Yemen. According to Countryaah.com, Yemen Independence Day is November 30. The governing party of the General People’s Congress passed from 187 to 238 seats in the parliamentary elections on April 27. The largest opposition party, the Islamist Yemeni Reform Alliance (al-Islah) took 46 of the House’s 301 seats. The turnout was 76%. Seven people were killed in fire fighting in connection with the election. The opposition accused the ruling party of electoral fraud.
During the year, the government continued its fight against militant Islamism. At least ten militant Islamists, belonging to the Islamic Aden-Aryan Army movement, were reported to have been killed in clashes with government troops on June 25.
92 people previously convicted of militant activities were released in September. The release was mediated by religious leaders. Ten people who had been detained on suspicion of involvement in the blast attack against a US warship in 2000 escaped April 11 from the detention center in Aden. Two of the suspects were indicted in their absence on May 15.
Over 80 Somali and Ethiopian refugees on their way to Yemen were reported to have drowned off the coast of Yemen in mid-January when the boat they were traveling in caught fire. In August and September, at least 30 refugees were reported to have drowned since being forced overboard by refugee smugglers who wanted to avoid being arrested by the Yemeni Coast Guard.
In May, a court sentenced Abed Abdulrazzak Kamel to death as responsible for the execution of 3 Christian North American missionaries in late 2002. They worked at a babtist hospital in the town of Jibla in Ibb province, 170 km south of Sana’a. The camel associated with the radical group Islamic Jihad rejected the verdict when the trial was conducted in a civil court and not an Islamic one. When arrested by police, he said he had shot at the missionaries to “purify his religion and be closer to Allah.”
In March 2004, security forces captured the suspected al-Qaeda leader in Albyan province. Authorities stated that suspect Abdul Raouf Nasi was arrested along with 12 other suspects in the remote area of Lawder. Acc. authorities had Nasi survived the CIA terrorist campaign in 2002, when al-Qaeda chief Yemen, Salim Sinan al-Harethi was killed. In the capital, the guarding of embassies, foreign companies and government offices was intensified.
In August, a Yemeni court sentenced 15 people accused of planning or carrying out attacks on foreign targets, such as the attack on a French tanker and a plot aimed at killing the US ambassador to Yemen. One of the accused was sentenced to death for killing a police officer, while the other 14 were sentenced to 10 years in prison. Most of the defendants’ defense lawyers boycotted the sentencing hearing, which they termed unfair: “These convictions lack legality because the lawyers were given no opportunity to defend their clients,” the father told one of the convicts. Yemen’s cooperation with the United States in the so-called war on terrorism has led to the detention of hundreds more suspected of being linked to the al-Qaeda network.
In September, a Yemeni court sentenced two men to death for the assault against the USS Cole. Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri was sentenced in absentia for being in North American custody. The other convicted was Jamal al-Badawi. The court also sentenced 4 others to 5-10 years in prison for participating in the attack. Badawi was considered at the time of the attack to be head of al-Qaeda’s naval operations and responsible for operations in the Persian Gulf.
In March-April 2005, more than 200 were killed in clashes between government forces and supporters of the Shiite imam Hussein al-Houthi, who ended up being killed himself. President Saleh blamed the parties al-Haq and the Union of People’s Power for forming armed departments aimed at bringing down the government. He also referred to “foreign conspiracy” – a reference to Iran, which according to. the government was implicated in the plans.
Polio returned to Yemen, which in 1996 was otherwise declared free of the disease. It came in the form of a fairly extensive epidemic in June 2005 with 179 cases in 11 of the country’s 21 provinces. Many Yemenites had refused to be vaccinated against polio in the early 1990s because there were various rumors circulating that the vaccinations were a plot to induce infertility and AIDS.
In July, at least 36 people were killed across the country during clashes between police and protesters demonstrating against an increase in gasoline prices.
In May 2006, Saudi Mohamad Hamdi al-Ahdal was sentenced to 3 years and 1 month in prison for “belonging to an armed group that attacked foreign interests” and for “financing criminal activities”. At the same time, al-Ahdal was suspected of al-Qaeda’s No. 2 in Yemen.
In early 2007, the government initiated a plan to curb violence in the country. The plan included the release of terror prisoners who promised to respect the laws of the country. An agreement with al-Qaeda also released members who had carried out attacks in Iraq.
Yemen has historically been close to its neighbor Somalia, on the other side of the Gulf of Aden. Therefore, when the civil war broke out in Somalia, Yemen opened its doors to all Somali refugees. In 2007, 110,000 Somali refugees lived in the country. In addition, another 600,000 who lived and worked in the country.