ADEN, Yemen, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Security agents in Yemen's southern port city of Aden are on high alert and about 100 officers have been dispatched to government compounds to maintain order ahead of a long-awaited national dialogue slated for Monday.
The security measures come amid fears of attacks against government bases by secessionists who refused to take part in the dialogue and have called for civil disobedience, insisting on a secession of the southern regions.
"We have taken measures to ensure there is law and order during the national dialogue and the officers will be ready to deal with any acts of lawlessness or attacks by secessionists," a provincial security official told Xinhua anonymously.
The security forces have been deployed around government buildings in Aden and about 100 high-ranking officers of the elite troops unit in the city are tasked with countering any act of chaos by pro-secession activists, according to the official.
The pro-secession Southern Movement has urged the southern people to go on strike and take to street and march to the site of Aden's government headquarters.
Local residents told Xinhua that shops, schools and public offices remained closed across Aden on Saturday ahead of the general strike.
Government authorities said that the planned rallies and general strike by pro-secession activists aim at putting pressure on the government-initiated national dialogue.
To solve the political impasse in the country, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi tried to persuade all factions to participate in the national dialogue scheduled for March 18 to create a new constitution and pave the way for holding parliamentary and presidential elections in February 2014.
The planned dialogue, set to last for six months, also aims to end separatist movements in the south in order to preserve unity.
Separatist sentiments in the south have escalated after northern troops won a four-month civil war in 1994. Some of the southern residents complain of being economically and politically marginalized and discriminated against.
Hadi has called for separatist groups in Aden and other major southern cities to take part in the planned reconciliation national dialogue, and has promised compensation and settlement to the southerners.
However, several leaders of the separatist factions insisted a full independence.