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The New Arab

Aden officials backtrack on controversial deportation campaign

Northern workers were expelled from Aden on Saturday [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 May, 2016

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A campaign that saw more than 800 northerners expelled from Yemen's southern city of Aden has been terminated by authorities who have called for more care when dealing with suspects.

Authorities in Yemen’s coastal city have backtracked on a controversial campaign to expel northerners from Aden after widespread criticism.

Officials demanded an investigation into the suspects expelled for allegedly not owning correct identification documents while working in Aden, instead of deporting them.

The move was confirmed in a statement by the Supreme Security Committee in the temporary capital – a base where President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has attempted to regain control of the dwindling political and security crisis.

Security units responsible for the campaign must "abide by the law when dealing with suspects," it declared, noting the directives were a direct order from the president as well as the newly-instated prime minister, Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher.

It comes just days after Yemen's president criticised what he called the "unacceptable" expulsion from Aden of more than 800 northerners.

"The individual acts of expelling citizens of Taiz and other cities (from Aden) is unacceptable," President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi said on Sunday.

Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher said acts by "dozens do not necessitate in any case expelling hundreds" of northerners from the city, describing the move as "harsh collective punishment against a group of citizens".

Bin Dagher called for improvements in security for Aden, and appealed against the "punishment" of other people.

The prime minister said Aden's governor and its security chief needed to "control the actions of all services that operate under their command".

These acts were "unconstitutional and illegal" as well as against "basic human rights".

Bin Dagher also appealed for those who have been expelled to "return to practising their normal lives" and ordered authorities in the city to protect them, sabanew.net reported.

For many southerners, Aden is believed to be the capital of South Yemen – an independent state they have fought to recreate after the 1990 unification was proven to be beneficial to northerners.

Several demonstrations in recent years have gathered thousands of supporters of the separatist Southern Movement in Aden where they have called for secession of the south.

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