In these critical days which Yemen is experiencing it is useful for the memory to go back to the abnormal events of January 13, 1986, which ended the so called " the Yemen Popular Democratic Republic."
It is important to go back to them despite they happened twenty six years ago for two reasons. The first reason is that it is the basis for the unity that is facing challenges nowadays and secondly because it constituted the first indicator of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
From a legal point of view, the Yemen Popular Democratic Republic ended on May 22, 1990, the day of the declaration of the unity from Aden. The rulers in Popular Democratic Republic at that time escaped to unity when they realized that the remaining in power will mean repeating the confrontations between them.
They were wise in their choice, however, most important than that is the knowledge of those who were then in power in the south, that there was no super power called the Soviet union that is ready to invest in their country, so as to have a foothold in Arabia.
The Soviet investments were the only lifeline for the southern regime all along two decades, which constitute the period of the transition to a socialist state governed by a revolutionary party.
From a factual perspective unity has ended in1986, when a civil war had broke out between the regime's parties which appeared to be Marxist tribes that can only resolve their differences through weapons, or by eliminating the others . the war ended in the south only through a reconciliation between all, after the whole Yemen has been exposed to vigorous shocks in 2010 and 2011.
Perhaps it is the first time since independence in 1967 for the South Yemen rulers to find in 1989 and 1990 that there is no way to break the vicious circle o f the exchanged violence that consumed the best Yemenis in the south and caused the departure of all those who possess brains, wealth and certain talents.
The escape to unity in 1990, was of significance to all Yemenis in the north and south. Without unity the battles would have continued. It was not possible for instance to demarcate boarders with Saudi Arabia, because each of the two Yemeni regimes would undermine any constructive steps taken by the other side.
It is futile to say that unity has only disadvantages. It is true that some mistakes have happened from both sides, including the marginalization of the southerners following the 1994 war and the confiscations of vast lands in the southern governorates.
However the major role played by Ali Abdullah Saleh in unity cannot be ignored, when he refused all pressures for militarily intervention in 1986 in the south.
Everyone thought at that time the south became an easy morsel to be swallowed, however the Yemeni President preferred rational pursuit with the events.
Following the 1986, President Saleh was contented with hosting Ali Nasser Mohammed who was the southern head of state. He also hosted six Generals loyal to Ali Nasser foremost among them was Abdu Rabo Mansur Hadi the current Vice President who is expected to be the consensus president for two years following the next February elections.
It is important nowadays to go back to the January 13 events so that the tragic experience would not be repeated in the north or in the south. The southern leaders, who fought and lost the war of 1994 have done well by their reconciliation with Ali Nasser Mohammed and the traditional leaders in the south, center and Hadramout.
They are expected after the departure of President to play an essential role in the revival of the Yemeni unity even in a new version based on broad decentralization and on the idea that no one is exempted in Yemen again.
Because Ali Salem Albeid, who played the important role in unity and who calls for separation now, couldn't cancel the role of Ali Nasser Mohammed and had made dialogue with him, despite the thousand dead who fell in 1986. This is an important lesson to be learnt by those who had then fought and those who are still fighting in Sana'a.
There would come a day when all discover that Ali Abdullah Saleh avoided using force on one side and that his opponents should coexist with him as an ex-president on the head of an opposing political party which has an important entity on the other side.
Looking closely at January 1986 experience it would be found that many lessons could be learnt. The first lesson to be learnt is that unity resulted from the events of that year. That is important in the form of taking into consideration the aspirations of all Yemenis .
What would be more important than unity is a reconciliation that exempts no one on the national side and avoids the fragmentation of Yemen, or the so called Somaliazation.
The southern leaderships have the courage to make reconciliation between them after many years of conflicts and bloodshed in which all have sunk. It is supposed that the whole Yemen would benefit from this experience and to know that it is inevitable to go into reconciliation ultimately.
From the Kuwaiti al-Rai al-A'm