Stopping wars’ behavior is a top priority [Archives:2007/1063/Opinion]

June 28 2007

By: Ali Al-Sarari
The most recent Sa'ada war is the longest one from among the domestic destructive events since it broke out at the very beginning of the current year until it was halted under an official declaration, issued on Saturday, May 16.

We should acknowledge that months of the most recent Sa'ada war have been tragic times full of pains and sufferings. As the war was halted, the black cloud, which covered Yemen, disappeared but cheers over halting the war will never compensate for the catastrophe, which the war left behind. Thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed and tens of thousands of innocent families were displaced, suffering the pains of starvation, diseases and insults. Souls of hundreds of killed people and pains of the injured ones are hovering in the skies of damaged villages and cities. The Yemeni people lived hard times of sadness over bloodshed, human rights abuses and looting of property in the war which left heavy damage, psychological frustration, malice, and despair. Additionally, the war had negative impacts on the moral values and the national social fabric.

Yemen paid a heavy price for this war and is bound to pay the price of its bad consequences for tens of years to come. Unlike the goal of some media means loyal with the regime, the neutral media community questions who is responsible for bloodshed and massive destruction in Sa'ada. More questions should be raised to detect reasons for the war, its relevant catastrophes and its consequences in a responsible way but not in a revenge-like manner. The post war time shouldn't be an open period for taking revenges, sparking conflicts, and putting more oil to re-inflame the just extinguished fire.

Various media having intimacy with the regime started to behave in a way fuelling sedition during the wartime and invented a lot of fabrications and inauthentic stories without any feeling of clear conscience. After the war was over, such media began to thwart any hope of social peace following the fighting and tended to spark fears over accountability and blames on what has happened. These media have neither intention nor plans to create positive climate that may help resolve consequences of the war and prevent any recurrence of such clashes.

As these media have been behaving in a way shifting attentions away from bloodshed, massive destruction and the looting of property during the wartime, they were unhappy about halting the war. Since the very beginning, they aimed to plant new seeds for the war to erupt once again in the future to be an extension of the just-halted war. Their primary goal of renewing the war is to destroy an remaining undamaged infrastructure in the restive province.

Questions about the causes of the war and the manner in which it was waged are necessary for the time being in order to convince the country's key politicians to remain committed and suggest a package of procedures and moves that help tackle the political and social environment, which merely produces wars. Also, these procedures and moves may prevent the wars and clashes from breaking out once again. This is the main topic we have to concentrate on seriously.

All the claims and allegations, used in fuelling and justifying the Sa'ada war, have gone silent while the government bodies and media loyal with the government seem to intentionally ignore these claims and allegations under the pretext of the urgent need for conciliatory atmospheres to help lay down the curtain on the Sa'ad war.

The desire for creating conciliatory environment is a good one and should be boosted and encouraged by all the political parties and organizations until the end. But everyone in Yemen has to always bear in mind that it is a shame on us to let wars break out so easily. We have to care for studying and detecting any reasons and causes leading to wars and conflicts.

Any way, this country cannot maintain its survival nor can it win the respect and support of others as long as wars are approved by the influential moods that prefer the personal interests to the public ones. When they want to wage a war for any trivial reason, they don't allow anyone to oppose to such a type of crazy decisions. And, when they want to halt the war, they don't allow anybody to ask, “Whey did they fuel the war and then turn to halt it?” Through this behavior, they intend to renew the war whenever their moods reach a decision on war and they once again used their moods to halt the war. For them, wars are simple games for funny and entertainment. They don't understand that the war kills innocent people, destroys the infrastructure and gives the chance to the opportunists to loot private and public property.

The regime resorted to use all the means of pressure, threat and intimidation in order to hinder Parliament from doing its job in investigating reasons and factors behind Sa'ada crisis before it escalated into a destructive war. It rejected any suggestions offered by the opposition with the aim of seeking peaceful solutions to stop bloodshed, maintain law and order, and ensure that concerned constitutions and laws remain effective. The regime needs to remember the shameful moments when Parliament quit its constitutional and national responsibilities and turned to behave in line with the authorities' fabricated allegations regarding the situation in Sa'ada. Parliament then delegated the government an absolute power to control the mobilization of military forces and equipment and attack innocent citizens under the cover of fighting the rebellion.

Had the government had serious moves to deal with the crisis since the very beginning, it would have helped Yemen escape massive destruction and bloodshed. Nearly $1.5 billion was spent on funding the war at a time the country was in an urgent need for the money to alleviate poverty, fight unemployment, provide basic services to deprived citizens and curb the proliferation of epidemics.

The regime paid harm to the Yemeni people when it placed them in the heart of the catastrophe, which it created in Sa'ada. In addition, it harmed its relations with the brotherly countries when it accused some of them of standing behind Sa'ada rebellion, as it did with Libya and Iran.

The regime transgressed all the national values when it invented numerous sectarian and ethnical fabrications and gave these fabrications precedence over facts. Today, it is behaving as if it didn't say anything or was not excessive in the use of fabrications and lies before, during and after the war. However, its foolish behavior may be responsible for similar clashes and confrontations to break out once again in Sa'ada or in other areas of Yemen in the days to come.

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-Thawri Weekly.