The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Bloomberg Column–Yemen’s Arab Transition Model Seen to Be in Trouble: Noe & Raad

The so-called Yemen model for persuading a dictator to take the first step from power — often invoked as international diplomats look for ways to end bloodshed in Syria — is increasingly seen as foundering.

After a month in office, Yemen’s new president, Abdurabuh Hadi, is struggling to hold the strife-ridden country together. Commentators in the region who recently were euphoric at the decision of Hadi’s predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to step down have turned darkly pessimistic.

Hadi faces severe pressure from Saleh, who recently threatened to bring down the new government, using the votes of Cabinet ministers who remain loyal to him.

At the same time, clashes between the army — itself split along political and tribal lines — and a resurgent al-Qaeda that now holds tracts of Yemeni territory have resulted in hundreds of casualties over several weeks of often intense fighting, including in key towns and cities.

Even Iran has been injected into the mix, with the U.S. and some of its Arab regime allies in the Gulf accusing officials in Tehran of supporting a religious minority in the north known as the Houthists, as well as secessionists in the south.

Saleh ended his 33-year rule in late February, following a presidential election in which Hadi was the only candidate allowed to stand. It wasn’t much of a democratic transition, but it was widely welcomed in the region as providing an escape from a potential full-scale civil war.

The deal under which Saleh handed power to Hadi, engineered by the U.S., Europe and the Gulf states, provided the former president with immunity from prosecution. It also effectively allowed him and his family to retain significant influence in the security services and in the current Cabinet of national reconciliation…

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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