Thursday, 14 March 2013

Who Is The King and King-maker In Yemen?

The King  and King-maker  In Yemen?

By Nasser Arrabyee,14/03/2013

Next Monday March 18th, 2013, Yemenis are supposed to sit for dialogue over  visions of a modern State that meet their ambitions and aspirations. 

However, the vision expected from this 6-month long process of dialogue is that of the same traditional  forces  that young Yemenis wanted to get rid of during the wave of the so-called Arab Spring.

These traditional forces ( tribal, religious, and military) are dominating  the dialogue and imposing the final results by hook or by crook.Two powerful men within the country's most influential tribe (Hashed) were leading these traditional forces in a way or another over the past 33 years. 

 Ali Abdullah Saleh ( ranks the firs) and Abdullah Bin Hussein Al Ahmar (ranks  the second).Saleh was the king and Abdullah Al Ahmar was the king-maker.   Families of these two men are now  leading  the current traditional forces that dominate the dialogue. More specifically, the two sons of these two men are the centers of these forces ( if not actual leaders). Ahmed Saleh and Hamid Al Ahmar.  

The big and only difference now is that the two sons (Ahmed and Hamid) are enemies not like the fathers who were strong allies over the 33 years  of Saleh's rule, even  when their parties were in disagreement. 

For instance, Abdullah AlAhmar, top leader of the Islamist party Islah ( Yemen brotherhood) would always vote publicly for Saleh in the presidential elections.  Al Ahmar would always say : I vote for him because he is my president and I am his Sheikh, and this has nothing to do with the political  parties, it is a tribal thing. Which means the rules of tribe came first between the Saleh and Ahmar not the laws of the rules of political parties. 

Key players are the old one or thief children.  No single face is new. No even would-be real leaders from outside these families and this tribe. Young people are there and women are there and "modern forces" of liberal and seculars are there but they are all voiceless.

No support for modern forces. No internal nor external moral and financial support for modern forces.

"The Saudi Arabia and Iran are supporting the traditional forces, and the result of the dialogue would not  be meeting our ambitions of change," said Mussa Al Namirani, activist and one of the leading revolutionaries.

And some say, the two political  parties of Saleh and Ahmar ( Mutamar and Islah) are sharing everything in the country as they are sharing the current  government fifty -fifty. The army, intelligence, social networks and charities, and even religious scholars associations are all divided between these two parties or rather between these two families. 

There is frustration amid the young people and hopelessness that Yemen will get out from the circle of these families although one of these powerful families, family of departed Al Ahmar, is acting as "revolutionary".

 Each one of these two men wants either to be the king or the king maker as their fathers were in the past. Their strength comes from their families and their tribe Hashed, which was always the ruling. 

"So, if they agree with each other, they steal  our power and wealth, and if they disagree, they destroy us and kill us," said Fahd Al Omari, a youth revolutionary, referring to the two families who fought and destroyed the capital Sanaa in 2011. Sanaa remains divided until today between these two families.

The activist Essam Al Hindi, goes further and further by saying the two parties ( Mutamar and Islah) are merely modern  decoration, and the tribe is the real ruler by the force of the guns not by laws or regulations. 

"So, all the issue now and all the clamor of dialogue is between  or for Ahmed and Hamid not between all Yemenis as media say," said Mr Al Hindi who works as  a dentist. 

Researchers, however, disagree with young revolutionaries saying that Brotherhood ( Islah party)  is implementing a plan to take control over the whole country.

"The Brotherhood ( Ahmar party, Islah) is seeking to establish a totalitarian rule by overthrowing President Hadi as they overthrew Saleh by chaos and wars led by their general Ali Muhsen," said a recent report issued by the International Studies Center, a local think tank.. 

"Qatar supports the Brotherhood and pays for chaos and wars because it does not want the Saudi-sponsored transitional  deal ( GCCI)  to succeed after it ( Qatar) refused it," said the report. 

"Qatar wants the Brotherhood to take control over the whole Yemen and then it wants this reality to be imposed on the region and the world, so that the US and West can ally with them  as alternative," added the report which was dated March 10, 2013.