SANAA, YEMEN — Adding to the pressure on Yemen’s embattled president, several members of his ruling Congress Party resigned Saturday as tens of thousands of people again took to the streets to demand his ouster and Britain warned its citizens against traveling to the impoverished Arab country.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key U.S. ally against an active al-Qaeda offshoot in Yemen, refused to budge, rejecting a proposal from a coalition of opposition groups to end the political standoff by agreeing to step down by year’s end.
The region-wide unrest spread to Yemen at about the time President Hosni Mubarak was stepping down in Egypt in early February. Yemenis, the poorest people in the Arab world, voiced grievances similar to those of the Egyptian protesters — government corruption, poverty and lack of political freedom.
Saleh, who has held on to power for 32 years despite numerous threats to his rule, has failed to quell anti-government sentiment with earlier pledges not to run for reelection in 2013 or install his son as his successor.