Saturday, 19 March 2011


Yemen has one of the lowest Human Development Index ratings in the Arab world.

Yemen is facing a conflict with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,[17] as well as a revolt from secessionists in southern Yemen (where Osama Bin Laden's family is originally from),[18] who want to see the old South Yemen reconstituted. Additionally, there is also a Shia Houthi rebellion in the north of the country that wishes to be separate.
Ali Abdullah Saleh has been President of Yemen since 1990, and President of North Yemen from 1978 to 1990

Ali Abdullah Saleh has been president of Yemen for more than 30 years,[8] and many believe his son Ahmed Saleh is being groomed to eventually replace him.[19] Almost half of the population of Yemen live on $2 or less a day, and one-third suffer from chronic hunger.[20] Yemen ranks 146th in the Transparency International 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index,[21] and 15th in the 2010 Failed States Index.[22]

A draft amendment to the constitution of Yemen is currently under discussion in parliament despite opposition protests. The amendment seeks to allow Saleh to remain in the office of president for life. He urged the opposition to take part in an election on April 27 to avoid "political suicide." The current parliament's mandate was extended by two years after an agreement in February 2009 agreement the ruling General People's Congress and opposition parties seeking a dialogue on political reforms such as: moving from a presidential system to a proportional representation parliamentary system and a more decentralised government. Neither measure has been implemented.[23]
2009 alleged internal governmental dissent

According to a WikiLeaks report released 31 January 2011, in December 2009 United States diplomat Angie Bryan claimed that there had been opposition to Saleh from his closest advisors for several months. Bryan wrote, "Like other Saleh watchers, xxxxx[24] characterizes the multitude of threats facing Saleh as qualitatively different and more threatening to the regime's stability than those during any other time in Yemen's history. 'Saleh is overwhelmed, exhausted by the war, and more and more intolerant of internal criticism. Saudi involvement comes at just the right time for him' xxxxx said. Largely unprecedented criticism of Saleh's leadership within the rarified circle of Saleh's closest advisors has increased in recent months, even including longtime Saleh loyalists such as Office of the Presidency aides xxxxx, according to xxxxx. These names add to the growing chorus of Saleh loyalists that have shed their traditional aversion to disparaging the man they call 'The Boss'".[25]
Protesters with pink signs and headwear on 3 February.
Use of pink
Main article: Colour revolution

Yemeni protesters wore pink ribbons to symbolise the "Jasmine Revolution" and indicate their non-violent intent.[20] Shawki al-Qadi, a lawmaker and opposition figure, said pink was chosen to represent love and to signal that the protests would be peaceful.[26] The preponderance of pink ribbons in the demonstrations showed the level of planning that went into the protests.

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