UN tries to bolster Yemen peace, Qaida inmates in jail brea

December 12, 2011 16:41

ADEN - The UN envoy behind a Yemen power transfer deal to end months of protest called on Monday for southern separatists and northern Shi'ite rebels to be included as a fragile peace appeared to be holding in the capital Sanaa.

The comments came during a visit to the southern port city of Aden, where at least 16 prisoners, including al Qaida members, tunneled out on Monday in a setback to efforts to rein in Islamist militants.

A new government set up last week after President Ali Abdullah Saleh handed over power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi under the Gulf peace plan faces multiple challenges.

These include a wrecked economy, a resurgent separatist sentiment in the south and a rebellion by Houthi Shi'ite tribesmen in the northern province of Saada.

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