Last weekend Yemen’s pro-democracy protesters were celebrating what they thought was the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 35-year reign. Friday, however, massive protesters in the streets of Sanaa will take on a much different tone.
Following emergency surgery in Saudi Arabia and despite reports of a long road to recovery after a missile attack left him badly wounded, reports coming out of the dwindling pro-Saleh camp suggest that the dictator is soon to return to Yemen, and to his position.
The regime is planning a pro-Saleh rally, and as with every other Friday attempt at a pro-regime rally it will doubtless be dwarfed by the opposition rally. Still, the marches show a divide in Yemeni society that will likely linger for years beyond the current protests.
Since Saleh left the country, the day to day operations of what territory the regime yet controls is in the hands of Major General Hadi, who US officials have endorsed as a potential successor. The opposition movement, however, is demanding a transitional ruling council to pave the way for free elections.
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