By Agence France Presse (AFP)
ADEN, Yemen: Thousands of people demonstrated in south Yemen Wednesday, demanding the release of Hassan Baoum, the main leader of the southern opposition in Yemen, witnesses said.
Baoum was arrested late Tuesday along with several other people, including one of his sons, at an army checkpoint outside the southern town of Daleh, a security official told AFP.
He said the opposition leader was “planning to hold unauthorized protests in a number of southern provinces.”
Baoum heads the supreme council of the Southern Movement, the main organizer of protests in southern Yemen. The movement’s members want independence or increased autonomy for the south.
The Southern Movement issued a statement calling for protests across Yemen’s southern provinces against Baoum’s arrest. Thousands of people took to the streets in Daleh, setting ablaze tyres, witnesses said.
Baoum was previously an official in the Yemen Socialist Party, the former ruling party of south Yemen.
Many residents of south Yemen, which was independent from 1967 when the British withdrew until it was united with the north in 1990, complain of discrimination by the Sanaa government in the distribution of resources. – AFP