A dialogue for the sake of splitting

National Yemen

Aref Abdullah Al-Selmi

By: Aref Abdullah Al-Selmi


I feel sad and disappointed when I see how the opinion leaders, rulers and decision-makers in my homeland have been rendered unable to provide their country with what it needs, all as a result of intense egoism that leads them to abandon national high-mindedness and noble principles in favor of slavish obeisance to all types of alien begging.

For Yemenis, the National Dialogue Conference represents the hope for which they have been waiting. It represents a safe means by which Yemen’s complicated accumulation of problems can be solved, entirely through elite representatives of political parties and popular movements. Yemenis hope that these groups will be able to produce long-term solutions and recommendations to build a strong country. The Yemenis have looked to these members as people without those narrow political interests that time has shown us were not the right approach for their deeply rooted egotistical nature and their tendency to frustrate the National Dialogue. Rather than building the Dialogue, these views only destroyed it.

  Through my reading of some of the working group’s final recommendations, I have found some visions truly intended to build Yemen’s modern state, if they were literally carried out. The southern issue, however, is still the key item of the Conference, and we can use it as the standard of success or failure of the entire NDC as this issue is both the biggest and most interrelated. Of course, everything must be done in the context of Yemen’s other problems. The southern case must be solved in a way that preserves the security, stability, and unity of Yemen while compensating the victims of injustice and settling accounts with those responsible for these injustices. If the NDC can do all of these things, most of Yemen’s problems will be solved.

The people charged with carrying out the Dialogue have dealt with the issues facing them in a very different way. They have concentrated only on how to divide Yemen into territories. Some have suggested five integrated territories; others have suggested four interrelated territories, while some have suggested only two territories across the border of the two Yemens pre-1990. This last suggestion is a very dangerous one, even if it is being supported by the majority of the southern representatives and Herak, because it poses a disaster to Yemeni unity and a gateway to the gradual separation of Yemen, heralding a return to the Arab Republic of Yemen and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen under international and regional support, and blessed by Yemeni parties.

The big question is: is the idea of two territories the result of a southern majority in the NDC and Herak’s strictness in getting a gradual disengagement from the north? Or is the NDC unable to produce an alternatively suitable solution to bind the wounds of southerners and restore their rights within a unified Yemen, either with the central government or with multi-interrelated territories.

If the members of NDC have agreed to a split, is such a suggestion going to gain popular endorsement? Are the president, UN Security Council, and GCC countries still proud to be the perennial helpers in dividing the Yemeni country into two territories? What are the future revenues for those who are always calling to maintain the security, stability, and unity of Yemen? I hope we can predict the answers for these questions while understanding the consequences of two Yemens. Only then can we come up with the idea that we are living within a conspiracy, in which we lay both the heroes and the villains.