What Is the Yemeni Conflict and Why Are 10 Countries or More Attacking the Impoverished Arab Country (Part One)
The World against a Yemeni Revolution
Written by: Malak Ali Almakhadi
Yemen went through major changes in the past few years. It has been considered a poor country that is still suffering until this day. The people of Yemen attempted to adjust the conditions they live in, however they have not received the results they wanted. Two main influential attempts to make a difference are the reasons behind the major changes in Yemen. It all began with the Yemeni revolution in 2011, followed by the Houthis or “Ansarullah” influence over Yemen leading to the Saudi American aggression on Yemen.
First, the Yemeni revolution first began in January 2011, influenced by the Arab Spring protests such as the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. The Yemeni people decided that they can no longer bear corruption that result in their hardships. Yemenis were provoked to go out in protests due to unemployment high rate, economic conditions and the government’s proposals to modify the constitution of Yemen. The protesters were angry at the government for making them live under such conditions, and soon they realized that the first step to change things is by ousting the Yemeni president “Ali Abdullah Saleh”. The Yemeni government wanted to modify the constitution of Yemen by expanding the ruling time of Saleh. One of the most major demonstrations was held in the capital Sana’a with over 16,000 people expressing their rage on January 27. As a consequence of the protesters’ determination to end his presidency, he announced that he will not nominate himself as a president or inherit his presidency to his son in the year of 2013. On February 3rd, many protesters gathered in the governorates of Sana’a and Aden reaching a considerable number of furious voices calling for termination of oppression and corruption. The day was called a “Day of Rage” called for Tawakol Karman, one of the major contributors of the revolution. On the same day, a pro-government rally was held in the capital Sana’a by armed members of the General People’s Congress as well as other protesters. On February 18, Yemenis went out on demonstrations in Taiz, Aden and Sana’a and named the day a “Friday of Anger”. On a “Friday of no Return” which marks the 11th of March, Yemenis gathered in the city of Sana’a to demand Saleh’s ousting, and they have been dealt with by force causing the death of three people. Other cities of Yemen such as Al-Mukalla also participated, where one person faced death. On March 18, the day called “Friday of Dignity”, the Yemeni government committed genocide against the Yemeni protesters by firing upon them, resulting in the deaths of 52 and forcing them to choose resignation with no other options. Saleh agreed to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council deal in late April, however he backed away three times hours before the scheduled signing. After the third time, the GCE stated that they will suspend their intervention to rectify in Yemen.
Sheikh “Sadiq Al-Ahmar” is the head of the Hashid tribal federation; he made a decision of direct intervention after Saleh’s refusal to cooperate. He supported the opposition and his armed force came into combat with the security forces loyalists in the capital of Sana’a. This resulted in heavy street clashes containing artillery and mortar shelling. On June 3, an explosion broke out in a mosque, targeting the presidential compound consisting of high-level government officials, including Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Yemeni ex-president was severely injured and traveled to Saudi Arabia for treatment. The Vice President “Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi” took place as president the next day during Saleh’s absence. The news made the crowds celebrate, but Yemeni officials expected his return and that his absence in the office is only temporary. Furthermore, the protesters requested the formation of a transitional council with the goal of transferring power to a caretaker government. However, their request was denied in early July. As a consequence, the formation of a 17 member transitional council was announced by groups of the opposition, but other members of the opposition stated that this council does not represent them and that this was not their plan for a developed Yemen. Saleh eventually signed a power-transfer agreement managed by the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh on the 23rd of November. His power would be transferred to his Vice-President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, within a period of 30 days and dismiss his position as president by February 2012. Saleh exchanged his presidency with his immunity from prosecution. The GCC deal was accepted by some protesters, however it was denied by many including the Houthis or “Ansarullah”.
On 21 of February of the year 2012, Yemen encounters a new representative or president after 33 years of Saleh’s ruling. A presidential election was held with Hadi being the only one nominated; unopposed. The oath of office had been taken by Hadi on the 25th of February, 2012. On the same day, Saleh came back to attend the inauguration of Hadi. After months of protests since it all began in January, the protesters did achieve their goal of ending Saleh’s 33 year ruling period. However, many were not convinced that the revolution has stopped at this point. Their main aims of the demonstrations were not fulfilled, except for one which is getting rid of Saleh. The government was still the same, corruption was still wide spread, no major effects on economic conditions and the unemployment high rate remains. To sum up, the 2011 revolution achieved success, but not yet completely.