Conflict & Justice

Yemen's President Saleh says he is stepping down within days

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A Yemeni anti-government protester holds a drawing calling for the trial of President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a demonstration in Sanaa. On October 8, 2011, President Salah said he would give up power in the coming days.

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GAMAL NOMAN

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he wants to leave power, and is stepping down in the coming days.

"I don't want power and I will give it up in the coming days," Saleh said in a speech on state TV, Agence France-Presse reports.

Saleh, who has faced eight months of protests against his rule, also railed against his political opponents and said he would not hand over power to them.

The Associated Press reports that President Saleh declared in his speech that he "will reject power in the coming days. I will give it up. But there are men who are true to their pledges who will take power, whether military or civilian."

Yemen's new Nobel Peace Prize winner, Tawakkul Karman, said protests would continue and Saleh's offer to step down was not to be trusted.

More from GlobalPost: Tawakkul Karman first Arab woman to win Nobel Peace Prize

"We don't believe this man and if he wants to step down, okay, that belongs to him," Karman told Al-Jazeera, according to AFP.

"He has to hand over the power; he has to give the power that he has stolen to the revolution people, the revolution rule. We don't believe him," she said. "We are continuing our peaceful revolution."

Anti-regime protests in Yemen have continued since January. President Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, has appeared ready to resign several times, but pulled out of deals at the last moment, BBC News reports.

Saleh returned to Yemen last month from Saudi Arabia where he had been receiving medical treatment after he was badly injured when his office was shelled in June.

More from GlobalPost: Saleh makes surprise return to Yemen