Protesters in the Middle Eastern country of Yemen filled the streets again in an ongoing round of protests against Yemen's president that have continued for months. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently announced he would step down in 30 days if his family could be guaranteed immunity from persecution. But, his promise to step down is far from certain.
Saleh called international efforts to get him to step down "a coup," and said the transfer of power should be controlled by Yemenis alone. This raised suspicions that the power transfer might not happen at all.
Young protesters insist the 30-day agreement gives their president too much time to possibly go back on his deal. They insist they want a change in leadership immediately, and have proven they are willing to endure brutality at the hands of the government to make it happen.
The Obama administration has been quietly supporting Saleh's exit from power, even though his government has helped fight al-Qaida in Yemen. Saleh warns that changing leadership could compromise efforts against terrorism in his country.
"Why is the West not looking at this destructive work and its dangerous implications for the future? They're ignoring what al-Qaida is doing in Yemen, and they will pay the price." - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
"This is a coup. You call on me from the U.S. and Europe to hand over power. Who shall I hand it over to, those who are trying to make a coup? No. We will do it through ballot boxes and referendums. We will invite international observers to monitor, but we will not accept a coup inside the country, and we will not accept any external support for it." - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
1. Where is Yemen?
2. What is a coup?
3. Why have people across the Middle East and North Africa been protesting during the last several months?
1. Why do you think the protesters aren’t happy with Saleh's promise to leave after 30 days? Would you take him at his word? Why or why not?
2. Why do you think the Obama administration is backing Saleh's exit even though he has helped fight al-Qaida in Yemen? What does that say about the values and priorities of the U.S. government?
3. If you lived in Yemen, would you participate in anti-government protests? Why or why not?