HUNAISH ARBITRATION: The Need to Inform the Public! [Archives:1998/29/Front Page]

July 20 1998

As one politician put it recently, “The Hunaish verdict will determine the future political career of Prime Minister Abdulkarim Al-Iryani.”Last week, there were yet some more court deliberations. A verdict is not yet in sight. Originally, scheduled for May 20-22 1998, issuance of the sentence was postponed twice. Now, an August deadline is one more time postponed.
Yemen and Eritrea which have competing claims over the Hunaish Archipelago, had established a five-member court of arbitration, which sits in London. Now the verdict, which is both final and binding, may be announced in September, 1998.
Given the court complications and rising level of uncertainty over the verdict, it is important that the regime provides more details to the public on how the court deliberations are going. Keeping the public in the dark will lead to violent reactions against the regime, especially if the verdict is not satisfactory to the Yemeni public. President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Prime Minister Iryani are well-advised to share more information with opinion makers including those in the opposition.