The National Conference for the People of South Yemen
December 16, 2012 3 Comments
South Yemen has been active on the southern case with plenty of protests and powerful southern patriotism that reached a level where one cannot deny their call for separation. On Saturday, the 15th of December, I decided to attend a conference by Mohamed Ali Ahmed. For those who don’t know, Mohamed Ali Ahmed is a south Yemeni leader who returned to Yemen recently after 18 years of exile in Britain.
On Saturday, there was a pre-event of the conference itself. With proper representation of the committee behind this conference and the attendance of Mohamed Ali Ahmed, a signing of a constitution or set of laws/agreement was signed by every individual representing each southern city. This specific document is to be given at a conference in Riyadh on Monday, the 17th to Yemeni politicians for dialogue.
The first day went well and everything was quiet. Unfortunately, the following day was different. This was because it was the day of the official conference after the signing of the document. As I came to the Gold Mohur hotel, police were everywhere and the environment felt tense. Before I walked in to the hall an individual stopped me and chatted with me for about 5 minutes. He looked very odd
and I felt this man was a bit crazy. He explained that the conference is dirty politics and that he would “bomb the conference”. As he said that I was relatively calm. I approached a police officer to tell him about what he said so he can keep an eye on him. As I settled down and sat in the front, I met the Vice President of the Yemeni Parliament. Jamal Ben Omar’s advisor, Abd Al-Raheem saber also attended the conference.
One of the committee members, who was the only main person representing the women of the south at the conference had come to me and asked to use my name to represent the people of the south in the United States. I replied and told her we will discuss it after the conference so I can explain to her my true view on this issue and what I feel is best regarding the people of South Yemen in the US since she may be unclear on their views. She then proceeded to the stage…
About 5 minutes in, two men were forcefully pushing the man who told me about his bomb threat. The individual was then searched and was found with a gun. Anything can happen in Yemen, and since there has been a past premature explosion that Mohamed Ali escaped from, I thought to myself for a good 2 minutes and decided to immediately step out of the conference due to me feeling unsafe In a very tense and packed environment.
I then was approached by the main man of Aden seaport, Adel Shaosh. The light hearted and jolly individual chatted with me on a few things and had left for a meeting. While sitting at the cafe, someone had to told me the lady on stage (who approached me to use my name) had announced that I will be representing the people of South Yemen in the US. I was quiet upset with this news and retuned back to the hall where the conference was taking place and went up to the stage and told another woman in the back to take off my name from the list of representatives due to not properly getting my approval. She then told me she will and I stepped off the stage and stormed out. I want to be clear. I do NOT represent the southern Yemenis in the United States of America under this document. I am just a guest at the conference and an observer and a neutral activist.
I then thought about the whole conference and came down to certain questions..
1) Why were there no youth involved since they were talked about in the document.
2) Why was there only one woman up at the stage?
3) Why were a lot of people who talked to me against it?
As the day continued, the day was getting more tense and so I decided to leave and call it a day. As I stepped out of the hotel and toward towards the main gate, Ali Salem Al-Beidh supporters weren’t allowed in due to different views of Mohamed Ali’s conference. They explained that the conference was full of dirty politics.
Just from these two days, I knew that the people of the south were split.