Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to resign after months of demonstrations against his 33-year rule, the Associated Press is reporting. The move has pleased the country’s U.S. and Gulf allies, who worried its collapsing security was allowing al-Qaida to step up its operations.
Saleh is the fourth leader to step down from power in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings. The longtime dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have also turned over their power. However, Saleh’s deal grants him immunity from prosecution, and he isn’t explicitly banned from Yemen’s political life.
Saleh’s resignation will surely lead to a power struggle, as his son and nephew are among many who are vying to fill his spot. His step down from power also comes after 10 months of street protests, in which hundreds of people have been killed by his security force. His agreement to step down was also the result of many of his allies switching sides and joining his opposition.
Saleh signed a U.S.-backed deal, which transferred his power to his vice president, Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi. He said that what’s important in his resignation is the “good intentions and dedication to serious, loyal work at true participation to rebuild what has been destroyed by the crisis during the past 10 months.”
Written by: Karen Benardello