Presidential decrees to change Aden’s face
Major General Salem Qatan Qaid was appointed commander of the Southern Military Region and the 31st Armored Brigade, succeeding Mahdi Maqwala. Brigadier General Sadiq Saleh Haid was appointed Chief of Aden’s security.
These decrees came after the escalation of the youth revolution at Yemen's Change Squares. Protesters all across Yemen's governorates named last Friday the “Friday of Military Shake-up,” as they demanded that the military be reconstructed before any dialogues are entered with them.
The announcement of the appointments was met with applause by Joint Meeting Parities members. A senior Islah Party leader anticipated that this decree represented a start, and pointed out that other decisions would be issued.
He affirmed that newly-elected President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi would issue further decrees in upcoming days.
Joint Meeting Parties political activist Mohammad Abdul-Rahman said these decisions had been needed for a long time, and commented on the serious levels of recent insecurity in Aden as a result of failures by security authorities.
Still, Abdul-Rahman added that “Others objected to the selection of these officials, pointing out that the current stage requires more firm officials.” He expressed the hope that new decrees would be issued to change military unit commanders, and stressed the importance of integrating the military services.
Aden’s new security director Sadeq Haid said that among his priorities is the application of the Interior Ministry’s plan, which focuses on security, stability, and cooperation with all citizens.
Dr. Mohammad Qasim Al-Ghazali, a political analyst with an interest in military affairs, said the firing of Maqwlah as a commander of the Southern Region was designed to ease unrest in Aden, and pointed out that the military shake-up will take a long time.
“It is a good step that came as a response to political demands” he said.
A step on the right direction
Diplomatic sources anticipate that the upcoming days will see further appointments of governors according to a reconciliation between the President and the Joint Meeting Parties. Yemeni newspaper Akhbar Al-Yawam quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the changes in Aden met with the applause of ambassadors of countries overseeing the Gulf Cooperation Council power transfer deal.
The new commander of the Southern Region arrived in Aden on Saturday and took up his position under the supervision of a commission formed by the Defense and Interior Ministries.
The new governor took his oath before the president on Saturday and commenced his work as Aden's new governor.
The new governor of Aden, Waheed Ali Rasheed, was born in Aden and served as deputy governor of Aden since 1994. He served as a member of the executive office, as Chairman of the Political Department, and as Secretary-General of the Islah Party in Aden. He presided over a number of committees in Aden and was became known for his balanced approach towards national issues.
Major General Salim Ali Qatan was born in Al-Awaleq in Abyan governorate and occupied several military posts. Most recently, he worked as Deputy Chief of General Staff for Manpower Affairs and as Commander of the Shalal Brigade. Qatan took part in many security committees in Aden and the South generally. He received his university degree in Russia.
Security Chief of Aden, Brigadier General Sadiq Saleh Haid, was a participant in the National Front's liberation war. He was born in Aden and occupied many posts, most notably as the Chief of the Football Federation before Yemen's unity and as Commander of Operations for the Interior Ministry. Haid is recognized as having a strong personality and as possessing an ability to make firm decisions