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Thousands rally in S.Yemen for independence.

Summary: Separatists separatists, in religion, those bodies of Christians who withdrew from the Church of England. They desired freedom from church and civil authority, control of each congregation by its membership, and changes in ritual. In the 16th cent.  in south Yemen The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Democratic Yemen, South Yemen or Yemen (Aden) was a state in present-day southern Yemen. It united with the Yemen Arab Republic, commonly known as North Yemen, on May 22, 1990 to form the current Republic of Yemen.  used the anniversary of an uprising against colonial power Britain to press their claim for independence on Wednesday, while President Ali Abdullah Saleh Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh (Arabic: علي عبد الله صالح), born March 21, 1942, is the current President of Yemen.  promised to crush

Separatists in south Yemen used the anniversary of an uprising against colonial power Britain to press their claim for independence on Wednesday, while President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised to crush rebels in the north.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to demand a breakaway state, as they celebrated the anniversary of an anti-British uprising in the 1960s. Bearing flags of the former southern republic, the demonstrators in Al-Habilayn, Lahej province, criticized Sanaa's policies on the impoverished south, where residents complain of economic and political discrimination.

Veteran ruler Saleh is facing two challenges to his rule from Zaidi Shiite Muslims in the north who have been in rebellion against central authority since 2004 and southerners of the former South Yemen.

Both complain of political and economic marginalization mar·gin·al·ize  
tr.v. mar·gin·al·ized, mar·gin·al·iz·ing, mar·gin·al·iz·es
To relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing.
 by government and the Zaidis also say they are persecuted by Sunni Muslim Noun 1. Sunni Muslim - a member of the branch of Islam that accepts the first four caliphs as rightful successors to Muhammad
Sunni, Sunnite

Sunni Islam, Sunni - one of the two main branches of orthodox Islam
 radicals who have gained in influence.

"We promise you that victory is coming soon," Saleh told a rally in Sanaa also marking the uprising in 1963 against Britain in the southern port city of Aden.

"They are the forces of backwardness because they have forgotten the past when there were no schools, hospitals or electricity," he said, describing unity of north and south Yemen in 1990 as the southern revolution's greatest gain.

The conflict in the north has intensified since the army unleashed Operation Scorched Earth scorched earth

An antitakeover strategy in which the target firm disposes of those assets or divisions considered particularly desirable by the raider. Thus, by making itself less attractive, the target discourages the takeover attempt.
 on Aug. 11. Aid groups, who have been given limited access to the northern provinces, say up to 150,000 people have fled their homes.

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Publication:Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7YEME
Date:Oct 13, 2009
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