[Dehai-WN] Weekly.ahram.org.eg: Withered olive branches

[Dehai-WN] Weekly.ahram.org.eg: Withered olive branches

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:17:03 +0200

Withered olive branches

The Yemen protests turned into an on-and-off war after the big players
refused to offer concessions to each other, reports Nasser Arrabyee

29 September - 5 October 2011


After hundreds were killed and injured from both sides over the last week,
Deputy Minister of Information Abdel-Aal Al-Janadi called on President Ali
Abdullah Saleh to resign if he could not stop rebel general Ali Mohsen from
waging war in the streets of the capital Sanaa.

Battles still take place between the opposition forces, including rebel
troops and armed tribesmen, and Saleh forces, despite a fragile truce called
for by president after he returned.

Shortly after his return from Saudi Arabia on Friday, President Saleh said,
"I came back with an olive branch and doves of peace. I am not malicious and
will not take revenge against anyone."

These battles happen inside the capital and in tribal areas like Arhab, Behm
and Taiz where opposition forces are trying to win by military means.

Earlier Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for a cease-fire and a
full truce just hours after he arrived in the capital from Saudi Arabia
where he was being treated for more than three months. "We call on all
parties, the military and security forces in the government and opposition
for a cease-fire and full truce, in order to find a solution. The solution
is not in the mouths of artilleries, but in the dialogue and talks and
saving blood and maintaining security and stability and preserving the
achievements of the nation."

After his return, millions of his supporters expressed their happiness over
his return by taking to the streets, demanding he stay in power until his
term is finished on 20 September 2013.

However, the American government and European Union urged Saleh to
immediately transfer power and start preparing for early elections to be
held by the end of this year according the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
deal signed by the opposition and the ruling party, but Saleh has not
endorsed it yet.

The GCC deal was supposed to be signed on Sunday, but the conflicting
parties did not agree on the mechanism of implementation. "The opposition
wants the president to step down; they do not want the elections," Ahmed
Al-Sufi, press secretary of Saleh, told Al-Ahram Weekly.

President Saleh deliver a speech on Sunday evening on the eve of the 49th
anniversary of the 26 September revolution against the monarchy. Saleh said
he is committed to the GCC deal and its implementation after it is signed by
his deputy Abdu Rabu Mansor Hadi.

The opposition was disappointed by what Saleh said and threatened to
escalate violent protests. "Saleh refused the GCC in reality, and he
declares his acceptance only to appease the GCC leaders," said spokesman of
the opposition Mohamed Qahtan. Qahtan said they do not care about Saleh's
return and they would continue their "revolution until all its goals are

Saleh's return came after almost a week of direct confrontation between his
troops and opposition troops and tribesmen in Sanaa. UN and Gulf mediation
failed to the stop the confrontation.

UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar and GCC official Abdel-Latif Al-Zauani arrived to
conclude the mediation efforts only to see bloodshed and hear explosions in
the capital around the clock.

Both of them were late. They were supposed to arrive before the breakout of
the war to help the conflicting parties reach an agreement on a mechanism
previously suggested by Bin Omar for implementing a Saudi-led GCC deal to
transfer power from President Saleh through democratic elections.

Tribal leader Hamid Al-Ahmar demanded that the GCC official Al-Zayani leave
Yemen, and vowed that he and opposition parties would begin a revolutionary
war rather than partake in useless talks. The GCC head returned home

Sporadic clashes continue throughout the capital.


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Received on Wed Oct 05 2011 - 18:17:04 EDT
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