- Title: YEMEN: Rally to support President Hadi's military power play
- Date: 20th December 2012
- Summary: SANAA, YEMEN (DECEMBER 20, 2012) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING SLOGANS: ''Free revolution, oh Hadi, be proud of yourself." PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CARRYING BANNER WHICH READS IN ARABIC: "We support the decisions of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi." PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING: "No to immunity, we want Saleh to be prosecuted." PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CARRYING BANNER WHICH READS IN ARABIC: "Thank you dear president, you brought the smile back to the mothers and widows of martyrs." MORE OF PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, MOHAMED AL-AHDAL, SAYING: "They are brave and strong decrees, we have been waiting for them for so long, and even though they have come late, what is more important is that they meet the revolutionaries' aims." MORE OF PROTESTERS MARCHING AND SHOUTING SLOGANS WOMEN PROTESTERS MARCHING VARIOUS OF WOMEN MARCHING AND CHANTING: "We have ousted the brutal, we have ousted Saleh." WOMAN PROTESTER DOING VICTORY SIGN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER IMAN ALI, SAYING: "We see it as a right move to build new Yemen. They are also brave decrees taken by the new president for the purpose of building up Yemen." MORE OF VARIOUS OF WOMEN PROTESTERS MARCHING VARIOUS OF SECURITY GUARDS OUTSIDE HOUSE OF YEMENI PRESIDENT, ABD-RABBU MANSOUR HADI MORE OF PROTESTERS MARCHING AND SHOUTING SLOGANS
- Embargoed: 4th January 2013 12:00
- Location: Yemen
- Country: Yemen
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA44ACXDNQXTF0SCOM17XX5L475
- Story Text: Thousands of Yemeni protesters marched in the capital Sanaa on Thursday (December 20) to voice support for President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's decrees.
Hadi ordered a broad overhaul of the military on Wednesday (December 19).
State television said President Hadi had issued decrees that restructured the armed forces into four major units and abolished the elite Republican Guard and the First Armoured Division.
The Republican Guard has been headed by Brigadier General Ahmed Saleh, the ex-president's son and one of Hadi's foes. The decrees would appear to deprive the general of this senior post.
The decrees, published by the official SABA news agency, also give Hadi direct control over some units separate from the Republican Guard that had also been under General Saleh's command, including special forces and anti-terrorism units.
They also place the presidential guard, special operations command and other strategic military units under Hadi's direct command.
In a move which could undermine a political rival and deepen instability in the impoverished Arab state, Yemenis on the streets of Sanaa expressed their strong support to Hadi's decrees, seeing that they would help rebuild Yemen.
"They are brave and strong decrees, we have been waiting for them for so long, and even though they have come late, what is more important is that they meet the revolutionaries' aims," said protester Mohamed al-Ahdal.
"We see it as a right move to build new Yemen. They are also brave decrees taken by the new president for the purpose of building up Yemen," said another protester Iman Ali.
Protesters also expressed their support through chanting pro-Hadi slogans and carrying banners which thanked him.
''Free revolution, oh Hadi, be proud of yourself," protesters chanted as they marched along.
The president has vowed to unify the army, which is divided between allies and foes of Hadi's predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose legacy still looms large in Yemen.
With much cheering to Hadi's latest moves, protesters chanted anti- Saleh slogans and demanded the prosecution of ousted dictator.
"No to immunity, we want Saleh to be prosecuted," protesters chanted.
Saleh stood down in February - after a year of protests and infighting among his army and tribal allies that left over 2,000 dead - in return for immunity for himself and his relatives.
The immunity has provoked thousands of Yemenis to protest as Yemeni activists put pressure on the government to investigate violations last year.
Hadi, elected in February for a two-year interim period with a mandate to restructure the military, has been gradually trying to loosen the Saleh family's grip on the armed forces in a country where the former president's legacy still looms large.
Restoring security in Yemen is a priority for the United States and its Gulf allies because the country is the theatre of multiple conflicts, posing a potential threat to oil export giant Saudi Arabia next door and nearby shipping lanes.
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