This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 04/06/2011
The dangerous developments in Sanaa — the attack on the presidential mansion and the consequent bombing of houses of leaders of Al-Ahmar family — have put Yemen in the hands of the devil. The situation will persist unless all parties involved are ready to put their differences aside and immediately sign a peaceful transition pact. This is important because the exchange of arbitrary shelling and killing over the last six days, in addition to previous bloody clashes indicate that no group can claim superiority over the other. Is it not enough for the two groups to realize that each of them has a limited ability which leads to equal strength and prevents triumph of one group over the other?
Besides, we need to ask a question. Did the two groups, which first accepted the GCC initiative and later impeded its signing through useless protocol, achieve their objectives? Don’t they realize that civil war, once it erupts, can only be stopped by a miracle? It seems as if the warring factions want to drag the country into complete violence, because the incidents revolve around those who forgot the slogan, ‘We either face the challenge of developing the country or die.’ When the flood of destruction comes, it will consume everybody, so none of the two factions will face any challenge.
There is no doubt that each of the two factions has hawks who lay down their conditions. If some members of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s group, including the president, support peaceful transition of government, the Joint Forum also has some hawks who stick to the GCC initiative. This simply means that these people agree on the content but disagree on the structures. Therefore, the Joint Forum should be blamed for wasting the golden opportunity to rescue Yemen from escalated crisis by refusing to sign the initiative at the Presidential Palace.
President Saleh should also share the blame for sticking to the condition that he will not leave the country which has been soaked in a bloodbath. No matter how significant an issue, it is not worth pushing the country into disaster. It is clear that the clash of intentions between the two factions is the main obstruction to the resolution of the crisis. This condition has put everybody in a reproaching situation, because we can feel that each group wants to enforce its desire over the other at any cost, even if its means taking the path of destruction.
Everybody should now understand that although both the factions have tested their strengths, the president still has an edge. And since the man agreed to sign the GCC initiative, the GCC nations should make fresh moves to exploit the available opportunity. This will prevent further deterioration in the situation and also prevent regional powers from benefitting and implementing ‘breakup’ agendas. Iran’s suspicious moves, which have been exposed, are a good example to prove the point.
Secretary General of the GCC Abdul-Latif Al-Zayyani did well by announcing his readiness to make fresh moves in the Yemeni issue. However, announcements alone are not enough and immediate action needs to be taken, because blood continues to flow and only a serious initiative can stop it. Meanwhile, the hawks of the two factions should stop the cock clash. There is no more time to flex muscles and it is important to rescue Yemen from useless war crimes, whose mastermind will be recorded in the history. Nobody wishes to witness another ‘Dahes and Al-Ghabra War’ fought with bombs, latest technology and weapons of mass destruction.
Ahmed al-Jarallah is the Editor-In-Chief of The Arab Times and the daily Arabic Assyassah