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Yemeni committee formed to decide federal state plans - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, center, speaks during the closing of the so-called national dialogue talks in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, center, speaks during the closing of the so-called national dialogue talks in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi announced on Monday the formation of a committee to decide the number of federal states in the country, after being assigned to the task by the National Dialogue Conference (NDC).

The presidential committee will include 21 members and will decide whether to divide the country into six federal states—two in the south and four in the north—or two federal states, one each in the north and south.

The decision of the committee will be final in accordance with the NDC’s resolutions. The NDC adopted plans for a new federal structure and constitution for Yemen earlier this month after months of deliberations between representatives of Yemen’s political factions.

The committee is also tasked with deciding the number of provinces in each federal state, taking into account the current situation, as well as geographic, historic and cultural factors. The committee will be able to call on the services of any relevant departments and experts to facilitate its work.

The presidential committee will present its final report to the constitution-drafting committee, so it can be included in the new document.

In the meantime, Ambassador Saad Al-Arifi, head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) delegation to Yemen, called for the implementation of all resolutions of the NDC in a manner that would preserve Yemeni security and stability.

Arifi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Yemenis must work collectively to implement the NDC resolutions and said Yemen had an historic opportunity, with the support of the region’s states and the international community, to help it escape its crisis and avert the civil war which is on the verge of breaking out.

He said this opportunity was not available to many other countries, such as Syria and Libya, and that the success of the NDC would create a global precedent. Arifi highlighted the continued support of GCC states to Yemen.

In November 2011, the GCC initiative was signed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in which he agreed to transfer all powers to Hadi. The NDC was launched in March 2013 with 565 members representing various groups in Yemen, and was concluded this week on January 25.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said the Yemeni president has failed to fulfil promises to pass the transitional justice law, and failed to form a committee to investigate serious human rights violations committed by the previous government.