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Issue 495 -- 23rd - 29th July 2011

Front Page

Somaliland News

News Headlines

Police Arrest Three People For Dispensing Somalia’s Passport

Third Batch Graduates From Sahan Center

Worldremit Launches “Send Money To Yourself” Service In Somaliland

Local and Regional Affairs

Cartoon In Murdoch’s Paper Calls Hacking Inquiry A Distraction From African Famine

Uganda Or Even UK Can Host Somalis, Says Ojode

US To Allow Aid Shipments To Islamist-Held Somalia 'If Security Is Guaranteed'

Analysts: Somali War Helped Turn Drought To Famine

We Need Safe Access To Those Affected By Famine In Somalia, Says World Vision

On Tanker Hijacked Another Released

Scarborough Restaurant Owner Pleads For Canadian Government To Help Somalia


Is Yemen Becoming Another Somalia?

Features & Commentary

Protecting Somaliland's Endangered Cave Paintings

Somalia's Sea Wolves

African Viewpoint: Messy Divorces

Kenyan Runner Hopes Success In U.S. Will Improve Her Family's Life

No Owner, No Cargo And No Hope Of Ransom: Pirates Urged To Show Mercy

International News


Col Iyo Abaar - War & Drought

Somaliland: Seeking A Deserved Recognition

A Note To My Late Kulmiye General Secretary: Kayse Hassan Cige

EDITORIAL: Is Yemen Becoming Another Somalia?

The Arabic press in general, and the Yemeni press in particular, is fond of using the term al-Sawmalah or Somalization to refer to the frightening prospect of the disappearance of central authority in their country and its slide into chaos and lawlessness. The threat of Somalization was used by the various political parties to give urgency to their political demands and to extract concessions from their adversaries. As the opposition to President Ali Abdalla Saleh’s rule gathered momentum, scaring people and foreign governments with the possibility of Yemen turning into another Somalia became one of his favorite mantras. But regardless of which Yemeni invokes the fate of Somalia, the fact is, with every passing day, such scenario seems less far-fetched.
To begin with, the Yemeni capital, Sana, is already divided into a northern part controlled by Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and a southern part controlled by the president’s family. This is not different from what happened in Mogadishu which used to be divided into a northern part under Ali Mahdi and a southern part under Aidid and is now divided between Al-Shabaab and AMISOM forces. Second, armed conflict has broken out between yesterday’s allies, al-Islah and Houthis, thus splintering the opposition and strengthening the divisive dynamic in Yemeni politics. Third, al-Qaeda has established strong bases in Abyan and has taken over the town of Zanjibar, and there are signs they are extending their influence to Lahj; furthermore, the fighting in Abyan has resulted in refugees fleeing to Aden which has added to the pressure on the already suffering people of Aden. Fourth, the increasing disappearance of the symbols and substance of central authority, or any authority for that matter, from many parts of southern Yemen has created a political and security vacuum there.
Of course, despite all the above worrisome signs, Yemen is different from Somalia in two important ways which may help in preventing the Somalia scenario from taking place:
1-Unlike Somalia, and unlike many countries in the Middle East, Yemen, especially North Yemen, is not a colonial invention, and has a long history as a state.
2-Yemen has two dominant tribes (Hashid and Bakil) that have traditionally provided the central (or centralizing) authorities with the military muscle to impose their will.
But despite the existence of these two pro-centralization factors, the overall political dynamic at the moment is one that is heading toward fragmentation, which could lead to another Somalia.







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