Southern Separatists See Successful Separation in Their Eyes

As I stepped out of Aden International Airport and into a cab heading towards my home after an exhausting trip from New York, I felt a different vibe in Aden this time. I remember my trip to Aden during the birth of the Yemeni revolution–it was tense and uncertain. I also remember my trip to Aden during the summer, again very tense and quiet different but still uncertain.

This time of course was less tense. I arrived to Aden two days after the elections, only to see Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s face in many major areas in Aden. Highways, fountains, billboards, walls, even on airport carts. I sat in the back of the taxi and awaited a good talk by the driver. Usually most drivers talk about the problems, issues and of course the revolution. The driver said, “Thats it, the storm has left and Aden is calm”.

I looked out the window, quietly observing any difference (if any) from the last trip. There was an interesting result: Hadi’s face everywhere and the southern flags.

The southern flags are everywhere. I mean, literally in every corner, every street light and even on buildings. I noticed its becoming normal to hang the southern flag as if they already succeeded with the separation. One man told me, “In our eyes, we see it already succeeding. There is no real government right now and no laws, thats why the flags are everywhere.” I agreed with the man and thought, “If there were laws and a real government, these flags wouldn’t be up everywhere to this level!”.

“No to occupation, yes to freedom” I read on a wall in Al-Mansoura.

As most of you know by reading articles on Yemen or hearing it on the news, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi was the only candidate in the elections. Ah, yes. Democracy at its finest! Courtesy of the GCC deal written by of course, Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States. Without a doubt the south boycotted the elections because they believed it was an unfair election and the candidate was the VP for Saleh since 1994. Same regime, just reshuffled into different positions.

The people in the south, at least 80% of them see no future with the north. Let me clarify. When I say “north” I mean the government. The south have no problems with the people, just the government. They believe right now that there is no change and we, as a country will be held under the same regime forever.

“Our government is a tribal system”, my father said. He adds on and says that this tribal system will never disappear because the fathers teach their kids and the kids will teach their kids (so on and so forth) based on the tribal mentality. Yemen will never advance if this system continues.

I was told by many separatists that this separation will succeed soon. To me, just by walking in the city of Aden I feel they already succeeded but its just not officially on paper. The people in the south can’t see themselves under this regime any longer because they truly believe that this regime will stay rooted in the grounds of Yemen forever.


About Summer Nasser
Blogger, with Yemeni roots based in New York City. Student of Sociology (B.A.) with a focus on the country of Yemen. I would consider myself a student of knowledge.

3 Responses to Southern Separatists See Successful Separation in Their Eyes

  1. Horaish says:

    Separate and do what? Beg from Saudi Arabia or Qatar? It’s better to try and stick it out by backing the VP who doesn’t have a power base.

  2. faisal says:

    There was strange neglecting to the South and this approach had expanded the early existed gap which has resulted in more complicated situation. We aren’t shifting the responsibility arbitrarily to the North. The South had been waiting to contribute, to interact normally but nothing of what he had supposed to get happened. What ensures this attitude is that we do not used to see Southern personality in critical positions such as vice president or even high rank in the army. Over the years of unity the North took everything upon himself.

  3. Hussein says:

    I enjoyed reading this piece, thank you. But I don’t see why southerners shouldn’t feel any resentment from the northern citizens as a whole. Aren’t most of them complicit in the oppression of the southerners by means of their silence and acceptance of the meager concessions Saleh provided them throughout the years?

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