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Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

Escalating violence may push Yemen towards civil war, warns UN human rights office

May 27, 2011 Comments off

un.org

Yemenis protesting against the government in Sana’a

27 May 2011 – The United Nations human rights office today voiced alarm at the escalating violence in Yemen, which it said may push the country to the brink of civil war, and called on the Government to stop its deadly crackdown.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it is trying to confirm reports it has received of dozens of civilian casualties, including women and children, in the fighting over the past few days, as well as reports of shelling by Government troops in residential areas.

The death toll has reportedly approached 100 since fighting began Monday after Yemen’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, refused for a third time to sign a deal to transfer power amid the pro-democracy protests that began earlier this year.

“The dangerous escalation of violence in Yemen over the past few days is very Read more…

Global Press Freedom at Lowest Level in More Than Decade

May 3, 2011 Comments off

voanews

Photo: Reuters
Journalists and activists participate in a rally calling for press freedom in central Ankara, Turkey, March 19, 2011 (file photo)

Freedom House, a U.S.-based group that monitors human rights around the world says the number of people with access to free and independent media has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade.  In its newly released annual survey, the group says several key countries saw significant declines last year and that only one-in-six people live in countries with a press designated as free.

In this year’s annual index of global media freedom of 196 countries and territories, Freedom House says it rated 68 as “free” and the remaining two thirds as “partly free” or “not free.”

Freedom House Senior Editor Karin Karlekar says this is roughly an even breakdown, but a closer look reveals a different picture. “If you look at the population statistics, they are much bleaker, only Read more…

Yemen crisis: Protesters keep up pressure on Saleh

April 25, 2011 Comments off

bbc

Thousands of anti-government protesters are standing their ground in the capital of Yemen, despite a deal that would see the president step down.

Protesters occupying a permanent camp in Sanaa say they don’t trust President Ali Abdullah Saleh to keep his promise to leave office.

Mr Saleh agreed on Saturday to hand over power to his deputy within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Protesters say he must go immediately.

There were fresh demonstrations in Sanaa and in other parts of the country on Sunday.

Witnesses say the protesters in Sanaa are ringed by army units that defected to join and protect them. Uniformed soldiers were seen chanting alongside the demonstrators and flashing victory signs.

At least 130 people have died during two months of protests inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world.

Despite the protesters concerns, a coalition of seven opposition parties has generally accepted the deal, brokered by the Gulf Read more…

Disease hits wheat crops in Africa, Mideast

April 22, 2011 Comments off

AFP

PARIS — Aggressive new strains of wheat rust disease have decimated up to 40 percent of harvests in some regions of north Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus, researchers said Wednesday.

The countries most affected are Syria and Uzbekistan, with Egypt, Yemen, Turkey, Iran, Morocco, Ethiopia and Kenya also hit hard, they reported at a scientific conference in Aleppo, Syria.

“These epidemics increase the price of food and pose a real threat to rural livelihoods and regional food security,” Mahmoud Solh, director general of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), said in a statement.

In some nations hit by the blight, wheat accounts for 50 percent of calorie intake, and 20 percent of protein nutrition.

“Wheat is the cornerstone for food security in many of these countries,” said Hans Braun, director of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), near Mexico City, singling out Syria.

“Looking at the political and social situation, what they don’t need is a food crisis,” he told AFP by phone.

Wheat rust is a fungal disease that attacks the stems, grains and especially the Read more…

Prepare for the Next Conflict: Water Wars

April 18, 2011 Comments off

huffingtonpost

Every minute, 15 children die from drinking dirty water. Every time you eat a hamburger, you consume 2400 liters of the planet’s fresh water resources — that is the amount of water needed to produce one hamburger. Today poor people are dying from lack of water, while rich people are consuming enormous amounts of water. This water paradox illustrates that we are currently looking at a global water conflict in the making.

We are terrifyingly fast consuming one of the most important and perishable resources of the planet — our water. Global water use has tripled over the last 50 years. The World Bank reports that 80 countries now have water shortages with more than 2.8 billion people living in areas of high water stress. This is expected to rise to 3.9 billion — more than half of Read more…

Authorities gun down protesters in Syria and Yemen

April 18, 2011 Comments off

http://www.dw-world

Thousands of mourners at a funeral in SyriaThousands of Syrians called for the ouster of President Assad, while Yemenis demanded their leader step down. In both countries, protesters were shot by security forces.

Thousands of Syrian mourners chanted slogans calling for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad at the funeral of a soldier killed during a recent clash between demonstrators and government troops.

Eyewitnesses and activists said at least two people were shot dead during an anti-government protest in central Syria. The actions could not be independently confirmed, but witnesses said gunmen wearing black clothes opened fire on hundreds of people gathered in the town of Talbiseh, north of Read more…

Moment of truth for Yemen

April 6, 2011 Comments off

reliefweb

 

“The shooting started from different buildings around the same time and continued for more than 30 minutes.”

An eyewitness describing to Amnesty International an attack on a protest camp in Sana’a on 18 March 2011 which reportedly left 52 people dead.

The first few months of 2011 have seen a rapid deterioration in the human rights situation in Yemen. The most shocking manifestation of this has been the brutal repression of protests calling for reform, and increasingly for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stand down, fuelled by frustration at corruption, unemployment and repression of freedoms in the country and partly inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt. Scores of protesters have been killed and hundreds injured after security forces have repeatedly used live ammunition to break up demonstrations.

The response of the authorities has been woefully inadequate. While investigations have been announced into some of the killings, they inspire little confidence. In some cases, almost no details have been made public about the nature and scope of the investigation. In others, information revealed about the nature of the investigating body raises serious questions about its ability to conduct thorough, independent and impartial investigations. As far as Amnesty International is aware, the judicial authorities have launched only one investigation – into the killings of protesters on 18 March. No judicial proceedings against members of the security forces are known to have been opened.

The track record of the authorities in investigating allegations of serious human rights violations by the security forces is very poor. Crucially, they have failed to adequately investigate reports of massive violations committed in the context of the unrest in the south Read more…

Officials: Yemen a Bigger Security Threat Than Libya

March 29, 2011 Comments off

 

WASHINGTON — As the United States spearheads the attack against Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi’s military assets, key former officials said an even bigger threat to U.S. national security comes from Yemen, a country that hosts many militants and is now enmeshed in a civil uprising that is threatening to unseat U.S.-backed President Ali Abdullah Saleh (see GSN, Feb. 10).

(Mar. 28) - Protesters on Tuesday chant slogans during a demonstration calling for an end to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule. Unrest in Yemen could threaten U.S. efforts to fight extremism in the country, key former officials said (Ahmad Gharabli/Getty Images).

Saleh has been a crucial American ally in combating al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that chief U.S. counterterrorism analyst Michael Leiter recently called the “most significant risk to the U.S. homeland” and the most poised to successfully attack American cities (see GSN, Dec. 21, 2010). Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and government officials said the current instability in Yemen appears likely to threaten already strained U.S. counterterrorism efforts and could provide new opportunities for AQAP to launch attacks.

“From a security standpoint, our interest in what happens in Yemen is much more significant than our interest in Libya,” Chertoff told National Journal. “In Libya it’s a humanitarian issue — there’s some security issue, but really, Yemen is a critical issue.”

Saleh’s three-decade rule appears to be hanging by a thread, as reports late on Thursday suggested that Saleh could resign “within days,” which would, albeit belatedly, meet protesters’ demands that he step down immediately.

Facing a public outcry, Saleh already promised that he would not seek another term in 2013. With the recent violence, he had reportedly been trying to time his Read more…

Yemen passes emergency laws to quell protests

March 24, 2011 Comments off

www.guardian

MPs back president’s move to suspend constitution, ban street protests and give security agencies greater powers of arrest

Yemeni MPs vote in favour of state of emergencyYemeni MPs raise their hands as they vote in favour of a state of emergency declared by the president. Photograph: Mohammad Huwais/AFP/Getty Images 

Yemen‘s parliament has approved a sweeping set of emergency laws giving broader powers of arrest and censorship to the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, despite growing calls from opponents demanding he quit to make way for a military-backed democratic transition.

The emergency law, last evoked during Yemen’s 1994 civil war, suspends the constitution, allows for greater media censorship, bans street protests and gives security agencies arbitrary powers to arrest Read more…

A First: Fully Armed Chinese Missile Frigate Spotted Off Libyan Coast

March 22, 2011 Comments off

shtfplan.com

Though China abstained from a UN Security Council vote authorizing a no-fly-zone in Libya, and are not among the 16 nation coalition involved in Operation Odyssey Dawn, for the first time in modern day naval history, a Chinese warship sailed in the Mediterranean Sea. The 4000 ton Xuzhou missile frigate sailed to Libya after being deployed of the coast of Yemen, on the other side of the Red Sea.

The missile frigate’s role is not exactly clear, but based on China’s position thus far it is not likely that the ship is part of the US, UK and French led attack. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s newspaper, earlier pointed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and criticized the US for launching a third attack “on a sovereign nation,” so the chances that China is providing assistance are slim. While China may be flexing some of its military might, they are more than likely in the area strictly to observe operations – for the time being.