Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemeni military officers and officials resign en masse, the post Saleh era begins

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:31 am on Monday, March 21, 2011

A truly insightful analysis by Dr. Abdullah al faqih.

Update: National Security forces break into al Jazeera offices in Sanaa and steal equipment, a possible foreshadowing of dire events to follow. Minister of Water and Environment Abdulrahman Al-Iryani wrote a letter apologizing to the protesters. If the entire government resigns and joins the protesters, then the protests didn’t drive the elite out of power. CNN: Ali Mohsen negotiating with Saleh for a transition by the end of the year. This is just more maneuvering to keep the powerful in power, they are going out the front door and in the back. Ali Mohsen has to go on the same plane as Saleh

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a top military general are discussing a deal for a peaceful transition of power that would allow Saleh to stay in place for the rest of the year, a Yemeni official and senior U.S. official said Monday. The discussions come amid cracks in support for Saleh’s 32-year rule after weeks of anti-government protests.

Three top generals declared their support for the protests Monday, including Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, the man now discussing the deal with Saleh. Al-Ahmar, who belongs to an important tribe whose backing is significant for Saleh, also said he will order his troops to protect civilians demonstrating against the president….

According to the Yemeni official who confirmed the talks between Saleh and the general, the president has officially accepted five points demanded by the opposition and is now waiting for a response from the opposition and the generals who defected.

The five points are that Saleh step down by the end of the year; that Yemenis be allowed to protest without fear of violence; that a committee be formed to investigate attacks against protesters; that families of all protesters killed or wounded be compensated by the state; and that the government implement constitutional and electoral reforms, including the removal of Saleh’s family members from the armed services.

Update: Mass resignations continue from all levels of government. Yemen TV is showing old videos of crowds chanting for Saleh as live, but they were shot during the day while it is night time in Yemen now.

The former GPC members (the ruling GPC party has apparently dissolved after mass resignations) are forming a new coalition to come in through the back door. So far no violence but they like to do these things in the middle of the night.

Update: Defense minister says military will remain loyal to President Saleh. On TV, Saleh swears in new members of Shura Council. Al Jazeera: Yemen’s army says it backs the president against any coup attempt. Just go Ali, another blood bath won’t save you. France announced via their Foreign Minister Alain Juppe that “Saleh must step down.” Any chance Obama will get ahead of the curve for once? Wow! Update, Al Jazeera: the White House informed the Yemeni govt that violence against protesters is unacceptable.

Houthis call on Ali Mohsen to apologize and he is a war criminal for sure. The Houthis are what will prevent a new dictatorship by al Ahmar:

Urgent / call Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar to apologize to the people from the past Black
injured by Saada on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 6:11 am

Call Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar to prove its credibility to join the people’s choice, to submit an apology for the past Black, who was a hand in criminal and unjust to Ali Abdullah Saleh, and committed the most heinous crimes in the northern governorates, and declare its willingness to arbitrate the people to see his opinion about it.

And did not apologize to the people, the position will be calculated that circumvent the revolution and ride to the prompt, and exploit the revolution to achieve a personal ambition in the succession of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Information Office to Mr. / Abdul-Malik Badr Eddin al

Original: Lots of defections today including NW zone commander Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, eastern zone commander Mohammed Ali Mohsen, and the 301st armored division, Hameed Al-Qushaibi. The Aden governor Ahmed Qaatabi and the Yemeni ambassador in Amman, Jordan Shaia Muhsen defected, as well as the Yemeni ambassador in Damascus , Syria Abdul-Wahab Tawwaf, and deputy parliament speaker, Hemyar al-Ahmar. Tribal leaders joined the protesters as well as opposition party leaders. These defections followed the blood bath in Sanaa on Friday when 53 were killed by sniper fire and another 250 were wounded by gunshots. Half the government had resigned before that and Saleh declared a state of emergency Friday and dissolved the government Sunday.

Lets see if Saleh has the brains to leave quietly without another blood bath. Ali Mohsen al Ahmar is himself a war criminal and smuggler and many of these defectors are presidential relatives and will have to be politically neutralized, but all Saleh has left from the military are (his son’s commands) the Republican Guard and the Special Forces who are guarding the palace in Sanaa. It is the beginning of the post-Saleh era whether he recognizes it or not.

Yes there is a transition plan for a caretaker government etc.

Guardian: Three Yemen army commanders, including a top general, have defected to the opposition calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, as tanks were deployed in the streets of the capital. The most senior of the three officers is Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a long-time confidant of Saleh and commander of the army’s powerful 1st Armoured Division…The two others are Mohammed Ali Mohsen and Hameed al-Qusaibi, both brigadiers…(AMA) is a veteran of the 1994 civil war in which Saleh’s army suppressed an attempt by southern Yemen to secede four years after the two parts of the impoverished Arab nation united. The south had until then been a separate nation. Ahmar also fought in recent years against Shia rebels in the north.

The governor of Yemen’s southern province of Aden resigned on Monday to protest the violent suppression of anti-government demonstrations, an official in his office said. Ahmed Qaatabi resigned “to protest what is happening in the county,” amid a slew of defections to the opposition by Yemeni military and civilian leaders, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. -AFP



Comment by James Gundun

3/21/2011 @ 7:35 pm

Yemen and Egypt’s revolutions prove that unilateral U.S. assistance to foreign dictators is surmountable, it just takes time, blood, and focus. Saleh may have a few more violent spasms in him but his hours are numbered either way. Weak U.S. reaction as well – statements were unavoidable after this weekend, especially given the growing criticism of Obama’s silence. Again the White House warned both the government and protesters against violence, a cheap tactic for delegitimizing the opposition. Most noticeably, U.S. officials continue to urge a political resolution with a man no one trusts even after Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed swore to defend Yemen’s “democracy” against a “coup.”

Only one response is politically and morally acceptable, and that is unequivocal support for the Yemeni peoples’ demands: Saleh’s immediate resignation and a complete turnover in the government, formation of a temporary presidential council made up of political representatives, the transfer of power to parliament, conducting free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections after reforming the voter registry and electoral system, and justice for those responsible for the attacks against protesters.

Anything else is merely delaying the inevitable.


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3/22/2011 @ 6:54 am

[...] as Top Officers Defect (WSJ) U.S. Faces Loss of Key Ally Against al Qaeda in Yemen (Bloomberg) Yemeni Military Officers and Officials Resign En Masse, the Post-Saleh Era Begins (Armies of Liberation blog) Related: Editorial: Yemen Will Be the Big Test for Democracy vs. al [...]

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