Interviews

Tue - 11 Sep 2018 - 11:35 PM ،،،

 Ali Almasfari to Aden Press: Members of the Legitimate Government are Warlords who Drain the Arab Coalition’s Resources

Q: In view of the resent developments in Yemen in general , what is  your take on it ?

A : The war is increasing in Yemen amid a stalemate in the political scene and a complex military situation. This creates a very complicated state of affairs with the inability of one party to dominate the other this status quo requires extraordinary efforts to reach any attempt for a peaceful outcome in Yemen in general and the South in particular.

The ambiguous current status quo encouraged the members of legitimate government to become warlords who are draining the Arab coalition’s resources and are using the southern resistance strategically for tactical objectives as well as gives the Yemeni forces an opportunity to invest in liberating the land from Right-to-left capitalizing on the potential of the coalition and the efforts of the Southern resistance who have freed vast parts of the South and the West Coast with southern blood and a part of the Arab coalition forces.

Those victories were ransacked by the legitimate parties, who have been hired to their advantage especially the opportunistic elements in the (Alliqa Almushtarak) coalition parties. Primarily causing this chaotic situation on all fronts against the Houthi, which are led by the Islah party headed by Ali Muhsin Alahmar and the remains of the supporters of the ex-president Ali Saleh who have taken the Brotherhood republic of Mareb and the First military battalions as their stronghold. This has taken place under the eyes of the Arab coalition, who haven't taken any action to prevent it, while at the fronts facing the Houthis are 100%  southern forces؜.

Q: After following the UN envoy to Yemen Mr Martin Griffiths’ attempts to restore piece in Yemen , do you think he will reach a solution on the Yemeni crises in general and the Southern issue in particular?

A: Mr Martin Griffiths, in his recent briefing to the UN Security Council, seemed optimistic to find a political solution, but he had to steer away from the terms which refer to the Gulf initiative, its operational mechanisms and the outputs of the so-called resolution 2216.

He leaned on the grounds of the aftermath of March 26, 2015, which is an official recognition of al-Houthi's dominance. Therefore there are two phases of his initiative ; The first is on Hodeida, supervised by the United Nations, which also includes the port and other nearby small ports such as Mokha and Saliff ports, where all their revenue will be transmitted to the Central Bank of Yemen in Sana'a, with the ongoing flow of international relief, which means a stream of income for the Houthis. By this, the United Nations guarantees to serve the Houthi regime and rescue it from the difficult financial and economic hardships of war in addition to end the catastrophic successive collapses of the Yemeni Rial which decreased to 70%  of its value. All that gives the Houthi more time.

The second phase of the transition period, according to Griffiths is to limit the talks between the legitimacy, meaning the Islah Party which is controlling it and between the Houthis. Here he detached the ‘Coalition’ once and for all so that the role of the UAE and KSA is out of the main equation. This is a plan put forward by regional countries including Iran, Qatar and Turkey whom all support the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas under the table there is a non-subsidized hidden agenda where the Houthi and the Islah Party will play a pivotal role in the future that is; To capture the future consensus government, it means strengthening the control and influence of Iran and its project which is supported by Turkey and Qatar, completing the circle of influence over the Strait of Hormuz and Bab el Mandeb but this time under the umbrella of the United Nations. 

 On the other hand, concerning the southern issue, Griffiths did not approach it not even a single inch, emphasizing that it is an issue to be highlighted in the forthcoming transitional phase within United Yemen. In his meetings in London, he avoided taking into consideration the components of the independent Hirak including the largest component in the south the ‘Southern Transitional Council’.

Here I can say that the reason for excluding them was the fact that the components of the movement did not impose a ‘Fait accompli’ policy and did not even agree on a roadmap to restore a southern state with the coalition. This weakness placed the southern issue far from reaching the one important goal (Independence and a free state)  and gave opportunities to the vengeful Yemeni forces to turn against the people of the South as well as the alliances of the 1994 war. This in return is what gave the legitimate government ample space to exploit the support of the Arab Coalition and on the other hand, the generous regional support for the Islah Party to disrupt the stability in the South, especially after its liberation where the policy of starvation and degradation against the people continued. The lack in providing Services, destruction of infrastructure and disrupt restoring the institutions in the South, has brought the south to a state of a humanitarian catastrophe.

On the other hand, if only those components had announced their move to return from the fronts, especially the West coast, freeing the rest of the south and imposing ‘De facto’ politicians, I am sure and without any doubt, everyone will agree to recognize the southern state. This state of affairs must be captured by the components of the independence movement, the first of which is the Southern Transitional Council,  to emerge from the circle of raising slogans and move towards the realities of today in order to meet its challenges, with the political and popular Southern will, which was evident in the twenty two mass demonstrations of support.

In my opinion on this part, Griffiths must adopt two initiatives. One initiative to restore the south and the other to resolve the power-sharing crisis between Yemeni forces in Sana'a who are sectarian with tribal believes who also have been adapted to it for hundreds of years. They need to build a state that will help them emerge into the modern era. That is to secure peace in the north and the South with the national security of the Arab states, the Gulf and International region. without it, the drums of war will keep on beating and the death game will continue and will visit every house.

Q: What do you think of  the recent activity of the STC although it is functioning under great pressure from the opponent parties ?

A: The STC ’s message, actions and prospects reflect the vitality of the people of the south and their deep human values that always create, at every stage, elites and political formations which manage any national movement.

At all the stages which the people went through they created an entity which addressed any rising issues, those entities succeeded in as much as well as those who failed. During the period of the southern liberation struggled after the tragedy of the 1994 war, political entities were numerous, mostly peaceful. But in general, its experiences helped to impose a new reality in raising the southern issue has benefited a lot from the efforts which deserve recognition and respect.

 The southern issue was able to be delivered to the various fronts at the internal level; For example, the STC (Southern Transitional Council)  emerged in a very delicate circumstance and the people embraced it with a high level of hope.

The  STC’s goal was great although the mechanisms it used to carry the masses to the aimed target were weak and didn’t rise adequately even though the will of the people was enough to impose the new reality. That enthusiasm needed to be used with a collective mind to support the STC itself and present it with a comprehensive vision which can absorb the institutional needs with the rest of the Hirak components. The STC, by opening its arms to them, could have established a national action program and a base of the great political carrier and its mechanisms through an inclusive national pact which accommodates the challenges of the period.

The STC still has a chance to take advantage of this historical stage and has the ability to come out of it victorious if it considers the following :
1. The peoples need in an independent state.
2. The weak legitimacy and its fragile components and their inability to impose their presence as a governing body ( State) give an advantage and incentive for change in the South.  
3. The Legitimate government ’s failure to provide solutions to vital issues.
4. The International community cannot find a satisfactory settlement to resolve the southern issue.
5. The Arab coalition needs a strategic supporter, which is the southerners they know that they are a powerful force therefor they have to be transparent with them.
6. The south is rich with its natural resources which are sufficient to finance all that is required, for a popular action which is capable of dealing with the whole situation.

Q: The STC is an umbrella under which all the Southerners ,who believe in a solution for the south ,including those who are abroad , unite . What in your opinion stops them all from supporting the STC?

A: If there is a goodwill, with a political vision then we can say that we have reached halfway, this willpower is available, so why aren’t the southerners inside and abroad supporting the STC?

In my opinion, the STC  should hold a national conference which invites all the southerners and their components to form a united comprehensive vision that consolidates the national unity and pushes the south towards reaching a solution. This powerful political bearer, the STC, can ensure that all the southern political forces will work under the southern state and away from ‘Bab Al Yemen’.

We are moving to build a state with a mature constitution which understands the realities and operates under a unified rhythm away from any ancient ideologies.
Only then, we will reap the fruits of this arduous and great national humanitarian effort by compromising, dedication to our cause, forgiveness, reconciliation and sacrifice for the present and the future of the coming generations.

Ali Noman Almasfary
Southern Writer and Political Analyst
Interviewed ,Translated and edited by Sahar Noman.