Saturday, October 22, 2011

Security Council adopts toothless resolution against Ali Abdallah Saleh

Update from the Yemen Post, Saturday evening. 
As soon as the Media announced the adoption of a UN resolution on Yemen, the regime immediately resumed its shelling campaign on Hasaba, a stronghold of Sheikh Sadeeq al-Ahmar, Saleh's main tribal and political opponent, proving to many of his detractors that he never had any intention of stepping down from the presidency. As loud explosions were heard across several northern districts of the capital, protesters in the Square also suffered Saleh's wrath as the latter unleashed his elite units, the Republican Guards, onto unarmed protesters. As fights raged all through the night between troops loyal to Sheikh Sadeeq al-Ahmar and the government forces, news licked that the tribesmen were gaining ground against Saleh, many eye-witnesses confirming that the Republican Guards bodies were piling up in Hasaba, while the tribe had only lost 5 of its men. Defected General Mohsen's military base north of Sana'a was also under attack as Saleh's loyalists started pounding the base with mortar shells and RPGs. After a brief respite at dawn, clashes resumed in new areas of the capital, leading residents to fear that an all-out war in only hours away.
(end of update)

Tawakkul Karman, winner of the Nobel Prize, with U.N. Secetary general Ban Ki Moon. 

The UN Security Council on Friday has passed a resolution calling on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to end deadly attacks on anti-government protesters and step down. The resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the 15 members, "strongly condemns" government violence against demonstrators and backs a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) peace plan under which Saleh would end his 33 years in power.
At least a thousand people have been killed since protests against Saleh erupted in January.
The resolution called on Saleh to keep a promise to immediately sign the GCC plan, paving the way for a peaceful power transition "without further delay". Following the resolution, the United States called for the transfer of power to begin "immediately".

Saleh on Wednesday agreed to sign a Gulf peace deal calling for a transfer of power, but only if the United States, Europe and Gulf Arab states gave him unspecified guarantees. "Now that the president has returned, they say there is no need for the vice president to sign. Fine, I am ready to sign," Saleh said in a broadcasted meeting with party leaders in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday. "But provide guarantees to implement this initiative. We want Gulf guarantees, first, second, European guarantees and third American guarantees," he added. Under the plan, Saleh would transfer power to his deputy until elections could be held and be immune from prosecution. Saleh made promised to sign three times earlier, but always backed out.
The resolution of the Security Council is less than what was demanded in New York by Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month. Karman was outside the Security Council for the vote. Karman met on Wednesday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the UN, and other top diplomats to reiterate her demands for international pressure on Saleh. On Friday, tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of the Yemeni capital to demand the resignation of Saleh.

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