OP-ED

Hadi’s not-so-easy life

National Yemen

Yemeni President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi

Concerned with the national issues, President Hadi sleeps in his home and ignores the sounds produced by the machines which dig a well in his house. He seems, however, to be daily awakened by the voices of protesters outside his home, protesters who demand him to effect change throughout the country.

Though he tries hard to listen to all the different demands, Hadi seems to be lately upset by continuous-yet-increasing demands which are in accord with his own threats of serious punishments for anyone who attempts to hinder the implementation of the GCC initiative.

Crowds of people gather in front of his house to demand that he take action to achieve the revolution’s goals or give them their rights. Their slogans travel past the concrete barriers which surround his house.

Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi manned the position of vice president for about fifteen years, but became most recognized after the assassination attempt against Ali Abdullah Saleh. He took responsibility for running the country’s affairs while Saleh traveled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. On February 23, 2012, and in accordance with the GCC initiative, Hadi legally became the country’s top man when he was elected president in a one-man election.

When the political and security situation reached a pitch in Yemen, Hadi didn’t hide that he and Prime Minister Mohammed Basindowa were standing on dangerous ground, describing themselves as “living martyrs.” Clearly, he was indicating that there had been threats against his life.

A number of officials working with and supporting Hadi in his decisions and actions have been subject to assassination attempts. While some survived, others weren’t so lucky.  In recent times, there were reports that attempts had been made to poison the water which reaches his house. Some members of his family were taken to the hospital after they experienced pains.

Passersby in front of Hadi’s house can see machines working to drill well for water inside his house. However, talking about digging shelters inside the house or taking precautions means nothing except that Hadi feels the dangers surrounding his life and the country’s future.

There are reportedly security precautions being taken to secure Hadi’s house, which is situated between camps belonging to Yemen’s two largest forces: The Republican Guard and the First Armored Division.

After more than a year since the signing of the GCC initiative on November 23rd, 2011, Hadi remains unfamiliar with the presidential palace. It was reported that Hadi refused to go and live there with his family after receiving advice from the U.S. to wait for fear of explosives or listening devices. Local observers say that Hadi doesn’t visit the palace regularly and never so beyond the call of official duties; he reportedly leaves the palace for his house immediately, with the latter secured by carefully chosen soldiers who were trained by American teams.

According to sources, the U.S. administration asked Hadi to wait at least three months until they could provide him with a battalion of marines to guard him along with the palace grounds.

“They also wanted to send U.S. experts to check the security system and alarm devices, as well as to monitor all movements around the palace,” added a source.

The American administration also provided Hadi with armored cars to use in place of those which Saleh used.

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