Saleh Announces ‘Unity Government’ Aimed at Ending Yemen Protests

Clashes Continue in South, at Least 10 Killed

The latest in a long line of comments that suggest that the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh may come to an end, President Saleh today announced that Major General Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi would form a new “transitional” government.

The government, which Saleh termed a “unity” government, would have Maj. Gen. Hadi, who had been the US government’s preferred ruler, as its head, and would rule for a two year period of transition before following through with some as-yet-unspecified reforms.

The move, according to Yemen’s state media, would be the fulfillment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative aimed at regime change, and in return for agreeing to step down Saleh would receive immunity from prosecution.

The opposition will likely uniformly welcome the ouster of Saleh, but whether or not the new regime is truly transitional or ends up another dictatorship remains to be seen. Whether Hadi can reconquer the large number of regions that have fallen out of central government control is also unclear.

To that end fighting is continuing in the far south, where troops reportedly killed at least 10 militants in Zinjibar. The town of Zinjibar and the Abyan Province were taken over this summer by a faction called the Ansar al-Sharia and it continues to be hotly contested.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.