News / Middle East

Yemen Cease-Fire Takes Hold Amid Deadly Unrest

Anti-government protesters flee after security forces opened fire to disperse them in Sana'a,  September 19, 2011.
Anti-government protesters flee after security forces opened fire to disperse them in Sana'a, September 19, 2011.

An uneasy calm prevailed in the Yemeni capital late Tuesday after Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's negotiated cease-fire halted three days of clashes that have killed more than 70 people and wounded hundreds more.

Both government forces and dissident troops vowed to stand by the truce. The dissident troops are loyal to Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a top general who defected to the opposition in March.

Earlier Tuesday, at least 23 people were killed in Sana'a as the fighting intensified and spread to sensitive areas of the capital before the cease-fire took hold after nightfall. The clashes have forced thousands of civilians to flee Sana'a for the relative safety of rural areas.

The United States Tuesday condemned the violence and called on all parties to exercise restraint.

Yemen's youth-led protest movement stepped up demonstrations last week, angry after President Ali Abdullah Saleh instructed his deputy to negotiate a power-sharing deal. Many called the move the latest of the president's delaying tactics as he avoids demands to step down.

Diplomats and Yemeni politicians are trying to revive a long-stalled transition plan under which Mr. Saleh would hand over power. U.N. envoy Jamal bin Omar and the secretary-general of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Latif al-Zayan, arrived in Sana'a Monday to boost efforts to get the deal signed.

Mr. Saleh has agreed to the GCC proposal three times since April. However, in each case, he has backed out before a deal could be signed. Yemen's president, in office for 33 years and a staunch U.S. ally, has clung to power despite tens of thousands demonstrating near daily since February to demand his ouster.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reiterated that Washington supports "the Yemeni people's aspirations for a peaceful, orderly transition."

The U.S. has trained and equipped several elite Special Forces units within the pro-Saleh Republican Guards. Yemen is home to one of the world's most dangerous al-Qaida branches, whose militants have staged or inspired a series of attacks on U.S. territory.

The chaos in the impoverished Gulf Arab nation already has allowed al-Qaida-linked militants to capture and hold a string of towns in Yemen's nearly lawless southern regions.

The International Organization for Migration says Yemen's violence over the past few days has complicated efforts to evacuate several thousand mostly Ethiopian migrants who are stranded near the Saudi border with Yemen.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid