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

Korean Boat Tragedy

Family members of a missing passenger onboard the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized on Wednesday, look at the sea as they wait for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sunken Korea ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify dead

Relatives of some of the more than 200 children missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offered DNA swabs on Saturday to help identify the dead as a rescue turned into a mission to recover the vessel and the bodies of those on board.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Everest Tragedy

Everest Tragedy

Death toll climbs in worst tragedy on Everest  Full Article 

Missing Plane

Missing Plane

Current underwater search for Malaysia plane could end within a week  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible  Full Article 

Japan Military

Japan Military

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China  Full Article 

Journalists Released

Journalists Released

Kidnapped French journalists found on Turkey's Syrian border   Full Article 

Papal Message

Papal Message

Pope Good Friday service underscores plight of the suffering.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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