Heavy fighting in Yemen after UN resolution passes

President Saleh continues to insist he's willing to step down after 33 years of oppressive rule, but each time he's gotten close, he has backed away from leaving.

Now a new UN resolution demanding he go peacefully has emboldened the opposition and heavy fighting broke out in the capital of Sanaa between the army and tribes opposed to his continued rule.

Reuters:

Medics and witnesses said dozens of people were wounded in the clashes. Rocket propelled grenades, mortars and automatic weapons were used in the Soufan and al-Nahda neighborhoods in northern Sanaa, where members of a breakaway military force opposed to Saleh and tribal fighters are based.

They said at least five people were killed in overnight clashes between forces loyal to Saleh and soldiers led by Ali Mohsen al-Ahmer, a general who broke ranks with Saleh after protesters began almost daily demonstrations in February.

Gunmen loyal to tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar were also involved in the fighting.

[...]

Saleh says he will only hand over power into "safe hands."

Responding to the decision made by the U.N. Security Council on Friday night, a Yemeni government source said Sanaa remained committed to the Gulf peace plan, and called for international help to ensure its implementation.

"The government of the Yemeni government is willing to deal positively with U.N. Security Council resolution 2014, for it conforms with the Yemeni government efforts to put an end to the political crisis on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative," a Yemeni government source said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

Saleh has backed down three times from signing the Gulf initiative, which came following months of protests.

It seems clear at this point that someone is going to have to make Saleh go. At the moment, the rebels do not have the firepower or the numbers to affect that outcome.



President Saleh continues to insist he's willing to step down after 33 years of oppressive rule, but each time he's gotten close, he has backed away from leaving.

Now a new UN resolution demanding he go peacefully has emboldened the opposition and heavy fighting broke out in the capital of Sanaa between the army and tribes opposed to his continued rule.

Reuters:

Medics and witnesses said dozens of people were wounded in the clashes. Rocket propelled grenades, mortars and automatic weapons were used in the Soufan and al-Nahda neighborhoods in northern Sanaa, where members of a breakaway military force opposed to Saleh and tribal fighters are based.

They said at least five people were killed in overnight clashes between forces loyal to Saleh and soldiers led by Ali Mohsen al-Ahmer, a general who broke ranks with Saleh after protesters began almost daily demonstrations in February.

Gunmen loyal to tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar were also involved in the fighting.

[...]

Saleh says he will only hand over power into "safe hands."

Responding to the decision made by the U.N. Security Council on Friday night, a Yemeni government source said Sanaa remained committed to the Gulf peace plan, and called for international help to ensure its implementation.

"The government of the Yemeni government is willing to deal positively with U.N. Security Council resolution 2014, for it conforms with the Yemeni government efforts to put an end to the political crisis on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative," a Yemeni government source said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

Saleh has backed down three times from signing the Gulf initiative, which came following months of protests.

It seems clear at this point that someone is going to have to make Saleh go. At the moment, the rebels do not have the firepower or the numbers to affect that outcome.



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