Security Council to Vote on Yemen Resolution

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 11:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution, Friday, that condemns the Yemeni government for its crackdown on dissent and urges President Ali Abdullah Saleh to transfer power.

U.N. diplomats say the draft resolution reaffirms support for a Gulf Cooperation Council initiative that calls for Mr. Saleh to transfer power to a deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Mr. Saleh has voiced support for the plan several times, but each time, he has backed away without signing the deal.

The expected Security Council vote comes two days after Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition activist Tawakkul Karman met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York. She also urged diplomats in the world body to reject any plan that would give Mr. Saleh and his inner circle legal immunity.

For the past ten months, opposition activists have been demanding an end to Mr. Saleh's 33-year autocratic rule. Dozens of people have died in protest-related unrest over the past few days.

The Yemeni government has also been plagued by violence linked to al-Qaida militants.