Situation Report Yemen Situation Report

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Yemen Situation Report Situation Report

Authors

Katherine Zimmerman and Marisa Cochrane Sullivan

Latest Edition

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Yemen’s opposition groups are taking steps toward creating a shadow government, a move that the regime has warned was a declaration of civil war. Meanwhile, President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised to return to Yemen from Saudi Arabia shortly. The state itself, however, has lost control of territory in the south to al Qaeda-linked militants.

Yemen’s main opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), announced that it would establish a National Governing Council. One thousand representatives from all opposition groups, including the Southern Movement, the al Houthis, and civil society, will elect members to the council.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivered a recorded speech at a tribal conference in Sana’a. Saleh said: “We must discuss all the available data, all the events in Yemen, and how to get our country out of the crisis - the crisis which was fabricated by some political forces to reach power. We welcome the opposition and tell them that ‘you can reach power through ballot boxes, not through coups, statements, denunciation, insults, or irresponsible speeches.’” He finished by saying, “see you soon” in Sana’a.

Al Qaeda-linked militants have seized control of Shaqra, a coastal town east of Zinjibar. Earlier, Abyan tribesmen arrested ten suspected Islamist militants in the town. The militants were in possession of machine guns and grenades and were heading in the direction of Zinjibar and Aden. Fighting against the al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar is ongoing.

A resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not end the fragmentation of the Yemeni state, which remains at risk of a broader armed conflict. The current situation has increased al Qaeda's operating space in Yemen.

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