Today marks the 58th anniversary of September 26 Revolution Day, a very special day for Yemenis, for it is the birth of Yemen Arab Republic, ultimately setting the stage for the creation of the modern Republic of Yemen, that led to the overthrow of the unjust and oppressive Imamate regime that ruled North Yemen for much of the 20th century.
Before September 26, 1962, the northern part of Yemen was ruled by the reactionary, imamate regime; a theological system that limited the right to rule to Prophet Mohammed’s descendants, a system that Houthi militia ___ an armed group that controls most of northern Yemen ___ seeks to restore.
Yesterday, a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi militia hit a school in Marib province where schoolgirls were working out a rehearsal for the eve of the 58th anniversary of the September 26. Luckily, the missile hit the school minutes after the schoolgirls left the school.
It is obvious that the militia failed to hide the fact that they hold a grudge against this national day, for it has knowledge that its backward project is not welcomed by Yemenis.
Some might wonder why Houthis are being abhorred by Yemenis.
It all started on September 21, 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi insurgents stormed Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, and ousted the internationally recognised government under the pretext of fighting corruption. Since then Yemenis, especially in Houthi-controlled areas, have been greatly struggling to provide the very basic needs for their families and Yemen has become the world’s humanitarian crisis in recent history.
The corruption that the militia claimed to fight was the decision of the government to raise the price of 20 liters of oil to 3,500 Yemeni rials. Ironically, it is now sold in Houthi-controlled black markets at 20,000 Yemeni rials.
What is worse, Yemenis working in the public sector in areas under the control of Houthis have been deprived of their salaries. It is not unclear that Houthi militia aims to purposely make Yemenis needy so that they could lure them into joining frontlines as they have no other income to feed their families. Besides depriving the working people in the public sector from their salaries, the militia also prevented international agencies from delivering aid to the needy people.
Not only do Houthis intentionally starve people in Yemen, but they also have no shame in imposing a religious tax law called Khums in which Hashemites, mainly Houthis, get a fifth of state’s resources.
Another reason why the Yemeni people detest Houthis is the dictatorial approach the militia has in controlling areas under its control. Reports say there are tens of thousands of anti-Houthi activists, journalists, educators, politicians, and other civilians in their prisons where hundreds die under brutal torture.
There is no doubt that the Houthi militia is aware that it does not enjoy popularity among Yemenis which is why it resorts to applying intimidation, crackdowns, repression, and many other horrible forms of oppression and injustice on the Yemeni people.
Indeed September 26 is a nightmare for Houthis, for it was the day that ended the atrocities they are trying to bring back from the dark Imamate time.