Yemen's Saleh a war criminal?

Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:50 AM
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PARIS, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A Yemeni activist and co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize said Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh should be tried as a war criminal.

Saleh has defied pressure to stand down despite near-universal condemnation of his administration and political conflict pushing his country closer to civil war. He's refused to sign a deal, put together by the Gulf Cooperation Council, for his resignation.

Pro-democracy activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen shared this year's Nobel Peace Prize with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.

Before and during the pro-democracy revolution known as the "Arab Spring" that swept across northern Africa and the Middle East, Karman played a key role in the fight for women's rights, democracy and peace in Yemen.

During a meeting with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe she called for more pressure on Saleh.

"We need more actions," she was quoted by the independent Yemen Post as saying. "We want you to freeze the assets of Saleh and his people and see that action is taken at the International Criminal Court as he is a war criminal."

Juppe said the European community would be in a better position on Yemen if Saleh's opponents were more united. The European Union, however, was committed to finding a resolution to Yemen's political crisis.

"I think asset freezes will be discussed as soon as possible," he was quoted as saying.

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