Business for Peace Award

Youth disagree on participation in the upcoming dialogue

Published on 21 June 2012 in News
Ashraf Al-Muraqab (author)

Ashraf Al-Muraqab


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Young people make up a significant percentage of protestors in Sana’a’s Change Square.

Young people make up a significant percentage of protestors in Sana’a’s Change Square.

SANA’A, June 18 — Several youths in Sana'a’s Change Square again refused to initiating dialogue without first paving a suitable way for it.

The youths demand that the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) start in Change Square.

Nadia Abdullah, an activist in the square, said the youth refuse to join discussions because talks would include former President Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists.

“We refuse to negotiate until Saleh's relatives are removed from all military leadership,” Abdullah said.

Fatima Al-Aghbari, another activist, said dialogue is currently impossible because those who talk about the dialogue are attempting to remove protesters from squares nationwide, where hundreds have been killed and wounded.

“They want to start the dialogue without restructuring the military, treating the wounded or releasing those detained. I think it would be wrong to participate in the dialogue,” she said.

The dialogue committee, a ministerial committee established to maintain connections with youth, held a workshop at the Cultural Center in Sana'a to discuss  demands. Mohammed Salem Basendawa, the Prime Minister of Yemen, youth and activists participated in the workshop, which was was riddled with conflict as young supporters of Saleh interrupted Horiah Mashoor, head of the dialogue committee, while she was delivering a speech.

They also forced Afra'a Al-Haboori, an activist delivering a speech on behalf of the youth, off the stage while she discussed the importance of prosecuting those accused of killing young people during protests, said Abdullah.

Atif Al-Otmi, another participant in the workshop and one of the square›s many youth activists, said youth protested Sunday in front of the Cultural Center,  forcing the dialogue committee to enter from the back door.

Journalist Mokhtar Al-Khateeb, said some leaders in the Joint Meeting Party (JMP) try to hinder the dialogue through affiliate youth, but he added that it will continue anyway.

“Yemenis are fed up with the slogans of the JMP and only want security and stability.”

Al-Khateeb said what happened in the center demonstrates the grudge JMP bears against Yemenis, as they want to bring Yemen to war and killing.

“They don't want to build a new Yemen. They only want to benefit themselves.”

Meftah Al-Zobah, a university professor, said the JMP marginalized independent youth to represent themselves more prominently in the dialogue. He urged the communication committee to contact the truly independent youth and involve them with the NDC.

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