Violence in the South, Secession and Iran: What Is Happening in the South?

EPC | 30 Aug 2013

In a step that might ruin the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), head of the Southern issue team, Mohammad Ali Ahmad, called on Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi, NDC Chairman, to move on to negotiations on equal footing between the North and the South, in a neutral country to be chosen by the sponsors of the GCC initiative; as one of the main conditions of the Southern movement to continue its participation in the meetings of all NDC teams . Ahmad pointed out the futility of the current mechanism of NDC. The South is suffering from fragmentation and the absence of any political party to represent it. The Socialist Party has become a pure northern party in terms of leadership and grassroots. Therefore, the South is in a political vacuum, with the absence of any political reference that might claim representation of the South. Therefore, each political Yemeni side is trying to enlist the South on its side. Mansur Hadi, being the president and descendent from the South, is trying, in coordination with the head of the Southern Movement’s team in NDC, who also happens to descend from the president’s governorate, to revive the Southern issue as one of his most important political cards in facing his rivals. Furthermore, Mansur Hadi is trying to guarantee an extension of his term in office or ensure his reelection to cement his power base. Therefore, the crisis of the Southern Movement inside NDC can only be seen within this framework, because the faction, which is taking part of the dialogue, represents one side of the Southern Movement only. While we expect a solution soon for the issue of the return of the movement’s team to take part in NDC, we don’t expect a solution for the South issue, that would be acceptable to Southerners. The real exit is to build a Southern reference which enjoys strength on the ground, and pull the rug from under the fragmented Southern forces, and unite it in one framework.

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