A comprehensive Preliminary Initiative to End the War
Start building Comprehensive Peace in Yemen
Upon reading the vision provided by engineer Mr. Khalid Abdul Wahid Noman, titled “A Comprehensive Vision to End the War and Reach a Just and sustainable Peace” which includes a general framework to end the war, a year ago, we presented an initiative to end the war, and based on that, and as a citizens concerned about this country, I saw to share it with anyone who is interested so that we all could reach a final and comprehensive vision that reaches the decision makers of the warring parties in Yemen.
It became necessary to find a clear mechanism to end the war in Yemen. This necessity dictates reaching a roadmap for a fair political settlement that ends this war which destroyed everything in Yemen, had a grave impact on Yemen and Yemenis, paralyzed the country’s basic structure, and threatened the very existence of Yemen.
What is more dangerous, is that this war destroys the Yemeni social fabric on every level: religion, sects, tribes, territories, the republic, political parties, jobs and even on the level of family. We never reached a point where people bragged about their jobs except in this critical moment in history, which is this war that destroyed Yemen. The fabric that used to be very strong in the past decades must be strong again.
What do we expect from this war?
No strategy, no goals, in fact without any worth, except for destroying Yemen and its people.
Do we wait until Yemen is a group of small states? Or Cantons? Or perhaps even small huts fighting each other for several years to come.
A person cannot ignore the past three years of war, which convinced those who are close and those who are far that there is no hope in resolving it militarily within the short foreseeable and possible future.
Thus, there has to be a way out through a roadmap, that aims at putting a foundation to end the war and begin a political settlement that provides the best benefits for all the warring parties, as a service for Yemen and its people.
I confirm that this initiative could be a first step, a foundation for its adoption and redrafting to reach a final initiative one which all the warring parties in the Yemeni war can approve and sign and one which will stop the war and launch the process of rebuilding the country.
First: Trust Building Phase
1- Yemen’s ruling, Internationally-recognized government:
- Everyone must realize that the legitimate government of Yemen does not boil down to Mr. Abdu Rabbou Mansur Hadi personally, or his staff or his cabinet, it also does not mean Ansar Allah nor their cabinet nor their staff. A legitimate government does not mean any specific and isolated political party or a team than could side with any party.
- If resolution 2216 gives president Hadi the capacity of “legitimate president” it does not mean that this capacity was given to him as a person, but it was given to him because of the institution that he represents, which he reached thanks to a political agreement by all the Yemeni parties which was given to him in a transitional period which itself was supposed to lead to constitutional referendum and an election that determine the legitimate president of Yemen. We’re not about to putdown any party to this war.
- We must confirm that the “legitimacy” is represented in all the state’s institutions (the presidency, the house of parliament, the government, the army the armed forces and the judiciary)
- These institutions do not gain their legitimacy in a people’s republic except through the ballot box and not through a selection process, or through a foreign or domestic power or a divine intervention, but rather they are chosen freely by every Yemeni citizen.
- Because the state’ s institutions are greatly divided between (President Hadi’s cabinet in Aden and the Political Council Cabinet in Sana’a) which threatens the stability of the country (economically, Socially, and politically) and does not drive success in any direction, especially when we find that the two ruling bodies are unable to manage the general situation of the country during the time when other forces are spreading their power in ways that manifest small states and cantons for their best interest utilized by war, blood and destruction profiteers.
- The aim, then, is to end this state of affairs and find a common ground for national forces representing the legitimate government of Yemen (even temporally) until they “handover the torch” to another legitimate government that takes power through free and honest elections.
- Based on the above:
1.1 A temporary, new, and legitimate government must be created through a political settlement; such government will take over the Yemeni affairs.
1.2 Achieving an inclusive reconciliation.
1.3 Realizing, protecting, and guaranteeing the interests of all parties.
1.4 Starting the transition to the final phase.
1.5 Establishing grounds to start the rebuilding phase
2- Relationships and Communication:
- One of the methods of good governance is establishing transparency and accountability. Victims of this war include every Yemeni citizen. The war has been exploited by individuals belonging to both parties of the conflict and make political and economic gains. These are now part of the problem. Mostly these elements do not want this war to end because it became a strong investment for them.
- All the while, none of the warring parties have opened a channel of communication with the citizens. On the contrary, rumors and theories have increased, and those who die, die in ignorance. An Industry of “illusions” has emerged and people became highly emotional which laid the foundation of a disease that killed the social fabric of Yemen. That problem has been exacerbated by the spread of multiple militias and the ease of exchanging weapons under support from the warring parties.
- There is a striking ambiguity in the “interests” that establish a mutual peer-to-peer relationship between parties in the Saudi-led Arab coalition, most notably the UN report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen which was presented in January 26, 2018 to the United Nations Security Council which indicates “a separation of vision and strategy” and an elevation in the expectation’s ceiling later on due to complete ignorance on what can be accomplished. This means that there is a major imbalance in the process of managing the war by all the parties.
- This all adds up to that fact that everyone must create a positive interaction before any full and complete negotiations, and that can be done through:
2.1 A truce: in which all hostile activities between the two parties are stopped, fighting in all fronts is stopped and direct meetings will be announced between the two warring parties’ after a specific period which is (Ramadan 2018).
2.2 All parties shall rearrange their political situation.
2.3 All parties shall voice their fears and interests.
2.4 All parties shall propose the preliminary concepts of the Principles Document as well as stopping media and war attacks.
2.5 Creating a draft for the roadmap
2.6 Creating a system for national reconciliation
2.7 All interests and aims of all parties shall be determined
2.8 A direct clarification between the “legitimate government” and the “Arab Coalition” to correct the course between the coalition’s members and determining the principles of trust interests.
2.9 Direct communication between the Supreme Political Council in Sana’a and the leadership of the Arab Coalition especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to establish the principles of trust interests.
2.10 Direct clarification between the political parties and the leadership of the collation to determine the principles of trust and interests.
2.11 Facts should be published as they come.
2.12 Facts should be published to the public.
2.13 The national economy shall be spared any war repercussions including those ensued after the truce.
2.14 Unifying the management of the Central bank of Yemen
2.15 Reopening land, sea and air ports while preserving the right to monitor and inspect. Supervisory Committees can be formed in all ports (by a third party that could be the UNSC or any party designated by the UN)
3- Ending the arming process and unifying the security components
– The state of chaos caused by the spread of weapons, and militias under numerous names.
– Large military forces that threaten the state’s capability in assimilating them in the future.
– Major military actors have been sidelined.
– Military cells (could be or not be parts of terrorist organizations) in a dormant state.
These all make it hard to reach a political settlement without restructuring the army and security forces into one entity. Which is very difficult to do due to the lack of trust between the warring parties.
3.1 Working to create a Military Security Council That includes
3.2 Neutral members who are no more than 11.
3.3 These memberships are temporary and are only in the phase of political agreement.
3.4 Where this council would hand over its tasks and responsibilities to a National Council after the final elections.
3.5 The council shall seek to rearrange the armed forces to include the armed and security forces of 2010 and it shall include:
3.5.1 Merging the competent armed forces from “the Legitimate Government and the Political Council Government” together and cancelling any militias and committees that are not under the umbrella of the Yemeni army and;
3.5.2 Allocating parts of these forces to form (civilian security forces, police, traffic police, public security etc..) which represent the security forces for each governorate in the republic of Yemen with the possibility of changing the names of the brigades and unites.
3.5.3 Provided that the military council shall receive all the heavy weapons and place them in the care of the armed forces.
3.5.4 Starting to relief the remaining forces through job rotation, relocation or compensation.
3.6 No party shall have the right to combat terrorism except through the Yemeni army and security forces and the Military Council.
3.7 The Military Council shall have the right deploy peacekeeping forces if there is a need for that, especially during the transitional period.
4.1 All parties shall make concessions for the benefit of Yemen and Yemenis.
4.2 All parties shall make concessions for their joint interests and mutual rights.
4.3 Admitting that all the injustices that occurred in all the republic of Yemen were a result of ruling mismanagement.
4.4 All parties refuse to create a religion, sectarian or dynastic state.
4.5 That does not mean that Yemen is not an Arab and Islamic state
4.6 That does not contradict with the interests of Yemenis from various religions and sects.
4.7 All parties understand that no one represents Yemen but the Yemenis themselves and those whom they choose to represent them.
4.8 All parties understand that the judiciary is sovereign and independent.
4.9 All parties understand that guardianship dictated by the constitution and the law is applicable to everyone with no exceptions.
4.10 All parties shall seek to preserve the unity of the Yemeni lands.
4.11 All parties shall understand that justice is achieved by implementing the rules of Good Governance.
4.12 All parties understand that legitimacy is gained from the ballot box in a free and sound elections in which all Yemeni citizens can participate.
4.13 All parties understand that each governorate will have integrated self-ruling rights that ends years of centrality and injustice.
4.14 All parties understand the National Dialogue outputs are an essential reference in the future building process of the Yemeni state.
Second: The negotiations and political settlement phase:
1- We repeat, no warring party actually represents Yemen and Yemenis, none of them actually represents the choice of Yemenis and the Yemeni citizens do not really trust any of the warring parties. The plights they were subjected to made them pray and say “Oh Allah we are victims, grant us justice”
2- Yemenis started to think about the pre-2011 period and regret losing it very badly. And because regret isn’t helpful
3- An announcement has to be made, after an understanding is reached, that the war is over.
4- Holding an inclusive meeting that includes the warring parties in a neutral state (Kuwait or Oman) that establishes the process of settlement to show what trust and interest principles has been agreed on in the Relationships and Communication part in the first section.
5- The settlement shall result in the final formation of the military council referred to in the ending the arming section.
6- A political agreement will be made to establish:
6.1 A conformity, temporary Presidential Council including the political components in the negotiations phase that takes over presidency of the republic.
6.2 A national technocratic cabinet that includes a “political” minister and a deputy minister (from the experts) who work as a temporary executive authority for the country.
6.3 This cabinet shall include no more than 21 ministers, who will run the cabinet in the institutional period for no more than 18 months.
6.4 This cabinet shall work with the Arab Coalition to call for a rebuilding stage in Yemen, follow up with it and begin it, with the exception of managing the state’s affairs.
6.5 Because the goal is for Yemenis to decided what they want, they must bear the responsibility of their decision and thus there can be no council outside the jurisdiction of the Yemeni citizens, based on that Yemenis will be careful about their choices:
7.1 Announcing the establishment of (the Founding National Council)
7.2 To be formed through free in-governorate elections, five members will represent each governorate, under the supervision of the UN and the temporary national government.
7.3 The Founding National Council shall choose one member out the five representing each governorate to be a governor for the governorate, he/she will be elected later on to receive his/her post as a governor and as a government supervisor over his/her governorate. Which will be the foundation of the full custodianship of each governorate.
7.4 The governor shall receive his duties based on the current constitution and shall take the constitutional oath in front of the council and leave to commence management of the governorate’s affairs.
7.5 The Founding National Council must:
7.5.1 Announce and hold a national inclusive reconciliation between all actors in the political community inside and outside Yemen.
7.5.2 Work on (settlements of public sector jobs, rotating them, and accept any employees who have been appointed in the past period based on competency only, other than that jobs shall be rotated)
7.5.3 Choosing the Central bank of Yemen’s administration and the Central Organization for Control and Accounting. The Central Bank in Sana’a shall be reactivated.
7.5.4 The Founding National Council shall call all the political parties and blocks to choose 3 representatives on their behalf to be included in the council within one week, if there are any delays, prominent members of that party shall selected to represent it.
7.5.5 The Council shall have the right to choose competent candidates from the legal, economic and political fields provided that they are no more than 10 to support the work of the council and its committees.
7.5.6 The Council, after it is formed shall begin to draft, amend or change the final constitution of Yemen which will adopt the principles of (Civil life, good governance, and citizenship)
7.5.7 The Council shall submit a final draft of the amended or new constitution to the cabinet in a period no more than 3 months, after that:
1- The head of the government shall announce public discussions in a period no longer than (30) days in which the constitution will be reviewed and discussed publically in every governorate under supervision from its governor, who will call each community block, organization, union or political party in the governorate to choose two representatives to participate in the community sessions. Any notes, comments or agreements will be written down in a document signed by all the parties and then it shall be submitted to the government.
2- The government shall handover the notes to the council to look into them and set out a mechanism to sort out repetitions, changes and comments. Changes and additions will be done based on those community memos.
3- The final version will be submitted within 30 days to the head of the government to prepare for a referendum within 60 days.
4- After approving the constitution, preparation for final elections will start in order to move to the stage of stability as indicated in the new constitution.
5- The referendum period begins and the elections for the final form of the state follows it.
6- The presidency council and the national council handover their responsibilities to the new presidency and new parliament.
Third: Ending injustices:
1- Because everyone has been subjected to injustice, however, the media and the screaming amplified and exaggerated the injustices imposed on one side by another, and that did not and will not bring justice to the victims and will not end the injustice itself so there must be:
1.1 Working to expedite the transitional justice law
1.2 Working to correct injustices through: forming a prosecution office as a branch from the general prosecution office and calling it “The Transitional Justice and Complaints Prosecution Office” that will comprise of:
1.2.1 The General Prosecutor, three judges and three lawyers.
1.2.2 Everyone who claims to be a victim of some sort of injustice, accuses someone of murder or corruption in the public sector or any place to come and provide his accusation with the proper evidence to be submitted in his own governorate’s committee.
1.2.3 The committee shall review, examine and research all the files and submit them to the Transitional Justice and Complaints Prosecution Office
1.2.4 This Prosecution Office shall have the right to call in, investigate and verify every file and refer complete cases to the specialized judiciary (administrative, criminal, commercial …)
1.2.5 Cases shall be referred to the judiciary after the constitutional referendum.
1.2.6 This Prosecution Office shall keep working for a period no less than two years to receive all the complaints after that the files shall be referred to the General Prosecution after it is formed based on the new constitution.
In the above, I attempted to introduce a concept, which I deem suitable, to reach a comprehensive and just settlement to end that conflict in Yemen, achieve the interests of all parties and lay the foundation for building the Yemeni state. As I stated above this is merely a preliminary draft and not a final proposal. I submitted a similar proposal once every year. This time I was encouraged to rewrite it by the initiative of Eng. Khalid Abdul Wahid and the initiative by the former president Ali Nasser, and now here is my own initiative which is fully capable of being edited in order to reach the final version of the solution in Yemen.
Citizen\ Ahmed Mubarak Basheer
April 8, 2018