Infighting in Aden threatens Yemen anew
Unlike what it seems to be, the ongoing fighting in Aden between forces of the legitimate government and the southern separatists is not a protest against Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s decision to dismiss Governor Idris Zubaidi and Minister Hani Ben Brik last April. The fighting is also not a call to fight corruption, as people keep saying, or an ultimatum for the removal of the Ben Dagher government.
The real motive of the troublemakers is to rekindle the idea of dividing Yemen after the southern leaders announced the formation of the so-called Southern Transitional Council. Of course, this idea has been totally rejected by the legitimate Yemeni government and the Arab coalition. The only goal that remains is to eradicate the Houthi menace and undo the damage caused by their coup.
Opening a new front in the south of Yemen comes at a time when the legitimate forces, supported by the Arab coalition, are making significant gains on the different battle fronts against the Houthis, mainly in the provinces of Taiz, Hodeidah and Saada. In addition, fighting is continuing in the provinces of Al-Bayda, Al-Jawf, Marib, and the vicinity of the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.
The questions posed here are: Why has trouble erupted in the south at this time, and in whose interest is it? Who is responsible for reviving the thought of dividing Yemen while the most important mission of liberating Sana'a is far from over?
The coalition forces have called for restraint, unity, dialogue and joint action to complete the liberation of all Yemeni cities. It is a political, moral and humanitarian commitment stressed by the legitimate government, but the fighting continues with the southerners standing firm on their positions and demands. This means that to put an end to the fighting in the north, calm needs to be restored to the south first.
It is important to settle the Yemen conflict, but not at the expense of the country’s unity or the welfare of the Yemenis who are long aspiring for freedom from the Houthis. Winning the war in the north, uplifting the Yemeni economy, and reopening of the country’s strategic facilities cannot be achieved while there are vested interests in the south looking to partition the nation.
Yemen is at a critical juncture. It cannot afford any more power conflicts or the raising of new slogans at the expense of the international efforts to restore legitimacy. There is no room for Yemen to be engaged in an internecine conflict, even as the Houthis continue to destroy the country from their base in Sana’a.
We are confident that the Yemenis will give up their unrealistic ambitions and join hands to fight their Enemy No.1 – the bloodthirsty Houthis – who have brought nothing but chaos and misery to them.