17:20 GMT +318 October 2019
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    General view of Aden, Yemen, August 12, 2019

    Yemen Authorities Set Separatists' Withdrawal from Aden As Precondition for Dialogue

    © REUTERS / Fawaz Salman
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    Last week, government forces clashed with separatists advocating for the Interim Council of Southern Yemen in the city of Aden, where the Yemeni government moved from Houthi-captured Sana'a.

    The Yemeni Foreign Ministry has demanded the withdrawal of Interim Council of South Yemen separatists from the positions they are occupying in Aden as a prerequisite for the start of talks, according to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Yemen Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadrami.

    "The government welcomed the call of Saudi Arabia to convene a meeting to end the consequences of the Aden coup. However, the coalition’s statement must first be implemented so that the Interim Council leaves the positions it occupied over the past days before any dialogue begins," al-Hadrami said.

    Separatists from the Interim Council of Southern Yemen who have recently captured the city of Aden are planning to establish an interim administration in the country's south, according to a member of the movement's praesidium, Nasser al-Habaji.

    According to al-Habaji, the Council is calling for the 'restoration of South Yemen's independence' as it once used to be an internationally recognised state.

    "The independence of South Yemen will happen- we are approaching it. It will benefit both South Yemen and the establishment of peace in all of Yemen. Moreover, it will benefit the stability in the region, the national security of the Arab countries, whose stability depends on the situation in the area of the Bab al-Mandab Strait and Aden", al-Habaji said.

    Last week, after several days of fierce fighting, the Southern Transitional Council captured the Maashiq presidential palace in Aden, defeating their former allies, forces loyal to internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The clashes have already left at least 40 people dead and 260 more injured.

    Yemen has been locked in a conflict between government forces, led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, and the Houthi movement. A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting strikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015. The conflict has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis in the country.

    The southern region of the country, with a population of four million people, is seeking independence and the return of the status quo that existed before the unification of the north and south in 1990 into a single state, headed by the president of North Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Separatist tendencies resulted in an armed confrontation between the army units of the north and south in 1994, which ended in the victory of the northerners.

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    Aden, separatism, Yemen
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