Archive | Yemen Leaks

Yemeni President Saleh Wants Washington Trip

Posted on 07 February 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 003023


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2014

Classified By: Ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d ).

¶1. (C) Summary. President Saleh convoked Ambassador December
6 to request that he convey Saleh’s strong desire to visit Washington to personally congratulate President Bush on his reelection and meet with newly appointed senior officials. Citing important new developments in the region “that can only be discussed face to face,” Saleh said he also plans to raise U.S. - ROYG CT cooperation. Saleh also discussed USG military assistance, SA/LW in Yemen, and the status of pending security detainee releases. End Summary.

Saleh: I Must Meet the President Face to Face

¶2. (C) President Saleh emphasized his desire to be among the first foreign leaders to personally congratulate President Bush on his reelection, and said he needed to meet with Secretary of State designate Dr. Rice and other newly


appointed senior officials to raise new regional developments that can only be discussed “face to face.” Ambassador promised to convey Saleh’s message to the White House, cautioning that a visit could not be arranged before inauguration and all new cabinet posts had been filled and confirmed. Only then would we be able to discuss the possibility of a Saleh visit to D.C.

¶3. (S) True to form, Saleh launched into a list of what he believes the U.S. owes him. “Where is the money for the Army, and what about my spare (F-5) parts?” Saleh demanded. Ambassador promise to follow up on this matter. (Note: OMC reports difficulties in getting MOD to follow through with the necessary paperwork on parts and equipment in order to spend the 17 million USD in Yemen’s FMF account. End Note.)

Controlling SA/LW

¶4. (S) Pointing out that any meetings with senior U.S. officials would quickly turn to the subject of Yemen’s huge grey market in SA/LW, Ambassador told Saleh that Yemen needs to gain control over the huge flow of these weapons in and through the country. Washington is very concerned about this issue and ready to help the ROYG tackle it, added Ambassador. “I will do it!” Saleh exclaimed, insisting that he was
already “cracking down” on the SA/LWs market. The President pointed to the MANPADS buyback program, saying that he had made the hard and “right” decision, over MOD objections, to include in the buyback program all ROYG-recovered MANPADS, including those systems the MOD wanted to retain for its own arsenal.

Ramadan Releases: “We are Waiting for You”

¶5. (S) Saleh raised the 28 security detainees, meant to be released in the Ramadan amnesty, who the ROYG has agreed to continue to hold based on USG objections. Saleh told Ambassador that the 28 were arrested under suspicion of AQ membership, having returned to Yemen from Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, but that after investigation there was no evidence they were involved in terrorist acts. “We are waiting for information from you,” said Saleh. Ambassador replied that we had already provided all the information currently available. The problem, said Ambassador, is continued ROYG refusal to exchange information. Ambassador reiterated that we have asked repeatedly for the evidence
that led the ROYG to conclude these 28 should be released. Surely there must be case files, transcripts of interviews, investigation notes, pressed Ambassador, yet the ROYG maintains it has no information on these suspects.

Hadi Dulqum: “The Saudis are Crazy for him”

¶6. (S) Saleh stuck to his line that Hadi Dulqum is just a “simple arms dealer.” The Saudis want Dulqum, said the President, “they are crazy for him. What do you expect?” he asked, “if we arrest every arms dealer in the country, we will have hundreds of them in prison.” The USG agrees with the Saudis, said Ambassador, adding that Dulqum’s connections with AQ are too extensive for him to be simply another Yemeni arms dealer. Saleh offered to conduct joint interrogations
of Dulqum with the USG and said he would instruct the PSO to share its files on Dulqum. (Note: This is the third time Saleh has made such a promise. The PSO continues to insist it has no information on Dulqum. End Note.)

¶7. (S) Comment: Saleh gave no indication that the 28 would be released soon, but he is clearly under considerable pressure
to do so. His acute awareness of the Saudi position on Dulqum, (which previously senior ROYG officials have dismissed as not credible) indicates the Saudis have approached him, directly or indirectly, on the matter.

¶8. (C) Comment Continued. Saleh wants to visit Washington and meet with President Bush and senior USG officials annually. To the extent we can offer bilateral meetings with senior officials here in Sanaa, elsewhere in the region, or even D.C., we should consider it, but an official visit to Washington so soon after Sea Island should wait until we have resolved to our satisfaction the prisoner release issue, and have renewed Yemeni commitment on counter-terrorism. End Comment.

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Good News Fro Yemen’s Investment Climate

Posted on 07 February 2011 by hashimilion

C O N F I D E N T I A L SANAA 001589


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/11/2015

REF: A. SANAA 1338
¶B. SANAA 106

Classified By: DCM Nabeel Khoury for reasons 1.5 b and d.

¶1. (C) Summary and Comment. On June 8 the ROYG announced
Dubai Ports International (DPI) the winner of a 35-year concession to operate and develop the Aden Port and Aden Container Terminal (ACT). DPI is the world’s fifth largest port operator, managing 18 international ports and terminals worldwide. The ROYG’s choice quelled the fears of international organizations and observers that corruption and mismanagement by the High Tender Committee would result in a port operator without the ability and experience to do the
job. Although the tender process itself lacked transparency and failed to meet international standards, the fact that DPI won the contract may indicate that, at the highest levels, the ROYG is beginning to see the danger of allowing parochial interests to tank Yemen’s economicprospects. End Summary and Comment.

¶2. (U) The Aden Port and Container Terminal contract deal is worth 500 to 600 million USD, with at least a one billion USD investment by the management company. The proposals offered the following financial terms: an upfront 100 million USD payment to ROYG; and, a shared revenue stream accrued to both the winning company and the ROYG over the next 20 to 30 years. DPI will likely invest at least one billion USD in port infrastructure improvements over the coming years to
revitalize Aden Port.

A less Than Perfect Process

¶3. (C) John Speakman, World Bank economist and advisor to the
ROYG on this tender, reported that the ROYG ignored his advice on how to conduct a transparent tender process. The committee shared the financial terms of all the original bids with the bidders during the second round, encouraging each to resubmit their bids in light of their competitors proposals. In the final round, the choice was between DPI and Kuwait Gulf League (KGL). The parameters for assessing each tender were disclosed but their weights were not, leading some local
observers to charge that the committee purposefully obscured the decision-making matrix so that it could potentially award the contract to whichever firm offered the biggest payoffs.

¶4. (C) Both deals offered approximately the same financial terms. KGL quoted higher projected revenue to the ROYG and smaller guaranteed revenue, while DPI offered higher guaranteed revenue with lower projected revenue. While the tender process was flawed throughout, falling far short of international transparency standards, Spearman rated it as “slightly improved over previous years.”

¶5. (C) In the many months leading up to the decision, international organizations and interested observers feared corruption would ultimately determine the final outcome. The choice of an inexperienced firm would spell a major lost opportunity to improve Yemen’s failing economy, attract foreign investment, and help wean Yemen from oil dependency.

Saleh: I Picked DPI Myself

¶6. (C) Ambassador praised the ROYG’s decision to President Saleh on June 9, calling it a strong symbol that Yemen is serious about opening its economy to foreign investment. DPI, said Ambassador, is an excellent and experienced company with an international reputation. It is the right choice to develop the huge potential of Aden Port and the Aden Free Zone. Saleh responded that he personally had made the
decision to pick DPI.

¶7. (C) Comment: Three days prior to the announcement ceremony, Kuwait sent a royal delegation to petition President Saleh directly on behalf of KGL. Saleh reportedly told the Kuwait officials, “My hands are off this project. I,m going to let the tender committee decide on technical merits.” By his own admission, Saleh did not keep his hands
off, however, his direct intervention was, in fact, to ensure the ROYG’s choice was based on merit. A hopeful sign that Saleh is beginning to understand that the choice of Aden’s port operator should not be influenced by corruption. That the tender committee did not adopt transparency or international standards as advised by the WB, however, is yet another indicator that Yemen’s institutions remain weak and implementing important political and economic reforms is
still ultimately decided according to the President’s whims.
End Comment.

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Washington Visit: Saleh Needs To Be Part Of The Solution

Posted on 06 February 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 001790


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2015


Classified By: CDA Nabeel Khoury for reasons 1.5 b and d.

¶1. (S) Summary: Significant progress has been made in our
relationship with Yemen in the past four years. The ROYG has arrested and tried perpetrators of the USS Cole and VM Limburg attacks, shared GWOT-related information, collaborated in the capture of AQ suspects and helped uncover plots against U.S. and other western interests in Yemen. On the economic and political reform front, Yemen has conducted reasonably free and fair Parliamentary and local council elections, taken an active role in regional and international
democratic reform efforts, including BMENA and the Community of Democracies; backed IMF/WB sponsored economic reforms, and
committed to seeking MCC membership. Despite this progress, dealing with the ROYG can be frustrating and difficult. This is all the more true with regard to the crucial issues of fighting corruption and stopping the dangerous trade small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). Solidifying our relationship with Yemen requires progress on both fronts through firm demands and tangible inducements.

SA/LW: Live Up To Your Commitments

¶2. (S/NF) On March 12 President Saleh committed to discontinue issuing end-user certificates (EUCs) to Yemeni arms dealers and declared all old EUCs back to 1990 null and void. Interior Minister Alimi and Military Chief of Staff Qassemi confirmed receipt of written orders from the Presidency canceling old EUCs and directing MOD and MOI that all arms purchases henceforth were to be through ROYG
procurement officials only. We have some indications that Saleh is moving to reign in top Yemeni arms brokers. Other reports, however, reveal attempts by Yemeni dealers to conduct business as usual with supplier nations. We got Saleh’s attention when we stopped a Serbian arms shipment procured by a notorious arms dealer via an MOD issued EUC. We need to continue in this vein. (ref A).

¶3. (S/NF) Saleh has indicated to top advisors in the past that he believes he can pull the wool over the eyes of the USG. In the time leading up to his November trip, we must convince him that this is not the case by making clear that we are monitoring Yemeni SA/LW orders and shipments closely, and that a breach of the President’s promise will affect the tone of the visit and, ultimately, the nature of bilateral relations. Specific steps we can take on SA/LW in the months
leading up to the visit include: Stopping any illicit sales and shipments; continuing pressure on supplier nations not to sell SA/LW to Yemen; linking future USG military assistance to inventory controls and end-user monitoring; calling on Saleh to enforce UN restrictions on weapons trade to Somalia and Sudan; and, conducting joint Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOs) with the Yemen Coast Guard (YCG).

——————————————— ——-
Deliverables: Expanding Yemen Coast Guard and CSF-CTU
——————————————— ——-

¶4. (S) In return for Saleh’s compliance, we should promise expanded military aid and cooperation. Our most successful CT programs to date, the training and equipping of the Yemen Coast Guard (YCG) and the Central Security Forces Counter Terrorism Unit (CSF-CTU), have been conducted in cooperation with the MOI. Among our deliverables should be continued and enhanced USG assistance to YCG and CSF-CTU via a long-term, sustainable training program funded though FMF. NAVCENT and CJTF HOA are prepared to conduct joint exercises and/or smuggling interdiction operations with the YCG. A joint ops center to monitor movements in the Arabia Sea and the Bab
al-Mandab should be part of that process.

¶5. (S) We have made clear to MOI USG intentions to link further equipment assistance for CSF-CTU with an inventory system designed to prevent the leakage of SA/LW to the gray market. A modern inventory system for all MOD stocks should be both a condition for and a promise of further cooperation and assistance.

——————————————— —-
Enhanced GWOT Intelligence Sharing and Cooperation
——————————————— —-

¶6. (S) President Saleh has logged some major CT gains and significantly improved security in Yemen since the post-9/11 forging of the U.S-Yemen GWOT partnership. Recent successes include: the round-up of an emerging al-Qa’ida cell with plans to target the U.S. Ambassador, prosecution and conviction of the USS Cole and M/V Limburg terrorists, and participating in the largest MANPADs destruction program in the region. However, there continue to be frequent and troubling lapses in the ROYG’s CT performance, including the release of extremists and failure to share information.

¶7. (S) Former regime elements tied to the insurgency in Iraq have operational freedom in Yemen. The ROYG must honor legal Iraqi arrest warrants and deny sanctuary to all Iraqi fugitives. For Yemen to be a reliable GWOT partner, it must: provide USG access to detained known or suspected terrorists; participating in the deportation of fugitives; and, enforcing anti-terrorist facilitation to close off the Jihadist
pipeline. The U.S. has programs active in Yemen that can assist the ROYG to improve its abilities to monitor its borders and track known or suspected terrorists. In addition to enhancements to the EXBS and PISCES programs, we are looking at providing fingerprinting and national identity card equipment and training to the MOI, and anti-terrorist financing training to the Yemen Central Bank.

Yemen: Leader in Regional Reform?

¶8. (C) The Yemen’s economy is flailing and serious reforms are needed to attract foreign investment. With dwindling oil reserves, a rapidly depleting water supply, and 3.5 percent anual population growth, Yemen is well behind the curve on crucial economic reforms. The USG is ready to help with MCC, MEPI and USAID assistance but Saleh has to show the political will necessary to move forward. Saleh has asked repeatedly for U.S. aid to compensate his losses in Saada. An anticipated /hoped for increase in ESP can be director to reconstruction efforts in the north.

——————————————— —
Government By the Government, For the Government
——————————————— —

¶9. (C) Rampant official corruption impedes foreign investment, economic growth, and comprehensive development. Corruption and greed are also closely related to Yemen,s dangerous SA/LW proliferation. MCC provides the opportunity to commit the ROYG to a serious plan to combat endemic corruption. Saleh’s feet must be held to the fire on what has thus far been mere lip service. MCC membership serves as both a carrot and stick in this regard.

Democratic Elections

¶10. (C) Saleh touts Yemen as a leader in regional reform and has committed to democratization. Domestically, however, he has run-out of reforms he can implement at no political cost to himself. Increasingly anxious about upcoming Presidential elections, and already preoccupied with succession, it is unlikely Saleh will allow a viable opposition candidate to challenge him in 2006. The visit is an opportunity to pressure Saleh not to amend the constitution so he may run again in 2013 by praising him for bringingt Yemen to the point where he can rely on the system in place to produce a legitimate successor. The inducement here might be a public show of support via a greater role in public fora such as the G-8.

¶11. (C) Comment: Progress on SA/LW, information and intelligence sharing, fighting corruption, and democratic reform is essential, even crucial, for U.S. and Yemeni interests. Saleh must be reassured of the tangible benefits from his partnership with the U.S., but must not be allowed to leave Washington thinking that he can maintain U.S. friendship with a business as usual approach to the above issues. End Comment.

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Sana’a EAC Recommends Reopening Of Embassy

Posted on 06 February 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SANAA 000005



E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/01/2020

REF: A. SANAA 00002
¶B. 3/CD/2-10
¶C. TDX-315/000043-10

Classified By: Ambassador Stephen Seche, reasons 1.4 (c, d and g)

¶1. (S/NF) On January 4, 2010 the Ambassador convened Post’s Emergency Action Committee (EAC). Attendees included DCM, MO,

¶2. (S/NF) GRPO Chief briefed the EAC on the background of the threat that prompted suspension of Embassy operations January 3, and measures taken earlier in the day by ROYG security forces to mitigate that threat. He noted that the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) had interdicted a vehicle shortly after it had departed from the compound of Mohamed Hanak, the AQ “emir” of Arhab, and the individual believed to be facilitating the movement of suicide bombers into Sana’a from that location north of the capital. The four passengers in the vehicle attempted to flee on foot, and in an exchange of gunfire that followed, CTU soldiers managed to wound several of them. Neither the nature of their injuries nor their identities are known at this time because individuals associated with local tribes arrived immediately on the scene and carried the bodies away.

¶3. (S/NF) The Ambassador, GRPO Chief and RSO all agreed that the operation, while imperfect, would likely disrupt substantially the specific threat posed by the AQ cell in Arhab that had prompted the suspension of operations and permit the Embassy to reopen under the same conditions and threat level that generally prevail in Yemen.

¶4. (SBU) The Ambassador recommended, and the EAC agreed, that town-hall meetings be held on January 5 for both LE Staff and USDH staff to brief them appropriately on events of recent days. Post will submit a draft press statement for Departmental approval, and the Ambassador is contacting relevant Department officials to obtain formal concurrence with this plan.

¶5. (U) POC for this reporting is RSO John C. Taylor at 967-1-755-2218 (Open) or 967-1-130-3178 (STE).


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In Aden, Newspaper Headquarters Still Blackened

Posted on 05 February 2011 by hashimilion

C O N F I D E N T I A L SANAA 000222



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/01/2020


Classified By: Ambassador Stephen Seche for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (C) SUMMARY. On January 31, EmbOffs visited Aden-based independent newspaper al-Ayyam to assess what happened on January 4, when an exchange of gunfire killed a government
soldier and an al-Ayyam guard, and led to the arrest of al-Ayyam Editor-in-Chief Hisham Bashraheel (reftel). This incident marked the nadir of months of government harassment of al-Ayyam, a polarizing symbol of regional identity in Yemen’s south. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX expressed concern that Hisham would be killed in custody. Although questions remain about the Bashraheels’ account, the damage to the al-Ayyam
compound, including impact from four RPGs, suggests a disproportionate response by the ROYG risking potential loss
of civilian life and ignoring journalists’ safety and freedom. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) On January 31, EmbOffs visited the al-Ayyam compound in the crowded Crater neighborhood of Aden. The compound, which includes the headquarters of independent newspaper al-Ayyam and the home of the Bashraheel family who own and manage al-Ayyam, was the scene of an exchange of gunfire on January 4 that resulted in the death of a government soldier and an al-Ayyam guard and the arrest of al-Ayyam
Editor-in-Chief Hisham Bashraheel and his relatives Hani and Mohammed (reftel).


¶3. (C) The al-Ayyam compound showed damage from heavy gunfire. The front gate, front rooms, and rear walls were riddled with bullet holes which appeared to be from 7.62mm rounds. The compound also sustained at least four RPG hits. The secondary detonation of the RPG shells after their entry in the house started a fire, and several rooms were still blackened from smoke. Six children and fourteen women were in the Bashraheel home during the attack, but none were injured.


¶4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXXX (strictly protect), XXXXXXXXXXXX
said that although his guards were armed with .45 pistols and
AK47s, they never fired a shot in response to the bombardment
of the compound. He said that the casualties on the government side were the result of friendly fire between CSF and Crater police forces. XXXXXXXXXXXXX said that there were 20 firearms inside the compound, and showed EmbOff the licenses for them. (Note: Reports from official and some independent media sources at the time contradicted XXXXXXXXXXXX account and suggested that al-Ayyam guards engaged in a firefight with CSF, and that a large cache of illegal weapons, including sniper rifles, were confiscated from the compound (reftel). End Note.) A government mediation committee was moving in
and out of the compound during those twelve hours to negotiate the terms of Hisham’s arrest. Hisham had initially refused to walk out of the compound unless the Governor and Police Commissioner of Aden accompanied him out to guarantee his safety.

¶5. (C) Hisham, Hani, and Mohammed Bashraheel are all still in custody. XXXXXXXXXXXXX told PolOffs, “XXXXXXXXXXXXX are being tortured to confess. (The government is) cooking something.
I believe that one of the members of my family is going to be
killed in prison.”


¶6. (C) “(President Saleh) has a personal vendetta against (Hisham),” XXXXXXXXXXXXX said. “They evacuated the neighborhood two
days in advance. It was carefully planned.” Attempting to explain the twelve-hour standoff between the initial outbreak of gunfire and government security forces entering the compound to arrest Hisham, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX said that President Saleh choreographed the operation from Sana’a by telephone and couldn’t decide how he wanted it to end.


¶7. (C) Al-Ayyam has become a key refrain in the chants of southern dissidents and a symbol of the Sana’a government’s mistreatment of the south and its institutions. Representatives of the Adeni NGO community expressed to PolOff on January 30 their outrage at the shelling of al-Ayyam. Aden Deputy Chief of the Yemeni Socialist Party
(YSP) Qassim Dawood told PolOffs on January 30 that the Adeni
opposition was disappointed at the silence of the international community on al-Ayyam. Opposition Islah Party MP Insaf Mayo told PolOffs on January 30, “If the government used the kind of firepower against the house of (rebel leader) Abdulmalik al-Houthi that it used against al-Ayyam, the (Houthi rebel group) would be finished.”

¶8. (C) ROYG officials have responded by painting al-Ayyam’s front page as the banner of the separatist Southern Movement. “For the last several years, al-Ayyam has given up journalism and moved into politics,” Aden Deputy Governor Abdulkareem Shaif told PolOffs on January 30. “They would print five pictures from secessionist rallies on page one. Who prints five pictures on page one?” XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, told PolOff on January 29 that the Bashraheels were involved in funneling money from overseas to Southern Movement leaders, a widely circulated (though unsubstantiated) claim among ROYG officials and government-affiliated journalists.


¶9. (C) Some aspects of the Bashraheels’ account are questionable, but it is clear that government security forces fired RPGs at a house with civilian occupants, located in a crowded urban area. The government’s assault on the compound evinces a disregard for potential loss of civilian life, southern political unrest, and journalists’ safety and freedom. END COMMENT.

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XXXX Sounds Alarm Over Uprotected Radioactive Material

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SANAA 000019



EO 12958 DECL: 01/08/2020

REF: A. 07 SANAA 1905 B. 07 SANAA 2029

Classified By: Ambassador Stephen A. Seche for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (S) The lone security guard standing watch at Yemen’s main radioactive materials storage facility was removed from his post on December 30, 2009, according toXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXX. The only closed-circuit television security camera monitoring the facility broke six months ago and was never fixed, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX. The facility XXXXXXXXXXXX holds various radioactive materials, small amounts of which are used by local universities for agricultural research, by a Sana’a hospital, and by international oilfield services companies for well-logging equipment spread out across the country. “Very little now stands between the bad guys and Yemen’s nuclear material,” a worried XXXXXXXXXXXX told EconOff.

¶2. (S) Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told the Ambassador on January 7 that no radioactive material was currently stored in Sana’a and that all “radioactive waste” was shipped to Syria. XXXXXXXXXXXX

¶3. (S) The NAEC nuclear material storage facility normally contains IAEA Category I and II amounts of iridium and cobalt-60, including a lead-encased package of 13,500 curies (Ci) of cobalt-60 that was allegedly shipped to Yemen from India six months ago. XXXXXXXXXXXX told EconOff that XXXXXXXXXXXX the cobalt-60 was moved late on January 7 from the largely unsecured NAEC facility XXXXXXXXXXXX implored the U.S. to help convince the ROYG to remove all materials from the country until they can be better secured, or immediately improve security measures at the NAEC facility. XXXXXXXXXXXX


¶4. (S) Post will continue to push senior ROYG officials to increase security at all National Atomic Energy Commission facilities and provide us with a detailed accounting of all radioactive materials in the country. XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX.XXXXXXXXXXXX’s concern over the safety and security of Yemen’s modest nuclear material inventory, however, appears genuine. XXXXXXXXXXXX. . Post POC is EconOff Roland McKay, [email protected] SECHE

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Yemen: Tenth Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

Posted on 30 January 2011 by hashimilion




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 2094
¶B. 09 SANAA 1936
¶C. 09 SANAA 1998
¶D. 09 SANAA 2219

The entire text of this report is Sensitive But Unclassified

Embassy Sana’a TIP POC:
Faith Meyers, Acting Political Chief

Embassy Sana’a TIP POC (Alternate):
Walker Murray, Cultural Affairs Officer

TIP Reporting Hours:
Faith Meyers, FS-5: 20 hours
Walker Murray, FS-5: 20 hours
AK Muhsen, FSN-11: 20 hours


¶A. What is (are) the source(s) of available information on
human trafficking? What plans are in place (if any) to
undertake further documentation of human trafficking? How
reliable are these sources?

There is a serious deficit in reliable statistical data on
trafficking, but the government plans to undertake further
documentation in 2010. The Ministry of Social Affairs has
contracted Ushari Khalil, a scholar with past experience
working on trafficking issues with the UN in southern Sudan,
to complete a national situation report and evaluation of
current government interventions. The government-affiliated
Saleh Foundation maintains a registry for tracking children
returning from Saudi Arabia, although this only captures a
small fraction of total trafficking victims in the country.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MOSAL) said that
fewer children were trafficked to Saudi Arabia in 2009 (602)
compared to 2008 (900), but these figures are inaccurate and
represent only the small number of trafficking victims that
found their way to one of two children’s rehabilitation
centers in Yemen. According to a joint UNICEF-MOSAL study,
security officials have prevented 1500 children from being
trafficked from 2004-2009 (no further breakdown available).

Local NGO Seyaj said a study from 2007 suggested there were
700,000 children in forced-labor conditions in Yemen and they
estimate that the number is now double that figure.
According to Seyaj, the magnitude of human trafficking in
Yemen is directly related to the economic and security
conditions in the country, both of which have deteriorated in
recent years, increasing the vulnerability of Yemenis to

¶B. Is the country a country of origin, transit, and/or
destination for men, women, or children subjected to
conditions of commercial sexual exploitation, forced or
bonded labor, or other slave-like conditions? Are citizens
or residents of the country subjected to such trafficking
conditions within the country? If so, does this internal
trafficking occur in territory outside of the government’s
control (e.g., in a civil war situation)? From where are
people recruited or from where do they migrate prior to being
subjected to these exploitative conditions? To what other
countries are people trafficked and for what purposes?
Provide, where possible, numbers or estimates for each group
of trafficking victims. Have there been any changes in the
TIP situation since the last TIP Report (e.g., changes in

Yemen is a point of origin (Yemenis trafficked mainly to the
Gulf and Horn of Africa nationals trafficked upon arrival in
Yemen), transit (Horn of Africa nationals trafficked to the
Gulf), and destination (Horn of Africa nationals trafficked

SANAA 00000295 002 OF 013

to Yemen).

According to IOM, children (mostly boys) are smuggled to
Saudi Arabia for forced begging, unskilled labor and
street-vending. Children are recruited from the governorates
of Dhamar, Hajja, Rayma, Taiz, Hudeidah, Mahweet, Ibb, Lahj,
Dhale’ and Sa’ada. Although Saudi Arabia is the primary
destination for children trafficked from Yemen, a small
number are trafficked to Oman. Trafficking to Saudi Arabia
is especially high during the season of Umra and the Hajj
(pilgrimage to Mecca).

Internal trafficking occurs, both in areas under and somewhat
outside of the government’s control (e.g. Sa’ada). Children
are recruited from their families, and the parents reach an
agreement with an agent to receive a certain monthly share of
their child’s earnings. Many victims are young girls from a
variety of rural governorates sent to hotels in Aden, Sana’a,
Taiz, Hudeidah and other cities for sexual exploitation.

According to Seyaj, local media reports and the Egyptian
government, at least 10 Yemeni children were trafficked to
Egypt for organ harvesting in 2009. The children were
repatriated to Yemen after Egyptian authorities discovered
the trafficking ring.

There were many reports during the year that Somali refugee
women were trafficked to Aden for prostitution and forced to
live in squalid conditions.

Since the last TIP report, the war in northern Yemen
intensified and spread, although a ceasefire was declared on
February 12. Local NGO Shawthab Foundation reports that
although the Saudi entrance into the conflict has reduced the
ability of traffickers to penetrate the Yemeni-Saudi border,
people inside the conflict zone are extremely vulnerable to
trafficking because their livelihoods have been destroyed.
Shawthab says that it interviewed child trafficking victims
who were recruited from official IDP camps. Seyaj reports
that there are approximately 150,000 children in Sa’ada
governorate, which has almost no functioning schools and a
legal system even more dysfunctional than in the rest of the
country. Of the estimated 250,000 IDPs from the conflict, 70
to 80 percent live outside of official camps.

¶C. To what kind of conditions are the trafficking victims

Children are deprived of all rights; they do not attend
school and they cannot get access to medical care when
necessary, although they are at high risk for STDs, skin
diseases and other ailments. They often experience
slavery-like conditions, including domestic abuse, and may be
remunerated only with room and board. Children trafficked
for purposes other than sexual exploitation often experience
sexual exploitation at the hands of traffickers, border
patrols, other security officials, and their employers.
Their status in Saudi Arabia is illegal, and they cannot
report abuses and crimes to the authorities. When crossing
the Saudi border back into Yemen to visit their families,
they are subjected to robbery and extortion by border guards.

Many of the border crossings used by traffickers are in
dangerous desert areas where trafficking victims are
subjected to the risks of dehydration, starvation, and
exposure. Trafficked children told Shawthab that Saudi
border guards have hung children’s severed heads from trees
near the border as a warning to other children thinking about
crossing the border illegally.

In the conflict zone in northern Yemen, NGOs have collected
evidence that children are forced to fight both with the
government forces and with the Houthis (see 33 for more
details on child soldiers in Sa’ada).

Street children in the major cities work in arduous,
dangerous jobs unsuitable for their age and physical

SANAA 00000295 003 OF 013

capabilities. They are subject to exploitation by
individuals and gangs involved in the sex trade. They face
verbal and physical abuse and are subject to kidnapping,
trafficking and sexual harassment.

¶D. Vulnerability to TIP: Are certain groups of persons more
at risk of human trafficking (e.g., women and children, boys
versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, IDPs, etc.)?
If so, please specify the type of exploitation for which
these groups are most at risk.

Young women and boys are more at risk for sexual exploitation
and domestic servitude; disabled children are more at risk
for forced begging. Children are also used to smuggle drugs
across the border into Saudi Arabia.

Refugees and economic migrants from the Horn of Africa are
also vulnerable to trafficking. Many choose to travel to
Yemen with hopes of working in other Gulf countries, but once
they reach Yemen are trafficked into prostitution and
domestic servitude. Others are trafficked to Yemen with
false promises of comfortable work as domestic servants, but
upon arrival are forced into prostitution or domestic

¶E. Traffickers and Their Methods: Who are the
traffickers/exploiters? Are they independent business
people? Small or family-based crime groups? Large
international organized crime syndicates? What methods are
used to gain direct access to victims? For example, are the
traffickers recruiting victims through lucrative job offers?
Are victims sold by their families, or approached by friends
of friends? Are victims “self-presenting” (approaching the
exploiter without the involvement of a recruiter or
transporter)? If recruitment or transportation is involved,
what methods are used to recruit or transport victims (e.g.,
are false documents being used)? Are employment, travel, and
tourism agencies or marriage brokers involved with or
fronting for traffickers or crime groups to traffic

The traffickers are both individuals and, less frequently,
organized gangs. Seyaj claims that most of the gangs are run
by Saudis. Their agents know local communities and seek out
children with lucrative potential. For sex trafficking they
recruit children based on their “degree of beauty.” They
also recruit children with disabilities because they earn
more as street beggars.

Local NGO Democracy School reports that many of the
traffickers are former trafficked children. They become
experts at crossing the border and develop contacts in Saudi
who will pay for trafficked labor.

Both Shawthab and Seyaj report that the victims are often
sold by their families, in exchange for a promised monthly
remittance. Many of the trafficking victims are girls who
enter into “temporary marriages” with Saudi tourists.
Sometimes the traffickers promise the family that a rich
sheikh from the Gulf will sponsor their disabled child for
special education or physical rehabilitation.

Other victims are “self-presenting,” young people who seek
work opportunities outside of their villages and are then
subjected to forced-labor conditions. It is common for
impoverished families to send an older child to work in Saudi
Arabia in what they believe will be a decent job opportunity
to help the family financially. Some children already
working in the streets as beggars or vendors hear about
better opportunities in Saudi Arabia that sound tempting.

Somali pirates capitalize on the instability in the Horn of
Africa to traffic people across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen.
Piracy, human trafficking and illegal smuggling are
intertwined and many of the same criminals engage in all
three practices.

SANAA 00000295 004 OF 013


¶A. Does the government acknowledge that human trafficking is
a problem in the country? If not, why not?

According to Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood
(HCMC) General Secretary Dr. Nafisa H. al-Jaifi, the
government acknowledges that human trafficking is a problem
in the country. Prime Minister Ali al-Mujawwar convened a
meeting of the entire cabinet to develop a national strategy
for addressing trafficking in persons, which was ratified by
the Council of Ministers on March 31, 2009.

¶B. Which government agencies are involved in efforts to
combat sex and labor trafficking ) including forced labor )
and, which agency, if any, has the lead in these efforts?

The HCMC is the lead organization in efforts to combat child
trafficking. It works with a Technical Committee comprised
of representatives from NGOs, concerned Ministries, and UN
agencies. The national action plan identifies the following
agencies as having a support role in combating child
trafficking: Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR), MOSAL,
Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Legal Affairs,
Parliament and the Social Fund for Development.

¶C. What are the limitations on the government’s ability to
address these problems in practice? For example, is funding
for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall
corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources
to aid victims?

With the exception of the military, nearly all government
agencies saw their funding cut dramatically in 2008 and 2009,
severely hindering their ability to combat TIP. Officials
reported an inability to travel to governorates where
trafficking was a problem due to lack of funds.

Corruption is an acute problem in Yemen, which was ranked 154
out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2009
Corruption Perceptions index.

It is difficult to prosecute sexual exploiters, since
shari’ah law stipulates that there must be four witnesses to
prove a sexual offense.

¶D. To what extent does the government systematically monitor
its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts ) prosecution,
victim protection, and prevention) and periodically make
available, publicly or privately and directly or through
regional/international organizations, its assessments of
these anti-trafficking efforts?

Please see 25A for details.

¶E. What measures has the government taken to establish the
identity of local populations, including birth registration,
citizenship, and nationality?

Children born to at least one citizen parent are eligible for
citizenship. Children born in the country who do not have at
least one citizen parent are eligible to file for
citizenship, although frequently it is not granted. There
was no universal birth registration, and many children,
especially in rural areas, were never registered or
registered after several years. Hospitals maintain official
birth registries, but not all hospitals insist on
registration, and most children are not born in hospitals.
Theoretically, children must have birth certificates to
register for school, but this requirement was not universally

¶F. To what extent is the government capable of gathering the
data required for an in-depth assessment of law enforcement
efforts? Where are the gaps? Are there any ways to work
around these gaps?

SANAA 00000295 005 OF 013

There is a serious deficit in reliable statistical data on
trafficking, including law enforcement efforts. Relevant
government ministries complain that traffickers are often
prosecuted for non-trafficking offenses, including kidnapping
and the illegal ways that they use trafficking victims,
including theft, drug smuggling, prostitution and
homosexuality. Differences in terminology make it difficult
to collect information on prosecutions and convictions of
traffickers. The government is hopeful that its recently
hired consultant will suggest ways to address these gaps.


¶A. Existing Laws against TIP: Does the country have a law
or laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons )
both sexual exploitation and labor? If so, please
specifically cite the name of the law(s) and its date of
enactment and provide the exact language (actual copies
preferable) of the TIP provisions. Please provide a full
inventory of trafficking laws, including non-criminal
statutes that allow for civil penalties against alleged
trafficking crimes (e.g., civil forfeiture laws, and laws
against illegal debt). Does the law(s) cover both internal
and transnational forms of trafficking? If not, under what
other laws can traffickers be prosecuted? For example, are
there laws against slavery or the exploitation of
prostitution by means of force, fraud, or coercion? Are
these other laws being used in trafficking cases?

As it stands, anti-trafficking laws are piece-meal,
inconsistent and not comprehensive. Parliamentary elections
scheduled for April 2009 were postponed for two years in
February. With a weak Parliament distracted by numerous
other internal issues, there has been no progress on
strengthening anti-trafficking legislation. Efforts are
still underway to amend the Child Rights Law to add
punishments for trafficking offenses, and to define a minimum
age for marriage. The Technical Committee to combat child
trafficking lobbied Parliament throughout the year for
passage of comprehensive anti-trafficking laws. It conducted
special meetings with the Islamic Law, Regulations and Human
Rights committees.

In December 2009, the MOJ issued a decree to all judges to
aggressively pursue human trafficking prosecutions and finish
pending cases as soon as possible. The MOJ and Ministry of
Interior (MOI) issued a decree in October 2009 aimed at
reducing early marriage and trafficking via “temporary
marriage” arrangements (more info in 29E).

According to the government, the penalty for transporting a
child under the age of 18 to another country for the purpose
of illegal exploitation is imprisonment of not more than 5
years. The penalty increases to 7 years if the criminal uses
force and deception. The penalty increases to not less than
3 and not exceeding 10 years if the transport action is
combined with sexual acts or bodily harm.

¶B. Punishment of Sex Trafficking Offenses: What are the
prescribed and imposed penalties for the trafficking of
persons for commercial sexual exploitation, including for the
forced prostitution of adults and the prostitution of

No change from last year.

¶C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: What are the
prescribed and imposed penalties for labor trafficking
offenses, including all forms of forced labor? Do the
government’s laws provide for criminal punishment*e.g.,
jailtime*for labor recruiters who engage in recruitment of
workers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers with
the purpose of subjecting workers to compelled service in the
destination country? Are there laws punishing employers or
labor agents who confiscate workers’ passports or travel
documents for the purpose of labor trafficking, switch

SANAA 00000295 006 OF 013

contracts without the worker’s consent as a means to keep the
worker in a state of compelled service, or withhold payment
of salaries as means of keeping the worker in a state of
compelled service?

No change from last year.

¶D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible
sexual assault? (NOTE: This is necessary to evaluate a
foreign government’s compliance with TVPA Minimum Standard 2,
which reads: “For the knowing commission of any act of sex
trafficking ) the government of the country should prescribe
punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as
forcible sexual assault (rape).” END NOTE)

No change from last year.

¶E. Law Enforcement Statistics: Did the government take legal
action against human trafficking offenders during the
reporting period? If so, provide numbers of investigations,
prosecutions, convictions, and sentences imposed, including
details on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and
available. Please note the number of convicted trafficking
offenders who received suspended sentences and the number who
received only a fine as punishment. Please indicate which
laws were used to investigate, prosecute, convict, and
sentence traffickers. Also, if possible, please disaggregate
numbers of cases by type of TIP (labor vs commercial sexual
exploitation) and victims (children under 18 years of age vs.
adults). What were the actual punishments imposed on
convicted trafficking offenders? Are they serving the time
sentenced? If not, why not?

Data on arrests and prosecutions for human traffickers were
incomplete and varied widely depending on the source:

Government-affiliated Asrar press reported that in the first
six months of 2009, security forces in Hajja governorate
captured 26 child traffickers attempting to traffic 180
children to Saudi Arabia. The traffickers were referred to
Hajja prosecutor’s office to stand trial and the children
were sent to the Haradh Child Protection Center. (No further
information was available on the outcome of the case as of
the writing of this report.)

Head of local NGO National Organization for Combating People
Smuggling Ali al-Jelai said that police had thwarted attempts
to traffic 70 children to Saudi Arabia during 2009 and that
20 smugglers had been arrested.

Democracy School reports that there were approximately 50
cases against traffickers in local courts in Hajja
governorate. Some of those prosecuted received sentences up
to 10 years.

¶F. Does the government provide any specialized training for
law enforcement and immigration officials on identifying and
treating victims of trafficking? Or training on
investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes?
Specify whether NGOs, international organizations, and/or the
USG provide specialized training for host government

The government conducted training courses for an unknown
number of policemen at border crossings on how to deal with
trafficked children.

¶G. Does the government cooperate with other governments in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? If
possible, provide the number of cooperative international
investigations on trafficking during the reporting period.

Efforts to develop a Yemeni-Saudi partnership against human
trafficking, to include investigations and prosecutions of
cross-border trafficking offenders, have fizzled, a situation
that the Yemeni government and civil society attribute to the
Saudi government’s lack of seriousness about the problem.

SANAA 00000295 007 OF 013

¶H. Does the government extradite persons who are charged
with trafficking in other countries? If so, please provide
the number of traffickers extradited during the reporting
period, and the number of trafficking extraditions pending.
In particular, please report on any pending or concluded
extraditions of trafficking offenders to the United States.

No reported extraditions during the reporting period.

¶I. Is there evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level?
If so, please explain in detail.

Although there is little evidence of explicit government
involvement in trafficking, corruption in law enforcement and
border security officials ensures that traffickers are able
to operate with impunity. Seyaj reports that traffickers
sometimes supply a child to border guards for sexual
exploitation in exchange for those border guards “looking the
other way” as the traffickers smuggle goods and people across
the border. There is anecdotal evidence that sheikhs and
other tribal leaders who may also occupy seats on local
councils are involved in trafficking rings.

Traffickers and the parents of trafficked children sometimes
spell out the payments that the parents will receive in a
contract, and Democracy School reports that police officers
in Hajja sometimes serve as the witnesses for these contracts.

¶J. If government officials are involved in human
trafficking, what steps has the government taken to end such
complicity? Please indicate the number of government
officials investigated and prosecuted for involvement in
trafficking or trafficking-related criminal activities during
the reporting period. Have any been convicted? What
sentence(s) was imposed? Please specify if officials
received suspended sentences, or were given a fine, fired, or
reassigned to another position within the government as
punishment. Please indicate the number of convicted
officials that received suspended sentences or received only
a fine as punishment.

There was no evidence of prosecutions of government officials
for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.
Anti-corruption authorities did little to address the endemic
corruption that permits government officials to “look the
other way” on human trafficking.

¶K. For countries that contribute troops to international
peacekeeping efforts, please indicate whether the government
vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced
nationals of the country deployed abroad as part of a
peacekeeping or other similar mission who engaged in or
facilitated severe forms of trafficking or who exploited
victims of such trafficking.

There were no reports of Yemeni troops involved in
international peacekeeping efforts engaging in trafficking or
exploiting victims of trafficking.

¶L. If the country has an identified problem of child sex
tourists coming to the country, what are the countries of
origin for sex tourists? How many foreign pedophiles did the
government prosecute or deport/extradite to their country of
origin? If your host country’s nationals are perpetrators of
child sex tourism, do the country’s child sexual abuse laws
have extraterritorial coverage (similar to the U.S. PROTECT
Act) to allow the prosecution of suspected sex tourists for
crimes committed abroad? If so, how many of the country’s
nationals were prosecuted and/or convicted during the
reporting period under the extraterritorial provision(s) for
traveling to other countries to engage in child sex tourism?

Yemen has an identified problem of child sex tourists coming
to the country. The main country of origin is Saudi Arabia,
but NGOs suggested that tourists from other Gulf countries

SANAA 00000295 008 OF 013

visit hotels in Aden and Sana’a, where trafficking victims
are sexually exploited. There were no reported prosecutions,
deportations or extraditions of child sex tourists during the
reporting period. There were no reports that Yemeni
nationals engaged in child sex tourism during the reporting


¶A. What kind of protection is the government able under
existing law to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it
provide these protections in practice?

No change from last year.

¶B. Does the country have victim care facilities (shelters or
drop-in centers) which are accessible to trafficking victims?
Do foreign victims have the same access to care as domestic
trafficking victims? Where are child victims placed (e.g.,
in shelters, foster care, of juvenile justice detention
centers)? Does the country have specialized care for adults
in addition to children? Does the country have specialized
facilities dedicated to helping victims of trafficking? Are
these facilities operated by the government or by NGOs? What
is the funding source of these facilities? Please estimate
the amount the government spent (in U.S. dollar equivalent)
on these specialized facilities dedicated to helping
trafficking victims during the reporting period.

The only victim care facilities in the country are two
centers for trafficked children in Haradh (Hajja) and Sana’a,
operated jointly by the government and NGOs. These centers
provide the children with social protection, psychological
and medical care and reunite them with their families, if
possible. Children without families are enrolled in
orphanages. There was no information available on how much
the government spent on these facilities.

¶C. Does the government provide trafficking victims with
access to legal, medical and psychological services? If so,
please specify the kind of assistance provided. Does the
government provide funding or other forms of support to
foreign or domestic NGOs and/or international organizations
for providing these services to trafficking victims? Please
explain and provide any funding amounts in U.S. dollar
equivalent. If assistance provided was in-kind, please
specify exact assistance. Please specify if funding for
assistance comes from a federal budget or from regional or
local governments.

The Saleh Foundation, a federal government-affiliated NGO,
operates the center in Haradh, a major nexus of human
trafficking on the Saudi-Yemeni border. Shawthab operates
the center in Sana’a, where there are on average 16-20
children at a time. According to Shawthab, the center in
Sana’a provides the children with food, clothes, healthcare,
psychological counseling, schooling, and
sports/extracurricular activities. Shawthab receives
donations for the center, both financial and in-kind, from
local businessmen and restaurants and has an agreement with
Sana’a’s government-run al-Thawra Hospital for the children
to receive free treatment there. There was no information
available on how much the government spent on these

¶D. Does the government assist foreign trafficking victims,
for example, by providing temporary to permanent residency
status, or other relief from deportation? If so, please

A January 2010 law requiring all refugees in Yemen to
register or face deportation to their home countries could
impact victims of trafficking if they do not register with
the government. The government provides prima facie status
to all Somali refugees in Yemen, which allows them to remain
in country and receive UNHCR services. However, there was no
formal program to assist foreign trafficking victims.

SANAA 00000295 009 OF 013

¶E. Does the government provide longer-term shelter or
housing benefits to victims or other resources to aid the
victims in rebuilding their lives?


¶F. Does the government have a referral process to transfer
victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by
law enforcement authorities to institutions that provide
short- or long-term care (either government or NGO-run)?


¶G. What is the total number of trafficking victims
identified during the reporting period? (If available,
please specify the type of exploitation of these victims-
e.g., “The government identified X number of trafficking
victims during the reporting period, Y or which were victims
of trafficking for sexual exploitation and Z of which were
victims of nonconsensual labor exploitation.) Of these, how
many victims were referred to care facilities for assistance
by law enforcement authorities during the reporting period?
By social services officials? What is the number of victims
assisted by government-funded assistance programs and those
not funded by the government during the reporting period?

According to MOSAL, 602 children were trafficked to Saudi
Arabia in 2009. There was no further breakdown available and
no information available on how many of these children
received victim care services. This number is undoubtedly
very low in terms of the total number of trafficking victims
in Yemen.

¶H. Do the government’s law enforcement, immigration, and
social services personnel have a formal system of proactively
identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons
with whom they come in contact (e.g., foreign persons
arrested for prostitution or immigration violations)?

There is currently no such formal mechanism.

¶I. Are the rights of victims respected? Are trafficking
victims detained or jailed? If so, for how long? Are
victims fined? Are victims prosecuted for violations of
other laws, such as those governing immigration or

NGOs were not aware of instances of trafficking victims
facing legal prosecution inside Yemen. They did cite many
examples of trafficking victims being arrested and deported
from Saudi Arabia.

¶J. Does the government encourage victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of trafficking? How many
victims assisted in the investigation and prosecution of
traffickers during the reporting period? May victims file
civil suits or seek legal action against traffickers? Does
anyone impede victim access to such legal redress? If a
victim is a material witness in a court case against a former
employer, is the victim permitted to obtain other employment
or to leave the country pending trial proceedings? Are there
means by which a victim may obtain restitution?

No change from last year.

¶K. Does the government provide any specialized training for
government officials in identifying trafficking victims and
in the provision of assistance to trafficked victims,
including the special needs of trafficked children? Does the
government provide training on protections and assistance to
its embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are
destination or transit countries? What is the number of
trafficking victims assisted by the host country’s embassies
or consulates abroad during the reporting period? Please
explain the type of assistance provided (travel documents,
referrals to assistance, payment for transportation home).

SANAA 00000295 010 OF 013

The government conducted training courses for an unknown
number of policemen at border crossings on how to deal with
trafficked children. The Technical Committee also hosted a
series of workshops for government officials in Sana’a and
other governorates discussing TIP issues. The government
does not provide training on protection and assistance to its
embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are
destination or transit countries. No information was
available on the number of trafficking victims assisted by
the host country’s embassies or consulates abroad during the
reporting period.

¶L. Does the government provide assistance, such as medical
aid, shelter, or financial help, to its nationals who are
repatriated as victims of trafficking?

According to Shawthab, when victims are deported by the Saudi
government, they often arrive at Sana’a International Airport
with no possessions, wearing ragged clothes. Some of these
victims receive services from the Shawthab-operated center
for trafficking victims in Sana’a, and stay there until their
families can be located, but most do not receive any services.

A group of 9 Yemeni children deported from Egypt in April
2009 after being trafficked from Yemen for organ harvesting
were received by the Yemeni government and reunited with
their families, according to Seyaj and local media reports.

¶M. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work
with trafficking victims? What type of services do they
provide? What sort of cooperation do they receive from local

UNICEF was heavily involved in creating the rehabilitation
centers for victims of child trafficking and continues to
work with children vulnerable to trafficking. IOM is
currently conducting a comprehensive program with the
government to address migration and specifically trafficking
issues. Cooperation with local authorities is generally
good, but varies according to governorate.


¶A. Did the government conduct anti-trafficking information
or education campaigns during the reporting period? If so,
briefly describe the campaign(s), including their objectives
and effectiveness. Please provide the number of people
reached by such awareness efforts, if available. Do these
campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the
demand for trafficking (e.g., “Clients” of prostitutes or
beneficiaries of forced labor)?

The government conducted multiple information and education
campaigns during the reporting period, some on its own and
some in partnership with local and international

One campaign, which told the stories of trafficked children
in nationally aired Ramadan TV series and in TV and radio
interviews, aimed to increase the level of social awareness
about children’s rights.

The government developed a guide for mosque preachers on
protecting the rights of children and began to develop a
basic course on the rights of children to be included in the
curriculum of the Supreme Institute for Preaching and

Another campaign trained 1500 people (mostly teachers and
mosque preachers) in five governorates most at risk for
trafficking. This was a continuation of a previously
successful campaign in the same governorates but in different

The government also trained 1160 bus drivers in rural areas,
sensitizing them to the issue of child trafficking and

SANAA 00000295 011 OF 013

encouraging them not to transport children unless they are
escorted by their parents. It also distributed over 30,000
brochures, leaflets and stickers to bus and taxi drivers and
in taxi stations across the country.

The government produced a new documentary film on TIP in
2009, which is scheduled for wide release in 2010.

¶B. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration
patterns for evidence of trafficking?

At a regional conference in Riyadh in June 2009, the ROYG
presented a working paper describing its view on issues in
the Red Sea and Horn of Africa, including human trafficking.
The ROYG also announced that it would establish three centers
) in the cities of Aden, Mukullah and Hudeidah ) to monitor
the international waters in the Gulf of Aden as part of
efforts to fight human trafficking and piracy.

The Yemeni and Saudi governments have also made an effort to
tighten the Haradh border crossing in Hajja governorate,
which has been notorious for enabling Yemenis to illegally
cross into Saudi territory for the purposes of TIP,
drug-smuggling and terrorist activities.

¶C. Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication
between various agencies, internal, international, and
multilateral on trafficking-related mattes, such as a
multi-agency working group or a task force?

Relevant agencies cooperate via a Technical Committee led by
the HCMC. The committee has carried out a number of
activities, including field visits to border governorates and
educational workshops on TIP in Sana’a and other
governorates. At the beginning of 2009, the committee
developed a working mechanism for defining the tasks and
roles of each member.

¶D. Does the government have a national plan of action to
address trafficking in persons? If the plan wad developed
during the reporting period, which agencies were involved in
developing it? Were NGOs consulted in the process? What
steps has the government taken to implement the action plan?

The government created a three-year (2008-2010) National
Action Plan to Combat Child Smuggling that was ratified by
the Council of Ministers on March 31, 2009. The government,
led by the HCMC, has worked hard to implement the plan, but
has run into multiple roadblocks, including difficulty in
cooperating with Saudi officials and failure to pass
comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in Parliament.
The involved agencies have also seen their operating budgets
cut significantly, seriously hindering their ability to make
progress in combating TIP.

¶E. What measures has the government taken during the
reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts?

In October 2009, MOJ and MOI issued a decree making it more
difficult for men to marry underage girls (early marriage) or
engage in “temporary marriages” that often result in
trafficking. The decree imposed new conditions on the
approval of such marriages, including permission from the
Yemeni MOI and, if the man is not a Yemeni national,
permission from his country’s MOI as well.

¶F. What measures has the government taken during the
reporting period to reduce the participation in international
child sex tourism by nationals of the country?

Yemeni nationals have not been accused of participating in
child sex tourism outside of the country in any significant

¶G. What measures has the government adopted to ensure that
its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of a
peacekeeping or other similar mission do not engage in or

SANAA 00000295 012 OF 013

facilitate severe forms of trafficking or exploit victims of
such trafficking?



¶A. Does the government engage with other governments, civil
society, and/or multilateral organizations to focus attention
and devote resources to addressing human trafficking? If so,
please provide details.

IOM announced in January 2010 that it was launching a $2.7M
program to help the government address the challenges of mass
immigration to Yemen, including protecting the rights of all
migrants, especially victims of trafficking. IOM is training
law enforcement officials to identify and assist victims of
trafficking and assisting government agencies in supporting
them. IOM is also working with the Yemeni government to set
up adequate administrative, legislative and technical
procedures to administer its land and maritime borders.

During 2009, UNICEF trained over 4,000 children, families,
local council members, religious leaders and teachers from
districts where children are particularly vulnerable to
trafficking to educate them about the inherent dangers in the

The ROYG also partners with the U.S. Embassy in conducting
awareness campaigns regarding child trafficking.

¶B. What sort of international assistance does the
government provide to other countries to address TIP?

The ROYG does not provide any assistance to other countries
to address TIP.

——————————————— ———
——————————————— ——-

¶33. Report if the following occurred: conscription or
forced recruitment of persons under the age of 18 into
governmental armed forces; voluntary recruitment of any
person under 15 years of age into governmental armed forces;
the extent to which any person under the age of 18 took a
direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed
forces; recruitment (forced or voluntary) of persons under
the age of 18 by armed groups distinct from those of the
governmental armed forces, including paramilitary forces,
illegal paramilitary groups, guerrillas, or other armed
groups. Describe trends toward improvement of the
above-mentioned practices, including steps and programs the
government undertook or the continued or increased tolerance
of such practices, including the role of the government in
engaging in or tolerating such practices. Report abuse of
children recruited by armed forces or the armed groups noted
above (e.g., sexual abuse or use for forced labor). Describe
the manner and age of conscription. In discussing activities
of armed groups distinct from those of governmental armed
forces, explain the position of the government towards the
armed group (opposition, tolerance, support, etc,) in detail.

For greater detail on child soldiers, please see reftels: 09
SANAA 1936, 09 SANAA 1998 and 09 SANAA 2219.

In the current round of conflict in Sa’ada that began in
August 2009, there were numerous accounts of the conscription
of child soldiers into official government forces and
government-allied tribal militias. According to local NGO
Dar al-Salaam, 500 to 600 children are killed or injured
through direct involvement in tribal hostilities every year.

Local NGO Seyaj estimated that children under the age of 18
may make up more than half the fighting force of tribes, both
those fighting with the government and those allied with the
Houthi rebels. Democracy School reports that, although by

SANAA 00000295 013 OF 013

law everyone serving in the armed forces must be 18 years or
older, the government makes no attempt to verify the age of
conscripts. One Democracy School employee said that her
nephew, who has not yet turned 18, joined the army and was
deployed to Haradh.

The government responded that the 1991 Armed Forces Service
Law number 67 stipulates that a recruit must be not less than
18 years of age. There is also a Military Penal Code which
stipulates that anyone in violation of these laws should be
punished (NFI). The government said that the Yemeni Armed
Forces are in compliance with these laws regarding a minimum
age for military service.

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Posted on 28 December 2010 by hashimilion

S E C R E T SANAA 000317



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2020

¶B. SANAA 151
¶C. SANAA 173
¶D. SANAA 230
¶E. SANAA 289
¶F. 09 SANAA 720
¶G. SANAA 202
¶J. SANAA 214

Classified By: Ambassador Stephen Seche for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

This is an action request: see paragraph 12.

¶1. (S/NF) Summary: Since the start of 2010, Post has seen a
dramatic increase in the number of Amcits arrested. Over 80
percent of these cases (REF A-E) have had a nexus to
terrorism and national security issues that have required
substantial involvement from RSO and LEGATT. This comes as
the Consular Section is attempting to alleviate its six-month
backlog in upcoming CRBA appointments. Post requests TDY
personnel to assist with the anticipated staffing gaps in
Consular from April to September and renews its call to
increase FSO staffing (REF F) to address the sharply
increased workload. End Summary.

Arrests of Americans Up, New ROYG Procedures

¶2. (S/NF) Post has noted a dramatic increase in arrests of
Americans in Yemen since the attempted Christmas Day bombing
of Northwest 253. In the last seven weeks, seven Amcits were
arrested for national security concerns and violations of
immigration laws (Ref A-E), compared to only six in the
entire four months prior. Six of these cases have suspected
links to terrorism that have required significant
coordination with LEGATT and RSO. Comment: This upsurge in
arrests is the result of more scrupulous ROYG focus on visa
overstay cases due to increased international attention to
terrorism in Yemen. End Comment.

¶3. (S/NF) Previously, a visa overstay would present himself
at the immigration authority, pay his fines, and obtain an
exit visa. Recently, however, overstays have been detained
and have required post intervention in securing their exit
from Yemen. Four of the arrestees were ‘abducted’ by the
Political Security Organization (PSO) or National Security
Bureau (NSB) and were held for between 3-10 days before post
was given official notice of their whereabouts. Note: In the
past two years, the Muslim convert community of Amcits living
in Yemen ) who make up the majority of overstays - has been
increasingly linked to extremist activities. End Note. In one
case, Post has still not received official word of the arrest
and is unable to inform the family in the US, who still
believes the individual has been kidnapped. The issue of
timely notification of arrests was recently raised by post’s
DCM with the Yemeni Chief of Protocol.

Direct Namecheck Hits Increasing

¶4. (S/NF) In addition to the spike in arrest cases, post
routinely sees cases of national security interest in the
course of its daily visa and American citizen services (ACS)
operations. On average, post has 3-5 cases per week that
require LEGATT and RSO attention. The processing time
required to clear these hits and allow time for additional
interviews is increasingly straining our ability to provide
routine services in a timely fashion. Comment: Post had
reduced appointment wait time for first-time CRBA
applications from six months to three months. We will not be
able to continue such high appointment numbers given the
recent increase in arrest cases and our current staffing
levels. End Comment.

Status of Arrestees

¶5. (S/NF) Post is currently processing five arrest cases,

most of which have begun as welfare and whereabouts requests,
or visa overstays. A sixth, who was not a national security
or terrorist case, was recently released. All five that
remain have had strong links to terrorism or national
security concerns. The following is an update on these cases.

¶6. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX (REF A) was being
held at the Passport Authority pending further investigation
into both his visa overstay and possible links to terrorism.
ROYG previously attempted to deport XXXXXXXXXXXX. He was denied
boarding, however, due to his presence on the no fly list
(NFL). Post had requested guidance from CA on this matter
(REF G), as per applicable FAM NFL guidance. Post,s A/RSO-I
received a call from Consulate Istanbul,s A/RSO-I (REF H)
that XXXXXXXXXXXX arrived in Istanbul on February 16, but was denied
onward travel to the U.S due to his NFL status. Post later
received notice that XXXXXXXXXXXX is scheduled to board Turkish
Airlines flight TK1236 to Sanaa on February 17 (REF I). Note:
XXXXXXXXXXXX no longer has a valid Yemeni visa and airport visas are
no longer available (REF J). End Note.

¶7. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX (REF B) is being held at the
PSO prison. He is currently still under investigation by the
PSO, which plans to deport him. No date for his release has
been set. FBI and DS plan to meet him in the US upon his

¶8. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX (REF C) is being held by the
Passport Authority and is awaiting deportation. Currently,
ROYG authorities are waiting for Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXX to secure an
itinerary and tickets to the US before his release.

¶9. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX (Ref D) is also being held at
the PSO prison. He is currently being investigated for his
links to terrorism. The ROYG has not given any information
regarding possible charges.

¶10. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX (Ref E) is currently being held at
the Immigration Authority prison pending possible
deportation. It is currently unclear if Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXX will be
able to pay his overstay fines and obtain a standard exit
visa to return to the US or if he will be deported.


¶11. (SBU) Post currently has five full-time officers assigned
to the consular section and one part-time officer. Prison
visits must occur during morning hours pulling officers away
from visa and ACS cases. This increase in workload has
pushed our already strained operation beyond capacity and has
hampered our ability to work through existing backlogs in ACS
and IV. In REF F and through Diplomacy 3.0, post requested at
least one additional ACS officer based on workload and
staffing in FY09. Post’s workload in IV has increased by
5,722 cases or over 2.5 times from FY08 to FY09.
Additionally, post’s NIV workload increased by 918
adjudications, up nearly a third from FY08 to FY09. End


¶12. (SBU) Post renews its call for a full-time FS-03 ACS
officer and FS-04 Vice Consul, and requests TDY support to
cover officer leave and the anticipated staffing gap from
April through September. In addition, post requests
experienced Arabic-speaking LE Staff and officer TDY support
as soon as possible to assist in working through backlogs in
ACS and IV. Post fully expects that the trends of increasing
arrests and direct hit cases will continue and looks forward
to a positive and expeditious response to this request.

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