Yemen: Attacks on Southern Yemen Jeopardize National Dialogue

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

After the “swift” military victory over Al-Qaeda and recapture of the three southern cities, Jaar, Zanjibar and Shukrah, which had also fallen very “quickly” to Al Qaeda, the military drove through Mansoura in Aden to quell protesters.

This video posted by: Talae3 Almajd leltaghyeer) shows tanks which returned from Zanjibar parading through the streets of Mansoura shooting live ammunition to “celebrate” in a power demonstration. The tanks were later used to quell separatist protesters in Mansoura.

While a National Dialogue is under way to discuss many of Yemen's issues, central security forces attacked Mansoura's square, where separatist activists staged sit-in protests for over a year, destroying their tents and using live ammunition to disperse them, killing and injuring some.

Naji Alkaladi tweeted:

@NajiAlkaladi: Storming of the Martyrs’ Square in ‪#Mansoura‬ @KatieZimmerman @Nefermaat @juhui67 @hrw ‪#Yemen‬ ‪#SouthYemen‬

Tanks stationed in Martyrs square in Mansoura, Aden. Photo shared on Twitter by @NajiAlkaladi

He also tweeted a photo of the peaceful protests:

#Yemen Sons of #Aden stand in front of a machine of repression and carry out a comprehensive civil disobedience #hrw

Protesters staging a peaceful sit-in in front of a tank in Manoura, Aden. Photo shared on Twitter by @NajiAlkaladi

Hussain Al-Yafai tweeted in dismay:

@crazyyafai: Martyr's square in ‪#Aden‬ ‪#SouthYemen‬ was stormed this week, this is a great start to national dialogue with Southern secessionists. ‪#Yemen

On Friday, June 22nd, a peaceful march was also attacked upon returning from a funeral of Ahmed Jamal Haydarh, a youth killed a day earlier by a security forces sniper, leading to two more people getting killed and six injured.
This video shows the peaceful march being attacked by security forces. (Video posted by aliwhpf)

Al-Yafai later tweeted updating the death toll:

‏@crazyyafai: So far around six people have been killed by snipers in #Aden #SouthYemen this week. #Yemen

Yemen Updates tweeted:

Security troopers burnt down the stage of Malla protest site in Aden city this morning. ‪#yemen‬ ‪#Aden‬

Activist Boshra Al Maktari posted photos [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] of the killed and injured in Mansoura on her Facebook page in a post entitled “Silence by the north on the Mansoura massacres” criticizing the revolutionary activists for not giving the Mansoura attacks the due attention.

Mohammed al-Sahimi tweeted criticizing mostly the Arab media blackout:

@malsahimi: “See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil” Today's media on the situation in ‪#Aden‬ ‪#yemen‬! Real shame ‪#aljazeera‬ ‪#bbcarabic‬ ‪#bbc‬ ‪#alarabiya‬

The Electronic Coordination of the Yemeni Revolution, which consists of 21 Major news pages on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+) condemned the attacks on Mansoura in an issued statement posted on the News of Yemeni Revolution, a Yemeni English news Facebook page, part of the Electronic Coordination.

The Electronic Coordination notes that it rejects this brutal repression towards the peaceful people of Mansoura regardless of their political or ideological affiliations, whatever their demands are. Attacking them in such an atrocious manner is considered a crime that can not be tolerated and hence we announce our full solidarity with the people of Mansoura and Aden and demand the government to stop all the murderers and criminals causing these massacres and call upon all the revolutionary Yemeni people from one end to the other to stand firmly against the perpetrators of those crimes against innocent civilians.

Blogger Afrah Nasser wrote about the Mansoura attack in her blog post.

She quotes Dr. Abdullah Abelsamad who writes on Facebook:

it's a genocide for southern people. Unfortunately, in Aden, there is a martyr after another, an injured person after another, displaced people, homeless people, shelling houses, no electricity, no water, and a tight siege on the whole city. It's a genocide.

Until the writing of this post 10 people have been reported killed in Aden and tens injured.

Summer Nasser tweeted:

‪#Yemen‬: This not only will get the people of ‪#Aden‬ upset, but it will also give the southerners more of a reason to ask for separation

Sarah Alsakkaf also tweeted:

‏@yemen_sarah: what's happening in Aden is just another way to mess up the country!

Yemen's transitional government is going through serious challenges, apart from what is seemingly the priority, the war against Al-Qaeda, it is faced with a hunger crisis, a public anger throughout Yemen from enduring continuous and long electric power and water cuts due to recurrent attacks on the supply lines, a fragile national dialogue that could be jeopardized by the massacre in Yemen's south; which if not halted immediately would certainly aggravate further the deep southern grievances and possibly rip the country apart.

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.


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