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article imageYemen separatists call for southern uprising

By AFP     Oct 3, 2018 in World

Yemen's southern separatist movement on Wednesday called for an uprising against President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, accusing the government of negligence and corruption.

The Southern Transitional Council, mainly based in the government bastion of Aden, has gained traction in its push for self-rule over the past year and regularly denounces the Saudi-backed government as corrupt.

Allied with army troops trained by the United Arab Emirates, the separatists in January seized control of parts of Aden province.

The STC on Wednesday called for a "peaceful, popular uprising" in protest against inflation and poverty in the war-torn country, where the government has battled northern Huthi rebels linked to Iran for four years.

The council also called on security forces to prevent "damage to public property".

"All of southern Yemen is a disaster area thanks to the policies of the so-called legitimate government," read a statement released by the STC.

The separatists called on Saudi Arabia and its allies, which publicly support the president, to back their push for independence and find a "solution to the issue of the south".

Southern Yemen is home to both the government and separatists, once allies in the country's war.

The STC and Hadi have publicly disagreed on the future of Yemen since clashes erupted in Aden in January.

The separatists have called for the reinstatement of north and south Yemen as independent states. The two were unified in 1990.

The Yemen war has triggered what the UN calls the world's largest single humanitarian crisis, with more than three-quarters of the population in need of aid and 8.4 million people at risk of famine.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in 2015 to support the government in its fight against the Huthis.

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