31 Years of Suffering: The people of Aden in between retrieving the state and services

Reports

Sat, 22-05-2021 09:07:22 Evening, Aden Time

Aden (South24)

On Friday, dozens of families in South Yemen engaged in protest marches in the streets of Aden to protest on deteriorating living conditions and rising prices in a country described by the UN to have the world's worst humanitarian crisis where millions stand on the verge of starvation. 

Protestors stormed Madram street at Al Mualla district while others moved afterwards to Al Buraiqeh district, western Aden, the capital city, and protested front to the Arab Coalition forces headquarter. Mainly, they demanded the Saudi-led Coalition to perform their duties and tasks to prevent the economic collapse as well as forcing the parity government to provide the necessary solutions. They chanted by "corrupt Yemeni government" chants in parallel to raising the national flag to the previous South Yemen state in a signal of their full support for South independence from North.

Aden Demands Electricity After 31 Years of the "Unity" Declaration

The constant power-outage, lack of service and salary delay is frustrating, said angry protestors to "South24", and they encourage the states of the Arab Coalition to pressure the newly formed parity government to implement economic reforms. 

«The city's public services became terrible. Electricity and power are almost absent, and the people suffer the results of the economic situation, which is becoming on the verge of collapsing,” said the protest's spokesperson, Mohammed Anwar to south24.

He also stressed “the importance of all parties involved to take responsibility towards the people.”

Aden residents and other Southern governorates - whether it was in the hands of the STC or Hadi's forces - have been complaining of economic deterioration, raising prices and power outage. Some protestors even accused the Saudi-led Coalition of "standing by" and spectating the nation which was torn apart by the 6 years of the ongoing war. 

"We came to the Arab Coalition headquarter in the capital city, Aden because we know that the solution in the hands of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since it sponsors the Riyadh Agreement," said Ahmed Saeed Karamah, Adeni activist. "It is authorized by the international Security Council and with deep regret we were not expecting to reach where we are today in this tragic situation."


Participants spoke to "South24" correspondent in Aden during the demonstration in front of the Coalition headquarter in Aden, on Friday, Mai 21.

Commenting on salary and service demands to the Coalition, Karamah saw in his talk to "South24" that "this is a right. Given the war, the freezing economic wheel as well for stopping the payment of revenues to the central bank are considered fundamental reasons, therefor the Coalition is forced by international laws and norms to stand with us and help according to the international authorization".

Yemen is bearing witness to the world's worst humanitarian crisis with 80% of the population (24.1 million people) need some forms of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

Disengagement and Marginalized Unity

On political levels, STC's president, Aidros Al-Zubaidi delivered a speech for the 27th anniversary of the “Disengagement Declaration” made on May 21, 1994. The STC will continue efforts of retrieving the Southern state. [1]

In an aired statement late Thursday, he also affirmed the necessity of initiating a comprehensive political process as well for respecting international resolutions especially the UN Security Council Resolution 924 and 931 for the year 1994. 

Prominent journalist, Salah Al-Saqldi saw in Al-Zubaidi's speech "honesty, and affirmed on the insistence of the STC to move forward in achieving the Southern revolution goals represented in achieving the end goal of the Southern cause and retrieving the Southern state". 

"Success of the STC in promoting the Southern cause and gain international and regional recognition is opposed by a dangerous deterioration in services and living standards by elite forces under the so-called legitimate government that takes every opportunity for a political blackmail without any consideration to the moral and humanitarian perspective,” added Al-Saqldi to "South24".

According to the Yemeni president residing in Saudi Arabia, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, "Yemen unity is a noble purpose that received its share tearing and smashes". He also saw during his 22nd May anniversary speech, broadcasted by Saba news agency, that the "federal state project establish for a more secure and stable future."  

South Yemen was an independent state before the unity with North Yemen in May 1990.

Yemen unity between North and South ended in the war of 1994 after four years of constant attempt to maintain it when the Northern side lead a coup that sparked a bloody war ended in the control of North Yemeni forces on the entire South Yemeni soil, its partner in unity known as "South Yemen" or the "People's Republic of Yemen". 

Yemen unity between North and South ended in the war of 1994 after four years of constant attempt to maintain it. The Northern side lead a coup that sparked a bloody war ended in the control of North Yemeni forces on the entire South Yemeni soil, its partner in unity known as "South Yemen" or the "People's Republic of Yemen". [2]

Al-Zubaidi's Messages

STC's president stressed out that the economic collapse and service deteriorating is an intentional act, and it is considered an "extension of the practices by the occupational forces seeking to smash the spirit of Southerners and to break their will as well for pushing them to back from their national project", in a signal for government bodies, particularly, the Yemeni presidency.

The STC by participating in the parity government has given the services particularly, water and electricity a top priority, he added, pointing out that all commitments for electricity has yet to be complete and the disruption process has continued.

In context, said the political analysis and Yemen affairs researcher, Hussam Radman to South24 that "Al-Zubaidi's statements included two sets of critical messages, the first is in confronting the Southern public in the unity anniversary and the disengagement anniversary: The Council will work with all means to balance between its new position in power after Riyadh Agreement and its political commitment towards the citizens suffering and this is considered a major challenge the STC facing at the meantime".


A part of the demonstration in front of the Coalition headquarter in Aden, on Friday, Mai 21. (south24)

While the second set of messages according to Radman was that Al-Zubaidi issued to the "political class as well for the Arab Coalition an invitation to the government to return [to Aden] and ensured the importance of resuming the Riyadh Agreement".

"This invitation was positively echoed at the Prime Minister which sources pointed out that he issued an administrative circular to his cabinets to return to Aden," he added.

Informed sources briefed "South24" earlier that Maeen's government is willing to return to Aden and that ministers residing outside Aden have received orders to do so. 

The STC has signalled that he is capable of taking a variety of options and administrative measures to reform service conditions and called the parity government to not take any other governorate as a base and strict out the importance for carrying their responsibilities as well for them to stop their attempts in “disrupting” the Riyadh Agreement.

Regardless of that, some protestors see the necessity for the STC to take responsibility and perform the required administrative actions in the reality abandoned by the government and to stand with the people of Aden whose living in miserable conditions.

The STC had signed the "Riyadh Agreement" with the government of Hadi back in November 2019, which led to the formation of the parity government between North and South which, including Southern Security Forces in the state's official enrollments, the return of Yemeni forces back to its position before its arriving at Shabwah and Abyan in August 2019 and to take reform measurements in the economic sector.

- South24 Center for News and Studies
- Image: A part of the demonstration in front of the Coalition headquarter in Aden, on Friday, Mai 21. (south24)

Aden South Yemen Saudia Arabia Arab coalition Yemen Southern Transitional Council