Saleh returns to Yemen amid outcry
Yemen's outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, returned home early Sunday from Saudi Arabia, where he had signed a deal ceding power to his deputy, reported the state news agency.
His return coincided with mass protests across the Arabian Peninsula country against granting him immunity from prosecution under the deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, DPA reported.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that Saleh would head to New York for medical treatment after signing the deal.
Unconfirmed media reports have said that Saleh will settle down in an Arab Gulf country after his return from the United States.
His sudden homecoming angered protesters, who accuse him of ordering a deadly crackdown on his opponents, hundreds of whom have been killed since February.
They demand that Saleh, who has ruled for 33 years, and his senior aides be prosecuted.
"Saleh is taking risks by coming back," said Murad Qaed, a protester in the capital Sana'a.
"He deserves to be sent to the gallows for his crimes," he added.
On Wednesday, Saleh and leaders from the opposition Joint Meeting Parties signed the power transfer deal in a bid to end 10 months of bloody violence in the country.
Under the terms of the deal, Saleh is to transfer power to his deputy, Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, within 30 days, followed 90 days later by a presidential election.
Hadi anounced Saturday that a presidential election will be held on February 21.