Saturday 16 December 2017

Crisis in Yemen is not solved by president's exit

Rachael Alexander

An authoritarian president is forced to flee abroad after more than three decades in power. Crowds celebrate the autocrat's ignominious departure.

It is tempting to view the dramatic events surrounding Ali Abdullah Saleh's flight from Yemen as Egypt or Tunisia Part Two and hail it as a new chapter in the story of the Arab Spring.

Tempting, but probably wrong; there are many caveats in this narrative. No doubt the uprisings in Cairo and Tunis inspired those protesting against Mr Saleh's 32-year reign -- and the president surely did Yemen no favours by hanging on in the capital, Sana'a, a virtual prisoner, months after it had become clear that he had lost the confidence of the northern tribes on whose support his rule depended.

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