Среда, 22 Апрель 2015 03:07

Yemen: the motives of Saudi intervention

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On the 26th of March 2015 Saudi Arabia launched a military intervention in Yemen under the codename Decisive Storm. Fortunately, all the nine countries that allied with Saudi Arabia still remain passive members of the coalition. Adel A. Al-Jubeir, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in the US, made the first official announcement about the intervention. Some experts have noted that this “Storm” has just overthrown the mission of the UN Security Council in Yemen that was launched as far back as in 2011. The war was declared just in three days after the resolution of the Security Council of 22 March 2015, which expressed the firm conviction of the Council that the solution of Yemeni problems can be fount only through a peaceful, inclusive and structured process by the effort of the Yemeni themselves (United Nations S/PRST/2015/8, p. 2/3).

The US military take part in the united staff, and the forces of the coalition are under the command of Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the son of the King of Saudi Arabia and Minister of Defense. It is widely though that the results of war in Yemen will influence much the distribution of forces in the ruling dynasty. They also regard the war as a revenge for the defeats of Saudi military during the Saada wars in Yemen against the Hothis in 2004-1010, in which they secretly participated or were episodically involved for sure.

The invasion started by the request of the Yemeni President Hadi made on the 23d of March 2015. In his speech to Riyadh he asked to send rapid deployment forces “to offer the legitimate government of Yemen the required aid and to prevent a potential Houthi aggression against Aden city that was possible any time”. In the meantime Hadi asked to consider the situation in the country as a “coup” that was caused by the “pro-Iranian Houthis”.

 The oddity of such declaration hits the eye. During the last four years Yemen was under unprecedentedly close attention of the UN Security Council, which reacted to all the numerous movements within the country in a timely manner and in fact took care of the country all this time. The special counselor of the Secretary General of the UN Jamal Benomar has received a mandate to promote a peace plan created by Saudi Arabia (that turned troublesome though), and almost never left the country. The various participants of the extremely difficult process of peace settlement in Yemen were often criticized by the Security Council and they even violated the VII chapter of the UN Charter. This also refers to the Ansar Allah movement (the Houthis). The criticism by the Security Council in regard to the Yemeni peace settlement participants has become particularly harsh after the sudden victories gained by Ansar Allah over the pro-Saudi Salafiparty Al-Islah in September 2014. Then the framework of the new and sudden intrapolitical alliance between the Houthi and the block of ex-President Saleh who still controls the GPC - the leading party of the country, Parliament and the majority of the armed forces, has become evident. However the Security Council has not diagnosed a “coup”.

Till the beginning of the intervention there were ongoing peaceful inclusive negotiations in Sana under the aegis of the representative of the UN. What is more, in the period between the 22d of January and the 21st of February 2015 they were focused on the issue of the emergency filling of the vacuum of power that was created by the sudden simultaneous resignations of President Hadi and the Prime Minister Bahahon the 22d of January. The hopes that Hadi would revise his decision himself were so low that the Parliament did not even put his resignation upon approval! The President was left a right to determine his fate and this in fact allowed him to preserve his legitimacy after the 21st of February and after the move to Aden. But this happened in the same time when the Supreme revolutionary Council (SRC) and a number of other institutions of the half dead country were already created and when the parties of Sana dialogue have already prepared a package of  more fundamental  decisions to compensate for the resignations.

What was the real motivation for Hadi’s resignation? The answer to this question may throw a light on all the further chain of events. This was provoked by the active conflict of President Hadi with the leaders of Ansar Allah, that started on the 16th of January 2015, when the Houthis have blocked his attempts to launch a referendum on the project of a new constitution of Yemen without the right to make any amendments. In fact it was about a single statement that limited the number of the members of the federation that was being created. The Houthi have demanded a right to amend this statement, and the special councilor of the UN has finally recognized their right. The inflexible statement about the creation of six members of federation in Yemen could provoke new conflicts. The case is that the so-called “Hadi’s variant” adopted in February 2014 about six members, two of them on the South (Hadhramautand Aden) and four on the North (Al Janad, Tihamah, Azal and Saba) with a capital in Sana as a special federal district, has already caused much anxiety of the majority of the Yemeni political elites by its colossal separatist potential that can lead to the disintegration of the country into the rival fragments. But the most important thing is that this project was highly disapproved by the representatives of the South -  the Hirak. The “Hirak’s variant” renounced by Hadi supposed the creation of two iklims (regions) with wide autonomy rights in the geographic borders of The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and Yemen Arab Republic of 1990. The same variant was supported be the YSP – the third most powerful party of the country.

An open discussion could ameliorate the known beforehand position of the South on such an important issue and decrease the separatist tendencies on the South. But it is not the only issue. While in the North the critics of “Hadi’s variant” stressed the inevitable increase of “regionalisms”, the South was sure that the project aims at the further divide of the ethnical and political unity in the South, that has emerged during the existence of PDRY, in order to open doors to the splitting “Hadhramaut” project in the interests of the Saudi Arabia, that was created as far back as in the 1960-ies.

Hadi’s move to Aden, unprecedented militarist rhetoric of the number of the Embassies towards the interim government that remained in Sana, were perceived by them as a signal about the transition to the practical realization of the splitting plans.

The situation has rapidly aggravated and put the country on the verge of civil war. Besides the tribal militias (lidjan al-Shaabi) the partisans of Hirak and the structures of Al-Qaeda turned out to be ready to oppose the alliance of Houthi with Saleh. But the tribal militias mobilized in Aden by president Hadi were mainly countered not by the Houthis, but by the regular units of Yemeni army and security forces loyal to Saleh. That is why the attacks of the new presidential coalition were aimed primarly on the military camps and armament warehouses on the South that represented the key to the defensive capabilities of the country. So, the movement of the Houthis to the South, along with the military reinforcements of Saleh, probably, should not be considered as their tactical mistake. Otherwise, the chance of capturing of the arsenals by Al-Qaeda could dramatically change the distribution of forces on the South and significantly increase the risks of a sectarian massacre on the much wider scale, ruining all the hopes of the Yemeni to create a civil and just country.

Прочитано 14243 раз Последнее изменение Воскресенье, 31 Май 2015 23:55