Monday, October 24, 2011

President Saleh; You To Could Be The Next Target

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Keeping a low profile at the death of fallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the embattled Yemeni president, as local experts said, became more cautious in dealing with the domestic crisis that saw fierce clashes in the impoverished country.
Just before the bullet to the head

Gaddafi, the Arab world's longest ruler, was killed on Thursday in his hometown Sirte after months of battles with fighters of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council supported by NATO.

Abdul Ghani al-Maweri, a political analyst and writer, said Gaddafi's death was a victory for the Libyan people which will also boost the hope of protesters in other countries including Yemen where people have been struggling to oust the regime.

Khaled al-Hammadi, another political analyst said that if the international community agrees upon a resolution that forces Saleh to leave, he may resort to form a military council comprising his family members and some other loyalists to keep running the country.

On the other hand, some experts argued that Yemen had been witnessing fierce clashes between pro- and anti-government forces in the capital Sanaa and some other cities since the death of Gaddafi, implying that Saleh may launch a civil war in a bid to regain full control of the country.

"We will escalate peaceful protest movement to force Saleh to step down, and we hope he is the next one who faces similar fate of Gaddafi," opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan told Xinhua.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Yemen on Friday, calling for Saleh to transfer power through signing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal without any delay and end violence, and putting more pressure on the embattled president.

Doubtless, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh understood the lesson from Gaddafi's death but no way can one say how Saleh, who has faced nine-month protests calling for his departure, will exactly take the matter.

Observers predict that there might be two ways out for Saleh, giving up power soon or launching a civil war to regain full control of the country.

The resolution contains no sanction on Saleh or his regime, but it means if Saleh fails to implement it, the Security Council may draft further resolution, including sanctions forcing him to step down, which could push the 33-year-ruler to make a concession.

The Yemeni official media ignored the news of Gaddafi's death as Abdul Janadi, deputy information minister and government's spokesman, told Xinhua on Friday that the Yemeni government should not be busy with the death of Gaddafi at a time when it was trying to lift the country out of the current crisis.

"I don't think the president is going to step down, because if he is willing to do so, he should have done it as he had many opportunities to leave power with dignity during the past months, so it is impossible for him to resign without immense pressure by the international community," political analyst Mohamed al Qadhi said.

"If Saleh is forced to leave power, I think he will not hand it over to his opposition as he mentioned in his speech, but form a military council from his family members and his supporters to confront the attack by the opposition and continue running the country," al-Hammadi said, adding that in that case, Yemen could fall into a full-blown civil war and even turn to be an anarchic country like Somali.
Gaddafi's Golden Hand Gun

Moreover, Saleh and Gaddafi are both presidents with army background who ruled their countries for decades. The armed confrontations between the government forces and protesters finally resulted in the deaths of Gaddafi and some of his family members.

The Yemeni opposition expected a similar fate of Saleh, which the embattled president could definitely try to avoid, especially after being seriously injured in a bomb attack on his presidential palace on June 3.

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