Massive protests have continued apace in Yemen, and US-backed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh’s multi-decade rule appears to be in serious jeopardy tonight, as he announced the firing of five provincial governors in his latest desperate attempt to placate the protesters.
Saleh has been facing ever-growing protests since last month, and the regime’s efforts to put together a “unity government” have also failed, with the protest movement insisting nothing short of Saleh’s ouster will do. Beyond this, he is also facing a resurgence in the separatist movements both in the north and south of the nation.
Incredibly, while one of the biggest knocks on Saleh has been his willingness to back US strikes on Yemeni soil in return for growing aid checks from the administration, Saleh has actually blamed both the US and Israel for fueling the unrest.
His rhetoric aside, it doesn’t seem that there is much he can say at this point which will placate the protesters. Promises of reform have not helped, nor have his promises to leave office at the end of his current term. The people in the streets want his ouster and, as with Egypt and Tunisia, nothing short will do.