In what is either a cynical attempt to buy more time or damning evidence of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s lack of near-term memory, the Yemeni ruler today insisted he supports a GCC-brokered transitional deal and early elections.
The reality, of course, is that Saleh has been insisting he supports this strategy for months, but every time a deal has reached the signing stage, Saleh has angrily condemned the deal for some minor detail within the text of the agreement. Sometimes it wasn’t even in the deal itself, but Saleh grew outraged at the notion of somebody in the opposition being included in the signing ceremony.
The US, for its part, reiterated calls for Saleh to transfer power to his deputy, Major General Hadi. The US has long supported Saleh, and continues to launch drone strikes to bolster his regime’s control over parts of the country, but sees Hadi as likely to be a more stable dictator.
Violence has been on the rise in Sanaa over the past week, with attacks centering around Saleh’s tribal rivals. At least 40 people were reported killed today.