Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Sanaa: Is worrying enough? Part 2 of 4 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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One must be aware that, if Yemen relied on its own capabilities, it will remain trapped in a vicious circle. The auditing and management of public finances is to be desired and much is being spent on the military establishment but the resources remain limited and the capacity to solve outstanding problems is small.

I admit that, despite my continuous bias and hope for the future, the outlook for Yemen, in the medium and the long term, does not call for optimism. The economic conditions, poverty, unemployment and illiteracy create a thriving environment for extremism. The crisis will remain so as long as a comprehensive development plan that will raise income overhaul the infrastructure and provide the minimum for a decent life is lacking. Education and health services need to be improved and loyalty to the state should be strengthened. In turn, the government ought to protect its citizens and be willing to tackle corruption as it promotes reform.

My pessimism is due to the fact that, in political analysis, different scenarios need to be considered, including the worst. Of course, I do not wish that for Yemen. Yet, the reality remains that the worst possible outcome will be disastrous for everyone, especially neighboring countries, and in particular members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Didn’t the rise in fuel prices, a few months ago cause clashes, deaths and vandalism? This decision was necessary as part of the economic reform program, despite being badly implemented. What will happen if the economic situation deteriorated to a full-blown crisis? What will happen to a country where tribal and regional conflicts are able to drive thousands of men to take to the streets under the banner of an economic crisis or high unemployment rates? We must remember that extremist forces are present in Yemen. The clashes led by al Houthi are but one example which can be repeated. Can the country and its neighbors put up with an Afghan scenario and a civil war that will spread to the borders of GCC countries?