Wanderlust…

The International Reporting (and Life) Adventures of Vivian Salama

Yemen’s Saleh Signs GCC Agreement; Basindwa Named Interim Prime Minister

Posted by vmsalama on November 27, 2011

An eventful week for my friends in Yemen who have worked tirelessly this past year covering the Yemeni Spring. Just when we thought President Ali Abdullah Saleh would continue his song and dance to avoid signing an Arab Gulf-brokered agreement, he did so November 23 in Riyadh, the opposition by his side. Today, prominent opposition figure Mohammed Basindwa was named interim Prime Minister ahead of elections scheduled for February 21.

The first step now is for Saleh to stick to his promise, hand over power , and get-a-steppin. Yemen’s economy, which was already on the brink of collapse before the revolution kicked off, is paralyzed and the country cannot afford any further delays to the long and difficult road toward recovery. (The International Monetary Fund said last month that Yemen’s economy will shrink by 2.5% this year and by 0.5% in 2012)

From a security perspective, the breakdown of law and order has also given extremist groups ample breathing room to go about their business. The sooner a transition takes place — with the rather optimistic assumption that it goes smoothly — the sooner issues like the economy and security can be addressed.

For now, we wait and see whether Saleh will, indeed, take his final bow as he has vowed. Since it’s likely that Saleh makes very few moves without a nod of approval from Saudi Arabia and the US, it’s important that both countries continue exert pressure on him to expedite the transition and step down once and for all. GOOD LUCK, YEMEN!!

THANK YOU FOR PLAYING. GOODBYE.

RELATED ARTICLES I WROTE:

Al-Qaeda’s American Agent Said to Be Killed by U.S. Drone

Saleh Calls for Yemen Elections as Violence Against Protesters Intensifies

Yemen Shortages Worsen as Street Violence Leaves Locals Searching for Food

Yemen is “Collapsing” Amid Stalemate, Former Premier Nuaman Says

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