Yemen protesters announce boycott of US, Saudi products
Protesters in Yemen announced a boycott today of US and Saudi products, a largely symbolic move in light of Yemen’s grave humanitarian crisis. Protesters allege that the Obama administration has thwarted their efforts for regime change.
Millions across Yemen have demanded the end to the 33 year reign of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family in six months of protests. State forces slaughtered nearly 1000 protesters, often by firing directly into crowds of the unarmed protesters.
US intransigence is thought to be linked to efforts to salvage hundreds of millions of dollars spent to train and equip Yemeni counter terror forces under the direction of Saleh’s relatives, known as The Four Thugs. Protesters charge the US trained counter-terror forces have perpetrated many of the fatal attacks on civilians. US military officials that said there was no direct evidence. The US has reaped little return on its investment in Yemen as the security forces are riddled with al Qaeda supporters.
The protesters platform calls for a transitional council to replace President Saleh who is in Saudi Arabia recovering from injuries suffered in a bombing. Another top demand is the restructuring of the security forces which have a long history of torture, corruption and al Qaeda facilitation. The Obama administration vetoed the idea and instead has imposed a transition plan that leaves most of the Saleh regime in place.
The Yemeni public has very little support for al Qaeda and is demanding a modern civil state that affords equal rights to all sects in Yemen’s religiously pluralistic landscape.
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