All about Yemen’s Hadi new appointments

Alwaght- The resigned Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi has dismissed on Sunday Prime Minister and Vice President Khaled Bahah from his posts after a long rift between the former who is backed by Saudi Arabia and the latter who is favored by the UAE.

Mansour Hadi’s new decision to remove his prime minister, which is being made some two weeks ahead of the new round of UN-sponsored peace negotiations which are set to be held in Kuwait between the Yemeni warring sides, has come with two other decisions: First, appointing Major-General Ali Mohsen Saleh al-Ahmar as vice-president instead of Khaled Bahah. Second, picking Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr as the prime minster of the Yemeni government. Hadi left the cabinet’s ministers unchanged according to the former decisions.


Who is bin Daghr?

Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr is a former leader in the Yemeni Socialist Party. He also was the head of the Circle of Mass Organizations in Yemen’s General People’s Congress party, as he was also a close friend of the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salah, from whom Daghr defected last year.

Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr also served as the minister of communications in the Mohammad Salem Basindawa-led national unity government which was formed by Mansour Hadi in 2011. Furthermore, a presidential order has appointed bin Daghr in mid-2014 as deputy PM in Basindawa’s government in addition to his previous post as minister of communications. In 2015, the resigned Yemeni President Mansour Hadi chose bin Daghr as his advisor.

Sources close to Mansour Hadi have suggested that appointment of bin Daghr as head of the government is coming as a sign that the Saudi-led coalition has decided to attract the National People’s Congress, which enjoys a heavy weight in the country’s political scene, without including the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is a leader in the party.


Who is Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar?

Major-General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar has strong links to Riyadh. He is considered as the key factor of the six wars waged against Yemen’s Ansarulah Movement by the Yemeni army between 2004 and 2009.

Up to 2014, Major-General al-Ahmar was the chief commander of the Northwestern Military District as well as the Yemeni army’s First Armored Division. He was seen as second man in Yemen after the former President Saleh. However, discords grew between al-Ahmar and Saleh in 2011, leading in a couple of clashes fought by al-Ahmar’s loyal forces against the pro-Saleh presidential guards. The crisis ended in signing the Persian Gulf Council Agreement in 2012. Afterwards, al-Ahmar was picked as President Mansour Hadi’s advisor. The resigned Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who fled the country to Saudi Arabia, gave a presidential order on February 22, 2016, determining Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar as the deputy chief commander of the Yemeni armed forces.

Major reasons

Actually, the tensions erupted between Mansour Hadi and Khaled Bahah since the beginning of the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen, but this new Mansour Hadi’s decision to dismiss Bahah, the cause of which Mansour Hadi has said to be the past failures of Bahah’s government, uncovers the size of the struggles under way between Saudi Arabia and the UAE after several assassinations and explosions in Yemen’s Aden province carried out by the two sides’ operatives aimed against one another. In his dismissal statement, Hadi has said that “the decision is coming as a result of the failures of the government during the past span of time in economic, public services and security fields.”

The surprise Mansour Hadi’s decision, which according to the Yemeni sources is originally a Saudi Arabian decision, lays bare the efforts made by Riyadh’s “agents”, on top of them the resigned Yemeni president and his companions who fled to the kingdom, to foil the UN and regional attempts to make peace in Yemen through appointing Major-General al-Ahmar as Yemen’s vice-president. This Mansour Hadi’s move is considered to be a pre-emptive step before Kuwait peace negotiations, set for April 18, in which the national forces could insist on removing him from the country’s political scene. To put it another way, Mansour Hadi, who already knows that the political forces would not accept him to stay in the politics, tries to put the military and political forces ahead of two choices: Him or al-Ahmar, who is already refused. In fact, the fear of being distanced from the country’s political scene, once an agreement is brokered in Kuwait meeting, has pushed him to make the decision.

At the same time, the sources have suggested that it is in Mansour Hadi’s best interest to have al-Ahmar his deputy because that could drive many Mansour Hadi’s opponents to accept him not because they are interested in him but because they don’t want al-Ahmar become president of the country.

On the other side, Bahah has reacted to the dismissal decision on the social media. The dismissed PM, who has recently visited the UAE and has threatened not to return to Riyadh, has said that “we were present when many have fled the scene, and the history would record that.” “In ordinary conditions the course is distracted by challenges and difficulties, let alone in the exceptional and tough conditions, but the difficulties bow before the sincere intentions and genuine wills to do something for the country, and we together stand firm in front of tough times as we go ahead,“ asserted Khaled Bahah.

Bahah continued that “when the president just talks the talk but does not walk the walk, the failures of proponents and defeats in the battlefield ensue.”

Without doubt, Bahah’s present position and the dismissal’s consequences would not appear quickly, especially that any anti-Saudi stance would mean removal by the Saudis as it happens now to the Yemenis, on whom a war is imposed by Riyadh. Bahah’s standing would leave influences in some Yemeni provinces including Aden because he has strong regional and international communications and attendances.

By Al Waght