February 10, 2014 / 1:35 PM / 5 years ago

Yemen agrees to become federation of six regions, south gets more autonomy

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi looks on during a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (not pictured), in Washington, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Yemen’s president on Monday approved turning the country into a federal state made up of six regions, effectively giving the south more autonomy, state news agency Saba reported.

Political factions had agreed to give President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi an extra year to complete a power transfer deal under a U.S.-backed Gulf accord that includes turning Yemen into a federal state.

Under the new system, the south is divided into two regions, Aden and Hadramout, according to Saba. The northern part of the country was divided into four regions.

Hadi is also tasked with drafting a new constitution that will form the basis of elections slated for next year.

Yemen has been in turmoil since mass protests in 2011 eventually forced out former President Ali Abullah Saleh, grappling with a northern rebellion, Islamist militancy and economic upheaval.

Reporting by Mohamed Mukhashaf, Writing by Yara Bayoumy, editing by Sami aboudi

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