Tag: <span>the Second World War</span>

Yemen Appeals

Yemen and Somalia. The Armed Conflict Continue.

Featured Image Photo by Anthony Beck in Pexels.
The Association of World Citizens strives to respond to situations in this turbulent and frequently violent world by making proposals for the resolution of armed conflicts through negotiations in good faith and by making proposals for developing appropriate forms of government, often based on con-federalism, decentralization, and transfrontier cooperation. A current focus is on the situations in Yemen (1) and Somalia. (2)
   In March 2015, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia attacked Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, held by a rebal force, the Ansar Allah Movement, commonly called the Houthis.  Since that date, the armed conflict has continued, destroying the fragile economy, displacing a large number of persons, creating a humanitarian tragedy.  So far, all mediation efforts have failed. The situation becomes more complex each day due in part to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
 
the Houthis
A calligraphic logo used by Ansar Allah, a Shia movement in Yemen commonly called the Houthis, with Arabic text: “Oh ye who believe, be supporters of God” (Quran 61:14). By Ansar Allah (Houthis), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
 

The state of Yemen was the creation of two separate units. 

 
One was the southern part originally known as the Aden Colony and the Eastern and Western Aden Protectorates under British rule. The northern part of the country had been under Ottoman rule until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.  From 1918 until 1962, it was ruled by Imams. In 1962, there was a military coup organized by officers who had been trained in Egypt and were influenced by Nasser’s views on Arab nationalism.  The coup was followed by an eight-year-long civil war between the military forces called “republicans” and the forces of the Imam Bader.  The republicans won, but the government was weak and unstable.
 
   The south of the country after the British left took the name of the Prople’s Democratic Republic of Yemen.  In 1990, the two segments of Yemen were united, and the Republic of Yemen was established. However, the euphoria which had existed at the start was short-lived.  The people in the south had been promised that their lives would be bettered after unification. Life did not improve, and many in the south felt marginalized.  Today, there is a strong sentiment in the south for separation and independence.
 
   When the fighting in Yemen stops, the creation of appropriate forms of government will have to be found. The return to two separate states presents real difficulties as people have moved from their original home areas due to changing economic conditions and to the armed conflict. Yet a single centralized government also seems impossible.  As Martin Dent points out, where there is strong identity politics, there must be forms of government that fill the gap between unity and independence.(3)  There is a need for Track II  efforts to discuss possible structures of government in Yemen.
 
Muhammad Al-Badr
Muhammad Al-Badr was the last king of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (North Yemen) and leader of the monarchist regions during the North Yemen Civil War (1962–1970). By Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
 

Somalia. Similar Conditions.

 
In Somalia, we have very similar conditions. The two Somali colonial areas, one under the control of Britan and the other under that of Italy were combined into one state in 1961. There had been a period of U.N. trusteeship after the end of the Second World War when the area of Italian colonial status had ended and before the two colonial territories were united. The political culture of the two territories was different.  This impact of the colonial legacy  was an element leading to the current situation.  In January 1991, the military government of Siyad Barre was overthrown, and now different parts of the country demand independence, in particular Somaliland and Puntland, though their boundary claims overlap.
 
In addition to regional demands for independence, there is an armed Islamist movement, Al-Shabaab, which poses regional and international security issues which continue.  Mediation efforts by the United Nations have not progressed.  Again Track II efforts may be helpful to find governmental structures able to provide autonomy without dividing the Somalia state into three or more independent states.
 
 
(4) The Association of World Citizens stresses the need for creative thinking on the structure of a state, on the need for regional cooperation and a willingness to negotiate in good faith.
 
 
Siyad Barre
Military portrait of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia’s longest-serving President. By Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.   
 
 

Notes:

(1) Helen Lackner. Yemen in Crisis: Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State.
(London: Saqi Books, 2017, 330pp).
 
(2) Sarah G. Phillips. When There Was No Aid: War and Peace in Somaliland ( Ithica: Cornell University Press, 2020, 227pp.)
 
(3) Martin J. Dent. Identity Politics: Filling the Gap Between Federalism and Independence.
(Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2004, 232 pp.)
 
(4) Hurst Hannum. Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990, 503 pp.)
 
 
 
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.
 
 
 

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The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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world citizen action Education of World Citizenships.

The Three Waves of World Citizen Action

Featured Image Photo by fauxels on Pexels.

The idea of world citizenship has been put forward in periods when the existing structures of inter- State relations were fragile and endangering life and society: by Socrates when the classic Greek city states were under strain; by the Stoics when the Roman Republic was being transformed into the Empire; at the Renaissance as, again, the city-States were too narrow a framework for the expanding cultural renewal; by Anacharsis Cloots at the time of the French Revolution; by some of the Abolitionists during the US Civil War when equality between free and slave was at stake.

French Revolution, 1789 Painting; French Revolution, 1789 Art Print for sale. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

In the same way, modern world citizen action has been a response to important challenges faced by the world community. Individuals who saw the dangers of traditional ways of thinking and inaction have acted together to promote loyalty to humanity as a whole. There have been three waves of modern world citizenship action.

Barbara Fritchie 1766-1862 in US Civil War. Caption reads: “Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag, she said.” By Source: Woman’s Work in the Civil War: a Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience (1867) page 10., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The First Wave.

The First Wave, manifested in 1938 by the creation in England by Hugh Schonfield of the Commonwealth of World Citizens, was a response to the growing power in Europe and Japan of narrowly nationalistic dictatorships. Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany was the outstanding representative of this dangerous aggressive nationalism.

Likewise, the following year, 1939, the Association of World Citizens was created when the clouds of war had gathered, and an ideology in opposition to narrow nationalism was required. The Association began at the same time in England and the USA by persons who had been active in the League of Nations. Salvador De Madariaga who had represented Republican Spain at the League, Henri Bonnet who had headed the Intellectual Cooperation Section of the League, and James Avery Joyce, a young British lawyer active in youth efforts for the League of Nations.

The First Wave of world citizen action was unable to prevent the Second World War. The war ended the possibility of active cooperation among members. Thus the war ended the First Wave, although many of those active on the eve of the war helped to form the Second Wave of world citizen action.

French conclude agreement on lend-lease and reverse lend-lease. Jean Monnet, representative of the French Provisional Government signs agreements. Left to right: Henri Bonnet, French Ambassador, Joseph C. Grew, Undersecretary of State and Jean Monnet (1945). By Lakey, J. Sherrel, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Second Wave.

The Second Wave was a response to the massive destruction of the Second World War, of the use of atomic bombs, and the start of the Cold War. Under the leadership of Lord Boyd Orr, the first director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), world citizens were particularly active in efforts against hunger and for a world food policy. 1948 and the proclamation by the UN General Assembly meeting in Paris of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the high point of the Second Wave. In 1950, the start of the Korean War and the structuring of the Cold War into military alliances – NATO and the Warsaw Pact – put an end to the Second Wave of world citizen action. However, many world citizens were active in the 1950-1990 period to lessen the dangers of Soviet-USA confrontation, to abolish nuclear weapons and to bring colonialism to an end.

Lord John Boyd Orr, Nobel Peace Prize 1949. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Third Wave.

The Third Wave of world citizen action can be dated from 1990 as a response again to narrow nationalism as seen with the break up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the failure of nationalistic responses to major ecological challenges. Again world citizens are organizing in collective efforts such as the Association of World Citizens to develop strategies for the benefit of all humanity and to promote efforts based on justice and cooperation.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. The photo documentation is permanently placed in the public. By Lear 21 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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