Sit-in concluded, Air Force protesters still await change
Despite months of protests against him, a defiant Al-Ahmar - half-brother of ousted President Saleh – has continued to refuse to vacate his position.
Hadi has promised the protesters that he would deal with their demands seriously and meet them within 15 days’ time, according to Belal Al-Sohbani, one of the Air Force soldiers who took part in the protests against Al-Ahmar.
Al-Sohbani told the Yemen Times that the protesters decided to end their sit-in because of Hadi’s promises.
He said that security reasons were also behind their departure.
“We don’t want to cause trouble for President Hadi through our presence next to his house,” he said.
However, Al-Sohbani indicated that if Hadi didn’t positively respond to their demands, they would resume their sit-in at the same location.
According to Al-Sohbani, Yemen’s Air Force, which is equipped with different types of aircraft, has skilled and professional officers who aren’t appreciated or respected by Air Force leadership.
“We have ended our sit-in, but we will continue to strike,” he said. “We will not give up until Al-Ahmar departs.”
“He has no more time to play with. More than 70 percent of Air Force soldiers, officers and pilots in Sana’a and other governorates are still on strike,” he explained.
Major Sadeq Al-Moradi, an Air Force officer, said there are indicators that Al-Ahmar will soon step down.
He told the Yemen Times that the protesters didn’t give up, but that “they took a ‘revolutionary break’ for 15 days.”
He pointed out that the protesters decided to fold their tents and leave the place after Hadi asked them to leave for security reasons.“If these days pass without Al-Ahmar’s resignation, we will return stronger and with a new approach,” he said, and indicated that the protesters would stage further events and use other forms of pressure if Al-Ahmar’s resistance continued.