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Showing posts from February, 2014

Has Yemen made it?

Last 25 January (coincidentally, a key day for Egypt's revolutionaries), Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC) wound up after more nearly a year of on-off discussions. The talks, for six hours a day, five days a week in normal situations, started last March and were a key part of the 2011 murky agreement brokered by the UN and the Gulf Co-operation Council that saw long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down after 33 years in power at the peak of a momentous uprising that many feared it could have spread to other Gulf territories. Let's not forget that Yemen flanks major shipping lanes vital for both the West and Gulf countries. 

"The government and the opposition have won. Tunisia has won"

Every time I now hear/read about the so-called Arab Spring, few are those who are not grasping at straws when referring to Tunisia. Tunisia was the country where the immolation of a desperate young graduate who had to sell fruits in the street in order to cater for his family sparked an uprising that spread throughout the region and amazed many amongst us, getting our hopes up that the Arab world would finally rid of its tyrants. Tunisia was also the first country to hold elections, the first country to put in place a kind of representative parliament, the first country in which political and union activity seemed to be leading somewhere . Until violence broke out, political assassinations shook the entire country, in the face of which the Islamists in power appeared more than unwilling/incapable to find an exit to the stalemate the country was plunged into. The transition has been convoluted and plagued by disturbances that nearly derailed the process. The main end-product, a Const