Former Ministers Call for Justice [Archives:2001/51/Front Page]

December 17 2001

A number of former ministers, intellectuals and social dignitaries declared, in a meeting, last week the foundation of a forum to defend rights of citizens of the southern and western governorates that used to form the former Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY.)
The meeting was attended by Former Interior Minister Hussein Arab, Former Minister of Fish Wealth Ahmed Musaed Hussein, and Ali al-Qufaish plus others.
The forum is meant to protest the aggression and injustice the citizens of southern part of Yemen have been undergoing since the Summer Civil War of 1994. A Well-informed source said 16,000 militaries and other 18,000 civil servants have been sacked and robbed of their posts for political motives. Other people, also from this area, have been dismissed from their jobs at different ministries, particularly the Foreign Affairs and Interior.
Participants in the meeting agreed to set up three committees to follow up the demands of those governorates.
Meanwhile, a letter is being prepared to be presented to president Ali Abdullah Saleh, later on. The letter will spell out the demands and development projects the people of this area need.
Previously, public committees in Aden and other southern governorates were established to defend the rights of their people to enjoy equal citizenship just like people belonging to tribal areas who are taking over key positions, either in the military or civil service. However, these committees were stalled and put down by the government which accused them of inciting regionalistic and sectarian sentiments in the community.
Again, the government now believes this forum is a regionalistic one and aims at blackmailing the authorities which laid off some ministers and other high ranking officials belonging to this area. During the formation of the government, last April, president Saleh disagreed with Vice-president Abdu Raboo Mansur Haddi who opposed the removal of Hussein Arab from his post as a minister of interior.
Reliable sources confirmed that the recent meeting focused on the issue of dismissed militaries from Abyan governorate, the homeland of the Vice-president, plus other issues pertaining to financial privileges these influential officials used to enjoy, but the government stopped them in light of the austere policy it is undertaking.
The move by former ministers might torpedo the relations between Saleh and Haddi, leading to a political infighting at the power centers.