3rd Republican Guard Brigade’s mutiny ends

Published on 14 June 2012 in News
Ali Saeed (author), Sadeq Al-Faqih (author)

Ali Saeed


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Sadeq Al-Faqih


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SANA’A — Brigadier General Abdurrahman Al-Halili assumed his position as the new leader of the 3rd Republican Guard Brigade Monday after Abulhamid Maqwala, the Chief of the Brigade Staff and one of Saleh’s former aides, led a 65-day rebellion.

The brigade is an advanced unit of the Republican Guard with the most modern equipment, which is stationed in critical positions overlooking Sana’a from the east, west and south.

On April 6, President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi officially replaced the former commander of the brigade, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s nephew, Tareq Mohamed Abdullah Saleh, with Al-Halili.

Despite efforts by U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Jamal Ben Omar to implement Hadi’s decision in late April, Maqwala, along with other officers loyal to Saleh, forcefully prevented Al-Halili from assuming his post.

But on June 7, officers and soldiers of the brigade took control of heavy weapons at brigade headquarters, including tanks and machine guns. The troops said their actions were in support of President Hadi’s decree replacing the brigade commander.

“We felt that we were responsible for implementing the President’s decree and the GCC initiative, so we decided to end the mutiny at the brigade led by Saleh’s loyal officers,” one of the brigade’s personnel, who requested anonymity, said. “We are troops for the Yemeni people, no one else.”

The following day, gunfire erupted inside the brigade’s headquarters between the 3rd battalion, led by officers loyal to Saleh, and other battalions who support Hadi’s decree.

An eyewitness said the leader of the Republican Guard, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president’s son, came to the brigade headquarters’ gate to negotiate an end to the mutiny.

However, his convoy was vulnerable to shooting and was forced to leave.

On the same day, Saleh’s youngest son, Khaled Ali Abdullah Saleh, who graduated two years ago from the British Royal Military Sandhurst Academy, attempted to end the mutiny by force, but he was detained by members of the brigade, according to a source at the brigade who requested that his name not be published.

After holding Khaled Ali Abdullah Saleh for apprpoximately 24 hours, the Military Committee contacted troops of the brigade on Sunday and asked them to let him go. On Monday, the new leader took over his post under the observation of Military Committee members.