Is Khaled Al-Abbadi right? Or are southern leaders more willing?

Crises and the Formation of Leadership in South Yemen

When I recently met with the director of the Special Envoy to Yemen, he told me the biggest challenge with the Southern issue was finding a party to negotiate with.

The truth is that a unified political leadership will only emerge from a political crisis in the South. Institutions will not just appear out of thin air and we can't just create a unified leadership like so many of in our nation are calling for. What we've done in the last 9 years won't work anymore in the next 9 years. Leaders and institutions will emerge out of crisis. This is just like how a security crisis in the South created leaders in security and institutions like the resistance. Or, how the current economic crisis is going to create economic institutions and leadership; a new central bank will be created in the South with, I imagine, another Southern bank governor. But what kind of "political crisis" would force the South to form a unified, political leadership?

The kind of political crisis is one where the South has no choice but to cut off all ties to the "legitimacy" government in Riyadh. What would trigger such a thing, and isn't that what's already going on? That's not what's going on in any way, nor is it something that the "street" can easily settle. For starters, every "leader" in the South was appointed by President Hadi, so obeying them is viewed like obeying the Riyadh based government, at least that's how it looks to foreigners. They meet foreigners under Hadi's government in Riyadh's approval, they rely on funding and support that is coordinated by the Hadi government. The connection is weak but it's there, and for the most part, even superficially, the legitimacy government is the only means that foreigners can deal with the South. But what kind of crisis would force us to cut off Riyadh based "legitimacy"? What would force us to ignore them entirely, create our own committee to appoint governors and military commanders, to manage money and arrange security, and most importantly to deal with foreign affairs?

I explained to him the fact that the Southern Movement was a grass roots movement which don't have a united leadership, or that the North Yemeni regime worked for the past 2 decades to destroy any and all representative institutions for the South. There was no democracy in the country and the last parliamentary "election" was in 2003. He also verified what we all suspect, that every southerner in the Riyadh based "legitimate" government (in Arabic referred to as the "legitimacy") talks and presents himself as if he speaks for the Southern people. This includes every Southerner you can think of. In some cases, he believed them, for example he was surprised when I told him that people Hadhramout rejected Ben Dhagher and protested against him recently. So while I got him to agree with me, he emphasized that this is the biggest practice problem that makes it hard to deal with the Southern issue and resolve it. So what do we do? Without a unified leadership there is no one to negotiate self determination, while a free South is the furthest desire for those who currently say they represent us. Regardless we need a unified leadership...

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Is Khaled Al-Abbadi right? Or are southern leaders more willing? Is Khaled Al-Abbadi right? Or are southern leaders more willing? Reviewed by S on 10:28:00 AM Rating: 5
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