outburst of revolt and demand for reforms began in Tunisia and within weeks
spread into Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Libya. The Yemeni revolution mainly known
as Yemeni uprising followed the initial stages of the Tunisian revolution. The earlier
protests were mainly against unemployment, economic conditions and corruption. Initially
the demands were pro-democratic led by the opposition groups of Yemen. These
all events took place when the President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh was in
office since the last three decades.
protests proceeded with little violence between the protestors and the security
officials. In response to the wave of massive demonstrations across different
cities of Yemen, President Saleh made several economic concessions including
reduction of income taxes and increase in salary of the government officials.
In February, President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised not to stand for the next
elections in March 2013.
Rejecting Saleh’s proposals, the protestors grew and continued their
demonstrations. The clashes between the police and the violent groups grew
leading to casualties. On February 20, thousands of Yemeni students and recent
graduates staged a massive sit-in on the campus of Sanaa University, vowing not
to end their protest until Saleh stepped down as the president. Saleh rejected
the calls for his ouster viewing his early departure would put the country in a
situation of chaos and confusion.
The increasingly violent
and brutal tactics used by the Yemeni security officers eroded support for
President Saleh within the Yemeni government further weakening his hold on
power. On March 18, supporters of Saleh opened fire on the protestors resulting
in 50 deaths. This led to a greater opposition and as a result many ministers,
officials and diplomats resigned. On March 20, Maj General Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar,
the commander of first armored division of armed officials declared his support
for the opposition. The defection of
Ahmar was a serious blow to the government. This rose tensions in Sanaa.
On March 22, Saleh
refused once again to leave office insisting to resign after the parliamentary
elections in January 2012.
In April, Saleh indicated
the agreement reached with Gulf Coperation Council (GCC) that would remove him
from power and begin transition for the new government. This agreement was
mutually accepted by the opposition groups too. Later in May, Saleh refused to
resign and hence keeping aside the proposals by GCC.
On June 3, Saleh
sustained serious injuries when a planted bomb in the Presidential palace
exploded. Saleh moved out of country to Saudi Arabia for treatment. The vice
president Abd-Rubbah Mansur Hadi assumed the office. The authorities maintained
that President Saleh would return to his responsibilities. Meanwhile tensions
grew between Saleh’s supporters and the opposition groups.
Saleh abruptly came back
to Yemen. On November 23, after several days of
negotiations, ??li? signed an agreement transferring power to Vice President
Had?. The internationally brokered agreement called for a presidential election
with Hadi as the only candidate on the ballot to be held in February 2012,
leaving ?ali? with the title of president until that time. Hadi would then serve
a two-year term as president, directing the writing of a new constitution. The
election was held in February as planned, and Hadi was sworn in as president on
people of Yemen now hoped for substantial reforms under the new president. However,
the process was derailed by the Huthis, a group whose armed forces who adhere
to the Shiaa community entered Sanaa with the help of forces loyal to former
the President Abd-Rubbah Mansur Hadi was forced to step down along with his
government. The Hutti group had complete control of Yemen. Saudi Arab led ten
Arab country began air strikes on Yemen. The Saudi air strikes resulted in
attack on local citizens and also the Hutti group also violated human rights
and attacked hospitals and schools.
hoped that this revolution would bring political reform and social justice but
the reality was more war and crackdown on people who speak for freedom and
justice. To conclude, the Yemeni revolution was a vast demonstration of civil
uprisings, however the public was unable to achieve the results it desired as
yet. So the Arab Spring in context to Yemen is neither fully successful nor
unsuccessful. Much time is required to predict the actual results of Arab
Spring in context to Yemen.