Thursday, 27 January 2011

Yemeni people take to the streets calling on President Saleh to resign

In the wake of the recent Tunisian uprising, and the riots that followed in Egypt and Algeria, thousands of Yemeni people took to the streets in the capital city of Sana'a calling on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. Government opposition members and youth activists gathered across the city chanting anti-government slogans, and calling for economic reforms.

Much like in Tunisia, Yemeni people voiced their complaints about poverty, lack of political freedoms and increasing food prices. Yemen has been undergoing economic and security issues for years. The latter compounded by a separatist movement in the south and an uprising of Shi'a Houthi rebels in the north. Experts believe that Yemeni is fast becoming an Al-Qai'da battleground, with high numbers of Yemeni youths being recruited by the Islamist militant group.

The protesters also gathered at the Sana'a University chanting that it was "time for change", and referring to the uprising in Tunisia that ousted President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali earlier in January. Addressing the crowds, opposition MP Abdulmalik Al-Qasuss, from the Al-Islah party, said: "We gather today to demand the departure of President Saleh and his corrupt government."

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen since the north and the south merged in 1990, is expected to hand the power over to his eldest son, Ahmed, who heads the presidential guard. This and parliament's attempts to loosen the rules on presidential term-limits are two of the key issues that have angered Yemeni people, prompting them to take to the streets in protest.

Sources: BBC News, AngloPress, CNN, Ahram Online

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment