SANAA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) --Tens of thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in the capital Sanaa on Sunday to demand the prosecution against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh as a top UN delegation pays a visit to their country.
Marchers were led by politicians, lawyers and activists in key streets surrounding the presidential palace.
The crowd held signs reading "Our basic demand to the UN Security Council is to help lift the immunity granted to Saleh and his aides" and "People want to put Saleh on trial over murder charges."
Earlier on the day, the top UN Security Council delegation arrived in Sanaa in a mission to push for a reconciliation dialogue between Yemeni rival forces as part of a UN-backed deal that saw the resignation of Saleh in February 2012 in return for immunity from prosecution following yearlong deadly protests.
Nearly 2,000 people were killed in 2011 during the protests against Saleh's regime, according to statistics by the Yemeni Human Rights Ministry.
The Yemeni state TV said that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who replaced Saleh in February 2012 according to the power transfer deal, and his government held a closed meeting with the visiting UN delegation.
The meeting was attended by UN envoy to Yemen Jamal bin Omar and Abdullatif al-Zayani, head of the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) that brokered the deal.
The national dialogue, initially scheduled for mid-November 2012 in line with the deal, has been delayed as the government's negotiations with pro-secession southern leaders ran into trouble.
Leaders of activists in the south insist that self- determination of independence for the southerners be set as a precondition for any talks, according to a recent statement by the pro-secession Southern Movement.
The dialogue's agenda includes resolving the disputes among the rival forces in post-Saleh era, addressing the southerners' complains about restructuring the army, rewriting the constitution, forming an election committee and holding the presidential election at the end of the transitional period in 2014.