INTERVIEW: Colonel Naser Saleh Abdul Qawi, secretary general of Aden Military Retirees Society.
Colonel Naser Saleh Abdul Qawi is the secretary general of Aden Military Retirees Society. Col. Abdul Qawi was a member of the southern Air Force, and was stationed at the al-Anad military base before it fell to Sanaa’s forces in Yemen’s 1994 civil war. Abdul Qawi is one of hundreds of military retirees who were reinstated to the Yemeni military in response to months of protests that have rocked the southern Yemeni governorates.
In a statement, Abdul Qawi described to A.O.L. what he and other reinstated southern military officers experienced during their return to Sana’a. He explained how they were treated and the solution from his view:
“Let me draw your attention to what happened to us in both the military and civilian sectors after the summer war 1994 that resulted in the south’s occupation by the Sana’a regime, and how the victorious side practiced all forms of hegemony against us in a retarded mentality. The Yemeni regime stopped us, the military, from working. It got rid of all southern leaders. It deprived us of our rights and confiscated our freedom, lands, and also houses which were specialized for the southern military. The regime then illegally distributed the (seized) property, including the lands and houses which are situated in al-Anad military base, Salah al-Din camp, Al-Rayan airport, and al-Ghaidha airport, among others.
The civilian side was subjected to similar arbitrary measures. I can describe what happened generally as the following: The Yemeni regime transferred all the government controlled sectors in the PDRY such as factories, firms and companies to the private sector under many names and excuses. This public sector was source of hundreds families’ livelihood, and all of them were forced into the street without any consideration for brotherhood or even humanity.
About what we experienced during our recent return to Sana’a, We were dealt with as recruits. We were assigned in groups without any posts, rights or compensation. The ranks and promotions were computed to me from 3.November 2007 in spite of desiring (retroactive compensation) from more than 10 years. This happened not to me only but to all who returned. The matter was not restricted to that.
They demanded from us to fill and sign a document that included many conditions which obliged the signer to never practice any peaceful (political) activity. Because of that clause, all of us refused this document and considered that an illegal condition that furthers complications.
The solution from my view goes back to the unity agreement which was signed in 1990 by both the leaderships of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen (P. D. R.Y.) and Yemeni Arab Republic (Y.A.R.), and requires the application of the whole obligations in Amman document (the agreement of pledge and accord) which held between both presidents, Ali Salem Al-beedh from the south and Ali Abdullah Saleh from the north. The solution also requires the application of U.N. resolutions no. 924 and 931 which were issued during 1994 war. And I can say without the application of these agreements and decisions, no peace will be on the land and no dignity or honor.”