Yemen’s outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he is set to leave the country for medical treatment in the United States. He added he would return to continue leading the ruling party.
It is unclear when or if he has already left. In a broadcast on state media he asked all Yemenis to forgive him for mistakes during his 33-year rule.
The apology comes 24 hours after parliament voted to grant him immunity from prosecution. Thousands protested against the decision and demanded Saleh be put on trial for offences they claim he committed during his rule.
Demonstrators accuse security forces controlled by Saleh and his aides of killing hundreds. The decision to grant him immunity was one of a number of measures to persuade him to resign. New presidential elections are set for February 21.