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OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

"REBELS SCARE AWAY YEMEN GOVERNMENT"

WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY GEOGRAPHY 2253, FALL 2014 WRITING


ASSIGNMENT

BY

SPENCER PARSONS

STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA

FEBRUARY 18, 2015


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Geography

3. Arab Spring

4. Talks of Reunification

5. Constitution Committee

6. Conclusion
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Rebels Scare Away Yemen Government

Due to a constant civil war between the north and south Yemen resulting

from a collapse of communism the country could never quite establish a substantial

government system. I am researching the events that led up to the recent situation

in Yemen in which the government and president both resigned, this is important

because the region of Yemen is a crucial piece to the puzzle on the war against

terrorism. Yemen matters for a many reasons, two being its strategic location in the

Arabian Peninsula near the horn of Africa, a trade hot spot, and the fact that Yemen

is hardly mentioned in the media except when related to terrorism 1


After the

unification in 1990 the man chosen for the presidency was Ali Abdullah Saleh who

was the president of north Yemen prior to the unification.

Yemen is found south of Saudi Arabia and in between the Red sea and the

Indian Ocean, at the important maritime shortcut known as the Suez Canal 2

Through the years Al-Qaeda has always been recurring problem in Yemen in fact

they established a branch called the AQAP, known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian

peninsula, this branch is widely known as the most dangerous in the middle east in

charge of numerous terrorist attacks in the region most aimed at the U.S. and the

push for democracy. Anarchy in Yemen could potentially start regional or even

international threats to the worlds oil supplies as well as the safety of a number of

nations. On top of their problems with Al-Qaeda and other tribal conflicts the

1 Helen Lackner (ed.): Why Yemen Matters: A Society in Transition. (SOAS Middle East
Studies.) xviii, 334 pp.
2 Fattah, K. (2011). YEMEN: A SOCIAL INTIFADA IN A REPUBLIC OF SHEIKHS.
Middle East Policy, 18(3), 79-85.
4

country is also in serious economic and ecological turmoil, such as nearly half the

country is below the poverty line and the problem of running out of oil which is 75%

of their current revenue, resulting in frustration and a want for reform amongst the

people 3 The first protests broke out in Tahrir Square in the capital city of Sanaa the

protests were separated between three groups; one group was the southern

governorates where education and political awareness are higher and they were in

favor of the Saleh regime, another group was the military that werent entirely happy

with the president but was there to keep peace between the groups, the last group

was made up of formal opposition parties against the regime 4


The absence of a

strong central government leads to political dysfunction in the country. Yemen is the

last tribal power in the Middle East because of the weakness of state institutions.

The Yemeni Nation is made up of two major tribes; the Northern Tribe is the

Houthis, Shiites, who belong to the Zaidi Sect of the Islam Religion, the Iranian

Shiites are of the Twelver Sect; historically these two sects are rivals, and the

Southern Tribe is the Sunni, who are also of Islam Religion 5

In 2011 the Youth and Civil Society Activists, took to the streets and

advocated the change of Regime6 The revolutionary front was a loose alliance of

regime defectors, youth, civil society protestors, main opposition bloc, the Joint

3 Fattah, K. (2011). YEMEN: A SOCIAL INTIFADA IN A REPUBLIC OF SHEIKHS.


Middle East Policy, 18(3), 79-85.
4 Fattah, K. (2011). YEMEN: A SOCIAL INTIFADA IN A REPUBLIC OF SHEIKHS.
Middle East Policy, 18(3), 79-85.
5 Katz,MarkN."Opinion."AfricaToday13.3(1966):34.Web.
6 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen. PS,
Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
5

Meeting Parties, the JMP is a coalition that includes the Islamist Party, Islah, the

Yemini socialist Party, two small Zaydi Parties, and the Nasirist Popular Unionist

Party, Hurthis rebels in the North also joined the emerging opposition bloc, as did

some Southern movement (Hiraak) activists, who were demanding greater regional

autonomy or independence, by that summer the country was at war 7 Due to prolong

prospect of instability, external actors got into broker a transition. President Saleh

signed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative along with the United Nations

backed implementation mechanisms; the President would transfer power for

immunity, giving it down to Abdo Robo Mansour Hadi 8 Hadi has been president ever

since this event. Hopeful for a new Constitution in the advance of the elections

scheduled for February 2014 but it was unclear if delegates will reach agreement on

the political and administrative structures that will satisfy stakeholders, particularly

the Southerners, many of whom want independence and will not settle for less 9 The

Northern Hurthis have gained control and are a powerful force at this time, in the

South al-Qaeda was causing problems during 2011, but the southern groups formed

committees and drove them away 10


Although, Civil war did seem a possibility, the

likelihood of spiraling violence is actually low, for two reasons, first the dissolution

of Saleh regime caused a fracturing not a collapse of the state security, the state is

7 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen. PS,
Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
8 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen. PS,
Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
9 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen. PS,
Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
10 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen.
PS, Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
6

weaker but retains the basic security capacity 11


Second, in many areas for the

country security often rested with a patchwork of state forces and non state actors 12

Tribal based militias have long been part of the security landscape and over time

communication and informal rules that governed their interactions and mitigates

violence13 The final end will have greater impact on the outcome of the armed

groups, including the Hurthis and the Hiraak, each have arms, Hurthis have an

advantage as they have the most arms. If negotiations fail danger of violent clashes

will exsist between the countries armed factions. Competition between the General

Peoples Congress and the JMP (the Joint Meeting Parties) over the treasures of the

state and disagreements over any type of settlement has already the government on

a possible failed system. It was the Northern Tribe who started the dissatisfaction

with the government of Yemen, Yemens transition is vulnerable to dilemmas of

security and governance, clashes are likely to be isolated but with compromise

conflict may be averted.

The United Nations Council tried to stabilize the region with threat of

sanctions. In June 11, 2014, a government brokered cease-fire sought to resolve the

conflict between the Hurthis and the Salafi Militias, but it didnt hold. The national

dialogue ended after 10 months with agreements to extend President Hadis term

for one year and to form a constitutional committee, to oversee the process of

dividing the Country into six autonomous regions. The Southerners had hoped for a

11 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen.
PS, Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
12 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen.
PS, Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
13 Alley, A. L. (2013). Assessing (in)security after the arab spring: The case of yemen.
PS, Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 721-726.
7

simple North-South divide, but the six regions they felt would divide their interests

as a regional bloc 14
The Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula continued to attack the

North and South military. Killing the soldiers and many civilians. The Southern

districts rejected the committee formed by the President to carry out the division of

the nation. Many in the south formed a group of separatists to return the Southern

Region to Socialism. The United Nations authorized sanctions as an effort to support

the Federal Arrangement. The Hurthis (Sheiites) and the Sunni tribesmen protested

the Federal agreement, as it would make the Country into the Wealthy and Poorer

segments.

In Autumn 2014, the two sides tried to come to some agreement with a

meeting in Washington D.C. There was a hope to appease the marginalized groups,

particularly the Southern group as they were set on independence 15


The

Constitutional Drafting Committee was formed to write a constitution for the nation.

They hoped to maintain unity of the Nation and not throw it into Chaos. The reason

for possible Chaos was Yemens economic position. There was large-scale

unemployment and on going fuel shortages with also many power outages. The

government felt federalism was Yemens only solution, but it was not received well

by the public. The reasons for lack of support were political government by the

North, South, and East, and the general deficit of confidence in the current central

governing body. The unpopular idea of a central government such as had been

shone before in Saleh regime. The Constitutional Drafting Committee decided they

14 Chronology: Yemen. (2014). The Middle East Journal, 68(3), 462-464.


15 Davis, K. (2014). The challenge of federalism in yemen. The Washington Report on
Middle East Affairs, 33(5), 56-57.
8

needed better public relations. The effort must be made to socialize the Yemeni

population. Education was the key, but time was not on the present governments

side. They had no idea of what programs would work for short time to inform the

people on the facts of Federalism. Most of the drafts for constitutions draw from the

models around the world. They had to pick and choose what aspects they liked for

Yemens Constitution. The problem with this is that the pieces dont always work.

The only solution was to Yemenize all aspects of the constitution and they would

have to take in account the complex make up of the Nation itself 16

From April through July in 2014, The Yemeni Air Force and Americans Drones

together bombed Al-Quida in the Arab Peninsula killing many militants, this was in

response to finding evidence that they planned to carry out attacks on foreign

interest. Yemen Army and Local Militia volunteers launched attacks on Al-Qaida in

the South. Many deaths were reported on both sides, but the Yemen had taken

control of the town of Mahfad in Abyan Govemorate, which had been Al-Quidas

main stronghold in the South. Shortly thereafter, unidentified assailants blew up

Yemens main pipeline. The attack stopped the flow of oil and started a fire 17

Gunmen hit the power transmission lines of Ma`ribs gas plant forcing it to close. By

the end of May 2014, the ShiI Huthi Tribe bombed a Sunni Religious Education

Center18. This sparked a fight between the Huthi Militants, Government forces, and

Sunni Militants. Government Forces took back the City off Sayun. At the end of May

or first of June, Yemeni Security Forces killed Al-Quida leader Salih Al-Tays, a wanted

16 Davis, K. (2014). The challenge of federalism in yemen. The Washington Report on


Middle East Affairs, 33(5), 56-57.
17 Chronology: Yemen. (2014). The Middle East Journal, 68(4), 630-632.
18 Chronology: Yemen. (2014). The Middle East Journal, 68(4), 630-632.
9

man. This ended a cease-fire between the government forces and Hurthiss rebels.

The fighting led to Power Outages and Food Prices increased. The power was out for

three days the longest time since the President Hadi had taken control. The

President replaced the heads of Oil; Finance, Electricity, Foreign and Information

ministries19 The President announced Austerity Measures in an attempt to relieve

declining financial situation of the State. Yemen is having trouble paying bills by the

end of July 2014.

By the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 we have seen the end of a

Nation called Yemen. The United Nations has left and most of the individual

Countries have closed their embassies and left the country. The United States

embassy, if not the last, was one of the last to close. All United States personnel were

to be out by February 21, 2015. As to the future of the Nation, we knew as Yemen, is

yet to be seen. At this moment in time, the Nation is in Total Chaos. In total honesty

even a blind man would know the current situation of Yemen was bond to happen

eventually, the country has been a ticking time bomb of anarchy ever since the first

civil war. The present state of Yemen has no outside government such as the UN or

Us or anyone with in the borders for help the whole world can only watch and wait.

19 Chronology: Yemen. (2014). The Middle East Journal, 68(4), 630-632.


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Bibliography

Daniel Martin Varisco (2014). Review of 'Why Yemen Matters: A Society in


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