Reports tell us that Yemen’s former president General AbdRabuh Hadi escaped San’a dressed as a woman. This tale about “dressed as a woman” could be just an Arab urban legend. He escaped on the day his term as president expired, which is when the Houthis released him from house arrest. He went to Aden (South Yemen which is his native land) and promptly declared himself “the president”, although his term had expired and he had resigned. The UN mediator Binomar obligingly started to call him ‘president Hadi”.
This is not the first time an Arab leader reportedly escapes dressed as a woman. There have been others. For example, Nuri Al-Said (Pasha), former PM of Iraq once tried to escape from Baghdad dressed in an Abaya. In his case it was a real long shot: it didn’t work, he was caught and murdered by a mob. There have been past reports from Iraq that some Baathist leaders and generals may have escaped Baghdad in drag after the US invasion in 2003.
Anyway, what will happen now in his native south? The region around Aden is dominated by separatist South Yemenis (Al Hirak, or The Movement), Al Qaeda and other tribal elements. Will Yemen be divided de facto back to North and South now? In that case, Hadi will certainly not be the president of the South, he probably has no political base there. Al Hirak or Al Qaeda or both can eat him alive once they decide he is of no use. And he was VP of Salih in the North only because he was from the South. Besides, giving him the benefit of the doubt (just for today), nice guys don’t win civil wars……..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum