KHALED AL ZIADI

Monitoring the political and economic situations in Yemen shows how lucky we are who are living abroad. We take the simplest things for granted. When I think of what my girl’s and boy’s lives would be like if they are growing up in Yemen, my heart goes out to all the children in Yemen where chaos has destroyed all chances of growth, development, security and stability for at least the next 10 years.

The GCC initiative and implementation mechanism plan for power transfer on November 23, 2011 came to rescue Yemen of total failure and collapse. But the political scene in Yemen after signing of the deal shows no clear picture of improvement in proceeding with the implementation mechanism that has been agreed upon. Even though a unity government has been formed, many obstacles have risen before the new government preventing it from performing its duties in order to pave the way for a civil state, which will be based on the rule of law and the principles of justice, freedom and equality.

Despite the power transfer deal, the youth in Yemen are still standing in Change Square to protect their revolution. 100,000 protesters participated in the march of life where they crossed Yemen’s provinces over a distance of about 250 km, from the southern city of Taez to the capital Sana’a for four days to condemn immunity given to Saleh in return for his resignation. It was shocking when I learnt that the American ambassador in Yemen at a press conference called the march of life “not peaceful”. Didn’t he know that those protesters carried no weapons, marched peacefully through provinces in Yemen with warm welcome from citizens who helped in accommodating them and opened their schools to shelter them through their journey? Didn’t he know that among those protesters were children, women, elder people and people with disabilities? Didn’t he know that among those protesters were those who had lost their loved ones in order to see a peaceful Yemen? I wonder if he called it not peaceful because he is thinking the revolution in Yemen is coming to an end. Rather he should have criticised the violent response by Yemen’s Central Security Forces against the protesters on the outskirts of Sana’a where 13 protesters were shot dead and more than a hundred were injured.

Yemen’s Central Security Forces led by Saleh’s eldest nephew, Yahya Saleh, who few weeks ago celebrated his birthday wearing military fatigues and being called Don Juan by a woman police officer. Yahya’s birthday video was on YouTube, twitted by many tweeters with sarcastic comments.

There is no doubt that killing innocent protesters is jeopardising the GCC deal and risking Yemen stability. Saleh is definitely playing his dirty games behind closed doors. Why did he go back to Yemen after he signed the deal and conned the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the whole world by saying he is on his way to the US for medical treatment, then he went back to Yemen to declare an amnesty for all except those who attacked him.

Did Saleh suddenly suffer from Alzheimer’s? Did he forget that he transferred his power to his deputy and does not have the power for such a declaration? No but Saleh still insists on playing the role of president. In his last press conference Saleh said again he will leave for the US, but he formed a committee of six members of his party including his son and nephew as shadow presidential council to run the country and his party in his absence.

It is obvious that there are many critics of the GCC initiative because it is inconsistent with their narrow interests and they have plans to make it fail and cause more chaos in Yemen.

How many more lives will be lost before we witness the next election in February? Yemen is not safe any more, it does not matter if you are part of the revolution or not. Dream of Yemenis building a civil and modern state haunted many, one of them was Hamdi Askar, Yemeni engineer holds a British passport who participated with revolutionaries in many protests. He was killed last week in Mukhalla on his way to the airport by unidentified gunman without seeing his dream come true.

The current unity government in Yemen seems to have real challenges and lacks resources to deal with many financial crises in ministries after the handover by a failed government.

Urgent GCC and international financial aid is required to support the new government in setting up monitoring system to assure that administrative, financial plans are directed towards securing Yemen, otherwise all efforts made by the Gulf states and the international community will be in vain.

–Gulf News