Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Al Qaeda’s “Promised Land” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I wrote an article a few months back entitled ‘Yemen…What if Sedition Ends in Catastrophe?” In this editorial I suggested that if sedition, which has reared its head in Yemen, ends in catastrophe then no party will be victorious and everybody would share the same feelings of defeat, failure and bitterness. Yemen, along with its stability, dreams and aspirations will be the victim.

What pushed me to write the article was the emergence of some voices in the south of Yemen that called for breaking the Yemeni union, which was realized in 1990, based on the pretext of inequality between the north and the south in the political and economic fields and the employment sector.

What adds to the Yemeni concern today is the war against the Al Houthi movement. This movement has ideological, military and political complications as well as ties, interests and demands that intertwine in a way that makes a decisive settlement difficult to achieve, even though the government could accomplish a victory on the military level.

I hope it isn’t too late for Yemen to rectify the mistakes that the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh acknowledged when he suggested that there are some practices that need to be sorted out, as the seeds of sedition in Yemen have been visible for a long time. This was handled only with temporary painkillers and partial solutions instead of permanent cures.

Some people even describe the current conflict between the government and the Al Houthi movement as the “sixth war”. It does not indicate to people observing the events in Yemen that the conflicting powers realize the dangers that surround their country or that they comprehend the real responsibility they have towards saving Yemen from a miserable fate.

Yemen with its rough terrain and important position was and still is the “promised land” that Al Qaeda dreams of rather than remote Afghanistan or wretched Somalia. If Al Qaeda is able to establish a stronghold in Yemen then removing it from that country will be a very complicated and very costly task.

Therefore, support must be given to a united Yemen in order to solve its internal problems based on justice and fairness, and equal opportunities for all the different components of Yemeni society. This support must be given by all those [states] that are at risk from a lack of stability in Yemen, most prominently the Gulf countries and the superpowers with direct interests in the security of sea routes in this important part of the world.

May God save Yemen and the Yemenis.