Alwaght- The excuse of supporting the legitimacy in Yemen under which the Saudi Arabia has launched its blatant aggression against the Yemeni people was not more than a big deception to distort the truth before the global community’s eyes in order to justify its assault in the country, and the so-called legitimacy has no existence on the ground, lawyer and member of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee Abdulrahman al-Mukhtar told Alwaght in an exclusive interview.
He added that Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s presidency term over the country had ended, and after that it was illegally extended for two times, not to mention that he and the government had resigned before Saudi Arabia launched its blatant invasion against the country. With these evidences in hand, Mansur Hadi is not the country’s president, and he has no legitimacy the Saudi Arabia was clutching at to justify its offensive in Yemen.
Read the full text of Abdulrahman al-Mukhtar’s viewpoints, translated from Arabic into English, on Saudi aggression against the Yemeni people, as well as legal and international responsibility on Riyadh for violating Yemen’s sovereignty, and for committing war crime in the country.
It is seriously significant for the world to know about the events and circumstances which preceded the Saudi aggression, as these reasons would hold the Saudi regime fully accountable for launching this aggression and committing bloody crimes in Yemen. The Saudi aggression against our country has been ongoing since the 1960s, and at the same time the blatant intervention has continued since then.
This intervention into the country’s internal affairs, by itself, is considered an aggression. But we are not going to talk about the period which preceded the current military aggression, because it takes a long time, and the time here does not allow us to investigate all the Saudi regime’s crimes against our country in the past, and we are going to address the military aggression which followed the Yemeni people’s 2011 uprising. Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemeni internal affairs exploiting the so-called the PGCC Initiative. Through the PGCC initiative Saudi Arabia managed to restore its agents and puppets to power. Although, the revolution has made a lot of sacrifices, Saudi-backed puppets spoiled the revolutionary’s sacrifices, holding the power tightly and working against the uprising and its outcomes.
The PGCC Initiative has not been a solution to the Yemeni crisis; rather it was a blatant invasion of Yemen’s sovereignty. We are ruled by a constitution in Yemen, the 1990 constitution of the Republic of Yemen, which determined the country’s presidency term for six years. The president is elected in a competitive, equal and free atmosphere. The PGCC Initiative granted the President (Mansour Hadi) two-year term without a competitor, an act that was a clear violation of the Republic of Yemen’s constitution, as it was against the Yemeni people’s will who voted on the constitution, and approved a six-year term for the president. Therefore, the political deal (the Initiative), which came out of the Yemeni borders and was imposed on Yemen’s people just against their will, was, as I previously pointed out, an aggression against Yemeni people as well as an obvious intervention in country’s domestic affairs. And the PGCC Initiative was nothing but a Saudi-developed version of its interventions in Yemen’s affairs.
Nobody is capable of understanding the size of the aggression on Yemen and its constitution brought forth by the PGCC Initiative but those who are working in the field of constitutional law. The Yemeni constitution gave the Yemeni people the right to modify any of its chapters and rules by voting on changes. This means that Yemen’s people are the right-holders. This right extends to the six-year presidency term, which the PGCC Initiative has transformed it into a two-year period, disregarding the right and the vote of the Yemenis. Therefore, the foreign initiative has become above the Yemeni constitution, violated the country’s sovereignty, ignored Yemeni’s will, and paid no heed to the countries constitutional institutions.
Despite the fact that political forces’ approval of the deal was considered a crime against the Yemeni people and the constitution, they agreed with the initiative and the term it decided for the president, and the president was appointed as president without having rival. Under the conditions, the presidency term expired on February 21, 2014, and it was supposed that after that the president would leave the office, but Saudi Arabia pressed the political parties to accept one year more extension and that happened in practice. The political parties expanded the term in violation of the constitution, which it is in fact a violation of Yemeni people’s rights. The one-year term extension ended on February 21, 2015.
So, Mansur Hadi took two terms in office, one through the PGCC Initiative, which many of the Yemeni people in north and south were against him, and the second term, which was not pointed to in the Initiative, but under Saudi as well as the political parties’ pressures was extended for one year. Therefore, the criminal Hadi had no right to stay in power after February 21, 2015, even for a single hour. Indeed, according to neither the PGCC Initiative nor the political parties’ agreement was he liable to remain in office. And I need to add that he had resigned a month before his extended term finished.
The cabinet submitted its resignation to Mansour Hadi, but he did not act in compliance with the constitutional guidelines which required him to do his duties as a president and, after his resignation was accepted, form an interim government until the new government is formed. But he acted strangely, submitted his resignation to serve the foreign countries’ objectives, specifically Saudi Arabia’s goals, to facilitate the administrative office’s fall, and then immerse the country in a state of chaos. The constitutional rules obligate the president and the government, in case of resignation, to stay in office until the resignation is accepted and a new government is formed or a new president is elected. However, then-president Hadi was deliberate in sinking the country in chaos, an objective Saudi Arabia was seeking in order to cause self-destruction in Yemen and urge Yemenis to fight each other. Therefore, it is baseless to talk about Mansour Hadi’s legitimacy. As I noted, after February 21, 2015 he had no right to stay in power because he was not elected by people. And the foreigners who suggest that Mansour Hadi has the so-called legitimacy are not true, as any stances coming from the foreign countries concerning the case are considered an intervention, because the legitimacy is granted by the country and by people, and not by foreigners.
The legitimacy excuse has been one of the drives behind the aggression against our country, and as I mentioned before, there is no logical base for this reason, however, Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen and bombed it to save the so-called legitimacy in Yemen. This country (Saudi Arabia), which has no constitution, and in which there is even no room to talk about legitimacy, as it is an absolute dictatorship and a hierarchal monarchy, gives no value to legitimacy and people. As a result, its intervention under the excuse of supporting the people is baseless. I believe that this topic needs to be discussed and brought under spotlight so that world’s public opinions would figure out that the (Saudi) intervention is not justified.
The second declared reason for the Saudi intervention in Yemen is the border provocations, and holding back what they called a Safavid Persian (Iranian) influence in Yemen. Concerning the Provocation case, the Yemeni army as well as the popular committees, preceding the Saudi assault, had launched war games inside the country and within the country’s borders, an act seen by Saudi Arabia as posing risks to its security and stability, so it has intervened primitively to prevent the danger which it claimed was threatening its stability and security.
Being an independent and sovereign country, Yemen has the right to hold military drills inside its geographical borders, and it is not allowed that a country launches attack for some assessments, or on the possible danger that could pose risks to the country in the future.
Certainly, the countries hold military exercises and perform tests in their geographical borders. Saudi Arabia’s excuse is illegal, because it is not allowed to attack a country just because it held military drills inside its borders. While Saudi Arabia claimed that it sought to prevent Iran and fought what it called the Persian project of expanding influence over Yemen through the Houthis, it must be said there was no Iranian intervention in Yemen. Not even a single shot was fired by the Iranians and there were no Iranian weapons in the country.
It was rumored that an Iranian boat carrying weapons was seized, but it was just news propaganda and there was not such a thing on the ground. Iranian fishers were reportedly detained to press the Islamic Republic.
Although I rejected Saudi Arabia’s reasons as being pretexts to intervene in Yemen’s internal affairs, even if its reasons was true, they would not authorize Saudi Arabia to militarily assault a sovereign state. So, the absence of these reasons holds Saudi Arabia entirely responsible for the aggression and what it has carried out was a blatant invasion and a barbaric intervention in Yemen’s affairs.
Saudi regime is accountable for the crimes it has committed. The UN is also accountable for adoptation the international laws and chapters, and determining the countries’ behaviors in the times of war and peace. All the UNSC’s resolutions on Yemen, unexceptionally, asserted the Yemen’s unity as well as its sovereignty, however, these resolutions as well as the Yemeni sovereignty are currently being violated. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the allied states are seeking partitioning Yemen and pushing it in civil wars and conflicts.