continued from History of Yemen
Anti-American, anti-western stance
2000 – USS Cole bombing, organized by Bin Laden (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/06/20/world/main297600.shtml )
FBI agents sent to Yemen to investigate the bombing in the days following the blast worked in an extremely hostile environment. They were met at the airport by Yemen special forces, "each soldier pointing an AK-47 at the plane." Speakers in the Yemeni parliament "calling for jihad against America," were broadcast on local television each night. After some delay, Yemenis produced a CCTV video from a harborside security camera, but with the crucial moment of the explosion deleted. "There were so many perceived threats that the agents often slept in their clothes and with their weapons at their sides." At one point, the hotel where the agents stayed "was surrounded with men in traditional dress, some in jeeps, all carrying guns." Finally the agents abandoned their hotel to stay at a Navy vessel in the Bay of Aden, but even that was not safe. After being granted "permission from the Yemeni government to fly back to shore," their helicopter "was painted by an SA-7 missile" and "had to take evasive maneuvers".
By May 2008, all defendants convicted in the attack had escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.[22
In October 2002 a French tanker Limburg (pictured) was damaged by bomb-laden boat in port of Ash-Shir.
Yemenis disapproved of Pres. Saleh’s alliance with the United States following President Bush’s declaration of a “war on terrorism.”
In 2002 a Yemeni man threw a hand grenade over the wall of the U.S. embassy to protest against a visit to the country by Dick Cheney, the then US vice-president.
In March 2003 tens of thousand of Yemenis marched on the U.S. embassy when the United States invaded Iraq, and Saleh used deadly force to stop them. 2 people killed.
On September 17, 2008a car bomb exploded at the gates of the U.S. embassy.
By spring 2008 the anti-government protesters had no central leadership, but they began organizing around the name “Southern Movement,” or the “Peace Movement of the South” (al-Haraka al-Salmiyya lil-Junub). Multiple groups directed their own local activities. The movement remains decentralized.
“At rallies in 2009, demonstrators began waving the ﬂag of the former South Yemen, which had not been used publicly since the 1994 war. In early April 2009 Sheikh Tareq al-Fadhli, a former southern ally of Saleh who assisted Saleh’s GPC during its showdown with the YSP in the early 1990s, announced that he was joining the Southern Movement. The next month al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen, Nasser al-Wahayshi, declared AQAP’s support for the Southern Movement ”.
The Southern Movement is much more than a security threat linked to al-Qaeda. It is ﬁrst and foremost a political movement seeking redress an unsuccessful uniﬁcation process in the 1990’s.
In 2010 friction and troubles continue. Elements in the south perceive unfair treatment by the north.
This has given birth to a popular movement called the South Yemen Movement which calls for the return of an independent southern state.
The central government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh has cracked down on the Southern Movement, but this pressure has radicalized the group.
2011: pro-reform demonstrations continue. Police snipers open fire on pro-democracy camp in Sanaa, killing more than 50 people.
Senior military figures including key general, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, declare their backing for protest movement. Several ministers and other senior regime figures also defect to protesters.Protests against Saleh are monitored by the U.S. government, as evident from an interview with Tawakel Karman, who got the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, for leading the protests in Yemen in a peaceful way. She said: "I do have close strategic ties with American organizations involved in protecting human rights, with American ambassadors and with officials in the U.S. State Department. (I also have ties with activists in) most of the E.U. and Arab countries. But they are ties among equals; (I am not) their subordinate."
Also: “On 18 June she wrote an article entitled "Yemen's Unfinished Revolution" in the New York Times in which she assailed the United States and Saudi Arabia for their support for the "corrupt" Saleh regime in Yemen because they "used their influence to ensure that members of the old regime remain in power and the status quo is maintained." She argued that American intervention in Yemen was motivated by the war on terror and was not responsive to either the human rights abuses in Yemen or the calls from Yemen’s democracy movement”. So, the U.S. attempts to channel rage against exploitation of the country into a peaceful channel.
Most important, she says : "American counterterrorism agencies and the Saudi government have a firm grip on Yemen at the moment. It is they, not the Yemeni people and their constitutional institutions, that control the country".
The Arab spring protests re-ignites the civil war
The Arab spring protests (sparked in Tunisia in late 2010) were at first led by students and young people, but they eventually grew to include much of Yemen's fractious opposition. The Houthis , Shia rebels in the north who have fought a long-running war with Sanaa, endorsed the protest movement; so did the Southern Movement, the secessionist group in the south.
Several high-ranking military officers deserted Saleh after a particularly brutal crackdown, when at least 50 protesters in Sanaa were killed by snipers. General Ali Mohsen Saleh was the first to go: He ordered the troops under his command to protect protesters.
Fighting between Saleh and the Ahmar family has paralysed the capital for weeks. Fighters loyal to Saleh shelled the Ahmar compound in Sanaa and several businesses owned by the family; al-Ahmar's men have been blamed for the rocket attack against the presidential palace.
Unemployment, poverty and poor public services have turned the south into the epicentre of the anti-government protests that began two weeks ago. In Aden, the main city in the south, 40 per cent of young people are unemployed - and that's the official statistic. Protesters wear pink ribbons, a symbol of “Jasmine revolution” – similarly to “orange” in Ukraine in 2004 (orange ribbons). This makes us think that both "revolutions" were designed in the same place."Yemen has been torn apart by conflict since 2014, when Houthi rebels, allied with troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, captured large expanses of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
A coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign against the rebels (Houthis ) in March 2015. Since then, more than 9,000 people have been killed and 2.8 million driven from their homes."