Sana’a, Mar, 27 — Talks between President Saleh and the Joint Meeting Parties, the coalition of the opposition parties, failed to produce an agreement this week. Saleh called the JMP leaders to see if they would accept foreign or gulf countries mediations to find a solution out to the political crisis facing the country.“Yemen is a time bomb……. It’s different than Egypt” said Saleh threatening the prospect of a civil war, Al-Qaeda spreading in Yemen and the country separating if his regime withdrew from power immediately.
Saleh has said he’s willing to step down but he still needs time to negotiate the mechanism of the transfer of power. On Thursday and Friday Saleh also held meetings with General Ali Mohsen, who defected to the opposition on Monday, and the US ambassador. Another sticking point in the negotiations concerns the fate of his family: his son, Ahmed, and nephew, Yahya, head Yemen’s Republican guard and the central security forces and many of the protesters are demanding they too be removed from power.
Political analyst Abdulkareem Hilal believes the US will want to try and keep them both in power after Saleh leaves because they are both well trained in counter-terrorism strategies and experienced in counter-terrorism operations.
In a phone call with Genral Mohsen, Saleh is alleged to have offered to step down if Mohsen resigns as well in order to avoid more bloodshed.
“Last week’s events, the loss of his allies, resignations of diplomats, and the high pressures in the streets, means Saleh is looking for a safe way to step down,” said Hilal.
As people waited for an announcement from the President on Sunday as to whether and when he’d be stepping down, the foreign minister denied telling Reuters the day before that Saleh would soon be passing on the reins of power to his vice president, Abo Rabo Mansur Al-Hadi.
The Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change that consists of 40 different movements and coalition of the revolution rejected all political talk of a transfer of power to the vice president. The council called on all the protesters to continue their sit-in at Sana’a University until the President steps down.
The protesters have strengthened their demands since the sniper attack on Marsh.18 in Sana’a which left at least 53 dead.
The Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC) has called on Yemen’s general prosecutor, Dr. Abdullah Al-Aulufi and the EU member states to freeze the assets of President Saleh and his family. SEMC said in a statement that all his assets, including movables, real estate, cash, shares and banknotes invested in banks and companies ought to be frozen immediately.
It also suggested imposing a travel ban on the senior officials loyal to the President, including those involved in corruption scandals and plunder of public property.
Last week also the Organization to protect Childhood, SYAJE issued a statement to Dr.Alulufi to arrest the president for being in charge of security forces responsible for killing 13 children in protests since feb.19.
Meanwhile protesters are calling for demonstration to be increased from to three times a week.
Demonstrations on Friday were peaceful despite citizen’s fears of clashes between the first Armored Division forces headed by General Muhsen who are guarding anti-government protesters and the Special Forces.
Friday was dubbed a day of departure by anti-government protesters and a day of tolerance by government loyalists who gathered in large numbers outside the president’s mosque to hear Saleh speak.
Saba news agency reported that president rally on Friday was attended by 10 million people from around the country. Witnesses put the number at more like 500,000.
“Friday was a public referendum showing the legitimacy of the regime,” said the president in an interview with al-Arabia T.V.
“The minority can’t force the majority to do what they want.”