Offers by President Ali Abdullah Saleh not to run for re-election in 2013 appear to have fallen far short of the demands by opposition protesters for democracy in Yemen, and opposition figures have dubbed Thursday, Feburary 3, a “Day of Anger” across the nation.
Protests against the Saleh regime have been growing over the past two weeks, spreading beyond the capital and now reports of even smaller towns having protesters are common, though figures are unreliable in Yemen.
Opposition figures now say that the talks with the Saleh regime have entirely broken down, and that the protests are their only recourse. The ruling party insisted that attempts to “imitate” the Egyptian revolution would fail.
Yemeni officials have been insisting from the beginning that Yemen is nothing like Egypt, but it must be remembered that Egyptian officials were also saying Egypt was nothing like Tunisia when the protests there began. As with the other nations, Yemen has a dictatorial president and a crumbling economy, which seems to make it fertile ground for a revolt. They also, unlike Egypt and Tunisia, have active secessionist movements on both sides of the country.