Saturday Jun 09, 201202:58 PM GMT
Yemeni officers demand chief's removal
Officers from the Yemeni Armed Forces Moral Guidance Department stage protests outside their Sana
Officers from the Yemeni Armed Forces Moral Guidance Department stage protests outside their Sana'a headquarters, December 26, 2011.
Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:48AM
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Hundreds of Yemeni officers and soldiers have taken to the streets in the capital Sana'a, demanding the ouster of their department chief Major General Ali Hassan al-Shater.

The demonstrators from the Yemeni Armed Forces Moral Guidance Department on Monday demanded that their commander, an ally of Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, be brought to justice over allegations of corruption, despotism and mismanagement.

General al-Shater, who is also Saleh's press secretary, is said to be running his own prison, jailing soldiers and keeping some in chains even for minor offenses.

"This is an uprising against repression and corruption," said Hashim Al Thari, one of the soldiers.

Al Thari added that General al-Shater "takes from our salaries every month and even sells our food. The man has been acting like a dictator, even jailing us in his own prison at the office".

Some soldiers blocked the road in front of their department headquarters in Sana'a and stopped al-Shater from entering the premises.

The protesting soldiers vowed to continue their demonstration until their demands are met and a new commander is appointed.

Armed men loyal to Saleh also appeared in front of the building and clashes broke out between the two groups.

However Yemeni military police forces intervened, reportedly to protect the protesting soldiers from the attacks.

Tensions and violence have gained momentum in the volatile state as anti-regime protesters say Saleh continues to wield influence through his loyalists and power-wielding relatives.

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