News / Middle East

    Yemen Protests Continue for 7th Day

    Anti-government protester shout slogans during a demonstration in Sanaa, February 15, 2011
    Anti-government protester shout slogans during a demonstration in Sanaa, February 15, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Protests continue to spread and gain momentum in Yemen for a seventh consecutive day Thursday. In the capital Sana'a, students appear to be spearheading the demonstrations against President Ali Abdallah Saleh, locking horns with tribal supporters of the long-time leader. Activists have called for more protests Friday, which they say will be a "day of rage" in Yemen.

    Witnesses say clashes broke out between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in parts of Sana'a Thursday. Crowds of students appeared to be leading the movement in many places, fanning out across the capital after government supporters blocked the gates of Sana'a University.

    Hakim Almasmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post newspaper, says that many people were injured when rival demonstrators plowed into eachother near the capital’s Tahrir Square.

    "There were very strong clashes today in Sana'a, where hundreds of pro-government protesters were clashing with thousands of anti-government protesters,” Almasmari said. “The clashes took to almost every street in the western part of the capital and rocks were thrown by the thousands.... We had at least 80 injured from the opposition and 15 from the pro-government protesters and things are escalating and today there are over nine different provinces in Yemen which are seeing protests."

    Police reportedly intervened at several points during the demonstrations, firing their weapons into the air. Rival crowds hurled stones and bottles at each other, with many brandishing batons, sticks and knives.

    Al Jazeera television showed images of clashes in Taiz and Aden, reporting that further clashes were taking place in Hodeida and Lahaj.

    Large contingents of the Yemeni Army and the Republican Guard were reportedly deployed in both Taiz and Aden. Southern Yemeni separatists are calling for secession from the central government, while protesters elsewhere are demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdallah Saleh.

    Video footage of Yemen protests:

    Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen of Princeton University says that the protests have different goals in north and south Yemen.

    "The tone of the protests seem to be very different from Aden to Taiz to Sana'a, so in Sana'a, where most of the reporters are gathered, we seem to have the smallest protests, where in Taiz they're larger and much more peaceful, and then in Aden, where the protests have been going on for the past few years, they're calling for secession, not calling for the overthrow of the regime or for President Saleh to step down. You have something different entirely," Johnsen said.

    He says it is not clear if the "different strands of opposition and protests can coalesce as in Egypt and Tunisia, by merely focusing on the person of the president." 

    Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Saleh, who has been in office since 1978. He recently indicated that he would not run again when his term expires in 2013.

     

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

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora