Wandering in Yemen

Yemeni Press Round-Up 11/10/13

Yemeni Ministers and Their Foreign Trips:

Rumours have been circulating Sana’a that a large number of ministers are currently out of the country, with the weekly cabinet meeting not taking place this Wednesday. Hadi is apparently angry at the continuous absence of ministers from cabinet meetings, and has asked for data on their travels abroad.

Masdar Online came up with a great piece of journalism, breaking down the comings and goings of the cabinet in the last month. Although they’ve provided all the trips taken by the cabinet in September, I’ll only include the one’s who are currently believed to be out of the country:

  • Head honcho PM Mohammed Salim Basindwa – Abu Dhabi, personal visit.
  • Minister of Planning Mohammed al-Saadi, Minister of Finance Sakhr al-Wajeeh – World Bank and IMF meetings.
  • Minister of Expatriates Mujahid al-Qahali – USA, UN meetings, Yemeni-American community meetings.
  • Minister of Religious Endowments Hamood Obad – Saudi Arabia, heading Yemeni hajj delegation.
  • Minister of the Civil Service Nabeel Shamsan, Minister of Youth and Sports Muammad al-Iryani, Minister of Justice Murshid al-Arshani – Saudi Arabia, hajj.
  • Minister of Water and Environment Abdo Razaz Saleh – Japan, conference.
  • Minister of Culture Abdullah Awbal – Czech Republic, conference.
  • Minister of Technical Education Abdulhafidh Noman, Minister of Public Works and Roads Omar al-Karshami, Minister of Trade and Industry Saadadine Bin Taleb, Minister of Human Rights Hooria Mashour – Unknown, personal visits.

Masdar Online ended their article with a swipe at the continuous absence of the government ministers:

“The truth is, despite working in a country with severe economic problems, ministers and officials have piled onto trips, mostly unnecessary … without showing even a little enthusiasm for their tasks, or the imbalances in the work of their ministries – where their faces seem less familiar than they are in international airports.”

Ouch.

New Cabinet?:

Masaa Press publishes names of the Constituent Government (?) al-hukooma al-ta’siysiya.

In what is very likely to be nonsense, Masaa Press says it has got its hands on this list. I remember a lot of lists were released before the announcement of the National Unity Government, and they mostly turned out to be imaginative lies. However, this could be an attempt by the government to sound out support for various names.

Anyway, the interesting names here are current Human Rights minister Hooria Mashour becoming the first female Prime Minister, GPC & Saleh ally Rasheed al-Alami as Deputy PM, Herak Mohammed Ali Ahmed as Minister of Interior, and the popular Ahmed Bin Mubarak, currently President of the National Dialogue, in the worst job in Yemen, Minister of Electricity.

Dr Abdulkareem al-Iryani ‘resigns’ from GPC:

Khabar Agency, a news outlet owned by former President Saleh, says that sources close to the Second Deputy Head of the GPC, and presidential adviser, Dr Abdulkareem al-Iryani, has resigned from the High Command of the GPC, without giving any further details.

The apparent resignation comes in light of the controversy surrounding the ‘political isolation’ law, which has been recommended by the Transitional Justice Committee at the National Dialogue, and which is rumoured to have been authored by Dr al-Iryani himself.

Masdar Online reminds us that this can all be read in light of the Hadi-Saleh beef, with al-Iryani seen to lean more towards Hadi.

Your National Dialogue Update:

Did you think the National Dialogue was coming to an end? Silly you, casual Yemen observer. Well, according to Herak leader Mohammed Ali Ahmed that is. Mareb Press reports:

“We have agreed [with Jamal Ben Omar] that the dialogue will restart after Eid al-Adha, and that all the committees will return to continue their work. After the committees have finished their jobs, the final session will be held.”

Hadi negotiates with Herak leaders to get them to reverse their decision to suspend their participation in the National Dialogue.

Hadi met the leaders on Thursday, saying that “the National Dialogue Conference will finish its job successfully, as it is the national choice of the Yemeni people, and a way to solve all the issues that have been placed on the table, including the Southern Issue.”

Sexy quote from Socialist leader Yassin Saeed Noman: “National Dialogue Conference is built upon cooperation and not flexing your muscles.” [Mareb Press]

Former Southern President Ali Nasser Mohammed: 94 Civil War was not about Yemeni Unity; there are plans to divide the nation:

The former Southern President, and Hadi’s old boss, Ali Nasser Mohammed, conducted an interview with state-owned paper 26 September, where he said that, “dialogue is a civilised and humanitarian value to solve problems in a peaceful manner, we are with what our people in the South accept,” adding that federalism was the best compromise solution for Yemen. He also added that the 1994 Civil War was not fought with the goal of maintaining unity, but about positions and wealth, which is why he didn’t participate in the fighting, nor attempts to secede.

Female student dies after being hit by a gunman’s stray bullet next to Ibb University:

Sources close to Samar al-Hajami’s family say that she passed away on Thursday evening after being hit by a stray bullet a few days ago. She was passing by the walls of the university with a friend when a motorcyclist and a motorist argued and a gun was fired. Her family say that she should have been taken for treatment abroad, but that the university authorities did not help them in this regard. Samar and her friend, Rayhana al-Shadofi, who is still in hospital, were studying Microbiology at Ibb University.

Sad, sad, news.

Kidnapping:

Writer Abdulbari Taher: Yemen is facing the “abduction of the state”; ransoms encourage kidnappers.

Abdulbari Taher tells a conference organised by the rights group “Women Journalists Without Chains” that the kidnapping of foreigners in Yemen has become a business, and that the government’s acceptance of the kidnapper’s demands has encouraged them to continue. He said that ‘terrorism’ encompassed kidnapping, forced disappearances, assassinations, banditry, blowing up oil and water pipelines, and attacking the electricity infrastructure, as well as spreading fear [Masdar Online].

Armed Group Attacks Locals in Ma’ala, Aden; Cut Off Person’s Hand:

Aden al-Ghad reports that an armed group entered a poor area in Ma’ala, Aden, known to be home to many of Yemen’s disadvantaged Muhamasheen community, firing on many houses, and causing widespread panic. Some of the Muhamasheen in the area are suspected of brewing alcohol, and this is the likely reason of the attack by the armed group.

Media Graduates deny Saleh Foundation funding:

Media Faculty Graduates at Sana’a University deny claims by Ahmed Saleh-owned Yemen Today that the Saleh Charitable Foundation funded their graduation ceremony.

The president of the preparatory committee of the graduates, Youssef Ajlan, said that this was an attempt to present the Saleh Foundation as having funded the event, despite the organisers having refused to accept ‘a single riyal’ from the foundation.

“We’ve got used to these types of lies … from these types of channels”, he added, to Masdar Online.

‘We Love Ahmed Saleh’ petition update:

In a claim befitting of the 30 million Egyptian protestors school of thought on counting figures, a high ranking source in the GPC confirms to Mareb Press plans for a Tamarod-esque petition that will gather 10 million signatures, i.e. just less than a third of Yemenis, including children, for the presidency of Dear Brother Ambassador Ahmed Ali Saleh.

Thank You Egypt.

Briefs:

Floods in Socotra wash away 20 homes and leave 60 families homeless [Masdar Online] … Gunmen kill Abdullah al-Tamimi, Intelligence Officer responsible for Security Operations at Hadhramaut University [Masdar Online] … After Mareb Press report on the spread of scabies, clean-up operations at Dhamar Central Prison, and two fact-finding bodies investigate the health of the prisoners [Mareb Press] … Tribal roadblock in Dhamar causes big fuel problems for al-Baydha [Mareb Press] … MI5: Direct terrorist threat comes from Yemen and Pakistan [Mareb Press] … Ra’y Party leader doubts governments version of events surrounding Mukalla army base attack [Aden al-Ghad] … Southern activists call for a position from Egypt’s military government on the question of Southern separatism [Aden al-Ghad] … South gears up for separatist ‘carnival’ to commemorate 14th October Revolution [Aden al-Ghad]

 

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