Yemen's Saleh wants global guarantees

2011-10-19 22:45

Sana'a - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Wednesday he would sign a Gulf peace deal calling for a transfer of power only if the United States, Europe and Gulf Arab states gave him unspecified guarantees.

Violence in Yemen, where thousands have been demonstrating for months demanding that Saleh end his 33 years in power, has spiked since he returned from Saudi Arabia in September after treatment for injuries sustained in an assassination attempt.

Saleh already has backed down three times from signing the Gulf initiative, and says he will only hand over power to "safe hands".

"Now that the president has returned, they say there is no need for the vice president to sign. Fine, I am ready to sign," Saleh told a meeting of party leaders in the capital Sana'a broadcast on state television.

"But provide guarantees to implement this initiative. We want Gulf guarantees, first, second, European guarantees and third American guarantees," he added.

The Gulf initiative provides for him to hand over power to his deputy to prepare for elections.

"These three guarantees must accompany the Gulf initiative," Saleh said.

Saleh's comments came after the five permanent members of the UN Security Council circulated a draft resolution to the full 15-nation body urging the swift signing and implementation of an agreement "on the basis of" the Gulf Arab plan, under which Saleh would be immune from prosecution.

Western Security Council diplomats denied that the draft resolution was an endorsement of the Gulf Co-operation Council initiative, although one envoy said the GCC deal is "the only game in town".

Next week

The draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, would have the Security Council say it "stresses that all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable." It did not give any details on how accountability would be achieved.

Council diplomats said privately that they hoped the resolution would be voted on and approved next week.

Yemeni Nobel peace laureate Tawakul Karman made an impassioned plea to the United Nations on Tuesday to reject the Gulf Arab plan that would grant immunity to Saleh, calling the president a war criminal.

She said she plans to emphasize that point in a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later on Wednesday. Ban's spokesperson said on Tuesday that there should be "no impunity" for rights violations in Yemen.

Referring to the dismantling of now-deceased Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath party after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Saleh said the world has been pushing him to sign the Gulf accord without any assurances on the fate of members of his administration.

"They say sign without any conditions and then we will look into the mechanism of the timing," Saleh said. "First, you must show your goodwill, and then we are willing to sign the initiative," he added.

The Yemeni protests are one of a series of "Arab Spring" uprisings that have already toppled long-serving rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

The United States fears that the Yemen protests might let Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda expand their control in the poorest country in the Arab world, which has a long and porous border with Saudi Arabia.

Daily clashes

Dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who had broken away from the Yemeni government army and sided with the protesters, has said that nearly 200 people have died since Saleh's return on September 23.

In the past three days, at least 26 people died in almost daily clashes between Saleh's troops and forces loyal to al-Ahmar and a tribal leader allied with the protesters.

Saleh blames the opposition for the violence.

In the latest violence, Yemeni tribesmen blew up an oil pipeline used to carry crude from the Maarib Province in central Yemen to Ras Isa port on the Red Sea, a government official said, the fifth attack on the pipeline in a month.

In south Yemen, an unidentified assailant threw a grenade into a crowded market place of a town on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding 11, witnesses and doctors said.

The attacker fled the scene in the town of al-Habilayn in Lahej province, where central government control has been weakened by the protest.

Read more on:    ali abdullah saleh  |  yemen  |  uprisings  |  yemen protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.