24 Apr 2011

Yemeni president agrees to step down

11:45 am on 24 April 2011

The president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has agreed to step down under a 30-day transition plan aimed at ending violent unrest over his 32-year rule.

Scores of protesters have been killed in months of unrest by Yemenis inspired by the wave of rebellion in the Arab world.

Officials in the capital Sanaa confirmed the government has accepted the plan drawn up by Gulf Arab states, the BBC reports.

Mr Saleh will hand power to his vice-president one month after an agreement is signed with the opposition, in return for immunity from prosecution.

At least 120 people have died during two months of protests.

Opposition leader Yassin Noman was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying he welcomed news of the handover but would not take part in a proposed national unity government.

The opposition have been insisting they will not accept immunity from prosecution for Mr Saleh and his family.

Tunisian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak have stood down as a result of popular uprisings.