Monday, February 22, 2010
War and Peace in Sa'ada
Nasser Arrabyee reports that the peace treaty is being implemented, slowly but surely. The main sticking point is the deployment of Yemeni soldiers along the Saudi border, a move resented by the rebels but demanded by the Kingdom. And, again, their blisteringly stupid involvement means that they have a disproportionately large voice at the negotiating table. But overall this is clearly the best news to come out of the north in a long time. Nasser also has a much more sobering piece, about the children of the war, caught up in an atavistic battle. 187 killed, 89000 displaced, hundreds of thousands denied education, and hundreds recruited to fight, on both sides (on the government side, it was child soldiers recruited by the loyal tribes- children were not directly fighting for the government. This is a distinction without a difference when it comes down to it, but I wanted to be clear). These dry numbers, born of violence, provide a peek into the problems of peace. The blame will fall, fairly or not, at the feet of the Salih and his army. And these are the people whose trust Salih needs to get to keep the country from continuing to deteriorate. This was the biggest strategic flaw of Operation Scorched Earth- while Salih could break the rebels, he probably only widened the gap between the tribesmen and his government.