Yemen: between fragile transition and war in the shadows


While international attention is paid throughout to the Syrian problem, other countries are forgotten, although they are facing a similar situation for some time without seeing real improvements. Not now that the "civil war" in Syria is not remarkable, but the Yemeni society for some time into the abyss, is not taken into account either by the media and the news which is coming few and confused.

In November 2011 in Riyadh a political transition supported by GCC, the United States and the United Nations was started, which saw the transfer of power after thirty years of the now former Rais 'Ali Abdullah Saleh to his deputy' Abd Eabbuh Mansur al - Hadi.

Al - Hadi has been chosen with the task of guiding the country towards a transition for the next two years, receiving the consent not only of the majority and the parliamentary opposition, but also by a party of revolutionaries and the military.

But what seemed to be the main problem of the country, namely removing President Saleh, proved to be just one of many in a country that needs help: this land, the poorest among the Arabs as well as being one of the poorest in the world , is a tribal society and conservative with a large number of illiterate and unemployed people living on less than $ 2 a day.

According to UNICEF, the situation is dire, and malnutrition, due to war, invaded the territory of leading the country, together with Afghanistan, topped the charts as the country with the highest level of malnutrition, where hundreds of thousands of children at risk of starvation and many are malnourished despite the funds made available by Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The UN special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, May 29 last reported to the Security Council that the transition in Yemen is going through a number of serious concerns and factors such as security, the humanitarian crisis of major proportions and conflicts throughout unresolved, not to mention the main threat of the country, al - Qaeda.

Within this framework, President al - Hadi aims to organize a national dialogue between the multitude of political blocs competing against each other, laying the groundwork for a new constitution and new reforms, including the army and the forces safety, all in preparation for multi-party democratic elections to be held in 2014.

Not an easy task as within the country, a secessionist movement in the South, the rebellion of the North Zaydis groups, the activities of terrorist cells, military divisions that continue to hinder the transfer of political power, the struggle between the tribes who sees the Hashad against Baqil, then al-Qahtan and al-Obeida against al-Damashqa, which were loyal to the president and have always been present in all the key roles of security, are straining the country dragging Yemen into a civil war. Not to mention that the shadow of the former Rais sails always on the State, having regard to its influence and control over certain strategic locations such as the security forces.

On the other hand, the expansion dell'AQAP, al - Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, with its local arm, Ansar Al - Sharia, which primarily operates along the coast of the Gulf of Aden, mainly in the governorate of Abyan, has become the main problem.

The terrorist organization has recently managed to take control of several strategic areas and to control various regions and that is why the current president al - Hadi, in recent months, to counter the advance, has deployed six military brigades in the south, well over 10,000 military units have also received the support of the American forces and drones, to try to regain control of areas lost.

Although, during June important victories were reported, that have allowed us to regain control of some areas, bringing optimism and confidence, al - Qaeda can safely move and relocate in the country organizing new tactics and offensive.

The Special Envoy of the United Nations Benomar reminds the UN Security Council as it is now a high level of conflict in the country, citing the suicide bombing that occurred in this period in the capital Sana'a during a military parade, killing three hundred soldiers and wounding nine or killing a recruits when was leaving a barracks.

These attempts by the organization show that the problem is widespread throughout the country and it is very difficult to eradicate without outside help, the intensification of activities against targets international and regional threaten to collapse the agreement signed in November in Saudi Saudi Arabia and the fragile political transition supported by the United States, GCC and the UN.

Also recently, according to sources from the Ministry of Yemen, the controls were identified because there is great fear for the infiltration of extremists and terrorists from entering the country from Somalia with displaced persons seeking asylum for humanitarian cause.

That's why for the first time on June 27th last year, without mincing words, the Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al - Kurbi admitted that Yemen has explicitly requested the intervention of the U.S. drones for "special cases" and hit certain strategic points of al - Qaeda.

Given the strategic importance of the village, overlooking not only the Indian Ocean but also on the Red Sea, and placed in front of the Horn of Africa, the United States and Saudi Arabia seek to intervene in the shadows to avoid attracting too attention and safeguard not only tons of oil that pass through these waters every day to be spread all over the world, but also other interests such as military bases deployed around the region of Yemen.

The White House said that the membership of al - Qaeda in Yemen is the main international threat to America exists and we have to fight to eliminate it, that is why the U.S. Army and the CIA are coordinating a campaign where they are separate but related used special forces, cruise missiles fired from ships and used the drones.

According to the Los Angeles Times a contingent of at least twenty special operations troops stationed in the country using eavesdropping, satellite imagery, video drones and other technical means to identify terrorists and strike them.

Much of the coordination of military operations in Yemen is in Djibouti at Camp Lemonier, a U.S. military base, where there are eight F-15 fighter aircraft and drones, which are always kept ready for takeoff, not far from Yemeni territory, or the Seychelles and Ethiopia.

The direct military role in Yemen the Obama administration is broader than previously reported and than you might think, and it is a deep involvement in the growing conflict that threatens the collapse of the nation and drag the United States into the umpteenth conflict.

Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi has recently decreed the replacement of several officers in charge of the security forces, and holders of certain ministries. Decision came after the attack on the Defence Minister, Muhammad Nasir Ahmad, which resulted in the deaths of eleven people in the center of the capital Sana'a, which aims to reduce the influence of the former head of state, Ali Abdullah Saleh in the country.

Measure that tries to calm the thousands of people took to the streets recently in Sana'a to demand that Saleh be put on trial for corruption and for accountability in the killing of protesters during anti-government protests last year.

The main ministries that are affected by the order of Petroleum, headed by Ahmed Dares, and that of higher education, replaced by Hesham Sharaf. Also replaced the chief of military intelligence and national security, loyalists of former President Saleh, in their place were named respectively the Yafie Ahmed, a senior official of the Ministry of Defense, Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi, former governor of the southern province of Shabwa.
Also replaced the head of the presidential office and the secretary general of Hadi, positions hours entrusted by the Head of State Nasr Taha Mustafa, a former director of the news agency.

However there will be many challenges facing the nascent government of the country in restoring stability and security in Yemen, and what is certain is that alone it will not be able to eradicate this "disease" which is now widespread throughout the country.

* Arabist, researcher analyst

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