By Fakhri al-Arashi
The Yemen Military Commission began returning the capital to normalcy Saturday as it removed checked points and barricades erected during months of deadly protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Bulldozers were seen removing sand barriers thrown together by the pro-Saleh Central Security service at the Asser round about. The workers were under supervision by members of the joint commission formed by the new opposition-led government, an AFP correspondent reported.
The neighborhood surrounding the Asser round about was a scene of frequent clashes between Saleh loyalists and demonstrators, protected by First Armored Division led by General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, marching from nearby Change Square – the focal point of anti-Saleh protests.
“We have received orders to withdraw from this area following the instructions of the military commission,” said an officer of the division at Siteen Street as his troops cleared the area.
The National Unity Government is overseeing both the departure of long-serving Saleh from his office, and the military commission as it works to restore stability under the terms of the transition deal.
The commission is led by Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and has been charged with managing the transfer of power. He was also designated to serve as consensus president following Saleh’s departure scheduled for February.
The military commission will also aim to reform the security services, controlled partly by Saleh loyalists, in accordance with the transition deal signed by Saleh in November after more than 10 months of protests against his 33-year rule.
Despite the agreement, violence in Yemen has continued in Sana’a but most notably in Taiz, where clashes between loyalist troops and dissidents have left dozens dead.