Saleh al-Mansub, a member of the branch of Nasserite Unionist Party Organization in al-Dalea governorate commented, “instability and rioting after the hosting of the Gulf 20 in the Southern provinces mainly resulted from the death sentence of Fares Abudallah, who was accused of bombing the al-Wahda stadium, and the killing of Abbas Tambah – it’s a product of the government’s arrogance after the success of the Tournament.”
“While it is a national event and we are a part of that success, it is not an event for the government alone. And what’s happening in terms of repression, assaults and demonstrations in the Southern provinces is in reaction to previous official decrees, which had prevented any unauthorized demonstrations and peace marches.
“So what is happening these days is a representation of the citizens’ despair toward the government, which neither recognizes nor addresses their grievances.
“I think the purpose of the assaults were just to frighten, curtail freedoms and weaken the political forces in the South – and in the North – just to forge the results of the upcoming elections and to send its message to people.
What happened to the leader, Sultan al-Atwani, Secretary General of the Nasserite Unionist Party Group, in front of many witnesses and in the center of the capital, reflects the security imbalance and the authorities’ attempts to restrain efficient political action,” he said.
Al-Atwani was beaten and hospitalized by unknown assailants in the capital two weeks ago – sources from his party blamed the government for the incident.
Dr Audu al-Matari, a leader in the Southern governorate, stated, “in the view of the peaceful southern movement, “al-Hirak,” what’s happening today is something that has happened before; the Authority wants to apply the same strict security processes which were undertaken in the Gulf 20 Tournament.
“It’s obvious that the authorities want to forge the parliamentary elections and we have a clear position, seen in the Gulf 20, in terms of peaceful operations and a plan – since the opening day until it’s end. We wanted to exploit the Gulf 20 Tournament to publicize our cause.
“Peaceful demonstrations, marches and festivals were held. We are against repression, but we were against the holding of the Gulf 20 Tournament because it occurs in a situation of occupation undertaken by the authorities, tight security members, as well as campaigns of arrests and assassinations. Despite all these, we held a festival on 30 November in Aden and in other different Southern provinces,” he said.
Khaled al-Hadi from the Media wing of GPC party in al-Dalea countered, “The southern movement failed in carrying out demonstrations in the Gulf 20 Tournament because of tight security and divisions among the Southern movement leaders.
“It was to such an extent that they had hand-to-hand fighting between al-Shallal and al-Khabji supporters on the charge that these festivals would affect them politically with neighboring countries.
“After the Gulf 20 Tournament, they tried to again demonstrate their presence after they had gained a bad reputation after the al-Wahda bombing conviction and the killing of Southern activist Tambah.”