President Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled what is the Arab world’s poorest nation for 32 years. Crowds began taking to the streets on February 10 to call for him to step down immediately. He has refused to do that although he did say he will not be in office after the end of this term in 2013. Neither, he said, would he transfer power to his son. But that, and pledges of reforms, has not been enough. Protests that have so far killed at least 12 people continue, as many Yemenis have heard Saleh make promises before without keeping to them. On Tuesday February 22, students staging a sit in outside Sana’a University set fire to a car they claimed belonged to Saleh loyalists and in which they found weapons. Neither Saleh nor his opponents seem ready to budge.
Political system: républic
President: Ali Abdullah Saleh – 1978 / …
Population: 22.1 million
Human Development Index1: 133rd
1 HDI is calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports.