Thousands rally for South Yemen independence

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Thousands of protesters held a protest in Yemen’s main southern city of Aden on Sunday to renew calls for independence from the north and reject the Sanaa government’s apology for a 1994 civil war.

The protesters waved the flag of the formerly independent south and banners reading: “We reject apologies,” and “Our demand is freedom and independence.”

The protest was called by the separatist Southern Movement to mark the 42nd anniversary of the creation of the army of South Yemen, which was an independent state until it united with the north in 1990.

“No dialogue, no negotiations, we are masters of our decisions,” shouted the protesters, who also organized a symbolic military parade by retired soldiers and sang the national anthem of the former South Yemen.

After unification in 1990, the south broke away four years later, triggering a short-lived civil war that ended with the region being overrun by northern troops.

Last month, Yemen’s government apologized to both southern separatists and northern rebels for wars against them, seeking to encourage a national dialogue aimed at drafting a new constitution and holding elections.

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