OP-ED

Yemen’s Arab Spring Revolution: Round Two

By Fakhri al-Arashi

As the political crisis drags on in the capital of Yemen Sana’a, the Houthi Shai’at rebellions are bringing the revolution back to Sana’a after 53 years since the 26 September Revolution against the Imamate  Kingdome and three years since the latest youth revolution. In many ways, this is not a far cry from the Yemeni Youth revolution of February 2011, which was ended by knocking out the former president’s 33 year reign.

The slogans of change appear the same to the public, but there are some differences. Neither the revolutionists nor the rulers who came into power for change have struggled enough to apply the minimum requirements of the majority who were calling for change in the first and second revolutions.

Essentially, the Yemeni youth revolution was killed by the Gulf Initiative that guaranteed protection for the killers at the expense of the victims. The strong presence of Houthis in Sana’a is not surprising at all, it was very much expected since the regime decided to keep their loyalist tents in change square since 2011. The continued victories of the Houthi group clashes put them in the front line to obtain more gains from a weak government.

The troubles of today were made by political incompetence like the silence of the government on the wars in Amran and al-Jawfa and the easy movement of Houthis from Sa’ada to Sana’a. Negotiation and dialogue are healthy if you do not know your enemy and if you believe in your partner will act in good faith.

Two days ago, the Houthis called for a Friday prayer and rally to oust the corrupted government. Today the youth have called for another rally to back up the national consensus and maintain the National Dialogue outcomes. Both calls bring Yemen back to the first day of the Youth Revolution when the pro and anti protestors were calling on loyalists to protest for the rights of their group. The result of this is that Yemen may go enter a second round of revolution. The question is whether second round will be peaceful or turn into violence. The masses of the population are seeing the second choice from the Houthi’s side more than from the government.

The reason of that is simply reflected in the experience of the Houthis, who win every battle and are ready a revolution like 1948 and 1962, where the first failed but the second succeeded. The Houths see the Youth Revolution in 2011 as failed, and they would like to redirect the revolution path towards the improvement of people’s lives.