There are some pending issues though. For example, many groups mostly in the opposition are making any dialogue conditional on restructuring the army. The argument is that the army as it is today, does not allow a fair power balance in the dialogue process and intimidates the weaker players.
This is very logical, but at the same time considering the dynamics of this country and its power structure, it could be a problem if we make dialogue conditional on such a difficult demand.
There was the same problem prior to the signing of the Gulf Initiative, when protestors demanded no less than the resignation or ousting of Saleh and his regime. The bar was set too high and it could have turned bloody, but political compromise allowed for a way out by removing Saleh from power through early presidential elections.
This was a face-saving solution for Saleh while allowing the transition to start. Now with this new problem we need to find a compromise so that the restructuring of the army does not create a bottle neck for the dialogue process.
There is also another problem considering the conditions set on the table. Today’s government is making any dialogue with the Southern Movement conditional on accepting national unity as the foundation for any discussion. This is not agreeable with at least two factions of the Southern Movement who are calling for separation because they feel disadvantaged with the system of central government as it is today.
There has to be some sort of compromise on this front as well. Otherwise the dialogue with the Southern Movement as a whole will falter.
Finally there is the Ansar Al-Sharia’a group who has increasingly shown its influence and power. Many have a problem in talking with the group considering their fanatical background and extreme agenda. However, it is unrealistic to think that ignoring the group or only engaging them via military combat is the best way in dealing with them.
As it is there are theories that Ansar Al-Sharia’a is a creation of either former president Saleh or of Ali Muhsin Al-Ahmar.
As it is we are having dialogue or had at one time with both of these men, then it should not be farfetched to dialogue with their creation.
In all cases, let’s have dialogue with the group and find out what they are really about.
The dialogue process is what will make the transition or break it. We have to work above our differences if we are to make it to a better future.