Yemen youth celebrate Saleh departure

The Yemeni youth regard embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s departure to Saudi Arabia as the end of his reign.
The Yemeni youth celebrate what they call the fall of the regime after Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment for his injuries.

“Today, Yemen is newborn,” chanted dozens of youths in Change Square, AFP reported on Sunday.

“This is it, the regime has fallen,” they chanted.

Saleh arrived in Saudi Arabia late Saturday along with several other top Yemeni officials, including the speakers of both houses of parliament and the deputy prime minister, to be treated for wounds they suffered in a rocket attack on the presidential palace on Friday.

The Yemeni president is reportedly suffering serious shrapnel wounds and burns on his chest and neck.

Many analysts say it is unlikely that Saleh will return, which means his son Ahmed will try to seize power following his father’s three-decade-long rule.

Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has reportedly taken over as acting president and supreme commander of the armed forces.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama’s top aide for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan contacted the Yemeni vice-president on Saturday, following his Thursday meeting with Saudi and the UAE leaders.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment further on the contact between Brennan and the Yemeni government.

Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for near daily demonstrations in Yemen’s major cities since late January, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.


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