Interviewed by Al Khaleej Newspaper
Is there a relationship between the disorders being waged by Houthis and the growing call for secession in South Yemen??
There’s nothing between the two cases. The issue of Houthis often diverges on the issue of the South in terms of background and its implications as the language of arms is the most prominent between the Authority and the Houthis and a natural consequence of the nature of the northern areas of Sa’ada.
Do the ideological differences between the Yemeni Sunnis and Shiites Houthis cause the southern Yemen crisis to be temporarily away from the arena?
The greatest problem in Yemen and we regret to say, are the religious differences and sectarian conflicts to the point where the Zaidis cannot pray behind the Sunni Iman, and vice versa only in respect of certain minorities. It is unfortunate that religious and sectarian differences are the case of war in Sa’ada. We have to know that the Zaidi doctrine has more than 40% of the population following it, according to some statistics. Yemen’s stability is the stability of countries and people of the entire region. Here, we applaud the call by the Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa who demanded a cease-fire in order to resort and try to solve the problem in Sa’ada peacefully.
To what extent is the military power that you think the Houthis possess? Do they get their military power without outside support?
It is not known to us the strength of Houthis and where they bring their power. There has been exchange of accusations between the authority and the Houthis and outside parties are always attendant during these accusations. It is known that Yemen is available for all outside parties to enter and it has open markets for weapons. They are accessible to the people of Yemen which already have about 60 million firearms.
What is your opinion of the time frame which operations in Sa’ada must be completed?
The decision of war and peace is in the hands of decision-makers in Yemen and we hope that peace, stability, and love wins. Unfortunately, the real suffering is what the innocent civilians are forced to go through. Today, the number of displaced people is more than 150,000 as well as for the thousands that have died or are wounded. The continuation of the war will affect the stability and investment in Yemen greatly as it has been affecting it since the start of the Sa’ada war in 2004.
Have there been violations from the Houthis against unarmed civilians in Sa’ada?
Mutual accusations and the military siege imposed on media outlets in Sa’ada makes it difficult for us to confirm what is true or false or to prove if accusations of both sides are true.
As a former official of Yemen, Do you regret the idea of unity?
The idea of unity formed the dream of successive generations in both the north and south. No one can regret the dream of all Yemenis and the dream of generations and martyrs.
In light of new oil discoveries in Yemen, do you see that northerners will take the wealth or would the anger of southern citizens force the north to distribute this wealth equally?
Today we are in dire need of those who tell us that the country’s crisis might come to an end soon. We will find a solution on how to distribute new oil discoveries especially if we establish the principle of partnership, justice, and equal citizenship for all.
International bodies revealed several corruption cases among Yemeni officials to the extent that made Yemen rank 141 on the international corruption list. Do you think this number is accurate in the presence of an Anti- Corruption Committee in Yemen today? What is your information on this?
There are private institutions concerned with following up cases of corruption in Yemen but media talks about them negatively. As for the information and the accuracy of these institutions, many doubt the transparency in these bodies and institutions.
Corruption in Yemen has become a big issue and perhaps the best thing said in this regard is what Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani said “Corruption is very central and an integral part of the structure of the system in Yemen as it cannot live without it.”
There are many reports which assert that the issue of corruption is of great importance in the context of the crisis in Yemen, particularly as far as the economic situation.