Featured, Middle East, Political Concepts, Side Feature

Q&A: The Reality of the Southern Movement and its Subordination

Is the Southern Movement (Al-Hirak Al-Janoubi) still American? Or that the agency of the Council became for the British because of the containment of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and became a follower of the UAE, and the UAE represents the British in the country? In other words, did America fail to maintain the Southern Movement and Britain was able through the UAE to include it to its side? Or is it still following America in its moves and it is only that the UAE, because of the strength of its army in Aden, was able to influence it without the Southern Movement becoming loyal to the British?
1- Britain was concerned to realize that America was able to induce Ali Salem Al- Beidh and Ali Nasir Mohammed by direct and indirect means through Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the era of Fahd in the early nineties although it was Britain that formed, through its agents, what was called the “National Liberation Front in South Yemen” and invited it to negotiations in Geneva starting from 20/11/1967. Then Britain gave independence to Southern Yemen on 30/11/1967 after the departure of the British troops, and Al-Beidh became the governor of the South with the support of Britain. Thus, his relationship with America was considered by Britain as a disgrace! So, Britain decided to remove him from power, especially since it has the potential to do so, for its man Ali Saleh has a force to be reckoned with in the South.
Thus, a war broke out between the forces of the two parts in 1994, only four years after the unification of the two parts of Yemen! When the war ended with the defeat of the military units that were described as “the South”, Ali Salem al-Beidh and Ali Nasser Mohammed fled, and secluded themselves a bit.
Then Saleh’s government in Sanaa has started to persecute and pursue the military in the South for years. Then, the association of military retirees who were discharged from their work was established in the South, so it was a society with demands related to oppression, persecution and deprivation of rights. With the persistence of these injustices, separatism leaked to veterans of the military involved in that assembly, thus becoming a hotbed of secessionism and a nucleus of the separatists group whose movements led to what is now known as the Southern Movement (Al-Hirak Al-Janoubi), which officially declared itself in southern Yemen in 2007 in addition to other less important and less effective movements that we will not focus on.
2- America used this situation in the South to have a foothold in southern Yemen, as it had another foothold in northern Yemen through the Houthi movement and the Iranian support for it. Thus, in terms of the international conflict, the Southern Movement has shifted from demands to lift injustice and has become a new tool for America to intervene in Yemen which its government is loyal to the British.
The great powers have traditionally exploited the internal situations and tensions in the small countries to gain influence in them. America, through the King Fahd Intelligence Service in Saudi Arabia, was trying to contact the militants in southern Yemen during the nineties after the civil war in 1994. Although Salem Al- Beidh was one of its followers at that time, his seclusion at the time and his call in his exile for material work against the rule of Saleh did not make America see that alone as a success and started looking for someone who adopts a strong political action to gather the people of the South into a block that exerts an intense pressure affecting Saleh’s rule effectively. America found its way in the opposition activist, Hassan Baoum, who was moving heavily demanding the secession of southern Yemen, and moved early from one city to another, and actively roamed around the tribes urging them to support him and support his demands of separatism. All that was on the impact of the suffering and marginalization of the people of the South. Baoum had been conducting one event after another to create more public opinion demanding the exclusion of the South from Yemen, following a peaceful approach and rejecting violence. It was noted that Hassan Baoum’s movements were echoing and sometimes gaining momentum in the southern regions where the notion that marginalization was a systematic policy has deepened.
He was arrested and prosecuted by the Sana’a government, where he was arrested several times over a period of more than a year between 2007 and 2008. He was arrested again in 2010 and released after two months in 2011 and rearrested again in the same year. Thus, the separatist Baoum became a great symbol of Al Hirak, the southern separatist movement, for his tireless efforts, his instigation of veterans of the military, tribes and activists against the central government in Sana’a, for his entrenchment and deepening of separatist demands, his links with America and for his receipt of the Iranian support. Baoum has been characterized by rapid movements, so he formed the Supreme Council of the Southern Movement and became its President. The Supreme Council of the Peaceful Movement for the Liberation of the South is the main faction of Al Hirak, which also includes factions including the Supreme National Council for the Independence of the South, the Supreme National Council for Liberating and Restoring State of South Yemen, the Southern Democratic Assembly and the Union of Southern Youth and Students… the province of Dhale is one of the most active and hottest areas of Al Hirak… (Al Jazeera Net 3/3/2011). Other websites explicitly described him to be an Iranian agent as stated in the website hunaaden.com on 13/9/2016. Thus, the Southern Separatist Movement led by Hassan Baoum, who fed on marginalization, is a political movement associated with the early American support and became a nucleus through which America can work to access Yemen from the South as well. The movements, events and strikes were carried out by Al Hirak, and their center was the city of Dhale. Although Hassan Baoum Hadhrami is from Mukalla, and was not from Dhale, all these movements served as a training for this group on political work. The Sana’a government initially did not see this movement as dangerous because its prominent works were political, and therefore, it was only arresting its symbols such as Hassan Baoum, Ahmed bin Farid, Ali al-Gharib and Ali Manasra for periods of time, and then release them.
3- Thus, the men of America in the Southern Movement have been skilled and hardened at the idea of ​​separation, which has become an ideology for them. Whereas, the others who were drifted with the activities of the Southern Movement, which is fueled by marginalization; some of them are local activists, and others are under the influence of the British and their men in Yemen, and the likes of these were sometimes with unity and sometimes with separation, whereas the separation was not their ideology. The government in Sana’a was benefiting from these by diluting the notion of secession that is centered around American agents, and was penetrating some of its men among them for the same purpose. As we said, the government in Sana’a did not see them as dangerous, but when it became clear to the government of President Saleh in Sana’a and the English behind them that this movement is gaining momentum and that its risks are escalating particularly that America’s agents are at the forefront of the movement, the state in Sana’a, along with the British and their regional followers, took this movement seriously in order to contain it, especially as it appeared to be difficult to eradicate it under the growing feelings of marginalization in the South. The “English” containment plan was developing according to the development of the Southern Movement, from serious attempts to penetrate to the pursuit of which is not limited to arrest, but also involved violence. This continued until the UAE entered with ground forces, exploiting the fact that it is in the Arab alliance and then hit the hardest after Saleh’s death as Britain’s influence in the North became weak and it feared vacuum if the Houthis succeeded in extending their influence in the North. Therefore, it began to think seriously of having a force in the South that would have a pressure point for it to have presence in ruling Yemen; otherwise, at least in the South. So, it began to think diligently about concentrating its influence in the South, especially since it did not rely entirely on Hadi, considering that he is dominanted by Saudi Arabia, and so it took care of this through the UAE, as well as the start of the forces of the former Yemeni President Ali Saleh, who was killed by the Houthis at the end of last year on 4/12/2017, which started to go back to the South and lined up by the UAE forces in fighting the Houthi. “A Yemeni government source has confirmed that Tarek Saleh, nephew of Ali Saleh, was in Aden under the protection of UAE forces. Diplomatic sources said that the UAE is exerting great efforts to lift the sanctions imposed on Ahmed bin Ali Saleh in order to play a political role in the future”. (Nass Times, Yemeni website 5/2/2018), “We will support Tariq Saleh and we will stand by his side in the north and in all the territories until Sana’a is completely liberated,.” said the commander of the forces of the Southern Transition Council (30/1/2018, France 24). This means that Britain plays a game in the South and strengthens its influence with its agents from Ali Saleh’s influential relatives in the forces of the Yemeni Republican Guard and the General Congress Party. The separatists were backed by the UAE, knowing that the UAE participates with air and ground forces, whereas Saudi Arabia is participating with only air forces.
4- Thus, Britain began to operate in the South through the UAE to penetrate the original Southern Movement or marginalize it by creating a new movement that tops the scene. The United Arab Emirates began with Ali Salem Al- Beidh’s wing though Britain was aware of the magnitude of the American attempts to support Ali Salem Al-Beidh and Ali Nasser. The American attempts include offering Iranian support, Egyptian facilities, such as the meeting of the Southern Movement in Cairo under the leadership of Ali Nasser Mohammad in 2014, and the Lebanese facilities, where Beirut has provided Ali Salem Al-Beidh with a shelter and a media platform that he has been deprived of in Oman since he resorted to it in 1994. Then, with the outbreak of the Saudi Decisive Storm in 2014, he moved to Riyadh, where he was lavished with money. However, as we have already said, the UAE has started to try to influence Al- Beidh’s and Nasser’s wing. As for why it started with this wing, it is because of two reasons: First, because he adopts violence and the second is his previous background in his loyalties to the English, for they were behind the formation of his National Front and handing over the rule of South Yemen to him. So, they wanted him to live in memory of that era, to return him to it or bring him closer to it and improve it. Following the launch of the Arab alliance operations in Yemen in 2015, Al-Beidh was transferred from Saudi Arabia to the Emirates where he is currently residing in Abu Dhabi, as he was moving in countries loyal to America, so he has stayed for about two years (2012 and 2013) in Lebanon supported by Iran and protected by its party there, then he moved to Saudi Arabia and then he was won over by the UAE as it is in the coalition, and transferred him to it as we mentioned earlier where he lives in Abu Dhabi and surrounded himwith an aura of respectability . It is known that Salem Al-Beidh is fickle in his loyalty; he was loyal to the English when was the president of South Yemen and then in the early nineties he was seduced by America and remained on this loyalty as he traveled among the pro-American countries, and he is now in the UAE which is trying to seduce him again, where it is not ruled out that he will change again, and if it happens, things might get tense between him and the UAE. Howerver, his position is closer to the Transitional Council and he has praised it: “The Former Vice President Yemen, Ali Salem Al-Beidh, has declared his support for the formation of a “southern political entity”, a day after three governors in southern governorates have supported the governor of Aden, Aideros Zubaidi to form the entity. Al-Beidh confirmed, in a statement received by “Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed”, that he would support this call “with all possible means” and urged the various southern political forces and independent figures to “interact positively with this call and get out of a state of anticipation, indifference and dependency towards a new stage.” Al-Beidh’s statement came a day after three governors, the governor of Abyan, Khidr al-Saidi, the governor of Lahj, Nasser Al-Khange, and the governor of Dhale, Fadl al-Jaadi, joined the call of the governor of Aden, Aidarous al-Zubaidi, for the formation of a “southern entity”. (16/9/2016). Similarly, his friend, Ali Nasser Mohammed, who sometimes supports separation and sometimes wants one government in Yemen but with the conditions he sees, is like him! When asked about the solution in Yemen 4/10/2017 (i.e., before the gust of Ali Saleh against the Houthis at the end of 2017), he said: “The formation of a government of national unity and consensus, the exclusion of the main elements causing the war from the two parties “Houthis and the government of Hadi” from any official positions during the transitional period and the withdrawal of arms from all parties and sides and handing them over to the Ministry of Defense because Yemen needs one president, one government, one defense minister and resort to the election box in the next stage. (Al-Ahram Al-Arabi 4/10/2017). It is clear from all this that the English have succeeded through the UAE to reach an influential degree in both men and their wings, who did not take the separation a firm ideology that they would not budge from it as the Southern Movement originated, but according to the circumstances surrounding them.
5- Hassan Baoum’s wing was an ideological political separatist to the core. The English realized that any solutions of satisfaction, temptation or domination are not useful, so they tried to besiege him in Oman with house arrest in a crooked style, without a formal decision, and he had resorted to it because it was showing itself to be on neutrality, as if he did not know that it is walking with Britain in accordance to the role assigned to it! So, through its agents in Oman, screws were tightened on Hassan Baoum and was under house arrest in the city of Salalah for a long time. With this long absence of the America’s first man in the Southern Movement, the pro-American factions in the movement have weakened to some extent. Thus, the English took the opportunity through the UAE and focused efforts to create a parallel southern movement to outbid the Baoum’s wing in the case of the South, and they found their quest in Aidarous al-Zubaidi, who is a well-known leader in the Southern Movement, and the founder of the separatism Self-Determination Movement “HATAM” in 1996. And for his proximity to the English group, he was appointed by President Hadi a governor of Aden in 7/12/2015, a few months after the launch of the Saudi Decisive Storm (March 2015). This was a strong indication for the confidence of the English agents on him. Aidarous al-Zubaidi has been surrounded by an immense aura in Aden and was a successful governor of the city. He restored electricity to it and expelled the armed gangs. He fought the Houthis and opposed the proposals of the American envoy, Ould Sheikh. All that with a public and direct financial and military support from the UAE. Being a fighter in the civil war in 1994 and a leader involved in the separatist movement since its early age and chased by Ali Saleh’s ruling regime in Sanaa since his exile to Djibouti in 1994, and being the son of the Dhale area, the center of the Southern Movement’s and its point of gravity, in addition to his successes as a governor of Aden and his war against the Houthis, he has become increasingly projecting in the South as a prominent political figure competing with the historic leadership of Hassan Baoum in the Southern Movement. Militarily, Aidarous al-Zubaidi relies on Hani Ben Breik, the founder of the Southern Belt, widely described as the man of the UAE in the South. Hani Ben Breik, who appeared on the Yemeni arena as a fighter facing the Houthis, and then on the political scene as a minister imposed by the UAE force because of his achieved influence due to the generous support from Abu Dhabi, and founded the so-called the “Security Belt”, a publicly-backed militia by the UAE in Southern Yemen. (Sasa Post, 2/11/2017). Thus, al-Zubaidi and Breik had an interest in the South, but because they were in the government of Hadi and their loyalty to the English is exposed and these would not give them popularity in calling for the Southern Movement, so the first step was to remove them from the government of Hadi in a way that shows them, especially al-Zubaidi, in a strong disagreement with the Hadi camp and then the Southerners will gather around him to form the new Hirak (movement), and so it was.
6- On April 27, 2017, the Yemeni President issued a decree to dismiss Aidarous al-Zubaidi, Governor of Aden and Hani Ben Breik, Minister of State with the latter being referred to the investigation. Thousands of Yemenis took part in a demonstration in the southern city of Aden, denouncing the decisions of Hadi, and factions of the Southern Movement announced in the “Declaration of Aden” on 4th May 2017 their decission to delegate Aidarous al-Zubaidi to form and chair a bloc to manage and represent the South to achieve its goals and aspirations, in addition to authorizing him full powers to take the necessary actions to implement the terms of the Declaration . A week after the Southern Movement tasked al-Zubedi with forming a political leadership to manage and represent the South, al-Zubaidi announced his presidency of the Southern Transitional Council in the city of Aden, on 11 May 2017, and the appointment of Ben Breik as his deputy in addition to the membership of 26 people.
From the door of bidding on Baoum, he delivered speaches placing the former South Yemeni flag next to him (bearing the flag of the former South Yemeni state, al-Zubaidi said, in a televised address on Thursday that under the “historic Aden Declaration”, a “supreme southern political leadership that is called the Presidency of the Southern Transitional Council” was established. He added that Hani Ben Breik would be vice-President of the Council, as well as 26 people, and said that “The Presidency of the Southern Transitional Council will complete the procedures for the establishment of the bodies of the Southern Transitional Council, and the management and representation of the South internally and externally” (CNN Arabic 11/5/2017).
Thus, al-Zubaidi and Ben Breik and behind them the UAE ( the English) have become the powers to form the leadership of the entire South. The governors of the provinces are appointed by the Yemeni President; that is, they are the men of the English circle in Yemen, and the rest of the leaders of the Transitional Council are his supporters. He even managed to include some of the men of the Baoum’s wing, such as Ali al-Saadi and Nasser al-Khubji, even for a certain period of time, so if the truth is revealed, they either leave or be expelled, or it could be a way to polarize them. Thus, Nasser Al-Khubji under the “alienation” of Baoum from the scene has become an early supporter of al-Zubaidi!
With the semi-decisive control of the transitional council headed by Aidarous al-Zubaidi in Aden, the possession of relatively large military forces led by Ben Breik in other southern provinces and even in Marib, the gathering of the provincial governors around the leadership of Aidarous al-Zubaidi, the support of the former “South State” socialists men, such as Ali Salem al-Beid, who early announced his support for al-Zubaidi, the support of Tariq al-Fadhli and his Islamic-style stream added to his strong tribal position in Abyan, and the financial, political and military standing of the UAE on his side, with all that, the British settled the issue of the Southern Movement around their agent Aidarous al-Zubaidi to a great extent. If the political circumstances continue as they are, especially the presence of the UAE’s weight in the South, this control is likely to continue.
7- America has realized its delay, and showed its annoyance, and what indicates the discomfort of the United States of the formation of the Transitional Council is the opposition of its international envoy Ould Cheikh to the Council (UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh, sent to the dismissed governor of Aden, Aidarous al-Zubaidi, a “clear threatining” message on the background of his announcement to form a transitional council for the secession of the South, according to an informed source. Al-Mashad al-Yemeni quoted a well-informed source as saying Ould Cheikh met al-Zubaidi and sent a clear threatening message in case he insisted on holding to the council he declared, which was rejected by the Yemeni presidency, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Houthi group and many within the Southern Movement. In case al-Zubaidi insists, the United Nations and the Security Council will include him among those obstructing the peace process in Yemen and the implementation of resolution 2216, under Chapter VII, and will be treated as Houthis and Saleh as “rebels”…. (Russia Today 14/5/2017).
It seems that America has remedied the matter, so it pressed Oman to release Baoum. After his release, Hassan Baoum took strong actions against the Transition Council, supported by the United Arab Emirates in a major manifestation of the Anglo-American conflict in Yemen, and it appeared that his movements were with clear Saudi support. Thus, under their eyes and vision the first Congress of the Revolutionary Movement Council, led by him, was held in the city of Aden 17/8/2017, with the participation of six hundred of his followers, accusing the UAE of occupying south Yemen. The statement of the conference stated: “We categorically reject the exploitation of our southern people enthusiasm and the infusion of lies and emotionally influencing it to elicit popular support and then reverse the popular will of the South… We confirm that the leader Hassan Baoum, President of the Supreme Council of the revolutionary movement, is the leader and the Southern symbol to which we cherish and take pride of … What is happening today in the South of a frenzied race between external forces, such as the UAE, which has become a country that captures the southern ports and its goods, and controls the fate of our people and orientations and then comes to give a handful of its adopted followers a little bit of the despicable crumbs.” (Adan Al-Ghad 17/8/2017). That is, the Baoum’s group shows public hostility to the UAE and demands it to leave Yemen, and the Baoum’s conference called al-Zubaidi’s group “followers of the UAE, which gives them a little bit of crumbs”.
It was then the Baoum’s second conference, held on 11/11/2017, and it was stated in the final declaration of the second annual conference of Baoum’s “Revolutionary Movement Council”, which was held in Aden and Al-Arabi Aljadeed obtained a copy of it, “We call the so-called Arab Alliance states for direct dialogue with the Movement Supreme Council after withdrawing all their forces from our territory, and we confirm our keenness on the social and religious ties between us. The council headed by Baoum described the alliance as “occupying powers’” and added, “We affirm our full right to deal with the occupation in all legitimate ways and means at the right time and place in accordance with our national interests”. The statement stressed that “any negotiations or solutions exclude the southern issue and its legitimate representative would not succeed because the legitimate representatives are the ones who have led the movement since the first day and it is not those who have been invented by chance, created by money or cloned by the foreign occupation “… (Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed 11/11/2017). The statement, although spoke about the Arab alliance, was directed mainly against the UAE because the conference was held under Saudi protection!
8- In conclusion: After the defeat of Ali Salem Al-Beidh and Ali Nasser Mohammed in 1994 and the seizure of Ali Saleh of the resources of southern Yemen, the marginalization of the people of the South and the persecution of many of the Southern soldiers… all of this has caused the emergence of multiple opposition movements since that date, most notably three movements:
– the Southern Movement, Ali Salem Al-Beidh’s wing which is fickle: sometimes with America and its agents, and sometimes agrees with Britain and its agents.
– the Southern Movement, Hassan Baoum’s wing which is supported by America and its agents, especially Iran.
– the Southern Movement, Al-Zubaidi’s wing which is supported by Britain and its Agent, especially the UAE.
– As we have pointed out above, we have highlighted their most important positions on the current Yemeni issues,and it is painful that our issues are being tampered by the Kaffir colonists with rusty tools from our fellow people! So, our blood is being shed in Yemen and other than Yemen in favor of the Kuffar with local tools. And these people forgot or pretended to forget things which if they comprehend they would weep blood of what they did:
Allah, the Powerful the Exalted in Might, has decisively forbidden Muslims from inclining to the unjust disbeleivers:
﴿وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ﴾
“And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.”
[Hud: 113].
And the Messenger of Allah (saw) says about shedding blood without right to be greater to Allah than the demise of the world. Tirmidhi narrated from Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet (saw) said:
«لَزَوَالُ الدُّنْيَا أَهْوَنُ عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ قَتْلِ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ»
“The demise of the world is lesser to Allah than the killing of a Muslim man.”
And Ibn Assaker narrated it in his Muajam and said: This is a good (Hassan) hadeeth, so how can it be shed for the benefit of the disbelievers the colonists? Verily, it is a crime above the crime
﴿سَيُصِيبُ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُوا صَغَارٌ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَمْكُرُونَ﴾
“There will afflict those who committed crimes debasement before Allah and severe punishment for what they used to conspire.”
[Al-A’nam: 124]
However, Yemen, which was described by the Messenger of Allah (saw) to be the country of Iman and wisdom is not lacking sincere, truthful and faithful men who will stand up for those who are complying to the disbelievers the colonists . They will return Yemen, with Allah’s permission, to be Dar Islam, under the shade of the banner of Islam, under the Khilafah Rashidah (righteous Caliphate) that restores its dignity to be as the Prophet (saw) said in the hadith narrated by Bukhari in his Saheeh on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (ra) from the Prophet (saw):
«أَتَاكُمْ أَهْلُ الْيَمَنِ هُمْ أَرَقُّ أَفْئِدَةً وَأَلْيَنُ قُلُوبًا الْإِيمَانُ يَمَانٍ وَالْحِكْمَةُ يَمَانِيَةٌ»
“The people of Yemen have come to you and they are more gentle and soft hearted. Iman is Yemeni and Wisdom is Yemeni…”
8th Jumada II 1439 AH – 24/02/2018 CE