Local News Political Analysis

Religious and Tribal Leaders Demand Saleh Step Down

Opposition Tribal leaders and religious scholars called President Ali Abdullah Saleh to meet the demands of the revolution and step down immediately from power and the dismiss all his relatives from the military and security positions in the country.

They also warned in their preliminary forum which included a number of the tribe’s leaders and Islamic scholars held last Thursday April 14th, 2011 that if Saleh refused to respond to the national youth revolution then they will lead protests and rallies all around the governorates.

Hamid Al-Ahmar a sheikh of the Hashid tribe said in a statement issued by the forum that he chairs that the constitutional legitimacy Saleh and the regime is claiming has fallen.

He also rejects any initiative that doesn’t include an honest acceptance of revolution’s demands represented in the immediate stepping down of the president per the GCC’s original initiative.

The Gulf Cooperation Council subsequently presented a plan to end the crisis in Yemen, proposing that Saleh transfers powers to his deputy and forms a government of a national unity led by the opposition which would draft the constitution and organize electoral procedure.

Hamid also urged the tribal leaders, sheikhs and military personnel who are still loyal to Saleh to join the youth peaceful revolution and support them in order to achieve a victory, citing the defection of members of the armed forces and security forces, in particular Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar commander of the First Armored Division who had joined the protest movement on March 21, 2011.

Some of Hashid and Bakil  tribal leaders have announced their joining of the protest movement since the 26th of February among a large crowd of protesters in the capital of Yemen.