#Yemen: Seriously Hopeless or Hopelessly Serious?


Yemen Revolutionary Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman

As protests which began in February 2011 seeking change, morphed through demanding the ouster of Saleh’s regime, and now demand transparent justice continue, Al Jazeera interviews Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Basindawa and Nobel Laureate activist Tawakkol Karman to review the situation in Yemen.

Basindawa seems woefully unprepared for the questions about the GCC deal, meeting protesters’ demands, foreign policy and the Al Qaeda issue. When it gets to the Houthi unrest in the north, he abruptly ends the discussion. It seems very much as though Basindawa had agreed to the interview in the expectation he would be promoting the work of the government rather than responding to criticism.

Yemen Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Basindawa

Ms Karman is as usual unequivocal about the situation in Yemen: protesters are resolute in their decision to continue the revolution, and to monitor the new government throughout its two-year probation. She reminds us that, while supportive of the transitional government, the GCC deal was never accepted by the people, and they will not yield on the need to address a multitude of social and political issues. The activist also highlights the responsibility of the international community to lend their support.

The continued influence of Saleh and his network clearly casts a long shadow over the future of Yemen: Tawakkol Karman believes Saleh is deliberately stirring instability and trying make good on his promise to turn the country into another Somalia, and Basindawa admitted that Saleh still has strong influence, especially through his family’s control of sections of the military and security.


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