Saturday, December 11, 2010

YemenWatch: Saturday December 11, 2010

General James N. Mattis, head of US Central Command, is on his first visit to Yemen, to discuss security issues and "understand the Yemeni viewpoint."

Yemen spends about 40% of its budget fighting terrorism.

Saudi Arabia is funding some Yemeni tribes in an effort to fight AQAP.  It seems to be somewhat effective, but it's also undermining the actual state of Yemen.  And the tribes near the border may be smuggling too.

The UAE lifted its ban on Yemeni air freight.

An appeals court upheld the sentences of 7 AQAP members.  They were arrested in October of last year.

An AQAP member who helped bomb the USS Cole in 2000 and was reported as dead in Pakistan, is now reported as alive in Shabwa province.  It isn't unusual for terrorists to die and live again in Yemen, but this time it looks like even the US may have thought he was dead.


The man accused of bombing the Al-Wahdah sports club in Aden in October was sentenced to death.  His brother received jail time and 3 other suspects were acquitted.  The announcement set off protests and 7 policemen were kidnapped.

Eight people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the qat market bombing on Wednesday.  (It just occurred to me that many of you may not know what qat is.  Here's the wikipedia article on it.)

More on the election mess in Yemen.

Yemen and Somalia are discussing their relationship.  Yemen just arrested about 80 Somali refugees, and another 50 went to a refugee camp in Yemen.  And on Wednesday 2 Yemeni fishermen were killed by Somali pirates.

A riot at a prison in Taiz province ended with 2 prisoners dead from smoke inhalation.

According to the Yemen News Agency, the US and Yemen discussed information and journalism, and even exchanging journalists:
He [the Information Minister] noted to the new law and its freedom guaranty of the press via prohibiting and preventing the imprisonment of journalists.
Gee, it's nice to have those laws, now if they would only abide by them.  If you've been reading the YemenWatch posts, you know that journalists have been arrested and jailed.

You just gotta love government news agencies.  The Yemen one has a great quote from the head of a Yemeni tourism delegation to Oman:
Dispelling fears that Yemen is prone to internal strife, Abdul-Wahab said, “It is the creation of Western media and Yemen is more safe than the West. It is a peaceful country and the peaceful conduct of the Gulf Cup held in Yemen points out to this".
Yes, the Gulf Cup went off without a hitch.  So forget the bombings that took place before it, or the bombing and bomb materials found in Sana'a this past week.

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