04 Jan 2012

Yemeni Public Raises Voice Against Corruption

An article by Abubakr al-Shamahi discusses how political tension seems to be increasing recently in Yemen, where the past weeks have seen demonstrations escalate onto strikes that have managed to create great pressure on the government to combat corruption more strongly.

The protests have been motivated mostly by economic inequality and represent a reaction directed against politicians and state officials seen as corrupt. One example was the strike of Yemenia Airways employees, who successfully pressured for the removal of the company’s director, which took place two days after the strike began. Widespread corruption in the company’s management has led it close to bankruptcy.

Other public employees, including traffic and police officers, followed with demonstrations and strikes, and as a symbolic gesture prevented the heads of their departments, many accused of corruption, to access the offices. Anti-corruption manifestations spread even into the Military, where soldiers pushed for the dismissal of General Ali Hassan al-Shater, know to be an important ally to the government. The government did not resist the pressure and announced that al-Shater will be replaced.

These movements have also revealed a leading role of the youth, especially students, in mobilizing the public to protest. One example was the “Life March”, which took place over a 250km-long way from the city Taiz to Sana’a, in protest against lack of democracy in the country. They could be a sign of important changes with regards to people’s acceptance of corruption and the way the government deals with it.

Read the full article “New ‘parallel revolution’ against corruption” on aljazeera.com. The picture above is featured in the article and is credited to EPA.