Saturday, 23 July 2011

Yemeni opposition rejects UN envoy's call for dialogue, demanding power transfer

Source: Xinhua, 24/07/2011

SANAA,-Yemeni opposition coalition on Saturday expressed rejection to the efforts for conciliation by the visiting UN envoy to start dialogue with the ruling party, demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh to transfer power to his deputy at first, an opposition official said.

"The leaders of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMPs) told the UN envoy Jamal bin Omar that President Saleh should first transfer power to his Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi before the commencement of any dialogue between the JMPs and Saleh's ruling party General People's Congress," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Bin Omar arrived in Yemen on Wednesday on a mission to help the Yemeni rivals end the long-running political impasse, calling on the ruling party and the opposition to conduct a constructive national dialogue to head off the unrest.

The UN official has met with the acting president Hadi, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qerbi, some high-ranking government officials, and the opposition leaders.

On Thursday, bin Omar held a meeting with opposition tribal leader Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, during which al-Ahmar "warned that the UN's weak stance in pressing Saleh to peacefully transfer power could turn Yemeni opposition youths to a Libyan-style rebellion in order to achieve their demands," according to local independent media News Yemen.

According to eyewitnesses and opposition officials, al-Ahmar recently deployed a large number of his armed tribesmen in downtown Sanaa. The tribesmen dug several hideouts in the main streets of the Hassab district, after a fragile truce ended their pitched street battles with the government forces early last month, which left hundreds of people dead.

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