Thursday Papers: or Water, water everywhere
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.
We usually don't cover good news here at Waq al-waq, which I'm sure is just as much of a commentary on us as it is on Yemen. In fact, I can't remember every writing about anything positive in Yemen on this blog, but the times they're a changing. Particularly since Yemen discovered a new reservoir of drinking water near Mukalla. This should be a cause for celebration, and not only for qat chewers.
Also, the 26th of September is reporting that Ali al-Bajayri got the job everyone wanted - he is Yemen's new ambassador to Iraq.
Both al-Quds al-Arabi and al-Sharq al-Awsat write about the clashes yesterday in al-Dhala'. Both are repeating other news reports of seven injured. The two articles also do a good job of pointing out a new development in the secessionist movement and that is the rise of the counter-councils for the defense of unity. The government formed these to oppose the southern movement and it appears that this is exactly what they are doing.
This, I think, could get very messy. I don't believe the government is too selective about who it is letting join these councils, after all the government used much the same rhetoric - preservation of unity - back in 1994 and it took help from anywhere it could get it. Also, it appears as though the government is allowing these councils a certain degree of autonomy, which not only makes it look as though they are grass roots organizations but also gives the government some c0ver if things go the wrong way.
One side note, I'm traveling for the rest of today and tomorrow, which will likely mean fewer posts. I'll do my best to log-on from the hotel, but no promises.
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