Six killed in south Yemen on civil war anniversary

ADEN Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:38pm EST

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ADEN (Reuters) - Four civilians and two soldiers were shot dead and 10 others wounded by security forces in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden Friday, southern separatists and an official said, as crowds gathered calling for the separation of the south.

A local security official said three soldiers including a lieutenant were among those hurt at a festival to mark the anniversary of a violent struggle for an independent south which led to civil war and began in Aden on January 13, 1986.

The crowd at the festival was shouting "Revolution! Revolution! Oh South!," witnesses said.

Sunday, Yemen's cabinet proposed an immunity law to speed President Ali Abdullah Saleh's exit under a Gulf-brokered plan to end months of protests that have paralyzed the impoverished Arab state. Presidential elections are set for February 21.

However, any successor to Saleh faces many challenges: a rebellion in the north, the southern separatist movement and al Qaeda's most active wing, based in Yemen.

Thursday, at least four fighters from a Sunni Salafi Islamist group were killed in fighting with Shi'ite rebel fighters in northern Yemen.

Analysts say Saleh was expected to leave Yemen for medical treatment after parliament approves the immunity bill.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Martina Fuchs; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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Comments (1)
RILTTW wrote:
The protesters were unarmed and attacked by Central Security which is led by the president’s nephew and his forces have been accused of killing many unarmed protesters sometimes from close range during Yemen’s revolution. The south has seen renewed calls for independance in the wake of the Gulf agreement which was signed in Riyadh which is the capital of a country known for dictatorship and hatred for change. The agreement forces immunity for Ali Abdullah Saleh and much of his family and government for crimes against humanity during the revolution. It is rejected by all sides of the revolution, and the agreement is using minority opposition party to forge the immunity. Yet it has no validity in Yemeni law or constitution. And is also invalid in international law. The revolution is continuing and seeks the prosecution of those accused of murder.

The southern issue has re-emerged in the wake of the Gulf agreement because the external powers have used the minority internal opposition especially the Muslim Brotherhood (Islah) in order to push the immunity, and this minority party is not interested in equal representation of the south. For these reasons the south has pulled out of all talks involving the process, and seeks independence. The south is actuall better off without the north, and the north is poorer without the south.

Jan 16, 2012 5:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
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