Wandering in Yemen

Yemeni Press Round-Up 23/10/13

Father Burns Daughter, 15, to Death for Talking to Fiance:

The Ministry of Interior has said that a 35 year old man set his daughter on fire, because he discovered she was communicating with her fiance. The 15 year old girl has died of her injuries, and the father has been arrested. What kind of backward thinking can lead a man to kill his own daughter for talking to her fiance? Any ‘dishonour’ lies squarely at the feet of a man who set his own daughter on fire [Masdar Online].


An official in the Ministry of Electricity told Masdar Online that the Marib Power Station was almost fully operational after repair works were undertaken following an attack on Monday morning. The engineers had to negotiate with a ‘Mohammed Ali Sarhan’ before they were able to repair the damage. So, government, anyone planning on arresting this Mohammed Ali Sarhan guy?

In other electricity related news, a report in the state daily al-Thawra says that Yemenis are spending 4 million Riyals on candles and other alternative light sources.

Kalfoot, or Not Kalfoot?

This week, some Yemeni media outlets were reporting that a ‘Kalfoot’ had been arrested with his gang in Mahweet, and then brought to Sana’a by the security forces by helicopter. Many Yemenis rejoiced, believing this Kalfoot to be the man who has tormented Yemenis with his annoying OCD habit of not being able to go past electricity pylons or oil pipelines without firing RPG’s at them.

Well, not quite.

Masdar Online investigated, and reveal that this Kalfoot is an entirely different guy. Kalfoot of destroying infrastructure fame’s real name is Mohammed Hassan al-Aji, and was famously interviewed by Azal TV, who then went along with him as he blew up an oil pipeline. What a scoop.

Gangster Kalfoot, on the other hand, is Hamad Ahmed al-Waili, and had robbed a money exchange store of 145,000 Saudi Riyals.

Riot at Political Security Prison:

A lawyer at HOOD, the Yemeni human rights organisation, told Masdar Online that there has been a riot at the notorious Political Security prison in Sana’a.

Abdulrahman Barman said that a high ranking officer, Mohammed al-Numeili, was injured after being attacked by a prisoner. A soldier and 4 prisoners were also injured in the ensuing fighting, and riot police were called into the prison to put down the riot.

Barman said that the families of the prisoners had said that they had been banned from visiting the prisoners, and that this may be the reason for the riot.

For their part, the official military paper 26 September, says that the prisoners who caused the trouble were members of al-Qaeda.

Prisoner Found Hanged in Aden:

Marwan Ismael was found hanged in his cell at an Aden police station, according to Aden al-Ghad. It is unknown whether his death is a result of suicide or if other parties were involved.

Southern Issue:

Mareb Press have this interesting report on the choices facing the South.

Meanwhile, NDC Herak delegate Badr Ba Salma said that the Herak had given up a seat on the 8+8 committee to the Socialist Party in recognition of the role that they were playing in supporting the Southern Issue [Mareb Press].

Aden al-Ghad reports that the Southern People’s Congress is currently having a meeting to finalise its position towards the National Dialogue Conference.

Aden al-Ghad also reports that former Yemeni Minister for Religious Endowments, Hamoud al-Hattar, has said that the Presidency sends 30 million Riyals to the Herak on a monthly basis. He tweeted sarcastically: ‘After the first of the NDC’s goals was achieved, in saving the Movenpick Hotel from bankruptcy, the Hadi-Ben Ali Herak are now demanding that the dialogue be moved to another hotel.’

Separately, Yemen Press reports that Hadhrami Islahi NDC delegate Salah Ba Tees explained that the call for a federal state comprising of Hadhramaut, al-Mahra, and Socotra, came after the call at the NDC for a Southern state was dropped.

Aden Oil Strikes:

Sources told Aden al-Ghad that the head of the Aden Oil Company, Abdelsalam Saleh Hameed, has sent in members of the Security Forces to put down the strikes at the company.

Tawakkol Karman: Interior Minister Should Be Tried for High Treason:

Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman has declared, on her Facebook page, that the Interior Minister, Abdelqader Qahtan, should be tried for high treason because of the security situation in the country. High treason? Bit harsh [Yemen Press].


40 couples get married in a joint ‘qat-free’ wedding in al-Makha (Mocha) [Masdar Online] … Hadhramaut: IED diffused in market; 4 prisoners escape in Eastern Deis [Masdar Online] … Saudi preacher Salman al-Owdah says Syrian chemical weapons could find their way to Yemen [Mareb Press] … Hadi orders Aden governor to prevent a plan to take land from 14th October newspaper [Aden al-Ghad] … Cultural festival in Yafi’ begins [Aden al-Ghad] … Popular committee in Lawdar arrests man carrying IED [Aden al-Ghad] … Houthi celebrations expected tonight in honour of Shia festival Eid al-Ghadeer [Yemen Press]


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