Bahah: Achieving Lasting Peace Requires a Clear Strategy and the STC Must Learn from the Lessons of the Past

21 May 2023: NRM’s political track hosted Mr. Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah, former Vice President and Prime Minister, to highlight the Yemeni crisis, challenges, and opportunities for a solution.

At the beginning of the meeting, which was moderated by Dr. Balqees Abu Asba – a founding member of NRM, Bahah spoke about the political transformations since the Yemeni Consultations in Riyadh last year 2022, and said that the engineering of the new Legitimacy, despite its good intentions, has produced a more difficult and complex situation and that during a year of the Presidential Leadership Council, great challenges have emerged, especially the lack of integration and homogeneity of its components, and the divergence of projects and powers for its members. He added that “all this has not resulted in any tangible positive reflection on the government’s performance”.

Bahah also pointed out that the current truce is important, but it is still conditional. It is threatened to collapse, adding that he fears that it is just tactical to make concessions and whatever could be taken from the Legitimacy, which will be left empty-handed after it has provided everything. He added that if things continue with this performance, “it worries us, and will cost a whole generation of setbacks”.

“Achieving lasting peace is a major task that requires a clear strategy otherwise it will be just in the interest of one party at the expense of the homeland”, Bahah said. He stressed that “we need a comprehensive political track and dialogue similar to what happened in the Kuwait Peace Talks in 2016”.

With regard to the Southern Issue, Bahah said that the equation between the hopes of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and its inclusive nature is an equation so far that is moving towards being dragged into the past rather than into the concept of political action and learning from previous experiences in the South. He noted that the outcomes of the recent Southern Consultations in Aden are advanced in theory, but what is unacceptable is those narcissistic practices carried out by the STC, which are still in contradiction with the outcomes of the Southern Consultations themselves, pointing that the STC’s latest moves in Hadramout and the introduction of armed forces are not familiar actions in Hadramout, and such practices will have immediate and far-reaching repercussions.

As for the Houthis, Bahah said, “I still use the term our Houthi brothers and I did not use any other term despite the challenges we face with them, but the high ceilings do not serve peace, we cannot go to what the Houthis want, but they should come to the dialogue table with the rest of all brothers, and we have a lot of references about the form of the next state, including the draft constitution, and everything can be discussed by dialogue away from the language of violence, for Yemen is for everyone at the end of the matter.

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