EIP held its fifth Strategic Dialogue - War and Peace, The Views of Southern Youth, in Amman on 12-13 December 2017. There were 20 participants in attendance, seven of whom were women who came from inside and outside Yemen. A representative of the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General to Yemen (OSESGY) was also in attendance and provided a presentation. 

The objective of the Dialogue was to discuss the various grievances of the South and the involvement of the youth community in the official political process.  We also discussed the architecture necessary for the south of Yemen to engage in a peace process and the role to be played by the youth community now and during an eventual process of political reconciliation and reconstruction and rehabilitation of the south. The Memorandum of Understanding below outlines their joint concerns and recommendations to the international community and is published with their consent. 

Peace, Security, and Stability

Amman, Jordan
12-13 December 2017
 

Our Vision

The people of the south will enjoy security, political stability and economic prosperity and play a positive role in ensuring peace and stability in Yemen and the broader region.

We believe in the revitalisation of local businesses and investment, the creation of an effective and functional banking system, the reconstruction of critical infrastructure that has been destroyed during the war, and the restitution of essential services, including healthcare, education, salaries, and pensions. This will be an inclusive project that entails the direct involvement of women in rebuilding the war-torn economy. We also seek to reduce the appeal of armed groups and violent conflict for our youth by creating equal opportunities for employment and education.  We speak with one voice and project a strong message from the community of youth activists that resounds locally, regionally, and internationally.

Challenges for Southern Youth

Political:

·         The need for political consensus between southern leadership;

·         Lack of social and political youth empowerment;

·         Lack of southern representation on the international stage and inclusion of southern voice in peace process by a representative southern leadership;

·         Absence of international ally who is supportive of southern aspirations.

·         Lack of social justice, equality, and human rights;

·         Endemic corruption and nepotism affecting all levels of society;

Economic:

·         Depreciation of the national currency; Lack of functioning banking infrastructure;

·         Cessation of oil extraction and associated revenue;

·         Instability and worsening humanitarian situation;

·         Restricted international maritime and commercial supply/trade routes, restricting business;

·         Lack of jobs and education for youth (70% of the population – have been worst hit by the war);

·         Continuous deterioration of public services;

·         Delaying payment of public sector salaries for military personnel;

·         Inflation and price hikes / scarcity of food and basic goods;

·         Continued domination of southern commercial activity by northern interests;

Security:

·         Multiplicity of security sector services leading to security problems and violations;

·         Absence of unified command structure for security and military forces;

·         Terrorism;

Joint recommendations of Southern Youth:

Political:

·         Refraining from dictating any political solution that is not accepted by the people of southern Yemen and respecting the right of self-determination;

·         Negotiations between the south and the north – with regional and international mediation – addressing military, economic and political concerns, including prisoner exchange;

·         Need for a sustainable peace and entrenching tolerance and reconciliation;

·         Inter-southern dialogue – inclusive of all parties - with support from the international community;

·         Build a modern federal civil state with effective institutions;

·         Involve youth activists in southern politics and the Track 1 process;

·         Political, economic, and social empowerment of youth;

·         Document human rights violations and communicate them to the OSE – who can play role in monitoring violations;

·         Local-level peace-building efforts – through bottom-up grassroots activism;

·         Increase presence of International and humanitarian organisations and NGO’s in Yemen to better operate and monitor developments;

·         Awareness raising campaigns to draw attention to the causes of the southern youth; Form pressure and lobby groups drawing from civil society;

·         Use dialogue to resolve disputes;

Economic:

·         Establish a functioning banking system to support the currency and local commercial activities;

·         Develop and operate sea and land ports and secure trading routes;

·         Sign agreements with foreign oil companies to return to Yemen and develop refineries;

·         Rehabilitation programmes for disenfranchised youth to re-integrate them into society;

·         Rebuild national infrastructure, including ports, electricity grids, sewage, and school, and further develop national institutions, using qualified youth and experts;

·         Job creation to alleviate unemployment;

Security:

·         Unify military and security leadership under one national command to maintain peace and security in the region and oversight of forces;

·         Security training to build professional security and intelligence apparatus and regular army with monopoly of the use of power;

·         Help combat terrorism;