Members of Yemen’s Republican Guard surrounded the Defence Ministry in protest on Friday. Under fears that the guardsmen would storm the ministry, tanks were sent to quell the protests.
The Republican Guard is an elite fighting force led by Ahmed Saleh, the son of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh. AP reported that threats to remove Ahmed Saleh from this role is what caused the loyalist Republican Guard to protest.
Ahmed Saleh’s continued presence in government in a source of frustration for those who worked to depose his father. Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the new president, has been working to secure the younger Saleh’s exit, but events such as Friday’s illustrate the level of difficulty involved in what has been a much-applauded promise to restructure the Yemeni military.
Conflict within the military is a further barrier to the survival of the current Yemeni state. The state apparatus is struggling in a war with Islamist militants who are executing soldiers and generals in an attempt to take control of the gulf nation.