Yemen's new president vowed on Saturday he will push efforts to unite the army that was split during the uprising against his predecessor, and wage a relentless war against al-Qaida militants.
"I shall not tolerate a continued division in the army, and shall not allow any attempt to take the army away from its main duties," said President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, addressing the military academy in Sanaa.
In his first public speech since taking office after February elections, Hadi added: "There is only one command for the army and one command for security forces."
Dissident troops had sided with protests against the regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and battled security forces and troops loyal to the veteran leader who stepped down following a Gulf-brokered peace plan.
Some of Saleh's loyalists and relatives continue to lead important security forces, notably his son Ahmed, who heads the elite Republican Guard. But others have been removed.
"Talking of stability in the country and protecting people and their interests remains meaningless without a strong and united army and security forces," he said.
Meanwhile, Hadi vowed to intensify the fight against al-Qaida militants who had taken advantage of the authorities' weakness to regroup in southern and eastern parts of the impoverished country.
"The war against terrorists has not started yet, and will not be over before we purge every province and village so that the displaced can return home peacefully," he warned.
He said the fight will continue until the "members of the terrorist organization hand in their weapons and abandon the thoughts that contradict the religion."
Saleh had for long been considered a key ally of Washington in the fight against al-Qaida, before he had to step down after a year of protests.
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/39283|