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Yemen protests: Thousands call on president to leave

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BAK, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jan 27, 2011
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    Yemen protests: Thousands call on president to leave

    Yemen's protests are said to be inspired by the popular revolt in Tunisia
    Continue reading the main story

    Thousands of Yemenis are demonstrating in the capital Sanaa, calling on Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for more than 30 years, to step down.

    This comes after mass protests in Egypt and a popular uprising in Tunisia that ousted its long-time leader.
    Yemeni opposition members and youth activists gathered in four parts of the city, including Sanaa University, chanting anti-government slogans.
    They also called for economic reforms and an end to corruption.
    Yemenis complain of mounting poverty among a growing young population and frustration with a lack of political freedoms.

    The country has also been plagued by a range of security issues, including a separatist movement in the south and an uprising of Shia Houthi rebels in the north.
    There are fears that Yemen is becoming a leading al-Qaeda haven, with the high numbers of unemployed youths seen as potential recruits for Islamist militant groups.

    Economic and social problems

    • Poorest country in the Middle East with 40% of Yemenis living on less than $2 (£1.25) a day
    • More than two-thirds of the population under the age of 24
    • Illiteracy stands at over 50%, unemployment at 35%
    • Dwindling oil reserves and falling oil revenues; Little inward investment
    • Acute water shortage
    • Weak central government
    Protesters gathered in several locations of the city on Thursday morning, chanting that it was "time for change", and referring to the popular uprising in Tunisia that ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month.
    Opposition MP Abdulmalik al-Qasuss, from the al-Islah (Reform) party, echoed the demands of the protesters when he addressed them.
    "We gather today to demand the departure of President Saleh and his corrupt government," he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

    There have been a series of smaller protests in the lead up to Thursday's mass demonstrations.
    On Saturday, hundreds of Sanaa University students held competing protests on campus, with some calling for President Saleh to step down and others for him to remain in office.
    Over the weekend, Yemeni authorities arrested prominent rights activist, Tawakul Karman, accusing her of organising the anti-government protests. Her arrest sparked further protests in Sanaa.
    After her release from prison on Monday, she told CNN that there was a revolution taking place in her country inspired by Tunisia's so-called Jasmine Revolution.
    Protests in Tunisia have ended 23 years of President Ben Ali's rule and ignited unrest elsewhere in the region, including Algeria and Egypt.

    President Saleh, a Western ally, became leader of North Yemen in 1978, and has ruled the Republic of Yemen since the north and south merged in 1990. He was last re-elected in 2006.
    Yemenis are angry over parliament's attempts to loosen the rules on presidential term limits, sparking opposition concerns that Mr Saleh might try to appoint himself president for life.
    Mr Saleh is also accused of wanting to hand power to his eldest son, Ahmed, who heads the elite presidential guard, but he has denied the accusations.
    "We are a republic. We reject bequeathing [the presidency]", he said in a televised address on Sunday.
  2. Utingo

    Utingo JF-Expert Member

    Jan 27, 2011
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    Good! New Order-barrot is useless
  3. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    As Arabs protest, Obama administration offers assertive support

    The Obama administration is openly supporting the anti-government demonstrations shaking the Arab Middle East, a stance that is far less tempered than the one the president has taken during past unrest in the region.
    As demonstrations in Tunis, Cairo and Beirut have unfolded in recent days, President Obama and his senior envoys to the region have thrown U.S. support clearly behind the protesters, speaking daily in favor of free speech and assembly even when the protests target longtime U.S. allies such as Egypt.
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that "the Egyptian government has an important opportunity . . . to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people." She urged "the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media sites."
    Asked whether the administration supports Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs replied only: "Egypt is a strong ally."
    Administration officials say they will pursue a dual-track approach in the coming weeks, both speaking with civil activists in Egypt and meeting with officials to encourage reform in the bellwether Arab nation.
    Such an approach comes with a degree of risk in the region, where democratic reforms have often empowered well-organized Islamist movements at odds with U.S. objectives. As a result, the United States has often favored the stability of authoritarian allies in the Middle East over the uncertainty of democratic change.
    The administration's assertive stance contrasts sharply with Obama's approach during his first year in office, when he often tempered his advocacy of human rights and democracy with a large measure of pragmatism. His decision this time reflects the rising importance of those issues in his foreign policy goals.
    The president is also less reluctant to inject the United States into the Arab Middle East after two years of speaking directly to the Muslim world, withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and supporting an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, even though it has since faltered. Polls show U.S. popularity rising in many Arab countries since Obama took office and falling in a smaller number of others.
    "Some of the confidence and assertiveness comes from having spent time in government, and now we've identified ways where we want to make our push," said a senor administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House thinking on the Middle East developments.
    The official said Obama's emphasis on Internet freedom as well as on U.S.-funded programs to encourage rule of law and government accountability are among the measures the administration is using to foster change.
    "We've aligned our approach to where we see the currents of democratic reform moving," the official said.
  4. Saint Ivuga

    Saint Ivuga JF-Expert Member

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    utasikia kuna mtu kajichoma huko waarabu hii style wanaiendeleza sana
  5. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

    Jan 27, 2011
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    2011 mwaka wa mabadiliko...
    Tanzania,United Republic of
  6. Saint Ivuga

    Saint Ivuga JF-Expert Member

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    kuna mtu mwenye pumzi ay kujipiga kiberiti hapa?
  7. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    Power to the people. When people are tired, you know what is next to Mafisadi......