In thinking over the legacy of the previous regime, one wonders at their huge quality and quantity especially in economic terms. In following the national dialogue conference which is scheduled to convene on the third quarter of this year, it is astonishing to see the complicated issues it is facing.
They include the Houthi issue which cost the country six wars in Saada on 2004-2010 and which extended to some parts of Joff, Amran and Haja governorates.
With the breakout of the peaceful revolution against the former president, the latter decided to withdraw the army from Saada allowing it to fall under full control of the Houthi movement, though the Governor's existence during 2010 used to be only symbolic. With the exception of the first and second wars, where the army had succeeded in recovering the state sovereignty on two governorates, which the Houthis had controlled, the army had lost the other four wars in which the Houthis had been expanding on the other directorates of the governorate. At the beginning of the popular peaceful revolution, the Houthis had recognized it and sent their youth to the capital Sana'a and had been represented by one of their members in the high youth revolutionary coordination.
When the negotiations with Saleh and the revolutionary forces began over the GCC initiative the Houthis announced their rejection to it without an alternative because the options were limited to either the armed settlement which is refused by all the revolutionary forces, or the peaceful solution through the GCC initiative with all its advantages and disadvantage, and that is what happened. The Houthis are up to now refusing it and considering it a betrayal to the martyrs' blood, however they found no public support to their position in the way they desired.
The Houthis attitude towards the participation in the national dialogue remained subtle until the communication committee assigned by the President to contact all forces visited Saada and met the Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi.
The meeting ended with his agreement to participate in the dialogue, following an extended discussion and mutual reproach over previous positions. The committee's delegation came back to Sana'a, with optimism, over their success in taking a step towards the preparation for the conference, as it will have no meaning unless all effective forces in the political arena participated in it.
It expected that the Houthi movement will be clever enough to participate effectively in the dialogue conference, as they will be represented in the preparatory committee which will be formed in the upcoming days.
Besides achieving their fundamental goals, because of the popular revolution, in terms of the removal of President Saleh, they have to prove their political presence by participating in the dialogue, because it will give them not only a national, but an international momentum, especially if they succeeded in convincing all of their seriousness in abandoning armed activities in the coming period, and their acceptance to the new state control over all Saada.
They should choose the appropriate way to support their political future through the establishment of a political party and the movement of its leader, Abdul Malik to the capital for undertaking his activities, following the stability of security conditions.
The Houthis have announced their intellectual and cultural vision. It is their right, despite the difference over this vision, to express it and call for it by all legitimate methods all over Yemen, away from violence or to impose it by force, or to claim an exclusive representation of a doctrine or a strain, like the other Islamic groups which promote their
ideas at any place in Yemen, including Saada, because the freedom of thought is supposed to be at the forefront of the gains of the popular revolution and the political change that has occurred. However, everyone is watching the political vision of the Houthi movement.
It is the issue that concerns all effective political forces, which are preparing for the national dialogue, especially that dialogue is going to be with them as political and not cultural or intellectual parts.
They are required to prepare their political visions to the different national issues, through the desired political settlement to Saada issue, especially that there are other parties in Saada, who are interested in this settlement and had suffered from the wars or their aftermath.
There are conflicts of Islamic currents that need be settled and displaced persons who are still outside their areas and cannot return. There are also political and tribal individuals from Saada who stood against the Houthis during the conflict periods and cannot live in it. They have the right to return and pursue their normal life. Such issues need political and local reconciliation, which will sure to be at the national dialogue conference.
Up to now I have no knowledge that the Houthi movement had crystallized their integral political vision over Yemen future, in preparation for the national dialogue, especially that it is expected to be an effective political force after the transitional period. I believe that it is more politically than militarily mature, in comparison to their outstanding political and information performance during the last three Saada wars.
As a an observer and journalist interested in Yemen's stability and the convergence of political forces, I imagine that the shape of political activity of the Houthis movement requires them automatically during the coming period, to correct some perceptions that the people formed about them in past years. I believe that they have the flexibility which makes them realistic enough to do that, especially through the advice and views of some of the rational political and intellectual leaders sympathetic with them, who are living in Sana'a or outside Yemen.
The requirements of the next period, stipulate the reconsideration of some stagnant ideas and policies of all forces particularly those whose existence depend on regional, doctrine or tribal issues.
Yemen had had enough suffering and needs courage of its lively forces, especially those which contributed to the change revolution to stand with themselves before setting terms to others. Every party has to reform its defects before addressing the major issues of the national dialogue conference, which will draw the future of Yemen.