Peace in Yemen depends on a solution for the South

[1 February 2019] In response to recent developments in UN-led efforts to resolve the crisis in Yemen, Ahmed Omar Bin Fareed, the Southern Transitional Council’s European Representative, published a new op-ed setting out the importance of securing an inclusive Yemeni political process, including with Southern representation, for a comprehensive and sustainable political solution for Yemen.

“The consultations in Sweden were an important development and a sign of much needed international attention on the war in Yemen. The focus is now on the implementation of the commitments made in Stockholm,” writes Bin Fareed. “But how the political process evolves – and broadens – is critical to the outcome of future talks and how those outcomes are sustained in a manner acceptable to all people across Yemen, including those in the South. Lack of inclusion of the South is the greatest gap in – and risk to – the peace talks,” he warns. 

Bin Fareed continues by highlighting the long-standing grievances of “the people of the South [who] have for a long time been marginalised by the authorities in Sanaa. Since Yemeni unification in 1990, we Southerners have experienced persecution, further marginalisation of our politicians – many of whom were arrested and detained unlawfully – lack of investment in basic services, and the transfer of wealth, land and resources from oil-rich southern provinces to other parts of the country and to the pockets of Sanaa’s elites. This was all part of the Sanaa government’s systematic policy to cripple the South.”

Bin Fareed concludes by stressing the STC’s commitment to working with UN Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to achieve a negotiated solution: “Our position is clear. We want a political solution to end the crisis that has gone on for too long. Demanding to be part of the process that is entrusted with bringing an end to this hellish conflict, and once and for all give our people in the South the opportunity to determine their own future, is our right. It is also self-evidently in the interests of the international community and of sustainable peace in Yemen.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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