OP-ED

Gazing sky-high and stepping on nails

By Fakhri al-Arashi

There’s no doubt that the ongoing Southern Movement demonstrations in Aden have returned us to the early days of 2011’s Youth revolution. Youths from Al-Mukalla, along with Southern Movement supporters and those of other parties in Aden, fought at that time with the purpose of ousting Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In those days, some were killed and many were injured. So it’s quite disappointing to see new victims shot yesterday and on Thursday, the first anniversary of the Election Day which saw Hadi ascend to the presidency. If we take the wide-angle view of things, it will appear that nothing much has changed when it comes to the methods and philosophies which are utilized when citizens’ rights are confused by a general state of unrest.

Simply put, it appears that yesterday’s mentalities do, in fact, die hard.

Aden’s Governor served as Deputy Governor for the past thirteen years. He clearly gained not just experience, but a readiness to engage in violence – any way you look at it, a meager inheritance.

The people of Aden, Sana’a, Mukalla and any other parts of Yemen are true Yemeni citizens, people who have no wish to see the heavy influences of yesterday’s politics negatively impacting today’s lives.

Whether hindsight is 50/50 or not, it would appear that those supporters of Hadi who sought a fitting celebration for their man did, in fact, help to put their man in a compromising position. He certainly wasn’t in need of a celebration which would shower him with more shame than fame.

Really, what would have happened if the local authorities in Aden – including the governor and all those who did call for a celebration – had simply allowed the Southern Movement supporters to express themselves?

As it now stands, the past days’ violent jolts of intensity were not good for the prospects of the upcoming National Dialogue Conference. It’s not good for the government, either, which hardly needs more violent situations to deal with or causes to squander finances.

Let us not forget that at some point, repairs must be set aside – and real building must begin.