Yemen's National Dialogue

The need for a contingency plan

The final months of Yemen’s much-vaunted National Dialogue Conference (NDC), aimed at resolving the country’s substantial political, social, and economic issues through peaceful negotiations, have been marked by continued military operations – including a surge in US drone attacks – against Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. They have also witnessed the temporary closure of the UK and US embassies in Sana’a, as elsewhere in the Middle East, in response to a reportedly major terrorist threat. With regard to the political negotiations themselves – still underway despite the security threat – the NDC continues to suffer from high expectations, the lack of a concrete vision, and the conflicting interests of political elites and international stakeholders. As such, many argue that the NDC is now in dire need of a contingency plan to ensure the country’s security going forward.

This text is based on an article first published in the Royal United Services Institute Newsbrief.

“It is essential that local and international stakeholders manage expectations around what the NDC can achieve, and begin, through contingency planning, to address wider elements of the transition process.”

Saleem Haddad