Government formation delayed
The formation of the new transitional government has been delayed until the current government appoints its representatives to the new military committee.
The main opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) has said that it will not name its members of the transitional government until the names from the government for the military committee, due to be released earlier this week, are known.
The concern arises because the new military committee, part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreement, is expected to create an independent army free from the influence of any factions or family. The latter is a reference to outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s family which currently controls around 60% of the country’s military and security apparatus.
As if to prove the necessity of the JMP position, the army is currently massing in the area around the city of Taiz in south west Yemen and shelling civilian areas. Over the past two days at least 28 civilians have been killed and doctors are reporting many more casualties.
It is this concern about the activities of the armed forces as well as the immunity from prosecution for Saleh which is causing the JMP to insist on knowing the names. Meanwhile mass anti-government demonstrations have continued with more than 500,000 people reportedly demonstrating yesterday.