May 27, 2011

Fury and Despair Among Yemen's Youth Leaders

By Haley Sweetland Edwards, published in The New Republic. As clashes between Saleh's regime and the Hashid tribe spread outside Sana'a, Yemeni protest leaders are summoning “millions” to march after Friday’s prayers. Counter-protests are still expected from President Ali Abdullah Sahel:
Mahdi Mohammed didn’t sound like himself. He didn’t sound like the smiling young father I’d met among a throng of anti-government protesters in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, in February. And he didn’t sound like the earnest activist who promised me, when I was deported from Yemen in March, that he’d welcome me back to a “free Yemen” in April. The Mahdi I spoke to early Tuesday morning sounded—along with the rest of the Yemeni protesters I spoke to this week—like he was at the end of his rope. That’s because, with President Saleh’s third rejection of a brokered peace deal over the weekend, Yemen’s revolutionary youth movement finds itself teetering at a dangerous crossroads: continue negotiations with a duplicitous tyrant who has no intention of leaving office, or take up arms against a regime that heavily outguns both the protesters and the tribes that oppose it...

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