Q&A: Recent Developments in Yemen, in Particular the Signing of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement
Question and Answer
Recent Developments in Yemen, in Particular the Signing of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement
The recent developments in Yemen were ambiguous to me, particularly the signing of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement on 21/09/2014, as though these developments have shuffled the papers… How were the Houthis able to reach Sanaa and lead its power and influence without effective resistance from the authorities? Does it imply that the influence of the British in Yemen has ended, and America that supports the Houthis has become the influential initiator in Yemen or is it the sharing of influence? Please clarify these matters, May Allah reward you with goodness.
To clarify the answer we will review the following issues:
1. The influence of the British in Yemen has settled in recent decades, especially since Ali Saleh came to power in 1978, where he has trimmed, rather clipped, the wings of American influence in Yemen, and pursued its agents and followers, and the effective political class in Yemen became almost exclusive to the British and its agents… This has continued up until the Arab Spring events in 2011 in Yemen, where people rose up against Ali Saleh for his tyranny and his unilateral ruling. In their movement, they were affected by the winds of change in other Arab countries. However, the lack of political consciousness of the rebelling masses has enabled other parties, especially the United States and their alliances: Iran regionally and Houthis and Southern Movement locally, to exploit the current events wherein America saw a unique opportunity. Since for the first time Ali Saleh’s sovereignty had been strongly shaken, his grip on power weakened, and the authority’s institutions are loosen.
2. America began to move earnestly to establish a solution to the events that matches it through its embassy and envoys, as well as its local followers.
Britain has actually felt that America is serious about this, so it went on its usual way, to take the initiative for a solution that preserves its influence and in which it keeps pace with America and satisfies it by giving it something that does not make Britain lose its influence in Yemen. So it moved its tools in the Gulf States, and launched in the beginning of April 2011 the Gulf Initiative which requires the resignation of Ali Abdullah Saleh, pledge not to prosecute him and hand over his powers to his deputy Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is loyal to it. Then to hold elections within two months and after that begin to work for a new constitution. America has approved the initiative and considered it an interim step in the removal of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Because it saw in him the strong man of Britain in Yemen, while it saw that Hadi is soft and is easier to deal with him according to its interests more than it could with Ali Saleh. Yemen News – Reuters quoted on 14/08/2013 what indicates that; it said, “Washington finds Hadi a more amendable partner than Saleh”. Thus America saw the possibility of weakening Britain’s influence in Yemen after the disposal of the British strong agent, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
America deemed the initiative as an interim step, it wanted to twist the neck of the initiative to improve it or revoke it through two means: Firstly, encouraging their followers, especially the Houthis to reject the initiative and disrupt it. Secondly it sent its man Jamal bin Omar as the envoy to the United Nations, or rather more accurately to America, to manage the affairs of the initiative in a manner that achieves the interests of America in full, or in an effectively partial way. Thus, the initiative became like a ball tossed around. So in one hand, Britain and its followers in the Gulf have grabbed the threads of the solution by the Gulf Initiative, and have created a public opinion that made America accept it. While on the other hand, America sees it as a step through which it won by getting rid of Ali Saleh, the stringent British agent. As his successor, Hadi, though is of the British followers, but is less worrying and of a more lenient character, which may enable America to change the terms of the initiative, disrupt its implementation or abolish it. This is done through force from the Houthis and the Southern Movement and through negotiating work through one of its men, Jamal bin Omar… In other words, Britain viewed the initiative as a salvage of its influence and preservation. Since Hadi is of its men and the political milieu is its production, at the same time it satisfies America perhaps it relieves its pressures… America has approved the initiative as an interim to move through it to have the actual influence in Yemen.
3. Things moved after that in this direction. The Gulf initiative was followed by the National Dialogue Conference, which began its first session on 18/03/2013 and continued through 25/01/2014, where it resulted in a document that transforms Yemen into a federalist system of six regions… However, the official spokesperson for the Houthis movement, Mohamed Abdel Salam announced, saying, “We did not sign this document and we consider it does not represent a solution, not to the issue of the South or to the unresolved national issues, and the division was in accordance to the political whim.” (Al-Alam TV website 10/02/2014). Thus America, through its agents in Yemen refused the method of partition and not the partition itself, has prepared for the next step to extend the influence of its agents. So, on the one hand, it focused on the principle of division, and on the other hand the Houthis and its followers rejected the initiative until it yields to its terms and to re-divide to have a port for them on the sea, otherwise work to repeal it… As a prelude to that, America has exploited the government’s decision to raise fuel prices, which took effect on 30th July 2014, and stirred the Houthis and the Southern Movement in heated resistance against the Hadi government. America was supporting this movement against Hadi, politically and with security: As for politically, America does not deem the Houthis terrorists like al-Qaeda, rather it considers them a political movement. The American ambassador, Matthew Tauler said in his press conference on 18/09/2014, “We do make a distinction between a group that participates and continues participation in the political process. The Houthi movement participated in the National Dialogue Conference and made many positive contributions to the outcomes of it. They have a legitimate political position and aspiration to take part in the political process.”
The American ambassador added that the Embassy is following these dialogues “Through our conversations with some of the participants in which we know that the dialogues focused on the demands of the Houthis as they are looking to have a role in the government, and these issues are legitimate for any party that participated in the dialogue to discuss”. He said that the success of the negotiations will be a step in the right direction “particularly if it will stabilize the situation in Sana’a and surrounding areas” (Observers Press site). As for security, upon entering Sanaa, the Houthis were resisted by the army and police, during which seven of the Houthis were killed on 09/09/2014, and the balance of power was almost in favor of Hadi’s side. However, America hastily rushed to send Ben Omar, the United Nations envoy to Yemen, “or in reality, the American envoy”. So he exerted pressure on Hadi, and smothered the issue by the invitation to negotiate, and to give the green light to the Houthis to escalate their move during the times of the negotiation, backed by American pressures, in the character of Ben Omar on Hadi and the army. The American ambassador had earlier, on 11/09/2014, visited the Yemeni defense minister, and the United States Ambassador to Sanaa, Matthew Tauler confirmed that Yemen’s security and stability concerns the region and the world due to the nature of the geopolitical location of Yemen. The new American ambassador, during his meeting with the Minister of Defense, Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, reiterated his government’s position in support for security, stability and unity of Yemen. The meeting dealt with the nature of the security situation taking place in Yemen and the safe ways out of the current crises. (Yemeni Scene, 11/09/2014). It is likely that this visit to the Minister of Defense was in order to prevent the army from standing in the face of the Houthis, and this was what the events have revealed…
Thus, recently on 28/09/2014, some soldiers have demonstrated against the Minister of Defense, Mohammed Nasser demanding his dismissal and his trial for the army not carrying out its missions …
4. Britain has realized that America is serious about using force to gain access to significant gains in ruling Yemen, and that the Houthis have influential strength from arms and ammunition supplied by Iran…
Britain’s realization of this matter proceeds to resist it in a bi-parallel manner: The first: is that Hadi should exert effort to exploit his position as a president to prevent the enablement of the Houthis of the effective power. The second line is the introduction of Ali Saleh as a partner for the Houthis in opposing the rule of Hadi; already some of his supporters have already joined the Houthis, carrying the banner of the General People’s Congress (the party of the former Yemeni President). When the British Ambassador was asked whether she was communicating with the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh she said: “I do not have a direct relationship with Ali Abdullah Saleh, but I communicate with the General People’s Congress including parties close to it.” (Middle East, 27/09/2014). It is understood from this that Britain has also instructed its agent Ali Saleh to cooperate with the Houthis, since the British Ambassador admitted her communication with the party of Ali Saleh, the one who runs the party and controls it with no rival or opponent to him. As well as the official spokesman for the Houthis, Mohamed Abdel Salam said, “We consider that Saleh had no role after the revolution of February 2011 and prior to that, and we hope that the outputs of the Dialogue Conference will address that.” (Kuwaiti Politics, 23/09/2014). This also indicates the Houthis’ positive view towards Ali Saleh, which confirms the fact that the British instructed Ali Saleh and their ruling party, the Congress Party, which is headed by Ali Saleh to take this position and cooperate with the Houthis during their access to the capital. So that Mohsen al-Ahmar, Adviser to President Hadi for Defense and Security Affairs, who has resisted the Houthis in the beginning as mentioned by the official spokesman for the Houthis, had stopped resisting the Houthis, left the country and took refuge in the Saudi regime. He was reported saying, after his appearance in Saudi Arabia where he thanked them for protecting him that the reason for leaving is: “We have decided, after consultation with the President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to avoid civil war at any price” (New Arab, 26/09/2014). Thus, Britain shoved some of its men to participate with the Houthis and kept away some of its men who fought the Houthis…
These measures by Britain to shove Ali Saleh with the Houthis so if Hadi could not use his position as president to prevent America and its followers from the actual access to the rule; then Ali Saleh would be an active partner with the Houthis and then preserve the British influence in Yemen and in particular that the Houthis have no popular support to make them unilateral rulers of Yemen…
5. In this setting, the atmosphere of Houthis’ force, American-backed politically and with security, and the atmosphere of political cunningness which is fared by the British… In this setting, the Houthis stormed Sanaa, and when the army tried to resist, Jamal Bin Omar intervened under the pretext of negotiation and to prevent it. The Houthis exploited this setting to their advantage and took over the government buildings, which included the building of the Prime Minister, and the command centre of the army, and the television compound… and they attacked some of the buildings and wreaked their contents, all or most of the capital fell under their clutches… In this setting, Jamal Bin Omar also used varied means of pressure to hold the Peace Agreement and National Partnership, and was clear that it aimed for the entry of American influence in an open manner in Yemen. Some of the gains for the Houthis were stated in the Convention; for example, in the terms of the agreement it stated, “The appointment of new political advisers to the President of the Republic from the Southern Movement and the Houthis,” “install political advisors to the President of the Republic with criteria for candidates for positions in the new government”, “chooses the president and the ministers of defense, finance and foreign and domestic as par the condition of their agreement with the criteria listed above, in addition to the lack of affiliation or allegiance to any political party.” The Houthis considered this agreement to have annulled the Gulf Initiative, spokesman for the Houthis, Mohamed Abdel Salam, stated that the Gulf Initiative has ended, never to return, pointing out that the peace agreement and partnership which took place in the president’s headquarters last Sunday 21/9/2014 documenting a political contract with a new political partnership based on the outcomes of the Dialogue Conference and to meet popular demands. (News Online, 25/09/2014).
However the official authority remained in the hands of Britain via President Hadi, and some important ministries… and as we said earlier, Britain opened an avenue to Ali Saleh with the Houthis as a back up to save its influence if Hadi could not exploit his presidential power to stop the strong interventions for the Houthis in power. There is a security supplement to the Convention which the Houthis refused to sign but they signed it after about a week when Hadi postponed choosing a prime minister because the Houthis did not sign the security attachment, i.e., that the president has exploited this time his presidential powers to postpone naming the prime minister for the refusal of Houthis to sign the security supplement.
They signed it even though they have yet to implement it practically! Nevertheless, they signed it after their embracement in delaying naming the prime minister, so Jamal Bin Omar that Houthis should sign the agreement and that the give and take should be in its implementation and not in the signing!
Thus, Jamal Bin Omar stated that the Houthi group has signed the security supplement of the peace agreement and the partnership after a week of refusing to sign it, and this was confirmed by the official spokesman for the Houthis Mohamed Abdel Salam when he said, “The signing of the security supplement took place after minor adjustments.” (Khabar News Agency, 27/9/2014).
It seems that Iran too has a role since the signing came two days after the Yemeni authorities released two experts from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard accused of spying and training militants, in addition to the release of the eight others convicted of smuggling weapons from Iran to the Houthis! Britain has focused on the need for implementation and not just the signing, it expressed its position through the British Ambassador in Yemen, Jane Marriott “demanded that the Houthis have to respect what they signed by the withdrawal of their troops from the streets of Sanaa and surrounding the camp.” She said, “We want to see them leave (Sanaa) sooner rather than later, and leave security to the security forces of Yemen while we accept that the Houthis and others have a legitimate role to play in Yemen. They must withdraw from the streets of Sanaa, when the new prime minister is appointed and we will observe this closely with the expectation that the Houthis do so, though if they do not then we will consider this as a breach of the agreement. ” (Middle East, 27/09/2014).
6. Hadi has revealed many of the pressures he faced, in his speech to the heads of officials, ministers and deputies in the regime on 23/9/2014, i.e. two days after signing of the agreement, the following was reported by Saba’ (a Yemeni news agency): “I address you in this difficult moment in our Yemeni history and I am fully aware of the difficulty of the past few days, and I realize that you all feel the shock of what happened and the surrendering of some state institutions and army units in the way that we’ve seen, but you should also know that the conspiracy may have been beyond imagination, we have been stabbed and betrayed”. He added, “It’s a conspiracy exceeded the limits of the country, where many forces allied from stakeholders who lost their property and opportunists who see in every calamity to eat of the wealth of the nation” (Yemeni News Agency / SABA, 23/9/2014). Hadi has attacked Iran, as mentioned by Asriya.net on September 15, 2014, saying: “We repeatedly warned of any interference in Yemen’s internal affairs, but what is happening is perhaps are messages in order to impose regional hegemony and expose Yemen to large risks, and there is evidence to prove Iran’s interference in the affairs of Yemen.”
7. America has blessed the agreement which indicates its supports for everything that took place, it wanted the Houthis to enter the capital, and an agreement to be reached with them under the pressure of weapons, and to be accepted as a significant political constituent… In a phone call from the White House, the US President’s advisor for counter-terrorism, Lisa Monaco with President Hadi said, “This achievement (signing of the agreement) will represent the essential foundation which is built on the outputs of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference.” She also said, “The United States is closely following events step by step” (Yemen Street from Conference Net, 24/9/2014). Therefore all that occurred was under the United States’ pressure to dictate to the regime to recognise the Houthi component is affiliated with Iran as a component of the political makeup in Yemen even though it is armed, thereby America can use them for the implementation of its plans there as it did in Lebanon with the armed political parties affiliated with Iran.
And there is an issue sought by the United States in Yemen and causing it to be a concern to subjugate Yemen under its commands, not because of its strategic location, but for what is published of reports that indicate that Yemen sits on great oil and gas wealth. It was (revealed by Sky News an American television station, that the largest source of oil in the world connects to an underground oil reserve is in Yemen, part of which extends to Saudi Arabia, a fraction at a depth of 1800 meters, but the major reserve is under the land of Yemen… (Happy Yemen site, 8/1/2013).) However the Ministry of Oil of Yemen denied the report by Sky News as stated on the Site of the Ministry of Oil and Minerals of Yemen 13/01/2013.
Whereas the Sky News piece remains a topic of interest, especially for the colonial powers such as the United States, and this is why the relationships between the American ambassador to Yemen and the Oil Ministry is a warm relations! It was reported by Saba’ Net on 15/09/2014 from the meeting of the American ambassador in Yemen with the Oil Minister in the ministry on 15/9/2014, it quoted the following: “the American ambassador pointed to the desire of many American companies to meet with specialists in the Ministry of Oil and minerals on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Conference which will be held in November 2014 CE, pointing to the expansion of investment in the petroleum sector in Yemen, especially since a lot of areas are still under exploration.” All this increases the interest of America in Yemen.
a. The ongoing conflict in Yemen is between two parties: America (its followers and agents) and Britain (its followers and agents) and each of the two parties used their means and methods… America followers are proceeding with logic of force of the Houthis and Southern Movement and Iran, in addition to the method of negotiation to achieve gains via Jamal Bin Omar… Meanwhile Britain is following the logic of political cunningness by exploiting Hadi for his presidential power and handling of America for the prevention of its pressures, and without allowing it to take hold of sensitive positions in the government, then by pushing Ali Saleh and his men with the Houthis, in case of Hadi’s failure and Houthis get the upper hand, Britain will have a share in power and not any share, via Ali Saleh and his men.
b. The Houthis do not have sufficient popular support to rule Yemen and as long as the situation remains as such, then the power factor will not be enough to take power in Yemen and its continuation, and in particular that the political class is not with them, and the creation of a new political class is difficult under the current circumstances… However Hadi and his group despite having a political circle, but their status has been shaken by the recent developments, and this will affect the descent of influence of Britain for being the only dominant power as it was in Yemen during the past decades, so it is not easy to Britain and its agents that rule alone as before and for this rule to continue.
c. Thus, this means that the expected solution in Yemen is a compromise between America and Britain on the method of the capitalists, so there will be joint power between the parties… And compromise usually does not last unless they have it as a respite of the warrior until America or Britain is able to resolve the matter to its advantage, which means that the events in Yemen will continue to be volatile, then calm at times, then volatile again according to the balance of political and military forces among the conflicting parties.
d. Based on the above it can be concluded that the issues in Yemen are on the rise without settling decisively only in two cases: First: America or Britain will be able to resolve matters in their favour, and thereby dominating the actual influence in Yemen. This is not easy as we have elaborated above, and the second: that Allah (swt) honours the Ummah with the Khilafah, which will trample the influence of the colonizers Kuffar and uproot them from the land and eliminate their evil amongst mankind, and so Kufr and its people will be humiliated, and Islam and its people will be glorified, and believers will rejoice in Allah’s victory.
وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ
“And that day the believers will rejoice. In the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.” [Ar-Rum: 4-5]
It is a fact that the people of Yemen are a people of faith and wisdom… to establish this matter to win in both realms, Allah is with the righteous.