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Yemen

  |  30 Apr 2015

Deteriorated

Saudi Arabia 21 April announced end to five-week air campaign against Huthis and security forces aligned with former President Saleh. Both Saudi and Huthi actions suggest preparing for long fight: Huthi leader, Abdulmalik al-Huthi 19 April refused to surrender; Saudi-led air attacks ongoing, intensifying in southern and western provinces, bombed Sanaa airport late-month. Naval and air blockade to stop Huthis from resupplying still in place, preventing food, medical supplies and other products entering country; Huthis preventing aid convoys from entering Aden. ICRC said humanitarian situation catastrophic; UNOCHA estimated over 300,000 displaced. UNSC 14 April imposed arms embargo on Huthis and allied military units. Iranian-dispatched ships reportedly bound for Yemen turned around 23 April; U.S. dispatched two additional warships to Yemeni waters, reportedly to deter arms shipments to Huthis. UNSG Ban 25 April appointed Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as Yemen special envoy to replace Jamal Benomar, who left post amid criticisms from Gulf countries. Al-Qaeda 3 April captured govt buildings, freed prisoners and looted central bank in Al-Mukalla, Hadramout.

Yemen

  |  1 Apr 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Violence increased as tensions tipped over into all-out war and UN human rights chief Zeid warned country “on the verge of total collapse”. Saudi Arabia and ten other (mostly Arab, Sunni) countries 26 March launched “operation decisive storm”, countrywide air campaign against Huthis and allied military units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh; goal is to restore President Hadi’s govt, but operation risks pulling Yemen further into Saudi-Iranian regional struggle, augmenting sectarian divides, closing any hope of negotiated political solution. Political crisis continued to deepen as violence overtook UN-brokered negotiations. Fighting broke out in earnest between Hadi and forces associated with Huthis and former President Saleh in Aden 19 March. Huthis 19-20 March bombed presidential residence in Aden, moved northern military units and other forces southwards. Clashes ongoing between Hadi-aligned groups in Aden, backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, and Huthi/Saleh forces. Over 40 refugees killed in air raid on refugee camp in Haradh area near Saudi border 31 March. Al-Qaeda 18 March assassinated Abulkarim al-Khaywani, journalist and liberal voice within Huthi movement; 20 March captured security and local govt buildings in southern Lahj governorate. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) claimed responsability for 20 March suicide bombings on Zaydi mosques in Sanaa that killed over 130.

Yemen

  |  2 Mar 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Political crisis deepened as Huthis moved to fill void left by late Jan resignation of President Hadi and govt: Huthi leaders 6 Feb announced establishment of revolutionary council, high security committee and parliamentary body charged with electing presidential council. Move triggered immediate international and domestic condemnation: several foreign embassies suspended operations and evacuated diplomats including U.S., EU, UK, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and UAE; all political parties rejected declaration, anti-Huthi protests grew in Sanaa and central provinces. UNSC 15 Feb called on Huthis to relinquish control of state institutions, release president and ministers from house arrest; GCC countries lobbying for diplomatic isolation argued UNSC resolution should have allowed for enforcement under UN Charter’s Chapter Seven. UN 20 Feb brokered agreement on creating transitional council; President Hadi next day escaped Sanaa for southern city of Aden: issued statement reasserting his authority as president, accusing Huthis of coup d’état and calling on body created to oversee implementation of national dialogue outcomes to meet in Aden or Taiz; fears move could further accelerate conflict, territorial disintegration. Groups in several southern and western governorates declared autonomy from Sanaa, many actively prepared to resist Huthis; battle lines increasingly taking sectarian overtones, pitting Shafai (Sunni) areas against Huthis. Popular committees in Aden, funded by Hadi but with unclear loyalties, 16 Feb clashed with govt Special Security Forces allegedly affiliated with Huthis and/or former President Saleh: seized key areas including city’s port, intelligence HQ and other state buildings. Huthis advanced against al-Qaeda (AQAP) in Baydah province, dozens reported killed 14 Feb; AQAP 12 Feb captured military base in Shebwa province. U.S. drone strikes continued including four killed in Baydah 2 Feb.

Yemen

  |  2 Feb 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Govt and President Hadi 22 Jan resigned, throwing political process established through Sept “Peace and National Partnership Agreement” (PNPA) into question and raising prospect of territorial fragmentation, widespread violence. Move followed push by northern Huthis to take complete control of Sanaa 19-20 Jan: surrounded presidential palace, captured additional military positions and state institutions, put Hadi under virtual house arrest. Presidential resignation awaiting approval by parliament; observers fear Huthis could appoint presidential or military committee without adequate buy-in from other groups, causing violent backlash from Shafai (Sunni) areas and southern separatists. Several anti-Huthi demonstrations in Sanaa late month, including by thousands of protesters 24 Jan. Huthi push triggered by dispute with Hadi over draft constitution, especially proposed federal structure; Huthi fighters 17 Jan kidnapped presidential advisor allegedly seeking to force through six-region federalism without Huthi consent. Insurgent leader Abdul-Malik al-Huthi 20 Jan accused Hadi of obstructing PNPA, indicated willingness to remove president. Hadi next day accepted all Huthi demands in return for advisor’s release, Huthi withdrawal from certain military positions; agreement immediately collapsed as Huthis dictated terms of implementation under threat of military force. Security council of Aden governorate 22 Jan announced it would no longer take orders from Sanaa following Hadi’s resignation. Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for 7 Jan attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdoin Paris, same day exploded car bomb outside Sanaa police academy killing over 40; observers warned group gaining strength amid Huthi expansion. Six reported killed in U.S. drone strikes late Jan.

Yemen

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Northern Huthis continued expansion, directly challenging President Hadi and authority of new govt, while further galvanising southern calls for independence. Huthis continued push to consolidate power in north: leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi 15 Dec called President Hadi “umbrella for corruption”, demanded Huthis be allowed to oversee state finances. Huthi supporters subsequently tightened control of Sanaa, prevented newly appointed chief of staff from entering defence ministry; 16 Dec dismissed editor of main state news outlet; 17 Dec stormed Central Bank, Civil Status and Registration building and nationally owned Safer oil company. PM Bahah same day threatened to resign along with rest of govt. Parliament 18 Dec passed vote of confidence in favour of govt. Huthis mid-month seized northern city Arhab, stronghold of Sunni Islamist party Islah, after intense clashes; tightened control over strategic Red Sea port of Hodeidah, including dismissing governor and port facility director. Clashes between Huthis and al-Qaeda (AQAP) militants continued in Baydah province’s Radaa city; dozens killed in car bombings targeting Huthis 16 Dec, including fifteen schoolgirls. Suicide bomber 31 Dec killed dozens at Huthi-organised religious celebration in Ibb city. Independence protests continued in south; army 15 Dec killed separatist leader in Aden city. American and South African hostage held by AQAP killed along with at least eleven others during U.S. rescue attempt 6 Dec in Shebwa province; AQAP blamed deaths on U.S., launched attack on air force base outside Aden known for support of U.S. drone operations. Saudi Arabia continued withholding aid due to Huthi expansion, raising fears of impending govt financial collapse.

Yemen

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Clashes between Huthis and al-Qaeda (AQAP)-allied tribesmen continued in central Baydah province: hundreds, possibly thousands, reported killed. Huthis continued advancing, 19 Nov seized AQAP stronghold Radaa city, pushed toward predominantly Sunni Marib governorate containing significant part of country’s oil reserves. Marib tribesmen warned against Huthi advances, pledged to destroy oil and electricity infrastructure if Huthis sought to occupy facilities, causing fears of more clashes, economic damage and growing sectarian tensions. Southern pro-independence demonstrations continued; protesters maintained 30 Nov deadline for all northern govt personnel to leave south. UNSC 7 Nov issued sanctions against former president Saleh and two Huthi commanders; announcement galvanised opposition against govt and president Hadi from Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) party; GPC announced opposition to new cabinet sworn in by Hadi 9 Nov, removed Hadi from party leadership. Economic crisis deepened following Saudi Arabia’s reported halt of direct financial assistance to govt in response to Sept Huthi takeover of Sanaa; fears declining reserves could render govt unable to cover salaries, imports in coming months. At least seven reported killed in U.S. drone strike 12 Nov in southern Shabwa province.

Yemen

  |  1 Nov 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Huthi fighters continued to advance following mid-Sept seizure of Sanaa, bringing country’s political transition to brink of collapse despite nominal political process established through late Sept UN-brokered peace and power-sharing agreement. Huthis consolidated power in north, took control of large parts of Red Sea Coast including strategic port of Hodeidah 14 Oct; met with little resistance, at times facilitation, from govt and local population. Huthi expansion into central provinces met with resistance from supporters of Sunni Islamist party Islah, Ansar al-Sharia affiliates and al-Qaeda (AQAP); hundreds reported killed including over 250 in Baydah province. AQAP 9 Oct killed at least 47 in suicide attack targeting Huthi gathering in Sanaa. Huthis continued working with military and police to secure Sanaa, raided homes and offices of political enemies; supporters acted as shadow govt overseeing decisions of cabinet ministers. President Hadi 26 Oct criticized Huthi expansion, called for withdrawal from newly acquired territories including Sanaa. Hadi 13 Oct appointed broadly accepted candidate for PM, country’s UN representative Khalid Bahah, following criticism of previous nominee by Huthis and General People’s Congress; new cabinet yet to be formed. Huthis 31 Oct held tribal gathering in Sanaa, gave Hadi 10-day deadline to form govt. Southern separatists renewed call for independence, tens of thousands demonstrated in Aden and Mukullah 14 Oct; movement’s representatives gave govt until 30 Nov to remove all employees and security forces from south, demanded international oil companies halt exports until revenues redirected to new southern state.

Yemen

  |  1 Oct 2014

Deteriorated

Weeks of Huthi-led anti-govt protests in Sanaa degenerated into several days of fighting mid-month between Huthis and rival forces loyal to General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and Sunni Islamist party Islah; over 200 killed, Huthis captured Mohsen-affiliated military camp, al-Iman University and nearby state TV station. Large parts of security forces sided with Huthis, allowing group to control govt buildings and security in city. New peace deal and power sharing agreement signed 21 Sept calling for implementation of national dialogue outcomes including govt inclusive of all groups, anti-corruption measures, timeline for disarmament of non-state actors; accord seen as favouring Huthis to detriment of other stakeholders, particularly Islah. Peace deal called for Huthis to withdraw from capital, replacement of govt; President Hadi has not yet appointed new premier. Prospects for Huthi withdrawal uncertain despite peace deal ending major combat in Sanaa: Huthis surrounded and entered homes of political enemies following agreement, 27 Sept attacked home of national security chief Ali al-Ahmadi. Widespread fears of retaliatory attacks against Huthis and govt, particularly from al-Qaeda (AQ); at least 20 reported killed in separate AQ attacks targeting Huthis 28 Sept.

Yemen

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Month saw mass Huthi-organised protests in Sanaa against govt's late July lifting of fuel subsidies, including rallies of tens of thousands starting 18 Aug demanding new govt, lower fuel prices; reports armed Huthi supporters gathered around Sanaa. Govt 23 Aug offered resignation within month and formation of economic committee to evaluate subsidies; Huthi leaders rejected offer, reemphasised demands including strengthening authority of body charged with overseeing national dialogue implementation, greater inclusion of Huthis in state institutions. President Hadi late month supported counter rallies largely attended by Sunni Islamist Islah party; hundreds of thousands reportedly rallied across country 29 Aug. Protests underscored growing political polarisation between pro-and anti-Huthi factions: some framed protests as real revolution, others as Iranian-inspired religious coup. Violence continued between Huthis and various adversaries in far north including in Jawf; at least 2 ceasefires collapsed during month. Scores reported killed in clashes between govt forces and al-Qaeda (AQAP) affiliates in southern Hadramout province; militants 8 Aug provoked widespread public anger by killing 14 unarmed soldiers in retaliation for govt strikes. AQAP leadership mid-month praised recent gains by jihadi group Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL or ISIS) in Iraq without pledging allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Yemen

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Clashes in north between Houthis and rival tribes, army units intensified early month: hundreds killed, tens of thousands displaced. Houthi fighters 8 July captured Amran city north of Sanaa, including military base of 310th brigade, aligned with Islah party and General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar; air force bombed Houthi positions. Houthis agreed to return Amran to govt control following pressure from President Hadi, along with UNSC, U.S., EU and GCC; tensions remained high, skirmishes continued in surrounding areas. Tribal militants continued to attack critical energy infrastructure crippling oil exports, causing lengthy electricity blackouts in Sanaa. Govt 30 July lifted diesel subsides prompting scattered protests. Alleged al-Qaeda affiliates continued assassination campaign against security personnel in south; at least 2 soldiers, 6 militants reported killed in car bombings, clashes in Abyan 27 July.

Yemen

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated

Yemen’s transition is gradually unravelling amid unprecedented security and economic challenges partly caused by political infighting and weak consensus on national dialogue results. Violence between Huthis and army spiked when air force early June bombed Huthi positions as they advanced toward Sanaa; 100 Huthis, 20 govt forces reported killed 2 June; hundreds killed in north throughout month. UN brokered ceasefire agreement 4 June: agreement lacked national power-sharing arrangement with Huthis, plan for implementing gradual disarmament; fighting later resumed. Another ceasefire announced 22 June but never implemented. Military campaign against al-Qaeda (AQAP) continued at slower pace; govt raids, U.S. drone strikes met with sporadic retaliatory attacks, mostly against security forces. Economic crisis worsened: govt almost unable to pay salaries causing fears of unrest; tribal sabotage of electrical grid early June left Sanaa without fuel or electricity for days prompting mass protests 11 June calling for overthrow of govt. President Hadi same day announced cabinet reshuffle; failed to replace politically divisive PM Basindawa or bring new groups into govt. Govt forces mid-month surrounded Sanaa’s Saleh mosque on suspicion premises being used by former President Saleh to stage coup.

Yemen

  |  1 Jun 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Security and economic conditions deteriorated sharply as al-Qaeda retaliatory attacks against U.S.-backed govt offensive in south continued: AQAP raid on govt institutions in Seiyun, Hadramout, 23 May left at least 27 dead including 12 govt troops and 11 attackers; govt regained control of city 24 May. At least 23 killed 13 May in simultaneous attacks on military positions in Azzan and Jul al-Rida. U.S. embassy in Sanaa suspended public services 8 May in anticipation of retaliatory attacks. Defence Minister Mohamed Nasser Ahmad and 2 senior security officers 9 May survived ambush traveling from Abyan to Shebwa province. President Hadi early May said country in “open war” with AQAP, would expand operations. Prominent AQAP figure Abu Abdel Rhaman al-Masri reportedly killed late May; army 25 May announced top AQAP militant Saleh al-Tays killed. Attacks against oil and infrastructure escalated in wake of govt offensive; main oil export pipeline bombed 6-7 May; gunmen same evening closed Maarib gas-fired power plant. Fighting in northern Amran province renewed 20 May between Huthi fighters and tribes aligned with the Ahmar clan and the Sunni Islamist party, Islah, backed by the 310 military brigade. Dozens killed thus far; combatants on both sides preparing for further clashes. Fighting between army and Huthi fighters in Amran city late May left dozens dead including at least 13 soldiers.

Yemen

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Tense stalemate between Huthis and Islah/al-Ahmar affiliated tribes continued, punctured by periodic clashes in Amran and Dhammar provinces. UN envoy Jamal Benomar 24 April said President Hadi and Huthis have agreed to discuss Huthi disarmament. Airstrikes 20-21 April killed some 55 reported al-Qaeda militants in south as part of reported major campaign backed by U.S. drone strikes; ground offensive launched 29 April. 15 soldiers killed 29 April in suspected AQAP ambush in Sabwa province; suicide bomb attack on Aden army base 2 April killed 11; suspected AQAP militants 15 April shot dead al-Bayda province governor; gunmen 21-22 killed 4 senior security officials in several attacks in Sanaa. Thousands rallied in Sanaa 23 April in response to call by Feb 11 Movement, called for dismissal of govt, end to fuel shortages. UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen 25 April said 47% of population in need of emergency humanitarian services. Friends of Yemen meeting in London began 29 April, urged Yemen govt to set clear timetable for constitution referendum and subsequent elections.

Yemen

  |  1 Apr 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Violence in North increased: clashes between Huthis and opposing tribesmen in Jawf killed over 30 late Feb-early March. Fighting spread to Hamdan area near Sanaa, killing over a dozen early March; military entered Hamdan to separate warring factions; ceasefire negotiations ongoing. 12 killed 22 March when Huthis clashed with security forces near Amran city; tensions remain high. Govt 12 March concluded deal in Dalia governorate ending clashes between army and Hiraak. Hadramout tribal confederation mid-month accused govt of not following through on deal to provide financial compensation and jobs in exchange for end to hostilities. AQAP attacks continued including at least 20 soldiers killed 24 March at checkpoint in Hadramout; at least 5 drone strikes conducted. President Hadi 8 March replaced several officials including head of political security and interior minister; same day appointed constitution-writing committee. Thousands protested in Sanaa 21 March calling for release of political prisoners, trial of former President Saleh.

Yemen

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged Risk Alert

Tensions in North continued, threatening shaky ceasefires in Dammaj, Arhab and Amran and rekindling of larger-scale violence, fracturing of delicate political consensus. Huthis 3 Feb won significant battle in Amran, defeating Ahmar fighters in Ahmar’s home village; Huthis consolidated gains through deals with Hahsid tribesmen. Security forces 28 Feb clashed with Huthis in Hizm, Jawf province, at least 13 killed. 2 weeks after its formation, presidential committee charged with defining federal structure 10 Feb announced Yemen to be divided into 6 regions, 2 in South and 4 in North. Rushed announcement stoked political opposition; majority of Hiraak rejected outcome, claiming not sufficiently included in process; Huthis also opposed. UNSC 26 Feb established sanctions regime to impose travel bans and asset freezes on individuals or entities obstructing transition. Mass anti-govt protest held in Sanaa 21 Feb. Suspected al-Qaeda militants 20 Feb killed Salafi Shaikh Ali Bawazir in Hadramawt. 29 prisoners freed 13 Feb in attack on central security prison in capital. 2 foreigners kidnapped early Feb in Sanaa. South remained volatile: military clashes with armed Hiraak in al-Dalia governorate and with tribesmen in Hadramawt continued including at least 12 killed, 14 soldiers kidnapped in Daleh province18 Feb. 

Yemen

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

National dialogue launched March 2013 officially concluded 25 Jan; new federal political system endorsed, president’s term extended by 1 year to oversee constitution drafting and referendum before elections. Dialogue outcomes included “solutions document” that agrees on federalism in principle and empowers President Hadi to appoint small negotiating team to determine number of federal units. Document failed to win support of entire Hiraak (southern seccessionist movement) delegations. Security continued to deteriorate. Houthi representative Ahmed Sharaf el-Din killed 21 Jan on way to conference. In North Huthis and Salafis 11 Jan agreed to ceasefire after months of clashes in Dammaj; Salafi spokesman 13 Jan said at least 210 Salafis killed in fighting in last 2 months; fighting between Huthis and various opponents continued in other areas including Jawf, Amran, Sadaa and Sanaa governorates. Tensions in south continued: clashes erupted 17 Jan between armed residents and military al-Dalia governorate; southern separatists demonstrating against national dialogue 27 Jan clashed with troops in Ataq, 4 wounded. Tribesmen attacks on oil infrastructure in Hadramout and Shabwa continued. Suspected al-Qaeda militants 16 Jan attacked military camp in al-Baydah, killing 9 soldiers; 31 Jan killed 17 soldiers in 2 attacks in Hadramout. Unknown assailants 19 Jan killed Iranian diplomat in Sanaa. 3 suspected al-Qaeda killed in drone strike in Marib province 24 Jan.

Yemen

  |  2 Jan 2014

Deteriorated

Security deteriorated after armed forces early-month killed prominent Hadrami sheikh; Hadrami tribes, supported by Hiraak, set 20 Dec as deadline for handing over killer, transferring governorate security responsibilities to them. Thousands protested in South, including Qaten, Seiyun and Tarim cities in Hadramout, and clashed with armed forces. Army 27 Dec struck funeral of southern separatist in al-Dalia, killing 19 including 4 children. Tribal attacks on oil pipelines continue: unknown assailants 27 Dec blew up main oil pipeline from Masila field. At least 56 killed, 215 injured 5 Dec in al-Qaeda attack on defence ministry complex in Sanaa. At least 4 soldiers killed 31 Dec in suicide bombing of security HQ in Aden. 15 killed 12 Dec in U.S. drone strike on reported wedding convoy; parliament 15 Dec issued non-binding agreement banning drones. In north, fighting between Huthis and Salafis continued. Several political parties 23 Dec signed agreement granting some autonomy to South and supporting federalism as basis of new state structure. New as-yet undrafted constitution to decide on number of regions and their authorities.

Yemen

  |  1 Dec 2013

Deteriorated

Violence in northern provinces between Huthis and various adversaries increased. Serious clashes in Dammaj, Sadaa governorate, killed over 100 early Nov; Huthis claimed self-defence against influx of foreign fighters, Salafis said Huthis launched unprovoked strike; presidential mediation committee has proven unable to secure enduring ceasefire. Abdulkareem Jadban, Huthi MP participating in national dialogue (NDC), assassinated in Sanaa 22 Nov. NDC faltered when southern conference leader, Mohammed Ali Ahmed, withdrew 27 Nov. No agreement yet reached on implementing dialogue and continuing transition after Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) roadmap, originally scheduled to end in Feb 2014. Thousands demonstrated 30 Nov in Aden, called for independence of South. UN envoy Jamal Benomar 27 Nov warned spoilers against derailing transition process, said UN supports achieving tasks of transition, not specific timeline. 2 Belarusian military instructors shot 26 Nov in Sanaa. At least 5 killed in drone strike 7 Nov in Abyan; air raid reportedly killed 12 suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Abyan 26 Nov. Tribesmen 29 Nov blew up main oil export pipeline east of Sanaa.

Yemen

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Political tensions within National Dialogue grew more acute: Huthi and part of Hiraak delegation 8 Oct boycotted opening plenary session, arguing their issues, including regarding state structure and number of federal units, had not been fully resolved in working groups. Divisions continued within Hiraak delegation over acceptable compromises; tensions between head of delegation and President Hadi increased. State Minister Hassan Sharafuddin 30 Oct resigned from national consensus govt. Thousands of Hiraak rallied in Aden mid-month commemorating anniversary of independence from British, demanding independence from “northern occupation”. Tenuous truce between Huthis and Salafis in Dammaj began to unravel mid-month with renewed clashes; at least 30 reportedly killed, over 100 injured. German security guard killed 6 Oct in Sanaa; same day, UNICEF employee kidnapped on airport road. At least 5 soldiers killed, 15 injured 18 Oct in attack on base in Abyan province; 2 soldiers and civilian killed at checkpoint in Abyan province 31 Oct. Al-Qaeda leader Omar Salem arrested 29 Oct in Hadramawt province.

Yemen

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

National Dialogue 18 Sept deadline passed without agreement on southern issue. Hiraak activists in south preparing to oppose dialogue outcome through protests, civil disobedience campaigns. Suspected al-Qaeda militants 20 Sept killed at least 38 soldiers in several attacks on military bases in Shabwa province, south. 20 injured 26 Sept in twin explosions in Sanaa, al-Qaeda denied responsibility. Sabotage of oil and electricity infrastructure by tribesmen in Marib caused widespread blackouts. Assassinations continued including 2 military officials killed 23-24 Sept in Sanaa in targeted shootings, army officer killed 25 Sept by car bomb. Gunmen 30 Sept seized military HQ in Mukalla, Hadramaut province, 4 killed. Tensions between Huthis and adversaries including Salafis, Islah and Ahmars continued, with over 60 killed in Amran alone in fighting between Huthis and Ahmars; one-year ceasefire reached by presidential mediation committee 14 Sept but situation remains tense.

Yemen

  |  1 Sep 2013

Deteriorated

Month saw surge in U.S. drone strikes against suspected al-Qaeda (AQAP) militants killing tens including senior AQAP leader Qaid Ahmad Nasser al-Dhahab 30 Aug. U.S., British, French, Dutch and other foreign embassies closed early Aug for approx 2 weeks after U.S. govt 2 Aug announced AQAP planned attack; Yemeni authorities 7 Aug said AQAP attack on southern port and oil and gas facilities thwarted. Attacks on security personnel left 29 dead in first half of Aug; 2 soldiers killed, several wounded 23 Aug in suicide bomb attack on checkpoint in Shibam, Hadramawt province; intelligence official and son killed 28 Aug in Aden. At least 3 killed, 23 wounded in attack on military bus in Sanaa 25 Aug. Clashes between Huthis and various opposing groups in Amran, Saada and Ibb killed dozens, including 13 killed 13 Aug and 8 killed 28 Aug in Amran. Land disputes in capital intensified. Tensions rose ahead of 18 Sept deadline for conclusion of national dialogue: southern separatists failed to return to negotiations following Eid holidays; negotiations ongoing to secure their return; govt 21 Aug apologised to southerners for 1994 civil war.

Yemen

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

National Dialogue continued with little progress on solutions to core issues like future state structure; reports Southern Movement activists preparing to boycott dialogue outcomes by obstructing constitutional referendum and any subsequent elections. Huthi protests continued including large 19 July demonstration in Sanaa demanding justice for members killed by regime forces 8 June, calling for release of political prisoners, regime downfall. Huthis and Sunni al-Islah party supporters clashed over control of mosques including in capital; Huthis allegedly reinforcing fighting positions around Salafi Dammaj institute in north. Iranian embassy employee abducted 21 July in Sanaa. Gunmen 8 July shot dead high-ranking army officer in Hadramaut province; roadside bomb in Sanaa 6 July killed 3 soldiers. Land disputes in Sanaa left several dead. Attacks on oil, electric and internet infrastructure continued. Al-Qaeda affiliate group AQAP 17 July said deputy leader Saeed al-Shihri killed in U.S. drone strike; 6 AQ-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia suspects killed 28 July by U.S. drone in Abyan province; 3 AQ suspects killed by U.S. drone in Shebwa 30 July. Journalist Abdulelah Haider released 24 July after serving 3 of 5 years prison for aiding AQAP.

Yemen

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Govt early June announced major offensive against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Hadramout governorate; 3 soldiers and 7 militants reportedly killed 5 June in clashes at Ghail Bawazeer. Huthis in Saada Governorate 5 June buried leader Badr al-Deen al-Huthi, tens of thousands attended ceremony. 10 killed, dozens wounded 8 June when security services fired on Huthis demonstrating outside National Security (Intelligence) Bureau in Sanaa to demand release of political prisoners, disbanding of intelligence agency. Incident significantly escalated tensions between Huthis and Hadi govt, Islah and Salafis. Suicide bomber 19 June attacked market in Huthi-controlled Saada killing at least 3. Repeated protests in areas bordering Red Sea and South following daily blackouts, ongoing sabotage of oil and electricity infrastructure. Tribesmen 13, 27, 30 June sabotaged main oil pipeline in central Maarib province.

Yemen

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Southern separatist movement Hiraak staged large pro-separation demonstrations in southern city Aden 21, 22 May. Police 27 May forcibly dispersed protesters attempting to storm hotel in Aden where National Dialogue meeting being held, 5 wounded. Hundreds staged sit-in outside prosecutor’s office in Sanaa 28 May demanding release of detainees arrested for participation in 2011 uprising. Suspected U.S. drone 27 May killed 2 militants outside Radda, Bayda province; reported drone strike killed at least 4 militants 18 May in Abyan governorate. Gunmen 27 May kidnapped 2 South Africans from Taiz prompting demonstrations 30 May; 3 journalists kidnapped 16 May by local tribesman in Maarib, later released. Maarib tribesmen 11,19, 27 May attacked electrical grid causing severe power outages; main export pipeline sabotaged 24 May in Maarib province. Attacks on security officials continued: gunmen 26 May shot dead security official in Hadhramawt, east; 2 soldiers killed 25 May by roadside bomb in Hadhramawt; 3 airforce pilots shot dead 8 May in Lahj province. Media 30 May reported Huthi rebels participating in Syrian conflict.

Yemen

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

In far-reaching military shake-up President Hadi mid-April removed Ahmed Ali Saleh, son of former president Saleh and commander of Republican Guards, and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of First Armoured Division, appointed leaders for 7 regional commands; several formerly powerful commanders also exiled to military-attaché positions outside country, including 2 nephews of Saleh. National dialogue continued without major setbacks. Court 27 April ordered investigation into March 2011 massacre, including role of Saleh and aides. Separatist sentiment in South high: unrest continued in major southern cities including Aden, Mukullah. Sporadic attacks against state security personnel continued: security officer killed 13 April in Hadhramawt province; intelligence officer shot dead 19 April in Mukallah; military intelligence chief assassinated 27 April in Hadrmout. 5 soldiers, 2 militants killed 27 April in attack on military checkpoint in Radda. 2 suspected U.S. drone strikes 17 April killed at least 5 suspected militants; drone strike 21 April killed 2 militants in Wadi Abida, Marib province. Saboteurs 8, 30 April sabotaged main oil pipeline in Marib province. Court 25 April sentenced 11 al-Qaeda militants to up to 10 years’ prison.

Yemen

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

National Dialogue Conference tasked with drafting new constitution and preparing for Feb 2014 elections opened 18 March in Sanaa after numerous delays; conference attended by President Hadi, 565 delegates. Thousands of southern separatists protested in Aden and Hadramout, rejecting dialogue and calling for immediate secession. Yemeni Nobel peace laureate Tawakkul Karman boycotted dialogue in protest over failure to restructure army, former president Saleh’s continued political influence and marginalisation of youth, civil society and women. Gunmen 23 March shot dead 3 in failed attempt to assassinate Abdo Abu Ras, Houthis’ representative at negotiations. State’s Land Real Estate Chair Abdullah al-Fadhali escaped 25 March assassination attempt. 5 killed 21 Mar in pro-govt militia attack on al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in Abyan province. Pro-govt fighters 24 March recaptured Batis town, Abyan province, after 3 days’ fighting that left 6 militants, 3 pro-govt militiamen dead. Suicide bomber 4 March killed at least 12, wounded 15 in attack on pro-govt militia office in Lawdar, Abyan province. Main oil pipeline in central Maarib province sabotaged 6 March.

Yemen

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged Risk Alert

Tensions between separatists and security forces, Islamist party Islah reached highest levels since early 2012, sparking fears of further violence. At least 6 killed, 49 wounded 21 and 23 Feb in clashes between separatist protesters and security forces in South marking 1-year anniversary of President Hadi’s election. UNSC 15 Feb expressed concern former president Saleh and separatist leader Ali Salim al-Bid undermining democratic transition, warned of further measures against spoilers including sanctions. At rally in Sanaa 27 Feb former president Saleh called for national reconciliation. President Hadi 6 Feb announced 18 March date for start of drafting new constitution and national dialogue. Govt 2 Feb confirmed ship intercepted 23 Jan was Iranian ship smuggling weapons; Iran denied connection. Military 2 Feb killed 10 suspected militants in air strikes, drove group of al-Qaeda-linked insurgents from mountain hideout in South. Security chief Abdulwahab al-Wali 23 Feb survived assassination attempt in South. Main oil pipeline in central Maarib province sabotaged 8 Feb.

Yemen

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

U.S. drone strikes continued, killing at least 23 suspected al-Qaeda militants. Second-in-command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Said al-Shehri confirmed dead late Jan. Govt 27 Jan launched major military offensive against AQAP militants in Baydah accused of holding Finnish couple and Austrian man hostage; next day AQAP retaliated with suicide bombing killing at least 11 soldiers at military checkpoint, and attack on separate checkpoint killing 3 soldiers, both in Baydah. Hundreds of AQAP militants arrived next day to give support; govt suspended military operation while tribal leaders attempted to secure release. Tribal leader Al Mullah Zabahra, known for mediating between govt and al-Qaeda, killed 10 Jan at checkpoint in Abyan province. Deputy security chief of Dhamar province, Abdulwahab al-Mushki, killed 16 Jan by gunmen. 2 al-Qaeda militants arrested 14 Jan near Sanaa, security forces seized suicide bomb vests, assassination manuals, lists of targets. Main oil pipeline in central Maarib province sabotaged 10, 26 Jan by armed tribesmen. Southern movement Harak organised festival of reconciliation and tolerance to mark anniversary of 1986 civil war; over 100,000 gathered in Aden. President Hadi 7 Jan formed land, employment committees for southern governorates. UNSC envoys 27 Jan arrived in Yemen to show support for U.S.-backed power transfer deal. Ship carrying large weapons cache intercepted 23 Jan, suspected weapons smuggled from Iran for Yemen insurgents. 2 militants, 5 soldiers killed 31 Jan during army raid on mountainous area where al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia have been taking refuge since being driven out of Jaar and Zinjibar last year.

Yemen

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

President Hadi 19 Dec restructured armed forces, abolishing Republican Guard and First Armoured Division, as part of effort to unify military. Assassinations of military-security personnel continued: 2 high-ranking officers killed in Sanaa 25 Dec; intelligence officer Shaker al-Bani killed 17 Dec; deputy head of political security office Ahmed Barmadah killed 11 Dec; chief-of-staff for central military region in Maarib province killed 8 Dec. 2 Finnish, 1 Austrian tourist kidnapped 21 Dec in capital’s central square. Military court 15 Dec sentenced 93 Republican Guards to prison terms up to 7 years for Aug attack on military complex. Army 2 Dec launched major assault on tribesmen suspected of repeatedly blowing up main oil export pipeline, attacking power lines; 8 Dec ambush on army patrol at pipeline killed 17 army officers, soldiers; military 10 Dec retaliated with aerial attack on al-Qaeda insurgents suspected of carrying out ambush, at least 4 killed. Military 25 Dec launched new offensive against Marib tribes killing 10 and injuring dozens. At least 5 suspected al-Qaeda militants killed 24 Dec in 2 drone strikes in south; 2 suspected al-Qaeda militants killed 28 Dec in Hadramut province; at least 3 al-Qaeda-linked militants killed 29 Dec in al-Bayda province. Former South Yemen interior minister Mohammed Ali Ahmed 19 Dec said several southern groups had accepted offer of 50% of seats at proposed national reconciliation talks.

Yemen

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

15 Nov National Dialogue postponed 3 weeks on request of preparatory committee; UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar 28 Nov announced political parties had resolved issue of seat distribution for dialogue. During 19 Nov visit UNSG Ban pledged to help rescue efforts to implement power transfer deal. Al-Qaeda-linked suicide bomber 16 Nov killed himself, 3 others inside HQ of govt-allied militias in Zinjibar. Gunman 7 Nov killed security officer near interior ministry in Sanaa. At least 3 killed 24 Nov in bomb targeting Shiite ceremony in Sanaa; no one claimed responsibility. Drone strike reportedly carried out by U.S. 8 Nov near Sanaa killed 3 suspected al-Qaeda members. Saudi diplomat, Yemeni bodyguard killed in Sanaa 28 Nov, govt offered $25,000 reward for help catching killers. Repeated explosions targeting oil export pipeline; soldiers 21 Nov fought with gunmen preventing restoration of pipeline.

Yemen

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) militants 19 Oct killed 16 soldiers in attack on Abyan province army base. 1 militant, 3 tribesmen allied to army killed in suspected AQAP attack on military checkpoint in Abyan province 16 Oct. Reported U.S. drone strikes in south killed at least 12 suspected AQAP militants. Security forces 6 Oct reportedly foiled plot to bomb joint govt-U.S. air base in Lahej province. 3 AQAP leaders reportedly killed 2 Oct in raid in Aden; court same day sentenced 2 AQAP militants to death for killing of military, security leaders. AQAP militants 9 Oct beheaded 3 people in Maarib after accusing them of spying. Iraqi military advisor to army assassinated in Sanaa 16 Oct; security officer at U.S. embassy assassinated 11 Oct. Families of protesters killed during 2011 anti-regime rally filed charges against members of former regime, including ousted President Saleh. Gas pipeline feeding country’s only gas export terminal sabotaged 30 Oct.

Yemen

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

U.S. mid-Sept sent platoon of marines to Yemen following 13 Sept attack on U.S. embassy compound in protest over anti-Islam film; Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) 16 Sept urged Muslims to protest, kill U.S. diplomats. Several assassination attempts including 22 Sept suicide bomb attack in Aden targeting former Islamist Abdul-Latif al-Sayed; Defense Minister Major General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad 11 Sept survived car bomb, 12 others killed; bomb targeting senior official 16 Sept killed 3 in al-Mukalla; suicide bomber 29 Sept killed himself, 1 other in attack targeting Mohammed Aidarous, head of popular committee of tribal volunteers. U.S. drone 5 Sept killed 6 suspected Islamist militants in Hadramut province. Reported govt air strike 2 Sept killed 10 civilians in central Yemen. 4 suspected Islamist militants killed in 8 Sept gunfight with army, allied tribal fighters near Jaar. 2 al-Qaeda-linked militants killed in 2 Sept clashes with pro-govt tribesmen in South. Maarib oil pipeline explosions 4, 9 Sept blamed on Islamist militants, tribesmen; gas pipeline feeding country’s only gas export terminal sabotaged 25 Sept. President Hadi 25 Sept said govt ready for dialogue with al-Qaeda militants. Hadi 11 Sept replaced security officials, civil servants, governors; appointees include supporters of ousted President Saleh’s rival, Ali Muhsin. Clashes 21 Sept between Sunni, Shiite Islamist groups in Amran province, 1 killed. Govt 19 Sept announced investigation into alleged rights violations during 2011 uprising. Islamist militant group Al Nusra Front 30 Sept released video alleging 5 Yemeni army officers captured in Syria, claimed officers sent by Yemen govt to help Syrian regime.

Yemen

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Republican Guards led by Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of former president Saleh, 14 Aug attacked Defence Ministry HQ following 6 Aug restructuring of military units to curb Ahmed’s powers. Series of assassination attempts targeted govt, military: car bomb 9 Aug killed senior military official Brigadier Omar Barasheed; Information Minister al-Amrani survived 2 Aug assassination attempt; Transport Minister Bathib survived attempted assassination 25 Aug; at least 20 intelligence officers, security guards killed in mid-Aug attacks on intelligence HQ in Aden by suspected Islamist militants. Intelligence officer Aytha Fraj Baganem shot dead 30 Aug in Sanaa. Violence continued in South: at least 45 killed 4 Aug in suicide bombing at funeral in Jaar; security forces seized 6 suspected Islamist militants 6 Aug in Jaar; govt 8 Aug reportedly foiled al-Qaeda-linked militants’ plot to attack Sanaa. Gunman 19 Aug opened fire on mosque during Eid prayers in Dalea province killing 7; same day 4 killed by suicide bomber in Abyan province. Drone attacks 29-31 Aug killed at least 14 suspected Islamist militants in Hadramout province. Gas pipeline feeding country’s only liquefied natural gas export terminal sabotaged 21 Aug.

Yemen

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Progress made towards implementation of transition plan; UN Envoy Ben Omar 12 July said National Dialogue to start in November; President Hadi 14 July announced 25-member technical committee to prepare for National Dialogue Conference. Protestors 13 July demonstrated in Sanaa, called for ouster of corrupt govt officials from former regime. Tribesmen loyal to former President Saleh 29-30 July occupied Interior Ministry demanding jobs in police force, 31 July clashed with govt forces, at least 15 killed. Month saw several attempted assassinations of security officials, including 22 July attempt against Hadramaut air force commander Colonel al-Rusaishan. Political security service officer Ghazi Baidha killed 19 July in Radda; bomb 19 July killed top security officer Colonel al-Mawzai in Aden; gunmen killed deputy director of central prison in Taiz; suicide bomber 11 July killed at least 10 at Sanaa police academy; security forces 22 July diffused bomb outside intelligence services building in Aden. Suspected Ansar al-Sharia militants 31 July attacked police station in Jaar, killing 2. Govt forces continued to target al-Qaeda-linked militants in South; at least 5 killed in airstrike 24 July. Security forces 7 July killed 4, wounded 18 at demonstrations by separatists in South. Red Cross worker released 13 July by Ansar al-Sharia following 2 month captivity. Gunman from al-Jalal tribe reportedly abducted Italian embassy security agent in Sanaa 29 July.

Yemen

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

U.S.-backed offensive against Islamic militants intensified: army re-captured southern towns Zinzibar, Jaar, Shaqra, Azzan from Islamic militants following heavy fighting, air strikes. Suicide bomber 18 June killed commander of military forces Major General Salem Ali Qatan; al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility; security forces 22 June detained suspected local al-Qaeda leader Sami Dayyan in connection. Govt 19 June foiled plot to attack foreign embassies in Sanaa; govt same day announced killing of Salah al-Jawhari who directed AQAP suicide bombers. Army 20 June killed at least 11 Islamic militants, including senior military leaders of Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia in Abyan province. Ansar al-Sharia 1 June announced release of 27 soldiers after they vowed to quit army. Govt admitted mistakenly killing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) staff member during 20 June airstrike. Northern Houthi Shiite rebels 5 June agreed to talks with govt to resolve political conflicts.

Yemen

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

More than 100 killed 21 May by suicide bomb at military parade rehearsal in Sanaa; al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility. Same day, air strikes in Abyan province killed 16 suspected al-Qaeda militants. 2 suicide bombs 25 May linked to AQAP killed 12 in north. CIA 7 May announced AQAP plot to smuggle bomb aboard U.S. bound airliner had been thwarted. U.S. drone strike 6 May purportedly killed senior al-Qaeda militant al-Quso wanted in connection with Oct 2000 bombing of USS Cole; airstrikes 10 May near Jaar and Zinjibar killed suspected al-Qaeda militants; numerous strikes 12 May left several militants dead; govt 14-15 May intensified campaign to recapture towns from Islamist militants, killing dozens. Fighting 28 May killed at least 17 militants, 1 civilian in Bayda province. At least 7 killed in 30 May AQAP attack against govt troops in Radda. President Hadi 6 May announced formation of 8-member contact committee to begin preparations for national reconciliation dialogue. Former President Saleh’s nephew Mohammed Abdullah mid-month stepped down as commander of Republican Guard’s 3rd Brigade. U.S. President Obama 16 May authorised U.S. Treasury to freeze assets of anyone “obstructing” implementation of transition plan.

Yemen

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

President Hadi 6 April announced dismissal of 4 governors, rotation/reassignment of 20 military officers, including former President Saleh’s half-brother General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar; Saleh loyalists 7-8 April closed Sanaa international airport in response; General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar eventually stepped down 24 April. Former President Saleh’s nephew, General Abdullah Saleh, 27 April agreed to stand down as Presidential Guard chief. President Hadi 7 April deployed combined military force including Saleh, Mohsin loyalists to secure capital. Govt 12 April announced formation of preparatory committee for national dialogue. In South, month saw intensification in battle with al-Qaeda militants, deployment of counter-terrorism units from Republican Guards, Central Security Forces: militants 2 April reportedly blew-up pipeline in retaliation for killing of 5 al-Qaeda members in 31 March U.S. drone strike. Army 3 April said airstrikes against al-Qaeda in al-Rahha Mountains killed 43; al-Qaeda 9-14 April clashed with army, tribally-led popular committees outside Lowdar killing over 200, mostly militants. Army 13 April said 28 al-Qaeda fighters killed, 2 senior al-Qaeda leaders arrested during offensive in Abyan province, 18 April announced capture of al-Qaeda stronghold in Zinjibar. Gunmen 22 April kidnapped ICRC official near Hudaida. U.S. 26 April announced easing of restrictions on drone strikes.

Yemen

  |  1 Apr 2012

Deteriorated

Violence in South increased significantly: militants 4 March overran military bases outside Zinjibar, killing approximately 180 soldiers, took over 70 hostages. U.S., govt air strikes mid-March killed suspected al-Qaeda militants in southern governorates Abyan, al-Bayda. Alleged Ansar al-Sharia suicide bomber 13 March killed at least 9 soldiers near checkpoint in south; group claimed responsibility for 18 March killing of U.S. teacher in southern city Taiz. Militants 21 March decapitated senior security officer in Mukkala, clashed with security forces. Navy 22 March shelled suspected al-Qaeda positions near Zinjibar, 29 reportedly killed. Tribal militants 21 March abducted 3 Filipinos in Mahrah governorate, demanded release of jailed tribal member. Gunmen 28 March abducted Saudi Deputy Consul in Aden. U.S. drone strike 30 March killed 5 suspected al-Qaeda militants in Shabwa governorate; gunmen blew-up gas pipeline in retaliation, 31 March clashed with army in Lahj governorate, 17 soldiers and 12 militants killed. UN envoy Jamal Benomar early month warned of growing humanitarian crisis, condemned recent al-Qaeda-linked attacks. Tens of thousands of protesters 23 March demanded prosecution of former President Saleh.

Yemen

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Former VP Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi inaugurated president 25 Feb after winning uncontested elections held 21 Feb amidst boycott of polls by southern separatists and Huthis rebels, instances of pre-election and election day violence in south: at least 55 reported killed in early-Feb clashes between Shiite Huthi rebels and Salafists in northern Hajjah governorate. In Sanaa, thousands of demonstrators 10 Feb gathered in Change Square in support of election. In 20 Feb televised statement, deposed president Saleh signaled intention to preserve degree of influence on govt. Thousands gathered 11 Feb in Taiz city to mark 1-year since uprising. Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia 12 Feb allegedly executed 3 men in Azan and Jaar for giving information to U.S.. At least 16 killed in 16 Feb clashes in al-Masaneh following killing of local al-Qaeda leader in family dispute.

Yemen

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

Parliament 21 Jan approved controversial legislation granting President Saleh blanket immunity, giving aides immunity for “politically motivated” crimes committed in course of official duties; thousands protested legislation, demanded accountability for killing of demonstrators. Saleh 22 Jan traveled to U.S. for medical treatment, reportedly will return in Feb for swearing-in of elected president. FM Abubakr al-Qirbi 17 Jan said security concerns may delay Feb presidential election: clash between govt forces and Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia in Zinjibar 3 Jan left 7 dead, army 21 Jan killed 10 Ansar al-Sharia members; 6 killed, 10 wounded mid-Jan by security forces in Aden city. Islamist militants 14 Jan seized Radda; 4 militants, including local al Qaeda leader, 1 soldier killed in clash 21 Jan; militants left 25 Jan in exchange for formation of council to govern town, release of several jailed comrades. Information minister Ali Ahmed al-Amrani survived 31 Jan assassination attempt. Same day, air raids in south killed some 15 fighters alleged to have al-Qaeda links. World Bank 23 Jan lifted funding freeze, established March 2011 in response to turmoil.

Yemen

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Vice-President Hadi 7 Dec issued decree paving way for unity govt in preparation for 21 Feb presidential election; opposition-led govt formed 10 Dec with ministries divided equally between President Saleh’s General People’s Congress Party and opposition. Intense fighting in Taiz early month; truce agreed 4 Dec. Both General Ali Mohsen’s troops and pro-Saleh forces 17 Dec began to withdraw from Sanaa as part of GCC-brokered peace deal. 9 protesters killed 24 Dec by Saleh loyalists as tens of thousands marched from Taiz to Sanaa demanding Saleh stand trial for killing of demonstrators during uprising; U.S. Ambassador Feierstein defended govt, said march intended to “provoke violent response”. Nationwide govt worker strikes began 28 Dec over alleged corruption linked to outgoing regime. Nearly 200 reported killed in fighting between Shiite Huthi rebels and Salafists in northern Saada governorate. Dozens killed as serious fighting continued in southern Abyan governorate between suspected al-Qaeda affiliates and security forces.

Yemen

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

After 10 months of mass protest President Saleh 23 Nov signed political transition agreement based on GCC-initiative, immediately transferring power to implement accord to deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi; Saleh will retain title of president until 21 Feb presidential elections; opposition leader Mohammed Basindwa named 27 Nov as interim PM. Despite signing of power transfer, tens killed in fighting between Saleh’s forces and those loyal to opposition continued in Sanaa, Arhab and Taiz. At least 25 killed 26-27 Nov in fighting between Shiite Huthi rebels and Sunni Islamists in north. Battles continue to rage between govt forces and local tribesmen and al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula-linked militants in southern Abyan province.

Yemen

  |  1 Nov 2011

Deteriorated

Increase in violence over month, as country remains on verge of full-scale war between security forces supporting President Saleh and forces loyal to opposition. Violence slowed early month but worsening bloodshed from 15 Oct as dozens of protesters killed in Sanaa, Taiz in worst fighting since Saleh’s return from Saudi Arabia. UNSC 21 Oct passed resolution condemning violence, called for transition of power on basis of GCC initiative; Saleh 24 Oct welcomed resolution but has already rejected GCC plan 3 times. Teenage son of U.S.-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed late Sept in U.S. drone attack, among 9 killed 14 Oct in U.S. drone attack in S Shebwa governorate. Head of counter-terrorism in restive Abyan province killed 28 Oct in car bomb in Aden; latest in series of attacks on security officials in south linked to Islamist militants.

Yemen

  |  1 Oct 2011

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Country on verge of full-scale war between security forces loyal to President Saleh and forces loyal to opposition. Prospects of peaceful transition buttressed 12 Sept when Saleh issued decree authorising deputy to negotiaterevised Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative; but severalsticking points with opposition remain including timing of Saleh’sresignation. UN Special Envoy Benomar and GCC Sec. Gen. visited Sanaa to broker agreement backed by U.S., Saudi Arabia.However, violence exploded 18 Sept in Sanaa as regime forces launched brutal crackdown on protest camps, over 26 protesters killed. In worst fighting since March forces loyal to Ali Mohsen engaged in battles with pro-Saleh force in capital; over 100 people killed, mainly unarmed protesters. Saleh returned to Yemen 19 Sept from treatment in Saudi Arabia after June assassination attempt; 25 Sept called for early elections, made no pledge to step down. Defence Minister Ali 27 Sept survived suicide bomb attack in southern city Aden. Fighting continued in south between Islamist militants, army and allied tribesmen in Abyan province. U.S.-born radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki killed 30 Sept in U.S. drone strike in Jawf province.

Yemen

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Hundreds of thousands continued to protest nationwide for President Saleh to step down. Scores killed in ongoing clashes between Islamist militants, army and allied tribesmen in southern Abyan province, including 24 Aug clash with army in Zinjibar, close to 100 killed. Despite truce, renewed violence 6 Aug between tribesmen loyal to al-Ahmar and pro-govt Republican Guard in Hasaba; clashes continued between anti-govt tribesmen and Republican Guard in southern city Taiz; at least 23 tribesmen killed 16 Aug in fighting with Republican Guard in Ahrab region. President Saleh 17 Aug said he would return to Yemen soon, would not transfer power except through elections. Opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) 7 Aug issued statement denying connection with June assassination attempt on Saleh; speaker of upper house 23 Aug died from injuries sustained in attack. Opposition leaders 17 Aug formed 143-member National Council charged with electing 20-member executive committee to act as political leadership for protest movement.



Yemen

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged Risk Alert

Violence escalated in Arhab, mountainous area northeast of capital, where at least 40 killed 28 July in clashes between govt forces and armed tribesmen loyal to opposition. Capital Sanaa roughly divided between troops of general Ali Mohsen in NW, tribesmen loyal to al-Ahmars in parts of north, forces loyal to Saleh in SE and SW. Both pro-Saleh and anti-Saleh forces preparing positions in capital for a potential confrontation. Almost daily clashes between pro-Saleh army units and anti-Saleh armed tribesmen in southern city Taiz. In Abyan province scores killed, some 90,000 displaced since late May in fighting between govt forces, armed tribesmen and Islamist militants. Violence flared early July between tribesmen supporting Islamist Islah party and Huthi fighters in northern Jawf governorate; over 100 killed before tenuous ceasefire established 30 July. 9 soldiers killed, 21 injured 24 July in suicide bomb attack in Aden; officials blamed al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. Living conditions continue to deteriorate, with severe fuel shortages, electrical outages, rising food prices. President Saleh 7 July made first televised appearance from Saudi Arabia since 3 June attack, insisted will return to Yemen to lead a dialogue. Moderates in both ruling party and opposition continued without success to discuss ways of modifying Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative to break political impasse. Group of youth protesters 16 July unilaterally announced formation of 17-member transitional council; announcement received lukewarm reaction from opposition groups. Opposition parties announced intent to form National Council to complete revolution. Tens of thousands of opposition protesters continued to take to streets, called for Saleh and his family to step down immediately. FM al-Qirbi 27 July said Saleh will not give up power by force, only through elections. President 31 July called on opposition to return to dialogue around GCC initiative.  

Yemen

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

President Saleh injured 3 June in attack on mosque inside the presidential palace in Sanaa, transferred 5 June to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment; acting president Abed-Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi 29 June said uncertain when he will return. FM al-Qirbi 27 June relayed message from Saleh on state television, called for dialogue with opposition to implement Gulf-brokered plan for transfer of power. Tenuous ceasefire between anti-govt tribesmen and govt forces in capital since Saleh’s departure. Talks underway between al-Hadi and opposition Joint Meeting Parties; but political impasse remains as regime hardliners refused to discuss power transfer until Saleh returns, youth protesters demanded immediate formation of transitional council. Ongoing fighting in southern Abyan governorate between Islamic militants and govt forces; at least 15,000 displaced. Militants with possible links to al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) 15 June attempted to seize neighbourhoods in Houta, capital of Lahj. 63 AQAP-affiliated inmates 23 June escaped prison in southern al-Makalla. UNSC 25 June expressed “grave concern” with deteriorating security situation.

Yemen

  |  1 Jun 2011

Risk Alert Deteriorated

Violence escalated end month with President Saleh facing opposition on several fronts. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-brokered transition plan collapsed 22 May after Saleh for third time refused to sign. Saleh 25 May vowed not to step down, said he would make no more concessions to those seeking his ouster. Over 100 killed from 23 May in Sanaa in battle between military forces loyal to Saleh and tribesmen loyal to Sadiq al-Ahmar, preeminent sheikh of Yemen’s most powerful tribal confederation. Yemeni mediation committee negotiated brief ceasefire until fighting erupted again on 31 May. In second round of fighting, military forces loyal to Saleh attacked base of defected military commander Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar. Govt forces continued use of violence against nationwide anti-regime protests throughout month as civil disobedience crippled major cities. U.S. Sec State Clinton 26 May urged cessation of violence, repeated call for Saleh to step down. Security forces 30 May stormed protest camp in southern city Taiz; as many as 50 killed. Hundreds of Islamic militants, 28 May seized control of capital of southern Abyan governorate, over 40 soldiers and civilians killed as Yemeni military tries to dislodge militants.

Yemen

  |  1 May 2011

Risk Alert Resolution Opportunity Unchanged

President Saleh 23 Apr agreed in principle to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plan to transfer power to VP within 30 days of deal being signed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Main opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) 25 Apr accepted plan in light of new guarantees from international community. Power transfer deal stalled 30 Apr as Saleh refused to sign as president, only as head of ruling party. Many protesters rejected initiative, refused to leave streets until Saleh steps down, demanded his immediate departure, prosecution for violence. At least 10 killed 27 Apr in Sanaa; more than 140 protesters killed in ongoing nationwide protests. Security situation outside of capital Sanaa deteriorated rapidly. Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants seized control of territory in southern governorate Abyan.

Yemen

  |  1 Apr 2011

Deteriorated Risk Alert Resolution Opportunity

Over 90 protesters killed as nationwide anti-regime protests continued for seventh week; fears of possible outbreak of civil war, but hopes remain for possible reconciliation and formation of national unity govt. Direct talks between president and opposition over govt transition stalled 27 March, but indirect talks continue. Opposition demanded immediate resignation of President Saleh and ban on govt positions for Saleh and family; Saleh vowed to make no more concessions. Security forces 17 March killed 52 protesters in capital Sanaa; series of defections to protestors by ambassadors, lawmakers, provincial governors, tribal leaders followed. Saleh 20 March fired cabinet, though retained as caretaker in interim. 11 military commanders including senior general Ali Moshen 21 March joined protest, promised to protect demonstrators; pro- and anti-govt tanks deployed in Sanaa. Parliament 23 March enacted emergency laws suspending constitution, banning protests. Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and other Islamic militant groups attacks increased, including 26 March seizure of southern town of Jaar. 150 killed after explosion in ammunition factory in Jaar; cause of explosion unknown.

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CrisisWatch N°141

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