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  • » 06/03/2011, 00.00

    YEMEN

    Sanaa: escape from a city at war, hopes for a political solution



    Residents are fleeing the capital by the thousands as bloody clashes continue between President Saleh’s followers and tribesmen. More than 60 are dead. The Gulf countries are willing to resume mediation that was interrupted on 22 May by Saleh.

    Sanaa (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thousands of Sanaa residents are fleeing from the city that has become the battleground between forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh and his tribal opponents. Last night, Yemeni security forces opened fire on groups of protesters who took to the streets of Sanaa yet again to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years. Other witnesses reported that forces loyal to Saleh opened fire against the armored unit of General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar who had been deployed near the university to protect a group of protesters who are pursuing a days-old peaceful sit-in.

    Elsewhere in Sanaa, clashes continue between government forces and fighters of the Hashid tribe, led by the powerful leader Sadiq al-Ahmar who took up arms against Saleh after the Yemeni leader decided not to accept the mediation plan proposed by the Gulf countries. A ceasefire between Saleh and Hashid failed on 31 May, and the fighting resumed. It is estimated that at least 60 people have died between both sides. Many victims’ bodies are still on the streets in the Hasaba neighbourhood - where Sadiq al-Ahmar is based - and ambulances are unable to reach the area. Meanwhile, thousands of armed tribesmen are converging on Sanaa to fight.

    Despite the violence that is driving the country to the brink of civil war, there are slight prospects for a political solution. The six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are willing to continue mediation with Saleh – with was halted 22 May by Saleh himself. Yesterday, a Yemeni government spokesman said that Saleh may be willing to reach an agreement: "The date for the signing will be set soon based on consultation and coordination between Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council states.”

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    See also

    05/04/2011 YEMEN – BAHRAIN
    More deaths in Yemen as US ditches Saleh
    Police kill two men in Hudaida during a demonstration to protest the killing of 15 people in Taiz yesterday. The Gulf Cooperation Council offers to mediate. Washington now views Saleh’s 33-year reign as a liability.

    22/03/2011 YEMEN – BAHRAIN
    Yemen President Saleh warns of “Civil war” as ministers and generals abandon him
    The situation of the Arabian Peninsula nation appears increasingly unstable as a growing number of military and political leaders join the pro-reform camp. In Bahrain, the government with the backing of its anti-Shia regional allies tightens the screws on the opposition. Kuwait sends warships to help the Sunni-led government.

    28/02/2012 YEMEN
    Yemen, Saleh has left power after 33 years. And may go into exile
    Ali Abdullah Saleh, leader of one of the poorest countries in the Arab world has ceded powers under the agreement guaranteed by the Cooperation Council of Gulf countries. A new constitution, and parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014.

    23/09/2011 YEMEN
    Saleh returns to Yemen. Fighting continues in Sanaa
    The Yemeni president has returned home after more than three months of treatment in Riyadh. On 3 June, he was the victim of an attack. Loyalist forces in the capital and opponents clash for a week: more dead over night. Negotiations for the transition stalled.

    01/06/2011 SYRIA
    Assad grants general amnesty, but security forces continue to kill
    The announcement of a general pardon for all crimes committed before 31 May came as three other civilians are killed in Rastan and Dara. Opponents of the regime say the move was "too little, too late." US: Assad's position becomes “less tenable” day by day.



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