Thousands of Yemenis have once again taken to the streets to protest against foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs, Press TV reports. In massive demonstrations held after Friday prayers in the capital Sana’a, the northern city of Sa’ada, and the western city of Dhamar, protesters chanted slogans against the United States and Saudi Arabia. The demonstrators also called for the prosecution of the remnants of former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime and condemned Washington’s drone attacks in southern Yemen. The US military has also used assassination drones in Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Iraq. Washington claims that the drones target terrorists in the operations, but civilians have often been killed in the strikes.
Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen's major cities since January 2011, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding that relatives of Saleh be sacked from their government posts.Saleh formally stepped down and handed over power to then Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in February 2012. The power transfer occurred under a Saudi-backed deal brokered by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council in April 2011 and signed by Saleh in Riyadh on November 23, 2011. Yemen is the Arab world’s poorest country. Forty percent of the people of Yemen are living on two US dollars a day or less and one third are wrestling with chronic hunger. About 31.5 percent of the population is “food insecure” and around 12 percent of the Yemeni people are “severely food insecure,” according to the United Nations. MHB/HGL