‘Fired Yemen military chief refuses to quit’

Last Updated: Saturday, April 7, 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 7, 2012 - 16:51

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