After 7 years in Exile Salem Saleh Back Home [Archives:2002/04/Front Page]

January 21 2002

Official sources said last week around 22 persons who fled the country during the 1994 civil war would soon be coming back from Egypt along with their families.
Last week president Saleh surprised the public when he came back home accompanied by Salem Saleh Mohammed, former presidency member and Assistant Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) from Emirates. Salem Saleh left the country during the Civil War.
Observers inside and outside Yemen tried to link between the return of Salem and the underground disagreement between president Saleh and vice president Abd Raboo Haddi. They predicated that Saleh intends to replace Haddi by Salem. However, the latter said he came back to his family not to replace anyone. He said his return with Saleh on the same plane was a good pointer for burying the hatchet and thinking of the future of Yemen, particularly after sorting out its border disputes with neighboring countries and getting ready to join the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Despite denial of the government, rumors have spread recently that there is a disagreement between president Saleh and Haddi over the regionalistic Forum formed by former ministers favored by Haddi. The ministers declared a Forum calling for justice to the Eastern and Western governorates that used to form the former Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). They are calling for discussing the problems of 20,000 military and civil personnel that have been laid off of their jobs. However, the government described the Forum as regionalistic, inciting sentiments against the unity of Yemen. Mr. Abdullah Ahmed Ghanem, Minister of Legal Affairs, lashed out at the Forum and said it went against the Constitution, as it called for sectarianism, tribalism and other sentiments that harmed the national unity. He also hinted out at trying its founders.
The YSP General Secretariat decided in a meeting in Syria that the partys leaders in exile should be united in every step they made. But the return of Salem without informing his exile-mates is punctuated with a big question mark.