avenir d'une offensive

Dossier Yémen 3

11-02-20 - retour opposition

11-02-20 - L'Express -- Au Yémen, l'opposition se joint aux étudiants

Au Yémen, l'opposition se joint aux étudiants

Par LEXPRESS.fr avec AFP , publié le 20/02/2011 à 09:30 , mis à jour à 18:00

Le point sur la révolte arabe en Algérie, à Barheïn et dans les autres pays touchés par la contestation alors que le Maroc doit à son tour descendre dans le rue ce dimanche.

Les émeutes ont continué samedi de secouer des régimes autoritaires du monde arabe. 

En Libye, la contestation semble se transformer en insurrection dans l'est, alors que la communauté internationale commence à réagir. Le point sur ce pays en cliquant ici


Au Yémen, des heurts entre opposants et partisans du président Ali Abdallah Saleh, au pouvoir depuis 32 ans et allié des Etats-Unis dans la lutte contre Al-Qaïda, ont tourné à la bataille rangée samedi dans la capitale, Sanaa. 

Dimanche, l'opposition parlementaire au Yémen a annoncé dimanche sa décision de se joindre au mouvement de contestation du régime du président Ali Abdallah Saleh mené notamment par des étudiants, affirmant qu'elle ne reprendrait pas le dialogue avec le pouvoir sous les armes. 

Plus tôt dans la journée, une cinquantaine de militants favorables au régime ont attaqué un rassemblement d'un millier d'opposants qui scandaient "Dégage, Ali!" devant l'université de la capitale. L'un des partisans de Saleh a ouvert le feu avec un fusil d'assaut mais on ne fait pas état de victimes. 

Samedi déjà, les partisans du régime ont tentaient de prendre d'assaut le campus de l'université. "Le peuple veut la chute du régime", scandaient les étudiants. Un journaliste de l'AFP a vu un étudiant s'effondrer, atteint d'une balle au cou et noyé dans son sang, et ses compagnons criant: "il est mort". Selon le ministère de l'Intérieur, cependant, "un certain nombre de manifestants ont été blessés" mais "il n'y a pas eu de mort"

A Aden, dans le sud, les protestations ont continué après une nuit d'émeutes. Un adolescent a été tué par une balle perdue, selon une source hospitalière. Trois personnes ont été blessées, dont deux filles de 9 et 11 ans, quand la police a ouvert le feu pour disperser un rassemblement de plusieurs centaines de personnes, selon des témoins et des sources médicales. Douze personnes ont été tuées au Yemen, dont 10 à Aden, depuis le début de la semaine. 


Dans le Golfe, le petit royaume de Bahreïn qui sert de quartier général à la Ve flotte des Etats-Unis, la situation semble se détendre. L'opposition bahreïnie abordait avec prudence le dialogue avec le prince héritier sur des réformes politiques et continue de poser comme préalable la démission du gouvernement. 

Sur le terrain, des milliers de manifestants sont revenus sur la place de la Perle à Manama, épicentre de la contestation, après le retrait des chars de l'armée, demandé par l'opposition principalement chiite. Le prince héritier, Salman ben Hamad Al-Khalifa, a ordonné à la police de "rester à l'écart des rassemblements" et a demandé aux manifestants de se disperser. Depuis lundi, six manifestants ont été tués à Bahreïn. La France a "vivement déconseillé" tout déplacement vers Bahreïn depuis vendredi. 


En Algérie, des centaines de personnes ont tenté de se rassembler dans la capitale aux cris de "Algérie libre et démocratique", "Pouvoir assassin", "Le peuple veut la chute du régime", et ont été repoussées par d'importantes forces de sécurité. Une dizaine de manifestants ont été blessés, dont deux grièvement, selon la Coordination nationale pour le changement et la démocratie (CNCD). 

S'il n'était pas clair, la position du gouvernement a été rendue public une fois de plus ce dimanche. "L'effet domino est une invention des médias y compris les médias algériens qui sont très libres. Je ne crois pas que cela s'applique à l'Algérie. L'Algérie n'est pas l'Egypte ou la Tunisie", a déclaré le ministre algérien dans cette interview à El Pais donnée vendredi. 

Un député du Rassemblement pour la culture et la démocratie (RCD), Tahar Besbas, a été grièvement blessé par la police, selon des membres de son parti. 


La direction de la protection civile d'Alger a cependant affirmé que le député n'avait "absolument rien". 

En Mauritanie, des manifestations contre le manque d'eau et la hausse des prix dans une ville du sud-est, Vassala, ont été sévèrement réprimées vendredi, a annoncé samedi l'opposition qui a fait état de blessés et d'arrestations. 

A Djibouti, un policier et un manifestant ont été tués vendredi lors de heurts après un rassemblement de l'opposition qui réclame la fin du régime du président Ismaël Omar Guelleh. Trois chefs de l'opposition ont été arrêtés samedi. Deux d'entre eux ont été libérés dans la soirée, selon la télévision d'Etat. 

Le chef de la diplomatie britannique, William Hague, s'est dit "profondément inquiet" des informations "sur la violence inacceptable utilisée contre les manifestants en Libye, à Bahreïn et au Yémen" et a qualifié d'"effroyables" les violences en Libye. 

Au Maroc, plusieurs milliers de Marocains manifestaient dimanche à Casablanca et à Rabat pour réclamer des réformes politiques et une limitation des pouvoirs du roi, premier mouvement de ce type dans le pays depuis le début des révoltes qui secouent le monde arabe.  

11-02-21 - CNN -- Yemen's president compares protests to 'influenza'

Yemen's president compares protests to 'influenza'

From Mohammed Jamjoom and Christine Theodorou, CNN

February 21, 2011 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)


Protesters call for the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a demonstration in the capital Sanaa on Monday.

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected demands Monday that he step aside, comparing the anti-government protests in his country to a virus sweeping through the region.

"This is a virus and is not part of our heritage or the culture of the Yemeni people," he told reporters. "It's a virus that came from Tunisia to Egypt. And to some regions, the scent of the fever is like influenza. As soon as you sit with someone who is infected, you'll be infected."

Meanwhile, anti-government protests appeared to be gaining ground Monday with news that Houthi rebels, who have been battling the government for years, were staging protests and may come to Sanaa, the capital, to join Yemenis in demonstrations.

Saleh added that those seeking change should accept the reforms he has proposed. He had earlier said he won't seek another term in 2013 after being in power for 32 years. He also said he would postpone parliamentary elections scheduled for April to allow more time for discussions about reform.

"The group of reforms was put forward in response to the request of the opposition," he said Monday. "But unfortunately, after we put this reform package on the table and received public support from most people in Yemen, the ceiling of their demands rose and their demands are unacceptable."

"For example," he added, "they are asking for the fall of the regime. Our people are replying to them in all of the governorates and telling them, 'Yes to political reforms, yes to legal reforms and constitutional reforms, but no to coups."

Thousands of Shiite Houthi rebels demonstrated Monday in northern Yemen, according to Hassan Zaid, general-secretary of the pro-Houthi Haq party. "These demonstrations will make the opposition stronger," he said.

He said the Houthis were in near-constant communication with the anti-government opposition. The opposition asked Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi to hold the protests, and he obliged, Zaid said.

Members of the opposition dialogue committee are traveling to the northern Saada province from Sanaa to discuss bringing the Houthis to the capital to join protests, Zaid said.

Asked if this would end a cease-fire that has been in place between the Houthis and the government for months, barring some flare-ups, Zaid said, "The current government is too weak to announce a war at this time. And if the government tries to have a war right now, I can guarantee you the Houthis will be in Sanaa in two weeks."

Also Monday, between 3,000 to 3,500 anti-government protesters demonstrated peacefully in Sanaa for the 11th consecutive day. Security forces, stationed nearby to ensure peace, prevented about 50 pro-government supporters who tried to disrupt the rally outside Sanaa University, a witness said.

The area in front of the university is being called "Charge Square," according to Human Rights Watch.

Meanwhile, several thousand anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in Aden. At least one person was killed when the forces opened fire Monday, witnesses said.

"They attacked him, and they didn't allow us to help him," said Masood Abdul Bari. "We saw three get shot."

Other witnesses put the number of wounded at four.

Thousands also protested in the Taiz and Ibb provinces, according to eyewitnesses. Hundreds more demonstrated in Lahj and Thale provinces.

In addition to the most recent death, six people have been killed since Wednesday in anti-government demonstrations in Aden, hospital and government officials said.

A human rights organization in the country, HOOD, put the number of deaths as high as 12. Human Rights Watch also said 12 people had died, including Monday's death in Aden.

Also Monday, a prominent Yemeni cleric called for an end to arbitrary arrests and demanded those who carried out attacks and killings of protesters be prosecuted.

"The crimes of intentionally killing protesters will not be forgotten with the passing of time and those behind them must be brought to justice today or tomorrow," said Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani on behalf of the Yemen's Scholars' Committee.

He also called on the government to stop the rise of commodity prices.

The United States considers al-Zindani a terrorist, accused in 2004 of supplying weapons to al Qaeda. But in Yemen, he wields considerable influence.

On Sunday, hundreds of anti-government protesters chanted, "First Mubarak, now Ali," referring to recently ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and Saleh.

Saleh has blamed the unrest on foreign agendas and a plot against Yemen's stability, according to the state-run Saba news agency.

Yemen's situation is exacerbated by the U.S.-aided crackdown on al Qaeda, a Shiite uprising, a secessionist movement in its once-independent south and a looming shortage of water.

11-02-22 - Lesinfos -- Manifestations au Yémen quatorze morts

Manifestations au Yémen : quatorze morts

22 février 2011 122 lecture(s) Aucun CommentaireBuzzer cet article !

Les troubles continuent au Yémen. Depuis jeudi 17, les émeutes ont fait quatorze morts. Parmi eux, un adolescent tué par balles à Aden, une ville portuaire du sud du pays. C’est de Aden que de nombreux manifestants sont issus, d’après LEuro Mag. Ils repoussent le pouvoir du Nord depuis la réunification du pays au début des années 1990. Trois milles personnes ont notamment fait un sit-in devant l’université de Sanaa, le principal lieu de manifestations anti-Saleh. Les banderoles des manifestants exprimaient leur souhait de changer le pouvoir en place. On pouvait y lire “Dégage” ou “le peuple veut renverser le régime!”.

Quant au président Saleh, il a déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse lundi 21 qu’il ne partirait “que par les urnes“, selon Le Figaro. Le 2 février, il avait déjà annoncé qu’il allait mener des réformes et qu’il ne briguerait pas un nouveau mandat en 2013.


11-02-22 - L'Obs -- Yémen 'le peuple veut la chute du régime'

Yémen : "le peuple veut la chute du régime"

Publié le 22-02-2011 à 09h59

La contestation contre le régime du président Ali Abdallah Saleh continue de s'étendre au nord chiite du pays, tandis que des dizaines de milliers de personnes organisaient un sit-in dans la capitale Sanaa.

"Ni Nord ni Sud, notre révolution est celle des jeunes", répètent les manifestants. (AFP)

Bas du formulaire

À lire aussi

Cinq personnes ont été tuées, dont trois militaires, lors d'échanges de tirs dans l'est du Yémen avec des membres d'Al-Qaïda dont l'un a été arrêté, a annoncé mardi 22 février le ministère de la Défense alors que la contestation contre le régime du président Ali Abdallah Saleh avait continué de s'étendre lundi au nord chiite du Yemen. A Sanaa, des dizaines de milliers de personnes organisaient un sit-in alors qu'un manifestant a été tué par la police à Aden, dans le sud.

Le président Saleh, au pouvoir depuis 32 ans, a indiqué dans la journée de lundi qu'il ne partirait "que par les urnes", alors que le mouvement de contestation qui a débuté le 16 février a fait au moins douze victimes dans la seule ville d'Aden (Sud), selon un décompte élaboré à partir de sources médicales. Mais le ministère de l'Intérieur, dans un communiqué cité par l'agence officielle Saba, a affirmé que les violences n'ont fait que quatre morts au total.

A Saada (Nord), "des dizaines de milliers de personnes ont participé à une marche pour demander la chute du régime à l'appel du (chef de la rébellion zaïdite) Abdel Malek al-Houthi et du Forum commun," l'opposition parlementaire, a indiqué à l'AFP l'un des organisateurs. Selon lui, les manifestants ont proclamé leur soutien aux protestataires qui ne cessent de manifester à Sanaa, Aden et dans d'autres villes yéménites pour réclamer des réformes radicales. La rébellion chiite zaïdite avait proclamé samedi son soutien au mouvement de protestation.

 

"Le peuple veut le changement"

 

En février, forces gouvernementales et rebelles chiites avaient signé un cessez-le-feu dans le nord du Yémen. La reprise des combats en août 2009 dans ce conflit récurrent depuis 2004 avait provoqué un exode massif de la région de Saada, bastion de la rébellion contre Sanaa.

Dans la capitale, des milliers de personnes ont entamé un sit-in pour exiger le départ du président Saleh. Ils ont été rejoints par une douzaine de députés de l'opposition. Ce sit-in intervient au lendemain de la décision de l'opposition parlementaire de se joindre à la contestation jusque là menée essentiellement par des étudiants.

"Le peuple veut le changement" ou "le peuple veut la chute du régime", proclamaient des banderoles accrochées par les manifestants. Certains ont dressé des tentes avec l'intention de passer la nuit sur place. "Les étudiants ne partiront pas avant que le président ne s'en aille ou qu'ils tombent mort", a assuré l'un des manifestants, Mouammar al-Haidari.

Pour leur part, les ulémas du Yémen ont prohibé le recours à la force contre les manifestants. Les forces de sécurité ont érigé des postes de contrôle aux accès de la place mais n'ont pas tenté de disperser les manifestants.

Les manifestations, qui se déroulent quotidiennement à Sanaa depuis une dizaine de jours, ont été violemment réprimées par des partisans du pouvoir. Dimanche, pour la première fois, les manifestants n'avaient pas été inquiétés par les partisans du pouvoir, tenus à l'écart par la police.

 

Douze manifestants tués

 

A Aden en revanche, la police a continué à tirer sur les manifestants, faisant un nouveau mort lundi à l'aube, selon des sources médicales. Ce décès porte à douze le nombre de manifestants tués dans la principale ville du sud du Yémen depuis le début des manifestations quotidiennes tournant à l'émeute.

Dans la province de Lahaj, au nord d'Aden, la police a tiré à balles réelles sur une marche dans la ville de Houta, blessant trois manifestants, selon une source médicale. Les manifestants ont ensuite saccagé le siège de l'administration locale, selon des témoins.

A Hodeïda, ville portuaire de l'ouest sur la mer Rouge, trois manifestants ont été blessés lors de heurts avec des partisans du régime, selon des témoins.

A Taez, au sud de Sanaa, les manifestations se sont poursuivies pour la onzième journée consécutive, et des milliers de personnes ont dressé des tentes pour passer la nuit sur une place de la ville.

11-02-22 - L'Orient indiscret -- Au Yémen, les islamistes s'immiscent dans la révolte

Au Yémen, les islamistes s'immiscent dans la révolte

Par Georges Malbrunot le 22 février 2011 10h19 | Réactions (8)


Face à une opposition qui durcit le ton, le président Ali Abdallah Saleh au pouvoir depuis 32 ans ne compte pas démissionner. « On me demande de partir, mais je ne partirai que par les urnes », a déclaré le raïs yéménite, lundi, lors d’une conférence de presse à Sanaa.

Le 2 février, pensant désamorcer la grogne de son peuple, galvanisé par les exemples tunisien et égyptien, le chef de l’Etat avait annoncé qu’il ne se représenterait pas en 2013 et que son fils, Ahmed, ne lui succéderait pas. Mais depuis les manifestations appelant à un changement de régime se sont poursuivies, à Sanaa, la capitale, mais surtout à Taez et à Aden dans le sud où douze personnes ont été tuées victimes d’une répression sanglante. Et c’est précisément le recours excessif à la force qui a provoqué le raidissement de l’opposition. Dimanche, celle-ci a appelé ses membres à rejoindre le flot des manifestants, composé jusqu’à présent d’étudiants.

« L’opposition a compris que le mouvement étudiant est entrain de se structurer grâce à Twitter et Facebook sur le modèle égyptien en vue de la manifestation du 24 février, elle veut être présente pour fédérer la révolte », analyse un observateur sur place, qui relève de plus en plus d’étudiants islamistes dans les cortèges de manifestants.

Après avoir dénoncé les fauteurs de troubles en fin de semaine, l’influent chef islamiste Cheikh Abdelamajid Zindani a fait volte face hier affirmant, au nom de tous les oulémas du Yémen, que « toute agression contre les manifestants est un crime ». Zindani, un ancien proche d’Oussama Ben Laden en Afghanistan, est l’un des ténors de l’Islah, la formation intégriste qui domine la coalition des opposants à Saleh, au côté des socialistes sudistes.

Lundi, la contestation s’est également étendue au nord chiite, où des dizaines de milliers de personnes ont, à leur tour, réclamé la chute du régime. A Sanaa en revanche, des milliers de personnes ont entamé un sit-in devant l’université pour exiger le départ du raïs, mais comme la veille, les manifestants n’ont pas été inquiétés par les forces de sécurité. Dans sa conférence de presse, le chef de l’Etat leur avait demandé de ne pas tirer sur les protestataires.

En même temps qu’il résiste aux appels à quitter le pouvoir, Saleh cherche à apaiser la situation, en condamnant la violence des forces de sécurité au sud, ou en allant visiter le campus de l’université. Mais son offre, réitérée lundi, de dialogue a été rejetée par ses opposants. Pas de négociations tant que la répression sévit, insiste la Coalition d’opposition.

Celle-ci n’est pas « révolutionnaire », concède l’expert. « L’opposition veut arriver à la table des négociations que propose Saleh en position de force, notamment sur son exigence principale d’élire les députés à la proportionnelle ».

A Sanaa, grâce à l’appui des tribus, le raïs a encore la situation en main. En revanche, à Taez et surtout Aden « tout est possible », avertit l’expert. Dans cette dernière ville, les activistes sudistes, qui militent depuis des mois pour la sécession, seraient également sur le point de rallier les étudiants.


11-02-22 - Le Figaro -- Levée «imminente» de l'état d'urgence en Algérie

Levée «imminente» de l'état d'urgence en Algérie



11-02-23 - Le Monde -- deux manifestants tués dans une attaque à Sanaa

Yémen : deux manifestants tués dans une attaque à Sanaa

LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 23.02.11 | 06h51  •  Mis à jour le 23.02.11 | 09h07


Deux manifestants participant à un sit-in à l'université de Sanaa pour réclamer le départ du président Ali Abdallah Saleh ont été tués et onze autres blessés, mardi 22 février, dans une attaque armée de partisans du régime.

L'attaque a été menée vers minuit, heure de Sanaa, et les manifestants ont réagi en tentant de neutraliser, avec l'aide de la police, les assaillants, qui ont réussi à prendre la fuite, selon ce témoin.

Il s'agit des premiers tués dans les protestations dans la capitale yéménite depuis le début, il y a dix jours, des protestations demandant le départ du président Saleh, au pouvoir depuis trente-deux ans,

LE PARTI DE SALEH APPELLE À UNE MANIFESTATION "D'UN MILLION DE PERSONNES"

Un millier de protestataires, notamment des représentants des influentes tribus, avaient passé leur deuxième nuit d'affilée sur une place attenant à l'université de Sanaa, rebaptisée "place de la Libération", à l'instar de celle qui fut l'épicentre du soulèvement au Caire, sans être inquiétés par les partisans du régime.

Mais le matin, des heurts ont opposé les protestataires, au nombre de quatre mille, à des partisans du Congrès populaire général (CPG, parti au pouvoir) rassemblés sur une place distante de quelques centaines de mètres. Les partisans du président Saleh ont fait usage de matraques et de poignards dans ces heurts avant que la police intervienne pour disperser les deux camps.

Douze personnes ont aussi été tuées dans les protestations similaires à Aden, dans le sud du Yémen, selon des sources médicales. Ce bilan est cependant contesté par le ministère de l'intérieur qui affirme que seules quatre personnes ont été tuées à Aden, où les protestations contre le régime ont pris une tournure beaucoup plus violente qu'à Sanaa.

M. Saleh a cependant déclaré qu'il ne partirait "que par les urnes". Son parti a appelé ses partisans à une manifestation "d'un million de personnes" mercredi matin, qui devraient se diriger vers la place Sabine, devant le palais présidentiel à Sanaa.

11-02-23 - National Yemen -- Demonstrations in Shabwa, Hadramawt Demand Fall of Yemeni Government

Shabwa, Hadramawt Demand Fall of Yemeni Government

Al-Saeed and al-Rawdah directorates in Shabwa have witnessed demonstrations in which hundreds of protestors gathered from many directorates and reiterated several slogans demanding the departure of president Saleh’s regime.

In the Eastern Hadramawt province, for the first time in Tarim’s modern history “The capital of Islamic culture 2010,” which is also considered to be a peaceful region for many decades, demonstrations also took place where hundreds of angry protestors went out around Tarim last Tuesday.

They demanded the overthrow of the regime and headed to a stage of a rally annually held that was organized by ministry of culture and under the auspices of president Saleh, but the event appeared to be overtaken by the unrest.

The demonstrations interrupted the festival on its second day, just as it was supposed to continue for three more days.

Protestors also removed pictures of the president from the streets. Security forces shot at the crowds in order to disperse them, but apparently unable, so the military was brought from nearby Seiyun which succeeded in separating them and arresting some of their ranks.


11-02-23 - CNN -- Yemen president calls for new national unity government

Yemen president calls for new national unity government

From Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN

February 23, 2011 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)

anaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is calling for an end to the protests in that country and said he supports the creation of a national unity government to oversee upcoming parliamentary elections, the state-run news service Saba reported Wednesday.

According to the news service, Saleh made the statement during a meeting with an official with the non-profit National Democratic Institute. Saba reported that Saleh told the official, Leslie Campbell, the NDI's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, that demonstrations must stop to "prepare for a suitable atmosphere" for the elections.

Saleh also ordered security forces to prevent clashes between demonstrators both for and against

the government, and urged both sides to prevent "saboteurs" from entering their ranks, Saba reported.

Saleh also repeated his pledge not to run for re-election, Saba reported.

Anti-government demonstrators say that's not good enough. Undeterred by an attack on their sit-in a day earlier, anti-government protesters gathered at Sanaa University again on Wednesday to demand that Saleh step down.

"We are worried that it could happen again. But we have nothing to lose and it's for the sake of the country," said Yasser Hasani, a student.

At least two people were killed when government loyalists attacked and opened fire on sit-in participants Tuesday night, an opposition lawmaker said.

Foad Dahaba, a lawmaker with the opposition Islah party, provided the figure to CNN on Wednesday. Until now, protesters had provided conflicting numbers for the toll.

Some of the protesters carried photos of the two victims, calling them martyrs.

"We feel sad for what happened yesterday but we are enthusiastic that their blood will not be forgotten," Hasani said Wednesday. "Everyday that passes with bloodshed makes us stronger and more firm in our demands.

Earlier Tuesday, sit-in participants had overturned a car and set it on fire after discovering weapons inside apparently brought to a demonstration by government loyalists, a protester said.

Demonstrators noticed a parked car near the sit-in and were told that the people in the car were government loyalists who had come to harass them, according to one of the protesters, Adnan al-Nathari.

Several hundred students converged on the car to confront those inside, who then fled, he said. The protesters searched the car and found a rifle and a gun, al-Nathari told CNN. The students then flipped the car and set it ablaze.

There were no injuries reported in that incident.

The sit-in at Sanaa University was one of at least five protests on Tuesday in Yemen. There were others in Aden and Taiz, and in the provinces of Ibb and Lahj.

Saleh's call for the creation of a new government to supervise parliamentary elections came two days after he rejected demands that he give up power.

On Monday, Saleh rejected demands that he step aside and compared the anti-government protests to an illness sweeping through the region.

"This is a virus and is not part of our heritage or the culture of the Yemeni people," he told reporters. "It's a virus that came from Tunisia to Egypt. And to some regions, the scent of the fever is like influenza. As soon as you sit with someone who is infected, you'll be infected."

Saleh added that those seeking change should accept the reforms he has proposed. He had earlier said he won't seek another term in 2013 after being in power for 32 years. He also said he would postpone parliamentary elections scheduled for April to allow more time for discussions about reform.

11-02-24 - RFI -- Au Yémen, des députés démissionnent pour protester contre la répression des manifestations

Au Yémen, des députés démissionnent pour protester contre la répression des manifestations

Par RFI Publié le 24-02-2011 Modifié le 24-02-2011 à 00:56


Au Yémen, la contestation se poursuit. Sept députés du parti au pouvoir ont démissionné pour protester contre la répression des manifestations. Ils ont annoncé leur décision après la mort dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi 23 février de deux manifestants, attaqués par des partisans du régime alors qu'ils observaient un sit-in à Sanaa pour réclamer le départ du président Ali Abdallah Saleh.

La répression, l'utilisation de la violence notamment dans la région d'Aden n'a pas seulement choqué les manifestants. Le geste des sept parlementaires montre que les proches du pouvoir commencent à remettre en cause la stratégie prise par le président Ali Abdallah Saleh. « Le peuple doit avoir le droit de manifester pacifiquement », a justifié l'un des députés démissionnaires.

Ces démissions ne changent pour l'instant rien à la donne politique yéménite. Les partants ne sont pas des proches d'Ali Abdallah Saleh et le Parlement est davantage un lieu de débat qu'un lieu de réel pouvoir.

Toutefois, un des députés a annoncé qu'une soixante d'autres parlementaires étaient prêts aussi à renoncer à leur mandat pour protester contre les violences. Mardi 22 février, deux manifestants antigouvernementaux ont été tués et une dizaine d'autres blessés par balles à Sanaa au cours d'accrochages avec des partisans du chef de l'Etat. Lundi, à Aden, un adolescent a été tué au cours d'un affrontement avec des soldats.

Ces démissions créent la surprise au Yémen

Avec notre correspondante à Saana, Charlotte Velut

Il est encore tôt pour affirmer que ce mouvement sera le début d’une longue série. Si la nouvelle n’a pas suscité de réaction immédiate au Yémen, elle crée tout de fois la surprise.

Il y a quelques jours, le ministre du Tourisme avait appelé à des élections anticipées, certains membres des administrations locales auraient également démissionné. Mais c’est la première fois depuis le début des protestations au Yémen, qu’un groupe de proche du président Ali Abdullah Saleh annoncent publiquement sa désolidarisation du parti au pouvoir.

D’après plusieurs manifestants croisés devant l’université de Sanaa, les politiques ne sont pas les seuls à prendre de la distance vis à vis du régime. Certains occupants de la place Tahrir, bastion du parti au pouvoir, commencent à rejoindre leur rang.

Lundi, un manque de repas dans l’une des tentes de Tahrir aurait même déclenché une rébellion parmi les supposés partisan du régime. Plusieurs personnes auraient mis feu au poster du président qu’elles arboraient pourtant fièrement depuis plusieurs jours.


11-02-24 - Libération -- le président demande aux forces de sécurité de protéger les manifestants

24/02/2011 à 08h11

Yémen: le président demande aux forces de sécurité de «protéger les manifestants»

dans le monde arabe

Deux d'entre eux ont été tués dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, lors de l'attaque de leur sit-in à Sanaa par des partisans du pouvoir.

Yémen: le président demande aux forces de sécurité de «protéger les manifestants»

Le président yéménite Ali Abdallah Saleh a donné l'ordre à ses forces de sécurité de «protéger les manifestants» au Yémen où la répression de la contestation populaire a fait au moins 15 morts, a annoncé jeudi l'agence officielle Saba.

Le chef de l'Etat a donné «des directives aux services de sécurité pour empêcher tous les heurts et prévenir tout affrontement direct entre les protestataires pro et antigouvernementaux», selon un communiqué publié par l'agence.

Il demande «de protéger les droits des citoyens à se rassembler pacifiquement».

Deux manifestants avaient été tués dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi lors de l'attaque de leur sit-in à Sanaa par des partisans du pouvoir, portant à au moins 15 le bilan des morts dans la répression de la contestation depuis le 16 février.

Maroc: un parti important réclame «des réformes politiques»

L'USP, un des principaux partis de la coalition gouvernementale marocaines, réclame un «agenda pour des réformes politiques soit fixé», et «reconnaît l'importance» des manifestations de rue récentes, a déclaré jeudi à l'AFP l'un de ses dirigeants.

«Les réformes politiques commencées il y a 15 ans au Maroc sont maintenant consommées. Notre parti doit être en phase avec les revendications des jeunes marocains», selon Ahmed Zaïdi, président du groupe parlementaire de l'Union socialiste des forces populaires (USFP).

Cette déclaration intervient peu après les manifestations du 20 février dans plusieurs villes du pays pour exiger des réformes politiques «urgentes», en réponse à des appels de jeunes Marocains sur Facebook.

Contrairement aux autres partis politiques de la coalition gouvernementale, ainsi que le parti islamiste Justice et développment (PJD, opposition parlementaire), l'USFP «n'avait appelé ni à boycotter ni à soutenir les manifestations du 20 février», a indiqué M. Zaïdi.

Au lendemain des manifestations, le pouvoir a assuré avoir «saisi le message». Dans une allocution, le roi Mohammed VI s'est dit attaché à la «poursuite des réformes» et a exprimé sa volonté de «consolider (le modèle marocain) par de nouvelles réformes».

11-02-24 - Al Jazeera -- Shots fired at Yemen demonstration

Shots fired at Yemen demonstration

Teenager killed and four people wounded in clash with soldiers in southern port of Aden, as protests enter 11th day.

24 Feb 2011 17:08 GMT

A teenager was killed and four people were wounded in a clash with soldiers in Yemen's southern port of Aden, witnesses said.

They said soldiers opened fire at the youths who were throwing stones at their military patrol in the city's Khormaksar district on Monday.
 
The death brings to 12 the number of people killed in unrest in Yemen since Thursday. Protesters, seemingly inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, have called for the end of president Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule.

Saleh, in power since 1978, said on Monday that only defeat at the ballot box will make him quit.

"If they want me to quit, I will only leave through the ballot box," Saleh told a news conference as thousands of protesters, including opposition MPs, gathered outside Sanaa University to demand his departure.

Protests have continued despite Saleh promising not to seek re-election when his term ends in 2013 [Reuters]

"We have offered a package of reforms in a meeting with the parliament," Saleh said, adding: "It was in response to calls by the opposition, but unfortunately, as soon as we made it and were endorsed by the people the opposition raised the bar of its demands. And whenever we would offer more concessions, they would ask for more."

The EU delegation to Yemen issued a statement strongly condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters and urging Saleh to respond to "the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people".

"The EU calls for the Yemeni authorities to immediately halt attacks by security forces and armed pro-government groups on peaceful protesters and journalists and avoid any escalation.

"The EU deeply deplores the loss of lives and calls on all to exercise restraint and calm in order to avoid further casualties and violence," the statement read.

Saleh, a US ally battling a resurgent al-Qaeda wing based in Yemen, faces soaring unemployment, dwindling oil and water reserves, and chronic unrest in northern and southern provinces.

Shots were also fired at the demonstration in Sanaa, as the anti-government protests entered their 11th consecutive day. Thousands of people also staged sit-ins in the cities of Ibb and Taiz on Sunday.

Amid the ongoing turmoil, authorities have detained a leader of the separatist Southern Movement in Aden.

Hasan Baoum was arrested in the southern port city by an "armed military group" in a hospital where he was receiving treatment and was taken to an unknown location, his youngest son Fadi Hasan Baoum told the Reuters news agency.

Baoum was also arrested in November last year, accused of planning illegal demonstrations.

Yemeni clerics issued a statement on Monday prohibiting the use of force against protesters, which they described as a "crime," and calling for a ban on arbitary arrest and torture.

Sanaa protest

Security in Aden had been stepped up on Sunday with tanks and armoured vehicles out on the city's main streets.

In the capital, as many as 50 government supporters tried to break up a demonstration outside Sanaa University by more than 3,000 protesters.

Marching students chanted and carried signs reading: "Get out Ali for the sake of future generations".

A Saleh supporter fired shots from an assault rifle but there were no reported casualties and the government supporters soon dispersed, while the protesters continued their demonstration chanting, "Leave, Ali!"

Both sides fired weapons on Saturday outside the university - the first reported use of firearms by demonstrators.

Five soldiers were wounded on Saturday evening in Khormaksar and Sheikh Othman when protesters clashed with security forces, a local official and witnesses said on Sunday.

Blame game

In the southern city of Ibb, around 1,000 protesters set up camp in Freedom Square waving banners which read "Leave" and "The people want the fall of the regime", witnesses said.

In Taiz, thousands continued a sit-in for the 11th straight day. Twelve Yemeni human rights organisations demanded the sacking and trials of security officials in Aden, Sanaa and Taiz because of their role in attacks against demonstrators, according to a statement seen by Reuters.

Saleh on Sunday renewed his call for opposition parties to continue their dialogue and blamed the previous two days of protests, in which five people were killed, on "elements outside the system and the law".

"Dialogue is the best way. Not sabotage. Not blocking the roads," he told tribal, military and civil leaders in Sanaa.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Sanaa, said Saleh's message to the pro-democracy protesters is clear: "There is no way he can allow them to bring about change by taking to the streets".

"The government has also been saying, over the last few days, that calls for independence in the South won't be tolerated."

11-02-24 - Global Voices -- Yemen At the Boiling Point

Yemen: At the Boiling Point? (Video)

Posted 24 February 2011 17:59 GMT

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

Weeks of pro- and anti-government protests in Yemen are beginning to change the country's political atmosphere.

Wednesday, February 23, President Ali Abdullah Saleh demanded [ar] security forces take action against violence among demonstrators. Saleh ordered the forces to physically separate pro- and anti-government groups to reduce the chance of fighting.

This came after pro-government “thugs” used knives and guns to attack students holding a sit-in against the government at the University of Sanaa, killing at least one person wounding up to 20 more. The violence prompted seven members of Parliament to resign.

On YouTube, belaquood uploaded a video on February 23, showing police separating protesters from different political factions. It's titled: “Thanks to the policemen for keeping away the thugs.”

The goodwill will certainly be tested. Protests took place on Thursday, February 24 in Sanaa, Aden and Hodeidah, the country's fourth-largest city. A bomb exploded in the southern town of Lawdar, killing at least one person.

Finally, 11 more MPs from the ruling party reportedly resigned.

From Twitter:

@shephardm: Reuters reports that bomb during demonstration in Aden kills one, injuries two. City is heart of southern separation movement. #yemen. #yf.

@JNovak_Yemen: Bomb kills 1 in #Yemen (2 words- deniable proxies) #YF #Saleh http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=28451

In more Tweets from Thursday's events:

@alnitak250: Protests in all major cities in #Yemen today – In Sana'a anti-govt at university, pro-govt at Tharir sq – fears the two groups may clash #YF

@c0ri: Wow, #Yemen is at the boiling point. Today is more protesters that I've seen yet. I think they are where #Egypt was 2 weeks ago.

@ThomasFan2010 Power to the People!!! #Yemen!

@shephardm: Mood in anti-Saleh camp peaceful just before sunset. Just watched a wedding in fact. Tents, people chewing qat, shouting “Ali out.” #yemen.

Also, an unemployed man reportedly committed suicide Thursday by setting himself on fire.

Protesters in Yemen have called for political reforms and the resignation of Saleh, who they claim looks the other way regarding corruption, poverty and the violence in the country.

After the fall of Egypt's Honsi Mubarek, Saleh is the second-longest serving leader with strong ties to the United States to be targeted by protesters. The US is extremely worried about the number of Al Qaida members operating in the country, and Saleh has benefited from the United State's war on terrorism. The Associated Press reports that the US sent $155 million to Yemen in military aid in 2010.

On Friday, February 25 it looks like things may heat up again. Pro-government groups are planning a million-man march in Sanaa. A reporter from Yemen told the Guardian of worries the atmosphere could create hostility between the marchers and the students sitting-in on the outskirts of town. Unions also announced they would continue marching against the government, demanding more help for basic goods and to improve the security situation.

In other moves to try to placate the opposition, Saleh also suggested forming a government of national unity to form until the upcoming elections in 2013. Saleh has been in power since 1979, and he recently promised not to run in the 2013 Presidential election.

Commentator Jane Novak dismissed the rumors of a new government of national unity:

@JNovak_Yemen: #Yemen #AliSaleh's latest ploy to retain power, co-opt #protests is a “national unity gov't” http://yemenonline.info/news-1965.html #YF

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011


11-02-24 - TIME -- Yemen Protests How Long Can They Hang Tough Against the Thugs

Yemen Protests: How Long Can They Hang Tough Against the Thugs?

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Riot police charge towards anti-government demonstrators during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen.

The mood at the makeshift camp is almost festive if it were not for the angle — small tents encircle an obelisk that men climb to scream mantras against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the military leader who has been in power in Yemen for over three decades. People hand out food, sing and even spend their days dancing in this spot in front of the University of Sana'a in the capital. Numbering around 2,000, they are the true believers of the anti-regime cause, desperately trying to rally in bigger numbers, explaining their relatively small numbers (compared to the massive turn-outs in Egypt) by saying that their fellow citizens are staying away due to a mixture of apathy and fear.

Fear is just up the road, almost out of sight but never out of mind. There, the baltegeya, the thugs, are waiting, armed with guns, rocks, shards of concrete and wooden batons.

(See the woman leading Yemen's protests.)

Late Tuesday night, just before midnight, pro- and antigovernment protesters started taunting each other in the street, separated by a line of riot police sent in to keep the two sides apart. Though they began by chanting, the protesters soon started lobbing rocks at each other over the human police barrier. Trying to disperse the crowds, the cops started firing in the air. But under the dim amber streetlights, the sound of gunfire only seemed to provoke the baltegeya into action.

Pulling out their AK-47s, they started running forward and firing at their the anti-Saleh crowd, according to eyewitnesses. By the time the ambulances had arrived, the streets were covered in sharp-edged concrete missiles and bullet casings. Two young anti-government protesters were killed and 10 injured.

It's not clear who the baltegeya are. The anti-regime activists say they are a mixture of plain-clothes police and tribesmen that the regime has been paying to bully the demonstrators. The government denies both claims. On Wednesday night, a government source said President Saleh had issued a directive that "instructed all security services to thwart all clashes and prevent direct confrontation between pro and anti government protestors." It asked police "to offer full protection for the demonstrators" but asked protesters "to remain vigilant and take all precautionary steps to prevent the infiltrations of individuals seeking to carryout violent actions."

(See why Yemen's protests are yet to succeed.)

One activist, who asked to be named Ms. Ahmed, says the government is fostering a culture of fear to keep its opponents off the streets. "It's only safe here in the day, at night the police give no protection for us from the thugs," she told TIME. "The pro-government guys are everywhere," she added. A crowd of male protesters stood around her to listen in, but made sure to keep a couple feet away as is custom in this deeply conservative society.

Ms. Ahmed says people are scared for their lives and for the safety of their families so they do not dare join the anti-government protests. Many Yemenis fear that the ubiquitous secret police will report their political leanings and plans. "The government listens to our phone calls and hires people to look at Facebook," says Ms. Ahmed. "We are trying to coordinate with people around the country, but we are too scared to call them." She then marches away, the surrounding men hastily moving aside to allow her passage.

(See TIME's special report "The Middle East in Revolt.")

Protesters accuse the government of playing sly, if morbid, games to demoralise and break them up. The dead, they say, are stripped of ID cards to prevent protesters from identifying them and rallying the deceased's friends and families to the commemorative demonstrations. Meanwhile, the injured are taken straight to prison — sequestered from media and public attention. Anti-government youth have tried to open websites for the cause, only to have them promptly shut down by hackers. Even getting to the demonstrations is risky. Ms Ahmed said she has chosen to walk after hearing stories of people who jump into taxis and ask to be driven to the protests only to find themselves taken straight to the police station. Cabbies are notorious in Sana'a for being informants.

The big players in Yemen who might be able to assemble the larger numbers — the main opposition parties and tribal sheikhs — have spent the past month sitting on the fence, unwilling to commit to either Saleh or his young student opponents. Not one of them wants to be seen as a ringleader of a failed revolution. Meanwhile, the large civil society of Egypt, which came out in droves against Hosni Mubarak, just doesn't exist in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. Whether or not the bloodshed on Tuesday night rouses the rest of the country to join the opposition remains to be seen. But, only a couple blocks from the tent city at the university and the scene of the baltegeya confrontation, there are no signs that the rest of the Sana'a is demanding a revolution.

11-02-25 - NYTimes -- In Taiz, Yemen Protest Movement Grows

February 25, 2011

Yemeni City Feeds Unrest’s Roots

By LAURA KASINOF

TAIZ, Yemen — Tens of thousands of demonstrators massed in pivotal Yemeni cities on Friday, holding their largest demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh since the wave of anti-authoritarian unrest began sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East.

In Taiz, a mountainous city in central Yemen that has long been a bastion of opposition sentiment, as many as 100,000 demonstrators held Friday Prayer in unison as a local cleric preached to the crowds of men and women sitting on the pavement.

“This is not a revolution against a person, a family or a tribe,” he said over a loudspeaker to the gathering, which stretched over blocks and blocks of the city’s streets. “This is a revolution against oppression and corruption.”

After the mass prayer was finished, the crowd burst out into the kind of chant that has echoed across the Arab world since the Tunisian revolution: “The people want the regime to fall.”

Large demonstrations also took place across Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, where at least one person was fatally shot amid reports of snipers being used against protesters.

And in the capital, Sana, tens of thousands of demonstrators held their largest protest since the unrest began, swelling what started as marches by a few dozen students and activists only a few weeks ago.

Protesters in Taiz have held their own continuous sit-in for the past two weeks since Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt. It has been much more organized than the one in the capital, with scheduled speakers, civilian-run checkpoints and even a series of distinct protest committees arranging security, food and media access.

A four-block section of the road has been cordoned off by rocks and dubbed “Freedom Square.” A handful of Yemeni soldiers stand on the outskirts, relaxing against cars with AK-47s at their sides.

Many of the protesters say they feel that if a democratic revolution is possible in Yemen, it will be a result of the momentum gained here in Taiz, an opposition stronghold often described as a geographic and ideological link between the north and south of the country.

“We feel that we want to start the revolution here, but that the results will be felt in Sana,” said Fahim al-Mawfy, a lawyer who works with youth protesters in Taiz and Yemen’s popular Islamist Al Islah political party.

“Taiz will be the heart of the revolution,” said Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani, a prominent Yemeni political analyst. “If the government can crush the protesters in Sana, it won’t be able to crush it in Taiz.”

As with other democracy movements in the region, the protest in Taiz started on Facebook. About 50 activists organized small demonstrations before Mr. Mubarak fell, but it quickly escalated.

“One step in our plan is to start mobilizing the people in the countryside,” said Boshra al-Maqtari, a protest leader, shouting directions into her phone to activists in Aden on how to get to the protest here.

The Taiz organizers said that if the president had not stepped down after another month of protests, they would move to nationwide strikes, despite Yemen’s fractured society.

“It will be difficult,” said Ms. Maqtari, but “we can also make our demands across the country one.”

Organizers said they had seen some movement in that direction already, with protest chants across south Yemen changing from calls for separation — the demand of the south’s popular secessionist movement — into calls for the government to fall.

While protests in the capital have been tense, with repeated clashes between forces for and against the government, the demonstration in Taiz took on an exhilarated feel. Families walk around the cordoned off area. Hundreds of tents have been set up. On Wednesday, two weddings were held at the sit-in. And on Friday, three famous actors took the stage before prayers to tell jokes about the president as the crowd laughed on cue.

Taiz’s population is often described as the most educated in Yemen, but the people here complain that they are treated as second-class citizens, and that the culture of Yemen has been dominated by the northern tribes since Mr. Saleh came to power.

“I have a master’s degree, while my boss has only graduated from high school,” said Mr. Mawfy, the lawyer.

Sadeq Qasim, from a village in Taiz Province, the most populous in Yemen, said he heard about the demonstration on a local television station.

The opinion is united” in my village, said Mr. Qasim, 32 and unemployed. “We want Saleh to go.”

11-02-25 - National Yemen -- Hundreds of Students in Mukalla Demand Fall of Yemeni Government

Hundreds of Students in Mukalla Demand Fall of Yemeni Government

Hundreds of Students in Mukalla Demand Fall of Yemeni Government.

Wednesday hundreds students from various schools in Mukalla took part in one of the biggest protests in the country calling for the overthrow of the regime.

Protestors started to gather from the early morning in large numbers walking on Mukalla streets reiterating slogans of overthrowing the regime and releasing political detainees.

They headed to Mukalla security directorate where security forces shot live ammunition and used tear gas to disperse them.

Four protestors were arrested, among them political activists.

11-02-25 - Global Voices -- Yemen “Our blood is not cheap”

Yemen: “Our blood is not cheap” (Videos)

Posted 25 February 2011 19:53 GMT

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

Tens of thousands of protesters across Yemen rallied for and against President Ali Abdullah Saleh after Friday prayers.

Two protesters were shot dead in Yemen's second-largest city Aden on Friday, February 25, in what appears to be confrontations between anti-Saleh groups and police. At least 34 others have been wounded, most by live gunfire.

In the Yemen's capital Sanaa, people were especially worried about rivaling demonstrations scheduled for Friday, but no major incidents were reported. Around 10,000 pro-Saleh supporters rallied in Sanaa's Tahrir square, just four kilometers from where approximately 30,000 to 50,000 anti-Saleh protesters gathered at the University of Sanaa.

For and against the government

In the roughly two weeks since protests began in Yemen, an estimated 17 people have died and dozens hurt in clashes between anti-Saleh demonstrators and pro-government groups and security forces.

Since protests across the Middle East began to spread, opposition groups have squeezed concessions from Saleh, like a promise to not run in the 2013 presidential election and to enable more national political dialogue. Yet anti-government protesters (and outside observers) accuse pro-Saleh groups of hiring thugs to beat them with daggers and clubs.

After pro-Saleh groups shot and killed two anti-government protesters on Tuesday, February 22 (and wounded many others), President Saleh ordered police to offer “full protection” to anti-government protesters, and, if necessary, separate them from pro-government groups.

Yemen is arguably the poorest country in the region, and the mostly young anti-Saleh protesters have been demanding economic development and human rights. They say Saleh has been in power for too long (since 1978) and has reigned over a notoriously corrupt government with a poor human rights record.

Saleh supporters say his downfall would bring chaos to a country only 15 years removed from its last civil war with a southern secessionist movement. Yemen still faces multiple security issues, like an on-again off-again war with tribes on its northern border.

Aden

Here is a photo from the demonstration in Aden where one protester was killed and 19 others reported wounded. In a video uploaded to Twitpic by snuraddin, protesters chant: “Ali you bastard, our blood is not cheap.”


Aden is the former capital of what was once the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) before unifying with North Yemen in 1990 to form the current Republic of Yemen.

According to accounts on Twitter:

@aden_voice: Ali Abdullah Saleh's soldiers have no qualms about killing southerners and to fire live bullets in the head#Yemen #aden

@aden_voice: they are burning pictures of #President of Yemen and #Yemen Flag in alorood area Aden, #protesters demanding the independence of South #fb

@aden_voice: Security opens fire on the protesters at Camp Victory in Khormaksar and news of the martyrs and the wounded. South Yemen#Aden #Yemen #fb

@snuraddin: #protesters burn #tires in revenge of what happened to their #friends in AlAreesh #khormaksar #aden #yemen

Sanaa

The country's capital witnessed dueling protests today, and citizen caught a lot of the action in videos. A video uploaded by
tomwfinn shows the sit-in at the University of Sanaa.

Here is a round-up of the day's events in Sanaa:

@JamjoomCNN: Prayers just finished – as soon as they were done entire crowd rose up chanting “People are calling for the fall of the regime” #Yemen #yf

@Yemen_2011:(Hashem @AJELive) cars w speakers infornt of pro-gov marchers #Yemen – plenty of banners – speaking of Dialogue committee by Prez -

@JamjoomCNN: One sign reads: “No to dialogue, no to negotiation” This crowd has one demand… That Saleh step down #Yemen #yf

@shephardm: Word on the street is that gov't loyalists getting about $20 + food and qat to stay at Tahrir Square. That's a lot of money here. #yemen.

@JamjoomCNN: Oppo. politician @ anti-govt demos today:”This is a people's protest. We're joining the youth to be among them and not to lead them.” #Yemen

@tomfinn__ Crowds are deafening here at Sana'a university #yemen there must be over 30,000 people

@JamjoomCNN: One student :”President Saleh is stubborn but our movement is a peaceful one and we'll keep coming day after day in greater numbers.” #Yemen

@shephardm: Talked with one pro-Saleh demonstrator who said wanted to show support so country wouldn't collapse. Wants to wait for elx in 2013. #yemen

@Abou_3ali: dozens of thousands at #Sanaa university today! So exciting!! More and more people there and so different… #Yemen #yf

@shephardm: But one cop raised his baton and came toward me when he saw my camera. Guess he didn't get the “be nice to journos memo” from pres. #yemen.

@gregorydjohnsen: Pro-Salih protests look fairly small on tv – anyone on the ground have a sense of numbers?ite

@gregorydjohnsen: I was there a couple of hours ago, can't have been more than 10,000 pro-Saleh supporters

@shephardm: Went inside military PR office known as 26th of September. A dozen video cameras. Wonder about “citizen journalists” on the street. #yemen.

@ionacraig: Single panicking soldier who aimed at protesters after firing in air nearly changed course of events today. Snr officer grabbed gun from him

@yemen4change: For security reasons, bloggers from #Yemen, please do NOT disclose your locations! There is gov wide crackdown on online bloggers

@ionacraig: Came closer than I'd like to being shot today, lost my phone and then a pro-saleh guy hit me round the knee with a stick by mistake. Bad day

@WomanfromYemen: liberals, islamists, socialists, young, old, students, unemployed, teachers, doctors, men, women etc at the protest #sanaa #yemen

@WomanfromYemen: overwhelmed w/joy at the peaceful and festive atmosphere today in #sanaa, #yemen. not sure how many ppl were there but i think around 50,000

@Abou_3ali: People prayed, ate, chanted, danced, chewed, at #Sanaa U. and it's still going on! LOVE IT!! Yalla ya shabab !! #Yemen #yf

Taiz

News Yemen reports that “tens of thousands” protested in Taiz, the country's third largest city. Here are some photos from Friday's events.

Here is a video of protests from Taiz, uploaded by sadekmaktary

Another video, titled “funeral of a martyr Liberty Square in taiz,” was uploaded by sadekmaktary

Finally, a video of the protests beginning immediately after Friday prayers, uploaded by @kasinof

From Twitter:

@dia_assada: As Freedom Sq had no more capacity, inhabitants around the Sq opened their houses’ yards n roofs 4 prayer performers. #Taiz #Yemen

Ibb

Here are some photos of protests in the city of Ibb, about 150 kilometers from the port of Aden.

11-02-25 - Examiner -- Injuries and fatalities in Aden, Yemen after anti-government protests

Injuries and fatalities in Aden, Yemen after anti-government protests

February 25, 2011 8:29 PM MST

In what may be the bloodiest day yet since anti-government protests broke out in Yemen two weeks ago, residents around Aden are reporting numerous fatalities as security forces opened fire on protesters in many districts throughout the day and evening Friday. By sun-up Saturday, reports ranged from between 15 and 20 killed in a half dozen locations around Aden and dozens wounded. The carnage was carried out systematically, methodically and the violence was sustained over hours.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement late Friday evening


11-02-25 - LA Times -- Yemen protests swell as 180,000 join rallies nationwide

Yemen protests swell as 180,000 join rallies nationwide

More than 180,000 pro-democracy demonstrators rally in cities across Yemen, calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

February 25, 2011|By Haley Sweetland Edwards, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Sana, Yemen — Protests in Yemen mushroomed Friday into the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in the nation's history, as more than 180,000 people marched in streets and squares calling for the ouster of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

About 30,000 anti-government protesters, 10 times as many as have gathered in recent days, convened in front of Sana University here in Yemen's capital in peaceful, joyful demonstrations. More than 150,000 others convened in other cities and provinces across Yemen, according to local news reports.

The protests in Yemen were the largest on a "day of rage" across the Arab world Friday. Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq and Algeria. Even in Tunisia and Egypt, which have already seen longtime leaders fall, people were out in force, demanding accountability from their new governments.

In Sana, the mood near the university was markedly different Friday from that of the last week, in part because of the surge of tens of thousands of people and the diversity they brought to the two-week-old protests.

"Look around; these are not just students, not just young people," said Khaled Anesi, a human rights lawyer and activist. "There are tribesmen, people from the south, professionals, everybody. Together, we will take down this regime."

Anti-Saleh protesters have set up more than a 100 brightly colored camping and wedding tents in the intersection in front of the university, which has become the epicenter of dissent. The intersection is decorated with Yemeni flags, banners, signs scrawled with slogans such as "Game over, Saleh" and "Get out, and take your dogs with you," and photographs of the two young men who were shot to death by pro-Saleh forces Tuesday night.

Meanwhile across town, aobut 10,000 government supporters, some of whom had been bused in from outer provinces, marched in the capital's Tahrir Square. They were provided flags and placards bearing the president's picture, and they chanted that Saleh provided stability to the country. A banner hanging over the square read, "Disorder is a Support for Terrorism."

Near the university, the mood in the center of the so-called Freedom Square was something akin to a festival, with men in traditional tribal dress dancing with college students and schoolchildren, their faces painted with Yemen's tricolor. But on the edges, where anti-Saleh demonstrators have set up makeshift weapons checks, the atmosphere remained tense.

Two young police officers fired shots into the air to disperse a crowd Friday, setting off a domino effect as officers across the square panicked and also fired shots. A police supervisor rushed to the officers, took their guns and threw them into the back of a truck, defusing the situation.

The moment underscored how easily violence could break out in one of the most heavily armed nations in the world. A protester was reported killed Friday by government forces in the southern port city of Aden.

Saleh has tried to strike a conciliatory tone, distancing himself from the pro-government forces who have been attacking and shooting at protesters. He called for security officers to give full protection to demonstrators.

"The government of the Republic of Yemen will continue to protect the rights of its citizens to assemble peacefully and their right to freedom of expression," Saleh said, according to an official news release.

Protesters have been encouraging the tribes, as well as Saleh's many enemies, to join them in the streets. Houthi rebels in Yemen's northern provinces, who have been fighting Saleh's government for six years, announced their support for the protesters last week and held rallies in Abyan and Saada provinces Friday, attracting tens of thousands of participants, the group reported.

Southern separatist leaders also have announced their support for the anti-Saleh protesters. They joined demonstrations Friday in Abyan and Shabwa provinces, and in Aden, news reports said.

Protesters across the region poured out of Friday prayers and into the streets.

In Cairo, thousands of demonstrators returned to Tahrir Square two weeks after mass protests toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak and the military high command took control of the Egyptian government.

Many in the crowd complained that Mubarak's former aides still are running the Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs and other key ministries, and that only the man at the top had changed.

Edwards is a special correspondent. Times staff writers Jeffrey Fleishman and Bob Drogin in Cairo contributed to this report.


11-02-26 - Le Monde -- Nuit de violences à Aden au Yémen

Nuit de violences à Aden au Yémen

LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 26.02.11 | 09h31



La journée de vendredi a été marquée par de nombreuses manifestations dans plusieurs villes du pays. AP/Muhammed Muheisen

Malgré les appels à la retenue lancés par le gouvernement, Aden, la grande ville du sud du Yémen à la pointe de la contestation contre le régime du président Ali Abdallah Saleh, a vécu dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi de véritables scènes de guerre, qui ont fait quatre morts selon les hôpitaux. Quarante autres personnes ont été blessées lors de la dispersion de plusieurs manifestations dont la principale s'est tenue dans le centre de la ville, en face de l'hôtel Kenya du quartier Maalla, selon des témoins.

"Notre quartier a vécu de véritables scènes de guerre menées par des éléments de la garde républicaine (corps d'élite de l'armée yéménite) qui ont pris pour cible des jeunes innocents voulant manifester pacifiquement", a déclaré un habitant. L'intervention musclée des forces de sécurité a eu lieu en dépit d'un ordre donné jeudi par le président Saleh de protéger les manifestants quand ils protestent de manière pacifique.

LA CONTESTATION S'INTENSIFIE

Un responsable des services de sécurité d'Aden, cité par l'agence officielle Saba, a affirmé qu'une marche organisée, selon lui, par l'opposition et des "éléments séparatistes" avait connu des débordements, ce qui a nécessité l'intervention des forces de l'ordre. Un responsable de l'administration de Maalla, Mohammed Hassan Abdo Cheikh, a indiqué de son côté avoir des "informations selon lesquelles des éléments armés ont tenté d'attaquer un bâtiment administratif de la province d'Aden et ont ouvert le feu sur les gardes qui ont riposté".

Les manifestations ont pris de l'ampleur après l'annonce de la mort d'un manifestant de 17 ans, Mohammed Ahmed Saleh, qui a été touché vendredi après-midi par des tirs de la police, avant de succomber à l'hôpital, selon des sources médicales. La foule en colère a envahi plusieurs quartiers de la ville. Certains manifestants ont érigé des barricades et d'autres ont tenté d'attaquer des postes de police.

Ces décès portent à 16 le nombre de morts à Aden depuis le début de la contestation le 27 janvier contre le régime du président Saleh. Les violences à Aden ont clôturé une journée de forte mobilisation à travers le pays qui a vu des dizaines de milliers de personnes - quelque 100 000 dans la seule capitale Sanaa selon les organisateurs - participer à des prières collectives et des marches exigeant "la chute du régime".

11-02-26 - RFI -- Au Yémen, d'importantes tribus se joignent aux manifestants

Yémen - 

Article publié le : samedi 26 février 2011 - Dernière modification le : samedi 26 février 2011


Au Yémen, d'importantes tribus se joignent aux manifestants


Manifestation anti-gouvernementale à Sanaa, le 26 février 2011.

Reuters / Ammar Awad

Par RFI

Ce samedi matin 26 février 2011, devant un vaste rassemblement près de Sanaa, les chefs de deux des plus importantes tribus du Yémen, les Hached et les Baqil, ont décidé de se rallier au mouvement de contestation qui vise depuis des semaines le président Ali Abdallah Saleh, au pouvoir depuis 32 ans. Dans la nuit du vendredi à samedi, Aden, dans le sud du Yémen, a vécu une nuit d'émeutes. Il y a eu au moins 4 morts et 40 blessés d'après les services médicaux sur place. Les manifestants mettent en cause des éléments de la garde républicaine. Ce que démentent les forces de l'ordre. La veille, le président Saleh avait publiquement donné des instructions pour protéger les rassemblements pacifiques.

Avec notre correspondante à Sanaa, Charlotte Velut

La rue yéménite n’espérait pas de meilleur soutien. L’entrée des tribus Baqil et Hashed dans le camp des manifestants est une aubaine. Ces deux ethnies représentent près de 50% de la population du Yémen. Avec cet appui, le mouvement de contestation gagne en crédibilité. Dans le pays, ce ralliement demeure toutefois qu’une demi-surprise.

Depuis plusieurs jours, des chefs tribaux venus des quatre coins du Yémen, rejoignent en masse, le campement antigouvernement installé devant l’université de Sanaa.

11-02-26 - Fox News -- Yemen's parties to join anti-president protests

Yemen's parties to join anti-president protests

Published February 26, 2011

Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen –  Yemen's opposition parties said Sunday they are joining young protesters in their push to bring down the country's beleaguered president.

The announcement marked the second major setback in two days for President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key U.S. ally in the fight against the al-Qaida terror network. On Saturday, two powerful chiefs from his own tribe abandoned him, and hundreds of thousands called for his ouster in the largest protests yet.

In recent weeks, Yemen has seen daily protests, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. The mainstream opposition parties had been reluctant to join, preferring a wait-and-see approach.

However, on Sunday they said they would hold rallies Tuesday to show solidarity with the protesters.

"We call on all the citizens to come out Tuesday and condemn the regime for its crimes," said the Joint Gathering, an umbrella organization for seven opposition parties, including socialist, moderate Islamic and nationalist factions.

The announcement is a blow to Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, said Abdel Bari Taher, a Yemeni analyst. "If they join the people in the streets, they will swiftly decide the fate of the regime," he said.

Anti-government protests were held Sunday in cities across Yemen, including the capital of Sanaa, the city of Taiz and the port of Aden. In the eastern town of Malla, 18 protesters were injured in clashes with security forces, security officials said.

Security officials said Saleh dispatched army units, bolstered by tanks, to Aden to help security forces in putting down the protests. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

On Saturday, Saleh appeared to be hardening his stance, after initially offering protesters to engage in dialogue and promising that the security forces would not use force against them. Yemeni TV quoted him as telling army commanders that the armed forces will not hesitate to "defend the security of the nation as well as the unity, freedom and democracy."

"We will fight to the last drop in our blood," he said.

Saleh's government had been weak even before the protests erupted. He was faced with growing al-Qaida activity and a separatist movement in the south. At the start of the protest wave, Saleh offered not to seek re-election in 2013, but was rebuffed by demonstrators.

11-02-26 - Global Voices -- Yemen “I beg you to help us NOW”

Yemen: “I beg you to help us NOW”

Posted 26 February 2011 19:27 GMT

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

Citizen journalists, bloggers and Tweeps are reacting to a military crackdown in Aden, Yemen, on Friday, February 25, that killed an estimated five people and wounded approximately 25 anti-government protesters.

Friday's protests throughout much of the country were relatively peaceful — even between both pro- and anti-government groups. But in Aden the military used tear gas and fired weapons at demonstrators around the city, according to press reports. What some are now referring to as the February 25 massacres came just days after President Ali Abdullah Saleh tried a more conciliatory stance toward anti-government protests by demanding the military protect the safety of protesters — even going to the point of physically separating groups with opposing viewpoints.

A spokesperson denied security forces killed and wounded protesters, putting the blame on “an armed group of separatists.” President Saleh said the Aden protests had attempted to disrupt Yemeni unity.

For the past two weeks, tens of thousands of mostly young protesters and human rights activists have been calling for the removal of Saleh, who has been in power since 1978. Anti-government activists argue Saleh's government is corrupt, violent and lacks feasible plans for economic development. In Sanna, thousands of demonstrators have also rallied in support of the president, who has promised not to run for re-election in the 2013 Presidential vote. Pro-government voices argue his early overthrow will send an already unstable country into chaos.

Press reports vary in the number of deaths since the demonstrations began, with estimates ranging between 21 and 35, along with scores injured. Anti-government protesters have been targeted by both pro-Saleh groups and government security forces.

Unity problems
Humans have inhabited the area of Yemen for millennia, but the Republic of Yemen is just over two decades old when the northern areas and southern areas were finally united in 1990. In the southern part of the country, the seaport of Aden dates back to biblical times, and the city was first colonized by the Portuguese in 1513 and later the British. At that time, northern areas of the country were under
Ottoman Turk rule.

As Britain's colonies gained independence, the area around Aden joined a federation of small neighboring states. After the fall of the Ottoman empire, the northern part of Yemen was an independent state, ruled by a Shia Imamate, which was deposed in 1962 by troops backed by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. This lead to the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic. (The Houthi, supporters of the government deposed in 1962, continue a sometimes violent independence movement in the far northern part of the country.)

After decades of discussion, the two regions unified. Two decades later, many of the south remain unimpressed, and parts of the region is home to a simmering succession movement. Only has 30 per cent of the country's population hails from the south, but the region is rich in resources (read: oil), making it responsible for much of Yemen's economy. Southerners complain that eight out of every 10 barrels of oil pumped in Yemen comes from the south, but they see very few profits.

Violence in Aden
It's very difficult for journalists and human rights organizations to verify information in Aden, blogger Jane Novak
writes. While most foreign journalists are in Sanaa, it is nearly impossible for foreign journalists to enter Aden. Local journalists, she says, face “a broad and brutal clamp down”.

Here is a video, uploaded by muadshibnai, that shows peaceful protesters walking down the street and then being fired on.

After speaking to witnesses in different neighborhoods of Aden, Human Rights Watch reported:

At least one security officer stepped out and opened fire with a military assault weapon without giving a warning, the witness told Human Rights Watch. He said the gunman wore the gray uniform of the National Security Bureau. Police then immediately opened fire, shooting both into the air and straight at the crowd, and also fired teargas at the protesters, the witness said.

“Suddenly I heard screams, turned around, and saw two men on the ground,” the witness said. “One of them was shot in the head – he was lying on the ground face down, blood streaming from his head. He didn’t move. The other guy was screaming, ‘My arm! My arm!’ – he got two bullets in his shoulder.”

Security forces also opened fire without warning on another peaceful demonstration in the al-’Arish area of Aden, a human rights activist at the scene told Human Rights Watch. The activist said he saw at least five people fall to the ground after being hit by bullets, mostly in the legs.

From Jane Novak:

Aden residents report that the dead and wounded lay in the streets, sometimes for hours, as live fire from security forces pinned down medics, ambulances and other concerned citizens trying to give aid. Several areas reported that homes were randomly strafed. Electricity was cut in many parts of Aden.

Gunshots were heard throughout the night with the last report coming in at 4 am local time, a full ten hours after the assault began.

HELP us now’
Here are some
sounds in what @AlaaIsam says were clashes in the Maalla district of Aden.

Here are some tweets from Yemen during Friday night's violence:

@al3ini: Situation in Aden is very difficult and tense #Yemen #Aden #YF

<="" a="">URGENT: Tanks are in streets of KhorMakser now #Aden #South #Yemen #Security

@AhlamS: Security forces in #Aden announcing “Emergency Situation” & curfew- firing live ammunition #yemen #YF

@AlaaIsam: Still my brother Munder stuck in KhorMakser, he said the army shooting on them and did not allow them to go to Crater.. Help please #Yemen

@AlaaIsam: URGENT: army forces prevents ambulance cars from entering alma'lla to rescue injured peaceful protesters #Aden #South #Yemen

@aboshaima2010: Many injuries in Almaala str. Peopel in need of help in Aden who can help to stop these crimes

@AhlamS: Urgent : News about gun firing directed at houses, and huge panic among citizens of #Aden, news of dead bodies Scattered in the streets…

@JNovak_Yemen: Msg from #Aden: security forces fire anti-aircraft machine guns on homes, army truck ran over kid in Crater #Yemen #YF

@AlaaIsam: To All Demonstrations in Taiz and Sana'a, i beg you to help us NOW there, Press on Security, let them stop the crime in Aden

@AlaaIsam: To All Media Please Promote Aden, Saleh Killing Us this moment in Aden

@AlaaIsam: to all Northerns, Aden need you to help, Army killing people here… please i beg you to help Aden

@snuraddin: #squares of #almansurah r armed #checkpoint with heavy weapons that I do not know their names #aden #yemen

<="" a="">the shooting still until now, in Maalla, Little Aden, KhorMakser districts, calm in Crater and Mansoora still free of army #Yemen #Aden


@AlaaIsam: Witness, 9 killed while their bodies are still there in front of Kenya plaza hotel in Maalla district #Yemen #Aden

@wsaqaf: ‘#Massacre’ reported as peaceful protesters in #Aden, #Yemen brutally attacked. Appeal sent to to help injured. http://goo.gl/yTDR0


@AhlamS: Slaughter in #Aden #Yemen Now: There is an urgent need for blood and medicine!

The day after
On Saturday, February 26, citizen journalists continue to report on a number of issues, including investigating rumors the army is making it difficult to enter Aden, or even move around the city. This video uploaded by
alaaisam shows a Saturday, February 26 morning protest in Aden's Crater district watched over by security forces, including those sitting in a tank.

Here is a photo of tanks on the way to the area of Little Aden.

From Twitter:

@al3ini: Today Internet is very slow in #Yemen and it is difficult to access Twitter #Aden #YF

@snuraddin: #security #checkpoints between #taiz & #aden denied entry of #citizens #yemen

@snuraddin: there is undeclared #curfew in #aden & #military #forces prevent moving within #aden #yemen

@snuraddin: is #aden a #war #zone #now ? why #people are not allowed to come in ? #yemen

@JNovak_Yemen: @alguneid #Saleh is trigger happy in #Aden because the oil, gas & port are there & some southerns want independence from north . #Yemen

@gregorydjohnsen: Uh-oh, talk of mercenaries and colonial remnants in Aden by President Salih of #Yemen.


11-02-26 - The Australian -- Protests grow in Yemen as bomb boosts tension

Protests grow in Yemen as bomb boosts tension

A MINE placed on the route of an anti-government protest has exploded prematurely, killing one and injuring two while raising tensions further in Yemen.

The explosion occurred in Lawder, a southern town known for anti-government feeling. No group claimed responsibility.

The blast came a day after Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered police to protect demonstrators after two were killed on Wednesday (AEDT) in Sanaa, the capital. Recent protests in the city have been relatively peaceful, despite occasional conflict between pro- and anti-government demonstrators hurling rocks and firing assault rifles.

"President Ali Abdullah Saleh instructed all security services to thwart all clashes and prevent direct confrontation between pro- and anti-government protesters," a presidential aide said.

Anti-government numbers in Sanaa have grown over the past two days and exceeded 5000 yesterday from about 2000 previously, with a peaceful atmosphere that is at times jovial. Protesters, many of whom have been camped in front of Sanaa University for days, dance during the day and call out for the President to flee. A large demonstration was planned overnight.

The protests in Sanaa are run by students and human-rights activists. In the south, where the bomb exploded, the students are joined by the Southern Movement, an umbrella association of political groups, some of which want the south of the country to secede.

The most deadly protests in Yemen have occurred outside the capital, where anti-government sentiment has been simmering for years. In the port city of Aden, 12 protesters have been killed over the past two weeks, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Meanwhile, top US military officer Mike Mullen arrived in Bahrain for talks with officials yesterday as thousands of protesters staged a march in Manama, pressing an 11-day uprising against the monarchy.

Admiral Mullen, on a regional tour, said the visits were aimed at "reaffirming, reassuring and also trying to understand where the leaderships of these countries are going, and in particular in Bahrain".

He was due to meet Bahrain's King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman, whom the US has praised for taking "positive steps" to reach out to protesters.

In Saudi Arabia, influential intellectuals asked the king to adopt far-reaching political and social reforms. The call for change came after King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz announced an unprecedented economic aid package, including interest-free home loans. The package, estimated at 135 billion Saudi riyals ($35.5bn), was seen as an attempt to get ahead of potential unrest.

Algeria yesterday lifted a state of emergency ordered 19 years ago as the country catapulted into a period of chaos.

The measure was entered into the Official Journal, undoing the procedures that put it in place, the official APS news agency reported.

The decision comes amid a flurry of strikes and protests and was clearly a gesture aimed at restoring a measure of calm.

And in Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged Iraqis not to take part in massive demonstrations in Baghdad overnight, describing their organisers as insurgents and loyalists of Saddam Hussein. The city's military command said cars and motorcycles would not be permitted on the roads until further notice.

Mr Maliki's remarks were stronger than warnings issued by Iraqi security officials, who claimed the protests would be infiltrated by insurgents bent on wreaking havoc. "I call upon you . . . not to participate in tomorrow's demonstration," Mr Maliki said in Baghdad.

The latest protests have been billed as Iraq's own "Day of Rage", referring to similar protests in Egypt that eventually led to the overthrow of strongman Hosni Mubarak.

AP, AFP, The Wall Street Journal

11-02-26 - WSJ -- Rival Protesters Duel in Yemen

Rival Protesters Duel in Yemen

By OLIVER HOLMES

SAN'A—Yemenis took to the streets of the capital on Friday in one of the country's biggest protests to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Small protests have been taking place in Yemen since mid-January, inspired by the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt, but Friday's crowds were estimated in the tens of thousands.


Anti-government protests in Yemen have surged in recent days, a worrisome sign for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Journal's Oliver Holmes reports from the capital, Sana'a.

Outside San'a University, where students have been camped out for weeks, the streets were flooded with people. More than 30,000 people attended Friday prayers at the university, to show their support and to mourn the death of two protesters who were shot and killed late Tuesday night by government loyalists.

Because the protests were spread out over multiple streets in central San'a, reliable numbers were hard to calculate. Local media reported between 50,000 and 80,000 antigovernment demonstrators.

A sea of people knelt on their hands and knees in the street to pray for the dead protesters under flapping Yemeni flags, before rising to chant slogans against the president. Crowds of young men and some women started demonstrating in the faces of riot police.


"People want the regime to collapse," screamed the heaving crowds, punching the air as they chanted. At one point, some people converged down a side street, causing a bottleneck. Confusion ensued and shots were fired. It is unclear whether the gunfire came from the police or pro-Saleh loyalists, who have fired on protesters in the past. Nobody was injured.

Government loyalists staged a counterdemonstration in Tahrir Square, where they have held rallies over the past few weeks. Giant beige marquees have been set up to prevent antigovernment demonstrators from occupying the square. Around 10,000 men marched up and down the streets yelling, "Yemen needs Ali Abdullah Saleh."

Although much smaller than the antigovernment protest, Tahrir Square was flooded with people, many carrying wooden batons.

Antigovernment protesters say the loyalists are hired thugs, using violence to quash the opposition. The government has denied any connection with the violence and states it hasn't paid anyone to protest for the president.