The United Nations called on the international community on Monday to provide support for 14.7 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. “The scale of current needs makes Yemen one of the largest humanitarian emergencies globally,” said the UN humanitarian coordinator. The implementation of the 2014 humanitarian response plan requires $592 million, but until now only two percent of this amount has been financed, according to a communication officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sana’a. [Yemen Times, 3/20/2014]



Problems in Yemen’s transitional roadmap
Nadia al-Sakkaf acknowledges the long list of tasks to be completed in the next year before elections are held, and notes that “These problems are not new, but had to be pushed aside because of the risks facing the NDC. Now it’s time to deal with these problems before it is too late.”  She  writes that the implementing all these tasks, such as military restructuring, a new voter registry, and implementation of the 20+11 points to address Southern grievances, may be unrealistic in one year’s time and should be reconsidered. [Yemen Times, 3/24/2014]


Three years later, no justice for Sana’a protest killings
Amnesty International (AI) is calling on Yemen to bring justice those responsible for the “Day of Dignity” massacre and revoke the 2012 immunity law. On March 18, 2011, unidentified gunmen opened fire during a peaceful protest in Sana’a’s Change Square, killing fifty demonstrators and bystanders. Senior officials—including former President Ali Abdullah Saleh—have yet to be investigated or charged in connection with the killing, but are widely believed to be implicated. In Yemen, demonstrators are remembering the event with mock funeral processions as the government plans on distributing compensatory funds to victims families. [Amnesty, 3/18/2014]

Shura Council expanded from 111 to 221 members
Yemen’s Council of Representatives voted to increase the Shura Council’s seats from 111 members to 221. The Shura Council members are appointed, as opposed those elected for the Council of Representatives. Some representatives additionally called for reconsideration of the requirement that members be at least forty-years of age. [Aden al-Ghad (Arabic), 3/24/2014]

National dialogue members hold town hall meeting
Yemenis from around the country gathered at the Movenpick Hotel on Sunday to ask questions and share concerns about the National Dialogue Conference outcomes that are expected to shape the new country. Most questions and concerns centered around the country’s unemployment, the deteriorating economy, constant sabotage against oil and electricity infrastructure, violence in the north and the general security vacuum in the country, as well as a lack of services from the government. [Yemen Times, 3/18/2014]

Sheikhs meet to discuss Gulf spat; refuse secret meeting with Saleh
Tribal sources reported former President Ali Abdullah Saleh attempted to organize a meeting with sheikhs from the largest tribal confederations, the Hashid and Bakil, but the tribal leaders refused to attend. The meeting was to be held in secret during a broader dialogue in Sana’a about tension among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries related to the Muslim Brotherhood. Some sheikhs applauded the increased isolation of Qatar and the Saudi condemnation of the Houthis and Islah, a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. [Mareb Press (Arabic), 3/22/2014]

Rumors circulate that attorney general issues arrest warrant for Saleh
Following protests in front of his office Wednesday, reports began circulating that the attorney general had issued a warrant Thursday for the arrest of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and twelve other members of the former regime in connection with the 2011 “Day of Dignity” massacre. Though the report spread quickly through Yemeni press, subsequent reports claim that while the attorney general has launched a new investigation into the massacre, no warrants have been issued. Protesters in front of the attorney general’s office yesterday demanded that Saleh and his colleagues be tried for said crimes and furthermore called for the attorney general’s resignation for his failure to do so. [Sawha Net (Arabic), 3/20/2014]


Rumors that Southern leader Al-Beidh will retire to Oman are denied
Ali Salem al-Beidh, the former Vice President of Yemen and current leading figure of the Southern separatist movement, may retire according to a British newspaper. Fearing the threat of international sanctions, al-Beidh may move to Muscat, Oman and retire from political life apparently hoping to allow a new generation to take over. The information has been circulating in certain Southern media outlets, but an anonymous source close to the former Vice President denies rumors of his retirement, saying that he will “put down his weapon only when he achieves victory.” [Mareb Press (Arabic), 3/23/2014]

Gunmen kill twenty soldiers in Hadramawt security checkpoint attack
Suspected militants killed twenty members of Yemen’s security forces in a dawn raid on a checkpoint on Monday in an attack officials said bore the hallmarks of the local branch of al Qaeda. The Yemeni interior minister suspended senior security officials in the eastern province of Hadramout where the attack took place and ordered an immediate investigation. [Reuters, Al-Masdar (Arabic), 3/24/2014]

South Yemen suicide car bomb kills one
A suicide car bombing at a military intelligence headquarters in southern city of Aden  last Tuesday killed one person and wounded a dozen others. A security official believes al-Qaeda to be behind the attack. Elsewhere, in Shabwa province, three suspected al-Qaeda members–including a Saudi national–were killed on Sunday when a car bomb they were preparing detonated by accident. [Al Arabiya, 3/18/2014]


ISIS announces Yemen as starting point for invasion of Arabian Peninsula
The transnational jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) announced its intention to use Yemen as starting point for a takeover of the Arabian Peninsula. The group condemned the leaders of the Gulf states, and Middle East countries in general, as “apostates.” The groups also said that after it opens up a front in the Arabian Peninsula, it will follow with Persia. [Ibb Press (Arabic), 3/21/2014

Some Houthis near Sana’a vacate, while other refuse to leave
Implementation of a ceasefire in Hamdan, just east of Sana’a, has been impeded by some Houthi militants refusing to vacate as per the terms of the agreement. Though officials claim that over a thousand militants have vacated the area since the agreement, media outlets are reporting that many Houthi fighters are refusing to leave. The military has also set up checkpoints as militants are attempting to return. [Mareb Press (Arabic), Al-Masdar (Arabic),AFP; 3/19/2014

Tribal intermediaries make contact with kidnappers of South African
Abyan tribal mediators have made contact with al-Qaeda-linked militants currently holding South African hostage Pierre Korkie. A South African NGO helping to secure his release called on tribal assistance in February after kidnappers cut off contact with the group. The kidnappers refuse to speak directly to the foundation unless it hands over Anas Al-Hamati, the NGO’s representative in Yemen. They accuse Hamati of having stolen the ransom money they believe the South African government paid when it sent its deputy minister of foreign affairs, Ibrahim Ibrahim, to Yemen late January. Tribal mediators indicate that the militants are still seeking ransom money. [Yemen Times, 3/20/2014]


USAID, Yemen discuss support for Constitution Drafting Committee
USAID country director Herbie Smith met with Ahmed bin Mubarak, Secretary-General of the National Dialogue Conference, to discuss the United State’s technical support for Yemen’s Constitution Drafting Committee. [Saba, 3/19/2014]

UK ambassador comments on economic and political challenges
Jane Marriott, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Yemen, commented on a wide array of political issues in an interview with Gulf News. Talking about the Southern issue, she remarked that their key demands—jobs, infrastructure, and security—are identical to the demands of northerners, and that secession would not facilitate these demands. Marriott said economic reforms, like lifting fuel subsidies and cracking down on “ghost workers” are key steps to Yemen’s economic recovery, saying “the World Bank can free about $2.5 billion” a year with these reforms implemented. [Gulf News, 3/21/2014]

Benomar meets with Rashad members
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar met with members of the Salafist Rashad party to discuss the implementation of and adherence to the outcomes and conclusions of the National Dialogue Conference. The meeting was attended by the party’s secretary general, Abdulwahhab Homayqani, currently labeled by the US government as a terrorist for allegedly funneling money to al-Qaeda forces. [Hona Hadhramout (Arabic), 3/21/2014]

Saudi pressure allegedly behind military reshuffle
A recent presidential decree that appointed twenty military officers affiliated with the former regime to leadership positions is viewed by some as the result of Saudi pressure. The story was first reported in al-Quds al-Arabi due to comments made by a “military expert.” However, the story has since drawn criticism from media outlets linked to the Islah party, which says that bowing to Saudi pressure marks “the first step in the remaking of the old regime.” [Aden al-Ghad (Arabic), Mareb Press (Arabic), 3/19/2014]


Banana cultivation threatens water reserves
According to the ministry of agriculture and irrigation, the cultivation of bananas is consuming an inordinate amount of water to the point that it is posing a “major threat” to Yemen’s reserves, already suffering from shortages. Bananas cultivation makes up four percent of Yemen’s agricultural exports to the global market. [Al-Masdar (Arabic), 3/19/2014]

Diesel, propane shortage lead gas stations to shut down
Gas stations around the capital have had to shut down this week following increased shortages of diesel fuel and propane gas. The last severe diesel fuel shortage occurred in early November 2013, when thousands of drivers were forced to queue in front of gas stations across the country in order to buy diesel and propane. Diesel is available on the black market—for higher prices, according to a local taxi driver. Supplies of regular gasoline are also spotty, but more readily available than diesel fuel. [Yemen Times, 3/18/2014]