"But members of the southern issue sub-committee at the national dialogue conference and some southern delegates of the Socialist Party refused to sign and rejected the road-map deal."
Aden, May 22 - Thousands of people staged protests in Yemen's southern port city of Aden Wednesday, renewing calls for separation from the north.
The anti-unity rallies took place in Aden's neighbourhood of Mualla, where several thousands of secessionist protesters marched in a main street near the local government headquarters calling for an end to the country's 24 years of unification, Xinhua reported.
The protests were organised by the separatist Southern Movement and high-ranking leaders of the former South Yemen, which was an independent state until it united with the north in 1990.
The Yemeni security forces intensified presence around two major sit-in squares in Aden's neighbourhood of Khor Maksar and the roads near several foreign Arab consulates, according to a local police officer.
In December delegates of the Yemeni national dialogue had agreed on a road-map to resolve the southern issue and form a six-region federal state.
But members of the southern issue sub-committee at the national dialogue conference and some southern delegates of the Socialist Party refused to sign and rejected the road-map deal.
North and South Yemen unified peacefully in 1990, but their relationship deteriorated in 1994. Calls for separation in the country's southern regions were renewed in 2007.