With President Saleh convalescing abroad, there is an urgent need to establish a clear political order not only for Yemen's security but also its economy, which could collapse within months.
Yemen may fall into the hands of its military. But the military is already strained by defections and it could splinter further – resulting in civil war.
In a statement yesterday, religious and tribal leaders rejected Gulf states' efforts to mediate and backed a two-week deadline for Saleh's departure set earlier in the day by the political opposition.
Nearly 100,000 called today for President Saleh to step down, despite his proposal yesterday for sweeping reforms. But Yemen's growing protest movement lacks a coherent plan, raising concern that other groups could seize control of the country.
Yemen's political opposition joined youths on the streets of Sanaa for the first time today, but many young people see leaders as trying to tap their movement for the wrong reasons.
Faced with deadly protests, President Saleh has turned to tribal leaders for help. But a key sheikh's renunciation of Saleh this weekend in favor of protesters adds to rumblings of civil war.
Rival protesters clashed in Yemen's capital today, with police firing live ammunition into the air.
The US is ramping up military aid to Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, in an effort to go after Al Qaeda linked militants. But too heavy a footprint, analysts warn, could prove a recruiting boon for militants.
Yemen reportedly killed 34 Al Qaeda suspects today. Such steps, together with a new 10-point plan for reform, aim to reverse the Arab nation’s downward trajectory.