Yemen Dialogue: talking the talk or walking the walk?
By Nasser Arrabyee,19/03/2013
Yemen prime minister Mohammed Basundwa did not attend the country's long awaited national dialogue opened Monday in the capital Sanaa.
Some observers and a lot of Yemenis understood that this dialogue, completely supported from West and Gulf, is not important at all as long as it is boycotted by the government itself.
On the eve of launching dialogue, which include 565 people representing supposedly all Yemeni groups, the Islamic-dominated ruling coalition ( locally known as Joint Meeting Parties JMPs) said they refuse "killers" of protesters to be taking part in dialogue.
The Islamists ( Yemen brotherhood) obviously referred to some of participants of Saleh party. Before objection of Basundwah and JMP or rather Islamist party Islah, the controversial tribal leader Hamid Al Ahmar refused clearly to participate in the dialogue leaving two of his brothers take part.
Hamid Al Ahmar is a leading member of Islamist Islah but because of his wealth and influence of his tribe Hashed he is considered as unseen decision maker of JMP and the government itself.
The prime minister Basundwah is called by some Yemenis as the man of Hamid who boasted many times privately and publicly as the orchestrator, financier and main protector of the revolution against his father's ally and friend ExPresident Saleh.
The tribal leader Hamid Al Ahmar and his party Islah and his "man" prime minister Basundwah talk about "blood of martyrs" every time they want to gain more and outdo their rivals from Saleh's party.
Mr Hafez Meyad is one of Saleh's men who are participating in the dialogue but unwelcome by Islamist and their tribal leaders. " We do not want to talk with killers", this is what they say in their statements.
Mr Meyad, who was the chairman of important economic corporation, now still a businessman, demanded that all those responsible for wars and massacres and assassinations be put on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He said he would be the first to go to ICC if any Yemeni has enough evidence that he was one of those responsible.
"I am ready to go to ICC for trial if a single Yemeni ( other than my rivals) would testify that I made something wrong," said Mr Meyad in press statements commenting on those who mentioned his name.
Mr Meyad demanded the international community to help all Yemenis by reaching the truth about the big crimes committed during political conflict of the past and not only using these crimes for political gains and blackmailing rivals.
"I would be the first one to go on trial in ICC if those responsible for wars of 86,94, six wars of Saada, March 18 massacre, assassination attempt of Saleh, Sabeen massacre," said Meyad referring to the most important crimes that happened during past political conflicts. No one of those responsible for them was held accountable so far.
At opening ceremony of dialogue,President Hadi said on air that anyone who does not want the dialogue should go out. " The door is open for those who do not like dialogue," said Hadi when one of the participants objected to the foreign interference in dialogue especially the interference of the American ambassador.
The participant Ali Al Bukhaiti, from Al Houthi group, objected to describing the American ambassador and other ambassadors as sponsors of the dialogue. The Secretary General of the dialogue conference Ahmed Bin Mubarak in his speech described American ambassador and others as sponsors of dialogue. Al Bukhaiti objected loudly causing a clamor among the audience. To prevent further hurly-burly inside the crowded big hall of Presidential Palace, President Hadi released his warnings and his soldiers kicked out the objector.
While dialogue conference was being held in Sanaa, hundreds of thousands of people were demonstrating in Aden, capital of the south, to refuse dialogue and demand separation between south and north. The million-man demonstration was called "The decision is ours".
All internal and external players realize that the south issue is the key issue for all other issues, which means without solution for it , the dialogue will be completely failed .
Some groups of the south separation movement are taking part in the dialogue which will last for 6 months in six provinces. Leaders of these groups, Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Abdullah Al Nakhebi, and Ahmed Bin Fared Al Suraimah, are all accused of treason by other separatist groups who refuse dialogue.
Despite of this, the flag of south was raised inside the conference hall of the Presidential Palace by these southern groups while President Hadi was speaking in presence of the UN envoy Jamal Binomar and GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani.
Hassan Ziad, Secretary General of Al Haq party who is boycotting the dialogue, said America is focussing on army and security restructure, and Britain is focussing on how to make the relation between south and north, and France is assigned to formulate the constitution, and the participants from Yemen are busy with the daily allowance of 220US$.
"Those who lie at people for the sake of 220US$ per day will never lead Yemen to good," said Hassan Zaid, in reference to the daily allowance of each participant of the dialogue.