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Analysis

Will National Salvation Government Save Yemen?

Friday 2 December 2016
Will National Salvation Government Save Yemen?

Related Content

Millions of Yemenis Rallied, Voiced Support for Supreme Political Council

Supreme Political Council only Legitimate Authority in Yemen: Yemeni Official

Alwaght- The Yemen Supreme Political Council in its emergency meeting on Monday in the capital Sana'a announced the members of national salvation government.

Al Masirah TV of Yemen which is close to Ansarullah movement has confirmed that a national salvation government was formed, adding that the government came to birth in an emergency meeting of members of the Supreme Political Council led by Saleh Ali Sammad. The SPC decided that Abdul Aziz bin Habtoor will lead the newly-formed government.

After announcement of formation of the new government, the head and other members of the SPC emphasized that the national salvation government was all-encompassing, continuing that it had the duty of sorting out the domestic conditions and also tackling a heavy economic, military, and political blockade imposed on the country by the “enemy”, in a reference to the Saudi-led Arab coalition that has held all-out siege in place on Yemen for more than one and half a year.

“The new government has managed to come to existence according to a national solution based on a national participation to avoid more bloodshed in the country and in shadow of aggression of the enemy and its mercenaries,” the SPC's statement read.

SPC's statement added: “this government will try to make peace and pave the way for national reconciliation by taking advantage of a national amnesty, and we hold the enemy accountable for any further aggression and marring the political settlement of the conflict.”

The Prime Minister of the national salvation cabinet Abdul Aziz bin Habtoor has thanked the chief of SPC and other members for “doing all they could” to form the government. PM bin Habtoor reiterated his cabinet's commitment to meeting all of demands of the Yemeni people and finding proper solutions for problems deriving from the “brutal” Saudi aggression against Yemen.

While the country has been victim of a daily war and heavy bombing by the Saudi-led Arab military coalition for nearly two years, what messages could a national salvation government in Sana’a send? Will the new government succeed in getting the country on the track of a settlement to the devastating crisis?

Four features in the government can support the argument that formation of the government can mark a considerable step to put an end to the humanitarian crisis and conflict in Yemen. 

1. Wide-ranging national consensus in support of the national salvation government

The national salvation government, or as some call it national unity government, is formed in a situation that there is a comprehensive agreement between different Yemeni groups on the necessity of forming a government to deal with the current chaotic conditions. Domestically, the government was formed in compliance with an agreement announced by the head of SPC that emphasized on government formation and releasing names of its ministers. The accord was signed on July 28, 2016 between Ansarullah movement and General People's Congress and prepared the ground for forming Yemen’s Supreme Political Council. Signing the agreement at that time drew a nationwide welcome and acceptance, including in Sana’a where people held a million rally to display backing for the new administrative body and its head Saleh Ali al-Sammad. Forming the government is actually an earlier pledge by the SPC that has a strong popular support. Furthermore, the SPC enjoys a special backing from the Sana’a-based political parties and groups and so it carries the potentials to win consensus of all political sides through this national unity government. Therefore, it can be suggested that since popular uprising in 2011, the Habtoor-led government has won the widest range of political and popular support. Such a vast popularity will give the government the chance to get support from the parliament. The parliament is set to hold a special session to discuss votes of confidence to the proposed cabinet ministers in line with the country’s constitution in a bid to officialize it for garnering the largest political and legal upholding at home and abroad.

2. Holding strategy and road map

Besides announcing the national salvation government, the goals behind its formation were declared. It is set to deal with the domestic problems and counter the economic, military, and political blockade and, according to the SPC, the government will flatten the road for peace and national reconciliation in compliance with a public amnesty. The experts suggest if the government manages to achieve its announced objectives, particularly in economy, it will naturally add to its domestic legitimacy, something that will firm up its position at home and beyond the national borders.

3. Official and organized support of resistance to Saudi-led invasion

In addition to economic and administrative tasks, the national salvation government is commissioned with dealing with the illegal and inhuman Saudi aggression against Yemen. Actually, facing the Arab coalition's offensive is an essential aim of the government that motivates the internal political groups to offer support for it. The SPC in its statement called formation of the government as a step forward to stop further bloodshed in the shadow of the hostile and mercenary assaults, as at the same time it blames Saudi Arabia and its allies for further hostilities and a possible push of the political solution to a dead end. In fact, the new government will be allowed to take legal actions against the Saudi invasion of Yemen, as at the same time the aggressors from now have to face a legal government in Yemen.

4. Gaining international legitimacy for pursuing Yemenis' interests through international organizations

On the other side, the national unity government is formed in accordance with the international law, something doubling the validity of PM Habtoor's government. According to the UN Chapter 7, national salvation government can be formed in countries suffering from political disorder and war. The international law supports this government to do its necessary task of settling domestic crises through seeking peaceful solutions and also protecting security of the neighboring countries and supporting the international stability and peace in general. According to the international law, the national salvation governments are rays of hope in different countries to rid the nations of political and social crises. This clear UN demand for formation of government in the time of crisis along with nationwide support for the new Yemeni cabinet will introduce the national salvation government of Yemen as a valid representative of the Yemenis in international organizations. It is supposed to seek Yemeni people’s rights and build international pressures on Riyadh to end nearly 20 months of war-caused crisis in the country.

Although the national salvation government can open a window of hope for stemming humanitarian crisis in the war-torn Yemen and pushing for halting the Saudi-led Arab military coalition's aggression against the country, due to the deteriorated security conditions resulting from war as well as the economic blockade it will not have an easy job of sorting out the country’s conditions, though there is a lot of hope to save Yemen if the government is strengthened and allowed to continue its work.

Tags :

Yemen Government Supreme Political Council Ansarullah Bin Habtoor War Saudi Arabia Blockade

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