Unions in Hadramout threatened to call for mass demonstrations
In the statement, the organizations expressed their disapproval of the inaction on the part of transitional government Ministers of Finance and Electricity concerning the repeated power cuts in Hadramout.
They accused both ministers of “carrying out orders given by warmongers.” The statement said that in Hadramout the worsening of services including hygiene, electricity, health services and security amounted to a collective punishment on the people of Hadramout.
The unions stressed that their requests are rights, not political demands and that they have been struggling for them for years. The unions consider the only way to get rid of the dominance of Sana’a is to require the local council to “Stop the supply of any sums of money, whether for electricity, income taxes, or customs, unless Sana’a meets Hadramout’s demands, including urgent needs such as ‘paying the stalling and accumulated dues of Hadramout’s electricity investors.’”
They demanded the provision of adequate and subsidized fuel for fishermen and farmers for the whole region of Hadramout; required all oil companies operating in Hadramout to open offices in the capital of Hadramout; and required the government to address the environmental impact of exploration and extraction of oil. The statement requested the government to set aside for Hadramout people a fair share of jobs in oil companies and give them priority in hiring.
Other requests included, “Disclosure of the social contribution made by oil companies, how it is made by oil companies and how it is spent,” as well as “supplying citizens of the governorate with no less than 15 percent of Hadramout wealth, which supports 75 percent of the country’s budget.”
The statement concluded by calling on Hadramout people, especially Non Governmental Organizations, religious scholars, thinkers, intellectuals, academics and social figures for collaboration and synergy. The organizations called on their members to prepare for what they called “unprecedented steps” of protest if the government does not respond in a timely manner to the demands contained in the statement.
For its part, the local council in Hadramout issued a statement in which it stressed the importance of addressing electricity outages and Hadramout allocations. The council set May 22 as the deadline for the response. Hadramout governor, Khalid Al Daini, has already urged the government in Sana’a to pay the Private Power Company in Hadramout its past-dues, estimated at $7 million, but no response has been reported.