Saleh still indirectly rules Yemen through new government: Analyst
Furious Yemeni revolutionaries have repeatedly taken to the streets of the capital city of Sana’a and other cities, demanding real transition of power without any manipulation and foreign intervention.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The impoverished Persian Gulf nation demands real changes in the mainly pro-Saleh government, army and the military apparatus, to bring the revolution to the point that the nation began its bloody revolution for, which is independence from foreign countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United States.
In massive demonstrations in the capital Sana’a and the northern city of Sa’ada on Friday, protesters chanted slogans against the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and demanded that Washington halt the drone attacks in southern Yemen and also to prevent their hard earned revolution being hijacked.
Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen's major cities since January 2011, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding that relatives of former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh be sacked from their government posts.
Saleh formally stepped down and handed over power to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in February 2012. The power transfer occurred under a Saudi-backed deal brokered by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in April 2011 and signed by Saleh in Riyadh on November 23, 2011.
Yemen is the Arab world’s poorest country. Forty percent of the people of Yemen are living on two US dollars a day or less and one third are wrestling with chronic hunger.
Some 31.5 percent of the population is “food insecure” and around 12 percent are “severely food insecure,” according to the United Nations.
We have conducted an interview with Ali Masfari, writer and academic, London about the present state of Yemen and how much of the country the new president Hadi actually controls. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Q: Do you think this revolution or the movement has been hijacked or do you think it is taking a natural way, but it's just going to take time to actually evolve into what the young people intended it to be?
Masfari: I think that the revolution has been hijacked from the first days and nothing remains for the young people in order to get organized or to reach their target.
For example, we find out from the first days that the military generals, they joined the revolution and started to put pressure on the youth in order to have them quit the revolution. However, now we find that the revolution is only silenced under the tents in Sana'a and somewhere else.
What has happened now is that the JMP (Joint Meetings Party) and also the al-Motamar Party have divided the government between them and they left the young revolution out of it altogether.
Now what we find is that the same extension of the old regime still exists and has authorization through Abid Rabu Mansour Hadi who was vice president in the past and now president again… So, Ali Abdullah Saleh is still ruling, not directly, from outside of the country and also Abid Rabu Mansour Hadi and the rest of his al-Motamar Party who are still very strong within the system itself ans also they have the power in the military and the Republican Guards.
So, Ali Abdullah Saleh still has his nails and teeth into the flesh of the country.
Q: How big of a role do you see outside entities playing in what is going on in Yemen for example Saudi Arabia? Do you see Saudi Arabia playing a role in what is happening in Yemen at this time?
Masfari: Yes of course. The main initiative came via Saudi Arabia to the international community with the support of the US. But I think this assertive has failed because the roots of the solution are not there in Yemen, it is dictated from outside the country.
So, any revolution, if it does not come to power and make a change and recognize all the issues in the country that means that it remains in a gale.
For example, what is happening now in Sana'a is nothing. Sana'a is still divided into two parts. The only positive thing to come out is that they have transferred their military clutches from Sana'a to the south - sometimes in the form of al-Qaeda or Ansar sharia or sometimes… they have snipers now in the capital of the south.
So, it means they have been out threatening the whole south in order to put the south under their control in Sana'a.
Q: Are you saying that in order for calm and order to be restored to the country that it has to be coming from outside of the country, or exactly what is it that you are saying here?
Masfari: Yes. The solution came from outside of the country. And the assertive of the Persian Gulf States has failed because I told you until now; there was no positive result, until now - only by appointing the president and the government.
Nobody has found out a positive result from the assertive. Only now the only thing they have done is quit it for some time in order to transfer the crisis forward. But as for a solution until now, there has been nothing.
In the south the issue is still open and enflamed. They haven't recognized in their assertive the human and political rights of the south. And on the other side in the north, the Houthi issue is still enflamed as well and they haven't recognized anything.
Q: Our guest Mr. al-Kamali talked about the different parts and parties that are in the country. What has to take place to make sure that the country does not fall apart and that it does not turn into a full fledged civil war when we have so many different entities in different power pockets in the country?
Masfari: Yes I agree with what Mr. al-Kamali said that Sana'a is not only too divided, but many other places… It's all across the country now, you find that there is no security, no stability in the country.
The country is on the verge of collapse, nobody can rule the whole country and put it under one hand only; the military is divided; the Republican Guards are also divided; you find that all of the government is separated - some of them are already liberated and they have their own governors.
If you go to Aden, in Aden you cannot find any security. Snipers, they have sent snipers from Sana'a from different militia under orders to threaten the people there. So the people there are suffering from the economics, from life, from electricity, from poverty, from everything there and despite this fact also they are killing them across the country of the south.
So now, what we are going to find out is that the country is already right now in collapse with no security, you can kill anybody there, there are militia groups, guns everywhere, drugs smuggling… It is coagulation between Somalia, Afghanistan and the Iraq situation.
What is going on in Sana'a though is nothing - there is no move forward. Only Abid Rabu Mansour Hadi is there in a small part of his Republic palace and he cannot even go out anywhere. The ministers they cannot conduct their ministries…