Qatar withdraws from Yemen mediation 15, May 2011Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Yemen.
Tags: Qatar mediation, Qatar mediation Yemen, Qatar withdraws mediation Yemen, Saleh, Saleh Yemen
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Qatar has officially withdrawn from its role as part of the GCC mediation in Yemen, seeking to winkle President Saleh out of power.
Saleh has castigated Qatar on numerous occasions recently as an interfering power. So while the Qatari reason for its departure is that it is angry at the lack of progress – a perfectly valid point – it might help pave the road for Saleh’s exit.
The GCC mediation in recent weeks has picked up somewhat as Yemen has come ever closer to exploding. Their myriad of problems – Houthi rebellions; intra-tribal strife; chronic water shortages; a profound lack of jobs and economic development; Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula; a staggering youth-bulge; and an absolute lack of the most basic democratic structures – are finally becoming un-avoidable for the GCC. Though it must be noted that they have, to this point, avoided Yemen’s fundamental problems studiously and with great will power to date (Qatar aside).
The GCC, Yemen & Bahrain: Inside Story 8, May 2011Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain, Qatar, The Gulf, Yemen.
Tags: Al Jazeera inside story, Bahrain conflict, David Roberts, GCC Bahrain, GCC mediation, GCC mediation Yemen, Inside story, Qatar mediation Yemen
Here are some of my thoughts on the GCC in Yemen and in Bahrain.
Obviously, hindsight is 20:20, but I now realise that I ought to have confronted the Saudi fellow more robustly. Live and learn. Oh, and I need to E N U N C I A T E some more. And I’m fairly sure that I look nothing like that…and I’m certain that I sound nothing like that either.
Saleh on Qatar’s Mid East conspiracy web 7, May 2011Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Yemen.
Tags: Middle East conspiracy theories, President Saleh, Qatar, Qatar Middle East, Saleh leaving
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Yemen’s President Saleh gives an absurd interview to Russia Today, during which it – quelle surprise – slavishly bobs its head at appropriate times. The best bit is Salah’s broadside against Qatar which is – of course – involved in a web of conspiracy theories across the Middle East.
Today, Qatar is financing the chaos and unrest in Yemen, Syria, Egypt and, perhaps, all over the Arab world. They have lots of money, but a small population, and they simply don’t know how to spend so much money. They want to be a significant country, though – in the Persian Gulf and in the region in general. To that end, they are using the Al Jazeera TV channel. As you may know, many presenters of this channel have resigned following their disagreement with the policies of the state.
Yemen sacks chess team after Israeli match 22, September 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Yemen.
Tags: Chess, Israel chess team, Yemen chess team, Yemen chess team sacked
Yemeni authorities sacked their national chess team after it emerged that they played a match against Israeli opposition at the recent world championships in Belarus. What a mature decision.
Qatar to mediate (again) in Yemen 15, July 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Yemen.
Tags: Qatar, Qatar mediation, Qatari mediation, Qatari mediation in Yemen, Yemen, Yemeni mediation
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Qatar is to attempt to mediate in the Yemeni conflict once more.
Back in 2006-7 Qatari mediators (including the Emir, the Foreign Minister and the Crown Prince) sought to mediate a solution to the Houthi Yemeni conflict. They suggested that the Houthi leaders relocate to Doha (with a nice house and a stipend) and refrain from making any public statements as part of their proposed solution. The Qatari attempts failed. Whilst I had simply assumed that Saudi had, in some way, shape or form, interfered and scuppered the deal, apparently, the Yemeni authorities (and their advisors) thought that Qatar was trying to pursue a line of mediation overly ‘kind’ to the Houthis.
Qatar have a mixed record in mediation. They succeeded in securing a very important medium term solution in Lebanon and are in the midst of mediating (with severe difficulty) in Darfur. Unlike many regional mediators (such as Saudi and Egypt, for example) Qatar can bring a high degree of neutrality to most of their mediations. Additionally, they are relatively cash rich and are willing to use their money to facilitate mediation.
If, therefore, the conflict in Yemen is approaching something that might be described as a ‘ripe moment’ then Qatar may well have the attributes to bring the parties closer.
I look forward to some comments from knowledgeable Yemen people…
Hat tip: Mari
On Yemen’s ‘lawless’ spaces 31, January 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Yemen.
Tags: Lawless areas, Yemen, Yemen conflict
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The Waq al Waq blog makes an excellent point about Yemen’s “ungovernable/lawless” spaces that policy makers and journalists refer to so frequently, namely that they do not really exist. Rather, these spaces adhere to a different set of laws.
“Most so-called “ungoverned” spaces are in fact alternatively governed, typically by entrenched tribal laws and customs regarding the use of violence, mediation of conflict, and dispensation of justice. Such regions may be “sovereignty free,” but they are rarely Hobbesian.”
I bring this linguistic distinction up because I believe it is incredibly dangerous for policymakers, journalists and analysts to operate on the assumption that these areas in Yemen are indeed “lawless.” That is not the case. But thinking that it is often leads to mistakes of policy and writing, which makes Yemen over into some sort of blank map on which the author’s fantasies and imaginings can be projected.
There are laws and customs here. Just because they are not known does not mean they are not important.
The 60s, the UK and the Yemen 15, January 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in UK, Yemen.
Tags: Adam Curtis, Britain in Yemen, Failed state, Terrorism in Yemen, The Yemen, Yemen
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This is another link to a fantastic Adam Curtis blog posting. Here he delves into the history of the Yemen and finds it something of a pivotal place with Britain’s actions there in the 60′s having direct and traceable relations to what’s happening today in much more subtle ways that simple ‘Yemen as a failed state’ narrative. It also includes some fascinating BBC archive footage of what is decidedly not Britain’s finest hour.
US aid to Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan 11, January 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Central Asia, Iraq, Yemen.
Tags: Military aid, US aid, Yemen, Yemen aid, Yemen crisis
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By 2008, nonmilitary [US] aid to Yemen had dwindled to less than $20 million. Afghanistan is expected to receive $2.7 billion a year in nonmilitary aid, Pakistan $1.5 billion and Iraq $500 million.
The administration doubled Yemen’s economic aid last year, but as Barbara K. Bodine, another former ambassador, pointed out, the amount “works out to $1.60 per Yemeni.”
A brief Yemen reader 3, January 2010Posted by thegulfblog.com in Yemen.
Tags: Abdulmutallab, Al Qaeda Yemen, Houthis, Yemen, Yemen conflict, Zaidi
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Everyone who is anyone is, you may have noticed, waxing semi-intellectually about Yemen, or rather The Yemen if you want to sound a bit old school about it. Here’s what you need to read to fake it and join in the conversation.
- Marc Lynch offering an excellent, tempered overall view.
- Security crank doing much the same.
- It didn’t just begin to be a problem on X Mas day you know, as Simon Tisdall and Kristian Ulrichsen sagely elucidated some time ago.
- A bit of background from Carnegie.
- A little bit on the Iran link.
- And the answer from Waq al Waq.
The Yemen debacle spills over 21, September 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Gulf, Yemen.
Tags: Gulf, LSE, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, The bum bomb, Yemen
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(Abdullah Asiri: the bum bomber [what an ignominious failure...])
You will not find a better or more knowledgeable article tying together the recent assassination attempt in Saudi Arabia (the bum bomb) and the mess currently unfurling in Yemen than the one in the National by Kristian Ulrichsen. Academic journalism at its best.