Local News

Think-tank Makes Predictions for 2014

By NY Staff

The Center for Studies and Research has drafted a report about Yemeni politics in 2013, and has emphasized that 2014 will be a crucial year for the country that finds it between two scenarios. Either it will mark the beginning of a peaceful democratic transition, or it will see a failure of these ambitions and return Yemen to square one.

The report said that Yemenis have experienced many political, security, and economic events in 2013 that are linked to the 2011 revolution which toppled former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. This made it confusing for many observers, particularly since different papers had radically diverse outlooks.

It emphasized that the most politically stable option is to force through the Gulf initiative, passed after the 2011 revolution, to ensure a peaceful and safe transition without deteriorating the economic and security situations.

The report said that “a lot of the Gulf initiative’s political, security, and economic goals have been achieved partially, such as the election of a consensus president (Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi) to manage the transition phase, the formation of a reconciliation government from all sides, and the holding of the National Dialogue Conference to join different political currents in Yemen. The NDC has been able to make progress on large issues such as the wars in Sa’ada, and the southern movement.

“The most important thing partially achieved by President Hadi and the reconciliation government are the unification and restructuring of the army. Work made by the army, in cooperation with tribes, succeeded in restoring government control over Abyan from al-Qaeda. Reforms could also stop confrontations, remove barriers between the military and society, and force leaders from their posts who are accused of human rights violations against peaceful demonstrator. It could also forge some balance to the civil and military state apparatus, the return of state services, and new cooperation with international donors.

The report emphasized that Hadi’s announcement for Socotra to be designated as an independent province is a good step towards securing the country’s sovereignty in dealing with pressing issues.

On the other hand, the report mentioned failures during the period of Hadi’s rule and the reconciliation government. According to the report, government performance has deteriorated, especially in regards to youth issues and the 2011 revolution.

“The government and the president couldn’t find satisfactory solutions to help the wounded, compensate the martyrs’ families, release detainees, find out the locations of disappeared persons, and return expelled people who were with revolution. It has not opened a full investigation about killing peaceful demonstrators in order to specify the criminal defendants, and politicians who are behind these incidents, before submitting them to justice.”

The report pointed out the open war between Hadi with supporters of change from one side, and with the former regime from other side. However, it considered the emergence of the failure features to be primarily because youth didn’t participate in political decisions during the transition phase. Also, the change that took place in some government facilities hasn’t been great, because noticeable change hasn’t been achieved in important government institutions like the Foreign Ministry. Hadi has also not taken advantage of the emergence of the local groups which relate to regional and international aims.

The report pointed out to the increasing of the assassinations rate of civil and military personalities, the rate of foreigner kidnappings to finance local groups, and the flow of arms shipments from the coast as particularly troublesome. These occurred without any measures to prevent an alliance between the former regime’s leaders and violent groups, which cause security problems, cut power and oil lines, and distribute arms throughout Yemen, and especially in its major cities. It was also critical of the Gulf states themselves.

“Despite the Gulf agreement requiring their economic responsibility to support the initiative, they continue to finance groups that work to hinder the national dialogue and they don’t stop applying the legal proceedings which led to the expulsion of thousands of Yemeni workers during a difficult period experienced by Yemen. “

The report went on to criticize the lack of the transparency and spreading of corruption from government, as well as the pretext in choosing corrupt members of the National  Dialogue Conference under the guise of them being independents.

“The failure to achieve the Yemeni people’s demands will give more justification to regional parties and local groups in order to expand their control among Yemenis. As the current situation deteriorates without any positive change, Yemen will face the reactions of external movements. ”

The report argued a vision for the future, emphasizing that the success of the political and democratic transition doesn’t depend only on the results of the national dialogue, but also on local, regional, and international factors.

Apart from its other recommendations for Yemeni politics specifically, it emphasized the need for cooperation withinternational institutions for solutions to such matters as the spread of arms, and refugees, in Yemen. It was highly critical of the former regime, which has provoked problems with Houthi militants, the armed wings of al-Hirak, a stream of tribal issues, and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

It also emphasized the need for an honest and transparent media, and a strong Constitution and laws which can promote democracy, encourage political and intellectual diversity, and achieve the social justice through a civil state. Finally, it strongly recommended that democratic elections take place as soon as possible.

It warned that without these measures, Yemen will become a failed state.