SILVER LININGNo more fuel into fire [Archives:2007/1060/Opinion]

June 18 2007

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
It seems that the shaky position of the government in its fight with the rebels in Sa'ada has encouraged other similar turmoil in Abyan. Since the fight with al-Houthis erupted in 2004, we all do not know the real causes behind it. The government gives several explanations and interpretations for the reasons which sometimes refute each other; sometimes it claims al-Houthis want to overthrow the political system and then it says that the al-Houthis are backed up by some countries including Iran and Libya.

The government sometimes pardons al-Houthis and their supporters and then demands they should lay down their arms and they will be ensured fair trial. Last Thursday, the government announced the suspension of the military operations against al-Houthis provided that the rebels abide by law and order and give up fighting and return homes to live peacefully. Previously, President Saleh said on the eve of the unification day that they should surrender and hence would be granted fair trial. Now, there is no trial. We need to know why they keep changing their positions. Reading between the lines of this government discourse demonstrates its confusion and incompetence to take a solid decision.

Now, there is a similar rebellion taking place for some weeks in the rugged mountains of the southern governorate Abyan and nobody knows the reasons behind it. The government claims the rebellion led by the former military officer Saeed Shahtoor is motivated by the secessionists. Shahtoor who is gaining support of the impoverished angry people alleges that his rebellion has noble objectives and is meant to serve the welfare of the people, demanding equal distribution of power and wealth. Such kind of discourse will find open ears because the number of the hungry and angry people is on the rise. At least they are better than those allegations and the groundless anti-US-and-Israel slogans of al-Houthis; I mean Shahtoor is touching the pains of millions of people who are going through very difficult living situation which can be a good reason for them to back up Shahtoor.

It is reported that the situation in Abyan is worsening, mainly because of the ill practices of the influential military and civil figures. Again, in Shabwa there was fierce fighting between tribesmen and security personnel where a number of people were killed and injured from the two sides. The same thing took place in Marib.

This is really worrying. The people are easily irritated due to economic hardships. And any sort of injustice or ill practices on the part of the influential figures will add more fuel into the fire and would instigate conflicts here and there which by the end of the day destabilize the overall situation of the system in Yemen. We do not need more troubles here and there; we need the government to put off the ongoing fight in Sa'ada which has the potential to duplicate here and there unless the government addresses the real problems of the people. Are you guys in charge aware of this?!

Mohammed Al-Qadhi ([email protected]) is a Yemeni journalist and columnist.