Yemen opposition, VP strike a deal

2011-06-13 21:44

  • Yemen
    Foreign Relations and Challenges Now R2,329.00
    buy now

Sana'a - The vice president and parliamentary opposition members struck a deal on Monday to try to ease Yemen's political crisis, as young protesters pushed for a transitional ruling council within 24 hours.

With security deteriorating in the south of the country, meanwhile, the army kept up its battle against al-Qaeda suspects in the city of Zinjibar where more than 100 combatants have reportedly been killed in the past two weeks.

Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and the parliamentary opposition, at a meeting in Sana'a, reached a reconciliation agreement, opposition spokesperson Mohammed Qahtan told AFP.

"We agreed to calm the situation in terms of security and media campaigns, in a first step towards reviving the political process and meeting the aspirations of all Yemenis," said Qahtan, adding the two sides would meet again.

Political sources in Sana'a said the dialogue could aim to revive a Gulf-brokered power transfer plan, which President Ali Abdullah Saleh who is hospitalised in Saudi Arabia has refused to sign.

They said Hadi was under pressure from the United States, Europe and Gulf states to move toward a transition deal as uncertainty persists over the health of the president.

Yemeni authorities have said that Saleh, wounded in a June 3 bomb blast in the mosque of his presidential compound, would address the nation "very soon", although an informed Yemeni source in Riyadh said he was in poor health.

Gulf Arab foreign ministers, who suspended their mediation efforts on Yemen on May 23, are set to meet on Tuesday.

Saleh has steadfastly refused to sign the initiative that would see him transfer power to his deputy, Hadi, within 30 days in return for immunity from prosecution.


Activists of the "Youth Revolution" movement, in a statement, on Monday urged Hadi to "clarify his position in the coming 24 hours and [state] whether or not he will take part in the transitional council."

"We will work with all forces to form the council in the hours that follow the ultimatum given to Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi," they said, adding the council would lead Yemen for a maximum nine months of transitional rule.

The activists, who have been protesting on the streets against Saleh's 33-year-long autocratic rule since January, said the council would "appoint a nationalist and compatible figure to form a government of technocrats".

They also called for the dissolution of parliament and Yemen's consultative council, for the formation of a committee to draw up a new constitution, and for dates to hold a referendum on the constitution and for elections.

The protest movement said it held Hadi responsible for the violence sweeping Yemen at a time of political turmoil.

A military official said on Monday that at least 80 members of the security forces have been killed in clashes with suspected al-Qaeda gunmen in Zinjibar over the past two weeks.

Sixty al-Qaeda militants, among them local leaders, have also died, he said, since gunmen seized control of much of Zinjibar in late May.

Security officials say the militants are al-Qaeda fighters but the political opposition accuses the government of embattled Saleh of inventing a jihadist threat to head off Western pressure on his three-decade rule.

Many have fled

According to military officials, al-Qaeda fighters have besieged the base of the army's 25th mechanised brigade in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province. Nearly 4 000 soldiers remain in the base.

"We are locked in violent battles with criminals and assailants belonging to al-Qaeda... We will not surrender. We will fight till the end," the commander of the brigade, General Mohammed al-Somali, told AFP by telephone.

"The army does not want to enter Zinjibar because they will become easy targets for al-Qaeda gunmen, deployed in the streets across the city," said Abyan's deputy governor Ahmed al-Rahawi.

He said the extremists had seized weapons from the security headquarters when they took over Zinjibar, including heavy equipment such as tanks and military vehicles.

Pakistani, Libyan and Saudi nationals figure among the fighters, said Rahawi, adding that more than 20 000 people had fled the city.

Yemen is the home of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQIP), an affiliate of the slain Osama bin Laden's militant network. The group is blamed for anti-US plots including trying to blow up a US-bound aircraft on Christmas Day in 2009.

Read more on:    ali abdullah saleh  |  abdrabuh mansur hadi  |  yemen  |  uprisings  |  yemen protests

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Shilowa supports Vote No campaign

Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa has come out in support of the Vote No! Campaign launched recently by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, says a report.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.