July 7 regime’s policies are no longer tolerated [Archives:2007/1076/Opinion]

August 13 2007

Ali Al-Sarari
The Yemeni people did all they could do for the current regime to review its policies and procedures that damaged their interests and made them suffer all kinds of material and psychological agonies. Despite all this, it seems that the regime has neither learned anything nor benefited from the available lessons. It keeps on exacerbating citizens' sufferings and poor living standards. As days pass, the situations disclose risky congestions that may lead Yemen to face destructive catastrophes and move toward the unknown.

The oppressive circumstances imposed on citizens in the southern governorates raise concern, as congestions there help exacerbate their miserable living standards. The situation indicates that it is impossible for citizens to accept that their current conditions continue for a longer time because they turned to rule out that the government may review its existing policies and resolve their issues.

They have been tolerating such random policies and cruel procedures for 13 years or since the end of the 1994 Civil War. They judiciously and reasonably tolerated the arrogant behavior of those, who won the war, and pined hope in any possible change to their situations. But they ran out of their store of patience after recognizing all the false excuses of the regime that never pays attention to their or other citizens' issues nor considers their pains and sufferings.

The government offered citizens of the southern governorates uncountable fools and misleading propaganda until citizens perceived that it scorn them and taunt their conditions. Citizens of the south have been sadly observing how the government deceives their hopes and expectations and stains their innocence, as well as how it changes their situations from bad to worse and humiliate them.

The tragedy imposed on citizens in the southern governorates, since the pessimistic day of July 7, 1994, exceeded the limits of psychological defeat and humiliation. It also worsened their economic situations by killing their ailing income sources and destroying all the natural components of their livings. It destroyed their living standards and made them deteriorate to the unbelievable levels.

The country, which once had been an example for law and order, and equality between citizens in rights and duties, was changed by July 7 regime into an area of prevalent chaos and randomness. The country has become a prey for the influential persons and corrupt individuals who loot personal and public property without any distinction between both. Step by step, the July 7 regime imposed a policy of deprivation and trouble on the innocent citizens, dismissed hundreds of thousands of them from their jobs and denied them their legal rights to enjoy social justice and equality. It didn't provide any job opportunities for the idle youths, nor did it ensure their right to have an access to education and mediation for free. It confiscated their companies and wealth, destroyed the capability of thousands of competent and qualified people and gave ignorant individuals priority and precedence over them.

Before the July 7 regime, inhabitants of the southern governorates found what secured them lead a good life, however, no oil had been explored and the country was not open for national and foreign investments. People got equal job opportunities and equal basic services, and the scarce resources sufficed them. No one of them was complaining of starvation, poverty or mistreatment. Following the exploration of natural resources, as well as the chance to improve their living standards, the July 7 regime came to exercise oppression on people of the southern governorates. This regime allowed its influential persons to loot personal and public property and accused inhabitants of the southern governorates of apostasy, treason and being traitors with foreign enemies.

Via this kind of mistreatment that affected people of South Yemen economically and psychologically, the July 7 regime mishandled the meaning of the national unity in the southern governorates and citizens there saw how their great expectations were being destroyed. They realized that such policies and procedures, which are not governed by any national or patriotic rules, could no longer be tolerated. These policies and procedures were harshly criticized.

People in the south remained very careful to voice their issues in a proper way and control their nerves and feelings in order not to suffer any consequences of nerve-racking reactions. As long as they adhered to the civilized and modern criteria of behavior in expressing their necessities and voicing the state of injustice and oppression they experienced, they gave an ideal example of how citizens should claim their rights and express their necessities peacefully. Clear-cut evidence is the behavior of military retirees, who have been referred to pensions in an illegal manner and deprived of their constitutional right to obtain higher ranks, thanks to their national service for several years.

If the influential individuals and mercenaries in the regime label the army retirees' protests as illegal acts damaging the national unity, they have to learn that the peaceful and civic struggles are the substantial guarantees of the unity in the current conditions. These protests, as staged in Aden, Al-Dhale' and other governorates, are the only useful means for voicing citizens' concerns and sufferings, which the national unity left behind after July 7 influential persons transferred them into accusations and false justifications for looting personal and public property.

Without such peaceful means for staging demonstrations and protests, the country will be exposed to a risky fate, due to be destroying what the unity has built up until now. Requesting them to accept my highest consideration and appreciation, protestors in the southern governorates should learn that by their peaceful struggle, they demonstrate their loyalty with the unity and contribute to rebuilding it (the unity) in favor of all Yemeni people.

Ali Al-Sarari is a Yemeni Journalist and a well-known politician. He is the head of the information department at the Yemeni Socialist Party.

Source: Al-Nass Weekly