Chiara Onassis | 30 April 2012
SANA’A: Ali Abdullah Saleh received on Monday UN special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, amidst rumors that the veteran politician was about to leave the country for the UAE then Russia.
Over the past weeks, Saleh and his successor, President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi came head to head, arguing over demotions and appointments within the armed forces.
Adamant that he would implement the GCC brokered power-transfer agreement according to his interpretation rather than that of Saleh, Hadi profoundly upset his former head of state, breaking a network he took 30 years to perfect.
Benomar famously came to Yemen to ensure that Saleh’s family members stopped interfering with the transition process, warning of severe reprisals if they did not comply and obey all presidential decrees.
Saleh criticized the coalition government and President Hadi accusing them both of being al-Islah’s puppets (Yemeni Islamic faction) by demoting all the former regime’s men while appointing Islahi militants, warning that the move stood against the sharing-power clause.
Those present at the meeting told Bikyamasr.com that Benomar urged Saleh to retire gracefully from power altogether, including his party the General People’s Congress, assuring him that the international community would honor and respect his immunity.