Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Saleh Honorary President for Yemen After Revival

By Nasser Arrabyee/ 12/07/2011

The Yemeni young protesters demanded for the first time that President Ali Abdullah return from Saudi Arabia and continue as an honorary president until the end of a transitional period, which they say, should not be longer than nine months.

In a press conference Tuesday July 12th,2011, the national youth movement, a coalition of young protester groups, demanded an immediate transfer of power from Saleh to his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

"We want President Saleh to declare the transfer of all his powers to his deputy, and then he can stay as an honorary president to the end of the transitional period," Adel Abdu Mohammed, the spokesman of the movement, told the reporters in the conference which was held in Sana’a.

The young protesters distributed copies of a 10-page document to all parties including the ambassadors in Yemen as their vision for Yemen future.

"We demanded that President Saleh be honorary president to rescue our revolution from failure," said the spokesman of the young protesters.

He explained that the situation very complicated now, there is internal tension and there is external support for Saleh.

An official confirmed the reports that the President Saleh is coming back from Saudi Arabia on July 17th, which remarks the 33rd anniversary of Saleh in power.

The official, who asked not to be named, said a Saudi medical team will come to Yemen to complete the treatment of President Saleh who is still recovering from injuries and burns he sustained in a bomb attack on his mosque inside the Presidential Palace on June 3rd. “Any talks about power transfer would not take place except after returns,” said the official.

On Thursday July 7th, in his first public appearance, President Saleh called the opposition for dialogue and real partnership based on the constitution.

On Sunday July 10th , in his first public activity, President Saleh discussed the orderly and constitutional transfer of power with the advisor of the American President for counterterrorism, John Brennan in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The American official, Brennan, discussed the details of the transition with the Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, and representatives of the opposition here in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on July 11-12.

One of the opposition leader told the weekly after they finished the meeting inside the US embassy in Sana’a on Tuesday “Nothing new in the meeting” in terms of practical steps.

The vice President, who is acting as president according to the constitution, said he had reached an agreement with all parties to solve the crisis on the basis of a US-backed and Saudi-led GCC deal with some suitable modification from the UN envoy, Jamal Omar,who is expected to visit Yemen again next week.

The international community including US, EU, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, are still supporting the peaceful, orderly, and constitutional transfer of power.

This kind of transfer is still in the hand of the legitimate President Saleh whose current term ends on September 20, 2013.

The sky of Sana’a and almost all over Yemen was lit up with live bullets and fireworks last Thursday as Saleh supporters celebrated and rejoiced his recovering and his first appearance since he was injured. Firing to air continued for hours at night and dozens of people were injured by the falling bullets.

He called for dialogue and partnership on the basis of the constitution.

“We would not accept the arm twisting ways,” He said.

Saleh thanked his Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, for all efforts he is making with all parties to get out from the current crisis.

“I would like to thank brother vice president for all great efforts he is making with all parties and forces for reconciliation with all,” Saleh said in his short televised speech.

The two appearances of President Saleh reassured his supporters and increased their confidence and spirits, and increased the divisions among the opposition.

The fundamentalist cleric Abdul Majid Al Zandani called for establishing an Islamic State in Yemen forbidding the calls for a civil State as calls for non-Islam. The sheikh shocked and disappointed the majority of the Yemeni protesters who have been dreaming of a civil State for the last six months.

Al Zandani, who is accused by US and UN of supporting terrorism, was one of the most influential religious leaders of the anti-Saleh protests from early March this year. He went to the sit-in square at the gate of Sana’a university one day in March telling the protesters that their sit-in is Jihad, not traditional one but new and creative.

He promised to record a patent in the name of the youth for such an invention of the new style of Jihad.

The 70-year old Al Zandani, brought good news at the time that because of the new invention for Jihad the Caliphate State will be established in 2025, making his enthusiastic audience and students who mainly came from his religious university, Al Eman, rejoice and chant Allah is greater, Allah is greater.

Although some politicians from Al Zandani’s party disagree with him at least when they talk to media, the Sheikh is still one of the most influential leaders of this party that leads the anti-Saleh protests. Al Zandani is also an influential cleric in the Yemeni society as a whole where illiteracy still very high.

“Al Zandani is not a politician, he has nothing to do with politics, he is just a cleric and preacher, and his views are not the views of our party,” said one of the leaders of the Islamist party, who preferred not to be named to avoid sensitivity with his Sheikh.

Furthermore, the government accused Al Zandani and his party, Islah (Yemen-brotherhood) of being behind battles going on now in many places in Yemen between government forces and militants and armed tribesmen loyal to Al Zandani and his party.

In Arhab, Al Zandani’s home village some 40 km north of the capital Sana’a, the Islamist leader, Mansour Al Hanik, leads operations against the camps of the republican guards in their areas.

The tribesmen say, the troops target them because they support the “revolution” and the government says, the tribesmen try to blockade the camps to prevent them from moving. Some relatives of Al Hanik, including sons and brothers, were previously accused of belonging to Al Qaeda and kidnapping foreigners.

In Taiz, 260 km south of the capital, one of the most powerful tribal leaders, who also leads groups of armed tribesmen against the government troops in the city, Hamoud Al Mekhlafi, was one of the body guards of Al Zandani.

The son of the chairman of Islah party in Mareb province, Musab Mabkhut Al Sharif was killed among more than 40 Al Qaeda operatives early this month in Zinjubar, the capital of southern province of Abyan where fierce battles between Al Qaeda operatives and government troops are going on for about two months.

The defected General Ali Muhsen, ally with Al Zandani, is believed to be supporting the opposition tribesmen in an attempt to weaken the most highly qualified and trained republican guard forces led by Ahmed Ali, the son of President Saleh.

Moreover, media leaks started this week that Al Zandani’s party and the State of Qatar were involved in the failed assassination attempt against President Saleh.

A document, dubbed as top secret and dated June 6th , 2011, and signed by the chairman of Islah Mohammed Al Yadomi, showed that Sheikh’s party is planning to take the power gradually from the vice president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi after getting rid of the commander of the republican guards, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, oldest son of Saleh.

This primary plan depends on spreading early misgivings about the investigation results about the failed assassination and also about the intentions of the Saudi officials.

The document delayed a media campaign made for highlighting the role of the State of Qatar in overthrowing the regime until Ahmed Ali is gone and his republican guards forces are dismantled.

When Saleh’s son and his forces are gone, then the vice president and ruling party should be rid of as well according to the document.

The document says the top leaders of Islah in the military wing like general Ali Muhsen, and in the tribal wing like Hamid Al Ahmar, and the religious wing like Abdul Majid Al Zandani, should not be in the focus during implementation of the plan instead, the leaders of the second row, should be in the focus.

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