The Middle East Channel

Mideast news brief: Yemeni troops shoot 12 protesters dead, wound several others

Yemeni troops shoot 12 protesters dead, wound several others  At least 12 people have been shot dead by security forces in Yemen, while 30 others have been wounded south of the capital of Sanaa, in the city of Taiz. Troops had been stationed on rooftops near the governor’s headquarters as thousands of protesters were marching ...

Yemeni troops shoot 12 protesters dead, wound several others 

At least 12 people have been shot dead by security forces in Yemen, while 30 others have been wounded south of the capital of Sanaa, in the city of Taiz. Troops had been stationed on rooftops near the governor’s headquarters as thousands of protesters were marching toward Freedom Square. Yemeni troops opened fire with live ammunition on the crowd, resulting in a dozen deaths. Fresh protests organized by the opposition broke out on Monday in several cities; in Hudeida, on Yemen’s western Red Sea coast, security forces opened fire with tear gas and live ammunition on protesters as they attempted to march on a presidential palace in the city. According to an Al Jazeera correspondent, more than 200 people have been wounded from that incident, many who are in critical condition. “They suddenly gathered around the province’s administrative building and headed to the presidential palace, but police stopped them by firing gunshots in the air and using tear gas,” said a witness to Reuters. “I saw a lot of plainclothes police attack them too.” 

  • Libyan rebels advance on the strategic oil town of Brega as Qaddafi envoy makes a diplomatic push to discuss an end to the fighting; meanwhile, Turkey is playing a mediator in the Libyan crisis. 
  • Syrian President Assad appoints a new minister to form a new government, and a new governor to the protest city of Daraa. 
  • Israeli panel likely to approve 942 new apartments in contested East Jerusalem.
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has reportedly left Egypt for Germany.
  • Israel urges the UN to cancel the Goldstone Report.

Daily Snapshot

A Yemeni demonstrator (C) is driven away on the back of a moped on the second day of clashes as demonstrators staged a march on the governorate headquarters demanding the ouster of Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taiz (Taez), some 200kms from the capital Sanaa on April 4, 2011. Yemeni security forces shot dead several anti-regime demonstrators and wounded scores more medics said (AFP/Getty Images).

 

Arguments & Analysis

Arab unrest and the U.S. response (Zbigniew Brzezenksi, interview with Fareed Zakaria

“Regimes that were once friendly towards us, whether it be in Iran or perhaps now in Egypt, are going to be less friendly, and certainly Iran is more than less friendly — it’s hostile. And in Egypt we’ll have difficulties. And the masses are now awakened. They’re stirring, and they’re far less likely to be compliant to our political wishes than the old elites, which were, to some extent, not only politically but [also] financially tied to us…[but] I think we have to help them because one of the impulses for these revolutions is this hatred for corruption, resentment, frustration, unemployment, the youth bulge, all of which needs a lot of tender care in order to overcome the social stimuli that made these masses more driven, more revolutionary and more impatient. And, beyond that, there’s also the question of peace because whether we like it or not, the Israeli Palestinian conflict is a major impulse for hatred of the United States, and, therefore, it’s in our interest and in Israel’s long-run interest to move forward before the regimes that are now in the process of emerging begin to adopt an increasingly hostile position towards us and towards Israel. And I have particularly in mind Egypt — potentially also Jordan.”

‘Letter from Yemen: after the uprising’ (Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker) “On Friday, April 1st, anti-government protesters drew their largest crowd to date, with tens of thousands of Yemenis pouring into Change Square to call for an end to Saleh’s rule. Just across town, Saleh staged a rally in his own honor, much like the Stadium of the Revolution event a month earlier. Participants were bused in from around the country and received a typical day’s wages, in the form of a meal, a handful of cash, and a bag of khat. (The Western official said that the government had spent as much as fourteen million dollars to stage a Saleh rally the previous week.) One Yemeni, when asked why he had travelled from the city of Al Mahwit to cheer the President, just shrugged. “Money,” he said.”

‘Will Fukushima force Iran to reconsider nuclear program?’ (Karim Sadjadpour, Ali Vaez, & Fariborz Ghadar, The Atlantic)  “Throughout the course of the last three decades, the rulers of the Islamic Republic have bestowed the title of “martyr” on hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens whose lives were unnecessarily cut short — in traffic accidents, natural disasters, or the prolonged eight-year war with Iraq — often attributable to governmental mismanagement. In a 21st century Iran, in which dignity, not martyrdom, is aspirational, Japan’s devastation has seemingly enabled a growing number of Iranians to see their own nuclear ambitions in a different light. Nationalism does not have to mean gratuitous defiance, modernity cannot be reconciled with a culture that celebrates deaths that were wholly unavoidable, and an inalienable right to enrich uranium should not come at the expense of an inalienable right to liberty, security, and happiness.”

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