Saturday, 19 March 2011

Yemen says it needs Saudi Arabia to help

By Nasser Arrabyee/19/03/2011

President Saleh declares Sunday as a mourning day on “Martyrs of Democracy”
President Saleh hints that protesters should move their sit-in camps to non-residential place.
Security authorities accuse a billionaire Islamist leader of being behind the bloody Friday.

Yemen is still welcoming a regional mediation led by Saudi Arabia to defuse the political crisis despite the bloody Friday which the stopped the mediation efforts.

A statement from the president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s office said late Saturday that the Saudi-led mediation is still “welcomed and will be always welcomed.”

The statement said those who were behind the massacre against anti-Saleh protesters on Friday March 18th, 2011, wanted to foil the efforts of that mediation.

“We are still contacting with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States about that mediation for the interest of Yemen,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, an official statement attributed to security sources, said that the Islamist leader and famous businessman, Hamid Al Ahmar was behind the massacre of Friday in which more than 50 protesters were killed and about 200 injured some of them seriously.

“It is evident that the gambler Hamid Al Ahmar was behind the massacre. Since long time ago, he brought armed elements to the sit-in camps,” the statement said.

“Hamid Al Ahmar and his gang, which is stained with blood of innocents should bear all responsibility for that massacre.”

At least privately, you hear people everywhere you go here in Yemen, say what’s happening now is a fight on power between Saleh and the billionaire Hamid Al Ahmar who is grooming himself for presidency.

The President Saleh said those who were killed on Friday while demanding his ouster, are considered “martyrs of democracy” and that Sunday, March 20th, 2011, will be a mourning day for them.

“All those martyrs are our sons, and we regret for them falling victims in incidents committed by those who want to climb on them to take power through coups not through democracy,” Saleh addressed thousands of tribesmen who came Saturday to support him from Bani Matar of Sana’a province, where many of those protesters who were killed and injured on Friday came from.

President Saleh declared the state of emergency after the bloody Friday, and security and military measures were taken consequently. Saturday tanks and armored vehicles were deployed in the capital of Sana’a. About 10 tanks were deployed in the Parade Square of Al Sabeen which is around the presidential palace.

While the anti-Saleh protesters threaten from time to time to move their sit-in from the university to this huge square (Al Sabeen), President Saleh told his tribal supporters on Saturday, “the protesters can move to Sana’a Stadium, or any place they like far from residential places.”

What Saleh said can be understood that there is an intention or plan to force the protesters to move somewhere else or clear them by force especially under the state of emergency.

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