YemenSource | New Model for Yemen’s Interior Ministry

Yemen’s interior ministry, in an attempt to fill leadership roles, is experimenting with a new way of vetting and promoting officers to senior posts, one not prone to cronyism or other forms of corruption. An evaluation committee has been formed to assess applications. As part of the process, applicants are required to submit an autobiography and a vision for the division or organization that he wants to manage. The committee will evaluate the application, prioritizing the candidates’ effectiveness and competence. Candidates are also required to have fifteen years of experience in the security services, and must be at the rank of colonel. [Mareb Press (Arabic), Al-Masdar (Arabic); 4/8/2014]



What Yemen’s Youth Got Out of the National Dialogue Conference by Rafat al-Akhali
Al-Akhali analyzes the outcomes of the NDC to assess whether it successfully addressed the political demands of Yemen’s youth that initiated the 2011 uprising. While recognizing that while many of the outcomes show progress on paper, Al-Akhali notes that Yemeni youth lack trust and confidence in the government’s capacity to implement them. [MENASource, 4/14/2014]

The Repercussions of the GCC Tension in Yemen by Khaled Fattah
The falling out within the Gulf Cooperation Council between Qatar and its neighbors has further complicated Yemen’s political transition, argues Fattah. Qatar is a frequent mediator in Yemen’s local conflicts, but Saudi Arabia represents a long standing strategic relationship on the other. Fatteh warns that beyond Doha or Riyadh’s influence, regional security is at stake and the two countries should “be on the same page” on recognizing the collective importance of ensuring Yemen’s transition. [Sada Journal, 4/8/2014]

Ministry of Apathy by Catherine Shakdam
Shakdam profiles Yemen’s newest Minister of Interior Major General Abdo al-Tarab and the waves he has made since his appointment. After only two months, “some change is already visible,” says Shakdam, though much work remains to be done. [Majalla, 4/9/2014]

How to Stabilise Yemen by Alastair Sloan
Sloan calls for scrutiny into US drone program arguing that “they provide a short-term fix, but long-term they radicalise more Yemenis.” The answer to security and stability in Yemen, he argues, is addressing economic issues and building civil institutions to strengthen the rule of law. [Al-Jazeera, 4/10/2014]


Hadi denounces Houthis
President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi accused the Houthis of working with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in order to abort the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC). The remarks apparently came during meetings with representatives of Socotra and Mahra provinces. Hadi accused the Houthis of attempting to derail the NDC, and having failed that effort have now resorted to “other attempts” to derail the political process, clearly pointing to the expanding conflict in the north. [Al-Masdar (Arabic), 4/14/2014]

Yemen launches anti-corruption campaign
Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights has kicked off a campaign to raise awareness about the impact of corruption on Yemen’s future, security, and economy. The campaign, which began in Sana’a and will be rolled out in cities across the country this year, describes the fight against corruption as a patriotic and religious duty. It includes billboards warning of the dangers of corruption and the need to combat it. [Al-Shorfa, 4/10/2014]

Thousands march against Yemen government
Thousands of Yemenis staged fresh rallies on Sunday in the capital Sanaa, demanding the formation of a new national unity government. Demonstrators marched to the Finance Ministry headquarters, shouting slogans accusing the government of failing to provide security amid continuing attacks on security officials. They also called on the government to guarantee the provisions of basic goods and services, especially petroleum and diesel fuel. In a statement, the February 11 Movement protest organizers urged donor countries to suspend aid to the incumbent government, accusing the latter of corruption. [World Bulletin, 4/14/2014]

Prison suicide highlights poor prison conditions
A prisoner held in Ibb Central Prison committed suicide in his cell last Thursday, prompting concerns over Yemen’s prison conditions. Another inmate who also attempted suicide claimed mistreatment led to the attempt. While the director admits that the prison conditions are poor, he says that the deceased’s circumstances were no different from those of other prisoners in the country. The head of HOOD, a human rights NGO, said that bribery plays major roles in prison mismanagement, determining which prisoners get services and which are ignored. [The Yemen Times, 4/8/2014]


Cabinet approves of abolishing verdicts against Southern leaders
The cabinet approved a draft law that would abolish all verdicts levied against Southerners for charges related to the 1994 civil war. The law explicitly paves the way for leaders living in exile to return home as well. Finally the draft law forms a committee to address “material and moral rights and issues” stemming from this law. The law will now be sent to the House of Representatives for final approval. [Aden Post (Arabic), 4/11/2014]

Hadi announces inauguration of Mukalla as capital of Hadramawt region
Following a meeting over the weekend with leaders from Mahra and Socotra provinces, President Hadi announced the inauguration of Mukalla as the capital of Hadramawt region to be held on April 30. Hadi’s meeting included former governors, youth representatives, and other civil society advocates. The representatives voiced political demands concerning the internal and external border of the province, as well as issues concerning development. Hadi in turn, pointed to expert opinions regarding the efficiency and benefits of the six-region federal system. [Al-Masdar (Arabic), 4/14/2014]

Benomar reportedly to assist in peace efforts in Hadramawt
UN Special Envoy Jamal Benomar will assist the Yemeni government in negotiation with the Hadramawt Tribal Alliance, a Saudi newspaper reports. The government and the tribesmen have been at loggerheads since the December 2013 killing of a Sheikh and his guards at a security checkpoint. An arbitration agreement promised a billion rials to the tribes, the alliance’s spokesman claims that not only has the money not been delivered, but the people of Hadramawt’s “legitimate demands” have not been addressed. [Mareb Press, 4/14/2014]

Popular committees threaten to stop cooperating with army in Abyan
The Popular Committees in Abyan province demanded that the government take charge of the security locations and checkpoints that the former has been in control of since 2011 when they took up arms to drive al-Qaeda out of the area. In February, the Popular Committees demanded that government and military officially conscript their 6,100 members and supply them with adequate weapons to confront al-Qaeda militants. According to the committees’ spokesman, their representatives met with the security authorities on Tuesday, but the latter did not take their demands seriously. Some fear that the Popular Committees’ withdrawal could lead to al-Qaeda’s returning to the territory. [The Yemen Times, 4/10/2014]


Two Saudi guards killed in Yemen border attack, ministry says
Two Saudi soldiers were killed by unidentified gunmen who fired on them from across the border with Yemen, the Saudi interior ministry said Thursday. A border guard patrol in the southwestern Saudi province of Asir “came under heavy gunfire on Wednesday morning from unknown sources inside Yemeni territory,” said the ministry. Saudi authorities were coordinating with their Yemeni counterparts to investigate the attack. Another Saudi guard was killed in a separate shooting on Monday morning at the Yemeni border, allegedly by smugglers, though the investigation was ongoing.. [AFP, 4/10/2014]

Clashes erupt in Amran between army and Houthi militants
Three soldiers were killed on Wednesday in renewed clashes between the army and Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen’s northern Amran province. A Houthi leader and six of his companions were also killed in the violence, according to local sources. The violence broke out when Houthi militants tried to set up military checkpoints at the province’s entrances. A new report by a local NGO and a youth commission claims that in the past four months 226 people have been killed in conflicts between Houthi and tribal militants. [al-Masdar (Arabic), World Bulletin; 4/10/2014]


UN agencies provide support to Yemen for transitional justice law
Yemen’s Legal Affairs Minister Mohammed Al-Mikhlafi met with the resident coordinator for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss Yemen’s transition, specifically a draft law concerning transitional justice. Mikhlafi said that the ministry has been revising the law in accordance with the National Dialogue Conference resolutions. They also agreed to host a regional transitional justice conference in Sana’a soon. [Saba News, 4/11/2014]

Yemen, Saudi Arabia discuss cooperating in petroleum sector
Minister of Oil and Minerals Khalid Bahah discussed cooperation in the sector of oil and gas with the Saudi chargé d’affaires, Dr. Haza’a al-Metari. Al-Metari assured that the Kingdom would make efforts to develop the investment activities between the two countries in various fields, including the oil and gas industry and encouraging companies for joint investment between the two countries. [Saba News, 4/8/2014]

UN sanction panel members revealed
According to sources in the United Nations, four experts have been tapped as members on the sanctions panel charged with targeting spoilers in Yemen’s transition process including: Carmela Bühler, a Swiss international humanitarian law expert; Simon David Goddard, a British financial expert; Alma Abdulhadi Jadallah, a Jordanian regional expert; and Mohamed-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, an expert on armed groups and former minister of foreign affairs for Mauritania. [Al-Masdar (Arabic), 4/8/2014]


UNOCHA warns of humanitarian impact from Houthi-tribal conflict
The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released its monthly humanitarian update for March 2014. It noted the de-escalation of conflict in Al-Dali’ province as an accord was reached between Southern separatists and the local military, though warned of further deterioration of the situation in Amran province as Houthi-tribesmen conflict continued to result in internally displaced peoples. UNOCHA cited nearly 13,500 Yemenis as “newly displaced.” [UNOCHA, 4/6/2014]

Yemen infrastructure investment aims to stimulate the economy
In its 2014 budget, Yemen allocated more than half a trillion rials towards infrastructure projects in a bid to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities. About 591.2 billion rials ($2.8 billion) was allocated for infrastructure projects out of the overall budget of 2.88 trillion rials ($13.4 billion). [Al-Shorfa, 4/10/2014]

Yemen’s oil revenue falls by more than half in February
Revenue from oil exports was $214.8 million in January and $210 million in February a year ago to $89.4 million last in February 2014. The central bank report said on Tuesday that attacks on the pipeline in February had also led to a cut in oil production to 800,000 barrels, compared with 1.8 million barrels in February 2013. Yemen had to import 1.4 million barrels of petroleum products worth $238.7 million in February to help cover its local needs. [Reuters, 4/9/2014]

Government pledge not to lift fuel subsidies met with skepticism
Though an official recently denied rumors that the government intended to lift fuel subsidies, many Yemenis remains skeptical that they will remain in place. The head of the Economic Studies Media Center said that the government would not be able to live up to its pledges to maintain fuel subsidies, citing a recent claim by the finance minister that the budget deficit stands at an estimated $1.5 billion. He also emphasized that donor countries insist that Yemen lift its oil subsidies. Economic analysts expect that the abolition of fuel subsidies would result in the doubling of the cost of a liter of petrol. [Yemen Times, 4/8/2014]