008

 

Gee, who to believe. I’m sure Yemen would just looove to have these guys back, who wouldn’t. I love the last part of the reported letter…how nice.

70 Yemeni detainees to be released from Guantanamo

Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Jan 15, 2008 – 11:50:32 PM

President Saleh handed over a message last Saturday in Sana’a to the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Steven Seche, to be delivered to President George W. Bush.

The message asked the American president to deal with the Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo and the developments in the Middle East. The message renewed Yemen’s call for the release of the Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo and for their extradition to Yemeni authorities.

Head of GPC public relations, Mohammed Abu Lohoom, affirmed that the communications between the Yemeni government, represented by the foreign ministry and the ministry of human rights, and the U.S. government have succeeded in reaching an agreement to release 70 Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo soon as a preliminary step in dealing with the hundreds still detained there.

Foreign minister Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has denied news being circulated by some American media claiming that Yemen had refused to take back its prisoners from Guantanamo, and said that Yemen is willing to receive the Yemeni detainees at any time and without any conditions.

Moreover, Saleh’s message called for extraditing the other Yemeni detainees who have been sentenced in the U.S. and are currently being held there, including Sheikh Mohammed al-Moayad and his companion Mohammed Zayed, so that they may complete their sentences in Yemen.

The message also dealt with the latest visit of President Bush to the region, expressing Yemen’s hopes for the success of the efforts he is making for maintaining peace in the region.

President Saleh also praised the American leader’s efforts towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and securing the rights of the Palestinian people according to international resolutions, adding that the success of these efforts would put an end to long-term violence and allow regional states a chance to accomplish real development and live in peace.

Saleh also pointed out that success in these efforts would represent a personal and historical accomplishment for President Bush and for the United States.

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Socialist Leader: America Should Hault Funds to Yemen

January 17, 2008

This article actually came out yesterday in 26 September. Some in the YSP have obviously taken notice of how the Yemeni govt. panicked following the the withholding of the Millennium Challenge funds. The YSP frustration over the continual flow of foreign aid to what it sees as a failed government is understandable – it would be much easier for them if the regime didn’t enjoy so much popular support. That said, if the YSP official really formulated his request in the way this article suggests, it is rather ridiculous. I don’t know of any funding tied to the demands of a political party. I agree with him though that it is annoying to constantly hear how democratic Yemen is…of course, judging by the backlash Krajeski got when he suggested otherwise, there isn’t really much of a choice 

YSP incites the Americans to stop its assistance to Yemen

Wednesday, 16-January-2008
almotamar.net – Assistant Secretary General if the Yemen Socialist Party (YSP) Yahya Mansour Anuisbaa requested Tuesday the Americans to use their influence of pressurizing the donor countries to stop their aid to Yemen under pretext of the Yemeni authority irresponsive to demands of parties of the Joint Meeting (JMP).

Abuisbaa has also shown his party’s annoyance of the praise testimonies the international organisations announce concerning development of democracy in Yemen considering those testimonies help the authority let financings from donor states and make the ruling party feel self-conceit.

The YSP leading member considered that the General People’s congress conducting dialogue with the opposition parties of the JMP as out of its feeling that the dialogue serves it before international organisations, calling the American Democratic Institute to put pressure on the ruling party regarding the dialogue with the JMP because the authority listens to those from outside more than the inside parties.

On his part the director of the Middle East programme at the IDI considered that solving the political differences among the political parties has to be done with national accord through serious dialogue. He said the concept of democracy does not mean sharing the pie but must be connected with issues of the masses of whom he said may push for violent solutions when they feel that the parties do not meet their issues. He affirmed that development of democracy has to be connected with existence of multi political options through the existence of parties with leftist orientations and others of religious orientations and a party representing businessmen. He added “We don’t want to have forty parties in Yemen but we want there are parties representing the general interests of the people.”

In a qat-chewing session grouping the director of the American Democratic Institute and the director of NDI in Yemen, political leaders from opposition parties and the GPC in addition to a number of journalists and representatives of civil society organisations, the director of the American democratic Institute considered demands of parties of the JMP for adoption of proportionate representation system in elections as not of avail for developing the political partnership, pointing out that the system is faced with criticisms and sometimes does not allow emergence of political pluralism, citing the stand of the Moroccan opposition.

He said Yemen is in need of large-powered local rule system and the existence of law clear about the political game. He added that Yemen has achieved forward steps and indicated that when the institute began its in Yemen there was nothing in the election register except a limited number of women and there were no local elections and the parliament was as just an approving signature and also there was no political argument inside the parliament as what happens at present.

On his part the director of the NDI in Yemen urged the parties of the JMP not repeat the talk of boycotting everything or boycotting the regime and boycotting the political action, saying the effective political parties should not make the electors feel that the parties have abandoned their issues.

On his part the member of the General Committee at the GPC Abdullah Mujaidie affirmed the GPC readiness for dialogue over different issues, calling on the JMP not to take advantage of dialogue for putting pressure on the GPC. He said some political parties try to fabricate problems and crises before any elections but the country’s interest dictates that dialogue must tackle the important essential issues. Mujaidie affirmed that the local rule is the way for solving many of the problems and pointed out that the GPC wants the establishment of local rule with full powers especially that Yemen has gone a long distance through the local authority system.


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