For the past few days, Britain, the US and other western countries are warned to travel to Yemen, as there is a civil unrest and danger of terrorist attacks. After a month of protests demanding President Ali Abdullah Salih to resign, opposition coalition known as the Joint Meeting Parties put forward a five-point plan last week asking him to step out at the end of this year. But Salih ignored that and claims that terrorists are taking advantage of the political unrest to carry out further attacks against the Yemeni government. Local sources suggest that the alleged al-Qaida militants were most likely just rowdy locals.Last Thursday Hilary Clinton suggested that Iran was "very much involved" in Yemen's protest movement.
As the Al Qaida threat is still on, it is safe for the western countries to leave Yemen. Considering that the British diplomatic and security presence in Yemen is only marginally active, one has to wonder where they are getting their information about AQAP activity from. In the meantime, the opposition JMP has a real opportunity to make a bid for power. Yemen’s ruling party is just trying to convince people that there won't be a revolution, by saying that their country is unlike Egypt and Tunisia. But anyhow one significant difference is the marginal political freedom that is tolerated under the Salih regime. The political unfriendliness is organised and coordinating with protesters. JMP leaders such as famous tribal sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar are doing everything in their power to bring demonstrators all over Yemen under the JMP umbrella. According to al-Ahmar, the only way to preserve unity is to make their party's candidate for president someone from the country's south, where secessionist sentiments are strong. Al-Ahmar in an interview said that he would personally vote for Yaseen Saeed No'man, secretary-general of the Yemeni Socialist party and a native southerner.