An alliance yet to form
According to the report, Yemen’s middle consists of Ibb, Hodeida and most importantly Taiz. The report said these governorates have been in touch with the south on a multitude of issues such as immigration, trade and marriage.
Politically, many figures from Taiz once held significant positions in the People's Democratic Republic, particularly people from a district called Al-Hujaria, an area that the once-southern leader Abdulfatah Ismael comes from. Some educated southerners consider Al-Hujaria a rural area of Aden.
Based on cultural, social and historical analogies, the report anticipated the emergence of a political alliance between Taiz and the south. However, thus far, despite half of Aden's population coming from Taiz—especially from Al-Hujaria—this alliance has yet to form.
The report said there are two contradictory political perspectives with regard to the Yemen’s middle. The first attempts to make Aden and Taiz closer on the basis of a new alliance that works to transfer the political weight to the south, where there is less tribalism.
This view is in line with the attitude triggered following the breakout of last year's uprising against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime, an uprising that eventually led to Saleh’s removal from power. Proponents of this perspective speak of the new Yemen, considering this alliance as the People's Democratic Republic and the Middle Region of Yemen.
“Taiz and the south are alike, dissimilar with the population of the north although people in the north seek change as well,” Taizian activists cited in the report said. “What the nation really wants is non-centralism and distance from Sana'a.”
Saleh Hyabik, a political activist in Hadramaut, said if Yemen employed a federal system, then the south could absorb Taiz because the Taizians are similar to southerners, yet they hold different opinions regarding their decisive stance.
Theoretically, the report said cooperation between the middle of the country and the south could be realized; however, it cannot practically be achieved because many of the opposition affiliates in Taiz, Ibb and Hodeida oppose fair reconciliation of the southern issue.
“All the northerners deem the south as a godsend,” the report reads. “They differ only on how to divide what they get. All of them have the same tribal mindset.”
In case the uprising in the north attained its objectives, there would be an opportunity to re-negotiate aboutthe social constitution of the country, said the report, adding that the Middle Region of Yemen and southern Yemen would be in a position conducive to establishing a powerful political bloc capable of transferring political weight as well as realizing non-centralism.
On the contrary, if the political regime carries on as is—with an inner circle run by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ali Mohsen and Al-Ahmer's strong family—then future cooperation between the country’s southern and middle sections is uncertain, according to the report.
Hujaria fails in Sana'a but sees success in Aden
Some of Al-Hujaria's figures represent other districts in modern civil state groups, in addition to being prime ministers of the People's Democratic Republic in spite of the fact that Al-Hujaria doesn’t geographically belong to the south let alone hold posts in Sana'a, Aden, Hodeida and Taiz.
Consequently, this reflects the political and social activities of the district. Ali Al-Dalaei, a political activist, said following the independence of Aden in 1967, the Socialist Hujaria was active in the Nationalist front led by Ismael, causing the dismissal of the bourgeois Hujaria—represented by Hael Saeed Ana'am—to Hodeida and Taiz.
Politically, Al-Hujaria's former chief judge Ahmed Al-Wazeer commented on the success of Al-Hujaria’s leaders, saying they are symbols of art and sport in Aden, and they were judges and ministers until the south unified with the north.
“They failed in Sana'a,” Al-Wazeer said.
Al-Wazeer said events in August 1968 and in October 1978 in Sana'a reveal the hostility sparked by tribal alliances with Islamic political movements in the north.
The conflict of Al-Hujaria figures in Sana'a and Aden projected Al-Hujaria as ideologically infected.
“The district was on a bordering area prior to unification; it paid the price dearly because of these discrepancies,” Al-Wazeer said. “The liberal elite departed Aden because of the leftist policies, but they did not find the right atmosphere in Sana'a, where they suffer from the same destiny.”
Abdulrakeeb Abdulwahab was killed in 1968; Isa Mohammed Yousif was executed in 1978. Moreover, Abdullah Abdulalim was forced into exile, and Ahmed Al-Noman was denied nationality in addition to his son, Mohammed, being killed.
Abdulghani Thabet, a leading Nasserite figure, said the ideology and the place of Al-Hujaria made Al-Hujaria's figures leaders for conflicting fronts. They led them to be the first victims; Al-Noman waded through a battle against the tribal-Islamist political alliance as a leader lacking in soldiers and weapons. He faced the same fate as Abdulfatah Ismael, Thabet said.
“To date, the June 13 Movement has not been repeated as a movement, absorbing Al-Hujaria in the state structure in the north,” Thabet said. “In the south, the Southern Movement excluded Ismael's group picture with his four comrades who shared the same fate in January 1986.”