ethiopiantimes

February 28, 2012

Ethiopian dictator harbours Yemeni dictator

Filed under: Azeb Mesfin,Ethiopia,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 12:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Aides to Ali Abdullah Saleh said Monday that the ousted Yemeni president plans to go into exile in Ethiopia, as pressures mounted on him to depart the country for fear of sparking new cycles of violence.

The news that the longtime Yemeni leader might leave to Ethiopia marks the latest twist in the meandering story of Saleh’s fall from grace.

As rumors have circulated of Saleh seeking refuge in a myriad of countries including Oman, and the United Arab Emirates where some of his family is already setting up residence, the ousted president has lingered on in Yemen, much to the dismay of the man who replaced him, the international officials who facilitated the handover of power, and people on the street who want his head.

The aides said that the former president will leave Yemen within two days along with some of his family members where he will reside in a villa in the suburb of Addis Ababa.

A diplomat in Sanaa confirmed that arrangements had been made for Saleh’s departure for Ethiopia. Aides said that visas have been issued and Saleh’s belongings already shipped to Ethiopia. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Inside the presidential palace there were signs that Saleh’s time in power was at an end.

Witnesses who went inside Monday said a whole hall that used to display precious souvenirs, antiques, golden watches, guns, hunting rifles and other paraphernalia collected under Saleh’s regime, was bare on Monday.

A senior army officer and a presidency employee told AP that the commander of the Presidential Guards, who is also Saleh’s nephew, has ordered his guards to move all the antiques to an undisclosed location. Even alcohol which Saleh used to serve to his western visitors had been carted away, said another employee.

Officials said that Saleh came under heavy pressures from Western and Arab countries to leave the country, upon repeated requests by the newly elected president and transitional government to prevent Saleh from staying in Yemen.

Newly inaugurated President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was sworn in as president on Saturday following an election aimed at ending more than a year of political turmoil. Hadi was the only candidate. A power-transfer deal backed by the Gulf and U.S. gave Saleh immunity from prosecution in exchange for stepping down.

Saleh’s permanent departure from Yemen was not spelled out in the agreement but it was generally understood by all parties that he would find a new home. The fear was that if he stayed in Yemen permanently he would incite riots of those calling for his prosecution and, his opponents feared he would be able to exert control through his powerful network of well-placed family members and allies.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: