Have the Yemeni Revolution Achieved its Goals? [Archives:2001/39/Law & Diplomacy]

September 24 2001

The 26th September Revolution is a controversial issue, but all agree that the six goals of the revolution which were declared after the revolution have remained mere slogans and that none of them have come true even after the 39 years since its institution. Furthermore, the realization of these goals now is still even more difficult due to the variables and developments shaping our country.
Mohammed bin Sallam of Yemen Times has met with different personalities and asked them about their opinion on the reasons obstructing the accomplishment of these goals and to evaluate the elapsed period following the revolution.
Dr. Abdulaziz al-Maqaleh
Chairman of the Studies and Research Center
In my opinion all the revolution’s goals have been met, particularly the first goal as an example, since Yemen is now free from the tyrannical Imamate rule and similarly the colonialists had been driven from the country a long time ago. Thus, if some disparities and privileges have remained as they used to be in the pre-revolution period, they are the legacy of the age of ignorance that prevailed at that period as well as the result of divisions and disagreements that have taken place at the republican line since the first month of the revolution. As far as the second goal is concerned, which was the building of a strong national army, it has also been accomplished, since Yemen has never had a strong army as such. Regarding the fifth goal which has to do with the territorial integrity of the country, it has been achieved as well. Undoubtedly, the sixth goal related to respecting the UN charters and the other UN agencies, clinging to the principle of neutrality, the adoption of the policy of non-alignment, supporting world peace, and promoting the peaceful coexistence among nations, has also been accomplished. In my opinion the goals of revolution are outlines for ongoing progress and they can not be realized overnight. It is also the duty of the people and those in power to work toward accomplishing these goals as they can not realize themselves. It is regrettable that some people directly and indirectly insult the revolution on the pretext that it has not achieved what they dreamed of. This presumption makes one thinks that the revolution was not the acts of humans but rather the act of supernatural creatures and this is a fault in the part of those who hold this opinion. Revolution is the manpower which strives for change and what is rumored about the similarities between the goals of the Yemeni revolution and the Egyptian revolution, is not correct since the latter has eight goals, Similarly, the Yemeni revolution’s goals were reduced to six prior to the revolution, not because they are similar to the Egyptian ones but for certain conditions necessitating those modifications. Likewise, it does not matter if the Yemeni revolution’s goals are similar to the Egyptian’s ones, bearing in mind that it is not a problem if the number of the goals of the Yemen’s revolution are equal in number to the Egyptian ones since they are fundamentally different. Again the similarity between the goals of the Yemeni revolution and the Egyptian revolution, is not at all a dishonor to the Yemeni revolution since the goal of the Arab revolution are the same and the demands of the Arab nation are the same.
The reasons obstructing the accomplishment of the revolution’s goals are due to certain shortcomings that prevailed a short while after the revolution. Moreover, Yemenis lacked the feeling of harmony and some of them had fallen in the trap set by the anti-revolution forces. On the other hand, many of the political leaderships that assumed power after the revolution had had serious shortcomings. However, from an optimistic perspective, what has been achieved so far in terms of development and democratization is mostly good. Thus, we reiterate that the revolution has succeeded and that the blood of the martyrs has not been in vain. The aim to go for the better is a good thing and this is just an evidence that people are vigorous and ambitious at the same time.
Mr. Mohammed Abdulah al-Fusael
Former MP.
In my opinion the 26th September revolution has achieved all its goals regarding its form. Furthermore, these goals have been converted from the stage of revolutionary legitimacy to constitutional legitimacy since we have a republican constitution which ensures the freedom of individuals and society, political pluralism, peaceful transfer of power, free democratic elections, and freedom of press and human rights. Likewise, we have a great deal of laws for regulating the application of the constitution and the relations between individuals and society and the society and government. We have community cooperatives, federations, elected legislative authorities, independent judicial system, elected president, renunciation of the country has been achieved, our relations with the regional and international organizations is mostly good, including our commitment to protect human rights and preserve the environment. All these have been achieved, so where is the problem? Simply, the problem lies within our inability to restructure the goals of the revolution and in the same time in our inability to translate into practice their contents. Unfortunately, we have failed so far to achieve that, both the rulers and the ruled, the authorities and the opposition, the government and the people. Another reason for this is the existence of a ‘puppet’ opposition which struggles at Qat sessions and leaves the public behind. In my opinion it is the fault of the ‘puppet’ opposition, since the authorities have achieved their duties. And in my opinion, it is in favor of the latter the existence of structure and the lack of contents.
Brigadier General / Hamood Baidar
Chairman of the Yemeni Organization for War Veterans.
First of all, I want to mention here that the 26th September Revolution was a great revolution. The greatness of the revolution coincides with the Arab revolutionary movement at that same time, particularly in the aftermath of the secession setback between Syria and Egypt. The Arabs hoped to achieve a comprehensive Arab unity at that time through Iraq’s returning to the Arab Unity after the 14 Ramadan Revolution. With its six goals, the Yemeni revolution was shifted to a seismic movement in which the Imam’s rule was completely overthrown. The republic system was replaced by dictatorship ruled by Al Hameed Al-Deen for thousands of years. The liberals could only do their best for the sake of the welfare and prosperity of the Yemeni people. Concerning the six goals of the Yemeni revolution, the majority of its goals have been achieved and what has remained is that the economic crises have become the main concern of all people. We are sure that the economical deteriorated situations will be improved. In such difficult situations, Yemen could exceed many trials and tribulations particularly after the Unification.
Member of the Political Office of the YSP
The prevailing opinion is that the six goals of the revolution have not yet been achieved. However, some of its parts have been achieved, specifically the establishment of the republic system and some of the social and political developments such as education, health, and the political plurality during the post-unification period. Perhaps, the government’s inability to achieve the goals of the revolution can be ascribed to the dominance of tribalism in administrating the state and its incapacity to cope with the requirements of the modern technology. The dominance of tribalism in administrating the state has culminated in the long-term tribal conflicts, instability, and the incapability of the authorities to perform its tasks properly. The achievement of the Yemeni unification and its adherence to the democratic development signify that Yemen has achieved dramatic shifts in all aspects of life, but this was interrupted by the civil war in 1994. In this respect, the victorious side has had to perform the national reconciliation and providing the suitable atmosphere for the political forces and parties to be involved in the developmental processes, particularly the modernizing forces in the Socialist Party, which has the leading role in achieving the unity in May 22, 1990.