Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yemen's Saleh Given An Exit Strategy

Despots and dictators the world over know that when the end is near, and their regime is to fall, an exit strategy is a good idea. Wishing for a golden ticket is ideal. Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh has been presented with that very scenario.

After weeks of delays and using force to remain in power, Saleh has accepted a brokered deal to step down so long as he is given immunity from prosecution.
Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to accept a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered plan that allows him to cede power in exchange for immunity, a government official said.

Saleh agreed to transfer power to a deputy within 30 days and to elections 60 days after that, Tarik al-Shami, spokesman at the ruling General People’s Congress, said in a telephone interview today. The opposition must end protests and accept immunity for Saleh and his aides and all terms of the GCC plan, al-Shami said.

Saleh would be the third leader forced from office since popular unrest spread through the Middle East, resulting in the ouster of Hozni Mubarak in Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia.

Tensions escalated last month when police and snipers killed 46 demonstrators in Sana’a, the capital, prompting several military and government officials to abandon Saleh’s regime. A total of 109 protesters have been killed since Feb. 11, according to Majed al-Madhaji, a spokesman at the Arabic Sisters Forum for Human Rights in Sana’a.

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