June 28, 2011

Yemenis Await Saleh’s Latest Scheme

Ali Abdullah Saleh will live and die by his duplicity, so it remains to be seen what course of action (or inaction) Yemen’s besieged president chooses on Tuesday. However an overall impression of Yemen’s situation can still be gleaned from his regime’s disinformation. With his son, Ahmed, backing superficial negotiations with the oppositional Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) to stall for time, Saleh remains resistant to a power transfer - even to his own ruling party.

Deputy Information Minister
Abdo al-Janadi has already told AFP, "In this interview, Saleh will address the Yemeni people to reassure them about his health.” Likewise, Yasser al-Yamani, a senior official in Saleh's ruling General People's Congress (GPC), informed Al Arabiya, "The president is the legal and constitutional president of Yemen according to elections."

Analysis to follow when more concrete information becomes available. Primer from Bloomberg:
Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh will speak tomorrow in his first public appearance since being wounded in an attack on his presidential palace earlier this month, a member of the country’s ruling party said.

Saleh will give a televised address, Yasser Al-Yamani told Al-Arabiya television today. Abdul Karim al-Eryani, Saleh’s political adviser, said yesterday that he visited the president in Saudi Arabia and found him to be in good health, the state- run Saba news agency reported.

The president is recuperating in Saudi Arabia after being injured in a June 3 attack on his compound in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, leaving Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi in charge. Pro-democracy protesters have been calling for Saleh to step down since January, leading to deadly clashes between activists and security forces.

Saleh has ruled over Yemen for 32 years. His son heads the country’s special forces, the Republican Guard. Violence has escalated since late May after Saleh refused to sign an accord with the opposition brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council requiring him to step down within 30 days and hand power over to Hadi in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Saleh’s government has said the rising social unrest threatens to strengthen al-Qaeda, a concern also expressed by the U.S. Yemeni forces killed about 20 suspected members of al- Qaeda during clashes in the southern province of Abyan, Ahmed Ghalib al-Rahwi, the provincial deputy governor, said in a telephone interview June 21.

Speaking in his capacity as commander of the Republican Guard, Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh said June 26 that the armed forces are committed to implementing the directives of Vice President Hadi, Saba reported. He added that the armed forces will continue to respond to any “hostile” actions.


  1. There sure are a lot of people in ill health.
    Mubarak, Saleh, Chavez, Castro, who is next?
    I still believe that the House of Saud is holding the Yemen strings.
    They will pull, and tug, till they snap.

  2. KSA is holding most of the strings but Washington still has too many in its hands. The Obama administration is only pressuring Riyadh to keep Saleh in town. They remain on the same page in preserving his regime. If the U.S. actually broke ranks and backed Yemen's revolutionaries, we would see significant movement in Yemen's political crisis. KSA holds where U.S. holds - Bahrain, Yemen - and breaks where U.S. breaks - Egypt, Libya, Syria.