Friday, August 12, 2011

Q & A on

Q & A on situation in Yemen on

Does the global press coverage of Yemen exaggerate the violence and/or chaotic aspect of what is going on there?
If you mean, AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula), then yes i think it is exaggerated, as there has been no sufficient investigation to prove or disprove any of the claims.
If you are talking about violence by pro-Saleh entities against protesters, then no, I don't think it's exaggerated; I don't think it's covered enough. You don't hear much about the violence that's happening right now in Taiz, in Abyan, and in Arhab. What is completely missing is the humanitiaran aspect.
Last time, we spoke about how activists were organizing in Facebook groups to coordinate and decide on what is next. There's now a transitional youth council in Yemen that looks as if it may wield or soon wield political power. Are they still using facebook to share ideas and make decisions?
Yes of course. Facebook is still widely used to share ideas. Some groups are "private" for security reasons, and they only add people they know. Other groups are open for all, and anyone can share their ideas. The electricity problem, however, is not permitting as many to go online. No electricity means no Internet for the most part. The wealthy are trying to circumvent this problem by purchasing generators, while others have an Internet USB. But, the majority can't access internet when electricity is cut, unless they go to an Internet cafe.
How likely do you think it is that the Yemeni non violent youth movement will have real political power within the year?
That is a very hard question. In Yemen, it's very hard to predict anything as things are very complicated. Alliances can be made and broken within a week, and attacks can change the course of a group's goals. The youth are still struggling - they are still at the squares demanding change, but no one seems to be listening to them. Most people abroad don't even realize they are STILL camping out at the squares, and have been since February! Whether their demands will lead to real political power depends on a number of factors including the groups inside the country and pressure from foreign countries. The humanitarian crisis is not helping the situation, and it is making people not only suffer, but live in a tense environment. People are worried that a war could errupt at any moment. The role of political parties should be stronger, and they should push for political change in a more powerful way. The creation of a transitional council pushed the JMP (Joint Meeting Parties - the oppostion coalition) to try and work out the next steps forward.

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