Dec. 9 - Tens of thousands of Yemenis take to the streets in Friday protests against outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Tens of thousands of people take to the streets of Yemen's capital Sanaa to protest against the government of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Last month Saleh signed a deal to give up power after months of anti-government protests pushed the impoverished country to the brink of civil war. SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER WALED AL-AMARI, SAYING: "Today the international community does not have a false witness. To make those who contaminated their hands with blood -- the guarantors of human rights and defenders of human rights! The international community should pay attention to the demands of Yemeni people, and not see the case as agreed between the GPC and the opposition parties." But protesters continue to take to the streets in anger at a power transfer deal which grants immunity from prosecution to Saleh over the killing of demonstrators by security forces. So far there is no end in sight to the protests. SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, AHMED ABDULLAH, SAYING: "The Friday of Revolutionary Unity wants to send a message to the world -- that the rebels in the arenas of change are all in the same trench, in a row, a row of the peaceful revolution, and will continue the revolution until they achieve their goals." Under the transfer plan negotiated by Yemen's wealthy Gulf neighbours, Yemen's cabinet posts will be divided up between political parties to form a national unity government to steer the country ahead of a presidential election in February. The United States and Gulf Arab states, which brokered the deal, hope it will halt a slide into civil chaos they fear could spill over into neighbouring oil-producer Saudi Arabia and give militants suspected of links to al Qaeda space to thrive. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.