Item


 

Key Yemeni army officers who refused to accept President's Hadi order for them to step down, have agreed to leave office. Yemen's air force commander General Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmar and a half-brother of deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down two weeks after he was dismissed. General Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh nephew of the firmer president, the head of the Presidential Guard also agreed to step down. They agreed to step down after a warning from the US that the international community could take steps if Mr Hadi's orders were not implemented.

 

President  Hadi fired them along with 20 other officers and four governors loyal to the ousted president. All left their post except Gen Al Ahmer, who had led the air force for more than 20 years, and Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh.

 

The UN's special envoy to Yemen who was in the country to ensure implementation of the GCC peace plan, oversaw the handover to Rashid Al Janad as air force chief.

 

April 26-28, 2012

 

Analysis and Forecast: Decreasing Risk


 

The attitude taken by the Saleh loyalists following orders to depose them by refusing to leave office threatened to plunge the country into yet another internal conflict, between members of the ruling party. This would have potentially been catastrophic to the country, especially at a time when the government forces are actively fighting AQAP, who control areas in Yemen and continue to gain popularity in certain areas.

 

It is understood that American pressure was key to convincing the Saleh loyalists to step down. This agreement turns the final page on the rule of Saleh and is seen by some Yemenis as a confirmation that neither he nor his relatives will return to power. It also severely - though not entirely, elimate the threat of an imminent split in the regime.

 

Although the country still faces serious existential threats, the recent developments are an overal reduction of an already highly elevated risk level.