Thousands of Yemeni youth protesters, en-route towards the capital, are expected to arrive Sana’a within two days to condemn the interim government and support an earlier march which was attacked by an Islah youth group for condemning the recent GCC deal.
Nayef Abdullah Abu Khirshifa, one of the organizers of the march, dubbed the Dignity March, said participants took to street to fully achieve their goals. Abu Khirshifa said: “No goal [of the revolution] has been achieved yet… we reject the GCC deal and its outcome… We express our refusal to any Saudi or American intervention in the people’s well…” The march, said Abu Khirshifa, aims to reinforce the goals of the Life March, which was beaten by Islah party loyalists for condemning the recent deal reached between opposition group, called the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), and president Saleh Ruling Party’s General people’s Congress (GPC).
After a ten-month of populist protest against Saleh’s regime, the GCC states, backed by a UN Security Council resolution, brokered a plan which has already seen the formation of an interim government, and prepared for a presidential election due to take place February next year.
The Dignity March set off on foot from Hodeida province on January 3 with hundreds of youth protesters joined by locals while in their way to Hajjah province. The march will go through Amran province too, some 200 km north of Sana’a, and move on until they reach their ultimate destiny, Sana’a Change Square, where protesters are already chanting “No to partisanship or parties, our revolution is of a youth one”.
Abu Ibraheem, a youth participating in the march, said the march began in small number but increased to some 3000 when they reached al-Qanawis, an area in Hajjah province. One of the banners the protesters are waving reads: “The Yemeni people not a minor to have anyone acts as their guardian.” Abu Ibraheem said participants joined the march desperately despite threats: “JMP and those representing it had even reached some of our homes and threatened ‘we won’t accept you in the Change Square’. Our march aims to show support and solidarity with the Life March.”
A similar march, which was called the Life March, was attacked by Islah Party loyalists whose leaders are heading the interim government announced early December. As Life March participants wanted to deliver a statement at Sana’a Change Square’s podium, Islah Party loyalists claimed that Life March participants aimed to cause division among youth protesters who were split over the recent deal both opposition and Saleh’s Party signed, which would grant Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution.
An official of the Houthi rebel group, believed to have inspired both the Life and Dignity March, warned Islah Party against possible attacks on the Dignity March. Yousif al-Faishi, a member of the Houthi’s political office, said: “We advice Islah Party not to stand as stumbling block [to the Dignity March] just because it got half the seats in the government… we want Islah party to be a real model party.”
“All the people will have a stance [against a possible attack]”, said al-Faishi, “We also will stand by the free youth in all revolutionary squares whether they are partisan or independent.”
Ibraheem Al-Edreesi, a protester from Al-Hodeida province, said: “We marched in order for our revolution’s goals to be fully achieved. As we revolted against the regime before, we took to street today on our own free well to protest against those who aborted the revolution which was ended up by sharing power.”