Aden, Yemen, 23 Rabi’ul Akhir 1434/ 4 March 2013 (MINA) – About six pro-secessionism activists were injured in clashes with police troops in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on Monday, a provincial security official told Xinhua as quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Tuesday.
The police troops fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse a secessionist rally in Aden’s neighborhood of Mansoura, leaving six people injured, the security official said on condition of anonymity.
“A pro-secession rally turned to clashes in Aden, with police firing tear gas and protesters throwing stones and blocking roads with cement barricades,” the security source said.
Aden has witnessed weeks-long deadly clashes between security forces and activists of the secessionist Southern Movement who insist on the breakup of Yemen after 23 years of unity between the south and north.
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi paid his first visit to Aden on Feb. 23, the first trip since he took office last year, after clashes escalated in recent days.
Hadi was elected in February 2012 as president after Yemeni rival parties signed in the Saudi capital of Riyadh a power transfer deal, under which former President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in return for a complete immunity from prosecution and handed over power to his then deputy Hadi following one-year deadly protests that killed more than 2,000 people.
Hadi has called for separatist groups in Aden and other major southern cities to take part in a planned reconciliation national dialogue hold on March 18, and he has promised compensation and settlement to the southerners.
Separatist sentiment escalated after northern troops overran southern regions following a four-month civil war in 1994. Southerners complain of being economically and politically marginalized and discriminated against. (T/P011/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)