Yemen's Unity:  An Indelible Achievement in Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-05-22 05:41 PM UTC


Yemen commemorates the 34th anniversary of the national unity on May 22, 1990. It was an event that resulted in merging Yemen's South and North into one country. It was a glorious day in the history of Yemen, which made Yemenis proud and Arabs inspired.

Over three decades have passed since the leaders of the two parts of Yemen decided to unify under the Republic of Yemen. As years passed, the unity lost momentum, and the recurring wars took a heavy toll on such an achievement.

Today, Yemen's unity is fragile, and its revival continues to be challenging for Yemenis. While many leaders are keen on maintaining Yemen's unity, they all admit that formidable challenges are ahead.

On the 34th anniversary, political and military rivals issued diverse statements expressing their pride in the Yemeni unity and their determination to keep it intact. However, their rifts continue to be a genuine threat to the national unity.

The head of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, said yesterday in a speech on the occasion of the National Day of Yemen that the unity will remain a solemn occasion surrounded by appreciation and a historical moment worthy of contemplation, learning, and conscious initiative to protect the national consensus and the will of the Yemeni people.

He admitted that there are challenges facing the Yemeni unity, explaining, "The ideal way to celebrate national holidays is to stand seriously to face the existing challenges… without dwelling on the differences and conflicts of the past, but rather turning the challenge into an opportunity for review and evaluation, and moving forward towards a better future."

On this occasion, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sultan Al-Barakani, said, "Yemen's unity is a major fruit of the struggle of the National Movement and the outcome of dialogues and meetings at home and abroad that have continued for several years."

He added, "The unity day is a unique day in the history of Yemen, as it was the culmination of the goals of the eternal Yemeni revolution of September and October…. [the unity] eliminated division and fragmentation, ended a bloody era of conflicts, and dissolved the barriers between the people of one nation."

Ali Nasser Mohammed, then President of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, congratulated the Yemeni people on the anniversary of the Yemeni unity that was achieved on this day in 1990, stressing that it is "a day of history written by the Yemeni people with their struggle and the sacrifices of hundreds of martyrs."

He added, "The moment when unity was announced from Aden, whose people and students were chanting for unity every morning, was a very important and critical moment for Yemen, the region, and the rest of the Arab nation."

However, he said the leaders did not preserve the country's unity correctly and began fighting over power and wealth, which turned unity into a cause of suffering.

 He explained: "From that time until today, we have been paying the price because some politicians did not realize the strategic importance of unity, nor the ability of their people to bear the cost of their conflicts and senseless wars in and against the homeland."

While the Yemeni government officials say the Houthis have played a significant role in running the unity of Yemen, the Houthi group insists that the political differences should not used as a justification for ending Yemen's unity.

Houthi-appointed president Mahdi Al-Mashat said in a speech on the 34th anniversary of Unity Day, "On this glorious anniversary, we must view it as an annual station to revive the meanings of brotherhood and love, spread the spirit of tolerance and coexistence, cooperation and integration, rise above wounds, and reject all causes and factors of division and hatred."

He added, "There have been unjust practices and grave mistakes against the people in the south and north of the country alike, but it is wrong to blame the unity for the past mistakes…"

While lots of Yemenis take pride in the national unity day, the southern separatists consider a serious mistake that was committed by the southern leadership, which caused ordeals to the southern people. Southern separatists say the unity should be ended and the south's independence should be restored.

The head of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi, pledged to continue efforts to achieve separation and restore the southern state.

During a speech to military units in Aden, Zubaidi said, "We reiterate to you on this day that we are continuing on the path of our heroic martyrs who sacrificed their lives on the fields of honor and heroism to restore our independent southern state with full sovereignty.".

Political observers in Yemen say that the unity in Yemen is indelible. However, past mistakes need to be addressed so that unity can be revived. The prime threat to unity is the continuation of conflicts and rifts among Yemen's political rivals. Its revival is not possible as long as the Houthis continue to govern the north and the separatists rule the south, observers say.


International recognition of Yemen's unity continues

Several countries worldwide congratulated Yemen on the national unity day, which indicates that Yemen's unity remains a remarkable achievement in the eyes of many leaders in Yemen and abroad. 

The United States of America congratulated the Yemeni government and the people of Yemen on your 34th National Unity Day.

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, said in a statement, "Peace in Yemen remains a top priority for the United States. We continue to support an inclusive political process as the best way to achieve a lasting and inclusive solution to Yemen's conflict. I reaffirm the U.S. commitment to helping bring about a more peaceful and prosperous future for all Yemenis.Please accept my best wishes on this celebratory occasion."

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, expressed their sincere congratulations and blessings to the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, and to the government and people of Yemen on the occasion of Unity Day.

Al-Alimi also received a congratulatory telegram from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, on the occasion of the 34th National Day of the Republic of Yemen, May 22.