May 25, 2011

Saleh Denies Stoking Civil War, Plays Somalia Card

As Yemeni security forces and members of the Hashid tribe continue to battle in Sana’a, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has rejected any responsibility for the three-day conflict. Supporters of Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, the Hashid chieftain, accuse Saleh’s troops of attempting to forcefully enter al-Ahmar’s house. Several government officials have also admitted to provoking a clash in order to destabilize the youth’s peaceful revolution.

Saleh now tells Reuters
, "What happened was a provocative act to drag us into civil war, but it is limited to the Ahmar sons. They bear responsibility for shedding the blood of innocent civilians. Until this second, they are attacking the interior ministry. But we don't want to widen the confrontation.”

He adds, "Yemen, I hope, will not be a failed state or another Somalia. The people are still keen for a peaceful transition of power.”

The people, yes - but not Saleh. This nonsense once more proves that he has no intention of ceding power willingly. The Yemen Post records a more accurate version of reality:
The mediation committee between President Saleh and the Ahmar clan is blaming Saleh for the attacks. A member of the committee told Yemen Post "Ahmar family agreed to stop fire and Saleh knew that."

"We were on the phone with Saleh telling him that Sadeq ahmar will stop using force. Saleh did not listen and minutes later a missile hit the house injuring or killing the mediation committee."

"We are assure now that Saleh does not want to stop the chaos and attacks even if Sadeq agrees to that."

"The mediation committee blame Saleh for the attacks and killings inside the Ahmar residence. No one else will be held accountable."

"For this, we step aside from our mediation and stand in the side of Sadeq Ahmar against Ali Abdullah Saleh."
Yet U.S. officials continue to urge Saleh to sign the GCC accord in good faith. Delusion must be contagious.

Cutting Saleh's life-line is overdue, but does President Barack Obama have the guts?

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