Friday, April 07, 2006

The President and the Sheikh



(Sheikh Abdullah and the Son, Ahmad Ali Abdullah Salih)

Here is a very intriguing story from al-Wasat, an independent Yemeni weekly, about a tribal delegation that is going to Riyadh to talk with Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar about his son's desire to form a new party. Sheikh Hussein is an MP for the ruling GPC, but has been talking about breaking away and forming a new party.

This story from al-Nass says that Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar has denied saying that he will leave Yemen to President Salih and his sons. The story says that Sarah Phillips' story in MERIP is incorrect (see below). The story was originally broken by al-Rai News, here is a link to the brief.

Khaled al-Hammadi of al-Quds al-Arabi is also discussing the story.

Al-Jazeera, al-Arabiyya, al-Sharq al-Awsat and al-Hayat had nothing on the story nor really anything on Yemen in general.

The dispute, if one can call it that, has been reported on by Sarah Phillips in a decent article for MERIP, although it now appears that Sheikh Abdullah is denying the reports.

Here is a link to a News Yemen story that explains that Sheikh Abdullah is quite upset with Phillips' article.

Sheikh Abdullah and the President have had periodic spats before, and they will likely increase as both men attempt to set the table for their respective sons to take over in the coming years. The current alliance between Hashid and the government - even though it isn't perfect - can't possibly continue for years to come as there is going to be a much smaller pie, as Yemen faces a number of challenges in the coming decade, which could lead to disastorous results.

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