News / Middle East

Protests Continue in Yemen After Saleh Accepts Exit Plan

Yemeni army officers lifted by anti-government protestors gesture as they join a demonstration demanding the resignation of of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, April 24, 2011
Yemeni army officers lifted by anti-government protestors gesture as they join a demonstration demanding the resignation of of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, April 24, 2011

Anti-government protesters in Yemen's capital continue to demand the president's immediate departure, a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to a Gulf Arab initiative for him to transfer power and resign within 30 days of signing a formal agreement with the opposition.

A coalition of seven opposition parties has said it accepts the deal but refuses to join a proposed unity government while Saleh is still in office. Protesters in Sana'a on Sunday remained skeptical of the agreement, with some saying they do not feel represented by the opposition coalition.

Protesters also demanded that Saleh and his family face trial, while the deal brokered by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council would grant the president and his family immunity from prosecution.

Yemen has been shaken by more than two months of widespread protests seeking the ouster of Saleh, who has been in power 32 years.

The United States on Saturday welcomed the announcements that Yemen's government and opposition had accepted the GCC-brokered deal.  A White House spokesman urged both sides to move swiftly to implement the terms of the agreement.

The GCC plan calls for President Saleh to transfer power to a deputy, who would then call presidential elections. It requires the opposition to stop demonstrations and would set up a power-sharing government in which ruling party members would control half the seats. The opposition coalition would hold 40 percent and unaffiliated parties would make up the rest.

GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif al-Zayani presented the plan to Saleh on Thursday.

In other unrest Sunday, police say fresh clashes between soldiers and tribesmen in the country's south killed five people, including four soldiers.

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

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