South Yemeni leaders flee as Aden falls to the north

THE FALL of Aden to forces loyal to the Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has effectively killed off the breakaway southern Democratic Republic of Yemen, which declared independence in May, when fighting began.

Northern forces yesterday poured into all areas of Aden. Correspondents there reported that southern troops put up some resistance with rocket-launchers and automatic rifles around the port, but that they were swiftly overwhelmed by the more numerous northern forces. The northern leadership said it was in complete control of the city after what it called a popular uprising.

All the southern leadership, including Ali Salem al-Baidh, vice- president of the old united Yemen and president of the secessionist state, were first reported to have fled their last redoubt in the Hadramawt valley. Last night, however, a government official of neighbouring Oman confirmed to Reuters news agency that Mr Baidh and many of his highest officials had arrived there.

One, however, did not get away. The energy minister, Saleh Abu Bakr bin Hassainun, was killed in the fighting near Mukallah, the second city of south Yemen, which fell on Wednesday. Northern forces also seized the broadcasting station in Aden and began their own transmissions.

According to Reuters, the deputy Prime Minister of south Yemen, Mohsen Farid, said on the phone from Jeddah, where he had fled: 'The war is not over. We will regroup and continue the struggle by all possible means.'

In New York, northern and southern officials were set to continue talks about a resolution to the crisis. However, with the war in effect over, discussions about a ceasefire may be more concerned with terms of surrender.

The northern leadership has given few indications of how it envisages controlling areas of the south. After all, the south has never been ruled from Sanaa, the main northern city. It is likely that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will grant an amnesty to all but those who declared the breakaway state.

While the period of conventional warfare may be over, many expect southern forces to engage in the kind of determined guerrilla fighting for which the rugged mountains around Aden provide such an ideal terrain.

The fall of Aden marks a sad end to an experiment in Arab unity. When it started four years ago there were high hopes of success. It was in 1990 that the former Marxist leadership of south Yemen and the conservative, traditional rulers of North Yemen announced their marriage. This was preceded by a lengthy courtship but flawed by the absence of an engagement period in which time could be taken to sort out their very real differences.

It was always a mismatch. North Yemen, with a population of nearly 11 million, was three times the size of south Yemen, with fewer than 3 million inhabitants.

Neither the north nor the south is a homogeneous entity, but broadly speaking the south and north differed in religion, culture and general outlook.

The resolution of the crisis in violent fashion demonstrates once again the impotence or the unwillingness of both the international community and the Arab world to deal with it. Only a few states committed to the principle of Arab unity supported the north.

However, almost all the diplomatic initiatives have been overtaken by events on the ground. The threat of the Gulf Co-operation Council, plus Egypt and Syria, to take some further action, such as recognising the breakaway southern republic if northern forces reached Aden, now appears totally empty. An Arab League mission led by Muhammad Said Bereqdar has left Cairo but now has little role to play.

Outside commentators have sought to see the conflict in regional terms, with the north obtaining support from Iraq and Sudan, and the south from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. However, there is little evidence of any significant material support for either side.

(Photograph and map omitted)

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress among those on 'master list' of massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Primary Teacher

£100 - £130 per day + Excellent rates of pay, Free CPD: Randstad Education Sou...

Supply Teachers Required

£100 - £130 per day + Excellent rates of Pay, Excellent CPD : Randstad Educati...

NQT and Experienced Primary Teachers Urgently required

£90 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: NQT and Experienced Primary Teac...

Year 1 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day + Excellent rates of pay, Free CPD: Randstad Education Sou...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor