Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Yemen needs new revolution to get out from dilemma

By Nasser Arrabyee/17/05/2011

The Yemen protesters failed to implement one-week program to finish 4-month long protests demanding the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year old rule.

At 9:00 am Tuesday, 17th, 2011, the protesters were supposed announce the “First Statement” of their revolution after forcing Saleh out from his Palace on this day which was previously announced as the final day within what they called the “decisive week.”

Nothing happened in reality.

The majority of protesters seemed to have convinced that marches to even less important government buildings will cost a lot after tens of them were killed and injured in two previous failed marches to occupy the State-run TV and the Cabinet building in April 27th, and May 11th , 2011.

Some protesters start to think of the reasons behind the failure or at least stalling of their popular uprising.

In a conference held by two big groups, the Future of Justice, and the Civil Alliance for Youth Revolution, to assess the assess such uprising after more than 100 days, the participants confirmed that Yemen revolution needs now another revolution to correct the mistakes committed intentionally or unintentionally.

The lawyer Ahmed Al Wadi, who participated in the conference in the sit-in square at the gate of Sana’a university earlier in the week, said “ If we want to succeed, we should confess that we are now in an urgent need for another revolution to correct the path of this failed revolution.”

Ahmed Saif Hashid, MP and one of the prominent leaders of anti-Saleh protests, “ Saleh is not stronger than Mubarak or Bin Ali, but the revolution has been stolen by backward forces working for the interest of Saleh.”

“The regional and international community has become very worried of the Salafi discourse of the revolution,” Hashid added.

The young protester, Jalal Sailan, on his part said, “Before March 18th, 2011, the revolution was going in the right way, but after that it started to go in the wrong way.

The parties, especially the Islamist party, and the defected army were behind the stalling or the failure of the revolution.”

A US-backed and Saudi-led GCC deal to transfer the power from Saleh has been stalled. The GCC chief Abdul Latif Al Zayani ended Tuesday May 17th, a three-day consultations in Sana’a with the Yemeni conflicting parties without convincing them to sign the deal that will see Saleh step down in one month after signing.

The protesters kept refusing any kind of dialogue and deals, although the majority of them belong to the opposition parties who want to be involved in any dialogue or deals.

Ms Belqiss Lahabi, a prominent leading woman protester, said the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is playing a big role to thwart the revolution by leading and supporting the GCC deal.

“Saudi Arabia does not want any democratic revolution for us, it wants Yemen to keep as the back garden for its backwardness,” Lahabi said.

Some observers predict a civil war in Yemen if the Yemeni conflicting parties refused to sign and implement the GCC deal.

The President Saleh said the army would not keep watching if protesters did not stop trying to storm the government institutions.

“Enough, enough playing with the fire, stop sabotage acts, or the army and people behind it, would resort to protect the public institutions with every possible force,” Saleh said in front of more than one million of his supporters in Sabeen Square after Friday sermons May 13th, 2011.

These developments came after both sides declared their readiness for confrontations.

The spokesman of the opposition parties, the Islamist leader, Mohammed Qahtan threatened in a press statements to “remove the regime and arrest its leaders” in one week, the so-called decisive week, which ended with nothing.

The ruling party responded to that statement by saying “ the opposition would commit a suicide” if they turned violent and started any confrontation.

Meanwhile, the young people supporting President Saleh threatened also to do the same thing if the anti-Saleh protesters tried to storm government buildings.

In statements published by media close to the ruling party and pages of face-book, the pro-Saleh young people who also have their own sit-in camps in three places in Sana’a, threatened to storm the commercial companies and luxurious villas and fancy palaces of the Islamist leader billionaire Hamid Al Ahmar, who is accused of funding and orchestrating the anti-Saleh protests.

“To reveal to the Yemeni people who were the real thieves, who stole the wealth of the nation in the name of the religion and in the name of the tribe,” said one of the statements.

“Tens of thousands of young people are ready to march forward and storm the Saba phone, Islamic bank, and all Al Ahmar’s establishments and houses,” the pro-Saleh young people threatened.

The headquarters of the Islamist party, and Al Eman university of sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zandani will also be stormed, according to the statements.

The calls for marching forward and occupying government buildings in the Yemeni capital Sanaá have often ended with bloody confrontations.

About 10 protesters were killed and several others injured late Thursday when angry and disappointed protesters decided to go and storm the cabinet building in the heart of the Yemeni capital Sanaá.

These calls also divided the protesters and opposition parties into two groups : one supporting the call for marching and occupying, and the other refusing it citing many reasons like the civil war and endless violence.

“The real revolutionaries who are with us will start right now marching to the cabinet and radio buildings, and those who are with the coward parties will stay in their place,” said Tawakul Karman, in the middle of the sit-in square at the gate of Sanaá university just minutes before the march towards the headquarters of the government on Wednesday May, 11th.

Other leaders from the same party of Tawakul, the Islamist party, Islah, that mainly leads the anti-Saleh protests, immediately took the microphone and started to say “ This march is not planned, and we are not responsible for it.”

About 2, 000 protesters followed Tawakul but they were stopped by the troops of the defected general Ali Muhsen who declared, last March, his support for the “peaceful revolution”.

The shooting was at the eastern exit of the protesters camp, behind Al Kuwait hospital.

“The first shooting was coming from Ali Muhsen’s troops, from soldiers I know very well, the soldiers I always greet when I get in and get out,” said the protester Najeeb Abdul Rehman Al Sadi, who was among the first marchers.

“ The Islah party and Ali Muhsen did not want Tawakul to implement her word, they wanted to stop her to repress us all and return us to the house of obedience,” said Al Sadi , who said Tawakul should resign from her party after this incident.

“ If she resigns from the Islah, she would deserve the leadership of this revolution.”

However, Arwa Othman, one of the liberal and leading woman activist, criticized he colleague Tawakul for leading the protests to that bloody incident.

“ Unfortunately, some of us lead naive protesters to massacres to build their own fame, they like to be stars on the dead bodies,” said Arwa.

Senior officials from the Islamist party, rebuked Tawakul and held her responsible according to some partisan officials.

Many protesters started to put Tawakul on trial.

It’s worth mentioning that Tawakul has always been demanding the protesters to march to the Presidential Palace to force Saleh out.

She became one of the most famous female activist in Yemen for this, causing a lot of
embarrassment to her conservative party that imposes many restrictions on women.

Her Islamist party Islah, for instance, does not allow women to run for elections and only allow them to vote.

However, the leading the protester, Adel Arrabyee, said what Tawakul does in disagreement with her party is a tactic to gain more and more supporters for her party.

“Tawakul would not have gone to that march if her party Islah did not give her a green light, I mean Islah could have prevented Tawakul and the march,” said Arrabyee.

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