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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President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return to Yemen led to an outbreak of violence in the capital, and then an uneasy ceasefire as parties await an announced presidential statement. Al Qaeda militants in south Yemen remain in control of territory and have taken over local governments.

Al Qaeda-linked militants publicly severed a boy’s hand as punishment for theft. The boy had been convicted of stealing electrical cables in Jaar in Abyan, a southern town held by al Qaeda-linked militants since the end of March. The militants, who support the implementation of a strict form of shari’a, announced that they would be punishing a second man for theft as well.

Violence intensified Saturday on three fronts in Sana’a following Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return. Sunday, the capital was relatively peaceful; however, Yemeni soldiers injured 18 protestors as they marched toward a checkpoint near the Ministry of Defense. Saturday, protestors marched out of Tagheer (Change) Square after 17 people had been killed in a midnight attack on the protest camp. Medics reported at least 26 protestors were killed on Saturday. Republican Guard troops and Central Security Forces stormed the square, firing automatic weapons and artillery shells into the camp. A spokesman for the defected First Armored Brigade reported that at least 11 soldiers had been killed and 112 injured by a Republican Guard attack. Fighting between opposition tribesmen loyal to Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar and government troops was also ongoing in al Hasaba district in northern Sana’a. At least 18 tribesmen had been killed by Saturday, according to a statement. Yemen’s state news agency reported that 24 loyalist troops had been killed. Fighting broke out outside of the capital. Republican Guard troops cracked down on protests in Taiz. Clashes killed three people and injured at least seven others Sunday. In Nihm, northeast of Sana’a, clashes between opposition tribesmen and loyalist troops killed two tribesmen.

International mediators have urged all parties in Yemen to accept a ceasefire and move forward with the transition deal. The United States, United Nations, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have issued statements calling for a rapid and full transfer of power. Defected Yemeni General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar has sought international assistance for Yemen, warning of civil war.

Two bombs exploded in Aden near a military checkpoint. The checkpoint is along a road linking the Khormaksar district to Aden’s eastern entrance, guarded by al Alam military checkpoint. No casualties were reported.

The ongoing political crisis in the capital has placed the Yemeni state at risk of a broader armed conflict. Further, the Yemeni state has been undergoing fragmentation. Al Qaeda has seized control of territory in south Yemen and the current situation has increased the organization’s operating space in the country.

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