Yemen arrests 16 'separatists' in south

Yemen, the poorest Arab country, is battling secessionists in the south, a Shi'ite insurgency in the north.

Yemen arrests 16 'separatists' in south

Government forces have arrested 16 people on suspicion of separatist activity in southern Yemen, security sources said on Saturday.

Yemen, the poorest Arab country, is battling secessionists in the south, a Shi'ite insurgency in the north.

Those arrested were accused of taking part in unauthorised protests and jeopardising security and unity in the Arabian Peninsula country, the sources said.

Some group members were carrying anti-government leaflets and banners, and others had attacked security forces with stones, they said. Further details were not available about the arrests, which took place in three provinces late on Friday.

People in the south, home to most of Yemen's oil facilities, have long complained that northerners have abused a 1990 agreement.

Of Yemen's population of 23 million, more than 40 percent live on less than $2 a day.

In the south, two policemen were wounded in an attack by gunmen in the town of Dalea on Saturday, residents said.

On Friday, security sources said separatists killed a senior police official in an ambush in southern Yemen. Another person died and three were injured in the shooting.

Blocking flow of refugees

Separately, the United Nations Development Programme called for urgent aid for the 250,000 people displaced by the conflict in Yemen's north, which has flared on and off since 2004.

The northern Houthis and the government agreed last week to a truce to end the war, but previous ceasefires have not held.

UNDP administrator Helen Clark expressed hope in a statement that "the international community would react positively to the ceasefire by providing urgently needed resources in response to the humanitarian needs caused by the conflict and to allow early recovery from the conflict to begin".

Yemen, which already hosts 170,000 African refugees, wants to block the flow of asylum seekers across the Gulf of Aden -- which separates it from Somalia -- because of security concerns, the Interior Ministry said on its website on Saturday.

The refugees, many of them fleeing political turmoil in Somalia, hope to find jobs in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, or in other parts of the Middle East.


Last Mod: 21 Şubat 2010, 12:17
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