Yemeni unity, a people’s will coupled with democracy [Archives:2005/844/Front Page]

May 23 2005

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
Yemen on Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of the achievement of the Yemeni unity by holding grand celebrations in the port city of Mukalla, provincial capital of Hadramout governorate. The festivals were attended by a number of delegations from Arab, Islamic and foreign countries. On Saturday night, the skies of the capital, governorates and major cities were illuminated with fireworks expressing the ecstasy of the people on this great occasion.

President Ali Abdulla Saleh had on Saturday evening delivered a speech to the nation and the world devoted to talking about the Yemeni unity and its accomplishments over the past 15 years. The president's speech discussed many various aspects on the Yemeni political arena, calling on the opposition forces to practice their role in a sense of responsibility and to embark on holding dialogue serving Yemen's interests and future. President Saleh confirmed that the following period would see completion of economic, financial and administrative reforms as they represent an integrated system. However, the president did not mention in his speech the latest events in the governorate of Saada and the general pardon he had granted to al-Houthi followers. He had not also broached the forthcoming presidential elections.

Observing the occasion of the unity would be accompanied by opening of a large number of projects, mainly the Khor of Mukalla that is among the important strategic and tourist projects in Hadramout. The project is 1600 meters long and 95 meters wide, linked directly to the Arabian Sea. A youth carnival was held on shores of Mukalla overlooking the Arabian Sea where thousands of youths performed folkloric dances and demonstrations depicting the Yemeni tradition of Hadramout and other Yemeni cities and was much applauded by present audience. Several Arab and world satellite TV channels had participated in transmitting coverage of the festivals.

The unity is considered the greatest accomplishment for the Yemeni people. In 1990, the people of Yemen managed to realise their unity that is considered an embodiment of their will. The unity was accomplished through peaceful dialogue and fraternal understanding because it was the demand of the people of Yemen with all their various political and ideological affiliations. The achievement of unity was associated with democracy, freedom, multi-party system and freedom of the press. The democratic march has taken multi forms and developed noticeably. The parliamentary and presidential elections that followed the unity had proved commitment to the democratic pursuit and had received a great international respect and consideration. Press freedom, on the other hand, had represented an important aspect of democracy enhancement.

The unity has experienced several turning points that were not so easy but rather dangerous on certain occasion. The war of 1994 had its negative impact on development and construction but its consequences were overcome through tolerance and wise policies. The economic situation, under the international economic changes and globalisation, caused negative impact on the life of Yemen during thee past fifteen years. In addition, the terrorist acts had also caused hampering of development in Yemen in general. Despite of those multi and complicated problems, the Yemeni unity remains a great accomplishment and gain for the people of Yemen.