Negotiations continue with NDC Southern representatives, but little headway
Mohammed Al-Hassani (author)
Representatives say recent government apology changes nothing
SANA’A, Aug. 26 — Despite media reports to the contrary, Southern Movement leaders say they still have not reached an agreement to secure their return to the National Dialogue Conference’s reconciliatory talks.
“No solutions were reached in the meeting,” said Naji Rashid, a Southern Movement leader, referring to intense discussions that took place between President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, Rashid, Mohammed Ali Ahmed, the chairperson of the Southern Issue working group, and several other Southern representatives.
Rashid said Hadi and Ahmed spoke about the South’s long-time demand for an apology for the 1994 Civil War, which the Yemeni government issued last week.
Hadi has asked Ahmed to resume his participation in the NDC and let go of their idea to move the dialogue outside Yemen.
Bilqis Al-Lahabi, the vice chairperson of the Southern Issue Working Group, also denied that southern representatives were willing to return to talks.
Al-Lahabi said Southern Movement representatives will not end their suspended participation unless all of the 20 Points, a list of demands the South had made to the NDC’s Technical Committee before the conference started, were met. Several of the points, including the apology have already been implemented. After the conference began, Southerners stipulated another 11 Points to secure their participation.
Al-Lahabi even went as far as to say that the government’s recent apology for the 1994 War was not enough.
“The Southern Movement didn’t accept the apology of the government,” she said.
“Although the NDC will conclude in less than a month, nothing has been done for the South so far,” she said.
The NDC’s governing body, the presidency, said the conference’s working groups and their subcommittees should continue their work and finalize any reports and requirements being asked of them while the Southern Movement negotiation talks continue.
Technically, the Reconciliation Committee of the conference is tasked with trying to talk the boycotting parties back to the conference. However, the Reconciliation Committee cannot meet as long as southern representatives are boycotting.