Wednesday, March 09, 2011

John Liebhart: Saleh “declares war on Yemen”

Yemen: Saleh “declares war on Yemen” (Videos)
by John Liebhart
Global Voices

Yemeni police and security agents fired at protesters at the University of Sanaa on Tuesday, March 8, killing three and wounding an estimated 50 people, five of them seriously.

The shooting apparently started when security forces attempted to stop a group of “thousands” of protesters from entering the area of the University of Sanaa where students have continued a three-week sit in. However, one local journalist says the Yemeni government claims the security forces were attempting to stop tribesman from smuggling in weapons to the sit-in.

The protesters have been calling for the dismissal of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, and leads an ineffective government in an oil producing country with little economic development. Since protests began in early February, an estimated 27 people have been killed and many more wounded. Both Pro- and Anti-Saleh peotesters have continued to gather mostly peacefully throughout much of the country. However, violence towards anti-government protests has been escalating at an alarming rate.

Tuesday's protests were especially large because many women and children had joined to celebrate international women's day. Jane Novak reported soldiers attempted to stop medical professionals from helping the wounded. BBC reported government agents also used stun guns and tear gas to dismiss the protesters.

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