Yemen: Democracy Is Not Enough


February 22, 2011: While there have been more demonstrations this month, and at least a dozen demonstrators have been killed, it's but a small increase from the normal unrest. Despite two weeks of daily unrest, the government is still in control (as much as it's ever been). Yemen has long been run by a tribal coalition. There's not much oil wealth, so the leader holds power by sharing and consulting with key tribal leaders. There is still plenty of unrest, as the tribal leaders have been corrupt, and not done much to cope with unemployment and economic stagnation. The tribal leadership is still pretty strong, and the pro-democracy demonstrators need more than just a clean election to change Yemen. The current unrest is more likely to turn into another round of civil war, than a round of honest elections.

February 21, 2011: In the north, al Qaeda leader Mohammed Abdullah Maouda was captured when he and his bodyguards tried to shoot their way past an army checkpoint. Three soldiers and two civilians were killed in the gun battle. Maouda was considered one of the more dangerous al Qaeda leaders in Yemen, and was actively being sought. Al Qaeda is benefitting from the current pro-democracy unrest, as some troops have been pulled back to the capital and large towns to deal with demonstrations.

February 20, 2011: A southern separatist leader was arrested in the capital.


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