Shops and businesses shut across country in protest against the rule of president Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemenis boarded up their
shops and businesses across the country on Saturday in protest
against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Up to 90 percent of shops, markets and schools were closed
in the southern port city of Aden, a Reuters witness said. There
were few pedestrians in the streets and almost no traffic.
Many businesses were also closed for the day in the cities
of Taiz, Yemen's third city and an epicentre of opposition to
the 69-year-old-president, and Hodeidah on the Red Sea.
Yemenis flooded the streets of Sanaa and Taiz on Friday in
rival demonstrations for and against Saleh, who gave a guarded
welcome to a Gulf Arab plan for a three-month transition of
The proposal of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) calls for Saleh to hand power to his vice president one
month after signing an agreement.
He would appoint an opposition leader to lead an interim
cabinet charged with preparing presidential elections two months
later, a Yemeni official said on Friday.
The plan, presented on Thursday, also gives immunity from
prosecution to Saleh, his family and aides -- anathema to his
foes, who would also have to end protests under the proposal.
Saleh's long-time Gulf and Western allies, concerned that
the chaos in Yemen will open more opportunities for ambitious al
Qaeda militants, are trying to broker an orderly transition
after three months of protests against Saleh's 32-year rule.