Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yemeni ruling party, opposition trade accusation of trying to abort Gulf plan

SANAA, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni defected Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar condemned Thursday Yemeni authority's Wednesday attack against protesters in Sanaa which killed at least 12, accusing President Ali Abdullah Saleh of attempting to abort the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)'s power-transfer plan.

"We condemned the deliberate attacks on the peaceful young protesters," al-Ahmar, who is the half brother of President Saleh and commander of the Northwest Military Area, said in a statement published by key opposition media outlets.

"We hold President Saleh full responsible for a string of attacks in the past three months against armless protesters, including the assaults in Sanaa, Taiz and Aden on Wednesday," he said.

"By this, President Saleh has been seeking to drag the military and security forces into full-armed confrontation in a bid to abort the initiative brokered recently by the foreign ministers of the GCC," he said.

Commander al-Ahmar, who defected along with thousands of officers and soldiers from Saleh's regime late last month and joined the youth-led street protesters demanding Saleh to immediately leave office, accused the president of misleading the Yemeni people and GCC leaders by announcing his acceptance to the GCC plan.

Meanwhile, Saleh's ruling party on Thursday blamed the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) for Wednesday's clashes, accusing the leaders of the JMP of intentionally escalating violence against government supporters and police forces to violate the GCC plan.

"The JMP's leaders aim to make more demonstrators killed in deadly clashes through committing such violent acts and chaos in a bid to fail the GCC plan that proposed to solve the political standoff in Yemen," the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) said in a statement published by the official Saba news agency.

The GCC accused the "protest elements of the JMP stormed the camping square of the pro-government demonstrators and attacked them with live ammunition and bombs, with the support of defected military troops of the dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar."

"They wounded 300 pro-government demonstrators," the GPC said.

On Wednesday, Saba reported that GCC foreign ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting on Sunday in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, to prepare for convening Yemeni rivals to sign a power-transfer deal, which was accepted by Yemeni ruling party and opposition.

Yemen has witnessed three-month-long anti-government protests that demand an immediate end to the 33-year rule of Saleh, undermining the security and stability of the country.

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