Saleh's erratic behavior has been a major source of uncertainty throughout Yemen's last year of turmoil. He slipped out of signing the accord for the power handover accord three times before finally agreeing to it .Even now, with a president in place, his opponents fear that if he remains in the country he will be able to exert control through his powerful network of well-placed family members and allies. Saleh left Yemen in June after being injured in a rocket attack on his palace. He received medical treatment in neighboring Saudi Arabia for three months.
The United States, which has pushed for stability in Yemen for fear that al-Qaida will extend its influence there, had hoped he would remain in the Gulf. But the Yemeni leader returned home and violence worsened anew. Three weeks ago Saleh went to the United States for more medical treatment, and again it was hoped that he would remain abroad. But he returned Saturday for Hadi's inauguration. Saleh's aides said that he was waiting for an answer from the Gulf sultanate of Oman on whether he can live there but the sultanate has not responded to his request. Saleh stayed in Muscat in January for some days before he left to the U.S. for treatment, and Yemeni officials raised the possibility at the time that he would eventually seek exile in Oman, which borders Yemen to the east.
The aides said that Saleh came under heavy pressures from Western and Arab countries to leave the country. They said that unnamed members of the U.N. Security Council threatened to freeze his and his family's assets if he did not leave. "After days of maneuvering, he accepted," one said. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa couldn't immediately comment on the report. The Ethiopian Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment. Also Monday, tens of thousands of protesters marched to demand Saleh's prosecution. Chanting, "The people want to prosecute the murderer," they gathered in front of Hadi's house. Hundreds of Saleh's opponents were killed in crackdowns by the security forces and other violence during the uprising.