Yemenis Stage Fresh Demos to Demand U.N. Action on Saleh

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Tens of thousands of Yemenis marched on the streets of the capital Tuesday, demanding for a second straight day the U.N. Security Council take action against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"This is a message to the world, to the powerful nations, and to the Security Council...take Saleh and his regime to court," the protesters chanted from Sanaa's Change Square.

Energised by Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman's Nobel Peace prize win on Friday, protesters warned Saleh they would not give up until their demands for his departure were met.

"Understand this...we have won the Nobel peace (prize) and we will not rest...we will not rest until the butcher is tried," they chanted.

Calls by the Yemenis for an intervention by the United Nations have increased in the lead-up to U.N. Yemen envoy Jamal Benomar's report to the Security Council planned for later Tuesday.

On Monday, a similar protest called on the U.N. to play a stronger role in resolving the months-long political crisis that has pushed Yemen's economy and its leadership to the brink of collapse.

The formal opposition group, the Coalition Forum, has also joined the call for action, saying it would support a more prominent U.N. role in ending the political deadlock that began when widespread anti-government protests erupted in the impoverished country in January.

European nations meanwhile are pressing for a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding Saleh step down.

On Monday, European diplomats in New York told Agence France Presse they hope to pass a resolution that calls for an immediate end to violence by all parties and for Saleh to sign and implement the Gulf-sponsored initiative for a peaceful transition of power.

They said work on the draft resolution, intended to bolster the faltering Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, would be stepped up after Benomar's briefing to the council.

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