The State Department in Washington announced on Tuesday (13 March) that it well send seventy military instructors to help train troops to use large supplies of arms already bound for North Yemen.
SV PAN Square in township of Al Baida
MV Armed men talking beside vehicle
MCU Soldiers talking to woman PAN TO busy street
SVs Street traders selling goods in market (3 shots)
SV PAN People seated outside cafe
SV Goods on sale at vegetable stall
MV PULL OUT TO GV Crowded street
MCU Hussein Hamzah, member of Secretariat of National Democratic Front speaking in Arabic
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Background: The State Department in Washington announced on Tuesday (13 March) that it well send seventy military instructors to help train troops to use large supplies of arms already bound for North Yemen. The two Yemens have agreed to Arab League proposals for an end to their border dispute. One of the local leaders of the guerrillas who have occupied North Yemeni border towns has spoken to Visnews correspondent souheil Rached about his forces' invasion of the area.
SYNOPSIS: Troops of the Revolutionary Peoples' Armed Forces (RPAF) captured the border towns of Al Baida from North Yemeni forces late in February. The RPAF is the military wing of the National Democratic Front (NDF), a group of North Yemenis based in Aden, and closely linked to the Marxist South Yemeni government.
There had been fierce fighting with heavy casualties on both sides before North Yemeni troops of the fifth armoured brigade withdrew, and NDF forces took control of the town. Twelve days after the fighting market day gave a look of normality to al Baida. Local residents mingled calmly with NDF forces in the streets and cafes.
The NDF forces maintain that Al Baida is liberated town, citing the fact that the townspeople have stayed as proof of their good relations with them. Hussein Hamzah is a member of the Front's secretariat, and local commander of the RPAF forces. He says the capture of Al Baida and other border towns stemmed from the long struggle of the people and the NDF. Having captured the town, his forces have no intention of retreating, although this declaration contravenes the Arab League proposals recently formulated to end the dispute.
The NDF leader, Ahmed Sultan Omar, says his forces will not leave any of the occupied areas. Outlining his plans for Al Baida and thee surrounding area. Hussein Hamzah stressed the need to maintain law and order and to provide enough food to keep the support of the people. Their exclusion from the recent Arab League talks angered the Front's leaders, and they are determined to continue their offensive until they get direct negotiations with the North Yemeni government.