‘Fired Yemen military chief refuses to quit’
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Last Updated: Saturday, April 07, 2012, 16:51
Sanaa: One of two Yemeni military chiefs sacked by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has refused to give up his post, a military source said on Saturday.

Air force chief General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, half brother of Hadi's predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh, refused to quit unless several senior defence ministry officials, including the minister himself, also leave, said the source.

In a message to his troops, Ahmar said that the presidential decree would not be "implemented" until Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and chief of staff Ali al-Ashwal were dismissed.

He also demanded that several members of the powerful Hashed tribe be forced into exile. The tribe backed defectors such as General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar during last year's anti-regime protests.

The official Saba news agency reported yesterday that Hadi issued a decree sacking the air force general as well as the head of the presidential guard, General Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, the former president's nephew.

Hadi took over from Saleh in February after the veteran leader handed over power as part of a Gulf-brokered settlement to end a bloody government crackdown on an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

In a televised speech on February 19, Hadi stressed the need to reunify the army as he pledged "radical reforms" and to fight al Qaeda as he outlined a two-year transition plan.

But critics of Saleh say he has been interfering in the smooth transition of power, and the reorganisation of the Army is seen as being a key part of that transition.


First Published: Saturday, April 07, 2012, 16:51

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