The ousted Yemeni leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh, plans to go into exile in Ethiopia, his aides said yesterday, as the newly inaugurated leader, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, took over from his predecessor of 33 years.
The aides said Mr Saleh, pictured, will leave Yemen within two days, along with family members, and will stay in a villa in Addis Ababa. Other family members have gone to the United Arab Emirates. A diplomat confirmed arrangements had been made for Mr Saleh's departure.
Witnesses reported that a hall in the presidential palace used to display precious souvenirs, antiques, golden watches, guns, hunting rifles and other paraphernalia collected under Mr Saleh's regime, was bare yesterday.
A senior army officer said the head of the Presidential Guard, who is also Mr Saleh's nephew, had ordered his guards to move all the antiques to an undisclosed location. Another employee said alcohol which Mr Saleh served to his Western visitors had also been carried away.
President Hadi was sworn in on Saturday following an election aimed at ending more than a year of turmoil. He was the only candidate. A power-transfer deal gave Mr Saleh immunity from prosecution in exchange for stepping down.