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Yemen: Will Saleh Sign the GCC Deal that the Youth Oppose?

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

Yemenis have patiently waited ten months too many for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. What started as a demand for a regime change, turned into an outcry for the regime's fall following the first drop of blood.

Yemenis have suffered greatly from Saleh's stalling in signing the GCC deal and have been paying the price with their lives. They have endured hardships, suffered from shortages in basic needs such as cooking gas, electricity, fuel and water, and have been subjected to the growing violence of the regime and the deteriorating economic and refugee crisis in the country as a result.

The world had been idly watching and waiting for Saleh to sign the deal while the Yemeni people have been dying and suffering for months. Yemeni activists started an online campaign to express to the world that like the millions who have been marching on the streets of Yemen for months, they too reject the GCC deal.

"No to GCC Deal"

"No to GCC Deal"

The campaign is run under the hashtag #No2GCCdeal, where they express reasons for their rejection of the deal. They also started a “No to GCC deal” page on Facebook.

@Yemen4Change tweeted the news that the GCC deal will FINALLY be signed, which has been recurring and is no longer breaking news:

#Saleh has agreed to sign a plan to transfer power to his deputy, a senior opposition figure said #Yemen #JMP #GCC t.co/b29V0eHj
Yesterday, Monday Nov. 21, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to sign a plan to transfer power to his deputy.

There were massive demonstrations across Yemen over the past few days demanding President Saleh's prosecution. This video shows a massive march yesterday [November 21] in the city of Ibb (video posted by yasser456029):

@ShathaAlHarazi, a Yemeni journalist blogs some of the Yemeni youth's reactions in her post:

reactions on GCC deal, #No2GCCdeal #Yemen t.co/Z9flj1Fx

In her post, Al Harazi explains:

it is worth mentioning that the deal is not clear to the public all what people talk about is that the deal guarantee impunity to Saleh although more than 2195 has died between February and August 2011

Many were wary of it, as @samwaddah tweeted asking:

What agreement are we talking about if #Saleh's forces are shelling #Taiz & Arhab at this very moment? Born dead already! #No2GCCdeal #Yemen

@Abajamal expressed his dismay [ar]:

ما يثير إشمئزازي بمبادرة الخليج أنها اتت بطلب من صالح في خضم عاصفه ثوريه كانت على وشك الإطاحه بنظامه …يا للسخافه! #Yemen #No2GCCdeal
What repulses me from the Gulf initiative is that it came as a request by Saleh in the midst of a revolutionary tempest about to topple him…how ridiculous

@YemenFreeVoice affirms his rejection:

#No2GCCdeal because it's only an exist for Saleh and not a solution for #Yemen

@ibrahimAddali added [ar]:

مازلت أتساءل : كيف اقتنعت المعارضة اليمنية بالشرط الذي يخول لصالح أن يبقى رئيسا فخريا؟
“I am still wondering: how was it possible to get the Yemeni opposition convinced with the condition that allows Saleh to be an honorary president?”

Yemeni youth are demanding a swift and firm United Nations resolution that will stop the bloodshed in Yemen by freezing Saleh's assets and referring him to the International Criminal Court. Juan Cole, (@jricole) a Middle East specialist, quoted Yemeni Noble Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman in his tweet saying:

The democratic revolution of #Yemen needs the West to freeze #Saleh's accounts & indict him at ICC – Tawakkul #Karman

 A mass women's rally in Taiz condemning crimes committed by forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh against civilians.

A mass women's rally in Taiz condemning crimes committed by forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh against civilians.

@YouthYemen shares this photograph from Facebook and explains:

The southern city of Taiz witnessed Tuesday a mass rally condemning crimes committed by forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh against civilians.

Many Yemenis strongly believe that President Saleh deserves no immunity after all the bloodshed he had caused over the past months.

This is another video showing a women's march in Sanaa yesterday also demanding Saleh's trial and vowing loyalty to the martyrs’ blood and the building of a new Yemen (video posted by ppryemen)

@shabadel tweeted:

#No2GCCdeal because it's a treason to the blood of the martyrs by giving #Saleh immunity from fair #trial. #ICC

President Saleh had already backed off from signing the GCC deal three times before, so the big question remains, will he sign the GCC deal or not this time?

Like many Yemenis, editor @blakehounshell wonders:

Will Saleh sign today? – Every Yemeni on my timeline

And many wonder if he ever does sign it, will he honor it?@RASEDYEMEN says:

#Yemen Will Saleh honor the deal now?! on.fb.me/trcz8Z #YF

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

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