Why has South Yemen become a ground for growing turmoil? [Archives:2008/1174/Opinion]
By: Raddad Al-Salami
South Yemen has been peacefully resisting the ruling regime for nearly 15 months, and their resistance reached its climax on July 7, which they see as the day of death for the national unity. Since the 1994 Civil War during which President Saleh's forces defeated forces of his counterpart, who had ruled South Yemen for several years and was an effective partner in establishing Yemen's Unity in 1990, citizens of South Yemen have undergone hard conditions.
Yemeni Socialist Party and citizens of South Yemen have been negatively affected by that war that dismissed them from their government posts, edged out their role and eliminated their presence in the various state's institutions.
As a result, the political regime was accused of encouraging racial discrimination and making leadership exclusively limited to Saleh's dynasty and relatives, who never feel ashamed of looting property and resources of the nation. Even worse, powerful military and security leaders in the Saleh's regime, whose main duty is to protect the nation and its citizens, use their power to plunder citizens' lands.
Having realized that protests escalate in South Yemen, President Saleh resorted to forming a fact-finding committee to investigate the real reasons behind what is happening in the southern part of Yemen. The committee, chaired by Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Saleh Basurra, who belongs to southern Hadhramout governorate, prepared a comprehensive report on the most important reasons for the escalating turmoil in South Yemen.
According to the report, some 16 Yemeni ministers are responsible for what is happening in the southern governorates. In the same context, a prominent Yemeni opposition leader said that Saleh was given two options to choose between: whether to select homeland or the 16 ministers. Seemingly, he preferred the 16 ministers.
In addition, foreign observers are of the opinion that Yemen is undergoing a critical stage because it suffers from multiple economic, social, political and cultural problems, which they described as 'flagrant'.
In the political sphere, Yemen is suffering a deadlock and sharp crisis between the authority and opposition, which was engaged in a serious of dialogues with the regime, and these dialogues were described by political analysts as 'sterile' because they reached no tangible results, particularly what regards composition of the Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum (SCER).
People's will for reform deceived:
The Yemeni opposition accuses Saleh's regime of manipulating the political and democratic life in Yemen and deceiving people's will for reform. It also held the regime accountable for producing contradictions and creating insurmountable crisis between the ruling and opposition parties, adding that it reproduces the same replica of itself via rigged elections.
According to opposition leaders, the way the regime reproduces the same replica of itself again and again via elections, accompanied by violations and discrepancies, is the main reason why Yemen is progressing toward unprecedented collapse.
Other political observers hold the view that Yemen's opposition is weak and affected by the influence of tribal leaders and tradesmen who express allegiance with President Saleh to protect their interests. Consequently, this opposition poses no threat to the regime in order to persuade it to respond to its political demands, which observers viewed as fair and constitutional. To conclude, the way the regime behaves is the primary reason why South Yemeni has become a ground for growing turmoil.