OP-ED

Yemen falls into the second phase of the revolution

Late in the afternoon of Sunday, September 18th, the situation in Sana’a grew anxious with the announcement of the youth at Change Square that they will escalate their eight month peaceful revolution. It is without a doubt that the youth have the right to do so.

Unfortunately, the dream of a peaceful revolution has not been realized. The dream of a better future has only descended into direct clashes resulting in the spilling of Yemeni blood on every corner of Al-Zubeiry Street.  It is no coincidence that the street was named after the brave martyr Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Zubeiry. He, also, called for freedom and better living standards for Yemen and was ultimately killed by the ruling Imam.  However, the similarities end there as Yemenis won their struggle against the Imam in 1962 because of the solidarity of all Yemenis and the shared interests of a better country.

The youth intended to repeat history and rid Yemen of our new Imam of 33 years. However, the youth found themselves being pushed in different directions by political parties and tribes resulting in a completely different revolution.  Instead, the revolution has devolved into personal clashes and settling old sores under the banner of the youth movement. We are now faced with the deaths of innocent people, such as the 52 martyrs on March 18th, also known as Dignity Friday.

It is true that Yemen is witnessing a revolution similar to other Arabic countries. However, our revolution is not being fought by the youth, but three parties of the regime who have hijacked the revolution. Because of this, the future looks bleak and seems to only hold disappointment as we begin the second phase of the revolution starting with Saleh’s return.

The second phase of the revolution will be much worse than the first phase and ordinary citizens will pay the costs. The second phase will only be made even worse as international actors have failed to come to an agreement on how to end the Yemen crisis. As the revolution does not serve the interests of neighboring countries, nor the United States or European Union, no solution or action will come soon.

What will the end look like in Yemen? Nobody knows, but all parties agreed on peaceful transition and now, the transition will not happen unless one of the parties fights and decisively wins this second phase. It will only be then that new rules will be created for a future Yemen.

But before we can even dream of a new Yemen, we’ll have to mourn the loss of the basic infrastructure we have worked over 40 years to create. If there is still any wisdom left in those who are fighting, they should leave the country and allow the people of Yemen to choose their future. Otherwise, our future will take shape of Somalia and entrap us in misery and desolation.