최근 수 주간 예멘의 영향력 있는 부족들이 반정부 세력에 가세하면서 시위는 확산되고 있다. 살레 대통령은 "2013년에 물러나겠다"며 그로서는 큰 양보를 했지만 예멘을 위해서 조만간 사임하는 게 나을 것으로 보인다.
살레 대통령은 4가지 요인 때문에 지금까지 살아남을 수 있었다. 먼저 예멘은 도시 인구가 전체의 30%에 불과할 정도로 도시화가 미흡하다. 둘째, 반정부 세력 간에 동질성이 부족하고 구심점이 될 리더를 갖추지 못했다. 셋째, 이슬람 근본주의 세력을 견제하기 위해 살레 대통령을 자기편으로 보는 미국이 사실상 그를 계속 지원하고 있다. 마지막으로 그는 자신의 네트워크를 통해 일부 부족과 이슬람 지도자들의 지지를 얻고 있다.
중동의 아라비아 반도 남서부에 있는 국가이다. 가장 오래된 인류 거주지 중 하나로 유구한 역사를 지녔으며, 아라비안 나이트의 주요 배경지 중 하나이다. 아시아와 아프리카, 유럽의 길목에 있어 예로부터 문화적으로 풍부했고, 중동국가 가운데서 아랍인의 독특한 기질과 문화적 전통을 가장 잘 이어가고 있는 나라로 손꼽힌다.
1517년 이후 터키의 지배를 받던 중 1839년 천혜의 무역항인 아덴을 노린 영국이 남예멘지역을 무력으로 점령하면서 분단시대가 시작됐다. 1918년 터키가 제1차 세계대전에서 패배하자, 북예멘이 먼저 독립하였으며, 1962년 군사 쿠데타를 계기로 자본주의화하였다. 한편 구소련의 지원하에서 독립한 남예멘은 공산주의화하였다. 1972·1973·1979년에도 국경문제로 남북간에 무력분쟁이 이어져 왔으며, 1978년 6월에는 가즈미 북예멘 대통령이 남예멘 특사와 회담중 암살됨으로써 남북관계가 악화되었다.
1990년 5월 남북협상에 의해 통일되었으나 1994년 5월 전면적인 내전이 시작되었고 1994년 7월 북예멘의 일방적 승리로 다시 통일국가가 수립되었다.남북통일과 내전
예멘은 과거에 오스만 제국으로부터 독립한 북예멘(예멘 아랍 공화국)과, 1967년 영국으로부터 독립하여 사회주의 정체를 채택한 남예멘(예멘 인민 민주 공화국)으로 분열되어 있었다. 1990년 남북간 합의로 통일정부가 구성되었는데, 얼마 되지 않아 정부 요직 분배와 관련하여 충돌이 발생, 내전으로 비화했다. 내전은 군사력에서 우위에 있었던 북예멘 군대가 남예멘의 수도 아덴을 점령하며 북예멘의 승리로 끝나, 비로소 완전한 통일이 이루어졌다.경제
이웃 아랍 국가들에 비해 석유나 천연가스의 개발이 늦어, 아랍 지역에서 가장 가난한 나라로 꼽힌다. 상대적으로 농어업이 활성화되어 있으나 기후 악화와 낙후된 설비 등으로 식량을 자급할 정도는 되지 못하며, 예멘인들의 국민적 기호품이자 마약성 작물인 까트(Qat) 재배가 지나칠 정도로 널리 확산되어 있어 적지 않은 사회문제가 되고 있다. 석유 등의 에너지자원은 1980년대 이후에야 본격적으로 개발되기 시작했다. 공업은 자유무역지대로 지정된 아덴을 중심으로 정유, 석유화학, 제염(製鹽), 알루미늄 공예 등이 발전해 있다. 인근 아랍국가들과 서방세계로부터 상당히 많은 재정지원을 얻어 왔지만 경제 성장이 더디고, 실업률이 30% 이상이며 물가 상승률도 높다. 다만 석유의 수출이 늘어나며 무역수지는 흑자를 유지하고 있어, 앞으로의 성장 전망은 어둡지 않은 편이다.
Yemen Leader says he'll leave, warns of Al-Qaida 5/21/2011
Seeking to win some support in the West for his continued rule, Saleh has warned several times that without him, al-Qaida would take control of the country.
A big question hanging over the proposal is whether it will end the street protests by youth movements and others who say the opposition parties taking part in the talks to end the crisis do not represent them.
He claimed that the uprising against him had killed 154 soldiers and wounded more than 1,300.
A Yemeni anti-government protester jumps to throw stones toward a police station on Feb. 17 during clashes with regime loyalists in central Sanaa
Anti-government protesters attend Friday prayers in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz on Feb. 18
Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh attend a gathering addressed by Saleh in Sanaa on Feb. 20 after trying to break up a demonstration by opponents of the government
Female supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh hold posters during a gathering in Sanaa on Feb. 20.
Anti-government protesters attend a rally organized by the Shiite rebel al-Houthi group in the northwestern Yemeni province of Saada on Feb. 21.
Anti-government protesters destroy a vehicle belonging to Yemeni government supporters during a protest outside Sanaa University on Feb. 22 as some 1,000 students spent a second night camped at a square, which they have dubbed Al-Hurriya (Liberty) Square, near the university, demanding Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster.
Yemeni anti-government protesters take part in a demonstration calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Feb. 23.
Yemeni anti-regime women protesters shout slogans during a protest in Sanaa on Feb. 24. According to local media sources, after a two-week escalation in violence between supporters and opponents of the government, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered his security forces to protect anti-regime protesters trying to end his 32-year rule
Anti-government protesters attend a rally in Taiz on Feb. 25.
Protesters hold up pieces of bread with the word "Leave!" on them during an anti-government rally outside Sanaa University on Feb. 26
An elderly anti-government protester holds up his dagger during a demonstration in Sanaa on Feb. 27.
Anti-government protesters demonstrate for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Feb. 27 in Sanaa. Saleh vowed to defend his three-decade regime "with every drop of blood," accusing opponents of hijacking gathering protests in a ploy to split the nation
Female anti-government protesters look at a defaced poster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during a demonstration in Sanaa on Feb. 27.
A protester reacts during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, on March 1. Tens of thousands of protesters flooded Yemen's streets, dedicating a fresh "Day of Rage" to the 24 people killed in demonstrations demanding an end to Saleh's three-decade rule
A Yemeni boy waves his national flag as anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in Sanaa, March 3
Anti-government protesters rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern city of Taiz on March 4. Saleh rejected an opposition plan for him to transfer power this year, as the size of demonstrations against his three-decade rule over the impoverished nation swelled into hundreds of thousands
Anti-government protesters throw a boy into the air during a demonstration demanding the president's ouster in Sanaa on March 7.
Women flash the victory sign during a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside Sanaa University on March 8. Students at Sanaa University have been sleeping on campus since mid-February, shortly after the start of the protests calling on Saleh to step down
President Ali Abdullah Saleh waves to supporters gathered in a soccer stadium in Sanaa where he delivered a speech on March 10. Saleh, hoping to defuse increasingly violent protests against his 32-year rule, said he would draw up a new constitution to create a parliamentary system of government
Anti-government protestors carry a wounded protester to be taken for a nearby field hospital following clashes with Yemeni police in Sanaa on Saturyda, March 12. Yemeni security forces stormed a square early Saturday where thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been camped out for the past month, firing tear gas and live ammunition during a pre-dawn raid that killed at least one person, doctors and witnesses said.
Yemeni government supporters mingle with riot police in background, as they block the route for anti-government protesters, seen in foreground, as they face-off against each other during clashes between the factions in Sanaa on March 13. Police on rooftops fired live rounds and tear gas on protesters Sunday, injuring more than 100 who were camping near Sanaa University calling for the Yemeni president to step down.
A Yemeni wraps the face of a dead anti-government protester in a mosque, during clashes with security forces in Sanaa on March 18
An anti-government protester shouts with blood on his hands during clashes in Sanaa on March 18.
Wounded anti-government protesters lay on the ground as they received medical help at a field hospital during clashes with security forces in Sanaa on March 18. Yemeni security forces fired from rooftops at protesters as some tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators gathered in central Sanaa.
Yemeni anti-government protesters carry away a wounded youth in Sanaa on March 18 after pro-regime loyalists and police opened fire on them.
A Yemeni girl wearing a headband that reads in Arabic: " I am the coming martyr" is held by her mother on Sunday, March 20, during the funeral procession of demonstrators who were killed during Friday's clashes,
Mourners pray during the funeral of anti-government protesters in Sanaa on Sunday, March 20. Snipers killed 52 protesters at Sanaa University after Friday prayers. Following the shootings, a state of emergency was declared for 30 days that restricts freedom of movement and the right to gather and gives police more powers to make arrests.
Yemeni army officers join anti-government protestors demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa on March 21. Three Yemeni army commanders, including a top general, defected Monday to the opposition calling for an end to President Saleh's rule, as army tanks and armored vehicles deployed in support of thousands protesting in the capital. With the defection, it appeared Saleh's support was eroding from every power base in the nation -- his own tribe called on him to step down. He fired his entire Cabinet ahead of what one government official said was a planned mass resignation, and his ambassador to the U.N. and human rights minister quit.
Yemeni armoured personnel carriers are deployed outside the Central Bank in Sanaa on Monday, March 21, as a dangerous split opened between the military leadership after top generals joined the revolt against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime.
A Yemeni army soldier is kissed by a demonstrator after receiving flowers while standing guard to protect anti-government protesters during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Saleh in Sanaa on March 23
Members of Yemen's parliament raise their hands as they vote in favor of the state of emergency declared by President Ali Abdullah Saleh last week in Sanaa on March 23
A Yemeni girl, center, shouts slogans along with female anti-government protesters during a demonstration in Sanaa on March 23.
A Yemeni army officer shouts slogans along with anti-government protesters during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Saleh in Sanaa on March 25.
Anti-government protesters carry the bodies of Mohammed Ahmed, bottom, and Mujahed Abdul Haq, who were killed a week earlier in clashes with Yemeni security forces, during their funeral procession in Sanaa on March 25
Supporters of President Saleh gather atop a traffic billboard during a pro-government rally in Sanaa on March 25.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks to his supporters in Sanaa on Friday, March 25. Saleh said he was ready to cede power to stop more bloodshed in Yemen but only to what he called "safe hands." Tens of thousands rallied against him in "Day of Departure" protests
Anti-government protestors embrace and kiss Yemeni army officers who joined a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Saleh in Sanaa on March 31.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis take to the streets on March 31 in the town of Ibb, 118 miles southwest of Sanaa, calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Hundreds of thousands staged a counterdemonstration against President Saleh in Sanaa on April 1.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh attends the rally backing his administration in Sanaa on April 1.
Supporters of President Saleh rally for him in Sanaa on April 1.
Demonstrators are given medical aid as they rest in a mosque following clashes with the police during a protest against President Saleh in Taiz on April 3
Hundreds of people demonstrate in the city of Ibb on April 4 after security forces shot dead 15 anti-regime demonstrators and wounded scores more in another city, Taiz. On Monday new demonstrations in solidarity with the Taiz protesters erupted in several places.
Yemeni army soldiers in charge of protecting anti-government protestors take a break during a demonstration in Sanaa on April 4.
An anti-government protestor, center, wearing a red scarf, looks on while praying with other women during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Saleh in Sanaa on April 6.
Soldiers push back anti-government protestors attending a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Saleh in Taiz on April 9
Scahill: US is Playing Dangerous Game in Yemen
Supporters of President Saleh (pictured on posters) climb flag poles during a rally in Sanaa on April 15. Saleh addressed thousands of supporters on Friday, calling on the opposition demanding his immediate removal to engage in dialogue to preserve stability in the country.
Anti-government protestors gesture while chanting slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Saleh in Sanaa on April 19.
Anti-government protesters hold a picture of President Ali Abdullah Saleh depicting him as a pirate during a demonstration calling for his ouster in Sanaa on April 20.
Police troopers arrest a man after he and other protestors blocked the road to protest against the lack of cooking gas, in Taiz on April 20.
Anti-government protesters carry a large Yemeni flag during a rally to demand the ouster of President Saleh in the southern city of Taiz on April 22.
Unrest Continue in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria
Medics gather next to the bodies of two killed anti-government protesters at a field hospital following clashes with security forces in Sanaa on April 27.
Two Yemeni army soldiers, left, and anti-government protesters gather next to wounded protesters at a field hospital following clashes with security forces in Sanaa on April 27. At least 12 people were shot dead and more than 200 seriously injured in Sanaa, when forces from the Republican Guards opened fire on an anti-regime demonstration
Female anti-government protestors link arms during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen on April 27. Witnesses said at least 18 Yemeni cities and towns have heeded an opposition call for a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience to bring down the long-serving president
Yemeni Woman's Protest, April 2011
Yemeni Woman's Protest, April 2011
Anti-government protestors watch a news report about the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in a tent at the site of a demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen on May 2. Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks, was slain in his hideout in Pakistan in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a decade
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, center, surrounded by guards, walks toward his supporters during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen on May 6.
Army soldiers, who joined anti-government protesters, ride a military vehicle during a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President in Sanaa, Yemen on May 6. Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets both for and against President Saleh on May 6, a day after Gulf efforts to revive a plan for him to leave power were stymied by conditions attached by his party
Yemeni soldiers search a man at a checkpoint near an anti-government rally in Sanaa, Yemen on May 10.
Anti-government protesters chew qat as they stand with their daggers during a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on May 10.
Anti-government protesters burn tires in the southern city of Taiz, Yemen on May 11.
A Yemeni army soldier gestures to anti-government protestors attending a rally demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Taiz, Yemen on May 11. Yemeni security forces, including snipers, opened fire on thousands of anti-government protesters marching to the Cabinet building, killing one and injuring at least 40, medical officials and protesters said
An anti-government protester holds a flower as she attends a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on May 11
A Yemeni anti-government protester wearing a gas mask takes part in a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, May 11, before security forces and plainclothes gunmen opened fire at thousands marching in the capital.
An army soldier fires his weapon to disperse anti-goverernment protesters who set up blockades during a demonstration demanding the ouster of Yemen's President in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz on May 12. Government forces fired machine guns on Thursday to halt a protest against Yemen's entrenched president, wounding dozens
Anti-government protestors react during a demonstration in Taiz, Yemen, on May 12.
A supporter of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh wearing sunglasses painted with the slogan "Don't leave Ali" takes part in a pro-regime rally in Sanaa on May 13.
Anti-government protesters rally demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on May 13.
Supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh attend a rally in Sanaa on May 13.
Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the departure of President Saleh in Sanaa on May 14.
Anti-government protestors gesture during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Saleh in Sanaa on May 14.
An anti-government protester sprays water at army soldiers to cool them off from the heat at a barrier blocking demonstrators demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Taiz on May 16.
Anti-government protesters march past burning tires during a demonstration against President Saleh in the southern city of Taiz on May 16.
A picture distributed by the press office of Yemen's Zaidi rebels, shows residents of the southwestern province of Saada holding up placards calling for the ouster of President Saleh on May 16. The previous day, a Gulf mediator met with the embattled president in a new bid to resolve Yemen's political crisis despite scepticism from the opposition and as violence raged across the country
A child stands in front of anti-government protesters as they pray during a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa on May 16.
A Yemeni youth jumps over a burning tire set on fire by protesters during a demonstration in Taiz on May 16.
Yemeni medics shout slogans as they join anti-government protesters during a demonstration demanding the ousting of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Wednesday, May 18