A conference organized by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies and Saferworld in the city of Seyoun, Hadramawt, successfully concluded on December 11, building on ongoing efforts to facilitate community engagement in mediation and the peace process.
The conference is a part of a project implemented by the Sana’a Center in partnership with Saferworld with the aim of exploring alternative local approaches to peace through joint mechanisms for cooperation between local communities and international actors, and focused on addressing community issues in the Hadramawt, Al Mahra, Shabwa, and Marib governorates.
More than 40 Yemeni participants, including government officials, representatives of political parties, tribal leaders, and youths participated in the conference’s sessions, which took place from December 9 to 11, with women making up more than 30% of the participants.
The sessions included wide-ranging discussions on shared national issues that participants in the project have sought to address in recent years, including the impact of communities on local governance and local perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for the peace process in Yemen.
Strategic teams of prominent figures, officials, and activists were established at the launch of the Sana’a Center’s Exploring Alternative Approaches to Peace project. They have since led efforts that have resulted in progress on national issues, including the establishment of Al Mahra University, rehabilitating prisons in Hadramawt, and supporting farmers in Marib.
The conference concluded with implementable recommendations and proposals that will be shared with stakeholders and decision-makers in the local authorities, the internationally recognized government of Yemen, and international actors supporting the peace process.
Participants reached an agreement with the Ministry of Interior to coordinate with representatives of the strategic teams and security authorities to facilitate mediation efforts and dispute resolution through an outreach committee made up of eight men and four women. Major General Muhammad bin Aboud Al Sharif, the First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, praised the valuable contributions of the conference and the work of the strategic teams, stressing the importance of communities in achieving security and stability and resolving and overcoming problems and crises. Al Sharif expressed the readiness of the ministry to work and coordinate directly with the strategic teams.
Abdulhadi Al Tamimi, the Deputy Governor of Hadramawt for Valley and Desert District Affairs, praised the sessions of the conference and the resulting recommendations, citing the importance of community contributions to resolving problems and bringing about peace.
Charles Harper, Britain’s Deputy Ambassador to Yemen, addressed the conference by video, noting the value of identifying and addressing priority issues for local communities. Harper added that doing so helps create the conditions for the development of joint mechanisms with decision-makers in developing solutions and plans to implement them on the ground.
Maged Al Madhaji, the Chairman of the Sana’a Center, briefed participants on the ongoing developments in the peace process, including a proposal that will focus on confidence building through the formation of an economic committee to reunify the currency, pay salaries, determine the location of the Central Bank, and unify sovereign revenues.
Al Madhaji called the conference a continuation of efforts to support dialogue and coordination at the local level in targeted governorates, and to address issues that are of priority to local communities to achieve stability and peace. He thanked participants for their dedication and commitment to furthering this important work.
The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies is an independent think-tank that seeks to foster change through knowledge production with a focus on Yemen and the surrounding region. The Center’s publications and programs, offered in both Arabic and English, cover political, social, economic and security related developments, aiming to impact policy locally, regionally, and internationally.
Saferworld is an independent organization that works to resolve conflicts, find ways to strengthen the role of local government in community service, and increase the participation of local organizations in the peace process in Yemen.