Are we awaiting an unprecedented calamity? [Archives:2007/1081/Opinion]

August 30 2007

By: Mohammed Al-Maqaleh
For years, Yemen has been going through various calamities, which make it difficult for us to predict any results of the repeated catastrophes that affected the country's security and stability, as well as unity and social fabric.

As Haidar Abu Bakr Al-Attas recently said during his conversation with Al-Hurra Space Channel that there are challenging issues posed to the country's regime and opposition, the most important of which are the congestions in the southern governorates, rebellion in Sa'ada, terrorism and deterioration of the democratic progress. As you notice, all these files have negative impacts on our lives without an exception and their consequences are expected to exacerbate over time.

There may not be a great controversy among us that all these challenging issues and their consequences have the same cause. This cause is represented by oppression, totalitarianism and refusing the principle of national partnership in power and wealth. In case a calamity occurs, its impact will cover the totalitarian regime and all the Yemeni citizens without an exception.

As Allah said “Avoid a sedition, which may not only affect the oppressive ones.” The matter necessitates that all those concerned about Yemen and the future of its natives in different parts of the country to work hard and be on full alert in order not to let the calamity happens. Everyone in Yemen is required to play an effective role in preventing the calamity from taking place and alleviating its consequences to maximum possible extent.

Resolving the above mentioned files and any subsequent consequences needs a real national dialogue with the serious and responsible participation of all those concerned. Such a dialogue should discuss all the persisting issues frankly and clearly without any fear or hypocrisy, on the one hand, and without any rage and irresponsible reactions, on the other. The nation is a possession of everyone and protecting it from division and fragmentation is the responsibility of everyone.

There is no alternative to unity and the Yemeni identity except for the lengthy civil wars and conflicts between factions over ethnical and sectarian ideologies and other futile issues. The traditional and modern history of Yemen narrates these facts, and in the meantime, we obtain similar information from the experience of countries that suffered fragmentation and disintegration. Such a terrible alternative may be one of the preventive factors on the face of those who prefer their personal interests to the national ones. The situation remains temporarily the same under the current policies warning people of taking a fatal direction toward an unknown catastrophe or loss of identity.

Any talk with the regime to convert its current policy toward the southern parts of Yemen, Sa'ada crisis, terrorism and bequeathing power and key government posts to relatives, may not be feasible. These policies are expected to force the political regime and democratic progress to reach a deadlock. Talk with the regime about such unresolved issues that may lead to unpredicted catastrophes is too late. Despite all this, talk is our option, which we always insist on to convince those concerned to accept the principle of comprehensive national reform, specifically reforming the state's administrative system to let all the political parities have equal opportunities in power and enhance the peaceful transfer of power. Through this option, we necessitate that local governance should be an essential requirement for protecting national unity and identity, as well as rescuing Yemen from fragmentation and division.

What should be noticed is that the first option, which is less dangerous, was not created by chance. There is no regime in earth convinced of reforming the situations of their countries and alleviating peoples' sufferings. Consequently, the first option needs another option; that is of the opposition to play a key role in the street and increase people's awareness about the future of their country. The opposition is recommended to play an integral role for the sake of Yemen, its stability and security, and building the modern state of law and order. All these are great issues that deserve sacrifice and hard efforts, particularly by those holding key positions in the government, as well as joint meeting parties and civil community organizations.

Once again, the situation of Yemen is alarming of an unprecedented calamity. In the meantime, the government and opposition have before them limited options. One of these options is that President Ali Abdullah should have the will to quit power peacefully and give up any plans to bequeath power to relatives. As far as I am concerned, Saleh's stay in power is one of the primary reasons for the repeated crises. The opposition parties are needed to play an important role to increase awareness of people about the peaceful transfer of power and the real democracy and to win their support. Otherwise, these parties will have to start from the zero hour. By this I mean they will face difficulty building a democratic state.

Source: Al-Thawri Weekly.