The Yemeni government on Wednesday issued a public apology to southern separatists and northern Shi’ite Muslim rebels for wars waged against them during former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule.
The apology, made in a cabinet statement read out on state television, comes amid national reconciliation talks launched in March to address grievances by large segments of the population. Delegates aim to chart major constitutional and administrative reforms ahead of national elections next year.
The statement said:
“The government apologizes for the war of the summer of 1994 and what the previous government did against the southerners, considering that a historic mistake that cannot be repeated…”
It also apologized to residents of northern Saada province over repeated military campaigns that Saleh’s administration launched against rebels there between 2004 and 2010.
The statement said the apology was required under a deal brokered by Gulf states that paved the way for Saleh to step down in 2011 after months of unrest and hand the reins of power to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Source: Reuters, Aug. 21, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/21/us-yemen-south-apology-idUSBRE97K0TI20130821