Business for Peace Award

Demilitarization committee fails to materialize

Published on 7 February 2012 in News
Shatha Al-Harazi (author), Luke Somers (photographer)

Shatha Al-Harazi


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Luke Somers


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Yemen’s major cities should begin to be demilitarized. Luke Somers

Yemen’s major cities should begin to be demilitarized. Luke Somers

SANA’A, Nov. 30 — Some of the first steps of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) accord, including the creation of a committee to demilitarize Yemen’s major cities, are yet to be implemented. 

There are serious breaches in the power transfer deal that was signed in Riyadh on November 23 between the honorary president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition National council, the Council spokesperson told the Yemen Times.

According to the GCC Implementation Mechanism, after five days of signing the deal, Vice President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who has taken over until presidential elections, should form a Military Committee for achieving stability and security. Yet after seven days that committee has not been formed.

“This is one of the breaches of the GCC deal so far,” said Huria Mashoor, National council spokeswoman. “The period of forming the committee has passed and the committee has not been formed, the security file is a priority now, especially since citizens have suffered directly from the security situation.”

The Military Committee is supposed to be chaired by Hadi himself, yet it should still be agreed upon by both parties, “The committee should be compatible [with both sides], as should every other decision in the transitional period,“ Mashoor added. 

The duties of the Committee including ending the division of the armed forces; the return of armed forces and other armed formations to their camps; an end to all military presences in Sana’a and other the cities throughout the country and the removal of irregular armed groups and militias.

Roadblocks, checkpoints and other fortifications are also to be taken down from major cities around the country.

The Military Committee for Achieving Security and Stability will also work during the two transitional phases to create the necessary environment and take the necessary steps to bring military forces together under a professional, national and unified leadership under the rule of law.

Nothing of this has started yet; the checkpoints and military roadblocks remain spread across the capital and even more have been cropping up.

The fight between two religious sects in the north of Sana’a continues with no statement from the government for more than forty days; in Abyan in the south militant groups have are fighting the government.

In their first meeting after the signing on Tuesday, the National Council launched a press release calling VP Hadi to stop any violence that might be an obstacle for the GCC deal.  

Mashoor also said that the way Saleh has been behaving is also considered as a breach of the agreement. “Saleh is still acting as a president with power rather than an honorary president with no power.

“He directs the defense ministry still, and gives pardons, he sends and receives congratulations,” said Mashoor, adding that neither the constitution nor the GCC deal states that the honorary president has any authority.

Moreover, pictures of Saleh, who is supposed to be out of power since signing the Gulf deal, have begun to appear on Sana’a’s main streets.

VP Hadi completed his first task by announcing Mohammed Salem BaSundwa as the new prime minister on Monday. The GCC deal states that within 14 days of signing, the national government should also be formed.

Meanwhile, according to Mashoor, there have been talks on dividing the ministries between the opposition and the ruling party.

The Yemen Times learnt from source, who requested anonymity, that Major General Ali Mohsen, Al-Ahmar family and Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh will all be included in the coming government.

However, Mashoor said that anyone who with questions over their impartiality, or whose name was linked to the violence of the last ten months, would not be allowed into the coming government, as the transitional period should be one of stability.

It is worth mentioning that the independent youth continue to protest against the GCC deal, with near daily marches in Yemen’s major cities.

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