Yemen vote unlikely to end drone strikes: experts
SANAA // Yemen’s parliament has voted for a ban on drone strikes, but experts say the legislators have limited powers and their vote is unlikely to affect Washington’s bid to crush Al Qaeda militants.
The United States operates all unmanned aircraft flying over Yemen in support of Sanaa’s attempts to break Al Qaeda, and intensified strikes this year have killed dozens of militants.
Yemen’s parliament, which is dominated by the party of the ousted president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Islamist Islah party, voted on Sunday in favour of halting drone attacks.
The legislators said the vote was a recommendation, short of adopting a law. It came days after a drone strike reportedly targeting Al Qaeda militants killed 17 people, mostly civilians, triggering outrage.
“The parliament appears to be giving orders to authorities, when it has lost its credibility a long time ago,” said Abdelbari Tahar, political analyst.
A Yemeni political official said the vote was a “challenge” to the interim president, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, who took over when Mr Saleh stepped down in 2012 after a year of protests against his 33-year rule.
“This vote appears to be an attempt by the followers of the former president to put pressure on Hadi, more than it is a real legislative action,” the official said.
“The government could ignore this vote without any consequences to worry about.”
The current assembly was elected in 2003 when Mr Saleh was in power and its five-year tenure was extended by two years in a political compromise. It has not been renewed since then.
* Agence France-Presse
Published: December 16, 2013 04:00 AM