US officials have informed the Yemeni opposition that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will soon return to the nation from neighboring Saudi Arabia. The news comes despite John Brennan’s visits to the region to try to convince Saleh to resign.
The news of Saleh’s impending return sparked angry reactions from the opposition political leadership, as well as the student pro-democracy movement, who blamed the Obama Administration for backing Saleh for years and now not convincing him to stand out.
For the students the ouster of Saleh was meant to give rise to free elections, but the Obama Administraiton’s efforts to that end have all come with the assumption that Saleh is simply no longer an effective strongman and that Major General Hadi, his current deputy, might have better luck in the role.
Though US officials did not specify a date for Saleh’s return, officials within his government have repeated suggested Sunday as a likely date – it is the 33rd anniversary of his original seizure of power.