As with other uprisings during the so-called Arab Spring, protests in Yemen began over shared injustices – a grassroots reaction to poverty, unemployment and corruption.
Personal differences were set aside as sights were set on deposing long-time leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. But competing interests since then have undermined international efforts to set Yemen on a path to democracy.
Yemen has charted a roadmap for reform. A process called the National Dialogue Conference was completed last January, setting out a blueprint for political progress. It called for a draft constitution to be completed, and put to a national referendum by January next year, to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.
But three years on from Yemen’s revolution, the country remains at a crossroads, and facing multiple challenges. Shia rebels have besieged the capital Sanaa demanding that the government resigns. And the number of people being killed by sectarian violence is on the rise.
So is the transition to democracy still on track? Or has Yemen’s revolutionary thread unravelled?
Presenter Mike Hanna
Abdul Ghani al-Iryani – co-founder of Yemen’s Democratic Awakening Movement.
Mohamed Qubaty – a former ambassador, and adviser to Yemen’s prime minister.
Joseph Kechician – a columnist for the Gulf News, and a Middle East analyst specialising in the Gulf region.