Muted Celebrations Mark 30th Anniversary of Yemen’s Unification
With the exception of official congratulatory cables and a speech by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen held muted celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the unification of its North and South.
The occasion was practically unnoticed by Yemenis, mainly due to the ongoing clash in liberated areas between the legitimate government and Southern Transitional Council (STC) and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The Iran-backed Houthi militias have also undermined the occasion by instead celebrating a Khomeini event, the so-called Quds Day.
During a speech to mark unification, Hadi acknowledged that unity has been exploited, but it is still Yemen and the Arab world’s greatest accomplishment.
He vowed that Yemen will remain united, but within a federal system that the national dialogue had approved before the Houthi coup.
The president acknowledged errors that have been committed in recent years, adding that unity has been abused and undermined by parties he did not name.
Some parties have exploited unity to marginalize others and abuse power and wealth, he charged. Others have stood against unity by following foreign agendas, while others have seen it as a threat to their narrow agendas. They have instead dismissed unity to divide the country and usurp the state, he added.
“Unity as a concept should create power… it should not be used to create conflict, war, misery and deprivation,” Hadi remarked.
He accused those following “selfish interests and destructive projects” of trying to eliminate the outcomes of the national dialogue, which is the route for Yemen’s salvation.
He vowed that those undermining unity will be defeated. “We will not allow anyone to drag the country towards division, chaos, violence and terrorism, whether such attempts are made by local or foreign powers.”
Hadi stressed that he was exerting all possible efforts to restore the state and end all forms of the coup and rebellion in the North and South.
He acknowledged the challenges ahead, accusing the Houthis of being aligned to Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah party. “The Houthis reject peace and insist on war,” he added, slamming them for ignoring calls for peace and violating UN agreements.
On developments in the South, he said that some sides “do not want the people to live in stability. They have disregarded the will of the people and the welcome efforts of our Saudi brothers and friends in the international community.” They have instead rejected the Riyadh Agreement and repeatedly attempted to seize the state and prevent it from performing its duties.
The people, region and international community have rejected these “reckless” moves because they will not accept practices that will lead to Yemen’s division, Hadi declared.
On the coronavirus outbreak, he said that he had approved the formation of a joint emergency committee that would have operated throughout Yemen, including Houthi-held regions, but his efforts were “in vain due to selfish and reckless acts.”
He urged the international community, relevant agencies and donor countries to help the people and government in saving the Yemenis and confronting dangers.