Monday, 8 August 2011

After released from hospital, Will Saleh return?

By Nasser Arrabyee 09/08/2011

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is now in a royal residence after he has left the military hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

He was released on Sunday August 7th after he recovered from injuries and burns he sustained in a failed assassination attempt on June 3rd in his presidential palace in the capital Sana’a.
The big question now is: will Saleh return to Yemen or not? And if yes, what he will do, and if not, how can the seven-month crisis can be solved?

The solution is still in his hand. The international community still insists on a peaceful, constitutional, and orderly transition of power.

This means President Saleh is the essential player who can do that kind of transition.

Although it seems that Saleh can declare his step down and transfer of power to his deputy from Saudi Arabia or anywhere, but, apparently , this would only appease the opposition.

The supporters of Saleh , increasing forces that can never be ignored, want him to come back first , then either all parties reach a good compromise or go to early elections or Saleh finish his term until September 2013.

"And this means we preserve the essence of democracy," said Abu Bakr Al Querbi, Saleh's foreign minister.

The American and Saudi officials are now leading international and regional efforts to convince President Saleh to transfer the power to his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi.

They avoid to talk about Saleh's return or stay as this issue is only up to the Yemeni parties.

The Yemeni officials denied on Monday August 8th press reports that the American officials had exercised pressures and convinced President Saleh not to return to Yemen.

"This is not true, and President Saleh will return," said Tarek Al Shami, the spokesman of Saleh's ruling party.

The American officials have not changed their position towards Yemen crisis from the very beginning early this year.

They keep saying they support a peaceful, constitutional and orderly transition.

Although they avoid talking about Saleh's return or stay outside Yemen, they seem to be a little bit concerned about the return that might worsen the situation.

"President Saleh can declare the transition from anyplace," the US ambassador to Sana’a Gerald Feierstein told the Weekly on August 5th.

The Yemeni opposition ignored the release of President Saleh from the hospital and set August 17th as a date for a meeting in which they will discuss what they called "formation of a national council" to coordinate and lead the "forces of the revolution"

"Saleh's release from hospital does not matter, we do not care about it ," said Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman of the opposition coalition.

For the protesters in the streets they were affected by the spectacle of Mubarak's trial and they started to demand that Saleh be tried as well.

Although protesters, who have been demanding the ouster of President for more than six months now, say their revolution is peaceful, many of their leaders are in military confrontations with the government troops inside the capital Sana’a and many other places.

The capital Sana’a witnessed more than four hours of clashes between security forces and opposition tribesmen loyal to Al Ahmar family who mainly lead the anti-Saleh protests.

The clashes , which resulted in no casualties, came after Al Ahmar fighters kidnapped two military vehicles patrolling in the area of Al Hasaba on Thursday August 4th.
Some young protesters joined Al Ahmar fighters who control Al Hasaba neighborhood in the north of the capital.

Reinforcement troops and armored vehicles were deployed immediately after the kidnapping of the vehicles.

The two sides exchanged accusations of violating a two-month truce supported by the Saudi Monarch King Abdullah Bin Abdul Azeez.

About 150 people were killed during two weeks of fighting between the two sides late last May.

The Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi played an essential role in stopping the latest clashes of Friday August 5th.

Armed confrontations take place almost every day in Arhab north of the capital and Nehm east of the capital, and in Taiz province south of the capital, between opposition tribesmen and government troops. The opposition Islamist party, Islah, and defected general Ali Muhsen are accused by the government of being behind the confrontations.

Earlier, the Yemeni foreign minister Abu Bakr Al Querbi, said that dialogue is the only way to get out from the current crisis in his country.

"It is impossible for this crisis to continue forever," said the minister in televised statements on Saturday.

The minister said the solution is a dialogue to reach a compromise or elections.

The military solution is impossible and no party can win in such divisions, he said.
"Those who think of the military solution are mistaken," the minister said.

He said everything is divided in Yemen, the politicians, the tribes and the army.

All Yemeni parties and regional and international players are still supporting a US-baked and Saudi-led GCC deal for transition of power suggested last April by the six Gulf countries.

Immediately after he was released from hospital, the President Saleh discussed with political advisor Abdul Kareem Al Eryani in Riyadh how to activate this deal. Sources said it was slightly modified to take into consideration the failed assassination attempt against Saleh and his senior asides.

The UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar suggested a mechanism for implementing the deal after meetings and consultations with all Yemeni parties in four visits he made recently to Yemen. The fifth visit of Bin Omar to Yemen is expected at the beginning of next September.

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