Some say that the Gulf Initiative was the result of our Gulf brothers' — particularly the Saudis’ — desire to save Yemen from the disaster that nearly was upon us. Meanwhile, others affirm that it came to protect Saudi Arabian interests in Yemen, pursuant to a series of deals entered into by the Saudis with some reactionary, tribal and military factions, after the eternal revolution of Sept. 26 and the glorious one of Oct. 14. The most worrisome among those deals is the unjust border agreement that the former regime agreed to, which, in effect, constituted the main reason for the revolution against it.
The president of the former regime did not only commit the sin of disregarding the constitution and laws, he even circumvented the state and ignored the trust afforded him by the Yemeni people to recklessly neglect the people’s rights and the integrity of Yemeni sovereignty. This is not to mention the breach of trust and the corruption that he, and those who participated with him in this criminal act, committed. He also received promises from the Saudis that they would protect him and aid him in subjugating the Yemeni people, as well as back his plan to bequeath power to his son!
Then came the resounding Arab Spring revolutions that stripped the tyrants of their powers, blinded them, exposed their flaws, shattered their alliances, dissipated their dreams, thwarted their plans, crushed their egos, and relegated their memory to the margins of history.
They made Yemen a more backward country — weaker, poorer, and lacking adequate state institutions and effective opposition factions. Yet, despite that, the events exposed the true nature of the Arab World whose will was abrogated and riches appropriated, as it stood unjustly accused of terrorism, while everyone knew that the real terrorists were the ruling tyrants who destroyed their countries, plundered their resources, defeated and conspired against their people, and yet arrogantly insisted that they were nationalists who were merely taking part in the political process. Even despite their reprehensible corruption, they set conditions and found persons who would protect them at the expense of their own peoples.
The catastrophe is that Saudi Arabia stands behind the horrors and calamities that have afflicted Yemen, and the whole Arab World, throughout the last century and to this day. And nothing is more indicative of that than the events currently taking place in the countries of the Arab Spring.
Under the umbrella of the Gulf Initiative, Saudi Arabia imposed its control, while, through the Taif Treaty, it ignored Yemeni rights and confirmed the former regime’s collusion in relinquishing Yemeni rights when it signed the Jeddah Accord. But it failed to realize that by doing so it was subjecting the former regime’s leadership to political accountability and was confessing its involvement while also exposing itself to questioning; otherwise, how could it justify to the Yemeni people and the rest of the world its insistence on protecting the leaderships of the most corrupt regime that ever existed in human history?
Let us not forget that leaders of the parties participating in the reconciliation government and the political entities partaking in the national dialogue never demanded explanations pertaining to the border agreement and the rights of the Yemeni people to their stolen land.
Here now are Yemeni expatriates in Saudi Arabia being subjected to the worst forms of torture, extortion and injustices, all the while finding no one to come to their aid and protect their rights. Saudi Arabia is exploiting its sponsorship of the Gulf Initiative, and does not hesitate to use expatriates as a means to rid itself of other people who have nothing to do with Yemen. Consequently, expatriates find themselves — without legal justification — driven alongside hundreds of people from other nationalities to border crossings inside Yemen, thus facilitating the spread of al-Qaeda into Yemen while, unfortunately, the Yemeni government stands idly by.
This occurs concurrently with the organized smuggling of children and women, as trading in human organs and drugs flourishes — among other more heinous activities — on both sides of the Saudi-Yemeni border.
Saudi Arabia did not stop there. It, in collusion with Yemeni officials and deal makers on the border, further added to its heinous actions by scandalously disposing of various types of waste materials by sending them to Yemen. Suddenly, brokers and agents appeared as saviors to falsely claim that they were taking care of a rising problem.
The last of these fake and criminal victories occurred when a shipment of expired meat was, according to them, confiscated during the last few months. But instead of punishing the importer, and instead of returning the shipment to Saudi Arabia and demanding that this garbage not be exported in the future, these unscrupulous agents surprised us with a false act of heroism by burning the shipment at the border crossing inside Yemeni territories, thus disregarding both the constitution and the laws; not to mention the negative impact that their actions had on the environment and public health.
Perhaps the indiscriminate importation of Saudi goods and foodstuffs that do not conform to norms represents an exceptional case punishable by law. But, how would one characterize such acts when they are part of an organized operation to get rid of refuse. And to the doubters, I say go and discover for yourselves the types of goods, foodstuffs, equipment and other materials that are being sold in markets. Yet the problem continues to recur and the infractions grow more brazen, with no one moving a muscle to stop them.
Last month, New Zealand apologized for exporting a large quantity of milk to China and Saudi Arabia which turned out to be non-compliant with specifications and contained toxic substances. What concerns us is the possibility that the consciences of governments may have been bought and sold. Are there still individuals, institutions, parties, political entities, businessmen, investment firms, and civil society organizations, in both countries, that still possess consciences which prevent them from exporting this poisonous shipment to Yemen?
Isn’t the political scene plagued by similar criminal acts? What is the argument or logic that makes it acceptable to sanely accept an initiative that continues to be amended in order to satisfy the needs of tyrants and thieves? An initiative whose conditions were set by an oppressing corrupter, and the implementation of which is carried out by criminals and murderers! Isn’t it shady that the National Dialogue Conference is replete with schemes to divide Yemen through the use and protection of those who caused its destruction in the first place? Should those corrupt and corrupting individuals be entrusted with the future of Yemen? Is it fair to put unity on trial while sponsoring and protecting those who worked to destroy it? Is it fair for people who caused the state to collapse, plundered its riches, killed its citizens, and surrendered its lands to return to power?
Only days remain before the National Dialogue Conference comes to an end and all the facts become known!
Continue reading this article by registering at no cost and get unlimited access to:
- The award-winning Middle East Lobbying - The Influence Game
- Archived articles
- Exclusive events
- The Week in Review
- Lobbying newsletter delivered weekly