YEMEN: Following a statement by UN Special Envoy to Yemen on Thursday hailing Yemen President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s decision to demote Gen. Ahmed Ali Saleh – deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s eldest son and designated heir to the presidency – from his position as Commander in Chief of the Republican Guards, saying it was “a brave move, in accordance to Yemen power transfer agreement.
According to the GCC-brokered initiative, all signatory parties – – former President Saleh and the Joint Meeting Parties — agreed in 2011 to a complete reshuffle of the military and the appointment of new military leaders at all key posts.
The move was aimed to remove all of Saleh’s men from power, starting with his family, as well as even out the field of power.
In a much anticipated move, President Hadi issued on Wednesday a series of decrees which saw the demotion of two key players — Gen. Ahmed Ali Saleh and Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahma, the powerful Commander in Chief of Yemen 1st Armored Division —
With those men gone, no political faction or party can claim military supremacy, only the state.
Speaking on this historic military shake up, Secretary General Bank Ki Moon spokesperson told the press “The Secretary-General welcomes President Hadi’s ongoing efforts to restructure the Yemeni armed forces with a view to integrating them under unified, national and professional leadership and command based on the rule of law.”
Other decrees saw the appointment of several of former President Saleh’s family member to various positions in Yemen foreign embassies and consulates, a drastic change from their former high-powered posts.
Gen. Ammar Mohammed Saleh, former Deputy of Yemen National Security Agency and nephew to ex-President Saleh was appointed military attache to Yemen embassy in Ethiopia, Gen. Tarek Mohammed Saleh, former Commander in Chief of the Presidential Guards and nephew to the former president will as well now serve in Germany as Yemen’s new military attache.
As Yemenis grasp the magnitude of the announcement, many rejoiced in the idea that Saleh’ era was finally something they could put behind then.
“After two years of a long struggle we are finally free of Saleh’s regime and Saleh’s men. I hope it will mark a new beginning for Yemen away from tyranny and nepotism,” said Mohammed Hashem al-Ansi from Sana’a.
Several representatives of the National Dialogue Conference keenly pointed out that will the military restructuration out of the way, they would now be able to piece Yemen back together and mend bridges.