Obama aiding new president’s restructuring of Yemen military

Special to

CAIRO — Yemen intends to restructure its military and enhance
the security of its new president.

Officials said President Abbed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has ordered a
restructuring of the military.

Maj. Gen. Ali Muhsin Al Ahmar.

The reorganization of the military was expected to be aided by the United States. The administration of President Barack Obama has
significantly increased U.S. military aid to Yemen for fiscal 2012 as well as 2013.

The officials said the order called for the merger of major units as well as the formation of a new Republican Guard.

“The Republican Guard would be responsible for presidential protection,” a government statement said.

Officials said the restructuring of the military was part of an effort
to modernize forces. They said Hadi wants to enhance the quality of officers and soldiers as well as introduce advanced technology for conventional military and counter-insurgency missions.

The reorganization was expected to be led by Maj. Gen. Ali Muhsin Al
Ahmar. Al Ahmar, commander of the First Armored Division, was one of the
first generals to desert the regime of then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in

Officials said the program called for the military to reorganize into
two major commands. The central command would be responsible for Sanaa and
the southern provinces threatened by Al Qaida. The northern command would
focus on the Shi’ite-dominated provinces near Saudi Arabia, also expected to
finance the effort.

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