Wandering in Yemen

Yemeni Press Round-Up 21/10/13

Al-Beidh: GCC Must Mediate Between ‘North’ and ‘South’:

Sky News Arabia conducted an interview with Herak leader, and former Yemeni VP, Alo Salem al-Beidh, where he discussed the Southern Issue.

Al-Beidh said that unity had been ‘buried’ because of the ‘violence of the Sana’a regime’, and that the Southern people want independence (those who don’t don’t count as ‘Southerners’ apparently, or maybe we can use ‘southerners’ without capitalisation for them).

The interviewer asked al-Beidh about claims that the Herak leader is extremely wealthy, referring to companies in the UAE, Malaysia, Austria, and Lebanon, allegedly owned by al-Beidh, but Ali ‘Mother Theresa’ al-Beidh said of course he doesn’t have that wealth, because if he did he’d have donated it to those poor souls in the south. Mareb Press reports that Southern leaders accuse al-Beidh of having stolen $1 billion before the 1994 Civil War.

The first three comments on the Mareb Press article entertained me: the first was from someone who called for independence for ‘South Arabia’, the second was from someone who called for an independent Hadhramaut, and the third was from someone who said that there was no such thing as north and south, and that we should all play happy families in a united Yemen. In essence, beware of those who speak on behalf of ‘everyone’.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed Back From London:

Herak NDC leader Mohammed Ali Ahmed returned from a ‘secret’ visit to London saying that he will continue boycotting the NDC so that he can ensure that all Southern leaders can take part in the upcoming important decisions. He told Herak NDC delegates to remain in Aden in the meantime. He also confusingly stated that he is pro a two province federation, but also pro the return of the southern state. [Mareb Press]

Yemeni Air Force Strikes in al-Baydha:

Locals have told Aden al-Ghad that the Yemeni Army is conducting operations in al-Baydha after air strikes hit the town of al-Zaher in the governorate. Locals said that the army is believed to be targeting al-Qaeda.

Attack on Soldiers in Mukalla, Four Injured:

Sources tell Masdar Online that gunmen attacked the soldiers in their vehicle with RPGs.

Houthi-Salafi Clashes in Dammaj:

According to Mareb Press, Salafis in Dammaj has accused the Houthis of continuing their attacks, whilst mediators continue to fail to broker a real ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Aden al-Ghad reports that Salafis from the south of Yemen have traveled to Dammaj to fight the Houthis, quoting a southerner studying in Dammaj who said that the majority of Salafis fighting were from southern governorates such as Lahj, Abyan, and Aden, and that they thought of this as a sectarian war against the Shias (Houthis).

For their part, the Houthis have claimed that a Salafi sniper in Dammaj hit a young girl, who is currently receiving treatment in hospital [Ansaruallah.com].

Meanwhile in unrelated Houthi news, Yemen Press claims that ‘sources’ in Saadah have told them that the Houthis are demanding from locals that they make ‘Eid sacrifices’ not just for the Eid al-Adha holiday that has just passed, but also for the upcoming Shia holiday of Eid al-Ghadeer.

150 ‘al-Qaeda’ Members Arrive on Boats from Syria:

Ansaruallah.com, the official Houthi website, reports that 150 ‘members of al-Qaeda’ arrived in Abyan on boats, along with high-tech weapons, having returned from fighting in Syria. The men were then apparently taken away in cars marked with army number plates. Ansaruallah.com links this to an ‘American plot’ to destabilise the south of Yemen.

‘Paedophile Gang’ Arrested in Sana’a:

Five men in Sana’a have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in a paedophile gang that targeted young children. The police said that many of the victims came forward, saying that they were sexually abused, and had photographs taken of them, and that these photographs were then used to blackmail their families. The men arrested are between the ages of 18 and 20 [Aden al-Ghad].

‘Religious Extremists’ in Aden Attack Youth:

Aden al-Ghad reports that religious extremists in Aden have attacked a group of activists last night in a popular cafe in the Crater district of the city, because the gathering involved a mixed group of men and women, and they believed that this was religiously forbidden. Fighting started between the religious extremists and various locals, and spilled out into the street. The ability of the religious extremists to act as a religious enforcement group is further evidence of the absence of the security forces in Aden.

Bizarre Story of the Day:

Traffic policemen use winch to help butcher lift up slaughtered bull.

Masdar Online released an image of the event, commenting on the fact that, at a time when dangerous traffic offences are increasing unpunished, the traffic police seem to be using their vehicles for things totally unrelated to their actual job.

Saudi Woman ‘Runs Away’ With Yemeni Man:

In news relating to the inherent attraction of Yemeni men, Mareb Press reports that Saudi woman, Bahr Abu Sakeena, ran away to Yemen with a Yemeni man, and has informed her family in Saudi that she does not want to return.

Briefs:

High level security meeting in al-Baydha after ‘al-Qaeda’ attacks [Masdar Online] … Land slides in Bani Hushaish; Agricultural terraces, houses, destroyed [Masdar Online] … Security source in Mahweet: Criminal gang of 19 caught after cooperation between tribesmen and police [Masdar Online] … Unknown gunmen kill man in al-Baydha [Aden al-Ghad] … Protests in Taiz succeed in bringing down the cost of dowries [Yemen Press]

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