At least five protesters were killed today in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, just one day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement that would have him handing over his powers (though potentially not his title) to US-backed Major General Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. 17 “Islamists” were also reported slain as fighting continued in the nation’s south.
Saleh’s ouster was spun as “victory” for the nearly year-long pro-democracy protests in the international press, but it certainly didn’t read that way on the streets of the capital, where anti-protester violence is as real as ever.
Indeed, many of the protesters are loudly condemning the deal as a sham, aimed at regime survival more than serious reform. Saleh would be replaced by Hadi, a new election under the same rigged system would be held, and everything would go on like nothing ever happened.
The terms of Saleh’s deal are still a matter of some dispute, with the only 100% known fact being that he has full immunity from prosecution for killing protesters. The exact terms of his handover of power, the timing of the election, etc. are all seeing conflicting reports and the violence in the capital city suggests that the deal won’t real change anything in practice.
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