June 1, 2012
June 1, 2012
Prominent Yemeni activist and winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Tawakul Karman accused the United States of killing civilians in southern Yemen while attempting to eliminate al-Qaeda operatives.
“U.S. drones do not actually kill terrorists as they are supposed to do, but instead they kill women and youths,” Reuters quoted Karman as saying in an interview she gave Thursday in the Qatari capital Doha.
The United States has been intensifying its attacks on the strongholds of extremists whose growing influence in several parts of Yemen has become increasingly alarming for both the West and Gulf nations. The U.S. has also been training the Yemeni army to combat al-Qaeda operatives.
Several tribes’ chiefs in Yemen agree that U.S. attacks usually backfire not only because the victims are largely civilians, but because the attacks make the Yemeni people turn against their government and Washington.
Karman, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in leading anti-regime protests, accused former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in February, of being the main cause for the presence and influence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The situation, she argued, will be different with the current President Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi.
“I am satisfied with the democratic transition in Yemen and we are all sure that the new president will be capable of eliminating al-Qaeda.”
Karman called upon Hadi to dismiss all Saleh’s relatives from security institutions so that the people would really feel that the regime was toppled.
“Yemenis will keep protesting until all their demands are met,” she concluded.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)