Apr 27 - Demonstrators in Yemen step up their protest against a Gulf deal that would give President Ali Abdullah Saleh a month-long window to resign, and grants him immunity from prosecution. Travis Brecher reports.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis step up protests calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power. In the capital Sanaa, angry crowds shout out one message: leave. It's the same cry that has echoed throughout the country since protests began over two months ago. Gulf mediators in Riyadh are expected to seal a deal that would end Yemen's political standoff on Sunday, but these protesters say Saleh's deal would be too sweet: the agreement would give him a month-long window to resign, and grants him immunity from prosecution. The large turnout at protests against the Gulf deal shows the ability of the largely young protesters to act as potential spoilers - and they've vowed to stay in the streets until their demands are met. It is also not clear that opposition parties, comprised of Islamists, Arab nationalists, and leftists who have been in and out of government in past years, could halt the protests even if required to by the transition agreement. Washington and Saudi Arabia are pushing for the standoff to be resolved. They fear that further instability in the embattled country would offer more room for a Yemen-based al Qaeda wing to operate. Travis Brecher, Reuters