A coalition of Yemeni opposition parties on Thursday accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh of “massacring” anti-government protesters to deliberately derail a peace deal.
The Joint Forum issued the statement one day after least 14 protesters were killed across Yemen. It denounced what it called “a savage massacre committed by the authorities and the militia of the ruling family against peaceful demonstrators.”
“This massacre shows that the regime is determined to continue with the bloodshed and defeat the agreement (initiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council),” said the Forum statement.
The six-member Gulf Coooperation Council have been trying to convince Saleh to step down and propose the creation of a national unity government.
Under the plan, the Yemeni leader would also get immunity from prosecution, a proposal which has angered demonstrators.
The countries involved in the negotiations are the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
If an agreement can be struck, the president would hand his resignation to parliament within 30 days, followed by a presidential election two months later.
The Reuters news agency quoted a government official who said Saleh would sign the transition deal on Saturday.
Saleh has ruled Yemen for over three decades and has so far rebuffed attempts to step down.
More than 145 people have died since demonstrations against his leadership began in January.