A Yemen Divided: Conspirator And Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Realize That The Game Has Become More Difficult And Dangerous
23 February 2015
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
The exit of the late Kuwaiti emir and crown prince in August 1990—when Iraq
invaded Kuwait—is considered the most important step in killing off invader
Saddam Hussein's dream of eliminating the legitimacy of the Kuwaiti state.
After invading Kuwait, the then-Iraqi president tried all possible means of
imposing his legitimacy. He declared the Gulf state an Iraqi governorate but
failed, then tried to assign a Kuwaiti as a ruler but he was not recognized
by any party.
The same is happening in Yemen with President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi's escape
from his Houthi captors, who imprisoned him in the presidential palace to
force him to either be their employee or to sign a deal giving up the
presidency. His escape to Aden maintained his legitimacy.
Of course, Yemen is not exactly Kuwait, and the Houthis are not Saddam. The
Houthis are part of the Yemeni forces, although they are linked to the
Iranian regime, and Aden is a second capital of Yemen. Hadi's escape is a
major blow to the rebels as they have lost the game of compromise.
The president's move to the city of Aden will mean a Yemen contested by two
governments and two capitals. Hadi has been recognized by all Yemeni
political forces, including Houthi ones, and the United Nations recognizes
him to this day.
This struggle may divide the country into at least two Yemens, unless the
Houthis and their ally, conspirator and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh,
realize that the game has become more difficult and dangerous, and that they
should back down.
In Aden, there will be a government recognized by the United Nations and the
international community. Even major powers were prepared for Hadi's escape
from house arrest by closing their embassies days earlier.
There will be a semi-government representing the Houthis and their allies in
Sana'a, but with no one recognizing it domestically or internationally. Most
probably, the Houthis and Saleh will disagree because this semi-government
will not have sufficient resources to confront the growing popular uprising
Hinting at besieging those who staged the coup has helped UN Special Envoy to
Yemen Jamal Benomar in strengthening his stance. He will try to convince the
Houthis and Saleh supporters to be part of a legitimate government instead of
Al Rashed is the general manager of
Al -Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-
Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a
senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a
US post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on many
TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.