Dimensions of the Federation of the South.. Restoring the state is also a northern goalEnglish - Thursday 18 May 2023 الساعة 05:12 pm
Since national independence on November 30, 1967, the revolutionary political forces in the south have worked to reach a national formula to unify the sultanates, sheikhdoms, and emirates that were in the process of being formed in the last years of British colonialism. The republican system agreed upon by the forces of the October 14, 1963 revolution helped to reach an administrative division consisting of six governorates, and when unity took place in May 1990. The name of the governorates did not change because the republican system was one of the common denominators politically between the two states of the two parts. As for the unity itself, it started from a common national feeling of desire for voluntary unification in both parts. Then came the ill-fated summer war of 1994 and changed the course of unity.
Today, after 33 years of voluntary unity and 29 years of the "unity or death" war that distorted the face of the dream just realized, the sharp debate about unity and secession returns once again with the practical steps taken by the leaders of the south in the path they started since the mid-1990s to restore their state.
Restoring the state is not only a southern goal
On May 16, the media reported a statement by the former Foreign Minister, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, in which he said that Yemeni unity no longer enjoys international support as it used to be. His statement came in the context of commenting on regional and international reactions to the outcomes of the Southern National Dialogue Conference (4-8). May 2023). Al-Qirbi expressed fears that the international community's abandonment of the "unity of Yemen" would lead to the abandonment of its "sovereignty", which are the two principles that the leaders of the region and the world have been supporting in every statement, including the resolutions of the UN Security Council and United Nations bodies.
Earlier this May, the British Ambassador to Yemen, Richard Oppenheim, gave an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in which he touched on the southern issue, which he said should be part of the comprehensive political settlement to end the war in the country.
What is remarkable about what Oppenheim said in this regard is that Britain is ready to adopt a Security Council resolution that gives legitimacy to this desired settlement, but he said that the timing of the settlement of the southern issue should not affect the course of the comprehensive settlement. And that the comprehensive settlement between all parties to the war does not affect the security and stability of the south. This equation seems easy in theory, but in reality it is very complex. As the forces and components that are considered the political bearer of the southern cause have become in a unified position on the fact that the "restoration of the southern state" is its main news, while the legitimate government of the unity state (the Republic of Yemen) is still operating from Aden, which it took as a "temporary capital" under the control of the Houthi militia. The coup against the capital, Sanaa, and most of the northern governorates. According to this thorny complexity in the political situation of the Yemeni state. "Restore the state" will not only be a southern demand, but also a northern demand to restore the state from the grip of the Houthi militia. It seems that this is the main premise for the statements of the member of the Presidential Leadership Council and Vice President of the Transitional Council, Faraj al-Bahsani, when he recently said that the southerners will not unite with the Houthis.
What are the prospects for a federal solution?
The Southern National Pact explicitly stated that federalism is a basic option on the question of building the southern state that is being demanded to be restored by the components that united with the Transitional Council, and in this case this option will be subject to further extensive discussion among the various components. Including those that apologized for participating in the recent Aden Dialogue Conference. Proceeding with the option of federalism requires clear scientific and practical perceptions that are not based on transgressing the demographic data in which the tribal structure forms the cornerstone of the social structure, not only in the south, but also in the north. However, the north is still a hostage to the Houthi regime, whose imam character is no longer hidden from the Yemenis. The militia leaders no longer hide their intentions to control the entire Yemeni geography under the pretext of unity, without benefiting from the lessons of the recent past.
In addition to the clear scientific and practical perceptions, the implementation of the federal option in building the state - whether the "desired" one in the south or the unified state - requires a regional and international consensus. While the side of scientific and practical perceptions represents the field of specialists in sociology, economics, and politics, the side of the regional and international stance represents the field of successful and long-suffering diplomacy, which means dealing with the interests of the countries of the region and the world with caution, whose main starting point is the interests of the residents of the federal regions, which in their entirety form the sum of the supreme national interest. For any form of state.