Protests Spread to Rural Yemen

Smaller Rallies Reported in Several Provinces

After a week of major protests in the capital city of Sanaa, the Yemeni government now has more opposition to contend with, as protesters are beginning to crop up across the nation’s rural south and mountainous central provinces.

Yemen’s government is no stranger to vocal opposition, as the country has been dealing with two active separatist movements on opposite sides of the country for years, as well as insurgent operations by the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) movement.

The new rallies are a horse of a different color, however, as the new rallies aim not at splitting off remote portions of the country, but at driving out the Saleh government and replacing it with free elections.

Clearly, the Obama Administration is not keen on the notion of replacing President Saleh, as they have been dramatically escalating their military aid to the nation and Saleh’s eager cooperation in helping cover up US killings in the nation will be tough to replace. Given the protests are simultaneous to a revolt in US-allied Egypt, it seems the US is in the process of learning a lesson about the dangers of backing dictators for convenience’s sake.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.