An Alternative to the Use of Force in International Law and Arab-Islamic Sulh for the Yemen Armed Conflict

  •  Abdullah Al Dosari    
  •  Mary George    


This article explores Arab-Islamic sulh (reconciliation) which is known to be rooted in religious (sectarian) and cultural dynamics, as well as tribal practices of the Arab societies. For this purpose, this article highlights the limitations of the conflict resolution approaches now in use as contextually unsuitable. It further draws attention to the continuing vitality of Arab-Islamic rituals of reconciliation sulh and identifies ways that mediators (US, UK UAE, and others) might benefit from an appraisal of such rituals. To counteract tribal experiences of disempowerment and temper the power-political undertones of the conflicts, mediators would consciously integrate principles and symbolic practices inherent in indigenous Middle Eastern reconciliation methodologies of sulh, alongside musalaha (settlement). Sulh exemplifies key Arab-Islamic cultural values that should be looked at figuratively and literally for insight into how to approach conflict resolution in the Saudi/Yemen armed conflicts. Therefore, as an alternative to the use of force, the sulh would be provisioned to leverage its capability to accommodate political interests that underpin the conflicts as well, with a view to effective resolution.

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