Monday, June 17, 2024

Change in Yemen


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Yemen’s President, Ali Abdulla Saleh signed a Gulf initiative to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabhu Mansour Hadi as part of a proposal to end months of protest which threatened to drag the country to a civil war. It marks the end of Saleh’s 33 year misrule. The protest in Yemen had bolstered Al-Qaida militants in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s number 1 oil producer. In the capital of Yemen, Sanna government troops battled the gunman loyal to a powerful opposition tribal leader. Some clashes were reported in the southern city of Taiz. UN envoy Jamal Benomar backed by US and European diplomats devised a compromise to bring about the transfer of power. The accord was drafted by the six-member Gulf Corporation Council (GCC). Hadi will take over to form a new government including the Opposition. A Presidential election will be held in three months. Yemen’s Islamic militants are in conflict with separatists in a country which has been a bulwark against AL Qaida. It is also likely to trigger a civil war in US ally Saudi Arabia. Saleh’s fall has caused misgivings in Washington.

Hadi, the successor, is a low profile general. He has been selected for his acceptability to all sections during the crisis. In the next ninety days, Saleh will not be able to enforce any political decisions or reject Hadi’s. A national unity government will be formed in ninety days which will elect Hadi as a compromise President for two years. Hadi however had never played a key role in Yemen’s troubled politics.

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