May 24, 2019

Top general defects to rebels in Yemen

I don't care if you all resign. I am not resigning and that is all that matters.

One of Yemen’s top army officers, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, has announced he is backing the protest movement against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A defiant President Saleh said he was “holding out” and the National Defence Council said it would block any “coup”. Just how long they can cling to power is unknown, with two other senior army commanders having also resigned.

Tanks have been deployed in the Yemen capital, Sanaa, to defend key installations, including the presidential palace, the defence ministry and the central bank.

But even President Saleh’s own Hashid tribe has spoken out against him. Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribal federation, told al-Jazeera TV that it was time for Mr Saleh to make a “quiet exit”.

One of the senior commanders that resigned was also a member of the Hashid tribe.

There are reports that the ashid tribe are backing General Ahmar as a possible replacement for President Saleh.

General Ahamr said “According to what I’m feeling, and according to the feelings of my partner commanders and soldiers… I announce our support and our peaceful backing to the youth revolution. We are going to fulfil our duties in preserving security and stability.”

Dozens of officers of various ranks lined up in central Sanaa to pledge their allegiance to the revolution.

On Sunday, President Saleh fired his entire cabinet in response to protests against his rule. He asked them to stay in place in a caretaker capacity. This is hardly rational. “Hey guys you are sacked, but could you hang around for a while becaue I don’t have any replacements for you yet.”

The key factor behind the resignations is the killing of at least 45 people at an anti-government demonstration on Friday.

Gunmen in civilian clothes fired on the rally in the capital’s central square, in what the opposition called a massacre.

The killings prompted tens of thousands of people to turn out at the funerals of the victims.

President Saleh declared a national state of emergency but denied his forces were behind the shooting.

Newswarped thinks that President Saleh’s 32 year rule will not extend into 33 years.