No Celebration of Yemen's Unity Day


President Ali Abdullah Saleh had planned for May 22, the 21st anniversary of Yemeni unity, to be a celebration of his leadership. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Obama administration hoped for the same date to witness an historic signing agreement whereby Saleh would agree to transfer power in deference to more than three months of mass, nationwide popular protests demanding his resignation. Both sets of plans were scuttled by a bizarre diplomatic incident in which American and GCC ambassadors had to be rescued from a pro-Saleh mob. With those thugs on a rampage, it became obvious that Saleh would rather fight than switch.

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Copyright © May 24, 2011 The/Slate Group, LLC. This article first appeared in Foreign Policy (2011), 1.