News / Middle East

Yemen's Interim Leadership Rules out Transition Deal for Now

A tribesman loyal to tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar secures a street near al-Ahmar's house in Sana'a June 7, 2011
A tribesman loyal to tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar secures a street near al-Ahmar's house in Sana'a June 7, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Political wrangling is underway in Yemen's capital as President Ali Abdullah Saleh receives treatment in Saudi Arabia. U.S. and Yemeni officials say President Ali Abdullah Saleh suffered injuries far more severe than previously reported in last week's attack on his presidential palace, raising doubts about his return to power - even as fighting in the south killed dozens of people. Elsewhere in the country, fighting continues between government troops and Islamic militants.

Fighting has flared again in Zinjibar as government forces try to retake the southern town they abandoned two weeks ago to Islamic militants. There are reports of at least 25 people killed in the southern city in recent days, just one of several areas of unrest in a nation uncertain of its future after a rocket attack wounded its president. Saleh is in Saudi Arabia and his exact condition is unclear. The acting president, Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi, says Saleh will return to Yemen within days.

Yemen's Interim Leadership Rules out Transition Deal for Now
Yemen's Interim Leadership Rules out Transition Deal for Now

In the capital, protesters continued to call for the president to stay away.

In Taiz, south of the capital, there are reports of troops engaging in battles with armed anti-government forces. And Saudi Arabian officials report that two of its border guards were killed when a gunman tried to force his way into Yemen.  

There was no immediate indication the incident was related to the political unrest, but it served as a reminder of the region's volatility, and Saudi Arabia's long-standing fear of Yemen's troubles spilling northward.

Yemen's opposition groups are pushing for the interim leaders to accept a Saudi-led proposal to see a transition away from Saleh's nearly 33-year rule. A leading coalition of opponents, the Joint Meeting Parties, has offered to enter into talks on a transition. But government figures, including members of the president's family, say they are awaiting the president's return.

Saleh has repeatedly rejected the Gulf transition plan. Political analysts say the JMP is not an ideal partner for transition talks.

Kate Nevens is a Middle East analyst at London-based Chatham House.  "This formal opposition idea is an idea that I think we need to move away from. We do not have a traditional government and a traditional opposition in Yemen. Everyone is involved in these elite patronage networks and in many cases the formal opposition are as corrupt or non-inclusive as the regime," she said.

In addition to regional calls for an inclusive transition, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton both referred to the "best interests" of the Yemeni people in pushing for change. The Yemeni people are far from a united group, divided as they are by tribal, political, military and Islamist loyalties.

But Abdulaziz Sager, head of the Gulf Research Center in Saudi Arabia, argues the people alone must determine Saleh's future.

"If he goes back, in what capacity, that's up to the Yemeni people to decide - whether they want to receive him as a former president, or they want to receive him as political party member or as a normal citizen, which they will definitely face.  It is their right to decide in which capacity they would like to receive him as," said Sager.

But with the situation so volatile, and the stakes - including the threat of a local terror group and the safety of key shipping lanes - so high, foreign nations are unlikely to stand to the side.

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

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid