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Security forces in Yemen continued to open fire on demonstrators in various cities across Yemen, including Sanaa, Aden and Taiz, wounding and killing dozens. No accurate estimate of casualities can be verified.

 

Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni continued their protests against the regime of Saleh, while others marched in support of the president.

 

Diplomatically, the US called on Saleh to step-down “now”, a call that Saleh rebuffed. GCC efforts to broker a deal between Saleh and the opposition failed.

 

A general strike called by the opposition took widespread effect in Taiz and most shops stayed closed in southern Yemen, although the strike was less well observed in Sanaa.

 

May 1-15, 2011

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

As predicted by Political Capital, the longer the stand-off in Yemen continues, the greater are the chances of a split within the ranks of the opposition. The two most significant developments of the recent few days were the observance of the general strike. The strike was much more widely observed in the south, than in the north, pointing to a divergence of the aims of the opposition supporters. This will only make it more difficult for any new regime to keep the country together, as momentum for secession is likely to increase in coming months. The crisis have reached a point that a civil war is more likely, not only between the former north and south, but also between rival tribes.

 

The other development was the US calling for Saleh to step-down immediately. Although this may increase the chances that Saleh will step-down, the assessment points to an overall increase of risk, both on the political and economic fronts.