February 05, 2011

Thousands of Yemeni Tribesmen Occupying Tahrir Square for Third Day

Sana'aImage via Wikipedia

Yemen Post Staff

Confirming the fact President Ali Abdullah Saleh largely supports tribes in return for their support in time of need, thousands of tribesmen are occupying Tahrir Square in downtown capital Sana'a on an indefinite sit-in that only a positive response from the opposition to Saleh's recent initiations can end.

President Saleh made concessions on Wednesday at the emergency meeting of the House of Representatives and the Shura, saying he will not run for president and will not bring his son, Ahmed Saleh, to power when his term expires in 2013.

"No extension, no power succession and no to resetting the clock," he said, ordering to freeze discussing constitutional amendments omitting limits over the presidential term that have recently been approved by Parliament.

Furthermore, he urged to continue dialogue between the General People's Congress, the ruling party, and the opposition coalition JMP through the Commission of Four, and urged the JMP to stop mobilizing the people for rallies.

But the opposition turned down the presidential initiations, stating what Saleh said had nothing new and leading hundreds of thousands of protesters next day demanding reforms.

"We are here for a third successive day, eating, consuming qat and sleeping inside these tents," said Waleed al Hamdani, 28, one of the sit-inners while chewing qat inside one of many large tents that were set up following Saleh remarks on Wednesday.

President Saleh made concessions and the opposition should respond positively to his initiations, said Waleed, adding:" We are here in favor of President Saleh, dialogue and all peaceful means to serve our country".

Officials including Sana'a and Amran governors come and go to the tents to inspect the sit-in being organized by Sana'a governorate, though an informed source, who asked not to be named, said the ruling party is organizing and spending millions a day for the sit-in. On Thursday, tens of thousands of people gathered in Tahrir Square in favor of President Saleh.
"We are here for the sake of the country and we will not leave this square until the JMP responds to the president's initiations including coming back to the dialogue table," said another sit-inner.

Ali al Khatabi, 31, from al Haima al Dakhilya district, Sana'a, said the sit-in aims to support President Saleh after he had made concessions that the opposition should take seriously." Sana'a governorate, ruling party leaders in the governorate, sheikhs and elders as well as otherscalled for the sit-in," he said.

"We urge moderation and dialogue because only dialogue can be the solution to the current situation," he said.

President Saleh made concessions, so why does the opposition insist on turning a deaf ear to his initiations?, he wondered.

"We are not here in favor of a specific party or group. We came here for this country and will continue our protest until the opposition make up their minds putting the nation interest ahead of anything else," said al Khatabi.

"The opposition is seeking to disturb Yemen and this is unacceptable. Our country should not follow Egypt. We love our country and all parties should be wise enough to avoid acts that can lead to bad consequences," he added.

The sit-inners came from Sana'a districts including Arhab, Khawlan, Manakha, al Haima al Dakhilya and others.

Inspired by the Tunisian revolution that ousted the regime and forced President Zain al Abidin bin Ali out of the north African country last month and a revolution underway in Egypt, protests erupted in Yemen demanding change.

At first, small protests were organized, but later massive demonstrations and rallies organized by the JMP erupted including the biggest ever rally on Thursday, a day of rage.

Yemen Post Staff
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