You can run but you can't hide seems to be the message being delivered by one ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh to another, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Saudis forced Saleh to resign in February 2012; the Houthis drove Hadi from power last month and put him under house arrest in Sana'a. Hadi fled to Aden making it his temporary capital but trouble seems to have followed him there as today's attack on Aden Airport showed.
The pent up rage of the masses that erupted in Tunisia last December 17 has engulfed the entire Muslim East. Two dictators — General Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and General Hosni Mubarak of Egypt — were consigned in quick succession to the dustbin of history but others are fighting back.
It is now widely expected that Yemen’s current unrest will lead to secession and not merely to the flight of its president, as has happened in Tunisia. The background to this situation is that the Republic of Yemen was born in May 22, 1990, when the two states of North and South Yemen merged after several clashes that led eventually to negotiations and a commitment to unity.
A revolt which had been smouldering in the rugged mountains of northern Yemen for nearly three years has flared up again in the last few weeks. Hundreds of government troops, Zaidi Shi’as and civilians have died in clashes since early January; rebels led by Abd al-Malik al-Huthi have ignored a series of ultimatums that the government issued to the effect that they should disarm and surrender or be “rooted out.”
That Yemen is in the grip of poverty, drought, political mismanagement and corruption is not in doubt. Nor is there any doubt that Yemen is steeped in tribal and regional tension and, at times, confrontation that might again split the country into South Yemen (a former British colony) and North Yemen.