Police break up Yemen rallies

Protests take place in southern city to coincide with donors' meeting in Saudi Arabia.

    Displaying flags from the old southern Yemeni republic, thousands are holding protests [Reuters]

    Ali Salem al-Baid, a politician who led the south to unity with the north in 1990, had called on Friday for "two days of southern anger".

    General Ghazi Ali Mohsen, head of security in Daleh, said 21 "rioters" were arrested in the city.

    "The subversive elements were carrying weapons and flags and calling" for the secession of the south from the north, he said.

    Message to donors

    In his speech calling for the two days of protests, Baid said: "I call on you ... to send a message to our Arab brothers and to the representatives of the international community gathered in Riyadh underlining your rejection of the occupation and your commitment to self-determination.

    "Our only weapon is our determination to recover our rights, whatever the cost ... we will succeed in regaining our independence."

    In response, crowds brandishing flags of the former south and of Saudi Arabia have been taking to the streets in the major towns of Daleh, Lahij, Abyan and Hadramaut.

    in depth

     

      Listening Post: Media spotlight on Yemen
      Riz Khan: Yemen, a failed state?
      Video: Ceasefire holding
      Video: Yemen's tough al-Qaeda challenge
      Inside Story: Can the West save Yemen?
      Inside Story: Focus on Yemen's future
      Profile: Yemen's Houthi fighters

    Businesses in these areas remain closed for fear of clashes with security forces, witnesses and local officials say.

    In Abyan, three civilians suffered bullet wounds when police moved to stop demonstrators cutting the highway between the provincial capital of Zinjibar and the south's main city, Aden, witnesses said.

    Tareq al-Fadhli, a prominent southern secessionist, called on demonstrators in the centre of Zinjibar "to continue your struggle until the south is freed from Yemeni occupation".

    Fadhli, a former Islamist who rallied to the southern cause, promised "victory soon" over the Sanaa government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president.

    In Lahij, thousands demonstrated in the towns of Hutah and al-Habilain, and rallies were held in Mukallah, the main city of Hadramaut.

    Pro-independence demonstrations have increased in the south in recent months amid a worsening economic situation and complaints of discrimination in favour of northerners by the Sanaa government.

    Western governments have been pushing for a sharp increase in aid to Yemen to help Sanaa tackle multiple sources of dissent.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.