Nobel laureate calls for new revolution against Yemen 'coup'

CAIRO – Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman has urged revolutionaries to use the fourth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh to launch a fresh revolution against the "coup" in her country.

"This new revolutionary wave won't stop until the army's weaponry is restored, militias dissolved, and a modern state – that respects freedom, dignity, justice and equality – is established," Karman said in a statement.

The Nobel laureate said that Yemen was currently at a critical juncture.

"It will either be consumed by chaos and war or the youth will defeat violence through their peaceful and popular will," she said.

Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets on Wednesday to mark the fourth anniversary of pro-democracy protests that erupted in 2011 and forced Saleh to step down one year later.

The anniversary comes a few months after Yemen's Shiite Houthi group seized control of capital Sanaa, from which it has sought to expand its influence farther afield.

Last week, the Houthi group issued a "constitutional declaration" dissolving parliament and establishing a 551-member "transitional council" to run the fractious country's affairs.

The declaration, however, was rejected by most of Yemen's political forces – along with some neighboring countries – which described it as a "coup" against "constitutional legitimacy."

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