Chief of General Staff in exclusive interview with Army Newspaper (26 September): Yemeni unity is the greatest achievements attained by Yemen in modern era
The Chief of General Staff, Commander of joint operations Lt. Gen. Saghir Hammoud bin Aziz, said that the r-achievements of Yemeni unity is one of the greatest attainment achieved for Yemen in the modern era after 26 September and 14 October revolutions 1962 /1963. Yemen unity has a great place in the hearts of all Yemenis because it has closed a dark history and burdened with conflicts, wars, split and divisions.
“Unity has turned the page on totalitarian and authoritarian rule, the absence of freedom and democracy, opened a new history in which every Yemeni realized the meaning of freedom, living in dignity and looking forward to a better life.”
Lt. Gen. Bin Aziz explained in an interview with 26 September Army Newspaper that Yemeni people are the owners of power and its source to restore the state institutions from the grip of the Houthi militia.
“We in the armed forces trust our legitimate leadership, implement its directives and realize its concern for the sovereignty, unity, security and stability of Yemen,” said Lt. Gen. Bin Aziz.
Ibn Aziz sent a message to the heroes of the national army in all fronts and battlefields through 26 September Army Newspaper saying: “You are on a date with victory because you carry the project of life for all Yemenis,” Ben Aziz said and also talked about many national issues
Details of the conversation
* 26 September Newspaper: Yemen is celebrating today the 30th anniversary of the re-achievement of Yemeni unity on May 22, 1990, could you give the readers your comment?
* Chief of General Staff : There is no doubt that the Yemeni unity is one of the greatest achievements attained for Yemen in the modern era (May 22, 1990) after 26 September and 14 October revolutions 1962/1963. Yemen unity has a great place in the hearts of all Yemenis because it closed a dark history and burdened with conflicts, wars, split and divisions, and turned the page of the totalitarianism. The absence of freedom and democracy before Yemen unity have opened a new history in which every free Yemeni realized the meaning of freedom, living in dignity and looking forward to a better life, despite the challenges that accompanied the setting up of Yemeni unity. So, the momentum of Yemeni unity remained strong and steadfast, enabling Yemen to attain many economic, developmental and political achievements, as well as to overcome many different obstacles. Today, we see that the living unitary conscience is one that resists all the enemies, which is the Houthi militia and those behind it both inside and outside.
* 26 September Newspaper: This national occasion comes and Yemen is going through an exceptionally critical phase (sectarian militia coup in Sana’a, a militia rebellion in Aden) as well as regional and international plots aimed at undermining Yemeni unity. How can Yemeni s with all their political powers and components, restore the state institutions from the grip of the militia and thwart the plots?
* Chief of General Staff: As a people and as political, cultural and intellectual elites, we must cling to national principles, unite and line up behind our legitimate leadership, and support the national army in its national battle against the Houthi militia and other militias.
The issue of Yemeni unity has been resolved in the literature of the leaders of the Yemeni revolution (26 September and 14 October), unity existed to remain, and Yemeni people will maintain their unity in all ways, whether in their current form or in the form fixed by the Yemenis at the National Dialogue Conference (Federal Yemen), and as I told you that the Yemeni unity is protected by its free Yemeni people, not as some imagine it is protected by its political elite. There is no fear of unity and all these bumps will end and disappear no matter how much they are.
Since Yemenis are the owners and source of power, they are only able to recover the institutions of the state, which is now under the weight of the Houthi rebel militia, and today it is engaged in this confrontation and national battle with all forces, and behind it our brothers in the leadership of the Arab coalition supporting Yemeni legitimate government, led by Saudi Arabia, represented by the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and His Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
* 26 September Newspaper: On this national occasion, what is your message to the Yemeni political forces and to the people of the southern provinces in particular?
* Chief of General Staff: I do not accept this fragmentation vocabulary north or south, I believe in one Yemen and the Republic of Yemen or the new federal Yemen. We are one unified people from time immemorial and we will remain so despite all those who seek to tear Yemen apart, both inside and outside, and therefore I say: “Any Yemeni or Arab seeks to harm Yemeni unity, this is questionable in his right and Arabism.”
My message to the politicians: Yemeni people will overcome those who seek t to harm Yemeni unity. Yemeni people are united in hearts, united in geography, identity, religion, language and history, and no one can harm Yemeni unity because the Yemenis are its guardian, not the politicians, not the personal interests, the agents and the beneficiaries.
My message to Yemenis: keep your unity. Yemen will go and remain united, and Yemenis are one. Yemeni people are the ones who have the decision in their unity and who have the decision to govern themselves, they are the owner of power and they give it to those who want, and they are keen on their unity, security and stability.
* 26 September Newspaper: How do you assessment the national army leadership as escalating the so-called Transitional Council and declaring the self-administration of the southern provinces and its refusal to implement the Riyadh Agreement?
* Chief of General Staff: The National Army are guided by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Field Marshal Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, who is keen on the security and stability of Yemen, and what the President guides or orders us in this regard will literally be implemented. The armed forces trust our leadership and know that they are keen on the security and stability of Yemen and its sovereignty and its new federal form.
* 26 September Newspaper: A few days ago, the so-called Transitional Council prevented and obstructed the Yemeni Coast Guard in Aden from carrying out its role and duties, could you please tell the readers what are the difficulties Iran and the Houthis militia are causing with regard to smuggling weapons through the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al-Mandab Strait?
* Chief of General Staff: The government’s policy of “eliminating the threat of terrorism” is a major concern for the international community. On this occasion, I thank the Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for their generous support to the army and the Yemeni state in order to extend the state’s influence, liberate the rest of the land, root out the Houthi coup and achieve security and stability in Yemen in general.
* 26 September Newspaper: What is your response to the accusations of the leaders of the so-called Transitional Council directed at the national army forces and accusing them of terrorism and subservience to the Muslim Brotherhood?
* Chief of General Staff: First: Every hatred of the Yemeni people must direct his arrows to the national army, the army is the backbone of the state, the foundation in building the state and protecting its institutions and achieving security and stability. The Army national role is to liberate every inch of Yemen from the militia, extend the influence and authority of the state in all parts, and for that thousands of martyrs and wounded, will continue in the battle to restore the state despite those who want to hinder the army path in achieving security and stability.
Secondly, the political parties are on the scene and no one can deny their existence, and every political party can support the army in its struggle to take over the Houthi coup. Parties are competing to provide the best projects for the service of the nation. Therefore, we do not blame any party that provides assistance to the army in order to achieve its desired objectives in achieving security and stability under the constitution, the law and the authority of the legitimate state elected by Yemenis.
* 26 September Newspaper: What about the militia’s violations of the truce declared by the government and the Arab coalition, especially with the end of the truce period?
* Chief of General Staff: From the very first moment of the directives of President of the Republic, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the recommendations of the brothers in the Arab coalition to abide by the truce, we have observed the ceasefire from the first day, and remain committed. However, the Houthi rebel militia continues its daily violations, which has reached thousands of violations, in all fronts. We continue to follow the truce, but we have the right to defend ourselves and the positions of our forces. We know the Houthi militia from the beginning, does not follow the truce and the rebel militia will only abide by force..
* 26 September Newspaper: What is the importance of the victories achieved by the national army forces in the past days in the fronts of Nihm, Serwah and Al-Bayda in response to the violations of the Houthi rebel militia?
* Chief of General Staff: The army target is Sana’a and the rest of the provinces of the Republic, which are under the control of the Houthi militia, and what the army did during the truce is to repel an attack by the Houthi militia, recapture some positions.
* 26 September Newspaper: Where have the efforts to integrate army units on the west coast have reached, especially since there have been procedures that have begun with the numbering and fingerprinting of the forces?
* Chief of General Staff: The army has one goal, and therefore when the goal is one and unified, there will be no other obstacles, and will go on to liberate the rest of the provinces and reach the capital Sana’a. The army will pave the way for the legitimate leadership and political forces to complete the political process and move forward in building the federal state that was agreed at the National Dialogue Conference.
* 26 September Newspaper: What about the restructuring of the army?
* Chief of General Staff: The structure is still being studied in a specialized committee and will be announced as soon as it is adopted by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Abd rabbu Mansour Hadi.
* 26 September Newspaper: How do you assess the Arab Coalition’s support for the National Army forces financially and logistically?
* Chief of General Staff: We thank, appreciate and gratitude all the countries of the Coalition, notably Saudi Arabia, which have provided precious for security and stability in Yemen, and those who believe that there are other goals of the Coalition other than achieving security and stability in Yemen are wrong, because Saudi Arabia is precisely in its interest in the security and stability of Yemen and maintaining its unity. The security and stability of Yemen is the guarantee of the national security of Saudi Arabia, and the security and stability of Yemen is the guarantee of Yemen’s national security. We thank and appreciate Saudi Arabia and the entire Arab Coalition for their generous support for ongoing military operations.
* 26 September Newspaper: Do you have a message you would like to send to the National Army forces via 26 September newspaper?
* Chief of General Staff: My message to all the heroes of the national army in all fronts: you are the source of our pride. You are the hope of the Yemeni people, who stand behind and support you, you are on a date with victory, and we will win. We carry the project of life for all Yemenis, whatever the obstacles, and the project of death of the Houthi rebel militia will be destroyed and will end.
My message to all the Yemenis: Yemen unity, security and stability are Army responsibility. Yemen is our nation and we must maintain it and we must do all the best in order to preserve the unity, security and stability.