After months of attacks on pro-democracy demonstrators, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced Saturday on state television that he will leave power in the coming days.
Saleh spent three months in Saudi Arabia being treated for serious wounds from a June assassination attempt and returned to Yemen on Sep.23 He then called for a cease-fire and said that he was “carrying the dove of peace and the olive branch”, The Telegraph reported last Sep.25 .
Many protestors have reacted to his call and more recently to his speech with cynicism and disbelief.
According to an article in Reuters on Oct. 8, written by Mohammed Ghobari and Erika Solomon, “Opponents were sceptical of the wily political survivor who has backed out of a Gulf-brokered power transition plan three times this year.”
Yemen, after enduring months of protests is causing concerns about its current state.
The country “remains on the verge of a humanitarian disaster, with rates of malnutrition that are among the highest in the world, especially among children in communities displaced by conflict across the country,” the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported on Sept. 20.
Some fear that the crisis might lead to a civil war between the various ethnic, religious and political sectors in the country. Others also expressed concerns about the region’s and world’s geopolitical stability. Not only is Yemen the home to al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP); the state is also the neighbor of the largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia. Powers fear that chaos in Yemen might endanger the world oil supplies.
The United Nations Human Rights Council discussed Yemen’s situation three weeks ago in Geneva and was called on by Amnesty International to make human rights violations a priority over security concerns and socio-economic interests.
“The international community cannot continue to put its security concerns and fears about al-Qa’ida before human rights considerations,” said Amnesty International’s Philip Luther, in the news section of the Amnesty International website on Sept. 20.
Over 100 people died in Yemen last Month.