News / Middle East

Yemen's Vice President Says Saleh Coming Back 'In Days'

Boys take part in a rally to celebrate the departure of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment in Sanaa, June 5, 2011
Boys take part in a rally to celebrate the departure of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment in Sanaa, June 5, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Elizabeth Arrott

Yemen's youth activists are promising to back the country's acting leader, who took over from wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh while he is in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. But the protesters' call for democratic change could be drowned out by a variety of competing voices.  

Activists mingled with ordinary residents Monday on the streets of Sana'a in a continuing celebration of Saleh's departure.

Vice-President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi said on Monday that President Saleh will return to Sana'a "in days" and resume his responsibilities. But protesters, like Amer al-Khamisi, believe this marks the end of the president's nearly 33-year rule.

He says that Saleh is gone and will not come back, adding the president "is in the past" and the oppression is over.  

Attack that wounded Saleh


Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh waves to his supporters during a rally in Sana'a (file photo)
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh waves to his supporters during a rally in Sana'a (file photo)

The president was wounded in an attack on the presidential palace Friday, which the government blamed on members of the al-Ahmar clan who battled troops for two weeks in the capital.

In the aftermath, the vice-president and clan leader Sadeq al-Ahmar agreed to pull back their forces, but in scattered violence Monday, at least three more al-Ahmar fighters were killed.

Youth Revolution claims victory

While violence precipitated Saleh's departure, Wassim al-Qorashi, a spokesman for the National Organizing Committee of the Youth Revolution was among those claiming victory for the change under way.

Qorashi said the first stage of the revolution has ended, but his group will continue to struggle until all of their demands are achieved.   It's a note of caution about the future that political observers believe is well placed.  

"What we are actually seeing in Yemen right now is rivalries between elite factions, rivalries between political actors at the absolute top levels of Yemen's political elite," explained Kate Nevins, who runs the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House.  "And if the vice president doesn't have the support of one of these factions, it will be a very hard job for him to get everyone of to the negotiating table."

Those factions include Saleh's family, who hold key positions in the nation's security apparatus, members of the al-Ahmar clan, which leads the Hashid tribal federation, rival tribal groups, powerful generals, northern rebels and southern secessionists. 

Activists' role

Nevins, of the London-based research center, believes that even against this formidable backdrop, it's possible for pro-democracy activists to play a role in the nation's future.

"We are seeing a very impressive, very organized youth movement come out of the pro-democracy protest and there are leadership figures emerging from this movement," Nevins said. "Now, if Saleh is to not return to Yemen, we have a situation where there might be a move towards a nation unity government."

Not that whoever is to lead Yemen will have an easy job. The youth movement was inspired by popular uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world, but the similarities with Yemen, according to Nevins, quickly end.  

"It doesn't have the formal institutions that Tunisia and Egypt have, so whoever comes into power or whichever group comes into power after Saleh will be inheriting a very complex system.," said Nevins. "We're also facing an issue where the economy is collapsing, Yemen is losing its foreign currency reserves.  It's running out of fuel.  It's running out of water.  There's a massive food crisis.  And it has some of the highest levels of malnutrition in the world.  So there are a lot of problems to be dealt with."

Al-Qaida factor

Yemen also has an active branch of the al-Qaida terror network, which is why neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United States are playing considerable roles both openly and behind-the-scene to find some kind of stability for Yemen at this volatile time.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid