Live Currency Rates
  Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Divided military threatens Yemen's stability  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 15/08/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - Arab News) WHEN Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to step down last year, many Yemenis hoped their country was on the road to democracy. But much of the country's military remains loyal to Saleh and new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is finding it hard to exercise his control over them.

The former president's son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, remains in control of the Republican Guard. Recently, some 200 members of the elite unit marched to the Defense Ministry in the capital Sanaa to protest Hadi's decision to form his own presidential protection force. Until now, the Republican Guard has been responsible for protecting the president.

As the soldiers marched with their guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in display, some argued with Yemeni citizens.

"They blocked vehicles on the street, got me and all the passengers out of our van after they saw me taking photos of them with the camera of my cell phone," Ahmed Dawood, a journalist at the local Yemen Times newspaper said. "They pointed their guns at me and asked me to give them my cell phone," he added, "but, after I explained that there was no memory card in the phone they left me."

Yesterday also Republican Guard soldiers attacked the headquarters of the Defense Ministry. They laid siege to the ministry in Sanaa before attacking it with machineguns and RPGs.

Since last February, when Hadi replaced Saleh after his 33-year-long reign, the new president has been governing from his house, guarded by the 1st Armored Division, which sided against Saleh in the popular uprising. Hadi has not felt secure enough to move into the Presidential Palace. But now, Hadi is trying to solidify his control over Yemen's military's many disparate units.
He recently took control of seven brigades that had been commanded by Saleh's son, Ahmed, as well as another five which had been under control of Gen. Ali Mohsen, Saleh's rival.

The Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) transition plan which removed Saleh from office stipulates that Yemen's armed forces become more professional. But the Saleh regime still exerts military power through the Republican Guard, which constitutes one-third of Yemen's 300,000 military personnel, according to Mohamed Abd Al-Sallam, director of Abaad Strategic Studies Center, a think-tank based in Sanaa. "If no serious actions to remove Saleh's relatives from their offices are taken, they will continue to hinder the peaceful transfer of power," Abd Al-Sallam said.

Al-Sallam said Saleh also continues to hold powerful positions in civil institutions. "Their resignations must be done gradually, as getting rid of them is not that easy," he said.

Saleh still heads the General People's Congress (GPC), a party that he established in 1982. The party ruled Yemen until the popular uprising in 2011 that ultimately brought about Saleh's resignation. Despite the fact he no longer holds office, Saleh's supporters still call him "President" or "leader."
"Saleh's remaining at the helm of the GPC is not only a threat to the power transition, but also endangers the party itself, " Al-Allam explained.

However, some in the party argue that Yemen is well on the road to democracy. "Ali Abdullah Saleh has left office and the positions of his relatives are governed by military and civil laws," Tariq Al-Shami, the head of the Media Department of the GPC said. Al-Shami explained that the decision to remove Saleh as party chief must be taken by the members of the GPC.

Saleh's eldest son, Ahmed, remains firmly in control of the Republican Guard, the elite wing of Yemen's Army, which has some 36 brigades nationwide, each equipped with the most modern weapons. Gen. Mohamed Ali Mohsen, the former commander of the Eastern Military Command, said this year that since 1994, no new weapons have entered the hands of any Yemeni armed forces except the Republican Guard.

Yahya Mohamed Abdullah Saleh, the former president's nephew, is the chief-of-staff of the Central Security Forces. He is one of hundreds of senior officials at several military, security and civil institutions who are still loyal to Saleh.

Late last year, Saleh's son launched his own private satellite television channel, Yemen Today, which defends his father's regime day and night. The channel has also a private radio station, Yemen FM, which transmits throughout Yemeni territory, providing glorified accounts of Saleh even to inhabitants of rural areas that lack basic amenities such as electricity.

Some opponents charge Saleh's military units with widespread corruption. A source at the Ministry of Defense said that officers of the 3rd Republican Guard Brigade who are loyal to Saleh are alleged to have recently stolen weapons and military trucks in collusion with departments of the Defense Ministry.

Last month, Saleh loyalists who are members of the police force stormed the Interior Ministry in the capital Sanaa, left eight people dead in a clash with security guards, and stole documents, equipment and weapons.

In 1994, Saleh began a civil war with his then-deputy, Ali Salem Al-Baid, who was defeated and fled to Oman. However, since Saleh's forced retirement, the two men are said to be cooperating to scupper the two-year transitional period which is to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.
"They (Al-Baid and Saleh) are in an alliance and each one has his own aims," the think-tank's Al-Salaam said. "Al-Baid is looking to return to politics and Saleh aims for internal conflict that will enable his son to rule Yemen," he explained.

Saleh left the office in exchange for immunity from prosecution - an offer not made to his counterpart, Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who is currently serving a life-sentence in prison. The deal also does not obligate Saleh to stay out of politics. Saleh remains strong and active within the political landscape through his relatives and aides.

Many fear that if Saleh continues to act as a shadow president, Yemen's two-year transitional period may extend indefinitely amid political insecurity and economic deterioration.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Kuwait inflation edges up 2.96% y/y in March ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Wait city april 23 (kuna): kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in march by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year ...

Apr 24 2014DPG launches Masat to oversee portfolio ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai properties group (dpg) has announced the establishment of masat a new dedicated portfolio management company responsible for overseeing and managing dpg?s built to ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Shapoorji Pallonji enters final stage on Bloom Central ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Leading regional and international construction company shapoorji pallonji has entered the final stage of construction of bloom central project a 25-storey mixed-use ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Huge turnout recorded at Gitex Shopper's first day ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Buyers seek deals on newly launched smartphones the first day of gitex shopper spring edition recorded strong turnout despite the fact that it was a working day and ...

Apr 24 2014Landmark day for Dubai as bourse hits 5100 mark ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Bourse hits 5100 mark; dhcog to prepay $555m; govt raises $750m from sukuk it was a landmark day for dubai on wednesday as the emirate made significant progress on ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait's consumer price rises by 2.96 percent in March ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in March by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year, the Central ...

Apr 24 2014UN Chief: All Parties in Syria Blocking Aid ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) w York April 24 - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of ...

Apr 24 2014Dubai Investments raises foreign ownership cap to 35% ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai investments (di) the largest investment company listed on the dubai financial market (dfm) has raised the foreign ownership limit in the company from the existing 20 ...

Apr 24 2014Heads of aid agencies urge int'l community to find the courage, will Syrians have plenty of ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Heads of five UN Aid Agencies on Wednesday urged the international community to find the courage and will the Syrian people have to cope with and survive over ...

Apr 24 2014US says any Palestinian gov't must "unambiguously" commit to nonviolence, existence of Israel ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US stressed here Wednesday that any Palestinian government must "unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Investcorp continues expansion ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Investcorp a global provider and manager of alternative investment products announced that it has opened a new representative office in abu dhabi. the office is situated ...

Apr 24 2014Tim Hortons opens at Dubai Chamber ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Tim hortons recently celebrated the opening of its newest cafe and bake shop restaurant at the dubai chamber of commerce and industry by the dubai creek. hamad buamim ...

Apr 24 2014Arab League hails Palestinian party reconciliation pact ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Arab League chief Nabil Al-Araby has commended the agreement for a national unity government formation reached between the once rival main Palestinian parties, ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- UPC issues guidelines on underground utilities installations ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi has come up with new guidelines for the installation of underground utilities which will also help in cutting costs. the new guidelines would benefit ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Al Maabar hands over 60% units at Moroccan project ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi-based real estate developer al maabar said that 60 per cent of the residential units of phase one at its moroccan bab al bahr project have been delivered to its ...

Apr 24 2014SMEs play crucial role in boosting Dubai's growth ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Pinsent dec and zawya recommend relaxing lending rules more could be done to enable small and medium-sized businesses to get the finance they need to grow and boost ...

Apr 24 2014UAE's Emaar profit grows 55 percent in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Net profit of Dubai"s Emaar Properties saw a 55 percent rise in the first quarter of 2014 on growing regional economy, according to Arab News. Emaar profit for the quarter was estimated ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait- OCA committed to cooperation with member nations - president ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Olympic Council of Asia is committed to cooperating with and providing all forms of support to its member nations during difficult circumstances they are ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Move to spur female entrepreneurship ,The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) UAE-based conglomerate Crescent Enterprises has partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to empower, mentor and support female entrepreneurs in a number of ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait Social Media Summit kicks off ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The 2nd Annual Kuwait Social Media Summit, kicked off here on Wednesday, is a high-level event which brings together social media experts across the government, ...





Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help