28 April, 2014

Thousands Rally In Mukalla, Hadhramout

Yesterday - the twentieth anniversary of the country's civil war - in spite of the intense heat and humidity, one of the largest rallies ever, was held in Mukalla. The pro-independence rally was organized by Al Hirak (the Southern Movement) which has been active in the south since 2007. Schools, government institutions, businesses - were all shut down. The rally was peaceful and was not interrupted by any security personnel.

The young heading towards the rally center in the afternoon.
As in most parts of Yemen, rallies and demonstrations are regularly held in Mukalla. Most are peaceful.
On rooftops and in the streets
The overwhelming majority of those attending were the youth.
Near the center of the gathering
On 22nd of May, 1990 - South and North Yemen united to form the Republic of Yemen. Then, most Southerners were overjoyed and celebrated the event.
Near the center of the gathering
But that joy and celebration didn't last long. War broke out between the South and the North in 1994; the South tried to secede but lost the war and Yemen remained united. 
Near the center of the gathering
It's with that war in mind that a rally (since 2007), calling for the South's independence, is held every 27th of April.
On rooftops, near the center of the rally
Arab countries have been very poor at uniting: Egypt and Syria tried to form a union in 1958 but that lasted for only three years until 1961 when Syria seceded.
The center of the rally
Presently, the best form of Arab unity is the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC); but, even this is very unstable right now. Very hopefully, the GCC countries can overcome their differences and create a true and realistic Arab unity.
Along the streets of Old Mukalla City
Yemen is a member of several organizations within the GCC. It hopes to be a full member, some times later. The GCC offers the best means and hope, for Yemen to remain united; and to prosper. If only, the whole of the Arabian Peninsular was one, united country - how wonderful and productive that would be?
Hassan Baoum and other Hirak leaders at the rally.
Being as very poor as it is; with its many, enormous security, political and economic challenges; can Yemen remain peaceful for long? Can it succeed in holding itself together and united for long? Only time will tell and only God knows.