Yemen. In January-June, battles raged in the province of Sada between government troops and the Shiite militant Young People’s Organization (Shabab al-Mumin), also known as the al-Huthi group. In March, it was reported that 416 government soldiers and 136 rebels had been killed so far during the fighting. In June, Qatar intervened and established a ceasefire. According to the agreement, the rebel leaders would go into exile in Qatar where they would be prohibited from engaging in political activities directed against Yemen. Other rebels would be granted amnesty in Yemen.
According to CountryAAH, Sanaa is the capital city of Yemen. Eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenites were killed on July 2 in a suicide attack at the Queen of Saba’s temple in Marib. Yemeni security forces were reported July 14 to have killed one of the culprits and another four in August. At least one of the five was said to have been in contact with the Islamist terror network al-Qaeda.
In November, 32 men were sentenced to between two and 15 years in prison for having planned attacks on Yemen’s petroleum industry in 2006.
In December, the UNHCR reported that over 1,400 Somali and Ethiopian refugees had drowned in 2007 as they tried to cross the Red Sea to Yemen. Many overloaded boats on their way from Africa capsized and it happened that smugglers forced refugees into deep water.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh issued a decree on March 31 appointing Ali Muhammad Mujawar as new prime minister instead of Abd al-Qadir Bajamal. The government was also remodeled.
The February 2001 local elections were characterized by violence. Parallel to the election, a referendum was held to extend the presidential term to seven years. Thirty people were killed as a result of fighting between different clans or killed by police. The referendum affirmed the extension of the presidential term, allowing Saleh to sit for 7 years.
Without stating the reasons, in May the President reshuffled the government and removed Prime Minister Abdul-Karim al-Iryani. He was replaced by former Foreign Minister Abdul Kader Bajammal. The government had 23 new ministers, including Wahiba Fare, who became minister in the newly formed Ministry of Human Rights. She thus became the country’s first female minister.
In November, Saleh traveled to Washington to confirm to George Bush Yemen’s participation in the US “coalition against terrorism “. In March, the government expelled over 100 religious students – including French and British – as part of its general campaign against terrorism and specifically against members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. That same month, the United States decided to send military advisers to the country to “train Yemeni security forces in the fight against terrorism”. Acc. Washington could now, like former Afghanistan, become a refuge for al-Qaeda.
At least 5,000 demonstrated in April, burning the United States and Israeli flags, as well as images of George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. At the same time, they demanded the US embassy closed. Before then, a bomb explosion and a grenade attack had been carried out against the embassy.
In October 2002, a French oil tanker exploded off the coast of Yemen, at the same time as the United States put tremendous pressure on France to abandon its opposition in the United Nations Security Council to the United States’ planned war on Iraq. In order to prevent any US interference, while at the same time ensuring continued financial assistance, the government launched a witch-hunt on al-Qaeda supporters. In November, the United States with rockets fired from a driverless plane attacked a car a few hundred miles from the capital. 6 were killed in the terrorist attack, including one accused by the United States of being the leader of al-Qaeda in Yemen.
In April 2003, 10 people suspected of participating in the attack against the USS Cole escaped in October 2000. This prompted the Yemeni authorities to launch the largest police operation to date to capture the escaped. In March, two of the attackers, Fahd al-Qusaa and Jamal al-Badawi, had been captured in Albyan province south of Sana’a following an intense gunfire with security forces. The two prisoners and one member of the security forces were injured during the action. Badawi was suspected of having close ties to al-Qaeda.
However, the Imam’s followers initiated armed resistance backed by Saudi Arabia. The Republicans under Abd Allah Sallal (circa 1917-1994) called in Egyptian troops as support. Sallal was overthrown in 1967, when the Egyptians withdrew. The bloody civil war was abolished in 1970, when the monarchists admitted defeat. The 1970s were characterized by the problematic relationship with the now independent South Yemen, with which a brief war was fought in 1971. Presidents Ibrahim Hamdi (1943-77; president of 1974) and Ahmad Ghashmi (1938-78; president of 1977) were both murdered by circles who opposed their plans to merge with South Yemen. In 1978, Ali took Abdullah Saleh power and succeeded in creating political stability, followed by a certain economic upswing in the 1980s. In 1988, a parliament was elected.
In the south, the British’s attempts to create a federation of the rulers of the Aden Protectorate and of the so-called Southern Arab Federation from 1959 had met with growing resistance by nationalist groups, which initiated armed actions in 1965. Those supported by Egypt were crushed, but when the British finally left South Arabia in November 1967, a Marxist group took over, and the republic of South Yemen was proclaimed. In 1969 Salim Rubay Ali (1935-78) became president and he tried on several occasions to approach North Yemen. He was assassinated in 1978 (simultaneously with Ahmad Ghashmi), and a radical, dogmatic group took power under Abd al-Fattah Ismail (1939-86). However, he was forced to resign after a few years and was succeeded by Ali Nasir Muhammad (born 1939)). The conflict between the two factions culminated in January 1986, when Ismail and his phalanx were eradicated and Muhammad fled after a brief, violent civil war. When support from the Soviet Union ceased in 1989, the South Yemen economy collapsed and the only solution was a merger with North Yemen.