Yemen to make or to break after
President Saleh threw the ball to others
By Nasser Arrabyee/13/09/2011
Two significant things happened this week in Yemen and might lead to an end of the 8-month crisis.
The President Ali Abdullah Saleh authorized Monday his deputy for talking with opposition until a new president is democratically elected,the long awaited step that the international and regional community wanted from Saleh to do.
The second was liberating two southern towns from Al Qaeda after they were declared Taliban-style Islamic-Emirates for more than five months.
Both steps were widely welcomed inside and outside Yemen as a sign of success of the great efforts made by United States, Saudi Arabia,UN,and EU to find a peaceful,democratic, and orderly way for power transition.
the Vice President, Abdu Rabu Mansor Had, respected and accepted by all, is supposed to start talks with the opposition to prepare for electing a new president, the only way for avoiding wars and wars.
All conflicting parties should find a mechanism for implementing a power-transfer deal proposed by Saudi Arabia and all gulf countries earlier this year and still supported by the whole international community.
The decree of authorization came after Mr. Hadi held a series of meetings this week with the ambassadors of US, EU, Russia, and China who all support the Gulf (GCC) deal which was modified by UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar who wants to end the crisis by electing a new president for Yemen by the end of this year.
Mr. Hadi is supposed now to sign the GCC, which was already signed by the ruling party and opposition, for President Saleh according to the authorization decree.
However, the opposition refuse to start any talks before President signs the GCC deal, which means they want him to step down first.
" We authorize Vice President with constitutional powers required for conducting talks with the parties that signed the GCC deal,” the decree said.
“And to reach an agreement on a timed mechanism for implementing this deal.”
“And sign the GCC deal on our behalf, and start to follow up the implementation under regional and international sponsorship.”
“That (implementation) should lead to early presidential elections with its timing agreed upon by all”
“This elections should guarantee peaceful and democratic transition of power,” the decree said.
The decree was issued according to the article 124 of the Yemeni constitution which gives the President the right to authorize some of his powers to his deputy when the supreme national interest needs that.
The opposition considered the decree of authorization just as a way of wasting time and misleading people.
It seems, however, that the opposition can not explicitly refuse the Saudi-led GCC deal nor can they convince the international community to support them and ignore President Saleh who is still the legitimate President in their eyes (world) and in eyes of millions of his supporters.
The independent political analyst Ali Saif Hassan,said the ball now is in the court of the opposition.
"The authorization decree is enough to implement the GCC deal and elect a new president for Yemen in a democratic way," he said.
Al Qaeda defeat
A total of 230 military individuals were killed and more than 600 others injured before Al Qaeda was defeated and driven away earlier this week from two cities declared as Taliban-style Islamic Emirates earlier this year, according to military officials.
About 30 famous Al Qaeda leaders were killed during the three months battles of the liberation.
Those killed and injured were from the brigades of the southern military region that restored total control on Zinjubar on Saturday after Al Qaeda fighters escaped to the mountains of neighboring provinces like Shabwah and Hatat in the same province of Abyan, according to the military officials and local sources.
Meanwhile, the Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi said that about 30 of Al Qaeda well-known leaders were killed during the battles of liberating the two towns of Zinjubar and Ja’ar.
About 90 soldiers and officers were killed from the brigade 25th Mica which was blockaded by Al Qaeda for about three months at the outskirts of Zinjubar, according to Mr. Hadi who was briefing the EU ambassadors in Sana’a about the military victory over Al Qaeda earlier in the week.
The confrontations between the government troops and Al Qaeda operatives forced tens of thousands to displace from the two towns and areas around them.
Now that Al Qaeda is gone, the minister of State Ahmed Al Kuhlani expected that all the displaced persons would return home very soon.
He said in a press statement this week that about 180,000 refugees would return as soon as the military and security forces made sure the areas are cleaned from mines and explosives planted by the terrorists of Al Qaeda.
From Saudi Arabia where he is still recovering and preparing to return, the President Saleh congratulated his army for victory, and thanked Saudi monarch for logistic cooperation and United States for intelligence cooperation in that victory against Al Qaeda.
The Counter-terrorism forces were deployed all over the city of Zinjubar and the local government is supposed to re-start work soon.
In a lengthy letter sent from Saudi Arabia to minister of defense and all generals of his army in the southern region, Saleh said “ The victory came from Allah and because of the direct supervision and good planning of vice president and the cooperation of citizens.”
AQAP leadership seen in neighboring province after defeat
The leadership of Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was seen in the southern province of Shabwah after they were defeated in Abyan, reliable sources in Shabwah told the weekly on Tuesday.
The sources said they saw Fahd Al Qusu, Qasem Al Raimi, and Saeed Al Shihri along with tens of their companions including Saudis and Egyptians.
Many of those injured in the last battles in Zinjubar and Ja’ar were also seen in one car at least heading to Azzan town close to Al Huta, the stronghold of AQAP leadership, the sources added.
The two top leaders Nasser Al Wahayshi and Anwar Al Awlaki were not seen with the group , the sources said.
The sources declined to say where in Shabwah he saw the AQAP leaders, and he said it was not clear where they were going to.
After the government troops defeated Al Qaeda groups in Zinjubar and Ja’ar, leaders and remnants of operatives escaped to their respective hideouts in other areas in the same province of Abyan like Hatat, and to other neighboring provinces like Shabwa, Hudhrmout, Mareb and Al Jawf.
Shabwah (Azzan and Huta and other hideouts) is considered the main stronghold of AQAP.
And Hatat in Abyan is the stronghold of the Jihadists of the Aden-Abyan army since early 1990s.