Yemen: Cruising Through The Chaos

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March 17, 2010: The Shia rebels in the north have refused to comply with all aspects of the ceasefire deal. The rebels have refused to withdraw from all strong points and roadblocks they held, and will not turn over landmines and other weapons to the government. The government does not want to resume fighting in the north, at least as long as the situation is so unstable in the south. So Yemen and Saudi Arabia are trying to intimidate the Shia rebels into compliance. This only seems to be coercing the rebels into remaining quiet.

The situations appears volatile, but that's fairly normal in Yemen. The locals cope, and life goes on amidst the chaos. Diplomats have a hard time explaining this to their bosses back home.

March 16, 2010: The government ordered more security for oil facilities and other high value installations that revenge minded al Qaeda might attack. In the north, the Shia rebels released 178 soldiers they had captured. The government has been threatening to renew attacks if the Shia rebels do not completely comply with the terms of the February 11 ceasefire deal.

March 15, 2010: Several small bombs went off in the capital, but there were no injuries. Off the coast, the navy seized an Iranian cargo ship and its 16 man crew. The ship entered Yemeni waters illegally and was suspected to smuggling. The air force bombed an al Qaeda training camp, in part to help prevent suspected al Qaeda terror attacks. There are believed to be over 300 al Qaeda members in Yemen, staying at camps in the countryside, or with families sympathetic to Islamic radicalism. The police and army have established additional checkpoints on the roads, looking for al Qaeda members, and ready to shoot it out if the terrorists show themselves.

March 14, 2010: In the south, the air force bombed an al Qaeda base, killing three people. This included Jamil al Anbari, the head of the Yemeni al Qaeda.

March 13, 2010: In the south, one of the local separatist activists (Wadie Juneidy) was shot dead by police at a remote checkpoint. Juneidy was driving a stolen car, but other separatists accuse the police of murdering him.

March 12, 2010: Police raided the al Jazeera office in the capital, and seized broadcasting equipment for Arab language satellite news channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. The government was unhappy with the coverage these two news outlets give to the southern separatists. Elsewhere in the south, police sought to retake a government building seized by separatists, and two people were killed in the process.

March 8, 2010: Police arrested 27 separatists in the south, and charged them with various criminal offenses.

March 7, 2010: An American (Sharif Mobley's, who is of Somali descent), arrested in a roundup of al Qaeda, grabbed his guards rifle while at a hospital for treatment. The guard died, and another was shot, but Mobley was captured before he could escape the building. Mobley had been in Yemen for two years. He had worked as a laborer in six American nuclear power plants, before he left the United States. This caused excitement in the media.

March 6, 2010: In the south, five police and ten civilians were injured as searches for separatist leaders were conducted.

March 5, 2010: Police arrested eleven al Qaeda suspects, and killed one.

 

 

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