Yemen President Orders Military Trial for Saleh’s Commander Half-brother
Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi ordered a military trial for Brigadier General Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmer, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh‘s half brother, for rebelling against an order to step down from his position as commander of the air force. Instead, he was proposed an administrative post: Assistant to the Defense Minister. On April 6, Hadi sacked several military commanders linked to the former region in Yemen. When Saleh Al Ahmer refused, his loyalists occupied the Airport of Sanaa for two days, leading authorities to cancel all flights. Hadi tried to change high ranked military officers as there were concerns shared by the U.S. and the GCC that former President loyalists in those positions could destabilize the country. The Military Committee, formed in the framework of the power transition agreement signed in 2011, stated that it was “considering all options to make army chiefs respect the decrees issued by Hadi,” including the use of force and notifying the U.N. Security Council to take necessary measures, regarding their dismissals. Hadi’s decision of removing military commanders is part of the policy to restructure Yemeni armed forces.
On Monday, Yemen’s parliament approved an increase to the 2012 budget to respond to social economic grievances that fueled the upheaval last year in the country. The 2012 budget projects an expenditure of 2.7 trillion Yemeni rials ($12.56 billion), up from the 1.84 trillion rials originally projected for 2011. The spending should meet demands for more jobs and social services.
Today, a Yemen airstrike killed six militants linked to al Qaeda. The attack occured near the southern city of Lawdar. Al Qaeda militants presence in this region represents a threat on shipping lanes in the Red Sea.