Hadi Adviser to Asharq Al-Awsat: Militias Exploited Yemen Divisions to Stage Coup

Friday, 19 April, 2019 - 07:00 -

Hadi Adviser to Asharq Al-Awsat: Militias Exploited Yemen Divisions to Stage Coup

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A general view of Aden, Yemen. (Reuters)
Riyadh – Abdulhadi Habtor
After years of working behind the scenes, Rashad al-Alimi, adviser to Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, unveiled last week the largest coalition of political parties.

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said that the coalition will isolate the Iran-backed Houthi militias socially and politically.

The alliance was the largest to be formed since the Houthi coup in 2014.

Yemeni parties have learned the lesson that their differences and divisions had a direct role in allowing the militias to take over the state and its institutions, Alimi said.

The coalition is aimed at restoring the authority of the state, achieving peace and easing the suffering of the people, he added.

Alimi had previously served as deputy prime minister and interior minister.

He revealed that efforts to form the largest coalition began in Riyadh in 2015. The late Dr. Adbulkarim al-Eryani had first come up with the idea to form an alliance of political forces based on the idea that marginalization and the monopoly of power had allowed the situation in Yemen to deteriorate.

“The alliance is therefore built on consensus and partnership between all political factions without exception,” he stressed. “The idea of the alliance was not born yesterday, but it is a product of years of efforts and meetings.”

Alimi also credited the Gulf Cooperation Council in ensuring that the coalition was formed.

“Partisan divisions were one of the factors that allowed the Houthis to seize the state and abuse it for Iran’s expansionist agenda at the expense of Yemen’s national interest,” he continued.

The alliance is hoping to isolate the Houthis to force them to yield to a comprehensive political solution that ends the coup and paves the way for the Yemeni people, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, to restore the state, he went on to say.

The fact is, he continued, is that the formation of the alliance took too long, allowing the Houthis to continue their coup.

The alliance, he added, is aimed at regaining control of Yemen from the militias and restructuring its state institutions. This will be followed with elections in line with the national dialogue outcomes and new constitution.

Moreover, Alimi said that the door is open for any political party to join the alliance on condition that they are committed to political consensus, rebuilding Yemen’s social fabric and overcoming disputes that have harmed the country.

The coalition is now focused on drafting its plans and political programs on the local, regional and international levels in order to work with the legitimate government, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The alliance, he explained, will not have an executive role, but it will submit proposals to the government, which will in turn translate them into action. Among these proposals is normalizing conditions in liberated areas and reviving executive institutions in Aden and other areas.

“Achieving these issues will help improve the lives of the people and ease their suffering,” he remarked.

Asked to assess Yemen’s future after the war, he said that it will see better days.

“Our Yemeni people are fighters. They are patient and practical and we are counting on these characteristics. We are also counting on the GCC, led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, in reconstruction,” he added.

He also spoke of Yemen’s aspirations to eventually join the GCC because it is part of the Arabian peninsula and Gulf region.

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