S Yemen 'negotiating surrender'

ADEN - The breakaway state of south Yemen, collapsing in a northern onslaught that has captured most of its territory, is negotiating the surrender of what is left of its capital, Aden, southern political sources said yesterday.

The surrender would effectively end a southern bid to end a four-year union with the north, after the northern capture of Mukalla, the second largest city, from which the southern leader, Ali Salem al-Baidh, was reported to have fled.

Southern political sources said the United States was helping in the negotiations, which would include an offer to leaders of the breakaway south to leave the country or remain with guarantees.

'The purpose of those negotiations, which are going on under American sponsorship, is to avoid further bloodshed in Aden and to surrender what remains of its areas without fighting,' a southern source said.

In Washington, the US denied it was involved in any surrender negotiations. 'Those reports that negotiations are going on under American sponsorship are incorrect,' one US official said. In Sanaa, the northern capital, sources said there were direct contacts between the north and the south but did not elaborate. Sources in the eastern Hadramawt region said Mr Baidh had fled to the mountains.

They said the southern Oil Minister, Saleh Abu Baqr Hussainoun, who commanded southern forces in eastern Hadramawt, had been killed on Monday. Northern officers in Mukalla told journalists northern forces were chasing southern troops to the east. Northern forces had also seized two residential districts in Aden, the battered city of half-a-million people.

Since war broke out on 4 May, the larger northern forces have pushed the southerners back from the pre-1990 north-south border into Aden, and have vowed to crush them.

Another southern source said three southern leaders, including the Interior Minister, Mohammad Ali Ahmad, planned to leave by boat to Djibouti for talks in Sanaa with northern leaders.

In Sanaa, an official source said the northern government would welcome a visit by the southern leaders.

But he repeated that negotiations must be within the framework of unity and the authority of northern President Ali Abdullah Saleh - demands which the south rejected before its military setbacks. Residents of Aden, suffering water and food shortages and daily northern shelling, said there was no fighting last night.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Event Management and Marketing Admin Support

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Recruitment Genius: Lettings Negotiator

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Central London based firm loo...

Recruitment Genius: Events / Conference Operations Manager

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot