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This post is a collection of Yemenis point of views on the GCC initiative that is supposed to be signed today between the political opposition parties and the ruling party headed by president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Deputy Abdurabu Manure Hadi, the deal that has been negotiated since April [eight months so far], it is worth mentioning that the deal is not clear to the public all what people talk about is that the deal guarantee impunity to Saleh although more than 2195 has died between February and August 2011according to Abaad studies and researches center.
Nadwa Dawsari-Johnson commented on Facebook describing the GCC deal
“ 1.Saleh remains president. Forget about him giving up his powers to Hadi. We all know that it is not going to happen. If Saleh is here and he has impunity and his arms are still there it is HE who will rule Yemen. “ she added,”
2.A committee to oversee military and security forces. That committee has the authorities to fire commanders who “don’t listen to orders”. This means Saleh’s sons, nephews and relatives will continue to command security and military units!!!”
3.”Elections by January. That is the MOST stupid thing. First technically we need 9 months to organize an election (voter registration, voter education, campaigning period, then elections). The current voter registry is not only old but also full of fraud. JMP themselves know that. I don’t know how they agreed on elections based on that VR but I guess, as always, JMP is after negotiations for sharing seats not really fair and free elections.
4.The mechanism gives Saleh and his family impunity from trial.
5.Government and parliament decisions are taken by consensus??!!!This opens the doors so wide for games playing and stalemate tactics.”
Fatima al-Aghbari and activist said “symbolic president!!! Why is it [Yemen] a company or an organization”.
Khalid al-Ansi, one of the protests leaders posted that the question should not be if Saleh will sign it or not it should be how many he has killed since 22 of May until 22 of Nov? he also posted “the opposition will be part of the regime as soon as the GCC deal is implemented as the opposition will form a unity government with the “killers” and the opposition will have to swear an oath to Hadi, Saleh’s deputy and partner in killing, then the revolution youth will have to continue their revolution and call to topple the regime that the opposition will be part of”
|Sana’a, Yemen–This is one of the most conservative countries when it comes to how women are viewed. But the current political climate has changed some of this.Yemeni society has offered limited roles for women in politics. It never expected women to be part of any revolution. Yet the most popular face of Yemen’s anti-government movement is a woman: Tawakkol Karman.
As Abubakr Al-Shamahi, a young male protester, said: “The average person looking at Yemeni women will see figures, mostly dressed in black covering their faces, and assume that this is Taliban Afghanistan. It is not. These women shout louder than the men, are more heartfelt, and more politically active. Look at the woman who started the protests, Tawakkol Karman.”
On April 14 President Saleh said women should not protest along with men in the street as it’s a social shame. The response was huge protests, whether women only or mixed, in many governorates [provinces] condemning what Saleh said.
“My father and mother don’t like me to be part of these protests. They try to stop me as they know what kind of cruel regime we have. I know how they feel but I can’t stop now. It’s the only time to make my children’s future better,” says Karman about her role.
WOMEN JOIN THE FIGHT
Anti-government demonstrations in Sana’a comprise four large tents especially for women. It is a stark contrast compared to mid-February on the first day of the sit-in demonstration when 30 men set up camping tents outside Sana’a University. There were no women.
But on the second day a woman joined them and set up her tent. This shocked a conservative society that viewed her as a criminal for daring to sleep in the same area with men she does not know. By now, a few weeks later, more women have joined the sit-in demonstration and are encouraging others to do the same.
Farida Al-Yarimi, a 47-year-old mother of five, was that first Yemeni woman to camp in the street in a bid to overthrow the regime. “I knew what I did wasn’t expected, but one of us had to start doing something. When I first came here I expected the worst, but it was great. The way the men protected me and secured the tent was good. Even traditional tribesmen don’t look down on us now,” reflects Al-Yarimi on her experience. Her family joined her two days after she set up her tent, and she has since become a leading female protester.
Most women protesters are older than 40, as many Yemeni families are still preventing their daughters from participating. But women have the same grievances that men hold. Um Ahmed, a mother in her mid-50s in the women’s tent at Sana’a University, says the government has offered her no assistance: “They think only of themselves. They never think of their people as human beings. They live in palaces with our money while we can’t provide food for our children.”
GIRLS JOIN TOO
Women have found different means to participate in protests. Some young girls who aren’t allowed to participate in public demonstrations have started a Facebook group to share their ideas and to ensure that their voices are heard.
Ashwaq Sobaie’, a 17-year-old high school student, was warned by her school principal that she would be dismissed from school if she continued participating in anti-government protests. Her reply was that she does not care what her school thinks of her. She continued protesting and also encouraged her school friends to participate.
“I started camping at Sana’a University from the third day of the sit-in. My mother encourages everybody at our house to protest. I put everything that I needed in my bag and ran away from school to the protest. That is where I belong,” says Sobaie’.
WE FIGHT THE REGIME AND OUR SOCIETY
Another young woman protester hid from her family her participation in protests. Yasmin Al-Qadhi, 25, is the daughter of a widely respected tribal sheikh who opposes President Saleh. Although she and her 15 sisters grew up in a political environment, they have to fight for the right to participate in politics. Al-Qadhi was one of three girls who joined thousands of male protesters on Feb. 3. She doesn’t camp at Sana’a University, but has an active role as a protest organizer. “We need to revolt twice as hard as men. We have to fight against the regime, but we also have to fight against discrimination from Yemeni men,” says Al-Qadhi.
One of her brothers said that women protesters who took to the streets alongside men were “prostitutes.” He is not the only person who holds this opinion, as Yemen largely is a tribal society with traditional values that define men’s and women’s roles.
“I didn’t care about what my brother wanted me to do. I’m a citizen of Yemen, just like any male citizen, and I have the right to work for goodness and change in my country. I won’t let anyone stop me,” says Al-Qadhi.
April 14, 2011
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Special from Yemen: Regime forces open fire on protesters rejecting GCC-brokered plan By: Shatha Al-Harazi Thu, 28/04/2011
Sanaa — Violence marred anti-government protests in Yemen on Wednesday, as thousands took to the streets of Sanaa and the country’s provincial capitals in rejection of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative tentatively endorsed by the regime and Yemen’s main opposition bloc. Clashes erupted between demonstrators and republican guards in Sanaa, claiming at least 12 lives and injuring hundreds. Pro-regime forces reportedly fired AK-47’s from rooftops down to demonstrators on the ground while protesters set cars ablaze with Molotov cocktails. Thugs also kidnapped thirty of those wounded, protesters said. “The regime uses violence and live ammunition to make the public rejection to the GCC initiative larger to achieve its aim of shirking the agreement,” the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the country’s opposition coalition, said in a statement on Thursday. Protesters in Sanaa’s Tagheer (Change) Square, the epicenter of the Yemeni uprising sweeping the nation, also denounced the violence, saying President Ali Abullah Saleh continues to brutally suppress the people in order to retain power. “Whenever there is an initiative, Saleh increases his killing of protesters,“ said Walid al-Amari, the protester elected to oversee the main stage in Tagheer Square. “Saleh won’t leave by international pressure. He will only leave at the hands of Yemenis.” Major General Ali Mohsen, the top military officer who defected last month, urged protesters to remain patient while claiming his forces are working to ensure the violence will not escalate. Demonstrators, who have flooded the streets of Yemen’s urban centers for the past three months, say the GCC-brokered deal serves President Saleh, in office for 33 years, and opposition parties. They say the accord is an affront to the country’s popular revolution. “We are stronger than the political parties,” said one young protester in Sanaa. “Today is it clear that the youth are the ones who revolted. We have 13 demands that we still want negotiated.” Youth demonstrators on Wednesday vowed to escalate an already resilient, forceful and enduring protest movement. They now pledge to block important streets in Yemen’s capital and march to “sensitive places to the state,” possibly including the presidential palace. In defiance of the popular rejection of the GCC-orchestrated agreement, the JMP confimed on Tuesday they and the General People’s Congress (GPC), Yemen’s ruling party, will sign the agreement on the initiative next week in Riyadh. Certain terms of the accord remain murky. “Both parties approve of the initiative. The only thing to be agreed upon is the date. We said Sunday. The JMP said Saturday. And the host said Monday,” said presidential information officer Ahmed al-Sofi. The GCC initiative aims to resolve Yemen’s political crisis by transferring power from Saleh to a designated deputy. The day the agreement is signed, the agreement says, Saleh will authorize the formation of a coalition government consisting of 50 percent GPC members, 40 percent JMP members and 10 percent independents. The coalition government, according to the deal, will be formed within seven days of its signing. The government will then work to create a stable political environment geared towards national reconciliation and the removal of all signs of political and security tension, including an end to demonstrations and the re-admittance of defected military forces. On the 29th day after the mutual signing, parliament will pass legislation providing legal and judicial immunity to the president, his family and high-ranking officials. The following day the president will, according to the plan, submit his resignation. Upon parliamentary approval of his resignation, power will be transferred to the vice president. The acting president will then call for a new presidential election within 60 days and form a constitutional committee charged with authoring a new constitution. When the new constitution is finalized, Yemenis will vote on its approval by referendum. Should the country endorse the document, a time schedule will be set for new parliamentary elections. And upon completion of parliamentary elections, the interim president will direct the majority party’s leadership to form a new government. The GCC, the United States and the European Union will, according to the plan, bear witness to the agreement’s implementation. Immunity for Saleh, the Yemeni strongman political dissidents call corrupt and negligent, continues to be the primary reason the Yemeni street rejects the GCC-brokered plan. “Any initiative that doesn’t include prosecuting Saleh and his regime is not acceptable,” said Hussein al-Watari, a young protester. Political analyst Ahmed al-Zurqa says the initiative fails to address the vast majority of the protesters’ demands and, for that matter, dismisses recognition of the true force behind Yemen’s widespread uprising. “The GCC initiative didn’t adopt the street demands at all. It showed the revolution as a political crises between two parties and only included those two parties,” al-Zurqa told the Yemen Times. Al-Zurqa says the GCC refuses to consider the situation in Yemen a popular revolution, preferring to address the crisis as a political conflict. Gulf countries, according to al-Zurqa, will not allow someone with unknown ideological orientation to rise to power in Yemen. The Saudis, who maintain significant influence in the country, are reliant on Yemeni political cooperation to curb Islamist activity along its porous shared border. GCC countries, al-Zurqa continued, also see the threat of contagion in the Yemeni uprising and popular unrest elsewhere throughout the region. Yemen’s neighbors are steadfastly working to keep the pro-democracy movement sweeping the Arab World outside their borders. Al-Zurqa says Saleh’s endorsement of the deal is merely a ploy to bide time and configure a way to stay in power. JMP officials agree, saying Saleh will never respect the agreement when the time comes to relinquish the presidency. “He is well known for not respecting agreements, just like what he did in 1993 when he agreed on unity with the south and came on 1994 with the war,” said al-Zurqa. Some analysts consider the JMP’s endorsement a stratagem to expose Saleh’s lack of genuine willingness to leave office. But, regardless of its intentions, the country’s main opposition bloc has lost significant credibility on the street by striking a deal. Although developments over recent days mark the best indication so far the country is edging closer towards ending its political crisis, reconciliation and stability remain a distant prospect. Even from the technical perspective. ”The ruling party rejects any compromises the president did so far. Today lots of the ruling party MPs resigned so they are not the majority anymore,” said presidential information officer al-Sofi. The number of resignations is unknown. Should enough MPs leave office, parliamentary approval of Saleh’s resignation will not be possible.