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Timeline since signing of power transfer deal

SANA'A, 20 February 2012 (IRIN) - Since the signing of a power transfer deal sponsored by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in November, Yemen has seen further protests and violence, and some key players, like the Houthi-led Shia rebels in the north, oppose tomorrow’s presidential election. IRIN surveys the main events of the past two months.

23 November 2011: President Ali Abdullah Saleh signs GCC-brokered deal, under which he leaves power on 21 February 2012 in exchange for legal immunity from prosecution.

25 November: Tens of thousands of protesters rally in Sana’a and 17 main cities on the so-called “Friday of Ongoing Revolution”. They oppose immunity for Saleh and his aides.

10 December: A 34-member coalition cabinet sworn in (17 members from Saleh’s party and 17 from the opposition Joint Meeting Parties)

15-20 December: Mass protests by staff at dozens of government and military institutions call for the replacement of top officials who are members of Saleh’s party.

18 December: A demilitarization committee, made up of 14 senior officers from pro-government and defected army units, begins removing sandbags, roadblocks and checkpoints in Sana’a.

23 December: Fourteen protesters killed in clashes with police as a “March of Life” arrives in Sana’a after a five-day, 250km, walk from Taiz city. They oppose the GCC deal.

25 December: Thousands of Southern Movement (SM) supporters take to the streets of Aden; dozens burn voting IDs to signal their intention of boycotting the presidential election.

29 December: Saleh meets senior members of his party, instructing them how to deal with mass staff protests in several government institutions.

30 December: Saleh’s supporters resume Friday rallies in Sabeen square under the slogan “We return since you don’t cease” (a reference to demands for Saleh’s prosecution).

4 January 2012: Defected Maj-Gen Ali Mohsen Saleh escapes assassination attempt in Sana’a.

6 January: Vice-President Hadi threatens to leave Yemen after senior members of Saleh’s party accuse him of defying Saleh’s authority - even calling him a traitor.

8 January: Cabinet proposes draft immunity-from-prosecution legislation for Saleh and his aides, presents it to parliament.

10 January: Draft immunity legislation opposed by some MPs. Anti immunity bill “March of Dignity” arrives in Sana’a after a five-day, 240km, walk from Sa’dah.

11 January: Demilitarization Committee gives 48-hour deadline for gunmen loyal to Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar to leave Sana’a.

12 January: At least 26 killed and dozens injured in clashes between fighters from a Sunni Salafi Islamist group and Houthi-led Shia rebels in Hajour area, south of Sa’dah city.

13 January: Seven killed and more than 25 injured in clashes between SM and police in the southern port city of Aden.

14 January: Hadi refuses to submit his nomination credentials for the elections until defected army units remove their checkpoints in northwestern Sana’a.

15 January: Armed tribesmen kidnap a Norwegian UN official in Sana’a, demand release of a jailed tribal leader.

16 January: Islamic militants overrun Radaa city, Beidha Governorate, kill three policemen and release 400 militants from the central prison.

20 January: At least five killed in clashes between Islamist militants and civilians in Radaa city.

21 January: Parliament passes Immunity Law and approves nomination of Hadi as the sole presidential candidate. Thousands of young protesters in Sana’a take to the streets in protest against the new law.

22 January: Saleh leaves Sana’a for Oman, prior to going to the USA for medical treatment, says he will return to Yemen for Hadi’s inauguration after the election.

23 January: Thousands of members of the Air Force in Sana’a and Taiz begin protests against their commander Gen Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, a half brother of Saleh, demanding his replacement.

24 January: Some 46 armed men killed and dozens injured in clashes between Houthi-led Shia rebels and tribesmen in Hajjah Governorate.

27 January: Tens of thousands protest in Sana’a and other main cities against Saleh’s immunity.

28 January: Pro-SM gunmen burn down branch office of the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) in Dhalea Governorate.

29 January: SCER begins training election management committees in governorates.

31 January: Information Minister Ahmad al-Amrani escapes assassination attempt in front of Cabinet building. “I don’t know why they fired a barrage of bullets at my car. I have no personal feuds with anyone,” he said.

3 February: More than 30 injured in Aden in clashes between election supporters and opponents.

5 February: Fifty-five killed in clashes between Houthi-led Shia rebels and Sunni Salafi members in Ahim District, Hajjah Governorate. Six killed in clashes between policemen and SM supporters in the governorates of Dhalea and Hadhramaut.

7 February: Hadi launches his electoral campaign in Sana’a. “The situation in Sana’a and other main cities is still complicated, but we have to proceed with elections to save Yemen from conflicts,” he said.

8 February: At least eight inmates killed and several others, including policemen, injured in clashes with police in Dhamar Governorate’s central prison.

9 February: Two killed and more than 10 injured when gunmen attack SCER office in Dhalea Governorate.

10 February: Hundreds of thousands protest in Sana’a and 14 main cities on what they call the Friday of “Completing all Goals of Revolution”.

11 February: Some 18 Houthi fighters killed in an ambush by tribesmen loyal to Sunni Salafis in the Jarabi and Hazah areas, Hajjah Governorate.

12 February: SCER deploys election management committees in the governorates. Saleh gives televised speech from New York calling on his party supporters to take part in the elections.

14 February: A suicide bomber blows himself up in front of an SCER office in Aden Governorate, leading Hadi to cancel campaign rallies in southern cities.

15 February: Houthi gunmen storm office of Islamist Islah Party in Sa’dah, tear down all pictures of Hadi in the city, and prevent any officials from putting up electoral posters.

16 February: Head of SCER regional office, five staff members and a Republican Guard commander killed in an ambush by gunmen in Beidha Governorate. One killed and another 20 injured in clashes between SM members and election supporters in the eastern city of Mukalla.

17 February: Hundreds of thousands of protesters rally in Sana’a and other main cities on the so-called Friday of “Your Vote is a Gain for the Revolution”, declaring their support for Hadi.

19 February: Interior and defence ministries deploy 103,000 officers and soldiers, especially in southern governorates, to safeguard the electoral process.

20 February: One soldier killed, five injured in attack on a SCER office in Khor Maksar District, Aden Governorate. Citizens force election officials to leave two other offices in the governorate.

Sources:
IRIN archive
www.hajjah.net
www.barakish.net
www.almotamar.net
www.newyemen.net
www.sabanews.net
www.al-tagheer.com
http://marebpress.taiz-press.net/
www.alsahwa-yemen.net
Ministry of Interior
Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum
www.yemenfox.net  
www.yemenpost.net  
Al-Saeeda Local Independent TV Channel  
www.albidapress.net  

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Theme (s): Conflict, Governance, Security,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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