Attempts to mediate in the war between North and South Yemen have been continuing. On?
GVs guards on battlements with flag flying and Baida city in background (THREE SHOT)
SV emblem on well of army post
GV wrecked military vehicles
CU empty petrol cans PULL OUT TO captured army vehicle
GV hill with fort PULL BACK TO petrol soldiers
GV PAN FROM captured vehicle to soldiers
SV TILT UP FROM shells TO captured tank (FOUR SHOTS)
SV PULL OUT TO GV market street scene
SV armed soldier looking on at civilians in street (THREE SHOTS)
SV & CU troops in street (TWO SHOTS)
LV & GV fort on hilltop (TWO SHOTS)
LV convoy passing along desert road
GV soldiers standing to captured tank PAN TO fort
SV machine gun
GV soldiers climbing on to anti-aircraft gun on battlement
CU & SV PAN used shells on ground TO soldiers waving guns and flag
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Background: Attempts to mediate in the war between North and South Yemen have been continuing. On Monday (12 March) an Arab League mediation committee arrived in Aden in the hope of resolving the conflict. Earlier an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers called for an immediate ceasefire -- but the fighting carried on.
SYNOPSIS: One North Yemeni town captured by forces supporting the South was Al Baida, on the border between the two countries. It was taken by members of the National Democratic Front, a group of North Yemenis based in Aden and allied with the Marxist South Yemen government.
In addition to Al Baida, the NDF forces claimed to have captured the towns of Qaataba, Moryes and Harib in North Yemen. The leader of the NDF, Ahmed Sultan Omar, said he had no intention of leaving the areas his men had occupied. He told reporters that North Yemenis could not be ordered to withdraw from their own territory. Al Baida, according to the NDF, was taken on the 26th of February, when retreating North Yemeni troops left behind military equipment that included Saladin and T-34 tanks. There was fierce fighting with heavy casualties on both sides before the Fifth Armoured Brigade pulled out and NDF forces moved in to take over the town.
Twice in the past five years fighting has broken out between South Yemen and the conservative government in the North. In 1974 the two countries fought a month-long border war which ended after the intervention of the Arab League . On that occasion only the regular forces of North and South Yemen were involved. But this time the conflict has been complicated by the presence of the NDF guerrillas.
Political tensions have remained high ever since the border fighting in 1974. Arab League mediation produced an agreement calling for a union of the countries, but ideological differences were not overcome. Discussions continued until last June when the President of North Yemen, Ahmed Hussein al-Ghashmi, was killed by a parcel bomb. His government accused South Yemen of sending the bomb, although Aden denied the charge. More recently, South Yemen maintained that the Americans were adding to the tensions by sending an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Sea.
The Aden government said the arrival of the Constellation was a clear indication of the Americans' "aggressive policy" towards countries in the region. United States officials have admitted their concern over the possibility of growing influence in the Middle East, particularly after the fall of the Shah of Iran.
Despite the call for a ceasefire, North Yemen accused the South Yemins of sending warplanes to attack their territory on Sunday (11 March). They also said there had been no sign of a South Yemeni troops withdrawal.