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26 September revolution objectives: What has and hasn't been achieved?

A half-century has passed since the breakout of the 26 September revolution in 1962, since the pioneers of that revolution strived to build a new Yemen. Henceforth, the monarchy began to collapse--it grasped its final breaths. Sana'a was ready to announce the birth of a new country: the Yemen Arab Republic. At that time, the revolutionaries set six objectives for the revolution. Even today, these six objectives are still outlined in government newspapers. The objectives were as a project to help restore Yemen and drive it out of backwardness, poverty and ignorance experienced under the reign of monarchy.

The revolutionaries made their first objective to liberate the country from tyranny and colonialism, to establish a just, republican rule and to eliminate differences and discrimination between social classes.

The second objective was to build a strong national army capable of defending the nation, its revolution and its gains. The economy was not separate from the revolution's objectives. The revolutionaries wanted to raise the country up economically, socially, politically and culturally as the third objective.

The fourth was building a cooperative, fair, democratic society, which derived its regulations from Islam.

The revolutionaries' fifth objective asserted the importance of Yemen's unity as a part of a comprehensive Arabic unity.

And the sixth and final objective was respecting the conventions of the United Nations and international organizations, positive neutrality, non-alignment, supporting international peace and consolidating the peaceful co-existence principle between peoples. There are many questions constantly raised. What has been achieved of the revolutionary objectives? What has failed? Has the republican regime applied these objectives or diverted away from the 1962 goals? Qualitative jump Hatim Abu Hatim, a leading Nasserite figure, said the 26 September revolution shifted Yemen from the Stone Age to a bright period, indicating that it was a great move and that was the ambition of the rebels of the revolution. Yemeni unification was attained; this was among the revolution's objectives, he said. However, he expressed his apprehension and worry that the unification is currently at stake because of the rifts and disputes inherited from the former regime.

Abu Hatim said the democratic regime installed following the revolution was unauthentic, and the economy was unsuccessful; therefore, the revolutionary objectives have not been fully accomplished. He is optimistic that the peaceful youth revolution--sparked last year and leading to the overthrow of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh--will renew the 26 September revolutionary objectives, calling for the reconciliation government to cooperate in order to create security and stability as well as building a strong economy and exerting their utmost to realize the objectives of the September 1962 uprising. For his part, Ibrahim Ghanim, a journalist, said the objectives of 26 September have not been accomplished at all; the revolution was hijacked from the cradle.

"Tyranny has not been annihilated yet, and the national economy remained unhealthy in the course of the past periods," Ghanim said. "Yemen does not have a strong army competent to defend the country thus far." Exaggeration isn't needed Doctor Ahmed Al-Ajl, the former dean of the Mass Media College, said some revolutionary goals from 1962 have been achieved while others have not been achieved.

"It is logical to say that some aims of the revolutions were achieved," Al-Ajl said. "Saying that all aims have been achieved is an exaggeration, and saying none of these aims have been achieved is an exaggeration as well." Al-Ajl said establishing a republican regime and achieving the national unity have been achieved. However, achieving developmental goals and enhancing the economic situation have not been accomplished.

He said attaining all aims of the revolution requires solid efforts and significant leaps in Yemen's economic, cultural and political fields. But Yemen underwent dangerous periods--both in the past and the present--he said, adding that these challenges obstructed reaching all aims of the revolution, especially during last year's uprising.

Al-Ajl hoped the upcoming National Dialogue Conference would succeed, local legislative elections would be held and a constitution would be improved for Yemen to witness a period of stability and so that all aims would be achieved.

Doctor Mohammed Abduljabar Salam, an academic who has written several books about the 26 September revolution, said there is big difference between what has been achieved and what has not been achieved.

"It is true that the revolution's aims haven't been achieved, but most of them were accomplished," Salam said. "Yemen, before the revolution, was living in a deteriorating situation, and revolutionary people at that time were determined to make large developments in Yemen, but unfortunately, their aims were obstructed.

Sallam said the country's political parties contradicted each other in regards to achieving the September revolution's aims. He said these political parties are making progress, but slowly.

Sallam agreed with those who say building a strong military force--the second objective--has not been successful. People are living in a deteriorating situation, he said, and the unity achieved May 22, 1990 has been exposed to setbacks so the achievements have not been made.

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Publication:Yemen Times (Sana'a, Yemen)
Geographic Code:7YEME
Date:Sep 27, 2012
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