OP-ED

Between Fear and Ceasefires

It is only in Playstation games that the actions of the player never harm him. The worst situation a gamer can face is the reset button. Similar logic holds true for the Saudis, Qataris, Shiekhs and decision makers as they play their war games in Yemen. While the ramifications for the buttons they push may not harm the players in Yemeni politics, their actions do however, harm every ordinary Yemeni citizen.

Since the unity of Yemen in 1990 the country has had no stable security for a continuous five years. This period culminated in the summer of 1994, when a war was started in defense of Yemen unity equally harming families and the economy. The results left Southern Yemen marginalized; simmering with discontent and plots of revenge. As the war faded into history, language of discrimination between the north and south became institutionalized. The country became polarized at the hands of players in the political games that defined Yemen after unity.

In 2004, the Houthi war in Sa’ada pushed Yemen into the square of semi religious warfare which dragged on for six continuous wars. Neither side managed to win the battle nor did the Houthies follow the instructions of the Qatari mediators. In between the fear and ceasefires of Sa’ada, civilians and soldiers alike were forced to leave their homes and both became refugees. They both became victims of decision makers far from struggles they faced on a daily basis.

 

The same pattern holds true in Sana’a today. People in al-Hasaba area, neighbors of Sheikh al-Ahmar, are being uprooted from their homes, sometimes injured, or even killed simply because of personal clashes that service the interests of the Sheikh.

 

The events in Yemen have been, and are, the result of interests of only a few select families.  And as a result, the whole population is pays the fees of its fake democracy and the interests of Saudi Arabia and gulf governments like Qatar, Kuwait and Emirates. They never want Yemen to be a civilian run country, nor strong government, because they are afraid this will affect their family governments.

If there is no final solution on the ongoing clashes, it seems that the crisis of Yemen will continue and the worst is only yet to come. The hope for a civilian government will not come true since the tribes and Sheikhs are so heavily involved on the current movement change.  How can we expect a good future when individuals and Sheikhs field their own armies? How can the new generation dream for a better tomorrow when there is no hope today?

The basic infrastructure is destroyed; government buildings are targets of robbery and munitions. Life for Yemenis has turned into a nightmare and the real solutions have been overlooked in the processes of un-fair mediations. One must remind the players of Yemeni politics that for every action they take, no reset button can be pushed for the lives ruined and people killed.