Written By: Shuaib M. al-Mosawa
Article Date: May 31, 2012 - 5:40:24 PM
The liaison committee is responsible for engaging the Shiite Houthi
group in the National Dialogue; however, Abdulwahab al-Anesi from the
committee as requested by the Houthi group would be excluded in the
national dialogue, said Hefthullah al-Shami, a Houthi representative.
President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi appointed the liaison committee in 6 May in order to engage Yemeni factions in the National Dialogue, stated by the GCC initiative in the second phase, which aimed to address grievances aired by Yemeni political powers not included in the first phase of the deal.
Abdulwahab al-Anesi, Secretary General of Islah Party, represents the committee to hold dialogue with Houthi. The committee forms the bulk of the former opposition coalition. Abdulkareem al-Eryani, Secretary General of former President Saleh Party’s General People’s Congress (GPC), another key member of the committee; Yaseen Saeed No’aman, Secretary General of Yemeni Socialist Party, appointed as a committee.
Al-Shami, the Houthi representative, said that the Houthis has request the committees to include al-Anesi in the committee. “The committee said our reservation was righteous and they will discuss whether to exclude al-Anesi from the committee and let us know once they reached a decision,” al-Shami said.
“We did not refuse al-Anesi as a person. As a representative of a party it has been launching a military campaign against us. They have been recruiting outsiders from the region to fight us. [Islah] media outlets have also launched a smear campaign against us, disseminating sectarian strife among Yemenis. How would these people become rational while conducting such acts,” al-Shami said.
Though united under their opposition to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis and Islah Party has been in bitter feud that have left dozens killed. In the protest squares in Sana’a and Taiz, they have also engaged with fierce fighting over theological and political debate.
Part of the grievances aired by al-Houthi is also the military campaign led by the now defected General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, a leading Islah figure who battled al-Houthis’ rebellion in the North during former president Saleh’s rule.
Houthi said the General would serve the Saudi interest which backs a group of Sunnis based in the northern Sa’ada province, the Houthis’ main stronghold.
The Sunnis, who adopt a puritanical religious creeds similar to that of Saudi Arabia, classes the Houthis as “heretics” and have been fighting with them since November last year.
“The results of the dialogue won’t be positive as long as there are some parties creating tensions. There needs to be convenient environment for dialogue,” al-Shami said.
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