Controversy about Al-Beidh’s announced return to Yemen

Published on 17 September 2012 in News
Samar Qaed (author)

Samar Qaed

Ali Salem Al-Beidh

Ali Salem Al-Beidh

ADEN, Sept. 16 – Political supervisors in Aden doubted the return of Ali Salem Al-Beidh, former vice-president of Yemen and current leader of Al Harak, to Yemen because the unstable political situation doesn’t permit him to do so,  and the security vacuum could make it easier for enemies to reach him.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse Friday, Al-Beidh announced he intends to return to Aden during the upcoming period.

“Returning to Aden is only a matter of time to discuss it with the Southern Movement’s leaders and make the necessary procedures,” Al-Beidh told AFP. “I decided to go back to Aden, but I’m still waiting for what the Southern Movement’s leaders will decide.”

Mohammed Al-Maslami, a member of Military Retired Men and Activists of Liberation War’s Assembly, said, “How can Al-Beidh return since he has no house in Aden?”

“Al-Beidh’s return may destroy the south as he destroyed it by his individual decisions in the 1990 unity and the 1994 war. I’m sure he won’t come back because the people won’t meet him,” he added.

Al-Maslami said Al-Beidh feared the Southern Movement might achieve what he failed to achieve; therefore, he said he is coming back.

Abdulraqeeb Al- Hediani, editor-in-chief of Aden Online, said Al-Beidh has announced he would return to Aden four times before but never did, adding, “Many supervisors said Al-Beidh’s return means giving up his demands and joining the National Dialogue.”

Al-Hediani said by returning now, Al-Beidh is unjustified and aims to disturb those organizing the Southern Movement Conference, which would otherwise be held in his absence.

He added that the Southern Movement is witnessing several divisions following the return of prominent southern leaders, which has resulted in divisions among the Southern Movement’s supporters.

“Nowadays, each leader is preparing to hold his conference,” Al-Hediani said. “Hasaan Ba’aom, Abdullah Al-Hassani and Brigadier Mohammed Ali Ahmed are having separate conferences. Therefore, Al-Beidh announced he is coming back to indicate that he is still controlling and coordinating with the Southern Movement’s leaders.”

Mohammed Al-Qobati, the head of the political department in the Socialist Party, said it is important to know why Al-Beidh wants to return. Prior to his vice-presidency, Al-Beidh was the general secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP).

Al-Qobati questioned why the Preparatory Committee of the National Dialogue didn’t meet with Southern Movement leaders, though they are a part of the political crisis in Yemen. The National Dialogue is important, and the participation of the Southern Movement’s leaders is essential since the government will apologize for the south, he said.

Al-Qobati reduced the importance of Al-Beidh’s return, saying, “His return may lead to political stability because those who return after being abroad for a long time change their views and beliefs.”

Al-Beidh is still refusing any solution, including federalism, except separation.