Should Yemen’s Saleh await Gaddafi’s destiny?
Ali Abdullah Saleh who has clung to power for more than 33 years was never challenged by a serious political rival or an all-encompassing social movement.
However, Saleh now faces the worst political crisis in his country since he assumed office as the President of Yemen Arab Republic in 1978 and seems to be awaiting a bitter destiny like that of the fugitive Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was captured and shot dead in the Battle of Sirte on October 20, 2011 by the revolutionary forces of the National Transitional Council.
Perhaps the only propitious event that has taken place during the course of the Yemen Revolution against the corrupt government of Ali Abdullah Saleh was that Tawakel Karman, the female Yemeni journalist and political activist who has been called the Iron Woman and Mother of the Revolution by his fellow citizens won the Nobel Peace Prize and became the first Arab woman who has ever won such as prize. She also became the youngest woman to win the prestigious award.
The situation in Yemen is not that much different from that of Libya. Abdullah Saleh has numerous loyalists and his mercenaries spare no effort to suppress the protesting people. They kill demonstrators mercilessly and are not afraid of international consequences, because they know that they have the unconditional support of the dictatorial regime of Saudi Arabia and the United States, as well.
However, the situation in Yemen brings to mind the story of the Libyan civil war. Gaddafi had also thousands of mercenaries and supporters who believed that he had improved their living standards and bettered the North African country’s economy.
What toppled Gaddafi was his corruption, illegitimate accumulation of capital and wealth, creating a circle of his sons and other family members who had dominated the majority of enterprises and ventures in the country and his unchallenged, unrivaled political stronghold which had made the people reach the end of their patience.
The same applies to Ali Abdullah Saleh. He wants to transfer the power to his son or to his deputy who is absolutely compliant with and obedient to him and this is what makes the Yemeni people unable to tolerate him anymore.
As it was the case with Gaddafi, it seems that the same destiny awaits Ali Abdullah Saleh. Soon or late, he should hand over the power and perhaps the deplorable death of Muammar Gaddafi can serve as a good lesson for him to submit to the demands of the people; otherwise, it is the communal will of the people which will prevail and bring him down from his 33-year rule over the subjugated Yemen.
Now, the United Nations Security Council has adopted the resolution 2014 which demands Saleh to give up power; however, the Yemeni revolutionaries believe that this resolution is fragile and indecisive and will grant Saleh immunity from being brought to justice and put on trial.
The proposed power transfer plan brokered by the members of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) has made sure that Saleh will be given amnesty and exempted from being tried. This is what the people of Libya cannot tolerate.
What is clear is that the oppression of the oppressor will not last too long. We should sit back and wait for the coming days to see how the people of Yemen will determine their future without the relentless dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian media correspondent, freelance journalist and interviewer.