And Barack Obama couldn’t be more pleased: “Barack Obama called on Yemenis to immediately implement the ‘historic transition’ that had been agreed.”
This CNN article, by the way, continues the stupid mainstream media practice of referring to pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists as “conservatives,” so that conservatives are those who favor Sharia and simultaneously also those who oppose it. “Yemen after Saleh: Still a treacherous road,” by Tim Lister for CNN, November 24:
(CNN) — After months of bloodshed, intrigue and revenge that made Yemen seem like an Arabian version of Hamlet, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has finally transferred his powers to his vice president, and elections are to be held in three months….
April Longley Alley, Yemen analyst at the International Crisis Group, says the Riyadh deal offers an “opportunity to move past the current political impasse and to deal with critical issues like deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions as well as the very difficult task of institutional reform.”
Even so, Longley Alley and other analysts expect the epilogue to be anything but predictable. There are plenty of competing elements left behind: the thousands of mainly young demonstrators who took to the streets of Sanaa and other cities in January to demand democratic change, the tribal alliance that took up arms against Saleh, secessionists in the south and a Shiite rebellion in the north, well-organized Islamist groups and a budding al Qaeda franchise.
Perhaps the most powerful figure in Yemen now is Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of the 1st Armored Division. He defected in March and took a chunk of the army with him. His units now control northern districts of the capital and are facing off against powerful remnants of the Saleh clan. The president’s son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, long groomed to be his successor, and his nephew, Yahya Muhammad Saleh, command the most effective units….
Al-Ahmar makes some Western officials nervous because of his links with radical Sunni Islamists. Yemeni observers say the Muslim Brotherhood has long been influential within al-Ahmar’s military command, and he is known for his antipathy toward Yemen’s Shiites. A U.S. diplomatic cable from 2005 said that “Ali Mohsen’s questionable dealings with terrorists and extremists would make his accession unwelcome to the U.S. and others in the international community.”
Others in this powerful clan include Hamid al-Ahmar, a leader of the Islamist party Islah and a prominent businessman who has long been an opponent of the president. His brother Sadiq also has armed supporters in and around Sanaa….
Others who may play a significant role include the cleric Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who heads the Salafist (very conservative) wing of the Islah party. He is feared by liberal Yemenis….
Whatever power structure emerges, Yemen’s next leaders will face daunting tasks as they inherit a state where oil revenues have declined and the economy is in ruins, where poverty is endemic and a young and rapidly growing population faces a chronic shortage of water. Not to mention the percolating rebellions in the south and north, and a well-entrenched affiliate of al Qaeda….