Clashes kill two in southern Yemen on uprising anniversary

Photo: Clashes kill two in southern Yemen on uprising anniversary  / Arabic region

At least two people were killed Monday and 30 others were wounded in clashes in southern Yemen, as thousands gathered to celebrate the second anniversary of the uprising that forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of his 33-year grip on power, DPA reported.

The clashes which erupted in the southern seaport city of Aden pitted members of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah Party) against others who belong to the separatist Movement for the Independence of Southern Yemen.

A major issue dividing them was the proper month to commemorate the uprisings of 2011. Some groups wanted the commemoration to happen Monday, while others felt it should have been in January.

The Doha-based Al Jazeera quoted Yemeni officials as saying that at least two people were killed, including a 12-year-old girl, and 30 others were wounded during the clashes. The protesters were using the day of commemoration to express how much was still left to be done after the Yemeni uprising.

Rallies across Yemen were organized by the Committee of the Youth Revolution, which considers February 11, 2011 the day the uprising against Saleh's rule started.

Other demonstrations in Yemen had begun in January 2011, and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian uprising.

The Committee in a statement urged the current government to look after the families of the "martyrs" and "complete the treatment for the wounded."

The Committee's statement which was carried by Mareb News Agency, vowed to the continue the revolution until all its goals are achieved.

The agency said fireworks lit the skies over the capital and other cities which were celebrating the anniversary.

Yemen's Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa said that February 11, when the peaceful youth revolution erupted in 2011, is "a historic day for all Yemenis."

The premier, who was quoted by Yemen's News Agency, SABA, voiced his confidence that "the revolution, for which youths have sacrificed their lives, will move forward until full change is achieved."

Saleh agreed in November 2011 to leave power after a Gulf-brokered initiative backed by the United Nations was reached. The deal granted Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution.

On February 6, Yemeni President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi announced that he has set March 18 as the date to hold a national dialogue, in a move aimed at pushing forward the process of political transition in the country, state media reported.

The dialogue is aimed at drafting a new constitution and an electoral legislation for the 2014 elections in Yemen.

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