Local News

Yemen: Different Positions after the Decision of the Six Regions Division

National Yemen

President approves Yemen new regions

Asma al-Mohattwari

Discussions and consultations lasted for days among the members of the Presidential Commission and international experts that were tasked with identifying regions of the federal state. Finally, the committee unanimously approved the adoption of six regions for the Republic Federal Yemen. To protect Yemen from a separation of being a north and south, they divided it into four regions in the north and two regions in the south. The first southern region is the Hadramout region and includes four provinces: Hadramout, Shabwa, al-Mahra and Socotra. The second is the Aden region that also includes four provinces: Aden and Abyan, Lahej and al-Dalea.

On the other hand, the northern regions which is the Sheba region includes three provinces: al-Jawf, Marib and al-Baydha while al-Janed region includes only two provinces: Taiz and Ibb. The Azal region includes: Saada, Amran, Sana’a and Dhamar provinces. The Tehama Region includes: Hodeida, Mahaweet, Hajja and Raima provinces.

It was agreed that Sana’a is a federal city and does not belong to the authority of any province, and special arrangements are put in the constitution to ensure its impartiality and independence. As for the city of Aden, it was agreed that it is an administrative and economic city nature within the framework of a special province of Aden with independent legislative and executive powers, identified in the Federal Constitution.

Reactions about the declaration of the Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi about Yemen being a federal state of six regions varied between supporters and opponents, and some questioned the division will end conflicts raging in Yemen or increase it.

Houthis refused the division and considered it as an adoption to divide Yemen into poor and the rich. Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, the Houthis representative, said that they refuse this division because it segregates Yemen, and the proof is that this division puts Sa’ada with Amran and Dhamar which Sa’ada is supposed to be closer culturally and socially from Hajja and al-Jawf.

Mohamed Abdel Salam, the official spokesman of the Houthis, said that their representative in the committee signing process Hussein Izzi refused to sign it, adding that they believed that the division to six regions does not represent a solution for the South nor the outstanding national issues, and the division has been according to politician desire.

According to Ali al-Emad, political Analyst, stated that the decision is a real indicator proving that the decision has been finalized and decided before and just waiting to announce it in an official way. Al-Emad said that the decision took only ten days to be approved, which means it did not take enough time to study it and also the decision was made by some political people without consulting local specialized experts that have experiences of some countries in Africa, South America and other federal states.

Al-Emad added that the decision ignored many important things such as the economic dimension of some federations such as oil, marine resources and agricultural, especially in Azal region, as well as, seek to devote sectarian differences, as in the cases of Shafi’i in al-Jenad region and al-Zaidi in Azal region.

“The most important is that Hadi and his committee ignore the right of the Yemenis in a referendum for their acceptance or rejection in such a fateful decision,” al-Emad added.

The Yemeni Socialist Party Warned the risk of imposing the division to South by force, insisting on the option of dividing the country into two regions, north and south, so that the southern provinces will be alone.

From another side there are many who support the six regions decision. Dr. Walid al-Alimi, Yemeni activist, said that the announcement of Yemen federal republic federation came as a result of the national dialogue which lasted more than half a year to reach a solution that suits all parties, explaining that the decision of the six regions of Yemen was the most appropriate solution from among several options put forward during the dialogue.

From her part, Elham Hamoud, activist, said that the division of Yemen will accelerate the competitive work and development significantly among regions and every region would want to be better economically, socially and morally, and also each region will work on research and development of its own resources in its geographical position and make those resources as a major source of the region revenue.

Elham said that the concept of “federalism” is still new for the Yemenis and most of them do not know of its advantages and look at it from the side of dividing Yemen. “There must be programs that aware citizens about the division features,” she suggested.