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Made famous by the fact that Chandler from Friends once fled there to avoid an ex-girlfriend, Yemen is the latest Arab nation to be undergoing a revolution. The countries current dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled the nation since it was officially formed in 1990. However his career leads back much further then that, as he also served as the president of North Yemen for 12 years before the nations unified.
Saleh is another president with ties to the US, like Hosni Mubarak he has been supportive of a variety of US policies, and is still struggling with links to al-Qaeda operatives within the nation. This came to an abrupt end as Saleh made several furious statements blaming the US for the widespread protests in the Yemeni capital of Saana.
Much of the protest is concentrated at the University of Saana grounds in the capital city. Al Jazeera has reported the protests are daily now in the capital, with thousands demanding an end to the government’s reign. Yemeni protesters are frustrated with widespread corruption and nearly a third of the workforce is out of a job. More than 40 per cent of Yemen’s 23 million people live on less than two dollars a day.
The protests in Yemen have now been going on for weeks, with Saleh trying a number of tactits to end the protests in the capital. There have been reports of attacks from soliders resulting in the deaths of protestors, Saleh has tried blaming both the US and Israel for the protests, giving an impassioned speech against President Obama and has even attempted to propose a unity government.
Like Libya the future of the Yemen opposition movement will only be revealed through time – but it does seem possible that at least three large arab nations could overthrow long-standing dictators by utilizing the power of peaceful protest.
Photo Credit: Messay Shoakena – 2011 Messay