Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Re-hiring the southern Yemeni army

Filed under: Military, South Yemen, mil restrucuturing — by Jane Novak at 11:39 am on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I have argued for a long time that integrating (or re-hiring) the forcibly retired southern military has many advantages:

1) the long idle former southern army are disconnected from the vast web of corruption, smuggling and nepotism that pervaded the upper levels of the Yemeni military during the Saleh regime
2) they may have more respect for human rights, especially if they are deployed in the south
3) they already have formal training by the Russians
4) it will decrease the sense of alienation of some southerners and especially unemployed young men in the southern provinces who are regularly turned away from the army when recruitment is a function of a sheikh’s patronage
5) it will lessen the proselytizing of soldiers wherein some extremist commanders deem military operations as jihad instead of security missions designed to protect all Yemeni citizens.

The army must become a non-political, neutral and uniformly trained body that provides equal opportunity to Yemeni men (and women) regardless of identity. Even those who are advocates for separatism might be able to see the advantages to southerners (and peace and stability) of rehiring the retired military, instead of seeing it as a way to defuse the southern movement.

The Link: (ar) Hadi to re-hire 795 former southern military commanders

Reuters: Yemen has launched a $1.2 billion fund to give back tens of thousands of southern Yemenis jobs they lost after the 1994 civil war, a minister said on Tuesday, part of efforts to revive talks aimed at ending longstanding political divisions.

International Cooperation Minister Mohammed al-Sa’adi said the fund, agreed on Sunday, had persuaded southern separatists to return to talks they boycotted last month in protest against the government’s handling of their demands.

Another positive development is the adoption of the biometric voter ID system, this must be internationally funded and locally implemented and will enhance the legitimacy of future elections as well as reduce corruption, ghost workers, and ensure the distribution of aid. The positive benefits of incorporating this technology are many and can jump start a fairer Yemen.

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