CAIRO – In his first public speech in more than 18 months, Yemen's ousted autocratic leader Ali Abdullah Saleh is calling for "forgiveness of the past" amid calls for prosecution of those responsible for the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising.
His speech in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa marked the first anniversary of a transfer of power in 2012 that followed massive protests and sit-ins.
Tens of thousands of Saleh supporters gathered near the presidential palace, chanting "the people want Ali Abdullah Saleh."
Saleh's speech appeared to be in defiance of a U.N. Security Council warning that sanctions would be imposed upon him if he continued to hinder democratic transition. Saleh has been accused of trying to manipulate power through a network of relatives and supporters still in key positions.