Transfer of Yemen’s top leaders namely President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the neighboring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for treatment from wounds inflicted upon them in a recent attack have paved the way for “detente” on the troubled Yemeni arena.
Whether Saleh, and his aides, will return home after the treatment at the Saudi hospitals has become a question preoccupying thoughts and concerns of many Yemenis, although the prospects are bleak, considering the serious and critical cuts the top men suffered in the recent attack.
Saleh, who has ruled the Gulf country for some 40 years, was seriously wounded in a recent attack that targeted the presidential compound in the heart of the Yemeni Capital. Reports indicated that he was wounded in an artillery or missile attack, but fresh reports today speculated that the fiery blast that ravaged the mosque where he was praying might have been caused by a bomb.
The reports being promoted currently about his possible comeback in two weeks might be intended to defuse tension in the troubled country and pave the way for diplomatic activities at the regional and international levels to redraw the map of political powers in Yemen and arrange trouble-free transfer of powers. Currently these prerogatives have been shifted to his deputy, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in line with the Yemeni Constitution.
Hadi is likely to be chosen as president, with tentative consent of the influential political forces, namely the Joint Meeting, the opposition military commander, Major General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, as well as the influential tribal chief, Sadeq Al-Ahmar. The latter has already agreed to Hadi’s call for ceasing fighting with pro-Saleh forces.
GCC states, namely Saudi Arabia, have already shown content with Hadi’s takeover of the jurisdictions of the president. King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz called him, on Friday, and the Kingdom dispatched oil and gas supplies to the fuel-thirsty nation.
Hadi has also received calls of assurances from leaders of major super powers, namely the United States and Britain.
Moreover, the prospects that Yemen would not be re-ruled by Saleh are high considering the fact that he has accepted to leave his homeland after finding himself in a political field full of thorns, obstacles and hardships.
The notion that Saleh and his aides opted to go to the kingdom solely for medical treatment is strongly ruled out, considering that on identical past occasions, the top Yemeni leaders chose to be treated in hospitals in much more medically advanced nations in the West — thus the political dimension of Saleh’s presence in the Gulf country is clearly visible.
Analysts delve deeper into the prospected goals of choosing Saudi Arabia, such as the close proximity to the Yemeni political arena and the Saudi political leadership, perhaps to opine on future conciliation steps for the Yemeni nation, or the fear that Saleh and his “henchmen” might be brought to justice in the West, if they chose to be there.
Departure of Saleh and his aides does not necessarily mean that all the thorns and snags on the path of political conciliation for Yemen have been cleared, thus Riyadh and Washington might be compelled to exert enormous efforts to try ensure smooth transfer of power that would also warrant restructuring of the ruling system that has been based on alliances among influential families, clans and tribes.
Hadi will have to face difficulties, such as presence of Saleh’s relatives in the senior posts of security apparatuses, as well as the deteriorating economic and living conditions.