Yemen's Long Awaited Army Restructure

Yemenis were pleasantly surprised yesterday to hear about President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's bold decisions: a number of long awaited decrees were issued, including restructuring the armed forces into four major units – land forces, navy, air force and border forces, and abolishing the Republican Guard and the First Armored Division.

Yesterday's decrees were welcomed nationwide because it also realized one of the goals of Yemen's revolution,  restructuring the army was a top demand by Yemenis after President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ouster in February. Dismissing former president Saleh's son, Ahmed, as chief of the Republican Guards, Saleh's nephew Yehya Saleh as head of the Central Security Forces and General Ali Muhsin from the leadership of the First Armed Division was the biggest obstacle towards Yemen's transition and forming a strong unified military.

Yemeni journalists Mohammed Alasaadi, who runs the Twitter account @Yemen_Updates, tweeted the breaking news:

@yemen_updates: #BreakingNews: President Hadi puts all executive power under of the army under the Ministry of Defence- as a unifying entity. #yemen

@yemen_updates: #BreakingNews: President Hadi removed Saleh's nephew Yehya Saleh from the command of Central Security. #yemen

@yemen_updates: #BreakingNews: President Hadi's new army structure removes Saleh's son from Rep. Guards & Ali Mohsen from 1st Armored Division. #yemen

And journalist Nasser Arrabyee tweeted explaining:

@narrabyee: Yemen army will be land, sea, air, border forces. Land forces will be in seven military regions, including Rep guards & 1st armored division.

A video of the decrees read by an anchor on national television in Arabic was posted via alqershi2011‘s YouTube channel:

Many Yemeni neitzens welcomed these decisions, albeit some with caution:

@Afrahnasser: Prs. Hadi removed those names but it's not clear though what will they be doing later! #Yemen

‏@Nefermaat: Guys, who said Ahmed Ali and Ali Mohsen wont hold new positions in the army? Were they clearly and officially sacked yesterday……? #Yemen

@yemen4freedom: This is the real beginning of the end for the worst nightmare of the last 33 years in Yemeni politics #Yemen #Hadi

@imothanaYemen: Remarkable day for Yemen's revolution and transition. Military restructuring is inevitable for the country to move ahead. #Hadi

Journalist Hafez Bukari was hoping for more drastic changes. He tweeted wondering:

@hafezbukari: GPC is now the last big front for former president Ali Saleh. Will president hadi be able to take over Saleh in GPC? #Yemen

Other netizens feared the consequences, and electricity cuts was just one of them:

@imothanaYemen: Saleh will definitely retaliate but it's too late for change to be reversed! #Yemen

@YusraAlA: A lot of ppl are getting ready for power outages in #Yemen after army restructuring decrees by #Hadi today #Yemen lol

Super major decisions made by prs. Hadi announced tonight reg. #Yemen's army. I'm more concerned of the backlash.

And as expected the electricity power grids were once again attacked in Mareb today, by the usual “unknown” hands.

Sarah Jamal tweeted:

@Sarah_Sanaa: 8 hours without electricity so far in Sanaa.. Our first punishment after yesterday's decree on army restructure #Yemen

Many Yemenis are experiencing mixed emotions today.  One can not but be jubilant that this step has finally been taken by President Hadi, yet one can not but be anxious about what will follow and wonder if this is a total dismissal of Saleh's relatives from the military or is it just a reshuffle….only time will tell.


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