September 5, 2011
In various parts of Yemen, thousands of people renewed protests on the streets to again pressure President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down from office and the government to quickly act on reforms concerning the ragged economic state of Yemen. When the Jasmine Revolution, or the Arab Spring, rippled across the North African and Middle Eastern world, civil uprisings in Yemen started to shake the country starting in mid-January 2011.
Following violent clashes along with the deaths of more than 30 protesters between government security forces and protesters, the Yemeni government offered the protesters economic and political reforms including the modification of the Yemeni constitution.
However Yemeni protesters wanted more and called for more reforms and a crackdown on the rampant level of government corruption along with the resignation of President Saleh.
In order to calm the furious and growing masses, President Saleh announced that he would not be running for president in the 2013 elections. Despite his announcement, protests continued as protesters stated that they will not be going back home until all of their demands are met.
Eventually President Saleh caved in and promised to hold early presidential elections. This time he did not clarify the date of the presidential elections nor if he will be running for these early elections.
This time the protests were called by the Media Center for the Revolutionary Youth based in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa which attacked the government saying that the Yemeni government officials have no intention to “bow to the will of the people”. In return, Saleh-loyalists have also turned out for their own rallies in response to the protests.
Though there haven’t been cases of violence between the two sides, there have been confirmed reports of a suicide car bombing in the port city of Aden which killed five Yemeni soldiers.
Many protesters believe that President Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, is just stalling for time with the promise of early presidential elections.
President Saleh is currently recovering from the injuries he sustained from a bomb attack inside the presidential palace in June at the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The spokespeople of the Yemeni government stated that President Saleh will be returning to Yemen after investigations regarding the bomb attack are over.