Comments on Sadah clashes [Archives:2007/1069/Community]

July 19 2007

By: Hassan Al-Ansi
[email protected]

I was born in Al-Jawf and I received my basic education moving between Sadah and Al-Jawf. Therefore, I am quite familiar of this region. I find it important to say that targeting those areas by armed forces was a big mistake.

But providing the inhabitants with development requirements would be much more feasible. I am basing my view on two points. First; I believe that violence and wars can never be justified or excused. Second; is because the region suffered -and still- for a long time from poor performance of the government over this vital part of the country through nearly half a century of the revolutionary republican regime and about 30 years of the current leading crew.

The people know that government is relying for a long time on local influential and tribal leaders, who proved great failure in the long- run, to mediate with citizens because some figures in government and their “local agents” discern was to gain personal interests 'as much as they could' and never show confidence in those areas nor the whole country. Also, the state becomes subject of blackmailing by those who are supposed to be its hands and eyes in the region.

By this method, the state has failed to start up real development or to ensure stability and security. But instead of that, those areas turned to become terrorists attraction, as a result of obvious failure to control and develop. It is clear that there is a strong link between stability and development, between security and investment.

By the way, most of those extremists or terrorists do not belong to the region, neither Salafy or Sheiah groups, but most of them came from other different provinces and even from outside the country. They found protection and shelters from the dwellers by the name of Arabian and tribal values which provide safety to whoever steps on their home or land, it is a matter of honor, despite whatever consequences.

There is nothing to do with religion or any Islamic thoughts. It is known that the Imam, former monarch of Yemen, used to deal with such problems much wisely, aside from his stupid way of arresting policy, to ensure tribes loyalty. But he, in somehow, managed to keep tribal leaders and individuals feel fully responsible to their areas where they dwelt and played as a supporting army. They perfectly secured their lands and used to arrest any wanted, whether one of them or an outsider. Before signing the treaty of borders, the Saudis also managed to solve incidents arose from protecting some escaped wanted criminals to those neighboring Yemeni tribes; they dealt directly with tribesmen, ignoring government officials in Sana'a.

I should hope that it is not difficult to deal with tribesmen, but you need to establish trust and respect, just be honest and true when you talk or deal with them, carelessness could force them to turn to terror and extremism.

Given that arbitrary current practices, observers won't be surprised if these bloody confrontations spread to Al-Jawf, Hajjah, Amran, and remote parts of Sana'a as well as Dhamar governorates. Yemeni citizens of these governorates do not really deserve such conditions and miserable style of life. They only need to be understood rather than to be overlooked, marginalized, or , like Sadah, hit by all kinds of missiles.

We, however, are confident on president Saleh's wisdom and capability in putting an immediate end to this cycle of violence and bloodshed. Considering the high rate of unemployment, high incidence of poverty, and low standard of living for the majority of people in this region, along with the wide spread of firearms among citizens, we have no much time to resolve problems.

Urgent actions are needed if peace and stability have to be maintained, and conditions for a decent life for the current and coming generations are to be secured in this vital part of Yemen.