March 13, 2012

Graphic: Yemen's Parallel Revolution

The Yemeni uprising has entered its second stage, the Parallel Revolution. The movement has consisted of a wave of labor strikes and protests against regime officials at military, government, and commercial institutions across the country. The Parallel Revolution has emerged in institutions of all sizes, ranging from local schools and factories to entire government ministries.

This diagram shows some of the most important officials targeted by the Parallel Revolution since the movement’s start in December 2011. In many cases, these men are former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s friends and relatives. The two most important dismissals to date are those of Ali al Shater, long-time confidant of Saleh and former editor-in-chief of the army’s 26 September newspaper, and Abdul Khaleq al Qadhi, son-in-law to Saleh and suspended director of Yemenia Airways. So far newly elected President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has resisted demands to remove top military commanders. For example, he has not responded to calls for the dismissal of Air Force Commander Mohammed Saleh al Ahmar, even though the Air Force mutiny has lasted for over a month and spread to multiple bases. 

In the military, the majority of the ejected officials have occupied lower positions. Hamoud al Sheikh was dismissed as Dean of Faculty of the College of Aviation and Air Defense, even though he is a long-time supporter of Saleh and from his tribe. Abdullah Qairan was removed from this position as Taiz’s chief of security, although he too was close with the former president. Local commanders Abdullatif al Masri of the Hudaydah traffic police was ejected last December, as was Abdullatif al Jalal of the Red Sea Division of the Coast Guard, though their commanders in Sana’a have kept their posts. Hadi’s handling of the Parallel Revolution will determine the future of Yemen’s military and security, especially if the pressure against the men at the top of command mounts to a greater pitch.