As we look around us, the Arab Spring revolutions in some countries – Yemen included – have degenerated into conflicts of interest (so to speak). Change has become challenge in a destabilized Yemen where the past and present governments are playing a cat and mouse game to prove past mistakes in failing present. Of course, both should work for their people and not their image-makers/media outlets
As we approach the New Year, neither of Yemen’s two man political groups have exhibited a desire to allow the opportunity for enhancing security, stability and a true rebuilding of the country’s economy. The scene before the start of the National Dialogue Conference gives people one sign of hope and leaves behind hundreds of impressions and countless more victims on a regular basis.
The song of hope – that the country will enter into the second phase of a successful transition – may result in a better future for all parties. A separate possibility may lead to pulling the country back a state in which planned attacks target the country’s infrastructure, illegal weapons are imported, assassinations take place on a seeming daily basis, and machine guns shoot into the sky as if to remind us that we live in a destabilized nation-of-sorts.
Why would Al-Qaeda militants shift their strategy to robbing banks after it had failed in so many other areas, such as abducting foreigners? Why would the regular assassination of officers have returned to the surface in the capital city of Sana’a? Why would Marib tribes in now decide to challenge the government by fighting and killing soldiers? Why would the youth and public Friday prayers resurface so prominently? Who should give whom a chance for a better Yemen?
These questions – so difficult to answer yet so present – and more indicate that Yemen is not yet safe. The President must work carefully within the framework of ongoing challenges which stand to bring the country back to the early days of 2011. At such a point, answers would likely be too exhausting to bear.