(Updates with Defense Ministry report in fifth and sixth paragraphs.)
Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Protesters in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, and the southern city of Taiz urged the Arab League to impose sanctions on President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government and suspend the country’s membership.
Thousands of rural Yemenis marched for several kilometers to Taiz, Ahmed al-Wafi, a protest activist, said by telephone today. They chanted slogans demanding the prosecution of Saleh and his relatives, and urged the United Nations to take a firmer stand against Yemen, al-Wafi said.
The Arab League yesterday gave Syria three days to end its eight-month crackdown on protesters and abide by the terms of an Arab peace plan, or face economic sanctions. The League’s condemnation of Muammar Qaddafi’s suppression of dissent in March paved the way for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization air campaign to protect civilians. Both Syria and Libya were suspended by the League.
Protests against Saleh started in January and have escalated with defections by military and tribal leaders. In Sana’a today, protesters marched in the war-torn Hasaba neighborhood for the first time since May. “No guarantees, no immunity for the killers,” they chanted. “Oh, Arab League, you must take an action.”
Saleh made new appointments for key positions in the military, the Defense Ministry website reported today.
The appointments include the replacement of the commanders of Hodiedah air force base and Sadaa province military hub, who declared their support for the uprising against Saleh, the al Sahwa opposition website said.
--With assistance from Caroline Alexander in London. Editors: Ben Holland, Karl Maier, Louis Meixler.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mohammed Hatem in Sana’a at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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