VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > E. The Middle East and North Africa, 1945–2000 > 3. The Middle East and Egypt, 1943–2000 > k. North and South Yemen
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1944)
k. North and South Yemen
ASSASSINATION OF THE IMAM YAHYA in North Yemen, as part of an attempted coup. The insurgents failed to seize power after about a month of fighting. Afterward, the shaken government, led by Yahya's son AHMAD, promulgated a constitution.  1
Founding of the Aden Association. The leaders of this movement called for a transition to self-government within the Aden Colony. The leadership was drawn mainly from the prosperous merchant class of the port of Aden, which was flourishing because of greatly increased commercial traffic.  2
Founding of the South Arabian League, consisting of notables from South Yemen who desired a greater measure of autonomy from the British.  3
Attempted coup in North Yemen. A coalition of opposition factions drawn from sections of the military, the sayyids (descendants of the prophet Muhammad), and radical dissidents tried to take power. Their defeat was largely a result of a military alliance between the tribes and the imam.  4
Creation of the Aden Trades Union Congress. This organization had its roots among the middle and working classes of the colony of Aden. Its program demanded the independence of South Yemen and its unification with North Yemen.  5
Introduction of a legislative council in Aden. Membership was dominated by the great merchant families.  6
Creation of an 11-state federation of local tribal rulers in the western portion of South Yemen. Aden itself joined the union (1962), which was named the Protectorate of Southern Arabia.  7
Suppression of tribal rebellion among northern tribes in North Yemen. Several leaders were executed, permanently antagonizing the vanquished tribes.  8
Appearance in South Yemen of the People's Socialist Party, which drew its strength from trade union activism. In 1965, this party lost its leading role among workers to the Organization for the Liberation of the Occupied South.  9
CIVIL WAR and the end of the Imamate. Imam Ahmad died (Sept. 18), and several days later (Sept. 26) a MILITARY COUP took place. The leaders, who had belonged to the Free Officers' Association, overthrew Ahmad's successor, Imam Muhammad al-Badr, and announced the establishment of a republic.  10
The civil war was fought by two main factions, both of which received outside assistance. The republican side consisted primarily of army officers, intellectuals, townsmen, and the majority of the Shafi‘i population. Arrayed against them were the royalists: the Hamid al-Din family under Imam Muhammad al-Badr, a large number of sayyids, and most of the Zaydi tribes. Royalist forces were able to rely on large amounts of Saudi financial assistance and the expertise of military advisers sent from Jordan. The republicans countered with Egyptian troops, which first arrived in Nov. 1964 (later peaking at 60,000). The war lasted over six years during which the royalists held the advantage, particularly after the Egyptian withdrawal (completed in Dec. 1967). But the tide turned at the very end when San`a, the capital, survived a protracted siege (1968) from royalist tribes. The republican government then negotiated a settlement with tribal leaders (1970).  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.