Monday, February 25, 2008

Yemeni Divisions

Gulf News runs a Reuters story on southern Yemen's resentment of the north:
"Southerners complain they have lost out since unity in access to local power, jobs and land, and some even say they feel they have been subjected to a northern 'occupation'...

"The owners of property nationalised under communist rule in the 1970s were to have been compensated after unity. 'That didn't happen,' said Abdul Gani Al Iryani, co-author of a paper on southern discontent published this month by the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

"'Instead northern commanders, shaikhs and businessmen went down and, one way or another, secured over half the land in Aden and maybe 20 to 30 per cent of the agricultural land in [the province of] Abyan,' the Sana'a-based analyst added...

"Many Adeni women say they had better access to education and jobs before unity, while some voice bitterness over rigid dress codes imposed by Islamists."

This surprised me a little, as when I think of discontent in Yemen, I think of Islamist opposition in the north, home to the Zaydi Shi'ite Houthi movement. That, however, just goes to show that I don't know that much about Yemen's internal politics.



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