Yemen Agrees to Peaceful Transition Plan As Its People Struggle to Find Food

Yemen’s governing party, the General People’s Congress (GPC), has officially agreed to a plan for a peaceful transition of power away from President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A delegation will be sent early next week to Saudi Arabia to confirm the agreement. However, a coalition of opposition leaders have expressed concerns about one of the proposal’s conditions, that protests end immediately.

The demonstrations that have been going on in the streets of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other cities in the impoverished Arab state for two months, are primarily led by youthful protesters who do not feel that the opposition parties represent them.

Meanwhile, as Ashley Clements writes in the Guardian, ordinary life has become a struggle for many Yemeni, as food and fuel prices have risen to unthinkable heights:

Jasmeen (not her real name) is a cleaner living in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. She is desperately worried about the current situation, she says. High food and fuel prices mean Jasmeen and her family often only eat one meal a day; usually either bread or rice. She can no longer afford luxuries such as beans or eggs.

She says she has recently heard a rumour that food prices are soon to drop and is clinging to that hope. Otherwise, Jasmeen mournfully tells Oxfam, she is not sure how she and her six children will survive once the small supply of grain, rice, oil, and sugar she has stockpiled runs out.

I am worried that Jasmeen’s hope of lower prices is misplaced. Rises in the price of most staple goods show no signs of abating under current political and economic pressures. The recent harvest has helped ease things in the short term, and there are plenty of cheap vegetables available in some markets at the moment. Household budgets, however, are being stretched to the limit by the volatile currency.

According to the World Food Programme, a third of Yemen’s population — more than 7 million people — have found it a struggle to find enough to eat every day.

Under the terms of the Saudi-led proposal, a national unity government will be created. The opposition is to select a prime minister who will rule jointly with Saleh for 30 days, after which he is to step down.

Says the New York Times:

But a leading member of Yemen’s opposition coalition said that the opposition had given only oral approval to the proposal and that it would not send a delegation to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, until Mr. Saleh formally signed the plan for the transition. Mr. Saleh will not go to Riyadh.

“First, the president, he should officially sign the agreement,” the opposition leader, Mohammed Abdulmalik al-Mutawakil, said. “Because he is not going to Saudi Arabia, therefore he has to sign it before we leave.”

The back and forth between the two sides has been a trademark of the political impasse over the past few months in Yemen, as tens of thousands of protesters in cities throughout the country have called for Mr. Saleh’s ouster.

A protester was reported killed in the central city of Taiz, an act of violence recalling the force used repeatedly by government security troops to put down the demonstrators—who have numbered in the tens of thousands — in the past few weeks.

Is this a new beginning for Yemen? Should the US, which withdrew its support of Saleh’s regime earlier in April, support the new unity government once it has formed?


Previous Care2 Coverage

Bahraini Prince Declines Royal Wedding Invitation As Crackdown on Protesters Goes On (VIDEO)

Yemeni President Saleh Says He Won’t Give In To a “Coup;” Protests Rage On

Libyan Rebels Claim Victory In Misurata

2 Members of Syria’s Parliament Quit; Mourners Shot At By Government Forces

Yemen’s President Agrees to Step Down (VIDEO)

At Least 25 Killed in Great Friday Protests Throughout Syria


Photo by Sallam.

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jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

how different from the countries around them

Ahlam Zaid
Ahlam Zaid4 years ago

May Allah save my beloved people and country : Yemen

Ronald N.
Ronald N.4 years ago

The revolutions in the Arab countries in the Middle East as well as North Africa was a result of conditions similar to most of these nations. That of impoverishment, inequities, and a low standard of living have hurt the standard of living in most of these nations. Many of these nations as Egypt. as well as Yemen have been ruined by the IMF. We have seen the dictator Saleh bowing to the Americans, the CIA, and IMF much as Egypt. It is no wonder that these citizens in revolt of their government. We are seeing new wars as in Libya and now further intervention. Simply stating that Libya was really not in economic strife as Yemen, Egypt, or Bahrain or Syria. Libya was self sufficient. Why the situation in Syria is even worse when Assad is killing his own citizens in the Streets of Damascus and we do nothing but criticize while we bomb Libya, is the big part of the while picture.

I do not disapprove of Yemen doing the right thing for themselves. God only knows, the United States have been nothing but trouble for the Middle East. These people know that, but most Americans can't see that. It is the way politics works and I submit that all those who seem to pull the strings are only following orders.

Thomas S.
Thomas C.4 years ago

No revolt by the people in any nation will change anything unless they set up their own monetary system free of the International Bankster Cartel.
Order the treasury to print it's own money, without interest, and become debt free in short order, then make central banks or conducting business with them, illegal and pass laws to benefit only the citizenry.
Only by controlling their own money can the people of the earth free themselves from the tyranny and slavery of the central banksters.

surjit k.
surjit k.4 years ago

Down with dictatorship in Arab countries and may '" Muslim Brotherhood " be the new rulers of those countries with full 'Sharia Laws' And which is come to America soon see

Zee Kallah
.4 years ago

These are the end times.

Allan Yorkowitz
.4 years ago

Sadly, yet interestingly, Yemen seems to have a better reconstruction plan than Egypt. If there objectives are well thought out, and workable, I see no reason that America should not support their cause.
If Egypt had a plan of action, I would support US interaction of Egypt as well.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

So sad to read. I wish them all the best in their struggle.