The Nobel Committee honors women’s right to voice their demand for global peace by honoring three women with annual peace prize. One of the awarded is from Yemen while rest two are Liberians.
Ellen Johnson, Liberia’s first elected and female president along her compatriot Leymah Gbowee shares the most prestigious award with Arabian activist Tawakul Karman.
The Nobel Committee justified awarding the trio because world can not achieve full democracy and peace until the women also get equal opportunities with men in all spheres, revealed the committee’s chairman Thorbjoern Jagland.
Johnson-Sirleaf, 72 has won election in Liberia for a second term as President. She is called as “Iron Lady” by her opponents. Achieving this award might also reduce her vote potentiality, doubted many diplomats, however, Sirleaf dismissed all doubts.
Awarding Yemeni protesters, who are still fighting to pressurize their autocratic rulers to step down, may also be taken as an indication that Oslo has put its hands away from former ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, the current president of Yemen.
Karman stated that her achievement should be considered as a prize for the victory of Yemeni people and all revolutionaries of the Arab world.
The battle to remove the Yemeni President Mr. Saleh has intensified with the main group pushing for the removal fighting to enter to the capital Sanaa.
On Thursday there was an intense fighting between the Yemeni military and the tribesmen who are loyal to the Sadeg al-Ahmar at the outskirt of the capital Sanaa. Hundreds of tribesmen were seen making their way through the capital. They were waged at Hasaba which is a neighborhood of Sanaa by Yemeni security forces. Already Hasaba is subjected to intense bombardment by the Yemeni military. There is report of high causality in the battle, it is reported that dozens of people were killed.
The battle was brought nearer to the Yemen airport and the tribesmen were reported pushing their way towards the capital. The battle is gradually spreading across the other parts of the country. In Taiz which is located in the southern part of the country, soldiers fighting for the government had opened fire on peaceful protesters who were calling for an end to the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The protest in Taiz had been on for some few days now and it is reported that at least 25 people have lost their lives as a result of the attack by the soldiers.
The situation in Yemen is gradually tilting towards civil war. There was a fierce battle between soldiers and tribesmen as they fight for the control of key positions in the capital. These have caused many diplomats to board plane and flee out of the country.
The concentration of the fighting is now in the capital Sanaa and several other cities and there are worries that the battle could engulf the whole country.
Yemen soldiers moved in to fight the opposition groups which comprise of tribesmen, Islamic militants and militias. These groups are fighting the government in addition to the popular uprising in the country which is demanding for regime change in the country.
There was heavy fighting around the state owned television which was strongly fortified by security forces. The security forces opened fire against the tribesmen who are supporting Hamid al-Ahmac who is the strongest opponent of President Ali Saleh.
Heavy fighting between the tribesmen and Yemen security forces busted last week because of the refusal of president Saleh to sign a peace deal. That was the third time the president is refusing to sign that deal. With the movement of tanks and armored vehicles into the capital it appears that Saleh wanted to use maximum force to crush the tribesmen. Such a move could be counter productive.
It was the plan of the world powers to restore Gulf brokered plan which was aimed at removing the president Saleh out of power that delayed the formation of the transition government in Yemen.
However Qatar which is deeply involved in the plan has withdrawn citing the escalation of protest in the country as the reason for backing out. A deal was already reached which president Saleh was hesitating to sign. However the secretary of GCC is expected to resuscitate the deal when he visits Sanaa.
It would be recalled that the Yemen military used excessive force against the protesters yesterday killing two of the protesters and wounding many of them. The attacks against the civilians were condemned by world leaders. The United States of America has condemned the attack and called on all the parties to abide by the terms of agreement already reached to bring about a smooth transition to power. It remarked that the transition to power has to commence without delay so as to enable the people of the country realize their dreams.
There are worries expressed over the region that the escalation of the violence could give al Qaeda the opportunity to exploit the crises and worsen the situation.
It is estimated that at least ten students were in Yemen when the police use excessive force against students who were protesting in campus. The protesting students were of Al-Hodayda campus which is located at the Hodayda province near the Red Sea. The police opened fire on the protesting students.
According to an eye witness the police entered the campus and started shooting indiscriminately against the students wounding at least ten of the students in the process. Sources from the hospitals where the students were rushed disclosed that the conditions of the students were in critical.
The cause of the unrest by the students is there demand for the closure of the school indefinitely until there is a regime change in the country. This is part of the widespread unrest that is going on the country for months now. Tension has been high in the country since the organized protest against the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Few days ago the opposition gave two days ultimatum to the president to step down from power. The opposition vowed to move to the government house and other government buildings if the president failed to step down in two days. The police are prepared to deal with protesters with ruthless force.
Protestes in Yemen
Protesters are insistent on criticizing the breach of deal between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Yemeni President and they fiercely demonstrated against the later. They warned the President that killing protesters would make it impossible to proceed with the deal.
The demonstrators issued this warning following the murder of 13 rebellions in Sanaa and one in Aden by the pro-government security forces. Around 100 protesters were injured in the clashes with the security forces.
The statement issued by the opposition demonstraters said that they had accepted the Gulf deal in hope to stop blood shedding, but the government has yet not stopped killing innocent peopleagitated them.
The opposition members feel that the Saleh government is using GCC deal to kill Yemenis and they would never accept the same if the massacre does not stop soon.
The deal is yet to be finalized and signed by the Yemeni government and the opposition members. The GCC proposal includes a transfer of power from Saleh to his opposition within 30 days of signing the deal in exchange, Saleh and his supporters would be provided immunity. There is also a condition of formation of new unity government within 7 days after Saleh’s resignation.
The GCC refers to six oil-producing nations in Gulf region, which have been working together to establish peace in Yemen.
However, the international human right group—Amnesty International opposed the proposal of providing immunity to Yemeni President and his supporters who are involved in brutal massacre of innocent people.
Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, Malcolm Smart stated that Saleh should not be allowed an escape from punishments for the human rights crimes he committed—torturing Yemeni civilians and killing them.
Yemen is expecting a power transition after President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigns. The president is negotiation with other leaders showing concern over counterterrorism units and safety of his relatives.
Saleh has been a close ally to the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The negotiation included Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar’s aide, two opposition leaders beside the president. Gen, Ahmar is a defected leader who supported antigovernment protesters. The capital city Sana had thousands of protesters fighting fiercely with soldiers who were armed with tanks and other weapons to suppress the rebellions trying to overthrow the government.
. The protesters in Sana reiterated their pledge to continue their demonstrations however said that they would try to minimize the possibilities of conflicts with the security forces. The program to march from central Tahir Square to the presidential palace has been postponed
According to some close sources to the negotiators, the Yemeni president was insisting upon quitting only after guarantee of safety for himself and his family. He also wanted to be assured of a transitional authority who can favor him even after stepping down from the president’s post.
Saleh has learned from observing incidents in Egypt, where the former president, Hosni Mubarak after resigning, now faces charges of corruption.
Saleh also demonstrated that he still enjoys control over the security forces as well as support of common people by organizing a rally in the capital city. The broadcast on television showed him challenging the opposition’s capability to take over the power.
The wind of revolution has engulfed entire Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain following Egypt, Tunisia and many other nations in the Middle East region.
Thousands of people demanding ouster of the current autocratic regime in Bahrain protested against the suppressive rule. It is been more than a week with violent protests and clashes between opponents of Saudi Arabian government and security forces. The protestors are demanding release of the people who are detained by the police without any charges.
More than a hundred people are estimated to have been injured after security forces used tear gas and batons against the protestors while they were marching to close down the financial center of Manama. The demonstrators threw stones and gas canisters over the security forces in return.
In Yemen, the security forces had to fire against the demonstrators demanding overthrow of autocratioc government. Seven protestors were killed while many others were injured in the clashes.
People Demonstrate in Saudi Arabia Against Government
The United States strongly condemned security forces’ actions in Yemen and Bahrain and urged the governments of the two nations to initiate peaceful talks with opposition groups.
In Saudi Arabia too, thousands of people demonstrated against imprisonment of their relatives by the security persons without any reason. The demonstrators rallied in front of the Interior Ministry demanding immediate release of the people detained, however, there have no violence so far.
Clashes between anti and pro government demonstrators resulted in the loss of lives of three anti government protestors and injuries to 76 demonstrators.
Anti government demonstrators took to the street much like Egypt and Tunisia. They shouted for economic and political reform. The ouster of President Abdullah Saleh was a part of the demand.
The 10,000 strong crowd of anti government protestors in the city of Tiaz were attacked by 8000 pro government demonstrators resulting in the loss of two lives and injuries. Yemeni soldiers had a tough time in dispersing the protestors. It took two hours for 5000 soldiers to disperse the protestors in Tiaz.
It is reported that the government supporters hurled a bomb on anti government demonstrators in Tiaz killing two of them. The other death resulted in Aden when an anti government demonstrator was shot down. Pro government demonstrators are armed with batons, rocks and knives.
The poor African nation is being torn apart by a Shiite movement in the north, a separatist movement in the south and growing terrorism across the country.
President Saleh who has been in power for 30 years refuses to step down. But his offer to have a national dialog on issues has been accepted by the opposition.
A lot of Yemeni demonstrators resisted petition for peace and trudged in mass through the capital on Thursday in a move to remove the country’s head of state.
At one side stood the followers of the head of state and at the other side were the demonstrators against the government. Smell and sight of burnt rubber filled everywhere especially next to closed shops with the noise of gunfire heard also.
On Thursday, the underprivileged capital saw the most violent of conflict since that of Tunisia and Egypt. Although few in number, Yemen’s anti-government protesters unexpectedly came back in full force to fight back with different kinds of dangerous weapons.
For some onlookers, the tumultuous situation on Rabat Street – after weeks of pacific demonstration even in the presence of well protected government militia- points out that a change has taken place in this mid-eastern country.
In the midst of this turbulence, Saleh a United States supporter who has held power for over three decades has declared an inquiry into the untimely demise of demonstrators. That night, The President met with senior military personnel, with one of them referring to these as ordinary fighting.
On Thursday protesters against the government gathered in seven regions emphasizing its instability.