Written By: Yasmin Ayadh
Article Date: Jun 18, 2012 - 10:34:01 PM
According to local news sites western diplomatic source would have confirmed that the European Union and Gulf countries were preparing to take unilateral sanctions againt Ali Salem al-Beydh, the Southern Secessionist Movement leader.
The EU and the GCC argue that the politician is hindering Yemen’s transitional process by enticing violence in the southern provinces, while promoting secessionism, which stands in direct violation of the Security Council resolution 2015.
For now the EU and the GCC seek to organize an asset freeze against al-Beydh, warning that further sanctions will be looked at if the politician failed to respond positively to the international community’s demands.
As Yemen is facing much political upheaval and overlapping crises, the international community is eager to promote stability and Yemen through the completion of the transitional process as it is the entire Arabian Peninsula which now stands in the balance.
The fear is that with more insecurity groups such as al-Qaeda or even al-Houthis – Shiite rebel operated in Yemen northern territories – will spread and serve extremists’ interests. Western diplomats said under cover of anonymity that al-Beidh entertained “suspicious” links with Tehran, leading many countries to believe he had formed an alliance with Iran in a bid to revert 1990 pre-unification era and return the flag of South Yemen.
The existence of an Iranian connection with al-Harak surfaced several months ago when members of the party told the press that had been invited to Teheran to meet with state dignitaries, having been promised financial and logistic support.
Although Iran is not ideologically close to al-Harak, a break in Yemen unity would serve its immediate interest and allow it to infiltrate further the country’s political make-up and use it against Saudi Arabia in the region. A former Politburo member, al-Beydh took up the position of vice-president in the transition government of unified Yemen in 1990.
But in 1993, al-Beydh quit the government and returned to the former Southern capital of Aden, claiming that the new government was ignoring the needs of the south. On 21 May 1994, as the South’s military position weakened, al-Beydh declared the Democratic Republic of Yemen. He served as the only President of the DRY, from 21 May to 7 July 1994. Al-Beydh fled to the neighboring Sultanate of Oman after his failed secession.
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