Yemen is becoming more complicated, as civil-proxy wars are wont to become. Yemen is also being set back about a century, through destruction by native rivals and foreign Arab invaders. The Saudi-United Arab Emirates (UAE) bombers/invaders have acquired, bought or rented, a gaggle of questionable hungry allies (Sudan, Eritrea, humorless Jordan, among other Arab payees). The Western powers, especially the US and Britain, are also helping the attackers. They are siding against the wild Houthis and the Yemeni army, the side that fights Al-Qaeda (AQAP) and the Islamic State. The Westerners don’t get paid directly, but they expect fat contracts from the Saudis and Emiratis for weapons and their services.
Now, in the service of the Saudi princes, the two Western powers are direct war allies of Sudan, whose dictator has been convicted by the ICC and is a wanted war criminal. The Sudanese soldiers under dictator Omar Al Bashir are probably among the least professional in the Arab world, and have a well-deserved reputation for raping and pillaging in their own country. And they are being used in the contested and divided city of Aden.
Now there are also some media reports of the UAE recruiting more Colombian mercenaries to send into the parts of Aden they are trying control. UAE, with a tiny citizen population of about one million who are unwilling to fight abroad, had started to hire a largely Colombian mercenary army after the Arab uprisings of 2011. Now some of these are reportedly poised to enter Yemen, if they re not there already.
To further complicate matters, or perhaps simplify them depending on your point of view, two new not-unexpected developments have occurred. Deposed former president Generalissimo Hadi Bin Zombie and his prime minister Bahah had managed to be flown into Aden by the Saudis. But the much-publicized return did not last. Soon both Bahah and Hadi fled Aden again to the safety of their Saudi hotels in Riyadh.
In the meantime, the Yemenis are countering the Saudi-UAE bombing and attempted invasion of their country in their own favorite way. They are making successful incursions into Saudi territory, often ejecting the inept Saudi garrisons and controlling towns and villages (that used to be part of Yemen some eighty years ago).
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Yemen has been under severe assault for almost eight months now. From the air, warplanes of Arab princes, the best machinery of war that the West can sell, are raining death and destruction on the poorest of Arabs. Now the princes have also bought or rented thousands of African/Arab mercenaries to do the ground fighting for them. Apparently too many casualties among the Gulf coalition soldiers (Saudi, UAE) in Aden have raised ‘concern’ among the peoples of these two countries.
The Saudis have already handed parts of Aden in Southern Yemen to mercenary Sudanese soldiers. These soldiers have been rented from the wanted international criminal Omar Al-Bashir, military dictator of Sudan for almost 27 years. Al-Bashir was convicted by the International Criminal Court years ago, but he keeps traveling at will across the Arab world. He met the Saudi king in recent days. His army excels in and is famous for rape and murder of unarmed civilians. Now he is being paid by the Saudi princes so that his army of rapists and killers can help control the city of Aden. These Sudanese soldiers are now technically allies of American and British forces that are involved over Yemen.
Arab media report that more Sudanese soldiers, a third wave, are heading to Aden. Saudi daily al-Hayat (owned by Prince Khalid Bin Sultan) quotes a senior adviser to the deposed Yemeni president General Hadi that mercenary Egyptian soldiers hired out from Al Sisi are also on their way.
I have some doubts about the veracity claim of this Egyptian role. Unless the price was raised to an offer that the ruling military could not refuse.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
There was excitement in Sharm El Shaikh, the former Israeli resort that Egypt inherited (actually regained) after the Camp David accords. The Arab absolute kings, presidents for life, kitchen-hardened field marshals, and other assorted despots gathered to bless the new violent assault on Yemen.
One could probably hear some of their minds whirring, the mental cash registers ringing, calculating: how much money can we get out of these absolute tribal rulers of these statelets or half-states as Al Sisi and his advisers called them, called us, on tape.
Quite a coalition of the eagerly willing for a price in saudi and Emirati and Qatari money:
- Sudan whose dictator is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, mass murder, and other violations.
- Somalia which has no government except on paper.
- Military junta-ruled Egypt, in an economic bind and willing to convert to any faith, including Wahhabism, for a price.
- Perennial mercenary nuclear state of Pakistan, always happy and willing to supply mercenaries, soldiers, and interrogators to several Persian Gulf states for a price.
- Humorless Jordan, a favorite source of mercenaries: interrogators, torturers, and other assorted crowd control specialists.
- Others, including Qatar and the UAE (Emirates) whose economies rely on the almost 90% of their populations that are temporary expatriate laborers.
Quite a coalition of the willing to pay and the eager to be paid. Then there is the Obama administration, of the early perhaps premature Nobel Peace Prize, which everybody in the Middle East either suspects or knows planned the short-term strategy for the ongoing savage bombing of Yemen. Unless they think the Egyptians and Saudis and Qataris can organize and choreograph such a campaign. Which nobody in their right mind believes.
A unified Arab force indeed………
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Sudan said Thursday it is organizing a December 4 meeting of Libya’s neighbors, as the North African country continues to be plagued by lawlessness and violence. The foreign ministers of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger and Tunisia have been invited to the meeting in Khartoum, the foreign ministry said. Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi and the organisation’s envoy to Libya, Nasser al-Qidwa, were also invited………….”
Now I have seen it all, und warum nicht? Everything is topsy turvy in the region now. If absolute tribal princes and potentates can claim to bring freedom and democracy to Syria, why can’t Sudan bring stability to Libya? Anything is possible these days.
Go for it, Omar. You must be serious: you have no more sense of humor than your ancient namesake did.
I have some concern about the list of invitees. I don’t mean to show any disrespect, but Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Tunisia and the Arab League don’t cut it. Not alone. Didn’t Qatar and the UAE join Bernard-Henri Levy and Senator McCain in bombing Libya and overthrowing Qaddafi? Why not invite them too?
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum