Five bulldozers deployed by Yemeni authorities on Wednesday began dismantling the main protest camp against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who stepped down in February after a year-long uprising.
The bulldozers cleared several tents from the main roads near the capital’s Sanaa University without any resistance from the youth who have occupied the district since February 2011, an AFP correspondent reported.
The decision to clear the area, dubbed since protests began as “Change Square”, was made by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.
He was elected in February this year after Saleh, bowing to domestic and international pressure, abandoned power after 30 years in office.
Hundreds were killed in the crackdown by Saleh loyalists on nationwide protests in the impoverished country during the uprising.
Few tents will, however, remain in the middle of the square as a reminder of the youth’s demands for a “civil state” and to put on trial “corrupt leaders,” according to activists.
On November 23, Saleh signed a Gulf-brokered deal after months of stalling, and handed power to Hadi, his then deputy, to implement the plan.
Early presidential elections were held with Hadi as the sole candidate after a consensual government led by the opposition was formed, while Saleh and his aides received immunity against prosecution.