News / Middle East

Report: Yemen President Removes Key Officer in Army Shakeup

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (2012 photo)
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (2012 photo)
Reuters
Yemen's president removed the commander of the elite Republican Guard, a powerful political foe, from the military on Wednesday, state television reported, in an apparent move to unify the divided armed forces under his own control.
       
The television read out orders by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointing Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is the son of Hadi's predecessor, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
       
Hadi has vowed to unify the army, which is divided between allies and opponents of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in a Gulf-brokered deal in 2012 after a year of protests against his rule, but still looms large in Yemen.
       
Gulf neighbors and Western nations fear the wily leader's continuing influence, not least through his powerful son, could tip a delicate political transition into chaos.
       
Dozens of youths gathered outside Hadi's home in the capital Sanaa to show support for the decisions. "March, O Hadi, we are behind you until we achieve change,'' they chanted.
       
"The orders effectively ended the divisions in the army and made all these forces under president Hadi's control,'' retired General Mohammed Sarei Shaye told Reuters.
       
"It is a strike by a master. It uprooted all centres of power in the army,'' he added.
       
Political commentator Abdel-Bari Taher said the orders made Hadi "truly the president and sole decision maker of the army''.

Yemen Stability Priority for US, Allies

Restoring stability in Yemen has become a priority for the United States and its Gulf allies, concerned about al Qaeda militants operating in a country that adjoins top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and overlooks major global shipping lanes.
       
The television said Hadi also had appointed General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of the First Armoured Division, as a presidential adviser for military affairs.
       
Ahmar is a rival of Ahmed Saleh and sided with his father's opponents in the political crisis of 2011, backing activists who took to the streets demanding that President Saleh step down.
       
Ahmar's forces and the Republican Guard occasionally had traded fire during the nearly year-long protests against Saleh's rule. There was no immediate reaction from either man.
       
State television said Hadi's orders also included appointing two of Saleh's nephews, who had served in the Presidential Guard and the intelligence service, as military charges d'affaires in Ethiopia and Germany, in what appeared an attempt to remove any influence they might still wield despite having been removed from their posts last year.
       
The orders are the second main step in Hadi's overhaul of the military, part of an internationally backed plan to restore stability to Yemen and widely seen as part of efforts to loosen the Saleh family's grip on the armed forces.
       
In a first move, Hadi in December issued decrees that restructured the armed forces into four major units and abolished the Republican Guard and the First Armoured Division.  The December decrees said nothing about the roles of Ahmed Saleh and Mohsen.
       
In his December orders, Hadi gave himself direct control over some units separate from the Republican Guard that had also been under Ahmed's command, including special forces and anti-terrorism units.
       
Hadi last month launched a conference of national reconciliation to try to prepare a new blueprint for what he called "right-guided governance''.
       
The conference, comprising all of Yemen's main political forces, is expected to produce a draft of a new constitution and put proposals for addressing demands by southern leaders to restore the state which merged with North Yemen in 1990.
       
The power transfer deal, signed in Saudi Arabia, aims to hold the country together in the face of internal divisions and separatist movements as well as the challenge from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More