Sa’ada tribal leaders and the peace road [Archives:2008/1174/Opinion]

July 21 2008

By: Mohammed Abdulmalik Al-Mutawakil
In response to a suggestion from National Solidarity Council (NSC), many prominent tribal leaders from the war-ravaged Sa'ada governorate are expending hard efforts to end an unjust war taking place in their area without any clear objective or issue. No clear reason behind breakout of the war except for arrogance, on the one hand, and foolishness and unwise estimation, on the other.

Sa'ada tribal sheikhs, scholars and wise men are the first people entitled to take full responsibility for ending a war that killed thousands of innocent citizens and destroyed public and private property. It is them who are burnt by fire of the war, and it is their children and women who suffer the most from the war negative consequences. It is also their homes and farmlands, which have become a source of fuel for an unjust war, of which the negative impacts are reflected on the living of every Yemeni citizen, as well as all the Arab and Muslim nationals.

In order for Sa'ada tribal leaders to succeed in stopping the destructive war, they should abide by three Islamic principles:

First: These sheikhs should establish the kind of cooperation based on obedience and faith, not on sin and animosity. Second: they should work on the basis of reconciliation and reformation. If it becomes impossible for them to do so having realized and understood well the circumstances and conditions of each party, the uncommitted party must be held accountable for any consequences incurred by its behavior.

Third: These mediators should observe justice, particularly as the Holy Quran stipulates justice to be observed by any mediators exerting effort to conciliate between two conflicting parties.

An open advice to Sa'ada sheikhs:

In order to achieve justice, you need to adopt a thorough criterion, via which you can identify the violating party, or the party that doesn't remain committed to any agreement reached in this regard. No criterion is more thorough than the Constitution, which regulates the relation between the ruler and the ruled, as well as the relation between individuals and society.

No one is over the Constitution and Law, be he an ordinary citizen or a government official. The authority is not entitled to violate the constitutional and legal rights of citizens, and under no circumstance a citizen may be allowed to behave in a way contradicting the Constitution and effective laws.

Success of your mediation depends mostly on your ability to support both conflicting sides through demonstrating neutrality and objectivity, and observing justice in your dealings with both parties. Your success in this regard also depends on your capacity to reform an uncommitted party and take it to the right track.

Supposedly, If Al-Houthi, Al-Rizami and their supporters surrendered their weapons, abandoned their mountaintop positions and relied on your guarantees, but the authority violated its commitments and began cracking down on Houthi followers, all your mediation efforts would go awry. As a result, the situation will create numerous obstacles and complications to any mediation efforts in the future.

You need to take such issues into consideration before you begin your mediation efforts to conciliate between both conflicting parties. You should prepare yourselves with new recruits from tribesmen, as promised by the government, and collect artillery and sufficient funding prior to the mediation efforts. “What doesn't come with the bride will not come after her.”

Afterward, you should request the government to leave the ground for your command in order to avoid any potential disputes with army members and military commanders. Request the authority to replace deployed army personnel by civil police and civil servants in the public sector. Only this may ensure success of your mediation.

Source: Al-Wasat Weekly.