Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Yemen: Both Saleh and the opposition reject GCC's offer

Both Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition have rejected the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council's (GCC) initiative for a peaceful transition of power. Saleh has outright refused to step-down early, and the protesters rebuffed any suggestion of Saleh being granted immunity from prosecution.

The political turmoil in Yemen has been ongoing for almost two months. It is estimated that as many as 120 people have been killed in the clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.

On Sunday 10th April, the GCC called on Saleh to resign as part of an agreement with the opposition. Saleh rejected the proposal, and the offer of mediation, saying he would not step-down before 2013.

The GCC had invited both the opposition leaders and the long term Yemeni president to Saudi Arabia for talks. It also offered Saleh and his family protection from prosecution for abuses of power, an offer which outraged the protesters who had specifically demanded that Saleh and his kin be put on trial.

According to several sources, Saleh despatched a letter to the GCC saying he could no accept the offer, but praised the organisation for its attempt to mediate the situation. His supporters, however, have rebuked the GCC calling its attempt to intervene a "flagrant interference in Yemen's internal issues."

For their part, the protesters took to the streets in their thousands in Sana'a, Taiz, Aden and other major cities.

Sources: Reuters, CNTV, Aljazeera.net, The Guardian

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

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