Memorandum of Agreed Points Relating to Independence for South Arabia, (The People’s Republic of Southern Yemen) By Hirak Leaders in UAE

The people of South Arabia has, and is still, struggling peacefully for liberation, independence and the establishment of its own national federal sovereign state on its territory with its internationally recognized boundaries before the 22nd May 1990; the people of South Arabia achieved its will on the 30th November 1967 from the British colonization, which ruled the country for 129 years, and established its state on its national territory.
According to the terms of the first and second articles of the Memorandum of Agreed Points Relating to Independence for South Arabia, (The People’s Republic of Southern Yemen), state the following:
1. South Arabia shall become independent on 30th November 1967 (this day shall be referred to as the Independence Day).
2. On the Independence Day a sovereign state to be known as the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen (P.R.S.Y.) would be established by a formal act on the part of the National Front for the Liberation of Southern Yemen as representatives of the peoples of the territory of the Republic and a government of the Republic would be formed.
The new republic – People’s Republic of Southern Yemen – joined the international community and was recognized by many countries, in the forefront the Arab and Industrial states. The republic established diplomatic, consular, commercial and other relations with the states. It joined many global and regional organizations, particularly the United Nations and its specialized agencies. By the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. A/RES/2310(XXII) dated on the 14th December 1967, the republic became a member of this universal international organization. On the 12th December, 1967, it also joined the League of Arab States, then the Organization of Islamic Conference (The Organization of Islamic Cooperation – OIC) and others. On the 1st December, 1970, the name of the republic was changed to the “People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen” (PDRY).
The world has seen by the end of the 1980-s and the end of 1990-s of the twentieth century fundamental changes. Announced as a step toward a broad Arab unity the conditions were created to achieve unity between the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and The Arab Republic of Yemen that was supposed to serve the interests of the two peoples in both republics. The Aden Agreement was concluded on the 30th November, 1989, in regard to the completion of unity on 30th November, 1990. Then, in April, 1990, both parties agreed upon its completion on 22nd May, 1990. Unity took place without referring to the two peoples in both states to seek their opinion by referendum before establishing the unified state.
The basic and stated justification for the Aden Agreement 1989 regarding the completion of unity was that Yemen originally was unified and, therefore, it has to be reunited. This justification is not part of history, where the Southern Arabia territory, never witnessed, before and after Islam the birth of an entity called Yemen and this entity never existed there. However, the world knew and dealt with this name “Yemen” in modern history, since the reign of Imam Yahya bin Hameeduddin, following the end of the First World War and the withdrawal of Turkey. Then, the name of the Yemeni Mutwakilite Kingdom was attached only to that part which was later on known as the Arab Republic of Yemen. South Arabia was not part of that state, which carried the name of Yemen as a state for the first time in history.
Among the facts that became part of history the Agreement on the proclamation of the Republic of Yemen and arrangements for the transitional period that was concluded between the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and the Arab Republic of Yemen peacefully. This fact was deemed harmonious to the idea to salvage both peoples in the two countries from the scourge of wars that were fought in 1972 and 1979. For that, was the expression of renouncing the war as a means to achieve unity between the peoples of these two states.
The most prominent trend of the proclamation of the one state on the ruins of the two states is the realization of interest of both peoples in the two republics, considering it the aim that was seeking to achieve.
The interest, within the scope of this relationship, is mutual. It was intended to achieve the benefit for both parties to the agreement. This was the understanding of the South – People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen . However, the other party to the agreement, the tribal military Northern – Arab Republic of Yemen – had a different understanding altogether. It considered that this agreement represents the return of the “branch” to its “origin” as expressed by one of the leaders of that military-tribal regime Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hussein Alahmar, Sheikh of Hashid tribe, the speaker of the Parliament then, and the head of the Yemeni Islah Party, who said in a session on the 25th April, 1994, that unity, when it took place in May 1990 “has brought things to normalcy; the branch has rejoined the origin, the part has returned to the whole and the astray son has returned to his legitimate father . . . since the creation of unity, the lost branch is trying to be given the same status and rights of the origin, which we do not and cannot accept”.
This points to the deeply rooted view among many of our brothers in Yemen, and shows that the concluded agreement on the proclamation of the Republic of Yemen and arrangements for the transitional period was no other than a means leading to the end. In other words, the unity was merely meant to be an act of annexing/appending and imposing a style adopted away from law and order in the north whose system relied on loyalty to persons and tribes as well as on corrupts and the making of corruption and on intimidating and alluring the opponents and spending the public funds without accountability. Therefore, this contradicts the essence of the unity agreement and it is, at the same time, a violation of the contemporary international law. It is clear that the interests were not common because each party had a different understanding of the phrase ‘mutual interests’.
Based on this, the people’s interest in light of the unity agreement necessitates the importance of explaining and reasoning the validity or non-validity of what was agreed on, i.e., the perception of the mutual interest.
The People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) had chosen to move in this direction only to achieve the security and stability as well as realize the aspired social and economic development.
The above mentioned agreement was, in this case, a logical result pursuant to what its equal parties have decided. This was in furtherance of the principle of renunciation of the war and the use of force or threat to use force in order to achieve unity; and this is the law of the present time.
One year after the conclusion of the agreement on the proclamation of the Republic of Yemen and arrangements for the transitional period, a referendum was held on the constitution of the Republic of Yemen during 15 – 16 May, 1991, with a note indicating that the referendum on the constitution is a referendum on the unity. That was a failed attempt, with aim of having legitimacy after the execution of unity while heading for a random direction that led to catastrophic results.
During a short time after signing off on that agreement, the southern people came to know of any actual presence of the state, which was known as the Arab Republic of Yemen, where things had been run for a long time with the same dominant approach: the “personal” administration and the individual ruler. The latter extended and spread the same approach since the proclamation of the Republic of Yemen to administer the South.
The significant political disputes among the ruling parties in Sana’a revealed that the real contradictions between the two countries and their peoples. Such disputes escalated among those parties, while the Southerners tried to deal with the situation by peaceful means through dialogues, discussions, mediations…etc. However, the leadership in Sana’a considered the military force as the only way out of the crisis. Upon the signature on the “Document of Pledge and Accord” in February 1994, in Amman, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Sana’a regime resorted to force in order to end the political dispute for its interest. The speech of the head of the regime at that time, Ali Abdulla Saleh, which he delivered on April 27th, 1994, in Al-Sabeen Square in Sana’a was considered as a war speech as he said: “…there are no ways other than the unification or death…”. As a result, the southern military brigades which were positioned in the northern Yemeni governorates (North) were destroyed.
An all-out war broke out on 4th May, 1994, which was launched by Sana’a regime on the entire southern territory. Religious Fatwas from Sana’a were issued under the name of religion which justified the “killing of civilians including women, the elderly and children”. These religious Fatwas were publicly broadcasted in their media.
Following the Yemen aggression on the South, the latter announced on the 21st May, 1994, the establishment of Democratic Republic of Yemen.
The statement issued by the Foreign Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held in Abha – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the 4 – 5 June, 1994, provides the following:
“Based on the fact that unity is a demand by the Arab nation, the GCC has welcomed the Yemeni unification by consensus of the two independent Yemeni states, the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, in May 1990. Therefore, the continuance of this unification can only exist by the consensus of both parties. Through the reality that one party declared its will to go back to the former status and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Yemen, the two parties can deal with the situation by peaceful means only”.
On July 7th, 1994, a full invasion of the southern territory took place accompanied by an unprecedented plundering and looting of which the civilized world had never seen in the twentieth century.
The war broke down the elements of unity, which proclaimed peacefully. The war, in fact, eliminated this unity especially when the warfare were directed against the people of South Arabia – the other party in the agreement on the proclamation of the Republic of Yemen that dissolved their state – People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen – to establish a single state, the Republic of Yemen. Thus, the war had ended the unity in effect, and turned the south into an occupied territory.
The aim of Sana’a regime behind the declaration of war against the people of South Arabia was to terminate the presence of the other party in the unity – the southern people, then to eliminate the project state of law and order, which was hoped to be established especially after signing the “Document of Pledge and Accord”; some of the national force on the dialogue committee had greatly exerted the best efforts to prevent the eruption of war and called for the continuation of dialogue. So, the militarist and tribal regime in Sana’a had planted the seeds of division instead of executing the process of unification; it also opened the doors to the use of intimidation. Such a fact will remain as an obstacle to unifying the people, and this falls on the shoulders of the makers and perpetrators of such heinous crime; it was a crime of planning and waging an aggressive war against the South Arabian people— the other party to the agreement on the proclamation of the Republic of Yemen and arrangements for the transitional period, apart from the practices of occupation that came following the aggressive war and have continued up to the present time.
The United Nations Security Council intervened during the 1994 war against the South and issued two resolutions, No. 924(1994) and 931(1994), under the title “the Situation in Yemen”. The resolutions stressed a cease-fire and the political differences cannot be resolved through the use of force and demanded the resumption of dialogue among the conflicting parties. However, the Sana’a regime did not abide by the resolutions and its commitments to the international community which were stated on July 7th, 1994, in a letter by its Prime Minister to the United Nations Secretary General. Then, the implementation of the “Document of Pledge and Accord” by peaceful means was obstructed and the South was dominated by force making it a full-fledged occupation. During and after the war, the socioeconomic infrastructure was systematically destroyed. The occupation authorities, with various means, prevented any kind of development in these fields.
The Sana’a authorities and the armed forces had persisted in their repression and crackdown on the southern people as well as in the forcing the people out of their homes and usurping their public and private properties, while disregarding all attempts calling for rights and freedoms. The situation had become a real colonization as admitted on TV by a key figure of the former regime, who declared verbatim that the situation in the South is colonization.
Six months after the occupation of the South, the United Nations Security Council adopted the Secretary General’s report presented in the 49th Session which included, among other things, the “Situation in Yemen”, indicated that:
“The United Nations Security Council Resolutions No. 924(1994) and No. 931(1994) were overlooked. Cessation of hostilities in itself will not result in a permanent solution for the roots of the problems. . . I am ready to continue to use the good offices to reach a reconciliation in Yemen”.
Despite the Sana’a regime commitments, it went in a different direction on the southern issue after it imposed its control by force and turned the situation into a fully-structured colonization as the regime did the following:
• Divide the South into military zones ruled by a military commander, and deployed 54 brigades consisting of land, naval and air forces, in addition to the Central Security (currently the Special Security) forces were positioned in all the governorates and cities of the South. All personnel of those military forces were from Yemen, which subjected the south to an actual military occupation.
• Tens of thousands of military personnel and civil service employees from the south were unfairly dismissed or forced to retire; it was flagrant violation of the international Declaration of Human Rights specified in the constitution of the Republic of Yemen and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Culture Rights, to which the Republic of Yemen is a party.
• Appropriating the public estates in the south and giving them to influentials, in addition to giving the public farms to officials and influentials and dismissing the workers.
• Continuing murders, arrests and forced disappearance up to the present day; thousands have been killed – and this is a verified information, while thousands others have been wounded and forcibly disappeared as well.
• Continuing the direct military rule along with rob and plunder.
• Giving privileges in the field of oil exploration to influentials and those close to the regime in Sana’a after the summer of 1994 war.
• Imposing royalties on the companies working in the oil sector which are collected by Yemeni military commanders under their power centers in Sana’a under the name of “protection” which are deducted from the State share of the partnership of the exploration companies.
• Appropriating the public and private real estates in the South.
• Discrimination and absence of equal citizenship.
Under Yemeni occupation of the South, the Sana’a authorities resorted to oppression and discrimination against the South Arabian people.
The so-called “National Dialogue Conference” document which was adopted and issued on January 25th, 2014, asserted on page 32 that:
(… the wrong and absurd practices which took place in the last period and the takfiri fatwas created a conviction among a large number of southerners that the peaceful unification is undermined and that their status within a unified country is politically, economically and socially destroyed…).
The southern people have, since the first moments of the invasion of their land, expressed their rejection of such mode, especially when they agreed of their own free will on the unity with the other party – the Arab Republic of Yemen.
Since then, the cities and other regions in the South have seen floods of peaceful protesting rallies which culminated on 7th July ,2007, with the declaration of the Southern Peaceful Movement based in its capital, Aden, which advocates for the liberation and independence of the occupied South Arabia, as well as the renunciation of violence and terrorism through unprecedented peaceful marches and civil disobedience. This movement also advocates for peaceful dialogue on equal terms between the representatives of the South Arabian people and representatives of Yemen in order to end the occupation and achieve independence, in addition to building a national democratic federal state on the entire territory of South Arabia; this is a right recognized by all conventions and the contemporary international law.
The Sana’a regime disregarded all legitimate demands of the peaceful Southern movement and confronted this movement with murder, repression and arrests on top of chasing and forced disappearances. And in spite of all this, the southern peaceful movement and its peaceful popular revolution remained distant from extremism and violence, and will remain so. Moreover, the peacefulness of our people’s movement is a strategic non-changeable option; our people – through those peaceful events – have demonstrated legendary will and determination in order to achieve the goal of liberation and independence.
With all possible ways, we tried to no avail over a quarter of a century, to keep any form of unity so that we don’t reach the destruction we see today and the hatred between the two brotherly neighborly peoples. We proposed multiple projects; a local governance system with broad powers and the compound federal state with several regions reaching a federation of two regions followed by a referendum held by the South Arabian people. In each project, we were met with procrastination and suppression until we have reached a situation, in which the world has witnessed that the continuation of any form of unity between the brotherly Yemen and South Arabia will complicate, worsen and bring down the stability – and this is what we are witnessing nowadays. Therefore, due to the collapse of all institutions in Yemen and the south, there is no solution, but to declare the creation of two states: Yemen and South Arabia, and to build seemly relations that lead to realizing the common interests of both neighboring peoples as well as the security, stability and development in both countries, the region and the world.
The Yemeni authorities and political parties had uniformly and vigorously made great efforts, trying to break up the forces of the southern revolution, and forging it – sometimes with suppression and with temptation at times. But all these ways did not help them stop the march of the southern revolution that culminated in the declaration of a wide spectrum of political, activist and popular forces on 25 January, 2015 under the framework of the Interim National Authority for South liberation and independence (The Authority). Our demand for the independence of South Arabia as well as the right to achieve self-determination and preserve the South Arabian identity was not a mere slogan of the southern political and activist forces; rather it was a popular will demonstrated by millions of peaceful marches along with the southern people’s massive boycott of Yemen’s absurd elections. Currently, it has been demonstrated, simply, by the southern legendary resistance against the occupation forces led by the Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against our people in the South Arabia.
Since the Southern question, in fact, is the question of the people of South Arabia, who are and have always been struggling peacefully for liberation and independence as well as for establishing their own national, federal and fully sovereign state on the home territory with the borders that have been internationally recognized before 22 May 1990, it is important to act politically toward the international effective structures at the global and regional levels to spread out the Southern question. In Cairo, Egypt, political moves were made in November, 2012, where meetings with the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, were held. Meanwhile, the Southern question was put forth in a clear and transparent manner; the envoy has expressed his readiness to back a south-south meeting and that he will mention, for the first time, something about the Southern question – it was mentioned for the first time in that report submitted to the UNSC, after he submitted 14 reports, which did not indicate any of the Southern question.
On 18 December, 2012, a meeting was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, upon an invitation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-general, Abdulatif bin Rashed al-Zayyani. The meeting was attended by some 60 southern figures belonging to different factions. The most important of that meeting was the agreement on a joint memorandum that confirms one goal: “liberation, independence and building a southern federal state pursuant to the international standards”. It was unprecedented achievement. The memo has called on the GCC states to sponsor a special initiative to solve the Southern question.
On 9 March, 2013, an official meeting was held with the UN special envoy, Mr. Jamal Benomar in Dubai, UAE. Meanwhile, the points, which were put forth during the Riyadh meeting, were confirmed: a comprehensive meeting to be held with Gulf and international support. A joint statement was issued; this was an unprecedented achievement, being a joint statement issued by a representative of the international community and southern figures. The statement confirmed that the way of the Southern Movement is the peaceful act; it started peacefully will continue as a peaceful movement. The statement also confirmed that dialogue is the way to resolving the Southern question and that the comprehensive meeting shall be held under the auspices of the International and Gulf.
On 29 March, 2013, another meeting was held with the UN special envoy, Jamal Benomar. Meanwhile, the position of the South Arabian people was confirmed. In his report to the United Nations Security Council in April, 2013, the envoy explained the Southern question in unprecedented way, and supported his report with pictures of the southern events. However, the report did not include any solution that meets the popular will of our people – the South Arabian people.
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The people in South Arabia have enjoyed, throughout history, a distinctive geographic location in this part of the world. South Arabia overlooks the Strait of Bab al-Mandab which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. History books narrate, when tackling the old ages, the story of the South Arabia Kingdoms. These books point out that those southern kingdoms were “people of civilization and ruled states that are on equal footing with their contemporaries in Assyria, phoenician, Egypt and Persia … “. [ Jurji Zidan, Arabs before Islam, Volume One, Second edition, AlHilal Press, Egypt 1922, p.135 ].
The South Arabia’s Kingdoms took advantage of this unique location; the South Arabians played an active role in trading between east and west particularly in the trade of frankincense and myrrh that were key components of the frankincense trade. There was not a single temple or a house of rich people in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Jerusalem and Rome that did not request this precious material to satisfy their lords. Demand for frankincense spiked constantly from Europe to Asia. The Kingdoms of South Arabia became an integral part of the global economy with a network of maritime transport to India, the Mediterranean Sea, the Silk route* and the coasts of east Africa.
*[Middle East Institute. The Story of Frankincense. www.mei.edu/sqcc/frankincense]
The Orientalists were the first to reveal the status of South Arabia and its kingdoms in the ancient times, starting from the second half of the eighteenth century through archaeological missions. The monuments, inscriptions and coins had revealed the roles of the main South Arabian kingdoms, such as Osan, Qataban and Hadhramaut in the ancient world.
Today, we affirm that the South Arabian people have the aptitude that makes the port of Aden, which had been in the recent past – the past century – one of the biggest busiest ports in the world. South Arabia can also be a hub for regional and global investments.
Aden will play a pivotal role not only in the fight against the phenomena of terrorism but also in eradicating it along with the piracy, human trafficking as well as arms and drugs smuggling, among others.
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The people of South Arabia have set the finest example of their peaceful struggle to liberate their land, and have been able to set another example that embodies their determination to defend their land against the consolidation of occupation through this second invasion. They also continue to offer more sacrifices for the sake of liberation, independence and for building their own state. Therefore, the South Arabian people expect that the free world would endorse, support their struggle and stand by them to enforce their will for liberation, independence and an independent national state.
The crisis of Lahej, Aden, Dhala,Abyan and Shabwa became stricken cities by all standards and the unprecedented devastation has happened to these cities; at the same time the humanitarian situation, which has not experienced by our people in its history of siege, being starved, denial of access to treatment and food, the spread of epidemics in some cities of the South, particularly in Aden and Lahej. The deadly diseases such as dengue fever, typhoid, and malaria that threaten to a real catastrophe. All this happens as a result of this destructive invasion that prevents even the United Nations Relief ships from dropping off its cargo in Aden, while the international community stands as a spectator about all those crimes even a statement of condemnation was not heard from it against the perpetrators. All of this take place to break the will of our people and struggle to achieve its right to free life, independence on its land and build its own state. Our people proved its determination to win at all costs its right.
The second current war against the south, waged by the Houthi militia – Ansarullah – and the troops loyal to the former president Ali Abdulla Saleh, the same forces that led the 1994 war against the South, aimed to consolidate the unity which was imposed by the military force and rejected by the people of South Arabia. This was admitted by Ali Abdulla Saleh in a recent TV interview. It is a war waged today with the support of Iran.
Today, we emphasize that the national demands of the people of South Arabia have moved to a new phase after the Republican Guards, the Central Security forces along with the Yemeni army and the Houthi militias – Ansarullah – waged a full-scale war on the south using various heavy and light weaponry since February 2015. Our people, along with the political forces, southern movement and other segments in the south, had no choice but to adopt armed resistance in an act of self-defense. The invasion led to the killing and wounding of very large numbers that could not be counted as yet. It also led to massive destruction of everything in the south, and the displacement of more than half of the southern population; in several cities, people suffered a crippling blockade, extreme and persisting deprivation of the very basic needs such as water, food, medicine, fuel and safety.
We do not see any prospects of security and stability under the Yemeni occupation of South Arabia. Our people fought it peacefully without shields and offered martyrs as a result of the deadly crackdown of the Yemeni occupation. Today, and from the first moment of the new Yemeni invasion, the honorable southern resistance has fought the attack with very little potentials and lost thousands of people as martyrs, injured or captives. Cities and villages have been destroyed by heavy weaponry turning most areas into disaster-hit lands deprived of all means of life including food, medicine and public services like water and electricity.
Needless to say that if it wasn’t for the stance and support of the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the tragedy would have been even greater, rather most serious, and the genocide would have been more extensive. All of this unprecedented killing, arson, destruction and humanitarian tragedies are the fruit of this imposed unity on the people of South Arabia. Do not you see that all of this can only be done by barbaric and savage forces of occupation and have no connection whatsoever to the people they kill, burn their residences and destroy their land?!
Our people in South Arabia emphasize, today, its determination to exercise its legitimate right to liberation, independence and establish the new southern independent, federal and sovereign state. The sequence of events proved that any form of continued unity between South Arabia and Yemen has become impossible. It is indeed impossible after all these diabolical acts in the lead arson, murder and destruction for our people to accept co-existence with the killers of its sons, women, elderlies and destroyers of cities. Imposing this on our people will be a major hindrance preventing any security, stability and development in the region. Independence of the South and building two states – Yemen and South Arabia – is the way to give southerners a sense of recognized will. Their rage will fade away and the bridges of mutual interests will replace the wall of hatred and conflicts.
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With all these terrible events, which befell on the people of South Arabia over a quarter of a century, it’s time to put a definitive end to the human tragedy that continue to haunt the peaceful southern people, who love nothing but freedom, especially when the United Nations Charter provides for the right of peoples to enforce their will.
The right of self-determination, today, is deemed to be an integral part of the contemporary international law, and this right is one of the binding rules of international law. It also comes as a guarantee for all peoples yearning for freedom and independence.
The United Nations General Assembly realized the importance of the principle of self-determination of the peoples and , therefore, adopted several resolutions including resolution A/RES/637(VII) dated 16 December 1952, which states:
“the right of the peoples and nations to self-determination is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights.”
And
“every Member of the United Nations, in conformity with the Charter, should respect the maintenance of the right of self-determination in other States.”
The General Assembly recommends that:
1. “The States Members of the United Nations shall uphold the principle of self- determination of all peoples and nations.”
This principle is established in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in paragraph 1 of Article 1 of both covenants which states:
“1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”.
The United Nations documents of these two Covenants highlight that the Republic of Yemen a state party to both covenants since the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen joined them on the 9 February 1987, for it was a United Nations member. This confirms that the people of the South Arabia have the full right to self-determination, the right to restore their freedom and reinstate themselves in the international community to establish an independent national state with full sovereignty away from the hegemony, arrogance, chaos and randomness as well as the absence of law and order, underdevelopment and looting, which continue to take place until today.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted on the 24th October 1970 Resolution No. A/RES/2625 on the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, which affirmed the principle of equal rights and self -determination of peoples in the declaration which provides:
“By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and every State has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter.”
And
“Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self- determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and to receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.”
The United Nations General Assembly accentuated in the Declaration that:
“The principles of the Charter which embodied in this Declaration constitute basic principles of international law, and consequently appeals to all States to be guided by these principles in their international conduct and to develop their mutual relations on the basis of the strict observance of these principles.”
The right to self-determination is one the basic rights in contemporary international law. This right is a fundamental gateway of the peoples to freedom. The United Nations General Assembly, in its Resolution No. A/RES/51/84 dated 28 February 1997, affirmed that the universal realization of the right of all peoples to self-determination “is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights and for the preservation and promotion of such rights”.
Our people in South Arabia have made substantial sacrifice for the liberation, independence and the establishment of its national, federal, democratic, sovereign state on its entire national territory. The strength of the will of our people, its movement and revolution was manifested in the peacefulness of its revolutionary movement.
It is time for the people of the South Arabia to exercise their right to self-determination through the following immediate steps.
We call for:
1. International and regional forces to end the Yemeni occupation of our country and protect our people from invaders.
2. Setting up an interim local administration under Arab and international supervision, known as the Transitional Administration for a period of time not exceeding 12 months.
3. Releasing all political prisoners and southern resistance men, along with those who were sentenced to prison for political activities or any activity related to civil society organizations.
4. Initiating the South Arabian people exercise their right to self-determination under the auspices of the international and regional community to determine their future and choose the system of its independent state according to their free will and by the peaceful, democratic means that is recognized internationally as well as stated in the internal legislations of various countries in the world — free, direct referendum.
We believe that the negotiation/dialogue is the ultimate key to achieving the goals of our people for liberation and independence.
An imposed unity is certainly unacceptable, and its continuation deepens what had befallen the people.
It is meaningless to insist on the continuation of this structural shape known as “unity” on fragmented souls. Its continuation becomes destructive to the possibility of the existence of any security, stability and development. The mercy killing of this ailing non-viable structure will have a substantial effect in giving life to cordial relations between the two people. Reviving cordiality will restore co-existence and the mutual benefits between the two brotherly nations and will heal the traumas of fragmented souls. Joint interests are vast and can be developed, fostered and revived. There is no other cure to what happened during the last two decades except that. Any localized temporary treatment will not have any effect with the exception of the effect of putting salt on the wound or adding fuel to the fire.
We think that if both parties are still convinced – Yemen and the South Arabia – with recovering disposition as something more important and effective for all than to insist on an imposed and rejected unity, then the situation would be hanging in a vacuum or on a non-loving ground and is, therefore, more useful to resort to negotiation/dialogue as well as understanding and cooperation under regional and international auspices.
It is important to conduct a negotiation/dialogue for a final peaceful solution to the Southern Question in order to achieve the will of the people of South Arabia and meet their legitimate aspirations, independence and nation-building, in accordance with the following:
Foundations, controls and references:
* To be conducted between two parties:
– Yemeni: to be selected by the Yemeni parliament and shall be authorized to take decisions.
– Southerner: adopting the goals of the South Arabia people’s movement for liberation, independence and building the state of South Arabia.
* It shall take place under regional, international and global auspices and guarantees.
* Negotiation/dialogue shall be in a neutral venue ( such as Gulf Cooperation Council).
* The governing references between the interlocutors/negotiators of the two parties shall be the United Nations Charter (Article 1, paragraph 2), the contemporary international law and the will of the people of South Arabia, expressed by millions of Southerners in its mass revolutionary events.
* Forming of a joint working group to put a schedule program not later than six months to finalize the issues of the state building of South Arabia.
The scheduled program shall include the following arrangements:
• Resolving the issue of the currency – Restoring the Southern civil and juristic registers and documents, which have been transferred to Sana’a. – Restoring the premises of the embassies and other properties belonging to the south. – Reorganizing the process of the national grid; rearranging the process of returning the telecoms and the country code of the south. – Different utilities related to the South. – Organizing the South army officers and soldiers in military units and locating them in the South. This process would be determined by the South. Reinstating the forcibly retired personnel and those who were excluded to these units and organize armament procedures. This applies also to the internal security forces. The South shall make appointments for different military and security leaders in different branches of armed forces and security. – Making arrangements for the public employees, their institutions and transfers. Accommodate all those who were unfairly dismissed or forcibly retired before retirement age. – Rearranging the joint projects of oil and gas between the two countries, located on Marib-Shabwa borders. – Setting up regulations to maintain the legitimate interests of the citizens of the two states in both of them. – Withdrawing the Yemeni forces from the south and handing over the military camps with their assets in accordance with the military standards and under the supervision of the southern military and political leadership along with the regional and international side. – Foreign debts, reserves, assets and currencies … etc.
• The same procedures apply to the civil institutions and agencies.
• The international treaties and all that concerns the south.
• Arrangements for future mutual relations between the two countries based on the exchange of interests.
• Customs between the two States.
• All registers and the necessities of the South shall be handed over to the Southern party.
• The separation of the General Authority for Insurances and Pensions and the South’s share of its possessions.
• The databases of workforce and operational costs of all government facilities in the South and affiliated institutions.
• Recognizing the state of South Arabia, and the establishment of diplomatic and consular relations.
• Our country shall regain its seat in the League of Arab States, the United Nations, the specialized International and regional Organizations.
• All other details shall be agreed upon.
• The agreement on the independence of the South shall be signed under the guarantee of regional and international parties who will be required to provide assistance as well as technical expertise to facilitate the safe and smooth transition to a two-states situation.
In our opinion, this is the best mechanism, for all the parties, to demolish the lack of affection and to heal the crack propagation and fractures in the souls of the southerners at the lowest cost.
Negotiation/dialogue shall take place between two parties; the Yemeni party and the Southern party. The Southern party shall be the party adopting the Southern Question, the goals of our peaceful revolution in the liberation, independence and the establishment of a federal and democratic Southern state. Despite our knowledge that some of our southern brothers do not agree with us in this approach but we do respect their opinions and we acknowledge their right as Southerners.
However, the representation of the Southern Question shall be for those who adopt its goals and approach. In all similar cases, it never happened that those who discussed or negotiated a certain issue are others than those who adopt its aims. In Sudan, for example, the South Sudan delegation had in it only those who adopted the question of South Sudan and its right to establish its state while other leaders from South Sudan who were promoting solutions within the same unified Sudanese state were represented in the delegation of Sudan because they were promoting the one-state solution in their approach. In all similar cases in history, the situation was like that. Those who represent our peaceful revolutionary movement shall be only those who adopt its goals for the liberation, independence and the establishment of its independent federal democratic state.
Therefore, the negotiation/dialogue we accept, that is in accordance with the following controls and references:
1. It shall take place between two parties; a Southerner party adopting the goals of our peaceful revolutionary movement, and the other party adopting solutions within a framework of a single state of Yemen.
2. The Yemeni party shall be elected by the existing Parliament of Yemen by consensus and the delegation shall be authorized to take decisions.
3. The time frame for negotiation/dialogue shall not exceed 3 months.
4. Negotiation/dialogue shall take place in a neutral location.
5. It shall take place under regional and international auspices.
6. The governing reference for negotiators/interlocutors shall be the United Nations Charter, Article 1, paragraph 2, contemporary international law, and the will of the people of South Arabia expressed, and still is, by millions of southerners in its mass revolutionary events.
If our brothers chose not to respond to such a right and justice, and to restoring the bonds of affection, as well as the right of the southern people to build an independent state, the revolutionary struggle of our people and their escalation by all means, will continue determinedly until the South Arabian goals of liberation, independence and state-building have been realized. The obstructionist party shall bear full responsibility for its intransigence and insistence on imposing a rejected unity, which is rejected by the force of occupation that deepens the division and rejects the hand of our people, outreaching to build a special relationship based on friendship, mutual respect and common interests between our brothers in the two nations. The party, which obstructs that, does threaten the factors of building security, stability and sustainable development in the two countries and the region.
We call upon our brothers the wise and educated people in the State of Yemen to support this invitation. We also call upon our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and other friends (G10+4) to stand with the voice of reason, which is consistent with all international, human and democratic legislations. We demand and struggle for a legitimate right with legitimate means, which leads to realize security, stability and sustainable development in both countries and in the region. It will enable us to achieve the joint interests and reciprocal benefits with the region and the world. This insistence of our brothers in Yemen in imposing a unity that is not accepted by the people of the South is something will not succeed. It will just result in more tensions and more harmful interventions to all parties. The suppression of the will of the people of the South will only result in more determination from its side to gain liberation, independent and building of its state and its right in a free life of dignity.
President Ali Salem AlbidhAbdulrahman Ali bin Mohammed Aljifri
Chairman of the Southern National Organization for Libration and Independence (Alhy’ah)
President of Free South Arabian League Party (ALRABITAH)
Memorandum of Agreed Points Relating to Independence for South Arabia, (The People’s Republic of Southern Yemen) By Hirak Leaders in UAE Memorandum of Agreed Points Relating to Independence for South Arabia, (The People’s Republic of Southern Yemen) By Hirak Leaders in UAE Reviewed by S on 7:57:00 AM Rating: 5
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