by MEGAN BRYAN
Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to step down from office following the protests, riots and disorder in Yemen during the Arab Spring movement. The deal, which was signed on Wednesday, November 24, states that President Saleh will leave office in 30 days, paving the way for the vice-president to negotiate power transfers.
Multiple news sources, including Al Jazeera and CNN covered Saleh’s major announcement. CNN stated that Saleh’s departure marks him as the “fourth Arab leader forced from power this year,” although Al Jazeera explains that the deal Saleh signed designates him the “honorary title of president, yet his deputy is expected to form and preside a national unity government before presidential elections.”
CNN doesn’t hint of any unrest among Yemeni citizens, only of the uncertainty of Saleh’s decision. They remark that this is not the first time he has planned to step down, only to change his mind. Many people are suspicious that he may do the same thing.
But will Saleh still continue to hold political power behind the scenes? Al Jazeera reports that his “family members continue to have powerful posts in the military and intelligence service, and it is unclear how much political power Saleh will have.” In addition, Saleh has many political supporters of his own, people who have stood by him and fought against the opposition for him.
However, in an interview with France 24, CNN explains that Saleh reportedly said “I know the difficulties, the negatives, the positives; I will not hang on to power. Whoever hangs on to power I think is crazy.”
Many Yemenis who oppose Saleh say this deal is not enough for them, and they are not satisfied with the current political state. Many have gathered to protest his immunity from legal repercussions, as well as the political power he continues to hold.
Al Jazeera presents the opinions and concerns of the Yemeni people, while CNN does not. The story from Al Jazeera provides more information and a different view point than CNN. I personally feel as if CNN simply reported that President Saleh was stepping down, and continued on to explain that he was the fourth of the Arab leaders to be forced out of office. While this is indeed important, it is also necessary to discuss the unrest and turmoil in Yemen following Saleh’s decision, as Al Jazeera did.