Yemen’s Ongoing Political Woes: Hadi vs. Saleh
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is still struggling to assert power over former President Ali Abdullah Saleh‘s loyalists. The BBC reported that Gen Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, nephew of the former president and head of the Presidential Guard, had finally decided to step down from his position – from which he was sacked on April 6th by Hadi. However, a few days later, Saleh’s son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is head of the Special Forces and Republican Guard, reappointed Tariq Mohammed to the post of Head of the Presidential Guard, completely disregarding Hadi’s orders. Hadi has rejected the new appointment. In response, Tariq Mohammed refused to hand over his current job during a meeting attended by the U.N. representative to Yemen. It was also reported that Saleh will temporarily leave Yemen after having agreed to relinquish his position as head of the General People’s Congress party (GPC).
In the south, al Qaeda still poses a significant threat to Yemen’s stability. Jonathan Steele argues that for the U.S., “the best response is not foreign or local military intervention but to address the injustices and poverty which lie at its root.” In fact, Gulf News reported that civilians who have take up arms in southern Yemen have succeeded in thwarting the al Qaeda plans to occupy more cities in the south. “We have learned lessons from places that were controlled by al Qaeda. People were driven out of their homes and cities were destroyed,” one man said, “We are fighting because we don’t want to end up in that miserable situation.”