The Hadhramaut Dilemma in Yemen.


The Hadhramaut Dilemma in Yemen
by Muhammad Bin-Dohry and Dr Saadaldeen Talib

There is great anxiety in all the Yemeni provinces on where the country is heading.

Ever since the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) took place in Sanaa, attended by so many representatives of Yemeni factions, claimed to be representing ALL provinces (but unelected), there was no known breakthrough.

All attending the NDC were paid, and fed at the Movenpick Hotel, Sanaa for almost 10 months.

The NDC was supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United Nations.

War broke out in March 2015 between the Houthis (a Zaidi Shia sect in North Yemen) and the coalition of several countries headed by Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in support of restoring the " legitimate government of President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi. "

Since then, Hadi has been changing ministers, officials like a game of musical chairs. There are signs of widespread rampant corruption plaguing the Hadi government(s).

The country has been devasted by this war, millions have faced deprivation of their livelihoods, shelter and there is an increase in malnutrition, illnesses, food shortages, devaluation of Yemen Riyal (US$ = YR 700+) and very high inflation. Power cuts are normal and so are petrol/diesel shortages. Most services are dysfunctional and the government remains in exile in KSA, with little presence or influence within the country.

The dilemma Is now facing Hadhramaut like its counterparts in the South. The Southern Transitional Council (STC) based in Aden, the capital of the South, claims to have support of most of the other Southern Provinces. In fact, this is NOT the case.

Hadhramaut has so many factions of its own like their counterparts in Al Mahra, Socotra, Shabwah and others.

The UN Special representative and his team have been shuttling to meet some of these factions and, at the same time, excluding others. The road on all fronts is so bumpy and the ride is getting worse.

The Hadhramis in the diaspora should have a say. They not only outnumber their brethren in the homeland, but are aware of all that is going on and have cautioned Hadhramis since 2010 of the necessity to look ahead on what is going to happen in Yemen. The prediction was by all standards an alarm bell. It is the right moment for them to discuss their future strategies in a Yemen or Yemens.

The talk of a two state solution came up at the NDC. However, the Hadhrami society was divided in their choice of either going with either of the above ( A United Yemen or a two state North & South) or, indeed, to have their own independent state (voiced by many). Hadhramaut has the capacity and necessary parameters of an independent state.

Yet, we see old and new faces in Hadhramaut, and elsewhere, struggling to come up with their own groupings with divergent agendas. Many are simply posturing and making themselves noticeable for possible government positions, regularly dispensed for acquiescence and patrimony.

The diaspora had always played a part in Hadhramaut and it represents the better face and better understanding of any deals being cooked up.

Divisions and divergence of agendas is something that has to be tackled in a modern way by bringing both the homeland and diaspora Hadhramis together to thrash out a common stand to be presented to the world and to all those concerned.

This is a final wakeup call before it is too late!

The alternative is that decisions will be made by others that may result in total chaos, and loss of the Hadhramis long standing dream of determining their path and future.

Muhammad Bin-Dohry & Dr Saadaldeen Talib

16th November 2018

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  1. What is stated above is well and good..
    But, what can we do and how?

    The game players are always nominees mostly selected by the Legitimate Government in all previous cases starting from NDC throughout all negotiations taken place abroad. Even the STC members were not allowed to attend the last me which took place in Zurich a couple of months ago.

    We are willing to make our voice heard by politicians, decision makers and The New World Leaders. Can we make it and how?

  2. Dear authors of the above article. The idea of holding a NDC was a very wicked attempt to mum the people of the South forever. To stop them from demanding the restoration of their former country. Thank God this treacherous game failed
    As for ur claim that the STC is not popular in the South, ur claim is very much far from being true. Certain forces related to some very unpopular influential military figure r the only party that puts such false claims.
    In February the STC's national assembly was held in Al mukalla and I dare say, it was by all standards, very successful. If there is any party/ group that is NOT popular in the South it's none other than the islah party. Contrary to any other claim, the STC is representative of the WHOLE of the South i.e from Mahra in the east to bab el mandeb in the west. This is certainly the truth.