Bloomberg reports that "Yemeni protesters fought to take advantage of their government’s sudden flight abroad, with hundreds of thousands cheering the departure of wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh even as government spokesmen said he would soon return."
AEI's Katherine Zimmerman considers what this might mean:
The departure of Yemen’s president after months of unrest and the uncertainty surrounding the transition of power may create an opportunity forstate fragmentation.
Yemen’s vice president assumed executive authorities. President Ali Abdullah Saleh transferred authority to his deputy, Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi, and flew to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. Hadi is a weak political figure and unlikely to be able to maintain control of the country. Saleh’s relatives remain in control of the military.
Violence continues in Sana’a and Taiz. A grenadeexplosion at a facility used by defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar killed at least two people in Sana’a. Gunmen attacked a presidential palace in Taiz, killing four soldiers.
Fighting broke out in Aden, the former capital of south Yemen. Anti-government militants attackeda military checkpoint.
The power vacuum created by Saleh’s departure and the continued fighting in Yemen increases the likelihood of state fragmentation. The country also remains at risk of civil war.