Hadi warns of ‘hunger revolution’

19 Nov

Malak Shaher & Garnet Roach

Published:14-11-2011

Yemen Times

SANA’A Nov. 13 — Yemen is facing a “hunger revolution” if the UN’s power transfer deal is not secured soon, Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has warned.

Hadi voiced his concerns at a meeting with members of the Security Council and UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar on Saturday, reported state-run Saba news. Bin Omar is currently on his sixth visit to Yemen in a bid to get President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign a power transfer deal.

“We fear that a hunger revolution will ensue from the 10-month- long political impasse if the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative is not finalized soon,” said Hadi.

He added that although more than three quarters of Yemeni’s have no relationship to the conflict or any political party, they are the most affected.

Ali Fare’, a street vendor and a father of eight, said he does know the difference between the ruling General People’s Party and the Joint Meeting Parties, in opposition. But he does know that he doesn’t earn enough money for his family.

“I do not know if I am going to join any protests but I am sure that

I will spare no effort to feed my family,” he said.

Fateh Al-Rahman Al-Jassaf, the head of the Street Vendors Syndicate, said he knows hundreds of street vendors who do not belong to any party or even understand “what the political parties in Yemen want”.

But he added that while he himself does not support either side, he definitely would participate in protests against hunger and unemployment.

However, while Hadi said that “the remaining differences between the ruling party and the opposition still hamper the signing of the deal,” he added that “85 percent of the differences were resolved”.

The GCC deal, backed by UN resolution 2014, calls for Saleh to hand over power to vice president Hadi within 30 days in return for immunity from prosecution. However, the November 21 deadline is drawing near.

If Saleh signs, Hadi would then form an opposition-led government, calling elections within 60 days.

The ongoing conflict has claimed more than 1,500 lives since protests calling an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule began in February.

Saleh has three times agreed to sign the GCC initiative only to pull out at the last minute.

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