Who Stands Behind Militants in Aden?

Who Stands Behind Militants in Aden?

Friday, 2 February, 2018 - 09:15
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad.
As signs of the Houthi insurgents' defeat in Sanaa emerged, battles erupted in the temporary capital Aden. Igniting battles in the South is not a coincidence, as it reflects the worries of those who are counting on the war to persist in the North. Those who believe that the legitimate forces won't win, thus guaranteeing their establishment of a state in South Yemen.

Houthi insurgents’ defeats have increased in the North ever since their former ally Ali Abdullah Saleh ended his alliance with them. Their situation worsened after they killed Saleh as most of the latter’s supporters turned against them.

Hostile regional parties like Qatar sought to fuel the situation by stepping up the southern separatist militias’ propaganda against the government. This political activity is nothing new but it now goes in harmony with the Houthis’ interests and seeks to create a front that compensates Houthis for losing Saleh’s camp by besieging the government in Aden.

Government forces which thought they will restore Sanaa realized they might lose Aden. It’s a bad political and military development that proves old fears that southern parties which tend to favor separation are infiltrated by the same powers – specifically Iran and Qatar – that want to prolong the war in Yemen.

This contradicts with what Qatar has been marketing as it claimed there were disputes among the members of the coalition in support of the legitimate government. Doha has been playing the same old tune as it thinks that if it succeeds, it will be able to neutralize the quartet that’s boycotted it.

This analysis does not mean there is no desire to separate into North and South and that there are no movements in favor of this separation; however, it shows the relation between the events in which more than 20 people were killed during unjustified confrontations.

Those seeking separation call for using military power based on complaints from the current situation due to the brutal war. What’s certain is that the armed attack on the premiership headquarters has gone beyond the limits of a political dispute.

The armed group behind the attack, and which raises slogans that appeal to the sentiment of Yemenis in the South, is now like the Houthis in terms of committing the same crime of taking up arms against the state.

What about their desire to divide Yemen into two independent states? This is up to the Yemeni people. If they agree on separation in the future, then so be it, and if they don’t, the party in favor of separation can go ahead and take its demand to specialized international organizations under the excuse that “Yemen consisted of two independent states and its time to separate again after unity failed.”

The UN may agree to this demand via the international court or another institution, and the dispute would thus end in a civilized, legal and safe way. It may also reject it and the controversy would come to an end. The Kurds in Iraq gave it a shot and they had a long history that supported this right. However, countries are not managed according to the desires of politicians and parties calling for separation but according to laws that govern peoples’ relations.

There is a wide segment of people in the South who believe that unification impoverished them and led to oppression and injustice. What’s certain is that late President Saleh’s governance destroyed all of Yemen and is in fact greatly responsible for the failure of the state.

The current war was launched to eliminate enclaves of rebellion and end attempts to illegitimately seize power. It seeks to restore the state’s entity according to the UN’s project for a democratic Yemen as supported by the Gulf initiative - to establish an interim government then draft a constitution under international supervision, hold parliamentary elections then presidential elections and form a government.

Yemenis only choose their leaders under international supervision. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran or Qatar do not decide on their behalf. The Iranians, however, are using the Houthis to keep what they gained during the coup and to prevent the implementation of the aforementioned international plan.

Those calling for separation in the South can wait and then legally and properly request separation instead of destroying the country with their own hands and being dragged behind countries that draw chaotic schemes to target countries of the coalition at the expense of the Yemeni people’s lives, security, and stability.

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