For background to this document see Yemen's National Dialogue, 2013
National Dialogue and the southern issue
The Socialist Party lays out a set of determinants and outcomes for dialogue and the resolution of the Southern issue.
The Secretariat-General of the Yemeni Socialist Party has, in its recent regular meetings, taken up a number of internal organizational issues, as well as the national political developments that the country is undergoing. These developments are linked to the facts and results of the implementation of the GCC initiative and its operational mechanism.
This is in addition to the ongoing preparations for the national dialogue stipulated by both the initiative and its operational mechanism and the positions taken by the country’s various parties on that dialogue.
The Secretariat-General has been following all administrative, political and military developments [in Yemen], especially after early presidential elections were held and the new President, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, secured popular legitimacy. It was that legitimacy that enabled him to make a number of crucial decisions to meet the aspirations of the people for change; for the liberation of the country from the yoke of rule by a single family; and for the preparation of the appropriate conditions for a comprehensive national dialogue in which the country’s parties will participate without exceptions and without preconditions. That dialogue aims to arrive at serious solutions for all the issues facing the country, with the Southern issue at their forefront.
In this regard, the Secretariat-General of the Yemeni Socialist Party has saluted the masses involved in the popular resistance in Abyan Province and their heroic response, alongside the security forces, to armed groups affiliated with the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. That organization has pushed a number of cities and regions in Abyan into a vortex of uncontrollable violence. This is in addition to what it represents in terms of a threat to political and social stability and the dragging of the entire country into a pit of total chaos, collapse, and disintegration.
The Secretariat-General believes that the fight against terrorism and the elimination of the armed remnants of al-Qaeda require concerted popular and official efforts. It requires a comprehensive confrontation at all levels to eliminate this dangerous epidemic and eradicate it once and for all.
As the Party prepares to participate in the comprehensive national dialogue, the Secretariat-General emphasized the extraordinary importance the Party gives to this dialogue. It is an opportunity to save the country from the crises under which it is being crushed, to prepare the means for a peaceful transition from its current situation, and to addressing the worsening issues with which it has been burdened. It should aim for practical and fundamental solutions that create appropriate conditions for Yemen’s future resurgence, insofar as that helps realize the political and socioeconomic aspirations of its people.
From this vantage point, the Secretariat-General urged the Party’s team, made up of several of the Secretariat-General’s members, to prepare the party’s positions on all issues to be raised during the dialogue.
The Secretariat-General believes it necessary to produce a constructive atmosphere that will help the comprehensive national dialogue make real progress in reaching effective solutions for the issues to be raised. Especially regarding the Southern issue, a number of political and administrative steps must be taken by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the national unity government led by Muhammad Salim Basindwa. These steps would eliminate all doubt over the state’s seriousness about the dialogue and the results that can be achieved. They would likewise confirm that the country, in its new state, cannot accept the evasions long practiced by the former regime, a regime that the revolution of February 11, 2011, came to eradicate and do away with its destructive methods and policies.
In this regard, the Party’s Secretariat-General highlighted the importance of the new President and the national unity government undertaking a number of decisions and preparatory measures aimed at building an atmosphere of confidence and ensuring [the dialogue’s] seriousness. The decisions and steps that would pave the way for a serious dialogue to address the Southern issue include the following:
1. The immediate restoration of civilian and military employees who were displaced, arrested, sent to forced retirement, or migrated abroad due to the war of summer 1994 to their jobs, as well as the payment of anything legally entitled to them.
2. The payment of salaries and amounts due to those who lost their sources of income due to the theft or privatization of public institutions and companies in which they had been working.
3. The formation of a national body for reconciliation and justice whose members would be representatives of those detained, injured or otherwise concerned. This body would resolve the complaints and grievances of detainees and deportees, and its decisions and actions would be binding for related government agencies.
4. The return of properties and money seized after the 1994 war, whether they belonged to individuals, parties, unions, or the state; a halt to the seizure of lands; and the return of lands disposed of without right, with priority given to the people of the South’s provinces in making use of these lands.
5. The prosecution of corrupt figures involved in the manipulation of the state’s lands, properties and resources, as well as any public money and cooperative properties. The prosecution should begin with those most responsible for plundering the South and should return everything stolen.
6. The restoration of the falaheen (peasants) who were driven from the lands of which they were making use and who lost possession of their lands in the South due to the war and its subsequent repercussions to their homes and lands.
7. The treatment of all victims of the 1994 war as martyrs and the treatment of the injured and their families and the families of martyrs equally in terms of rights and care.
8. Communication with the parties of the Southern Movement’s peaceful struggle, as well as with its leadership abroad, and inviting them to take part in the national dialogue.
9. The abolition of a culture of glorifying civil wars and calling for retaliation and political revenge in educational curricula and in media and cultural outlets; the removal of any manifestations of injustice, degradation and exclusion directed against the cultural, artistic and social heritage of the South; and the restoration of the South’s political history, which has been subjected to obliteration and abolition since the 1994 war.
10. A formal apology to the people of the South for injuries to them as a result of the 1994 war and for oppression and pains inflicted upon them by the regime’s destructive post-war policies.
11. The immediate release of all political prisoners arrested for their participation in the revolution and the peaceful Southern Movement and a halt to the suppression of peaceful political and popular activities.
12. Permission for Al-Ayyam newspaper to resume publication, compensation for damages to it and its editorial board, and a lifting of the ban imposed on Southern websites irrespective of their orientation.
April 29, 2012
English translation published by Brookings Doha Center. For the orginal Arabic version see Aleshteraki.net, May 3, 2012.