A Transitional Justice proposal that would prohibit drone strikes and criminalize extrajudicial killing in all its forms (drones/cruise missles/cluster bombs, etc) has reached it’s final stage at the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen. According to Baraa Shiban, an NDC delegate and Reprieve’s Yemen Project Coordinator, said the proposal was passed yesterday with 90% consensus. The passing of this proposal proves that the Yemeni people are convinced that allowing an international and national military solution to what is, at heart, a political problem, can only serve to escalate the “conflict” and create more human suffering for all.
Yemeni consent: Journalists and analysts, citing cables released by Wikileaks, say that Saleh had tacitly supported U.S. drone strikes. “We will continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours”.
Ousted by a popular uprising in 2011, U.S. Backed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a GCC initiative (supported by Saudi Arabia and the U.S.) which gave the transfer of power to his Vice President, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. President Hadi consented publically to the drone program and the strikes intensified.
Arguments were made that President Hadi allowed for these strikes, and therefore the drone program was legal, but how does one person who was placed as president not even by the people get to speak on behalf of a whole nation? a whole nation who disagrees with him about the program wholeheartedly, declaring that US strikes kill hundreds of innocent civilians, destroy homes and hospitals and are therefore illegal, counter-productive and violate their right to life.
Now that the TJ proposal has been approved, the Ministry of Legal Affairs must draft a law that reflects the approved proposal and a follow-up committee from within the NDC but follow through with an accountability process.
Will the Obama administration respect the Yemenis right to self-determination?
Probably not. In the absence of Yemeni consent, the US might continue their airstrikes and draw the “legal” argument of self-defense in response to AQAP ( as a response to the attacks of September 11, 2001). The U.S. will also probably just continue to invent new laws to justify their unjust practices, they’re usually really good at that.
Let us speak and act in global resistance against this racist, imperialist, repressive war and stand in solidarity with the people living under drones abroad in Yemen and Pakistan and domestically within U.S/Mexico borde. Let’s work together towards the social justice and liberation we all seek to live for.