Thursday, 22 September 2011

President Saleh returns home despite detractors' war

Millions of Saleh's supporters celebrate and rejoice over the long-awaited return

By Nasser Arrabyee/23/09/2011

The President Ali Abdullah Saleh arrived in the Yemeni capital early morning today Friday, September 23rd, 2011, after three more than three months in Saudi Arabia for treatment from injuries he suffered in a failed assassination attempt on June 3 in the mosque of his Palace.

Fireworks and live bullets to the air could be heard everywhere in the capital to celebrate the return of President Saleh.

The expected return of Saleh came after almost a week of direct confrontation between his troops and defected troops supported by opposition tribesmen in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.
UN and Gulf mediation failed to the stop the confrontation.
The GCC head who mediates between Yemenis to stop the on going war returned home empty-handed after opposition refused to see him.

The billionaire tribal leader Hamid Al Ahmar arrogantly ordered the Gulf official,Abdul Latif Al Zayani to leave Yemen and Hamid and opposition parties would go to revolutionary action, war, rather than "useless" talks.

The UN envoy Jamal Bin Onar insisted, however, to continue efforts to defuse the war and bring the conflicting parties to dialogue.

Sporadic clashes continued between defected forces and security forces and armed tribesmen from both sides despite a cease-fire.

Firing and explosions could be heard Fay and night in different places in the capital and in the bordering places around the sit-in square where defected troops and armed tribesmen allegedly protect protesters.

Earlier in the week, two international envoys arrived in Yemen earlier this week after conflicting parties went on a war ignoring a world-supported proposal to end the 8-month crisis.

The UN envoy Jamal bin Omar and head of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdul Latif Al Zauani, arrived only to see bloodshed and hear explosions in the capital Sana’a almost around the clock.

Both of them were a little bit late. They were supposed to arrive before the breakout of the war to help the Yemeni conflicting parties reach an agreement on a mechanism previously suggested by Bin Omar, for implementing a Saudi-led GCC deal for transferring the power from President Saleh through democratic elections.

The "still controllable" war erupted while the opposition leaders and the ruling party were in their talks about an authorization decree issued earlier this month from President Saleh to his deputy for preparing for electing a new president by the end of this year.

Two influential leaders from the opposition, other than those involved in the talks with vice president, were obviously behind this war which killed more than 50 Yemenis and injured hundreds of others so far during three days of fierce clashes in which all kinds of weapons were used.

These two effective leaders, the defected general Ali Muhsen, and the billionaire tribal leader Hamid Al Ahmar, felt they were ignored and excluded from the talks especially after the arrival of the two international envoys, Bin Omar and Al Zayani.

Hamid Al Ahamar, who has been mainly financing and orchestrating the anti-Saleh protests, said arrogantly through his satellite TV that the two envoys "must leave" the country immediately if they came to bring Yemenis back to dialogue.

For general Muhsen, his defected troops are in direct confrontations with Saleh's forces in many streets around the sit-in square at the gate of Sanaa university for the first time since he defected.

His troops closed the university and dismissed the students and professors in the first day of the new academic year, September 17th, and turned it to a military barrack.

The two leaders were also behind what was called the “revolutionary action and end ” of the 8-month long peaceful protests demanding the ouster of President Sale.

In a secret document leaked to media this week, Hamid Al Ahmar asked the general Muhsen to arm 3,000 young man from the protesters to protect the “the revolutionary end” demonstrations which started Sunday September 18th, 2011 and led to the current war.

Last May, with his armed tribesmen and 10 brothers, the rich businessman Hamid Al Ahmar himself led a two-week war against Saleh’s forces around his palace in Al Hasaba area, in which about 150 people were killed from both sides.

The Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Azeez imposed a truce on both sides after President Saleh arrived in Riyadh for treatment from injuries he suffered in the June 3 failed assassination attempt, which Hamid Al Ahmar and Ali Muhsen were accused of being behind it.

The May war was locally known as Al Ahmar-Saleh war and this war is known now as Ali Muhsen-Saleh war. When it comes to war, no one talk about the opposition parties or about the independent young people who demand the ouster of Saleh.

Both Saudi Arabia and the United States are doing their best to contain the situation and stop the “seemingly controllable” war between two armies and armed supporters of both sides.

In a statement, the US embassy in Sana’a called upon all parties to exercise restraint, and refrain from actions that provoke further violence.

“We reject actions that undermine productive efforts underway to achieve a political resolution to the current crisis,” said the US embassy statement.

“The United States continues to support a peaceful and orderly transition in Yemen, one which addresses the Yemeni people’s aspirations for peace and security. We remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached that leads to the signing of the GCC Initiative within one week.”

From his side, the Saudi King who met President Saleh in Riyadh earlier this week immediately after the war erupted in Sana’a, showed a great of support for Yemen’s security and stability and unity, according to the Saudi news agency.

The Yemeni prime minister, Ali Mujawar, and speaker of Parliament Yahya Al Raye’e attended the meeting. Both Mujawar and Al Raye’e are still recovering in Saudi Arabia from injuries they suffered in the June assassination attempt.

And although what’s going now in Sana’a seems like any war between two big forces in addition to armed tribesmen involved from both sides, the government keeps saying it’s only the security forces which confront the defected troops and their armed supporters.

The government denies that the republican guards, the highly qualified and trained forces led by Ahmed Ali, Saleh’s son, are participating in the ongoing street to street confrontations. Although this republican guards forces are really deployed in the streets.

“The security forces only are responsible for protecting the capital Sana’a from the defected troops, and the extremists of brotherhood, and the sons of Al Ahmar,” said an official statement.

On his part, deputy minister of information Abdul Janadi said that this war was planned for thwarting the efforts being exerted now by the Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to reach a compromise with the opposition parties for preparing for presidential elections according to the UN and GCC suggestions.

Although opposition publically refuse any dialogue or initiative now and insist only on what they called “revolutionary action and end” , their leaders are still involved in the talks going on now despite the war.

“Talks are still going on with all parties, and a solution will be reached in less than a week,” said a senior officials involved in the talks.

“There will be no civil war, what’s happening now is still controlled and it’s for good negotiations for some parties,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
"the two international envoys Bin Omar and Al Zayani met and would meet all parties," he said.

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