Yemen clashes spark concerns of all-out civil war
At least one protester was killed and another 14 injured by pro-government forces during demonstrations Sunday.
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Violence continued to escalate in Yemen on Sunday as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to demand that President Ali Abdullah Saleh be removed from office and charged with crimes he committed during his presidency.
At least one protester was killed and another 14 injured by pro-government forces during the demonstrations. Sunday’s violence comes a day after as many as 50 people were killed by government forces in demonstrations, according to reports.
After spending three months in Saudi Arabia recuperating from a rocket attack, Mr. Saleh returned to Yemen on Friday. There was much speculation that Saudi officials would not allow Saleh to return unless he was committed to stepping down from power, but he appears to have returned without any such guarantees.
Now, with little indication that Saleh will step down and violence on the rise, there are renewed concerns that Yemen may be headed for an all out civil war. If the country continues in this direction, it will be of particular concern for Western nations worried about terrorist organizations who use Yemen as a safe haven.
“If Mr. Saleh does not start to transfer power to his opponents, ranging from pro-democracy demonstrators in the streets to senior tribal and military leaders, then the crisis in Yemen is likely to worsen rapidly,” writes Patrick Cockburn in an editorial for The Independent. “The long stand-off has already seen Yemen's traditionally weak central state further disintegrate.”
Saleh has called for peace talks and a return to a plan to end the fighting put forward months ago by the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional body of Persian Gulf countries. Saleh blames Yemen's opposition forces for the break down in talks, reports Bloomberg.
The United Nations Security Council has called for an end to the violence in Yemen, urging restraint from both sides as they work towards a solution.