Successful separationists in a unity fan society: Al-Hirak Al-Janubi social movement in the Republic of Yemen
Garallah, Mohammed A.
Robinson, Glenn E.
Everton, Sean F.
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The Southern separatist movement in Yemen represents a major threat to the Republic of Yemens stability and, consequently, to regional and international security. It started as a rights-based social movement led by the Southern military officers who were forced to retire after the 1994 civil war. Searching for solutions to the embers of unrest under the ashes of grievances against government ignorance and their marginalization, these separatists established a Southern-based social movement called Al-Hirak Al-Janubi. Al-Hirak Al-Janubi has had great political opportunities, mobilizing structures, and great narratives to sell. Al-Houthies Northern problem, the 2006 presidential election, and the Arab Spring opened political opportunities for Al-Hirak Al-Janubi. Al-Hiraks charismatic leadership, financial resources, and activists recruitment bases provided great mobilizing structures, and Yemeni government corruption, wrong policies, and discrimination against Southerners provided the movement with the cause, and supported its narrative. However, Al-Hiraks success will be limited to disrupting Yemens stability and security. It is not equipped to separate the South from the rest of Yemen but can cause much trouble. Therefore, the Yemeni government, with regional and international support, should act instantly to make an end to Southern grievances by returning stolen lands, restoring Southern dignity, and supporting moderate factions of the movement to accept dialogue. More importantly, the government should purify itself by fighting corruption, improving its public administration, making an end to discrimination, and providing social services to its entire population regardless of the region, affiliation, gender, or status.
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