Key dates in rule of Yemen’s embattled Saleh

SANAA — Timeline in the rule of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh:

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 23 Nov 2011, 11:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:43 AM

· 1978: Becomes president of North Yemen, aged 36. Yemen at the time is divided into two.

· May 1990: Presides over unification of North and South into a single Republic of Yemen, which he leads. The former leader of South Yemen becomes vice-president.

· 1990: During the US-led war sparked by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iraq, Yemen sides with Iraq. In retaliation Saudi Arabia, its rich northern neighbour, expels some 700,000 Yemeni immigrant workers.

· 1994: Civil war between secessionist forces in the south and the government. The latter prevails.

· September 1999: First presidential election under universal suffrage. Saleh declared the winner. Later re-elected in 2006 for a mandate due to expire in 2013.

· October 2000: Suicide attack against the US destroyer Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden kills 17 US military personnel. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility.

· June 2004: Start of a rebellion by Shiite Muslims in the north, who accuse the authorities of anti-Shiite discrimination.

· August 2007: Unrest erupts in the south, with demands for social and political reform.

· February 2009: Agreement between government and opposition for political reforms, with parliamentary elections delayed for two years.

· April-May 2009: New outbreak of secessionist revolt in south.

· February 2010: Truce between government and Shiite rebels in the north.

· 2011

· January 27: With revolts taking place in several Arab countries, demonstrations begin in Yemen to demand Saleh’s resignation. The unrest has since left hundreds of dead.

· April 8: Saleh rejects a political blueprint drawn up by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which would involve him stepping down in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

· May 27-31: Security forces kill more than 50 protesters in Taez, Yemen’s second-largest city, according to the UN.

In the south, 41 soldiers and civilians die in fighting around the southern town of Zinjibar.

· June 3: Saleh and other top regime figures wounded in an explosion at a mosque in the presidential palace in Sanaa. Saleh taken for treatment to Saudi Arabia, where he remains for several months.

· September 23: Saleh returns to Yemen.

· November 22: A UN envoy says that both the opposition and the Saleh regime have agreed on a Gulf Cooperation Council plan for a transfer of power.

· November 23: Saleh signs the deal to hand over his powers after 33 years in office.

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