News / Middle East

Nobel Winner Says Yemen Could Face Civil War

Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman of Yemen speaks at City Hall in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2011.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman of Yemen speaks at City Hall in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2011.
Al Pessin

Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman of Yemen says her country could be pushed into a civil war unless the West stops supporting the current transition and takes strong legal and financial action against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Karman met with Britain’s foreign secretary and other senior officials on Thursday.

Karman says she told Foreign Secretary William Hague that the current 90-day waiting period, between Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation and his departure from office, is a very dangerous time. She told reporters she and her fellow-activists reject the deal negotiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council, and she told the foreign secretary that Britain and the West should stop supporting it.

“Three months is a long time. It means, enter Yemen to civil war. And I warn you because you are silent, you encourage him by your silence to do that,” she said.

Karman, who received the Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday in Oslo, came to London to meet with officials and members of the Yemeni exile community, and to promote her cause through a series of public events.  

At a news conference at the Council for Arab-British Understanding, she called on Britain and other western governments to freeze the assets of Saleh and his supporters, to prosecute Saleh through the International Criminal Court and to launch an investigation of the Saleh regime, as called for in a UN Security Council resolution passed in October.

“Britain’s government, they have to take their responsibility. And they have to be clever, not stupid. Please don’t play with Ali Saleh. Don’t give him a chance to cheat you more and more and more,” said Karman.

Karman says Foreign Secretary Hague told her Britain wants to wait and see how Saleh behaves during the 90-day transition period. But Karman told him Saleh is already not doing what he is supposed to do. And she called on Britain to “re-examine” its position.

She also criticized the Gulf plan, saying it gives Saleh immunity he doesn’t deserve, calls on the demonstrators to leave their encampment in Sana’a, and will create a paralyzed transitional government and an undemocratic election with only one candidate. That candidate is to be Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who Karman calls a puppet of Saleh.

“Is this the democracy that we are struggling for, that we paid thousands of blood, killed people and injured in the street for this? Where is the accountability? For giving him the immunity, where is the democracy? One candidate, which is Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, where is the press freedom and the human rights? Taking the demonstrations out, what is that? So, yes we are against that and we are not part of this initiative,” she said.

Karman said the demonstrations will continue to protest the transition plan.

She is the first Arab woman and, at age 32, the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She received it along with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs