Local News

Yemen wedged between poverty and Al-Qaeda

National Yemen

National Yemen

By NY Staff

Even while humanitarian organizations have reported that Yemeni citizens live on only two dollars a day, reality often shows that they struggle to get by on an even lower amount, with many living on only one dollar a day. An international human rights expert recently said that the economic state in Yemen is so miserable that sometimes people eat only bread to stave off the hunger feeling.

“I know of a number of traders who make use of things from the garbage, like cartoons, plastic and things made of metal, but this is not the case with the Yemeni citizens,” he continued “They search in the garbage for food leftovers to feed their starving children.,” said the human rights expert.

A phone call with a politician who is close to political, economic and social events also yielded a shock. The situation in Yemen has almost bottomed out and, in his opinion, billions of dollars would not be enough to lift the country up. He said that the Yemeni middle class has disappeared and “it has become a two direction road in Yemen: there are only the poor and the rich.”

Poverty is not the only thing Yemenis suffer from. Another problem that they encounter are Al-Qaeda militants. Citizens urgently ask whether the withdrawal of Al-Qaeda militants to the mountains in Shabwa will truly represent an end to Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen.

Yaslem Ba-Janoub, a member of the mediation committee concerned with the withdrawal, said that Al-Qaeda militants handed over Azzan city as a whole to the same mediation committee which controls the area. Tribal sources have stated that the militants departed for the mountains and other isolated areas where they could enjoy tribal protection.

With their defeat and withdrawal having left them no choice but to conduct suicide bombings and terrorist operations, Al-Qaeda militants assassinated Commander Salem Qaten, military leader for Yemen’s southern region. They assassinated him after he successfully conducted a war against Al-Qaeda over three months and liberated cities they used to control. “The assassination of Commander Qaten is a big loss for the country and for efforts against Al-Qaeda,” Brigadier Ali Mansour, a close friend of Qaten’s, said.

Before all this, experts on Yemen and international observers constantly wondered where Al-Qaeda would restore itself, from where it would again appear, and which places it would direct its operations against in the future.

A further question which lies before Yemenis is what Southern movement supporters will do if the government completely manages to defeat Al-Qaeda: will they repeat their demands to dismiss unity despite the fact that both President Hadi and Prime Minister Basindowa hail from the south?

Neither the United States nor the European Union care much for such a topic. The international community is completely concerned with the complete elimination of the Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Al-Sharia in Yemen.

However, what they fail to understand is that Al-Qaeda can never truly be eliminated. Al-Qaeda has its own ideology and no shortage of supporters abroad; furthermore, its leaders are still alive. What is certain is that their ability to control Yemeni cities the way they did in 2011 has been limited. Hence, they will resort to suicide operations at every possible opportunity.