Feb. 11 - Yemen's president has approved a deal to turn the country into a federal state. But the new move has been rejected by some in the south of the country who are demanding more autonomy, raising fears that Yemen could face further instability. Hayley Platt reports.
There's been little good news to come out of the Arab region since the uprisings three year's ago. But the latest political deal in Yemen is aimed at bringing a ray of hope there. President Hadi has signed a deal to transform the country into a federal state. It will be split into six regions. Two in the South, giving them more autonomy without total independence. And four in the former North. But that's angered some southerners who insist on a separate state. While some residents in the capital, Sanaa, fear it could lead to separation anyway. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SANAA RESIDENT, MOHSEB MOHAMMED, SAYING: "Six regions is great, but as long as there is no merging between southern provinces and northern provinces, that may lead to separation. Two regions in the south may lead to separation." The historic signing comes as Yemen commemorates the third anniversary of the uprising which led to the eventual removal of former President Saleh. Anti-government protestors and sympathisers of the deposed president showed their disapproval of the current government earlier in the week. They're calling for it to resign. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, NORA AL-JOWRI, FROM THE INDEPENDENT YOUTH MOVEMENT, SAYING: "This is the fourth demonstration carried out by the Salvation campaign to topple the government and form a national salvation government." President Hadi has been overseeing reforms since Saleh was forced out of office. Last month, political factions gave him an extra year to finalise the transition to a federal state. His next job will be to draft a new constitution and get it ratified before next year's elections. But many fear that's unlikely to end sectarian fighting in the north or a wave of attacks by Islamist militants.