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The Planned Six-State Federation & Greater Hadhramout Scheme.

After a long NDC in 2013 and early 2014, Hadi had thorough consultations with constitutional experts. In early 2014, he issued a decree giving a 17-member presidential panel one year to draw up a constitution to be put to referendum. That was despite opposition in the north and from the secessionist southerners.

On Feb. 10, 2014 the panel's meeting headed by Hadi agreed to transform Yemen into a six-state federation. The panel's meeting was attended by representatives of Yemen's main political parties. Opposition from the southerners did not stop the panel's subsequent work as Hadi got the presidential group to forge ahead with its plan.

The panel, including four women, was to implement a de-centralisation plan agreed at the NDC to create four regions in the northern part of Yemen and two in the south. A special commission over-seeing the whole work for this was composed of experts including prominent academics, former diplomats and judges. Hadi ordered it to act "independently of the executive branch and political formations in the country".

Over-seen by the UN and the GCC states, the plan was one of the key-stones which had got Hadi to succeed Saleh. The plan was to meet demands for autonomy in the south and was to be accompanied by compensation for its residents, who had risen up against "discrimination in favour of the north". But the southerners wanted a federal state made up of two provinces based on the former Marxist republic, which was independent between the end of British colonial rule in 1967 and its union with the north in May 1990. The Houthi rebels rejected the plan, which they felt was to split Yemen into rich and poor regions.

Under the plan, the four regions in the north were to be Azal, Saba, Janad and Tihama. The two regions in the south were to be Aden and "Greater Hadhramaut".

Azal was to include the capital San'a', in addition to the provinces of Dhamar, Umran and the Houthi strong-hold of Sa'da.

The state of Aden was to comprise the former capital of the south, as well as Abyan, Lahej and Dale'. The south-eastern state of "Greater Hadhramaut" was to include al-Mahra, petroleum-rich Shabwa and the island of Socotra.

Saba was to comprise Bayda, petroleum-rich Ma'reb and al-Jawf, as well as Dhamar.

Janad state was to include Ta'ez and Ibb.

Tihama state was to take in Hudaidah, Rima, Mahwit and Hajja.

The NDC head been stipulated by a UN/GCC-sponsored road-map to peace in Yemen which ended a year of protests against Saleh's rule. As explained above, the planned de-centralisation of power was to meet the southerners' demands for autonomy.

Aid from Kuwait and Qatar was to be mostly financial. Bahrain and Oman were to grant Yemeni expatriates preferences as part of their work-force - the same being true in the case of the other GCC states. As a result, remittances being sent by Yemenis working in the GCC region were to remain Yemen important source of income.

In addition, GCC investments in Yemen were to raise the poor country's socio-economic standards, help improve governance and prepare it to ultimately become a full member of the GCC. Already, GCC investments began to rise as a result of special incentives provided by San'a', with President Hadi personally to supervise the preferences to be granted to the Arab Gulf investors. As a result, the volume of trade between the GCC states and Yemen rose from early 2012 to late 2013. They stopped in 2014 as the Houthis rebelled against Hadi's rule and later were allied with the Saleh camp.

Donor pledges in September 2012 by the Friends of Yemen group came short of the $12bn sought by San'a' to solve the budget and humanitarian crisis and up-grade the country's infrastructure. The World Bank at the time said the pledges should be enough to meet budget short-falls in the cabinet's re-construction plan over an 18-month period. The government's plan had been worked out with help from the World Bank, the State Department's USAID and similar bodies from other OECD states.

Nearly four months after the pledges were made, Yemen by early 2013 had only received $1bn, loaned by Saudi Arabia and deposited in the Central Bank, with the remaining funds delayed by technical issues or lagging approvals by donor heads of state. San'a' had identified and costed most projects to get the aid promised.
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Geographic Code:7YEME
Date:Jun 20, 2016
Words:731
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