Paul Lachine

Déconstruire Saleh

LONDRES – Ali Abdallah Saleh, le président du Yémen, n’est plus qu’un dirigeant en sursis. Le mouvement de contestation populaire et démocratique, qui avait débuté de manière sporadique à la mi-février devant l’université de Sanaa, s’est étendu à tout le pays. La persistance et l’ampleur des manifestations démontrant clairement que les jours du régime sont comptés. Des chefs tribaux se sont ralliés aux manifestants et des alliés proches de Saleh, comme Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar appartenant comme lui à la tribu des Hached, ont rejoint le cercle des contestataires. Aujourd’hui, même son allié de longue date, les Etats-Unis, semblent prêts à l’abandonner.

Saleh, qui est au pouvoir depuis 1978, sait qu’il n’en a plus pour  longtemps. « Ils tombent comme des feuilles mortes » a-t-il récemment dit à propos des transfuges. Les démissions se succèdent : des ambassadeurs, des ministres, des journalistes proéminents, et des généraux font défection.

Ce dernier groupe fait toute la différence : lorsque la pression populaire incite les hauts gradés et les forces de sécurité à se désolidariser d’un régime autoritaire, c’est le signe que sa chute est proche. Le ministre de l’Intérieur, la Garde républicaine et une partie de l’armée de l’air sont restés loyaux à Saleh. Mais des affrontements entre l’armée et la Garde républicaine sapent encore plus la cohésion du régime.

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