Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 33 years, has reportedly signed a deal to formally transfer power to Vice President Abdo Rabu Mansour Hadi. The signing ceremony took place in Saudi Arabia, where Saleh had been visiting key allies and securing the terms for his departure.
Saleh has been under pressure to quit all year. As increasingly violent suppression of demonstrators became obvious, the international community rallied against him. A few high-profile attacks on al-Qaida cells in the country, which Saleh used as evidence of his usefulness to the west, were ultimately not enough to secure his political survival.
The transfer of power to Abdo Rabu Mansour Hadi does not necessarily mean that Yemen’s political instability will magically be resolved. Hadi might be seen as being too close to Saleh, and will have to demonstrate his independence and his commitment to a new era if he is to garner much support.