Finally, the Obama administration has allowed a dictator to enter the country under the pretext of a medical treatment. On Sunday, request of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the administration was approved to allow his entry in the country. Saleh ruled the country for 33 years and recently relinquished his powers to vice president after months of protests against his rule.
The Arab uprising that started from Tunisia in mid-January last year also hit Yemen in March last year where hundreds and thousands of people took to the streets against the decades-old rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Like other dictators in the world, he too resisted the uprising and hundreds of innocent protestors were killed by security forces loyal to the regime in order to protect his rule. The dictator used all available options to stem the protests against his rule but failed.
Saudi Arabia, which is considered to be close to the Yemeni dictator, also intervened to protect him from the wrath of his people, but failed. Saudi Arabia even dispatched its troops and paramedics to deal with protesters and restore peace and normalcy in the country, but charged protests refused to budge. People demanded an end to the monarchic rule in the country besides civil liberties and basic human rights.
In June last year, Saleh sustained critical injuries in an attack on the presidential palace by opposition members and rushed to Saudi Arabia for treatment. He stayed in the country for more than six months waiting the protests against his rule would come to an end but his dream had not materialized. Even in his absence, people continued their struggle for democracy in the country and an end to the decades-old rule of Saleh.
Saudi Arabia also played its role in saving the rule of Saleh, but failed. Finally, the dictator handed over his powers to his vice president that was neither welcomed by the international community nor by his own people. Saleh should have announced fresh elections in the country instead of relinquishing powers to his deputy.
In December last year, Saleh made a request to the United States for visit to get the medical treatment. State Department on Sunday announced that request of Saleh was approved and it also hoped that he would only confine his activities to the treatment. While Saleh in a television statement has earlier said that his visit to the United States would be aimed at ensuring peaceful transition of power as he would be meeting top US officials for the purpose.
Presidential election is expected on February 21 in Yemen, while a spokesman of Saleh also said that he (Saleh) would be back in the country before swearing in of his successor.
At a time when a dictator himself has landed in the US to seek help of the Obama administration for peaceful transition in Yemen, one hopes the US officials would play their role for the purpose. The peaceful transition of power in Yemen would not only be a victory of Yemenis but also of the US being one of the most outspoken advocate of democracy in the world.