Continuing Crisis in Yemen

Continuing Crisis in Yemen

President Saleh of Yemen has reneged on a deal to make a dignified exit from power, which has brought the people to the streets in violent protest, coming after months of deadly protest and unrest.

Forces loyal to the president engaged in a gun battle with political opponents, seeking democratic change after 33 years with President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the helm.

The country has been in crisis for three months with young people leading the demonstrations that were inspired by a series of protests that have swept the region, removing both the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents from power.

President Saleh was to sign a deal on Sunday, guaranteeing himself immunity from prosecution and a safe exit. Loyalist gunmen blocked mediators from attending the presidential palace who were to have secured the president’s signature on the deal. The mediation process has now come to an abrupt halt

Saleh is now facing criticism for failing to sign the deal, with the US urging him to keep his commitments and transfer power peacefully, ensuring the legitimate will of the people. The US is keen to bring the Yemeni stalemate to an end, fearing chaos and the growth of a global militant network based in Yemen .

Recent events have done little for President Saleh’s credibility, as it becomes increasingly clear that he has no intention of leaving.      

Security forces in Yemen have mounted a violent crackdown of protestors demanding Saleh step down. Since late January at least 181 people have been killed.