Monday, June 28, 2010

Agreement between Yemeni government and Houthis is not working

Abdulmalik al-Houthi, leader of the Shia rebels in the northern governorate of Saada (see picture) , has accused the government of reneging on amnesty promises made by President Ali Abdullah Saleh on 22 May. Saleh had announced an amnesty for all imprisoned southern separatists and Houthi rebels in the north during a speech to commemorate unification in 1990. 
"Instead of releasing our fellow citizens in line with President Saleh's amnesty, security authorities in the government are launching new arrest campaigns against our men," al-Houthi said in a statement on 22 June.
According to local media reports, fewer than 800 of the more than 3,000 prisoners believed to be covered by the amnesty have been released.
Asked why the government had not released all of the prisoners under the amnesty, Interior Ministry official Lutfi Nisari said only: "This is a presidential affair." A security source told IRIN on condition of anonymity the government had only released minor offenders, such as those who had sympathized with al-Houthi, but continued to detain those accused of violent acts against the state. “Gunmen arrested on battlegrounds or masterminds of the rebellion will be referred to the competent courts for trial,” he said. 

Eyewitnesses hve given accounts of several fights that have killed dozends in the last few months since the ceasefire. Also roadblocks (on both sides' persist. Internally dipsced persons,m who had retruned to their homes have been force to floee again for the fightig, Irin reported. 
 Southerners demonstrate

The north is not the only region where the problem have not been solved. In the south police made 30 arrests in the aftermath of tha attack on 19 June on the headquarters of the security services in the provincial capital Aden. The authorities said the 30 belonged to Al-Qaeda. Local sources with ties to the southern separatist movement, however, said that the 30 had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda but were randomly arrested because they belonged to the secessionists. On Friday there were demonstrations in Aden after one of those arrested died. Police said the cause of his death was an attack of asthma. According to the protesters he died because of wounds that were inflicted when he was tortured.
Within the secessionist movement opposition was voiced against Salem al-Beidh, former president of the former republic of Southern Yemen. Al-Beidh, who resides in Germany, is head of the Supreme Southern Movement Council SSMC. The head of a different movement, the Supreme Southern Council (SSC), Hasaan Ba Awn, accused Al-Beidh to have been the reasons that four protesters in Lahj and Al-Dhale losttheir lives recently. Al-Beidh supported  violent means of protest which in turn caused violent reprisals by the army, was what Ba Awn said.
In  the Egyptian capital Cairo a meeting has taken place of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) the coalition of Yemeni oppostion parties. Organizer and financier was Hamid al-Ahmar, the leader of the biggest tribal association of Yemen, but he himself did not attend. One of the points discussed was the question whether the opposition is serious in trying to find an alternative for president Ali Abdallah Saleh. Al-Ahmar said in a statement that he himself can´t be a candidate, because Al-Saleh is from the same tribe, which would undermine the credibility of such a move. He suggested to pick someone from the south.   


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