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YEMEN: Timeline of key events under new president

SANA’A, 26 April 2012 (IRIN) - Two months after Yemen’s new government was sworn in, violence in the south appears to be increasing with attacks and kidnappings blamed on militants, while more than 10 million people are food insecure and almost half a million internally displaced. The UN says at least 800,000 children are acutely malnourished.

The new president, Abdurabu Mansour Hadi, is struggling to restructure the army and rid it of relatives of former president Abdallah Saleh on the one hand, and key opposition leaders (his former adversaries) on the other. Meanwhile, the protests continue. Below is a timeline of key events during Hadi’s first 60 days in office:

25 February: At least 26 Republican Guard soldiers killed and more than 10 injured at a presidential palace in Mukalla city, Hadhramaut Governorate, just one hour after Hadi takes office.

27 February: Ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh officially hands over power to Hadi at a ceremony in Sana’a in the presence of foreign diplomats and Yemeni dignitaries.

1 March: Thirty killed in sectarian clashes between Houthi-led Shia fighters and members of the Islamist Islah Party in Hajjah Governorate.

2 March: Tens of thousands of protesters take to streets in Sana’a and other main cities on so-called “Friday of Restructuring the Army”, demanding the removal of Saleh’s relatives from their military and security posts.

4 March: Four soldiers killed in clashes with Islamic militants in Beidha Governorate, some 250km southeast of Sana’a.

5 March: Islamic militants storm a military camp in Abyan Governorate, leaving 185 soldiers dead and dozens of others injured; they loot heavy weapons including a tank and artillery pieces.

8 March: Seven killed in clashes between army members and Houthi fighters in Amran Governorate.

9 March: Tens of thousands of protesters take to streets in 14 governorates, demanding Hadi begin restructuring the divided army. Twenty-six Islamic militants killed in air raids in Beidha Governorate.

11 March: Gunmen in Marib Governorate attack the country’s main power plant and blow up an oil pipeline.

12 March: One killed, six injured in clashes between police and armed members of the Southern Movement (SM) in Hadhramaut Governorate.

13 March: Eight people, including four Republican Guard soldiers, killed and more than a dozen injured in a car suicide bombing in Beidha Governorate.

16 March: Tens of thousands rally in Sana’a and other main cities, demanding removal of Saleh’s relatives from top posts in the military and security institutions, and the abolition of the law granting immunity to Saleh.

18 March: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate in Sana’a and other main cities, commemorating the first anniversary of “Friday of Dignity” when 52 protesters were killed in Sana’a.

19 March: Three killed and another dozen injured in clashes between police and SM gunmen in the southern city of Aden.

22 March: Ten killed, several injured in landmine blasts in Kusher District, Hajjah Governorate, following clashes between Houthi fighters and armed tribesmen.

23 March: Hundreds of thousands protest in Sana’a and other main cities on so-called Friday of “Executing killers of protesters is our demand”.

26 March: President Hadi makes a surprise visit to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, to get support for implementation of transitional reforms.

31 March: More than 28 soldiers killed, dozens injured or held captive by Islamic militants in Lahj Governorate.

1 April: Seven soldiers ambushed, killed by Islamic militants in Hadhramaut.

7 April: Hadi begins to remove some of Saleh’s relatives and defected leaders from their posts.

10 April: More than 100 soldiers killed in an attack by Islamic militants in Lawdar, Abyan. Another seven killed on the highway between Marib and Shabwa governorates.

13 April: Tens of thousands of protesters in Sana’a and other main cities demand that Hadi remove other relatives of the ex-president from key posts in the military and security institutions.

15 April: Dismissed Air Force Commander Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, who is a half-brother to the ex-president, given a 48-hour deadline to hand over to his successor Rashad al-Janad. The decision is supported by EU diplomats who meet Hadi. Tariq Saleh, nephew of the ex-president and commander of the Presidential Guard, refused to be moved to an Armoured Division in Hadhramaut.

16 April: Hundreds of Saleh supporters demonstrate in Sana’a, demanding his return to power. Speaking in front of hundreds of young supporters, Saleh said: “No one may surrender himself to death or liquidation”, giving a signal that his relatives should not be removed from their senior army and security posts.

17 April: Dismissed commander al-Ahmar prevents demilitarization committee from accessing the Air Force Headquarters to arrange a handover to his successor. The issue is transferred to the UN Security Council, which is supervising the transition in Yemen.

18 April: UN Envoy Jamal Binomar visits Yemen to discuss the power transition process.

20 April: Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets in most Yemeni cities demanding the prosecution of military leaders who refused Hadi’s orders on their dismissals.

24 April: Dismissed Air Force Commander Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar hands over to his successor.


IRINnews reports on Yemen
Saeeda TV station
Ministry of Interior
Yemen Today TV station
Yemen Polling Centre (local think-tank)


Theme (s): Conflict, Governance, Security, Urban Risk,

Copyright © IRIN 2012
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