Sana’a: Yemen police in the southern port city of Aden shot dead on Saturday two protesters and injured many other as thousands of separatist protesters marked the 18th anniversary of what they described as the beginning of occupation of the north.
Eyewitnesses in the city said the Central Security police intercepted crowds of protesters heading from Shaikh Othman to Al Mansoura. “The protesters were unarmed and the police killed them deliberately.” a local journalist told Gulf News.
Another separatist protester was shot dead in the city of Seiyun, the southeastern province of Hadramout, local sources said.
Thousands of separatist protesters went to the streets of all the provinces of what was once known as South Yemen to commemorate “Land Day” which coincided with the end of the civil war in Yemen.
Also, police in Aden defused on Saturday a bomb planted at the door of a government facility.
The ministry of defence said that on Saturday armed men fired live ammunition and RPD rockets at the government complex in the southern province of Dhalae. No one was injured in the attack. Businesses in the south were brought to a halt in response to a call by the separatist activists.
The leader of the separatist Southern movement Ali Salem Al Beidh on Saturday accused international human rights organisations of turning a blind eye to the aggression against the people in the south.
“We denounce the silence of the human rights organisation on the continuing violence against the people of the south.”
Al Beidh, who was a vice-president during the early days of unification, called upon the GCC states to broker a peace deal between the South and north similar to the one that ended the political wrangling between the former president and his opponents.
“We welcome any initiative by Gulf countries as part of their brotherly duty towards the depressed people in the south.”
Al Beidh reiterated his conditions for engaging in any future dialogue with the government. He insisted that the dialogue should be between delegates of two countries and under the sponsorship of the international community.
On Friday night, Haider Abu Baker Al Attas, the prime minister of the first government after the unification, said in an interview with Al Maiadeen TV that the southerners should be given freedom to decide whether or not to go ahead with the unification.
Al Attas, who is seen as a moderate southern dissident, demanded an apology from all northern forces that backed the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 1994.
“To solve the southern issue, all [northern]forces involved in the war of injustice that destroyed the south should apologise for their occupation and return people’s stolen properties.”