أزمة الشرعية في اليمن ليست بالأمر الجديد لكنها أصبحت اليوم على المحك

by Sama'a al-hamdani


 

في 21 فبراير استطاع الرئيس اليمني عبد ربه منصور هادي أن يفك طوق الإقامة الجبرية التي فرضها الحوثي هاربا الى مدينة عدن في الجزء الجنوبي من البلاد. وماهي الا سويعات حتى بثت قناة الجزيرة الفضائية بيانا ذيله عبدربه "برئيس الجمهورية اليمنية"، معلنا سحب استقالته.

فعمليا الأن نجد اليمن تعيش في عهد رئيسين سابقين (هادي وعلي عبد الله صالح)، وفي ظل قوة مسلحة لزعيم ميليشيا متمردة (عبد الملك الحوثي)، والعديد من الحركات الانفصالية (فصيلين من الحراك الجنوبي، وحراك في مأرب، والحراك التهامي). مع وجود لجنة انتقالية تدعمها الأمم المتحدة، واتفاقيتين انتقاليتين (مبادرة مجلس التعاون الخليجي للعام 2011 واتفاقية السلم والشراكة الوطنية للعام 2014). مع كل ما سبق يحدث ارباك في المشهد، والأحرى بنا أن نسأل، من يملك الشرعية فعلا؟

لقد أصبحت مسألة الشرعية نقطة محورية في المشهد السياسي اليمني على الرغم من أن البلاد عانت من أزمة شرعية منذ فترة طويلة. فالبعض يبرر شرعية هادي بالمبادرة الخليجية وما ترتب عليها من التزامات قانونية أخرى. ومع ذلك، فالشرعية السياسية، بحسب الفيلسوف جون لوك، هي المستمدة من "موافقة المحكومين". الشرعية تعني من المعترف به والمقبول من قبل الشعب بكونه "الأنسب" أو "الأصلح" للحكم. فمع وجود عدة متصارعين على الأرض، قد يكون هادي هو الرئيس القانوني لليمن لكن هذا لا يعني بالضرورة انه هو الشرعي.

مشكلة متجذرة منذ عقود

هناك عدة أشكال للشرعية السياسية، والتي عانت منها اليمن منذ عام 1962 في الشمال و 1967 في الجنوب. حيث فشلت الدولتين حديثتي الاستقلال في ممارسة السلطة بالطريقة التقليدية سواء بالإمامة، أو السلطنات، أو بالعرف القبلي. حكم صالح شمال اليمن ثم اليمن الموحد لفترة 33 عاما متذرعا بالديمقراطية والشرعية الدستورية، وفي واقع الأمر، كان نفوذه مركزيا وكان ادواته خليطا من الاستبداد، وباسم الدين، والتحالفات لقبلية، والعسكرية.

كما أن الكاريزما التي يتمتع به صالح كقائد منحته الشرعية في أوساط النخبة الحاكمة. وعند تنحيته عن السلطة في العام 2011، تصدع ذلك النظام الذي قام ببنايته. كما أن الوساطة الخليجية أفضت الى ترقية نائب صالح، الذي هو هادي، الى رئيس اليمن الجديد بعد انتخابات دون منافس يذكر. وأتت حكومة الوحدة الوطنية والتي أعطيت فرصة لكسب ثقة الجمهور وإقامة دولة القانون المنشودة.

وفي الوقت نفسه، قام المجتمع الدولي مع النخبة الحاكمة بوضع خطة انتقالية يتم تنفيذها على مدى عامين. بدأت البلاد بعد ذلك بفعاليات مؤتمر الحوار الوطني، في الفترة من مارس 2013 إلى يناير 2014، على أمل صياغة دستور جديد يؤسس لدولة مدنية حديثة. كما أن الحكومة –وكما هو متوقع منها-عملت تحت إشراف جهات متعددة ابتداء بمجلس النواب، والهيئة الوطنية العليا لمكافحة الفساد، ومحكمة الأموال العامة، والجهاز المركزي للرقابة والمحاسبة، مما يوحي لنا أنها في المسار الصحيح.

أن مؤتمر الحوار الوطني استمد سلطته من نخبة تكونت فيما بعد الثورة، ومن قوى خارجية فاعلة ممثلة بالمجتمع الدولي. فبينما تم ترتيب أوضاع ومتطلبات الحوار الوطني بشكل جيد، كانت الحكومة تعاني الامرين في توفير الخدمات الأساسية للمواطن. وبالتالي شهدنا انهيار العديد من المؤسسات العامة، بما في ذلك النظام العسكري والقضائي. وعلاوة على ذلك، فان معايير المساءلة لتلك المرحلة فشلت في تحقيق أهدافها. أما البرلمان الذي يعود لانتخابات العام 2003 أصبح فاقدا للشرعية، كما تم الطعن في تعيينات الهيئة الوطنية العليا لمكافحة الفساد يكونه إجراء غير دستوري لمخالفة التعيينات لأبسط المعايير المطلوبة. أما باقي أجهزة الحكومة فلم تكن في أفضل حال، فالجهاز المركزي للرقابة والمحاسبة مثلا لم يقم بدوره، وأصبح أداة للكسب غير المشروع في يد القائمين عليه.

التدهور في المرحلة الانتقالية

مستغلين ما حصل من تدهور في المرحلة الانتقالية، قام المتمردين الحوثيين بالاستيلاء على العاصمة صنعاء في سبتمبر 2014 وبعدها بأيام قليلة، قاموا بالتوقيع على اتفاق السلم والشراكة مع هادي وأحزاب المعارضة. وفي يناير 2015، قدمت الحكومة التي لم تدم لشهر مع الرئيس هادي استقالاتهم، ليبقوا تحت الإقامة الجبرية. وفي الوقت نفسه، خرج الحوثيين، المستمدين لشرعيتهم من سلطة دينية – كونهم من "أهل بيت رسول الله" – ليعلنوا شرعيتهم "الثورية كما يدعونها"، متحدثين باسم الشعب اليمني.

ولكن اليمنيين لا يعترفون ان للحوثيين (أو حتى لحكومة هادي) “السلطة في الحكم" لكل ارجاء اليمن. وفي حقيقة الأمر يبدوا أن النخب السياسية فقدت اتصالها بالشعب، وهم يدركون ذلك حيث انهم نادرا ما يتحدثون عن الانتخابات وتجدهم يسارعون في الوصول الى توافقات، لا يعدوا كونها مهدئ لمشاكل الشرعية في اليمن.

منذ العام 2011، وضعف أداء الحكومة، وعجزها عن حماية مواطنيها دفع اليمنيين الى البحث عن وسائل أخرى توفر لهم ذلك، مما أدى الى اتساع الهوة بين النخبة الحاكمة ومحكوميهم، ووفر بيئة لظهور الزعامات الصغيرة، وعودة المظاهر القبلية القديمة، والسعي لاستحداث أشكال مختلفة للتسلط؛ مستمدين شرعيتهم ممن يتبعونهم. كل ذلك أسهم سلبا في تعزيز الاختلاف والفرقة، ومثل أرضا خصبة لصراع قادم لا محالة.

أن المخرج الآمن لليمن واليمنيين مما سبق من تعقيدات يتمثل في بناء دولة ذات سلطة مدنية وحكم رشيد تمثل جميع الأطياف، من خلال العمل الجاد والمخلص من جميع الفعاليات السياسية، يتم من خلال إجراء انتخابات شفافة ونزيهة كإجراء حتمي لبناء علاقة بناءة بين الحكام ومن يحكمهم. من خلال اعطاء السلطة للشعب، وعندئذ فقط يمكن أن يكتسب الحكام شرعيتهم.

 


Yemen's Legitimacy Crisis is not New but is Critical

by Sama'a al-hamdani


By Sama’a al-Hamdani Published on Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on 3 March, 2015

On February 21, Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, escaped the Houthi-mandated house arrest and successfully fled to the southern city of Aden. A few hours later, al-Jazeera television broadcast a statement by the then resigned president. At the end of the statement, Hadi signed his name, “Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, President of the Republic of Yemen”. It strongly suggested he had withdrawn his resignation. 

So Yemen is now left arguably with two former presidents (Hadi and Ali Abdullah Saleh), a hugely powerful rebel militia leader (Abdulmalik al-Houthi), several secessionist movements (a couple of Southern Hiraks, a Marib Hirak and a Tihaman Hirak), UN-backed transitional committees, and two transitional agreements (The Gulf-Cooperation Council (GCC) transitional deal of 2011 and The Peace and Partnership Agreement of 2014). In this confusion what, or rather, who, has legitimacy?

The question of legitimacy has become a focal point of Yemeni politics even though the country suffered from a legitimacy crisis long ago. Many argue legitimacy in favor of Hadi derived from the GCC agreement and other legal mandates. However, political legitimacy, as per philosopher John Locke, is not about legality but rather derives from “the consent of those who are governed”. Legitimacy is about who is recognized and accepted by the people as “right” or “proper” to rule. With several key players on the ground, Hadi may be the legal ruler of Yemen but it does not necessarily mean he is the legitimate one.
 

A decades-old problem
 

There are several modes of political legitimacy and arguably Yemen has suffered from a legitimacy crisis since 1962 in the North and 1967 in the South. Those newly formed independent states failed to continue traditional modes of governance whether these were imamates, sultanates, or distorted forms of tribalism. Saleh ruled the north of Yemen and then a united Yemen for 33 years under the pretext of democracy and constitutional legitimacy. In reality, Saleh’s sphere of influence was always city-centric and his mode of governance was a unique concoction of autocracy, theocracy, tribalism and oligarchy.

Saleh’s charismatic ability as a leader granted him elite-centered legitimacy. With him out of power in 2011, the system he devised struggled. A transition mediated by the GCC elevated Saleh’s deputy, Hadi, as Yemen’s new president subsequent to a one-man election. The newly formed National Unity Government, containing ministers from different political parties, was given an opportunity to gain public trust and to establish rule of law.

Meanwhile, the international community alongside the country’s elites devised a transitional plan to be executed over two years. The country held a National Dialogue Conference (NDC), from March 2013 to January 2014, in hopes of drafting a new constitution and establishing civil authority. Meanwhile, the government was meant to continue its functions under the scrutiny of the parliament, the Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC), the Court of Public Funds, and the Central Organization for Control and Auditing (COCA). In theory, it seemed foolproof.

The reality was that the NDC derived its authority from a pool of new post-revolution-elites and from external powers, i.e. the international community. In practice, the NDC was sheltered and Hadi’s government struggled to provide basic services to the public. His reign witnessed the collapse of several public institutions, including the military and justice system. Moreover, the checks-and-balances put in place failed to function. The parliament, elected in 2003, was no longer legal nor legitimate, and SNACC’s latest appointments were ruled unconstitutional for failing to meet the basic criteria of appointments. Bodies, like COCA, didn’t work for the people but benefitted instead the individuals responsible for appointing their boards.

Transitional decay

Taking advantage of the government’s decay, Houthi rebels took over the capital Sanaa in September 2014 and within days, they signed a Peace and Partnership Agreement with Hadi and members of opposition parties. In January, the month-old government and Hadi resigned, only to be kept under house arrest. Meanwhile, the Houthis, who originally derived their legitimacy from spiritual authority – from being Aal-al-Bayt, “people of the house” or members of the family of the Prophet Muhammad – decide to speak in the name of the Yemeni people, claiming their legitimacy is “revolutionary” now.

But Yemenis do not believe the Houthis (or Hadi’s government) have the “right to rule” all of Yemen. Indeed, the political elites have lost touch with the people. At their weakest, they rarely speak of elections and are quick to rush into settlements that function merely as a palliative to Yemen’s legitimacy problems.

Since 2011, the weak performance of the government forced Yemenis to search for other modes of protection. Disengagement between the ruling elites and those who are ruled resulted in the proliferation of micro-identities, a return to unconventional tribalism, and a pursuit of other forms of governance; each movement deriving its legitimacy from local adherents. There is a general sense of disintegration and the ground is fertile for conflict.

Political alliances working towards the creation of a pluralistic civil state is the only path towards peace and good governance. Holding fair transparent elections is necessary in order to move forward in hopes of creating a relationship between the rulers and those who are ruled. The answer is to give power to the people. Only then can they give legitimacy to their rulers.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.


Lessons In Yemeni Machiavellianism

by Sama'a al-hamdani


February 20, 2015 originally published on Fikra Forum 

Last September, a rebel militia known as the Houthis successfully captured large portions of Yemen’s north and its capital, Sana. A few months later, in January 2015, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and his government resigned following clashes with the Houthis. By February 10, diplomatic missions in Sana’a had evacuated the country to protest the “illegitimate Houthi takeover.” Overnight, the Houthis became Yemen’s new rulers, but very little was known about them. 

The enigmatic Houthi movement transformed from a Zaydi revivalist group in the early 1990s, to a rebel movement in the mid-1990s, to an enemy warring against the Yemeni state in the early 2000s. Following the revolution in 2011, the Houthis secured 33 seats in the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), because they had significant local influence and were considered victims of the former regime. The Houthis were granted a specialized committee in the NDC solidifying them as an influential political player. However, as soon as the dialogue concluded, the Houthis lost faith in the internationally backed political transition. Since then, the Houthis – led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi – have employed Machiavellian tactics to gain influence in Yemen, taking advantage of the dismal performance of Hadi’s National Unity Government to seize territory and power. 

In September 2014 Hadi lifted fuel subsidies, which angered much of the Yemeni population and provided an opening for the Houthis. Cleverly, the Houthis sided with the people against the government; thereafter, within six days, they seized the capital. Months later, on February 11, they mobilized mass protests to overshadow any activities by the opposition. It is likely that a Houthi-led protest will take place on March 18, the anniversary of the “Friday of Dignity,” during which 56 protestors were killed in 2011. By hijacking public rallies, the Houthis aim to silence the opposition and, in this specific case, avoid criticism by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations Security Council.

Since the start of Yemen’s transition, the Houthis have proven to be nothing but duplicitous. After actively participating in Yemen’s transition, they quickly abandoned it. Even during the last few months of the dialogue, they engaged in bloody battles against Salafist groups in Saada governorate. Shortly after, a round of retaliatory assassinations broke out between the Islamist Islah Party and Houthis, displaying their lack of faith in a peaceful path forward for Yemen. All the while, the Houthis continued to participate actively in the NDC. 

Until 2012, the Houthi’s mortal enemy was former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. But when their interests aligned, the Houthis allied with Saleh’s forces, who still controlled a significant number of the security apparatus, in order to capture Sana and curb the influence of their shared enemies. The Houthis dub their enemies “terrorists” and “extremists.” and they so happens to reside in the oil-rich Hadramawt and Marib governorates. The Houthi leader has accused them of “trying to occupy the country and take over its resources.”

After the capture of Sana, popular committees largely composed of Houthi allies were created to “protect the Yemeni people and maintain security.” These committees monitored the movements of Houthi opponents, occupied government buildings, and kept members of the government, including Hadi himself, under house arrest. Shortly after moving into Sana, several youth and opposition movements took to the streets to protest. The Houthis responded swiftly by unlawfully detaining and torturing several demonstrators, including Fouad al-Hamdani and Saleh al-Beshry, the latter of which died as a result. Moreover, the Houthis are censoring the media. Al-Shoumou’ andAkhbar al-Youm newspapers have been shut down, as has Suhail TV channel, the national television network, and state radio. They also took control of state-run outlets, like al-Thawra newspaper. Simultaneously, the Houthis are spreading propaganda on their own television network, al-Masirah, and coerced other channels to broadcast their speeches.

But while Machiavellian tactics may have helped the Houthis attain power, they simply do not have the skills necessary to govern single-handedly. They have not issued an economic recovery plan, even though they stipulated the need for a committee to focus on the economy in the Peace and Partnership Agreement, which they signed with Hadi's government in September 2014. And while the Houthis are keen to name their opponents, they carefully conceal any political intentions. The Supreme Revolutionary Committee, a Houthi transitional body, is composed of an undisclosed number of members. 

The Houthis now face two ex-presidents jockeying for power, a burgeoning secessionist movement, sporadic attacks by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, well-financed anti-Houthi proxies, and a failed economy. In the face of these challenges, they will likely falter.

Sama’a Al-Hamdani is a Yemen analyst and the founder of the blog Yemeniaty. You can follow her on Twitter @Yemeniaty.


The Foreign Policy Essay: Is Yemen’s Government Complicit with Al-Qaeda?

by Sama'a al-hamdani


By Sama'a Al-Hamdani 
Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Originally published on the LawFare blog 

Editor’s Note: Yemen is among the most vexing allies the United States has in the struggle against terrorism. Like Pakistan, the government in Sana’a is both a key partner and part of the problem. On the one hand, one of al-Qaeda’s most important affiliates is based in Yemen, and the Yemeni regime supports the U.S. drone program, among other counterterrorism measures. On the other hand, numerous reports persist of Yemeni government incompetence and even complicity with jihadist groups. Sama’a Al-Hamdani, a Yemen analyst who writes the blog Yemeniaty, examines this tension, assessing the problems Yemen faces in combating terrorism and offering her thoughts for how the government there should change its approach.

***

On April 10, 2013, Yemen’s president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced the restructuring of Yemen’s military, which left the government weaker than ever. Several top military officials were replaced, others were moved to new and unfamiliar posts, and a struggle continues to play out behind the scenes between the Political Security Organization (PSO) and the National Security Bureau (NSB), the country’s two main intelligence agencies. The government is also divided by political and tribal loyalties.

In this environment, it is only natural that counterterrorism efforts would suffer. But is the Yemeni government doing its best to fight terrorism? Yemen has experienced assassinations, prison breaks, and terrorist attacks, all of which raise questions about the Hadi regime’s ability and willingness to fight terrorism.

Prison breaks are a constant problem in Yemen—so terrorists may be arrested, but they often end up free. One memorable prison escape occurred under the reign of Hadi’s predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in the capital, Sana’a, in 2006. Twenty-three prisoners escaped from the Political Security Prison, which is located in one of Sana’a’s most secure and prestigious neighborhoods. The detainees reportedly dug a tunnel from their cell to a nearby mosque using the most basic utensil: a spoon. Many Yemenis discussed on Facebook their belief that at least some government officials were complicit in the escape. Two theories were possible: either the prison guards neglected to regularly check their high security prisoners, or the guards knew exactly what the prisoners were up to and possibly assisted in their escape.

For several years after that, most prison breaks involved the escape of only one or two prisoners. However, since Yemen’s revolution in 2011, which saw the abdication of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, mass prison breaks have again been on the rise. In June 2011, 67 prisoners escaped from a prison in Al-Mukalla through a 45-meter underground passage they dug themselves. A few months later, 16 prisoners—13 of whom were members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)—escaped from a prison in Aden after digging a 39-meter tunnel. Digging massive tunnels large enough to allow numerous adult males to pass through safely should be difficult if not impossible for prisoners who are supposedly carefully monitored and restricted in their access to potential digging materials, particularly after the 2006 mass escape. Yet the shockingly high number of prisoners who have successfully escaped through such tunnels would seem to indicate otherwise. Something is clearly going wrong here—either the prison guards are almost comically inept, or (much more likely) the prison guards are complicit with AQAP. Just a few days ago, Reuters revealed that Sana’a Central Prison—and in turn the Ministry of Interior—received warnings about a possible prison break, two months before it actually happened. AQAP’s infiltration of Yemen’s security system may go all the way up to include high level officials.

But while some members of the security sector in Yemen are almost certainly in collusion with terrorists, others are frequently the targets of AQAP operations. Attacks carried out against the military and security services not only intimidate officers and prevent them from doing their jobs, they also suggest a certain level of infiltration by the militants. In a number of high-profile operations, the attackers dressed in military uniforms and bypassed security checkpoints and entrance searches. For instance, two years ago, a suicide bomber in the city of Sana’a killed 90 soldiers when he infiltrated a military parade, leading some to speculate that the attacker may have had a fake military identification card. Similar attacks have taken place against military exercises, police academies, and, most recently, military bases. In the past six months, a police college in Sana’a was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing 20 cadets; another 20 people were massacred in the governorate of Shabwah when two cars exploded at a military camp; and several military bases in Abyan were attacked and the army’s Second Division in Al-Mukalla was captured.

Three things are simultaneously happening in Yemen: first, military and security personnel are too frightened to stand up to the militants and would rather surrender and cooperate than die at the hands of AQAP; second, some security officials are being bribed to work for AQAP—or at least to look the other way while AQAP operates; and third, “spoilers” (people in society who believe that peace and stability “threatens their power, worldview, and interests, and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it,” such as AQAP and others) are taking advantage of the post-revolution transitional chaos to destroy Yemen’s military and weaken the Yemeni security apparatus.

Unfortunately, the situation seems to be getting worse, not better, and the security vacuum continues to grow. Since 2011, the government’s response to terrorism has been contradictory at best. On April 29, 2014, the Ministry of Defense and NSB launched a battle on the ground against AQAP in the governorates of Abyan and Lahj. This is the third on-the-ground battle since 2012. The details of the battle remain imprecise: the deaths of AQAP operatives are reported but many of them remain unconfirmed. Support for U.S. drone operations has also been reinforced; however, on the ground, terrorism suspects are kept anonymous in many cases and the investigation and punishment process is unclear. As the Yemeni poet and writer Nabeel Subay eloquently put it, “The government made our skies available to drones, but our lands available to terrorists.”

The Yemeni government’s lack of accountability to and concern for its military and its people have enabled AQAP to manipulate the situation to their advantage. AQAP’s understanding of the military’s weaknesses is quite evident, and each attack seems more ambitious than the one before. On March 29, 2014, AQAP’s media center released a video celebrating the “safe return” of its members from the February 14 prison break. The prisoners boasted in the video that the necessary equipment for making the explosives was handed to them by unnamed individuals in the prison.

The video was also astonishing because it showcased the freedom of movement enjoyed by AQAP in Yemen and highlighted the growing number of AQAP associates and sympathizers. The head of AQAP, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, announced in the video that a Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rabish, was now his right-hand man. AQAP appeared as a tight unit that had plenty of recent successes to celebrate. Though the video was obviously made for propaganda purposes and to boost efforts to recruit new members from the vast pool of unemployed youth in the country, the fact that the video was shot outdoors and the celebrations took place right out in the open strongly suggests that AQAP is protected by powerful individuals in Yemen.

Just days after the release of the video, attacks on military posts continued, including an attack on April 2, in which the base of the Fourth Division of the Yemeni army in Aden was targeted by a suicide bomber, killing several soldiers and civilians. After each AQAP victory, their confidence grows; this is reflected in the growing frequency and audacity of their operations. Based on these trends, AQAP will likely continue to target military and security officials throughout the country, and the size and intensity of their operations will increase.

Faced with this mushrooming security crisis, the Hadi government reacted by putting new leaders in key security posts. On March 7, a new interior minister, Major General Abdo al-Tareb, was appointed—only three years into his predecessor’s term in office. Ghalib al-Ghamish, who headed the PSO for almost three decades, was replaced by General Jalal al-Ruwaishan. After the Sana’a Central Prison break, President Hadi assigned 20 new officers in the armed forces. Unfortunately, these personnel changes may ultimately prove to be too little, too late.

President Hadi also gave the United States even more authority in fighting terrorism in Yemen. In September 2012, he publicly endorsed the use of drones in Yemen at a talk he gave at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. His cooperation with the United States is unprecedented, and his declaration of AQAP as “the enemies” made his regime and its allies the target of AQAP attacks. Since 2012, Hadi has managed to establish himself as one of many power players; however, the balance of power in the country is still not entirely in his favor. Hadi’s ability to implement decisions rests on the cooperation and consent of other power centers. Moreover, it will be very difficult to override AQAP’s infiltration of the security system.

Much more drastic measures by the Hadi government are necessary to confront and eradicate the terrorist threat in Yemen. President Hadi’s new military appointments are a good start, but the military is too weak for this strategy alone to do the job. The corruption and complicity that allows prison breaks to occur must be exposed and parties involved in supporting these crimes should be identified and prosecuted. The only way to win this war is through domestic confrontation that eliminates the roots of terrorism and discredits the terrorists’ ideology. The recent expansion of AQAP is a consequence of the virtual absence of the rule of law in a country that suffers from extreme poverty and great political and economic injustices. Realistic solutions should involve programs that develop the Yemeni infrastructure, reduce poverty, lower high unemployment rates—especially amongst the youth—and foster national reconciliation and cohesion. It is also essential that the authority of local government be strengthened. Finally, the Yemeni government should encourage the tolerance embedded in how Islam is traditionally practiced in Yemen and liberate religious education from the bonds of radicalization and extremism.

***

Sama’a Al-Hamdani writes the blog Yemeniaty, which covers a range of topics on Yemen, focusing specifically on women’s issues. She has published articles in Al-Monitor, The National (UAE), MENAsource (an Atlantic Council blog), Fikra Forum, Yemen ObserverYemen TimesNews YemenYemen Today magazine, and several academic journals, and has served as a Yemen political panelist for think tanks as well as governmental and nongovernmental agencies from various parts of the world. She has a bachelor’s degree in religion and peace studies with a minor in women’s studies from the George Washington University and holds a certificate in video journalism from Al Arabiya news channel.


Politics and the evolution of Takfeer in Yemen

by Yemeniaty.com in , , , ,


Published on Oct. 12, 2013 on The Atlantic Post

By Sama’a Al-Hamdani and Afrah Nasser
I was declared an apostate at the end of April 2013 because of a political seminar on women’s empowerment hosted at my college in Taiz. In this gathering, I stated that Islam’s most stringent provisions – whether in the Qur’an or the Sunnah – are meant to refine rather than to terrorize. A radical cleric twisted my words and said that I called the Prophet Mohammed a liar and based on it, I was labeled a Kafir (apostate).  - Sally Adeeb, age 21, law school student.
Since the overthrow in Yemen of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011, 11 people have been accused of apostasy (see chart 1 below) in the practice referred to as Takfeer. One of them, Jamal al-Junid, was detained by the police in May 2013 for 15 days and finally was released after the staging of several protests. Another accused “apostate” is Ahmed Al-Arami, a literature and arts lecturer who was labeled a “secularist” in April 2013 and subsequently fled the country because of serious threats and the possibility that he might be executed. The sensitivity of offending religion is a stumbling block in the quest to return Yemen to stability.
NDC and the Evolution of Takfeer
Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which was launched in March 2013 and is part of a Gulf Cooperation Council plan for a negotiated transition for Yemen, has been targeted for accusations of apostasy by one of the country’s leading clerics. Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, Yemen’s influential Muslim Brotherhood/Wahhabist cleric who is also listed as a “specially designated global terrorist” by the United States Treasury Department in 2004, recently released a YouTube video in which he condemned the current NDC political process. The video presentation discussed the framing of the state’s legislation being managed by “the State Building Committee” and claimed that the majority of the committee’s members had voted that Islam is “the state’s main source of legislation” instead of “the state’s only source of legislation.”
Al-Zindani is a non-official politician who influences the Yemeni masses by claiming the custodianship of the Shari’ah, or Islamic law. He established an non-profit religious university, Al-Iman, in 1993 and has claimed to have invented a cure for HIV/AIDS and to have found scientific proof that women cannot speak and remember at the same time.
In July 2013, Al-Zindani’s office, which is managed by his son, issued an official statement announcing the names of 37 NDC members who are allegedly “fighting Islam” and asserting that the named individuals “reject the Islamic Shari’ah and are the enemies of Islam.” The statement is believed to be a warrant and could become a Takfeer fatwa pointing to these aforementioned members as apostates. The action prompted an urgent press conference held by the NDC that condemned publication of the list or the issuance of any such destructive fatwas.
The dispute reflects not only the struggle for dominance between the traditional religious base and the newly-emerging civil power in the decision-making process; it is also a critical factor in the evolution of the nation’s potential new identity. As of yet, it remains uncertain whether or not Shari’ah will be the only source of legislation in Yemen.
Takfeer has long been a key tactic used by radical political Islam to silence its critics. Given its importance to Yemen’s ongoing transition, it is useful to look more closely at the nature of Takfeer in Yemen, who is mainly affected by it, who implements it and how it might be ended.
Chart 1: People Declared Apostates in Yemen since 2011 
Name
Gender
Job
Date
Reason for Takfeer
Consequences/ Legal Action
Fikri Qassim
Male
Writer and playwright
Jan. 2012
Commenting about replacing Gods on Facebook
Death threats
Bushra Al Maqtari
Female
Journalist & novelist (YSP)
Jan. 2012
Controversial article
Legal suit
Mohsin ‘Ayed
Male
Journalist
Feb. 2012
For posting an intimate picture of him with his wife on Facebook
Death threats and wife asked for divorce after the fatwa
Mohammed Al-Saeidi
Male
Researcher and writer
Dec. 2012
Research on Qu’ran
Tried and found innocent after a huge pressure campaign
Samiah Al Aghbari
Female
YSP member & journalist
Feb. 2013
Speech on the death of Jar Allah Omar
Legal suit
Ahmed Al Soufi
Male
Writer
March 2013
Authoring a book that encourages infidelity
Received fatwa asking him to apologize; otherwise he’ll face death.
Sally Adeeb
Female
YSP member
April 2013
For comments on Sunnah and Qu’ran
Dropped
Jamal Al Junaid
Male
Employee at Yemen’s Justice Ministry
May 2013
Constant objection over corruption cases carried out by Islamist groups in the Ministry
Imprisoned for 15 days after a trial
Sulaiman Al Ahdal
Male
Lawyer
May 2013
Filing a lawsuit over looted land
Escaped prosecution after fleeing from Hudaidah city with his family
Ahmed Al Tares Al ‘Arami
Male
Lecturer, poet & critic
May 2013
Suggested a provocative reading-list for students
Escaped to Egypt after receiving death threats
Nabeel Saif Al Komaim
Male
Journalist
2013
Threatened to revoke nationality
What is Takfeer and Who Does It? 
Takfeer is the process of identifying and labeling a person an apostate from Islam. The objective of the process is to reprimand people who break fundamentalist norms, and it penalizes them on two levels. First, it publicly shames an individual by labeling him or her an “infidel” for “religious” purposes. Second, and on a more personal level, the individual becomes an “apostate” and his or her views are renounced as heresy. The “apostate” can be punished through social and/or legal ostracism, or even in some cases by execution through official or mob action. The Takfeer process effectively coerces the society to conform to a single ideology and is a means of enforcing a certain “norm.” Ultimately, the objective is to restrict creation of a pluralistic society.
The incidence of Takfeer is wholly political and can be traced back to the Abbasid Caliphate, where the targets were primarily influential thinkers, writers and philosophers, such as Al-Tabari, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes).
The modern Takfeeri movement tends to target marginalized individuals and women, because the wealthy and influential elements in the society tend to use the process themselves as a means of maintaining their position.
Declaring women infidels is not a new trend in the Middle East and is not unique to Yemen. For example, in Egypt, there was Nawal Al Saadawi and in Kuwait Laila Al Othman and Aliyah Al-Shouaib, among many others. The recent Takfeer attacks in Yemen have not been against corrupt individuals who were economically powerful or belonged to an affluent tribe. Marginalized groups and women simply constitute the easiest targets to be attacked.
The main centers of impetus for Takfeer have been the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam associated with, but not necessarily endorsed by, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabist faction (commonly referred to as Salafism). Salafism is a Sunni movement that calls for the practice of Islam in the way that the Salaf (“predecessors” or “ancestors”) did. Technically, both Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabis are Salafis; however, in the Arab world, the term Salafi usually refers to Wahhabis only. In Yemen, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis are at times grouped together due to the lack of general understanding of their differences and to their resemblance in political perspectives.
Most Takfeeris belong to either one of these two factions, but it is essential to note that not all Muslim Brotherhood members or Wahhabis endorse the practice. In fact, several imams have denounced the Takfeer process as unethical; for example, the late Yemeni Islamic scholar, Muhammad al-Shawkani, who had supported Takfeer in his early years as a scholar, subsequently recanted and issued public condemnations of it. Another contemporary and moderate Islamic scholar, Habib Ali al-Jifri, also condemns Takfeer.
What Do Takfeeris Want?
As it is often a reflection of the nation’s underlying political trends, Takfeer is frequently an evolving process. It is primarily a means of keeping people’s attitudes in check through the manipulation of public opinion; as Takfeeris long for a theocratic state, the process of Takfeer, especially in a transitional situation such as now exists in Yemen, is likely to be reactionary rather than progressive.
During Yemen’s Revolution in March 2011, Yemeni radical cleric Abdulmajeed Al Zindani stated, “The revolutions happening in the Arab world are introductions to establishing an Islamic Caliphate.”
A modern day Caliphate would be a centralized religious dictatorship. Advocates such as Al Zindani are seeking to influence, dominate and restrain the masses. They romanticize and glorify the time of the caliphates and use propaganda to tarnish the prospect of a civil state by claiming it would corrupt faith. Takfeeris are radicals who reject compromise and claim to hold absolute truths through the exploitation of religion.
As is true of other Takfeeri groups in the Middle East, Yemeni Takfeeris seek to change and dominate the “norms” of the societies in which they operate. Takfeeris exhibit their political and religious affiliations through outward appearances such as dress and social rituals and attempt to force these on society as norms.
For instance, Yemeni women no longer wear colorful dresses but instead are covered in black. Women who do not follow this norm are easily identified and could be targeted. Such an obvious outward expression of adherence allows the group to measure its success: the more people comply to the uniform, the more authority they gain. This distinction facilitates an impression of greater cohesion. In turn, the Takfeeris have successfully created a binary community in Yemen where people are divided into “us” versus “them.”
Takfeer also is a means of suppressing dissent and effectively silencing the “enemy.” In a pious society such as Yemen’s, once God is added to the equation, individuals of faith are fearful to stand on the opposing side. The innate injustice of this situation is expressed in the quintessential proportionality argument; bringing God into a political or an ideological argument is equivalent to fighting a defenseless village with machine guns.
Takfeer in Yemen
Historically, Takfeer in Yemen has not been limited to Sunni Islam. The earliest record of mass-Takfeer traces to 1205 CE when the Zaydi (Shi’a) Imam Abdullah Bin Hamza declared as apostates a faction of Zaydis known as Al-Matrifiyah, an action that precipitated a bloody massacre in the governorate of ‘Amran in 1213 (610 Hijri).
The use of mass-Takfeer against political opponents was more recently on display during Yemen’s Civil War of 1994, when Al Zindani and ِAbdulwahab Al Dailami, Minister of Justice during Yemen’s Civil War in 1994, invoked it to legitimize war against secessionists.
Al Dailami issued a fatwa to that effect, and went so far as to legitimize the killing of civilians, accusing them of being weak Muslims for allowing the secessionists to be “shoved” among them.
Al-Dailami’s fatwa against people in Yemen’s south during the 1994 Civil War is considered one of the causes of the killing of thousands of people in the south. In the post-war era, Al-Dailami and Al-Zindani denied that they had issued any fatwa during that war.
Years later, during Sa’dah’s string of six wars that began in 2004, the beliefs and practices of the Houthis (now called Ansar Allah) were questioned, and some clerics labeled Zaydis as heretics.
During Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule (1978-2012), the Takfeeri movement targeted not only political opponents, but also journalists, artists and writers, as well as anyone else who had the potential to influence people’s minds (see timeline below for detailed information). Most of the Takfeeri fatwas issued in Yemen over the past 33 years were mandated by Wahhabi clerics.
The declaration of women as apostates is often part of the larger “us” versus “them” mentality; women who refuse to adhere to the Takfeeri dress uniform of a very conservative veil (norm) are considered “western” and therefore associated with the enemy (them). Also, women who do not adhere to the prescribed doctrines governing female behavior are considered “anti-social” to conservative norms.
Women facing Takfeer frequently are independent thinkers and are likely to have closer ties to youth movements rather than being associated with traditional political parties. The objectives of such women are usually wider than merely fighting marginalization and extend to the sort of defamation and baseless threats that are usually a part of being singled out as an apostate.
For their part, Takfeeris tend to view women as a homogenous group. Inspired by the domino theory, Takfeeris believe that if one woman leader is terrorized, other emerging women leaders would become silent. The same theory applies to other marginalized groups.

Acceptance of Takfeer 
In the past 20 years, Yemenis have experienced a crisis of governance and have come to consider Takfeeri movements as a shift from the former regime, a lesser of two evils. Moreover, religious groups were the only opposition entities allowed to operate freely under Saleh’s regime, which saved him from being targeted as an “enemy of Islam.”
Operating in such a relatively free environment for the past 23 years, the Takfeeri groups have had plenty of time to assimilate into Yemeni society, and their level of organization has been enhanced as well by funding received from individuals residing in Saudi Arabia. Unlike other political movements in the country, their ideology is easy to articulate and powerful. The current transitional period in Yemen offers a fertile ground for their continued rise to power.
The increasing prominence of Takfeeris reflects a concomitant deterioration of ijtihad, the process of independent reasoning within Shari’ah, or Islamic law. It also highlights the domination of Sunni Takfeeri trends in the nation’s intellectual milieu and hints at an underlying confusion (because of the fragile religious scholarship in the country) in the ability to distinguish between what is ‘Aib(disgraceful/dishonorable) and what is Haram (forbidden/taboo).
Indoctrination, ignorance and political aspiration are the main reasons that Yemenis accept the process of Takfeer. Illiteracy in Yemen is 40 percent (around 70 percent for women) and the population depends heavily on the guidance of jurists. In the last two decades, Yemen gave precedence to Al ‘Ilm Bil Deen (religious studies) over Al ‘Ilm Bil Donya (scientific and technical studies). Yemeni society remains interdependent and it is easy to gain public support. Others fear being labeled irreligious. It is important to remember that most Tafkeeris genuinely believe they are carrying out God’s wishes on earth.
Takfeeris should be made aware that declaring people apostates will silence some individuals but is not a long-term solution of eliminating all opposition. The practice of Takfeer has no roots to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims and Islamists will benefit from a message that Islam is a tolerant and a rational religion. Atonement was and should be an option for “sinners,” especially when the sin is narrowly defined by a particular sect. Yemen desperately needs an Islamic critique on the use of Takfeer.
It is also essential that human rights, and especially those for women, be codified in the new Yemeni constitution. Members of the National Dialogue need to ensure that future jurists selected for the drafting process are aware of the need for a detailed consideration of people’s rights of expression to prevent future strife.
Shari’ah is presently the only source of legislation in Yemen. If this simplistic and vaguely defined body of law remains, it will be important to identify which schools of Islamic law will be followed and the specific jurists who will be issuing fatwas. Strict criteria also will be required on who can be an Islamic jurist in the future (perhaps graduates of Al-Azhar University or those who hold a Ph.D. or M.A. in Islamic studies). All of this needs to be done without restricting Yemen’s Islamic diversity.
Finally,  mandatory education must be enforced to help individuals make informed decisions. The Yemeni educational system, which is currently being revamped, needs to give equal importance to scientific education (learned knowledge over memorized knowledge). More importantly, the people need to be aware of the influence of religious imperialism from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Egypt and Turkey. When it comes to governance, people need to understand that there are modes of governance other than religious orthodoxy or failed “democracy.”
Sama’a Al-Hamdani writes the blog Yemeniaty, which covers a range of topics on Yemen, focusing specifically on women’s issues. You can follow her @Yemeniaty.
Afrah Nasser is a blogger from Yemen living in Sweden and co-founder of the @YemeniSalon in Stockholm.

حصة المرأة: هل هي نجاح للمجتمع الدولي أم للمرأة اليمنية؟

by Yemeniaty.com in


نشرت المقالة في منتدى فكرة

في 15 سبتمبر/أيلول، كتب الرئيس اليمني عبد ربه منصورهادي مقالته الافتتاحية الأولى له على الإطلاق على أمل طمأنة الشعب اليمني حول تقدم المرحلة السياسية الحالية. والمقالالذي نُشر في مجلة التايمز اليمنية والمتاح فقط باللغة الإنجليزية يبرز دور المرأة أثناء المرحلة الانتقالية ويثني على وضع المرأة في اليمن. والأهم من ذلك أن الرئيس يدعم بشكل غير مباشر حصة الـ 30% المقترحة، حيث يقول "لضمان سماع تلك الأصوات، عقد تحالف جديد للنساء المؤثرات مؤتمراً صحفياً اليوم لتأييد الدعم الوطني لتخصيص حصة 30 بالمائة على الأقل لتمثيل المرأة في جميع فروع الحكومة".

وبدون شك فإن مشاركة المرأة في مؤتمر الحوار الوطني كانت قوية حيث تمثل المرأة 28% تقريباً من جميع المشاركين. كما ترأست المرأة ثلاث من لجان العمل التسع. فضلاً عن أنهن شكلن تحالفات داخل مؤتمر الحوار وخارجه لقيادة حقوق المرأة، ورغم كل هذه الجهود، إلا أنه تعذر الوصول إلى قرار بالإجماع بخصوص حصة الـ 30%. وبغض النظر عن ذلك، يبدو أن مؤتمر الحوار الوطني في اليمن سيوافق على حصة الـ 30% للمرأة في جميع فروع الحكومة الثلاثة، لكن هل هذا النجاح يرجع إلى الجهود الدؤوبة من جانب المرأة اليمنية، أم أنه يهدف إلى جعل اليمن تبدو وكأنها أكثر ديمقراطية؟

رغم أن مشاركة المرأة في مؤتمر الحوار الوطني مُلفته للانتباه، إلا أن الحوار يظل منفصلاً تماماً عن حقائق المرأة اليمنية على الأرض. لا تزال العملية الانتقالية، التي كان من المقرر لها أن تنتهي في 18 سبتمبر/أيلول، تلقى دعماً قوياً من المجتمع الدولي. وهذا يسترعي سؤالاً حول مدى النجاح المحتمل للعملية على المدى الطويل إذا كان الهدف هو تحقيق القبول الدولي مقارنة بالمشاركة الحقيقية والتأثير على الأرض.



حصة الـ30%

بحسب متطلبات العملية التي يقودها مؤتمر الحوار الوطني، يجب أن تحظى أي مادة في المرحلة الأولية بـ 90% من الأصوات بين اللجان من أجل الموافقة عليها، وإلا فإنه سيتم إرسالها إلى لجنة توفيق الآراء، التي تأسست للإشراف على عملية الحوار من أجل الحفاظ على الانسجام. وإذا قامت لجنة توفيق الآراء بتعديل المادة وإعادتها إلى اللجان، فيجب أن تحصل على موافقة بنسبة 75% وإلا سيتم إعادتها مرة أخرى إلى الهيئة الإشرافية. وأخيراً، يجب الموافقة على مسودة معدلة بنسبة 55% من اللجان. وإذا لم توافق عليها اللجان، فسوف تتخذ لجنة توفيق الآراء ورئيس الحوار القرار النهائي حول ما إذا كان سيتم المضي قدماً في هذه المادة أم لا.

تجتمع لجان بناء الدولة والحكم الرشيد والحقوق والحريات في مؤتمر الحوار الوطني لمناقشة حصة المرأة، وسوف تتطلب حال الموافقة عليها أن يكون 30% من المسؤولين من النساء عبر جميع فروع الحكومة. وقد كانت لجنة بناء الدولة هي اللجنة الوحيدة التي تمكنت من الموافقة المطلوبة بنسبة إجماع 90%، رغم أن هذا كان يرجع فقط إلى حقيقة أن بعض الأعضاء حجبوا أصواتهم على افتراض أن ذلك سوف يخفض من معدل الإجماع. لم تصل اللجنتان السابقتان إلى معدل الأصوات المطلوب، لذا فإنه بحسب إجراءات الحوار، فإن الأمر أُحيل إلى لجنة توفيق الآراء قبل أغسطس/آب. وفي ذلك الوقت، كان من المنطقي افتراض أن الموضوع سوف يُعاد إلى اللجان العاملة حيث سيتعين على النساء تشكيل تحالفات والعمل بجد للحصول على الإجماع المطلوب بنسبة 75% للموافقة على المادة.

وإذا كان للنساء والجماعات الشبابية أن يوحدن أصواتهن للفوز بالإجماع في اللجان، يرجح أن النسبة التي سيحصلون عليها ستقل عن المطلوب ولن يحصلوا سوى على 50%. ومن هناك، سيكون من الصعب للغاية الفوز بنسبة الأصوات المتبقية، لا سيما بالنظر إلى أن الكثيرين من الرجال الذين أعلنوا تأييدهم لحصة الـ30% رفضوها لاحقاً عندما جاء وقت التصويت. عارضت السلطات التقليدية في اليمن علانية فكرة تخصيص حصة 30% للمرأة، بل إن الأحزاب "الليبرالية" في اليمن اختارت حصة 15% بدلاً من نسبة الـ 30% المقترحة. غير أنه بعد المقال الافتتاحي للرئيس، غيَّر العديد من أعضاء الأحزاب المشاركين في الحوار من لهجتهم. ثم وافقت لجنة توفيق الآراء على أنه ينبغي تمثيل المرأة في جميع الهيئات الحكومية الثلاثة، ومن ثم أرجأت مناقشة حصة المرأة إلى حين عقد الجلسة العامة النهائية.

تقييم الحصة

تستند حصة المرأة إلى فكرة أنها سوف تُحسِّن من مشاركة المرأة في الحكم، بما يعزز قضايا المرأة، من خلال منهج تنازلي من أعلى لأسفل. أولاً، يقوم هذا على افتراض أن تحديد حصة الـ 30% للمرأة يضمن أنه سيتم تنفيذها، بينما في الواقع لا توجد أي ضمانات بأن هذا سيحدث. ثم هناك افتراض بأن النساء اللواتي وقع عليهن الاختيار أو تم انتخابهن سوف يقدِّمن حقوق المرأة على الأجندة السياسية لأحزابهن والسؤال الحقيقي هو ما إذا كانت هذه الحصة سوف تصنع فارقاً فعلياً وتحدث نقلة في الأوضاع المتدهورة لصحة المرأة ومعدلات الأمية والبطالة والوضع الاقتصادي. من المؤكد أنها تستطيع فعل ذلك، لكن يُشترط لذلك عمل النساء المشتغلات بالسياسة والموظفين الحكوميين بجد من أجل إنجاز هذه الحقوق.

يقول العديد من الرجال إن النساء غير جاهزات لنسبة الـ 30% نظراً لقلة عددهن، سواء بسبب التعليم أو الخبرة المهنية. بيد أن هذه الحُجة غير صحيحة. فالعديد من المسؤولين الذكور يشغلون مناصبهم بسبب روابطهم الاجتماعية وليس بسبب مؤهلاتهم. والحجة الأخرى هي أن نسبة الـ 30% هي حصة مرتفعة جداً، لا سيما وأن الرجال هم العائلون الأساسيون لعائلاتهم. وهذه الحُجة ضعيفة كذلك لأن الأرقام أظهرت أن النساء اللواتي يكسبن المزيد من المال ينفقن ثروتهن على عوائلهم. وعلاوة على ذلك، إذا اعتنق اليمن الفيدرالية، سوف تؤدي الحكومات المحلية الجديدة إلى خلق المزيد من المناصب والفرص وبهذا لن "يسرق" النساء أي من الوظائف المتاحة.

هناك تخوف بأن الحصة لن تُطبق وبأن النساء اللواتي يقع عليهن الاختيار من خلال الحصة سوف يعززن من أجندة أحزابهن وليس أجندة المرأة. وعلى كل حال، من المحتمل أن تكون حصة الـ 30% تهيئ المشهد لفشل المرأة اليمنية، لكن هذه مخاطرة ينبغي للمرأة اليمنية الإقدام عليها.

لقد عملت المرأة اليمنية بجد منذ أوائل تسعينيات القرن الماضي من أجل كسب كافة الحقوق التي نالتها. وفي حال الموافقة على الحصة، ينبغي للمرأة استخدامها لمصلحتها كفرصة لمواصلة العمل الجيد نحو تحسين أوضاع المرأة في المجتمع. إن حصة المرأة ليست الحل الوحيد، لكنها إحدى الطرق العديدة التي تستطيع من خلالها المرأة التأثير على السياسات. وللأسف، كان يُنظر إلى المرأة اليمنية في عام 2011 باعتبارها رمزاً للتغيير الديمقراطي في انتفاضة 2011 اليمنية، لكن لم يجري مخاطبتهن على الفور كفاعلين جادين في العملية السياسية. وإذا كان المجتمع الدولي والحكومة اليمنية ينظران إلى حصة المرأة باعتبارها معياراً رئيسياً "لنجاح" العملية الانتقالية السياسية الحالية بدون أي التزام جاد لدعم تنفيذها، فإن الحصة، شأنها شأن الحوار، ستكون مجرد عملية تشمل الفئات العليا من المجتمع ولن يكون لها تأثير فعلي على الأرض.

سماء الهمداني، باحثة يمنية وتكتب في مدونة Yemeniaty.com. يمكنك متابعتها علىTwitter @Yemeniaty