Saleh in Saudi Arabia


President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been moved to Saudi Arabia where he has undergone treatment for wounds suffered during a rocket attack on the presidential compound on Thursday. Although the Information Ministry said originally that Saleh was not hurt, they then said that he had facial and neck burns, and yesterday they admitted that he was in surgery for shrapnel wounds to the chest. He has taken much of his family and close advisers with him.

The vice president Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Hadi is now in charge. He will now have the task of trying to bring a ceasefire back to the country. Although he is not a strong figure, he was the person the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had suggested that Saleh should hand over to in their mediation talks.

What is unclear is whether Saleh will return or if this is the end of his 33 year rule. Much of this depends upon the vice president and the opposition and how quickly they can get together to move forward a programme for a transitional government.

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