The Yemeni president’s departure to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment has heightened political uncertainty. This uncertainty and the power vacuum in the country may lead to state fragmentation.
A tenuous ceasefire is holding in the capital. The al Ahmar family agreed to the truce to stop the fighting in Sana’a. Regime loyalists, however, fired on tribesmen in al Hasaba neighborhood. Yemeni military forces maintained military positions throughout the capital.
Yemeni opposition backed the transfer of power to the vice president. The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the main opposition bloc, called for a “complete transfer of power to the vice president.” Otherwise, the JMP would seek to form a transitional government. It is unclear whether President Ali Abdullah Saleh will return to Yemen after receiving treatment for his injuries in Saudi Arabia.
Political negotiations over the transition of power, sparked by Saleh’s abrupt departure to Saudi Arabia, conceal the threat of renewed armed conflict as both sides remain in military positions in the capital. The power vacuum in Yemen also increases the likelihood of state fragmentation.
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