Yemeni tribes not to join protest

February 27th, 2011 - 10:17 am ICT by IANS  

Sana’a, Feb 27 (IANS) Powerful tribal chiefs council in Yemen’s northern provinces have refuted reports saying they have joined opposition protesters demanding the ouster of the country’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.”We maintain loyalty to the government and President Ali Abdullah Saleh,” Xinhua quoted the tribes as saying in a statement.

“We have declared our stance during the past few days in an open meeting with the president,” they said, adding that “We support the legitimate government of Yemen, its unity, stability and security.”

Earlier Saturday, a rally of about 700 demonstrators converged in Amran, some 50 km north of the capital Sana’a, to demand the ouster of Saleh.

The protest was organised by Saleh’s former bodyguard, tribal leader Hussein al-Ahmar, according to a provincial security official.

Al-Ahmar announced his resignation from Saleh’s ruling party during the rally, and called for overthrowing him, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Local media reported Saturday that tribal chiefs have joined the opposition.

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