zondag 16 oktober 2011

Again protesters killed in Sana'a, south of Yemen demands secession

Update Monday: Troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and forces opposed to his rule have been engaged in heavy fighting across much of the capital, Sanaa, with rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns being used.
The fighting began shortly after midnight on Monday and intensified into the early hours of the morning, with the sound of explosions rocking many parts of the city.
There were no overall casualty figures immediately available, but at least three people were killed in a central encampment housing tens of thousands of protesters.
A journalist who is based in Sanaa told Al-Jazeera the situation "is a very volatile situation, many of the streets of Sanaa are empty this morning".

Unbelievable scenes from the demonstration in Sana'a on Saturday when 12 people were killed and 80 wounded.  

Not only in Syria, also in Yemen the story is seemingly endless. But here the situation seems worse, as it is not at all clear that the United States exerts pressure on president Ali Abdallah Salah to go. It seems likely that Washington, together with the Saudis, sees in him an ally in the fight agianst terror as represented in Al Qaeda on the Arabic peninsula (AQAP), even though meny in Yemen think that AQP is at least partially a cration of Saleh himslf.
On Sunday security forces again opnend fire on anti-government protesters, killing at least four people and wounding several, the BBC reports.At least 12 people were killed and 80 people wounded in a similar protest on Saturday. On both days the troops opened fire on tens of thousands of people marching in the capital Sana'a.  The protesters, who camped out in Sanaa's Change Square, were trying to march towards the presidential palace when they were targeted by security forces.
President Saleh has been battling eight months of street protests. Saleh so far resisted calls from many Western countries to end his 33-year rule, despite saying on several occasions he was prepared to do so.

One day earlier also hundreds of thousands of people held demonstrations in South Yemen, at the 'birthday' of the independent republic of Soutnh Yemen in 1967. The protesters demanded a new secession of the South from Sana'a. The two countries were united in 1990, but fought a civil war in 1994. The south at the time complained that it was neglected and wasn't represented properly in the government. The situation has not improved since.

Demonstrations in Aden (top), Radfan and Lahj in the south of Yemen on Friday. (Photos taken from Armies of Liberation blog).

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