Half of Yemen Conference Seats Offered to Separatists
In an attempt to restore stability in Yemen, the government offered half of the seats at a planned reconciliation conference to southern separatists. The move came as tribal sheikhs, primarily from provinces in northern Yemen, launched an initiative designed to produce an agreement between the groups in the north and separatists in the south. Southern participation in the conference, which separatist leaders had previously boycotted, has been hailed as vital for the success of the talks.
The National Dialogue Conference, previously slated to begin mid-November, has yet to be scheduled. However, the deputy head of the conference’s preparatory committee, Sultan al-Atwani, said a final report outlining the breakdown of dialogue participants will be submitted by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi in the next few weeks. U.N. special adviser to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar, pressed for the dialogue to start, saying “the road towards this agreement took courage and persistence on the part of all involved. The road ahead is no less difficult.”