In stark contrast to the chaos and violence that has engulfed Arab Spring countries like Syria, Egypt, and Libya, Yemen is a place that has seen comparatively little political violence since the start of its uprising in 2011. Several Western commentators have pointed to its National Dialogue Conference, a six-month meeting among stakeholders from across the political spectrum, as a potential model to be emulated in the wider Arab world. Yemenis themselves seem to be more skeptical, pointing out that chances are slim that the delegates will be able to solve any of Yemen’s political and economic problems, even if direct violence is avoided. With enormous obstacles in place, even cautious optimism towards the NDC may be unwarranted.
This is the opening to a piece I wrote which was recently posted on Aslan Media.
Coincidentally, an interview with Farea al-Muslimi (whom I quote in my piece) was posted on the site a few days after mine. Though the interview was about drones, he commented on the political transition of Yemen and his words demonstrate well the point I was trying to make on the problems with the NDC: “It was a deal imposed by the GCC and the west, which ended up excluding a huge segment of the Yemeni population.”