Yemeni Hadramawt residents launch rights organisation with Saudi mediation

The Hadramawt National Council was established in Riyadh on Tuesday

Representatives of Hadramawt province meet Presidential Leadership Council chairman Rashad Al Alimi. Photo: Presidential Leadership Council
Powered by automated translation

Political and social groups from Hadramawt province in eastern Yemen have formed an organisation to campaign for their rights.

The founding of the Hadramawt National Council was announced in Riyadh on Tuesday.

“The new council aims to serve as a political platform to express the aspirations and represent the interests of the Hadhrami community in Yemen,” the group said.

The creation of the council followed more than a month of talks sponsored by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition.

The coalition was formed to support Yemen's internationally recognised government after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014. The ensuing civil war led to the formation of numerous regional militias that have supported the Yemeni army in fighting the rebels, but have also occasionally turned against each other.

“We agreed on one political charter that will represent Hadramawt locally, regionally and internationally on all issues,” Bader Baslamah, the head of the council, told reporters in Riyadh.

The council's charter, described by its leaders as "comprehensive and responsible", stipulates that it will stand against “the establishment of any military formations outside state institutions”.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Yahya Arhab/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (9760692ah)
A Yemeni sits on a mountain overlooking the mud-brick 'skyscrapers' of the ancient walled city of Shibam in Hadramout province, Yemen, 12 July 2018. Yemen's ancient walled city of Shibam is the oldest metropolis in the world to use vertical construction, which dates back to the 16th century. It is famed as the Manhattan of Desert because of its 600 inhabitable mud-built 'skyscrapers' which are seven or eight stories high. It was declared a World Cultural Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1982.
The ancient walled city of Shibam in Yemen - 12 Jul 2018

Those in attendance in Riyadh said they had formed the council after consultations with Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, Yemen's governing body created last year through Saudi mediation to reach a "comprehensive political solution" to the civil war.

“I was pleased with the frank and transparent meeting today with the people of Hadramawt province, who always embody the spirit of responsibility in distancing their governorate and the liberated areas from any conflicts," PLC chairman Rashad Al Alimi said.

Mr Al Alimi praised Hadramawt residents' devotion to developing and rebuilding their region, and confronting "lurking" Iranian influence.

Hadramawt is the biggest province in southern Yemen. The Southern Transitional Council (STC) advocates greater autonomy for the country's south, or even the creation of a separate state, as had existed until 1990.

Much of northern Yemen remains under Houthi control, the while the government controls most of the south.

Updated: June 21, 2023, 4:54 PM