Yemen NDI trains Yemenis on dialogue
By Nasser Arrabyee, 12/11/2012
It is the national dialogue that is supposed to be held next week here in Sanaa. This dialogue can not be successful without participation of the separatist movement of the south. Some important leaders of this movement are living in the Gulf States and Cairo.
The Yemen UN envoy, Jamal Bin Omar arrived in the capital Sanaa on Monday, Novmeber 12, 2012, after he had a meeting with the separatist leaders in Cairo. Bin Omar, who has a permanent office in Sanaa for closely monitoring transitional political process, is scheduled to present a report to the UN Security Council on Novmber 28th about the latest steps taken by Yemenis for holding the national dialogue.
Undoubtedly, some separatist leaders, outside and inside Yemen, have already agreed to participate in the dialogue but some refused. Hadi's visit to Gulf States would focus on having more support for Yemen unity as a factor of stability not only for Yemen but also for the whole region. Those leaders who demand separation should not be encouraged by Gulf leaders.
The national dialogue is supposed to come out with a vision for a civil state which should start with presidential elections according to a new constitution in February 2014.
Not holding this dialogue means simply failure of the Saudi-sponsored and American-backed deal, known as the GCC Initiative, which was signed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents in the Saudi capital Riyadh in November 2011.
According to this deal, which gives Saleh and all his senior aides immunity from prosecution, early elections were held and Saleh handed the power to his deputy Hadi who won non-competitive election approved by majority of Yemeni as a way out from a civil war.
Furthermore, the United States hinted many times it would impose punishment like freezing assets, against spoilers of the GCC Initiative. Almost every day, you can see attempts to spoil the deal by sabotage acts against electricity transmission lines or gas and oil pipe lines.
Accusations are exchanged between the conflicting parties, but no one can determine who is the spoiler exactly. Last month, repeatedly, the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in his capacity as head of his party that has 50 per cent of the ministers of the current national government, called on UN and sponsors of the GCC Initiative to declare the names of the spoilers.
The spoilers are not necessarily in direct connection with this or that party. For Yemenis, it is easy to understand that conflicting parties ( tribal, religious, and military leaders of influence who still dominate political and social scenes) can easily use the spoilers from behind.
For instance, early morning Monday November 12, 2012, the main oil pipeline was bombed twice in two different places by tribesmen from two different tribes in the eastern province of Marib.
The first bombing was in Wadi Abida east of Marib city, by tribesmen from Al Jameel tribe, who were demanding the release of their relative, Mansour Saleh Daleel who was sentenced to death last October for terror charges.
The second was bombed not far from that place by tribesmen from Al Hafreen tribe who were demanding the release of their relative who was put in jail earlier this month after he kidnapped a Filipino national in the heart of Sanaa.
Although it seems that Al Qaeda is behind these two bombings, the two tribes are known to every one and they are publicly demanding the release of their relatives from the prisons of the government. Loyalty of tribesmen almost everywhere especially in the north of Yemen is evenly split between the Islamist party, Islah, the semi-ruling party, and the party of Saleh which forms the opposition now.
And the army is also split between two influential commanders one is Saleh's son, Ahmed, and the other is the defected general Ali Muhsen who is very close to Islah party even from before his defection in March 2011.
Islah party, every Friday still make rallies with its supporters to demand President Hadi to sack Ahmed Ali and keep Ali Muhsen and they call that "restructure of the army".
They say dialogue should not start before restructuring of the army which obviously means to them sacking Ahmed Ali from the Republican guards, the best trained and highly qualified and equipped units of the army.
President Hadi is in need for both commanders for balance at least for the transitional period which ends in February 2014, if transitional period went according to the deal.
To make it clear to all what restructure of the army means, the Minister of Defense, Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, said on Monday in a military symposium on restructure that a strategic plan of 10 years is being made for genuine restructure of the army. The deal, GCC Initiative, stipulates that army should be restructured.
The Yemen-based American National Democratic Institute (NDI), held an event to train normal Yemeni on how to make dialogue and how to make use of it in solving problems. The NDI called its event, the second to be held in less than two months, the Council of City.
Many Yemenis from Sanaa and other provinces were invited to listen and ask key speakers about economic problems facing Yemen and how they can be solved.
Economically, donors and friends of Yemen pledged last September to give about 8 billion US dollars, half of it from the Gulf States, but they seem to be very reluctant to pay the money if chaos continues.
"Without good administration this money would not work," said Abdullah Al Maktari, member of economic and financial committee in the Parliament.
"We need to have good administration based on competence, then we can absorb this money and use it for reforms," said Al Maktari, who was one of the key speakers in the NDI Council of City
Many observers say if the economic problem is solved in Yemen, more than 70 per cent of the problems will be automatically solved. But this solution can not happen as long as there is no security and political stability.
"The economy can not be improved while politicians are fighting with each other," said Mohammed Afandi, chairman of the Yemeni center for statistic studies, who was also one of the NDI key speakers in the second Council of City held in Sanaa November 12,2012.