Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

No to Secession in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently warned against the danger of secession attempts to separate south Yemen once again from the rest of the country. He cautioned against the repercussions this would have on Yemen as whole. The Yemeni President said, “You will be towns, sub-districts and statelets and there will be door-to-door fighting. No street will be safe and there will be no airplanes flying in the air or boats at sea coming to- or leaving from- Yemen.”

This is all true; in fact it would be much worse than that. Just as the Arabs clearly rejected the idea of dividing Iraq, or any part of it seceding from the rest of the country, there must be a strong Arab endeavor to remove that evil word ‘secession’ from our Arab countries.

Disagreements and disputes within the homeland, regardless of their nature and magnitude, must not result in the collapse of the homeland upon the people within it. The best example of this threat is Sudan where some people believe that rejecting secession automatically means that you are in support of the Al Bashir regime. That is not the case. The homeland is more important than anything else; the unity of Sudan is one thing and the Bashir regime is another. War criminals in Darfur must be brought to justice regardless of their past or present positions.

However, we must be aware of the fact that the cancer of secession in our Arab world is hidden, waiting to spread under motives that can only be described as betrayal to the homeland. We must take a decisive stand against this, each and every one us. The concept of secession must be destroyed in Yemen, Sudan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world, regardless of the situation. Secession does not present any solutions inasmuch as it is mass suicide, a crime against the homeland and corrosion of our states that are now facing real danger. South Lebanon has transformed into an Iranian statelet; we have a fallen state in Somalia, separatist trends in Iraq and continuous instigation in many parts of our Arab world. Moreover, divisions have killed the nation’s dream and this is the case today amongst the Palestinians.

The Yemeni President admitted that there may be abuse of power taking place against the south; this admission is positive and represents that the first and most effective step is being taken towards solving the issue. Therefore there must be a political will launched by the spirit of the statesman who sees that the homeland is above everything else.

It is frightening, frustrating and sad that Western countries are striving to create blocs similar to the European Union that has progressed to a large degree whilst the Arab world is still battling calls for secession.

Therefore, we must help Yemen eliminate the concept of secession; not in the sense of providing financial aid but by taking decisive stands against separatists and spurring the Yemeni state to find solutions to the unresolved issues between the people of one nation.

The final message here is for all those who supported, or still support, Hezbollah and others in our Arab countries at the expense of the state and under different pretexts. Do they not realize that the same thing could happen in their own countries? The best example of this is the message that Yemen sent a week ago to Hassan Nasrallah.