Wednesday Papers: or the Southern Round-up
Al-Sahwa has a piece from al-Mukalla, which starts off a bit too poetically for me, but nonetheless illustrates what the city is like as it prepare for protests. The description in the opening paragraph fits fairly closely with what I experienced in 2005 in San’a during the petrol riots.
The piece also mentions that one person was killed, it seems to be the same person that this Reuters report mentions.
Meanwhile, the Aden – al-Dhala’ road is cut, and the the Minister of the Interior, everyone’s favorite obstructionist, al-Masri’s car comes under fire in al-Dhala‘. The same al-Sahwa piece also lists the names of people that have been arrested in ‘Aden and al-Dhala’, and the piece reports that people have also been arrested in Hadramawt.
Al-Jazeera’s correspondents who are becoming increasingly unpopular with the government (to put it mildly) have this report on the protests – “thousands” in al-Dhala’ and “hundreds” in Hadramawt. The video report from (I believe) Murad Hashim on al-Jazeera’s website is well worth watching.
Finally, there is this report from Khalid al-Hammadi of al-Quds al-Arabi. (The guy in the picture also shows up in the al-Jazeera video – quite a day for his scrapbook.) But I have to say that I disagree with this paragraph early in the piece:
I don’t think it is as simple as saying the people in the North support the government and the people in the south support the southern movement, which is essentially what this paragraph says. I think there is a danger in seeing this as essentially a two-sided conflict, which is convenient and neat but bears little resemblance to reality. There are many sides and the motivations of the people in the street and the groups ostensibly leading them are incredibly diverse, which is why the Southern Movement can include people like YSP leaders and Tariq al-Fadhli.
The civil war in 1994 is often described as north versus south, but like so much else in Yemen this confuses geography with analysis. There were a number of southerners that didn’t support the secession, even though they were in the YSP – and numerous others that weren’t in the party. And now, 15 years later, there are numerous northerners that are just as frustrated with the government as are people in the south. The difference is that their frustrations and grievances can’t be directed into historically valid channels.