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Published: Monday February 10, 2014 MYT 9:45:02 PM
Updated: Monday February 10, 2014 MYT 9:45:57 PM

Yemen agrees to become federation of six regions, south gets more autonomy

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (C) attends the closing ceremony of the national dialogue conference in Sanaa January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (C) attends the closing ceremony of the national dialogue conference in Sanaa January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Yemen's president on Monday approved turning the country into a federal state made up of six regions, effectively giving the south more autonomy, state news agency Saba reported.

Political factions had agreed to give President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi an extra year to complete a power transfer deal under a U.S.-backed Gulf accord that includes turning Yemen into a federal state.

Under the new system, the south is divided into two regions, Aden and Hadramout, according to Saba. The northern part of the country was divided into four regions.

Hadi is also tasked with drafting a new constitution that will form the basis of elections slated for next year.

Yemen has been in turmoil since mass protests in 2011 eventually forced out former President Ali Abullah Saleh, grappling with a northern rebellion, Islamist militancy and economic upheaval.

(Reporting by Mohamed Mukhashaf, Writing by Yara Bayoumy, editing by Sami aboudi)

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