Thousands of separatists rally for independence in Yemen
Yemen's President Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi (C) speaks during the closing session of a conference on national dialogue in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. (Image credit: AFP)
Thousands of separatists demanding secession gathered at Parade Square in the center of Aden on Saturday to mark the anniversary in 1967 of the independence of former South Yemen.
North and South Yemen had reunited in 1990. The South broke away for a short period in 1994. The separatist movement was soon squashed by Northern forces. Since then, secession has been a contentious issue in the South.
AFP reports that protestors chanted slogans along the lines of, “No to dialogue; yes to independence and liberation.”
Talks between the North and South had opened up in March. They were scheduled to end in September, but have been delayed. President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and northern delegates suggested the federal state should comprise several entities. However, people from the South are asking for a federal state comprised only of two entities – the north and the south.
The talks are backed by the U.N. and brokered by neighboring Gulf states. The talks began at the end of a year of Arab spring protests, which removed autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office. The ex-President had ruled the country for 33 years.