Socialist Worker

Yemen: revolt spreads despite security force massacre

Issue No. 2246

Protests against president Ali Abdullah Saleh continued to rock Yemen this week. His security forces are continuing to try to crush the movement.

Demonstrators in Taiz—a city south of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a—tried to storm a government building on Monday. Police shot 12 people dead and injured 30.

Government forces had attacked protesters the previous day, leaving hundreds injured. An eyewitness described the scene in Taiz as a “massacre”.

In Hudaida, hundreds marched on the presidential palace on Monday.

Police used live ammunition and tear gas, injuring around 50 protesters.

In Aden, southern Yemen, a campaign of civil disobedience saw many of the streets empty last Sunday.

Thousands of protesters continue to camp in tents around Sana’a University.

Meanwhile, the resignations of key government and military figures have increased the pressure on president Saleh. Many resigned following the death of 52 protesters on 18 March. Government snipers were behind this massacre.

Protests have pushed Saleh to announce he will stand down in 2013 and introduce democratic reforms.

But the movement against him is not satisfied by this, demanding his immediate resignation.

He provoked further anger on Sunday when he said that reforms would only be discussed if rebels “end the crisis by ending sit-ins, blocking roads and assassinations, and the state of rebellion in some military units”.

The US has so far not called for Saleh to step down. It is believed to be putting pressure on the regime for an “orderly transition”, fearing the unrest will further weaken its position in the region.

The US had seen Yemen under Saleh as a key ally in the “war on terror”.

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Tue 5 Apr 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2246
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