Salih Heads South
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.
Khaled al-Hammadi of al-Quds al-Arabi has this excellent report from Aden today on what he describes the increasing tensions in the south.
He opens the article by quoting some of the chants he heard in Radfan on Monday. For those interested in rhyming Arabic chants of opposition I would recommend the opening paragraph, the first of which I'm translating (loosely) as "Revolt, Revolt O' South/Out, Out O' Colonialism" - it sounds much better in the original Arabic, trust me. And if anyone has a better translation for barra', I'm all ears.
Al-Hammadi claims that the increasing tensions have led Salih to make his first trip south this summer under the guise of a military tour. The assumption here, of course, is that Salih's tour will give him a better impression of how to ease the rising pressure and somehow find a way to limit the conflicts between the military and protesters. But Salih's description of the military as a cork to preserve the integrity of the country's unity does not sound promising, at least for those hoping for fewer clashes.
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