Yemen’s national unity government announced that it will be issuing an apology for the 1994 civil war with the south and the six wars in Saada.


Beblawi appoints new ministers; full Cabinet to swear in Wednesday
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced early Monday evening he would finalize his selection of ministers by Tuesday, and they would be sworn in to his cabinet on Wednesday at the latest. Some of the newly appointed ministers—which so far exclude Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist figures—have already sparked controversy. [Mada Masr, 7/15/2013]

Seven killed in overnight clashes in Egyptian capital
Seven people were killed and 261 were injured in clashes that erupted late on Monday and continued until the early hours of Tuesday, a medical source said. A statement by the health ministry said that 137 cases have been dismissed from the local hospitals where they were admitted while 124 still require medical attention. Clashes erupted on Monday in Ramsis Square, on the Sixth of October Bridge and by Cairo University in Cairo as well as in a neighborhood in Giza. [Aswat Masriya, AP, Reuters, Egypt Independent, DNE Photo Essay, 7/16/2013]

US can avoid cutting aid to Egypt in several ways
The White House has made clear it is in no hurry to cut off US aid to Egypt now, or perhaps at all, despite the military’s role in toppling Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, and it has several options to avoid doing so. These range from putting off a decision on whether Morsi’s ouster constituted a military coup, which would trigger a cut-off under US law, to finding that a military coup took place but winning authority from congress to keep the money flowing. [Reuters, 7/15/2013]

High-powered Egypt economic team heartens investors
Egypt’s new military-backed administration has pleased investors by appointing experienced economic policy makers to a cabinet whose cohesion will be sorely tested in the coming months. Over the past few days, trained economists and technocrats have been given key ministerial posts in the government that is replacing the administration of president Mohamed Morsi, deposed nearly two weeks ago in a move that polarized Egyptian society. [Reuters, 7/16/2013]

Air force colonel shot dead in eastern Libyan city
A Libyan air force colonel was shot dead in the eastern city of Derna, an area plagued by attacks on security officials, a military spokesman said on Tuesday. Assailants shot Colonel Fathi al-Omami on Monday evening after the breaking of fast during Ramadan. Derna is known across the region as a significant recruitment centre for militant fighters who joined the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. [Reuters, 7/16/13]

GNC Deputy President Ateega quits
Deputy President of the General National Congress (GNC) Juma Ateega announced his resignation, citing “personal, subjective and health reasons.” Ateega was elected GNC deputy in August 2012. Following the resignation of Congress President Mohamed Margarief on May 28 this year, Ateega became acting head of the GNC, a role he held until June 25. [Libya Herald, 7/16/13]

Zidan: Government finances open, transparent, and available for inspection
Responding to criticisms of his government’s lack of achievement despite the funds available to him, Prime Minister Ali Zidan said that his government’s finances are “open, transparent, and available for inspection.” He implied that the budget set for his government was limited and insufficient and said that the General National Congress was late in approving the budget. Zidan defended his decision to seek foreign training of Libya’s security forces, saying local efforts had been unsuccessful, and iterated his plan to raise wages in 2014 for those in the army and police forces. He also explained that unwarranted controversy created by his government’s earlier decree to create a National Guard was the reason for its repeal. [Libya Herald, 7/16/13]

Congress bloc demands $100 million gift for Syrian revolution
The Martyrs’ Loyalty Bloc in the General National Congress (GNC) demanded that fellow GNC members support the Syrian revolution, including giving $100 million in aid. The members called for recognition of the Syrian Coalition and called for the Syrian embassy in Tripoli to be used to help displaced people and to support the Syrian community in Libya. [Libya Herald, 7/15/13]

Pro-Assad militia kills Syrian reconciliation team in Homs
Gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shot dead at least six mediators sent to try to reconcile warring sectarian groups in the province of Homs, where people on opposing sides in Syria’s war had until now been able to coexist, residents said on Tuesday. The negotiators were from the National Reconciliation Committee, which the government set up to foster talks in a two-year conflict that has taken more than 100,000 lives. [Reuters, 7/16/2013]

Syria coalition plans council to hasten rebel restructuring
Syria’s opposition coalition wants to create a ten-person executive council to reorganize disparate rebel factions into a structured army with adequate financing and weapons, one of its senior members said on Monday. In an interview in Paris, veteran dissident Michel Kilo said the coalition aimed to elect the executive council at its general assembly in the next month. Its members would act as quasi-ministers and would be based within zones under rebel control in Syria and in border areas, he said. [Reuters, 7/15/2013]

Iran: Ramadan ceasefire in Syria ‘desirable’
Iran said Tuesday it would welcome ceasefire between rebel forces and the Syrian government during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, reiterating that a national dialogue was the only way to resolve the crisis. Iran’s backing for ceasefire came as Syria’s opposition National Coalition called for international pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for a truce in the besieged central city of Homs during Ramadan. [Daily Star/AFP, 7/16/2013]

General debate on draft constitution ends
The National Constituent Assembly held Monday a plenary session chaired by Second Deputy-President Larbi Abid to close debate on the draft constitution. Several deputies were unanimous in stating the draft must be improved, specifically on issues pertaining to Islam, the independence of the judiciary, transitional provisions, and the division of power among government branches. [TAP, 7/16/2013]

Ennahda politician accused of inciting violence
During a rally organized by the ruling Ennahda party Saturday in support of Mohamed Morsi, the head of Ennahdha party’s caucus at the National Constituent Assembly, Sahbi Atig, delivered a statement that many are calling incitement to violence. Referring to those who oppose political legitimacy, Atig said, “whoever kills the will of the people will be killed in the streets of Tunisia.” Leaders from both opposition and ruling Troika parties criticized his speech. [Tunisia Live, 7/15/2013]

National Constituent Assembly member resigns in protest of draft constitution
Ahmed Khaskhousi, a member of the National Constituent Assembly from Ettakatol, announced his resignation Monday during the body’s closing session in protest of the draft constitution. While apologizing to the Tunisian people, Khaskhoussi expressed his rejection of the current draft, which he said is “full of hoaxes” and does not represent all Tunisians. [Tunis Times, 7/16/2013]

Marzouki confers with political parties, seeks compromises
President Moncef Marzouki conferred Monday with leaders of various political parties, notably the People’s Movement and Democratic Alliance, regarding the tense political situation in the country and to seek ways to speed up the end of the transition period. Party leaders expressed their objection to the government’s support for Egypt’s deposed president, but agreed on the need to finish the draft constitution. [TAP, 7/15/2013]

UN launches $700 million appeal; AFESD finances $204 million agreements
The United Nations today appealed for $702 million to help more than 7 million Yemenis gain access to food, clean water, healthcare and other vital services, as two years of unrest and instability have led to a “near collapse” of basic services in the country. Meanwhile, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) signed three agreements worth $204 million to fund projects as part of its pledges during the Riyadh conference. Funding includes $35 million for reconstructing affected areas in Abyan, $63 million for Aden teaching hospital, and $106 million for Sanaa-Hodeida highway. [Saba, UN News Center, 7/16/2013]

National unity government preparing to issue apology for south and Saada wars
The national unity government announced that it will be issuing an apology for the 1994 civil war with the south and the six wars in Saada. Some factions in the north object to the idea of an apology to the south, while others in the south demand that President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Ali Mohsen personally apologize as they played a significant role in the war effort. Preparations for an apology comes after President Hadi called on the unity government to implement national dialogue confidence-building measures and the southern working in the National Dialogue Conference suspended its meetings until the confidence-building measures are implemented. [Al-Tagheer, 7/16/2013]  

Kidnapped Dutch journalist demands action, fears being killed
A video has gone online in which kidnapped Dutch journalist Judith Spiegel and her partner appeal for help, saying they may be shot within ten days. She and Boudewijn Berendsen were taken from their home in the capital in the second week of June. Yemeni journalist Ahmad al-Zurqa believes the abductors are motivated by profit, as is usually the case with kidnappings in Yemen, and the video is an attempt to pressure both the Dutch and Yemeni authorities to pay a ransom. [Radio Netherlands, 7/16/2013]

NDC Presidency: As planned, conference to conclude on September 18
The National Dialogue Conference (NDC) presidency released a statement on Tuesday stating that the conference will conclude according to schedule on September 18, 2013. the presidency also encouraged outside and unofficial meetings among NDC members and political representatives which serve the conference’s aims and objectives. [NDC, 7/16/2013]

Twenty-eight wounded Syrians expelled from north Lebanon hospital; Lebanon to work with World Bank to manage aid
A number of wounded Syrian refugees were expelled from a hospital in north Lebanon Sunday over a dispute between an aid organization and the hospital’s management, the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Affairs Office said. Lebanon is working with the World Bank to manage donor aid to assist the government and United Nations agencies with the influx of Syrian refugees, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Monday. The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon topped 600,000 last week, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. [Lebanon Daily Star, 7/16/2013]

Lebanese parliament meeting canceled again due to lack of quorum
For the second time in a row Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament and Amal party leader Nabih Berri adjourned the parliament session due to lack of quorum. Only Hezbollah, Amal, and National Struggle Front bloc members of parliament attended the session. The rest, including Michel Aoun’s members of parliament, boycotted it. The controversial agenda includes the extension of the term of army chief General Jean Kahwaji in addition to another forty-five draft laws. [Ya Libnan, 7/16/2013]

Kerry to visit Jordan; Mideast peace on the agenda
US Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss his efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with Arab officials in Jordan on Wednesday, according to the State Department, which declined to comment on whether a resumption may be at hand. Kerry will leave Washington on Monday night to fly to Amman to see officials from Jordan and the Arab League. A Palestinian official told Reuters in Ramallah that President Mahmoud Abbas would see Kerry in Amman on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss Kerry’s drive to resume peace talks. [Reuters, Jordan Times 7/16/2013]