Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shops shut in protest Saleh Yemen

Yemenis closed shops and businesses on Saturday to protest against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Up to 90% of stores, markets and schools were closed in the southern port city of Aden, a witness said. The streets were almost deserted. Many businesses also closed during the day in Taiz, Yemen's third largest city and epicenter of the opposition to Saleh, and in Hodeidah on the Red Sea.

Yemenis went on Friday to the streets of Sana'a and Taiz in rival demonstrations for and against Saleh, who gave a cautious welcome to a plan of Persian Gulf nations to transition into a period of three months. The proposal of the Gulf Cooperation Council includes the transfer of power to his vice president Saleh Mansour Hadi Abdarabu a month after signing the agreement.

The president would appoint an opposition leader to head an interim cabinet should organize presidential elections over the next two months. The plan released Thursday offered immunity from prosecution to Saleh, his family and colleagues, a move resisted by his enemies, that should stop the protests.

Persian Gulf nations, Saleh old allies, fear that the chaos in Yemen to be exploited by Al Qaeda militants in the country. Therefore they are trying to reach an agreement to end protests against his 32-year regime.

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