Saleh relative resigns as Yemen air force head

SANAA Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:44pm IST

Related Topics

SANAA (Reuters) - A half-brother of former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh has quit as air force commander, having previously refused to do so in a challenge to new President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a U.N. envoy said on Tuesday.

"The handover has taken place as stated in the decree issued by the president," Jamal Benomar told reporters in Sanaa. "It was a smooth handover with no conditions whatsoever".

Hadi replaced nearly 20 officers this month, including air force chief Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, who besieged the capital's airport, grounding all flights, in protest at the decision.

Ahmar's capitulation is Hadi's first successful move to distance Saleh's relatives from power and restructure the armed forces, threatening the vested interests of Yemen's old guard.

Benomar, who helped push through the plan under which Saleh eventually left office after more than a year of popular unrest, persuaded the former president to secure his half-brother's compliance with Hadi's directive, a government official said.

"The U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar conducted negotiations to convince the former president of the need to implement the decree to remove his half brother from the leadership of the air force," said the official, on condition of anonymity.

Saleh's son, nephew and other allies remain in place as heads of important military units.

General Rashed Ali Nasser al-Jund replaces Saleh's half-brother as head of the air force. Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar has been made assistant to the defence minister.

Hadi, who had been Saleh's vice-president, was elected president unopposed in February under a U.S.-backed transition plan brokered by Yemen's wealthy Gulf neighbours.

(Reporting by Tom Finn and Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage