Yemen

Yemen’s southerners set to form government after November

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Yemen’s pro-independence Southern Movement says it is going ahead with a plan to form its own government by next month.

The movement has also set a deadline of November 30 for all northern government employees and armed forces to leave the south.

The leaders of the movement said in a statement that the separatists would set up checkpoints along the pre-1990 borders with the north after the deadline.

The statement came after the Saudi special envoy, Abdul-Rahman al-Jifri, held talks with leaders of the movement.

In recent days, the volatile southern port city of Aden, the capital of former South Yemen, has been the scene of heavy military presence.

North and South Yemen unified in 1990 after the southern government collapsed. However, four years later, the south tried to break away, which led to a civil war. The conflict ended with northern troops taking control of the south after winning the war.

In February, the Yemeni government disclosed a plan to divide the Arab country into six regions.

Politicians in southern Yemen are opposed to the plan. They say four provinces in the north would have more power than the two in the south.

The idea of creating a federal system has been a part of Yemen’s political transition, as the country is still reeling from the popular uprising that forced longtime dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office in February 2012.

Yemen’s southern residents complain that they have been economically and politically marginalized by the central government in Sana’a.

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