YemenSource | Amran Ceasefire Agreement Breaks Down

Following months of sporadic fighting between Houthis and government forces in Yemen and several ceasefire agreements that have been broken, a planned ceasefire reached between Yemen’s defense ministry and Houthi rebels on June 22 failed to take affect after clashes shook the capital Sana’a.


Jamal Benomar and the Fine Art of Making Peace in Yemen
In their recent blog post on MENASource, Tik Root and Peter Salisbury profile the role of UN Envoy Jamal Benomar in Yemen’s tentative political transition: “Benomar, symbolic for many Yemenis of their country’s internationally-backed political transition, has become a focal point for the frustrations they feel with both the perceived lack of progress and the overt role played by outside powers in national politics since Saleh’s ouster. Even objective observers who are well acquainted with the enigmatic envoy’s way of doing business are not quite sure if his stint in Yemen will seal or tarnish his legacy”. In addition, Root and Salisbury anticipate that in the coming year, Benomar will have to work with significantly less political capital than in the past, flagging popularity in Yemen, and limited interest from the members of the UN Security Council. [MENASource, 6/17/2014]

The Houthis: From Saada to Sana’a
A new report by the International Crisis Group provides a comprehensive exploration of the Houthi issue in northern Yemen. In early 2014, Houthi rebels won a series of battles, in effect consolidating their control over Saada governorate on the border of Saudi Arabia. Emboldened by recent victories, the report suggests that Houthi rebels may overplay their hand and miss a chance to consolidate gains through compromise. At the same time, President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi’s government is at risk of being pulled into a conflict that it cannot win militarily. The report offers recommendations to President Hadi, UN Special Envoy Jamal Benomar, Houthi rebels, and to Yemeni political actors, in an effort to mitigate the current conflict. [International Crisis Group, 6/10/2014]

Yemen: A revolution in reverse
Peter Salisbury writes in Foreign Policy that festering frustration with the deteriorating security and feeble economy boiled over on June 10 with street protests and a heavy-handed security response. Despite attempts by President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi to rectify the situation by declaring a cabinet reshuffle, the fact remains that two and a half years after Saleh agreed to step down, Yemenis have seen little improvement in their day-to-day lives, leaving many yearning for the return of life before the Arab Spring and a strongman in Saleh’s mold. [Foreign Policy, 6/18/2014]


Appointment of new minister of oil and minerals
On June 17, President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi appointed a new Minister of Oil and Minerals – Hussein al-Rashid Jamal AlKaf. The announcement came days after Ahmad Abdulkader Shaie rejected his ministerial position. Sources say that Shaie rejected his appointment due to health reasons after President Hadi appointed him and several new ministers to his cabinet on June 10. [Al Masdar (Arabic), 6/17/2014]


Presidential Guards siege Saleh Mosque
On June 19, the General People’s Congress of Yemen (GPC) and state-run news agency Saba announced that an agreement had been reached between President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi and the GPC to end the six-day siege of Ali Abdullah Saleh Mosque. [Yemen Times, 6/17/2014, Al Masdar (Arabic), 6/19/2014]

Security forces capture local terrorist
Yemeni security forces captured a well-known local terrorist in al-Hadida province on Wednesday. The Interior Ministry stated that Abdulrahman Shoaib Mohjib, nicknamed Abu Musab al-Hadidi, participated in several terrorist operations in al-Hadida and other provinces, including breaking in CAC Bank in 2012, and kidnapping a South African citizen and his wife in 2013. The ministry considers Mohjib to be one of the most dangerous local terrorists in Yemen. [Sahafa (Arabic), Saba (Arabic), 6/18/2014]

Amran ceasefire agreement breaks down
Following months of sporadic fighting between Houthis and government forces in Yemen and several ceasefire agreements that have been broken, a planned ceasefire reached between Yemen’s defense ministry and Houthi rebels on June 22 failed to take affect after clashes shook the capital Sana’a. The ceasefire mandated a reshuffling of military and civilian leaders in areas affected by the fighting, and compensating slain Houthi supporters. One day prior to the breach, hundreds of Yemenis protested outside the presidential residence in Sana’a against the government’s inaction over the rebels advance on the capital. [Al Arabiya,  6/23/2014, Reuters and Al Masdar (Arabic) 6/23/2014]


OIC Foreign Ministers express solidarity with Yemen
Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced on Thursday their solidarity with Yemen and its people. The statement came during the 41st session of OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM). During the two-day session, OIC Foreign Ministers reviewed a wide range of issues concerning OIC’s member states. [Saba, 6/19/2014]


Yemeni president meets Southern Movement leaders
President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi met with the leaders of the Southern Movement in Sana’a on Sunday, including the founder of the movement, Nasser al-Noba. He discussed the steps his government has taken to address the southern issue in accordance with the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC). The president also indicated his commitment to addressing the officer’s grievances, particularly those who were wrongfully dismissed or forced to retire. [Al Masdar (Arabic), Saba, 6/23/2014]


Yemen report shows girls lagging behind
According to a new report launched by UNICEF and the Government of Yemen, girls in Yemen are disadvantaged in many ways. Many girls are forced into early marriages, fewer girls than boys are enrolled in school, very few women go on to become teachers, health staff, court officials, or police officers. The report also showed that adolescent females make up one in three maternal deaths, and that the lack of female medical staff in most health facilities reduces women’s access to these services. [Saba (Arabic), UNICEF, 6/17/2014]

300,000 displaced as a result of conflicts in Yemen
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Thursday that approximately 300,000 people have fled to refugee camps as a result of violent clashes between the Yemeni military and al-Qaeda in the Abyan and Shabwah governorates and Houthi militants in the Amran governorate. It also announced that over 230,000 Somali refugees also currently reside in Yemen. UNHCR added that approximately 87,000 refugees of them are in Sana’a and Aden. [Al Masdar (Arabic), 6/20/2014]

Human Rights Watch calls on Yemen to meet its commitments to the United Nations
On Sunday, Human Rights Watch called upon the Yemeni government to uphold the commitments it made during its rights review before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. These include ratifying the Rome Statute to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), establishing a commission of inquiry into rights violations committed during the 2011 uprising, and adopting measures to promote the equality of women. Nadim Houry, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, stated that the authorities need to deliver on these commitments to improve human rights protections for Yemenis. [Human Rights Watch, 6/23/2014]