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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora