By Nasser Arrabyee/05/04/2010
At least 10 separatists were arrested over the last two days in the southern province of Lahj where secession sentiment increases day by day, said a ministry of interior statement on Monday.
The statement said the detainees were charged with participating in sabotage acts to undermine the security and stability of the country.
Meanwhile, separatists called Monday for civil disobedience from 6 am to 6 pm on Monday in the two southern provinces of Al Dhale'e and Lahj where the secession sentiment is the highest among all the six southern provinces.
The security authorities, however, vowed to strike with iron fist any outlaws who may try to prevent people from opening their shops, or try to block roads.
In a statement by the ministry of interior, the authorities said called the citizens to ignore the calls of the separatists saying agent forces hostile to unity were behind such calls for the civil disobedience.
Some people responded to the call in Al Dhale'e but almost no one responded in Lahj despite the attempts of separatists to impose the disobedience by force, through threatening and attacking people who refuse, according to sources from two provinces.
Some parents did not allow their children to go to schools in fear of any violence.
All the government employees went to their work in both provinces.
Some shop owners are still waiting to make sure the security is good enough to protect them and their property.
"They all seem to be ready to open their shops if they feel security will protect them from the separatists attacks," said an eyewitness in Lahj over hone.
The Yemeni officials keep playing down the danger of the increasing waves of violence in the south where disgruntled groups demand separation of the south, which united with the north in 1990.
These disgruntled groups claim they were politically marginalized and discriminated against since 1994 when they failed to secede the south.
The President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Sunday in press remarks, that the situation in the south is normal, but exaggerated by media, and the protests and demonstrations take place in every democratic country.
"Those who call for separation are a small group of persons who previously tried to secede in 1994 but they failed, and they do not have popularity in Yemen where all people are with the unity," Saleh said.