Yemen: Warlords Threaten Peace Deal

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December 12, 2011:  The mass demonstrations have not let up, with crowds now demanding that president Saleh face trial despite the immunity clause in his new peace deal. Many protestors believe that the new government is just the old rulers repackaged to look different. The same powerful families, and their tribes, are looking out for themselves. Thus the former Saleh officials are still maintaining private armies and control over some of the security forces. There could still be a civil war because not a lot has changed.

President Saleh's son still controls the Republican Guard, which is still quite active and not responding to orders from the new government. Apparently the younger Saleh is negotiating a deal for himself. While his father may have issued the orders to shoot civilians it was the son who saw that those orders were carried out and the son still controls the most powerful military units in the country.

Islamic radical groups in four provinces (Abyan and Shabwa in the south and Marib and al Jawf in the southeast) are fighting for control of over a dozen towns and villages seeking to establish an Islamic state throughout the south, and then the north. This attitude grabs headlines but not a lot of real estate or popular support. These groups work with al Qaeda which means there is lots of violence and terrorism behind this Islamic uprising.

Some fighting continues in the capital as rival army factions still shoot at each other.

December 10, 2011: The new unity government was sworn in but the military is apparently not obeying all the orders it receives from the new civilian leadership.

December 9, 2011: Opposing forces (Republican Guard and rebel tribesmen) began moving out of the southern town of Taez where the fighting has been intense in the last week, with over a hundred casualties.

December 7, 2011: The new unity government was formed but it's unclear if all the government and rebel security forces will take orders from the new officials. The new government is supposed to run the country until new elections are held in February.

December 5, 2011: Opposing forces (Republican Guard and rebel tribesmen) began moving out of the southern town of Taez where the fighting has been intense in the last week, with over a hundred casualties. There is still gunfire and explosions in the city.

December 4, 2011: A committee of senior military and civilian officials has been formed to negotiate with military commanders over a transfer of power.

 

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