Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yemenis hold demo in support of council

Yemeni protesters demand the ouster of Ali Abdullah Saleh during a demonstration in the southern city of Taizz. (File photo)

Source: Press TV

Anti-regime protesters have staged a demonstration in Yemen to voice their support for the newly formed transitional council and to condemn foreign interference in the country.

On Saturday, thousands of men and women took to the streets of the city of Taizz, which has been a flashpoint of clashes between Yemeni revolutionaries and forces loyal to the country's longtime dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Earlier in the day, more than 500 dignitaries and tribal leaders gathered at the headquarters of the First Armored Division -- whose leader, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmad, joined the protest movement in March -- to form a 116-member consultative council.

The Taizz protesters pledged their support for the long-awaited council.

For several weeks, Yemeni revolutionaries had been calling for the establishment of such a council to prevent Saleh from remaining in office.

They also rejected US and Saudi domination over their country and the revolution.

The demonstrators, who were carrying banners calling for a boycott of US and Saudi products, accused Washington and Riyadh of attempting to prop up Saleh.

The protesters chanted slogans denouncing Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade dictatorship and said the regime's officials should be brought to trial for the killing of hundreds of people during months of anti-government rallies.

The protests have intensified since Saleh vowed to return from Saudi Arabia -- where has been receiving treatment for burns and wounds he sustained in an attack by tribesmen on his palace in Sana'a in June -- to oversee a national dialogue and elections.

The Yemeni revolution began in January, when hundreds of thousands of people turned out for regular demonstrations in the country's major cities to call for an end to corruption and unemployment.

They have been demanding the ouster and trial of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.

Hundreds of people have been killed and many more injured by forces loyal to Salah in the violent repression of the anti-regime protests.

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