More than 60,000 troops have been deployed inYemen's capital to secure stability before a long-awaited national dialogue aimed at ending the country's political crisis.
The UN-backed conference is due to kick off in Sanaa tomorrow and is expected to last six months. It's set to discuss constitutional reforms to pave the way for elections in 2014.
Western governments have been increasingly jittery that Islamic militant groups have taken advantage of the instability since long-serving president Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted in 2011 to set up a base in Yemen.
Southern separatists staged a general strike in Aden on Saturday to show their opposition to the conference.
Public and private-sector workers responded to the six-hour strike call from Ali Salem al-Baid, an exiled former president of South Yemen, which was independent until 1990.
His Southern Movement has staged demonstrations twice a week since February over the deaths of protesters killed in clashes with security forces.
Two more people were shot dead on Wednesday during protests.
Current President Abdu Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi had offered secessionists around half of the 565 dialogue's seats and said that independence could be an issue for discussion.
Most parties in the country have agreed to take part however.
Mr Saleh's General People's Congress is the largest bloc, sending 112 delegates.
Women and youth groups who camped out for months demanding political change during the Arab spring will also send representatives.
Foreign Minister Alistair Burt's admission that the Cameron government has "supported" a survey of attitudes to US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas amounts to a tacit admission of British involvement.