Symposium looks towards Hadrami federal state

Published on 19 February 2012 in News
Hadba’ Al-Yazeedi (author)

Hadba’ Al-Yazeedi


AL-MUKALLA — Last week, political figures in Hadramout called for federalization to be the model for Yemen’s new political system.

200 intellectuals and revolutionaries from various political backgrounds as well as representatives of civil society organizations’ representatives participated in a political symposium conducted in Hadramout, Southeast Yemen’s largest governorate.

“We want federalization, with two regions - north and south,” Abd Al-Hakeem Bin Kadim, of the Justice and Construction Coalition, told the Yemen Times on Saturday. 

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fadhli said that a national southern conference should be held in cooperation with the international and regional communities.

“Through such a conference, people of the south could present their visions of how to get out of this critical political situation,” he said.

“Either we have a federal country with two regions, secession from the north, or the establishment a federal country composed of five regions,” said Al-Fadhli.

The symposium began with a speech by General Coordinator of the Symposium Bin Kadim, who stressed the importance of dialogue and awareness in contemporary Yemen.

He said that the people of Hadramout should accept each other, regardless of their political visions or ideologies, and also that they shouldn’t compromise their rights, as their governorate isn’t less important than other regions in Yemen.

Abdullah Ba-Wazeer said that Yemen can only overcome its political problems by establishing a federal government in which Yemen’s regions would enjoy broad powers in their individual areas, yet be part of a united country.

Omar Dawman said that the youth revolution ended a “corrupt regime which lasted for 33 years.”

“The revolution’s continuity will ensure a civil state that should meet the demands of Hadramout’s people,” said Dawman, adding that they would refuse any external interference.

Mohammad Ba-Alawi said that the change they need is the re-establishment of a southern state by way of the “peaceful Southern Movement.”

What do the people of Hadramout want?

Symposium participant Ali Ba-Abad said the governorate is in dire need of educational and economic development and that people need somewhere to turn to when seeking help for their problems.

Sheikh Ahmad Ba-Mu’alem spoke about the religious role Muslim scholars can play in the midst of a difficult time for Yemen.

“It is important that Hadramout returns to a prosperous era, when religion guided people, making them moderate towards - and humble with - each other. Hadramout should again be famous for its values, for its honesty, chastity and loyalty,” said Ba-Ubad.

Colonel Hassan Al-Shaiba said that security is everybody’s responsibility, and that citizens should assist the state in stopping violence.

Abdulrahman Balkhair said that Yemenis need a media with a mission to educate people in a positive way.

For his part, Ahmad Ba-Yameen said the ambitions of Hadramout’s youth should be better responded to.

Despite their various political backgrounds, the symposium’s participants exhibited a great deal of cooperation and shared understanding.

 “Such symposiums helping us to understand each other will be held in the near future,” said Awadh Salem, secretary for the symposium.