In Support of Stability in Yemen

  • 11 August 2013

Yemen is passing through a period of instability and insecurity in the wake of renewed clashes between the army and Al-Qaeda in several regions as well as those between armed Salafist groups and Houthis in Saada province. These reports indicate the gravity of the challenge facing the country even as it seeks to meet the requirements of the GCC Initiative. The most important component of this Initiative is the National Dialog Conference upon which Yemenis need to embark on as they seek to overcome differences over contentious issues and put the country on the road to reconciliation and stability.

The recent sequence of events in Yemen demonstrates that Al-Qaeda is determined to spread chaos and unrest in the country. Yemeni authorities revealed that they have foiled an Al-Qaeda plot to seize Al-Dhaba oil terminal in Hadramawt province and a planned attack on gas facilities in Balhaf area of Shabwa province. These reports also indicate that Al-Qaeda still plans to disrupt the country’s efforts to complete this process of transition as part of the Gulf Initiative. The organization realizes that successful completion of the political process will be a blow to its agenda and is hence doing all it can to spread chaos and harm the country’s capabilities in an extended confrontation.

There is no doubt that there exist serious challenges to the security and stability of Yemen and there are difficult obstacles in the way of its National Dialogue Conference. However, notwithstanding the difficulties, they must not desert the political path that has been drawn by the GCC Initiative especially with regard to the process of national dialog. Yemeni President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi recently emphasized this point when he stressed the importance of the success of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference as it reshapes the Yemeni state. He also stressed the “need to seize this rare historic opportunity to build a new, prosperous, secure and unified Yemen.”

During the last few days several regional and international powers have expressed their support for Yemen and said that they will stand by San’aa in overcoming the crisis. In a telephone conversation with President of Yemen GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al Zayani recently affirmed “the GCC’s strong support for Yemen toward maintaining security, stability and unity, and forging its future in a way that is consistent with the desired peaceful democratic change”. Al Zayani wished that Yemen will successfully pass this period of transition leading to general elections in February 2014.

The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar, recently stressed the need to overcome obstacles and called for renewed focus on positive outcomes in the National Dialogue Conference for the sake of building a stable and democratic Yemen. This suggests that the world continues to support the political transition in the country regardless of the obstacles that stand in the way. The international community has also emphasized that it is ready to provide help and assistance to Yemen in tackling these challenges, given the country’s importance for regional and international stability and security.