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As a Federal State, Yemen Marks the Third Anniversary of Its Revolution

Written by Noon Arabia On 14 February 2014 @ 17:27 pm | 1 Comment

In Arabic, Citizen Media, English, Governance, Middle East & North Africa, Photos, Politics, Protest, Video, Weblog, Yemen, Youth

February 11th marked the third anniversary of Yemen's revolution which toppled former President Ali Abdullah's Saleh's 33 year rule. Just a day before, on February 10, Yemen's president Abdu Rabu Mansour, based on the National Dialogue [1]‘s recommendation for the political transition and after deliberating with a Region Defining Committee, approved turning the country into a six-region federation state [2].

Nadia Al-Sakkaf, an activist, member of the National Dialogue and editor-in-chief of The Yemen Times, tweeted:

The federal system was a solution to counter the failure of the centralized government and to give the south more autonomy while preserving Yemen's unity. Yemen's parties had been divided on whether to split the federation into two or six regions. A north-south divide which was suggested by Southerners was rejected due to fear that it could set the stage for the south to secede. The six agreed regions included four in the north, comprising Azal, Saba, Janad and Tihama, and two in the south, Aden and Hadhramaut.

Azal includes the capital Sanaa, which will be a federal city not subject to any regional authority, in addition to the provinces of Dhamar, Amran and Saada. Aden would comprise the capital of the former south, as well as Abyan, Lahej and Daleh. The southeastern Hadhramaut province would include Al-Mahra, Shabwa and the island of Socotra, while Saba comprises Bayda, Marib and Al-Jawf. Janad would include Taez and Ibb, and Tahama also takes in Hudaydah, Rima, Mahwit and Hajja.

Yemen_updates tweeted a link showing the new regions:

There were many reactions among Yemenis and Arabs both for and against this decision.
Yemeni youth activist, Jamal Badr jokingly tweeted a still shot from a scene of a famous Egyptian comic play:

Isn't Yemen fine?? Yes, every region is fine but separate

Farea Almuslimi disapproving the haste in the decision making tweeted:

It took my father and uncles a longer and more thoughtful time to divide the (small) land they inherited from my grandfather then it took to determine the form and number of the regions in Yemen

Egyptian visual artist and film maker, Mahmud Abdel Kader, commented:

Nobody is saying that the UAE is divided because it is federal … because the idea of federalism is to add not divide, what happened in Yemen is a division not an addition

Lebanese Karl Sharro sarcastically tweeted:

Yet there were many questions in people's minds, which Sam Waddah raised on Facebook [16]:

Major question marks remain on dividing power, authority, duties between regions and central state, defining the new system, how local governments will be elected, etc. Tentatively federal system is a good one but it's too early to tell here and by leaving these issues undefined I think Hadi and the regions defining committee are putting the cart before the horse!

Adam Baron also wondered:

Nadia Al-Sakkaf shed some light on the new federal system in her article in The Yemen Times [19]:

The relationship between the regions and the federal government will be written into the constitution. The details will be defined in a Federal Regions Law after the constitution has been approved via a national referendum, expected to take place three months after the creation of the Constitutional Drafting Committee. Each region will have the autonomy to devise its own regional laws to define the relationship among its various states.

Three years after the revolution, on February 11, Yemenis were back on the streets but for various reasons. There were those who went out to celebrate the anniversary of a revolution which awed the world with its power and peacefulness and there were those who went out to protest against the government's corruption and for not realizing the revolution's demands [20].

Majda Al-Hadad, an activist spearheading the campaign against the government's continuous electricity power cuts tweeted:

It is not necessary for me to list the reasons for me to go out tomorrow, there is nothing positive that would make me hesitate. No rights, no dignity, no law, no justice, and no presence of the government except corruption and injustice.

Journalist Khaled Al-Hammadi tweeted:

The people want to topple corruption“, “the people want the fall of the government“, “a new revolution all over again“, “oh government of corruption, leave the country” chanted protesters across the streets of Sanaa.

(Video posted on YouTube by Ridan Bahran [24]

Akram Alodini also highlighted the political division in his tweet:

In the morning, marches for the republic of Sabeen and the sport stadium, and in the afternoon for the republic of Seteen, and the citizen is helpless

Lawyer Haykal Bafanaa wondered how would corrupt politicians counter corruption:

Researcher, blogger and activist Atiaf Al-Wazir tweeted:

This video by SupportYemen [31] is a reminder of what the revolution was about and what it still needs to achieve:

And as Rooj Al-Wazir, tweeted, some of the revolutionary youth, three years later, were still behind bars:

Journalist Benjamin Wiacek tweeted with disappointment, a bitter sentiment shared by many of the revolutionary youth:

Journalist Iona Craig, who has been living in Yemen since 2011, and as the rest of Yemenis has been suffering [39] from frequent and lengthy electricity cuts tweeted:

Many Yemenis did not feel a change in their daily living conditions – quite the contrary, many were disappointed and frustrated with its deterioration. In a question posed on Facebook by journalist Ahmed Ghurab [42], “In your opinion what change has occurred in the living conditions of the average citizen in the last three years since the outbreak of the revolution?!!”, the majority complained about the hike in prices, the continuous power outages, the insecurity and instability along with the increase of assassinations, the car explosions and kidnappings and the failure of the government to address or manage these issues.

Nevertheless, there were those who were celebrating the revolution's achievements so far and were still hoping for more. Photos of the marches all over Yemen commemorating the third anniversary of the start of the revolution were posted all over Twitter and Facebook.

Yemen-based journalist Adam Baron tweeted:

A photo from the Friday marches in Sanaa in 2011 demanding the fall of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh [48]

A photo from the Friday marches in Sanaa in 2011 demanding the fall of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh

Activist, photographer and member of the National Dialogue, Nadia Abdullah,posted photos of the marches in Sanaa [49] on facebook.

Marches in Sanaa's Seteen street celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Yemen's revolution (Photo by Nadia Abdullah) [50]

Marches in Sanaa's Seteen street celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Yemen's revolution (Photo by Nadia Abdullah)

On a more positive note, Baraa Shiban, a youth activist and also member of the National Dialogue, tweeted:

He summarized in his Facebook post, what many would undoubtedly agree is the greatest achievement of Yemen's revolution:

Yemen has a new generation of men and women who believe in the principals of democracy and human rights. Yemen's youth now believe in equal citizenship, women's rights and minorities. Yemen's youth today believe in achieving their demands by following the peaceful method.

The revolution continues…


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/14/as-a-federal-state-yemen-marks-the-third-anniversary-of-its-revolution/

URLs in this post:

[1] National Dialogue: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/09/will-the-end-of-the-national-dialogue-bring-peace-to-yemen/

[2] turning the country into a six-region federation state: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/10/us-yemen-politics-idUSBREA190VH20140210?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=401

[3] #NDC: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NDC&src=hash

[4] #Federal: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Federal&src=hash

[5] #Yemen: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Yemen&src=hash

[6] February 2, 2014: https://twitter.com/NadiaSakkaf/statuses/429925735390666752

[7] pic.twitter.com/n4OWD0XnIz: http://t.co/n4OWD0XnIz

[8] February 10, 2014: https://twitter.com/yemen_updates/statuses/433007418579386369

[9] #اليمن: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86&src=hash

[10] #سعيد_صالح: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%AF_%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD&src=hash

[11] pic.twitter.com/XU1bG59rN5: http://t.co/XU1bG59rN5

[12] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/JamalBadr/statuses/433162387391148032

[13] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/almuslimi/statuses/433064084661997568

[14] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/MKadr/statuses/433285422102642688

[15] February 10, 2014: https://twitter.com/KarlreMarks/statuses/432883208922095616

[16] Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=591208527625828&set=a.103653093048043.7771.100002100572787&type=1&comment_id=1772217&offset=0&total_comments=10

[17] #yemen: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23yemen&src=hash

[18] February 10, 2014: https://twitter.com/adammbaron/statuses/432915915865608192

[19] The Yemen Times: http://www.yementimes.com/en/1754/news/3462/Yemen-celebrates-new-map-of-six-regions.htm

[20] demands: http://notesbynoon.blogspot.ae/2011/09/demands-of-yemens-peaceful-youth.html?spref=tw

[21] February 10, 2014: https://twitter.com/meMajda/statuses/432971011399503872

[22] #Sanaa: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Sanaa&src=hash

[23] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/KhaledHammadi/statuses/433165103207161856

[24] Ridan Bahran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2igo1RLwyL0

[25] pic.twitter.com/XCvsI1skFq: http://t.co/XCvsI1skFq

[26] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/AkramAlodini/statuses/433159753707974656

[27] February 12, 2014: https://twitter.com/BaFana3/statuses/433562683862810624

[28] @supportYemen: https://twitter.com/SupportYemen

[29] http://t.co/eL8rhIyXq3: http://t.co/eL8rhIyXq3

[30] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/WomanfromYemen/statuses/433266972797591552

[31] SupportYemen: http://supportyemen.org/

[32] http://t.co/E2cT6t5tWa: http://t.co/E2cT6t5tWa

[33] @theyementimes: https://twitter.com/theyementimes

[34] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/Rooj129/statuses/433272126364065792

[35] #revolution: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23revolution&src=hash

[36] #statusquo: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23statusquo&src=hash

[37] #depressed: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23depressed&src=hash

[38] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/Nefermaat/statuses/433113992748597248

[39] suffering: https://twitter.com/search?q=%40ionacraig%20electricity&src=typd

[40] #nothingchanges: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nothingchanges&src=hash

[41] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/ionacraig/statuses/433223222289772544

[42] Ahmed Ghurab: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=778924042136833&id=100000577346649&stream_ref=10

[43] #arabspring: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23arabspring&src=hash

[44] #February11: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23February11&src=hash

[45] pic.twitter.com/3DxCLgKyjZ: http://t.co/3DxCLgKyjZ

[46] February 12, 2014: https://twitter.com/anwarmuthana/statuses/433487176169689088

[47] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/adammbaron/statuses/433133110713405440

[48] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152232730071217&set=a.238591081216.181471.621776216&type=1&theater

[49] posted photos of the marches in Sanaa: https://www.facebook.com/nadia.abdullah.506/media_set?set=a.10202991837737970.1073742007.1265124577&type=1

[50] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202991877978976&set=a.10202991837737970.1073742007.1265124577&type=3&theater

[51] February 11, 2014: https://twitter.com/BShtwtr/statuses/433377333127303168

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