Yemen president sacks Saleh half-brother, son remains

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2012 4:40 PM
Yemen president sacks Saleh half-brother, son remains

SANAA (Reuters) - Yemen's president removed a half brother of former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday as head of the air force, but left Saleh's son, nephew and other allies in place as heads of important military units.

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had served as Saleh's deputy, took power in February after standing as the only candidate in a presidential election, part of a deal negotiated by Yemen's neighbors for Saleh to step down after 33 years in power.

State news agency Saba said Hadi appointed General Rashed Ali Nasser al-Jund as air force commander, replacing Saleh's half brother, General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, who was made an assistant to the defence minister.

Under the power transfer deal, Hadi is tasked with reunifying the army, which had split during a year-long uprising against Saleh's rule.

Saba said that a senior army officer loyal to dissident General Ali Mohsen, who broke away from Saleh after the protests began, was also replaced, along with two provincial governors appointed by the former president.

The reshuffle did not affect Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ex-president's son and commander of the Republican Guards, or Saleh's nephew, Brigadier General Yehia Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, who heads the paramilitary Central Security Forces.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Peter Graff)