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Yemen: GCC Roadmap to Nowhere

Elite Bargaining and Political Infighting Block a Meaningful Transition

SWP Comment 2014/C 20, 07.05.2014, 8 Pages Research Areas

The transformation process in Yemen, as initiated and defined by the roadmap of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is frequently praised as a model for a peaceful transition. Despite some delay, formally speaking, the process appears to be on track. It has just entered a new phase with the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) at the end of January 2014 and the establishment of the constitutional drafting committee in March. While the results of the NDC present a good basis for the future Yemeni order, increased violent conflict on the ground is casting doubt on the way ahead. Rivaling elite factions continue to exploit the transition process for their own political and economic interests. This has blocked the emergence of a more participatory system. To support a meaningful transition, Germany and the European Union should pressure the transitional government to address the legitimate grievances of the popular movements that are challenging the rule of the old elites.