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People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية
Jumhūrīyat al-Yaman ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah ash-Sha'bīyah
Anthem: الجمهورية المتحدة (Arabic)
The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1989
and largest city
|Government||Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic|
|Abdul Fattah Ismail|
|Ali Nasir Muhammad|
|Ali Salim al-Beidh|
• 1967–1969 (first)
• 1986–1990 (last)
|Muhammad Ali Haitham|
|Ali Nasir Muhammad|
|Yasin Said Numan|
|Legislature||Supreme People's Council|
|Historical era||Cold War|
• Independence declared
|30 November 1967|
|14 December 1967|
• Constitution adopted
|31 October 1978|
|22 May 1990|
|1990||360,133 km2 (139,048 sq mi)|
|Currency||South Yemeni dinar|
South Yemen is the common English name for the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (Arabic : جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبيةJumhūriyat al-Yaman ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah ash-Sha'bīyah), which existed from 1967 to 1990 as a state in the Middle East in the southern and eastern provinces of the present-day Republic of Yemen, including the island of Socotra. It was also referred to as Democratic Yemen or Yemen (Aden).
The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.
Yemen , officially the Republic of Yemen, is a country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 square kilometres. The coastline stretches for about 2,000 kilometres. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel to the south, and the Arabian Sea and Oman to the east. Yemen's territory encompasses more than 200 islands, including the largest island in the Middle East, Socotra. Yemen is a member of the Arab League, United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Socotra, also called Soqotra, located between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea, is the largest of four islands in the Socotra archipelago. The territory is located near major shipping routes and is officially part of Yemen, and had long been a subdivision of the Aden Governorate. In 2004, it became attached to the Hadhramaut Governorate, which is much closer to the island than Aden. In 2013, the archipelago became its own governorate, the Socotra Governorate.
South Yemen's origins can be traced to 1874 with the creation of the British colony of Aden and the Aden Protectorate, which consisted of two-thirds of the present-day Yemen. However, Aden became a province within the British Raj in 1937. After the collapse of Aden Protectorate, the state of emergency was declared in 1963 when the National Liberation Front (NLF) and the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) rebelled against British rule.
The Colony of Aden or Aden Colony was a British Crown colony from 1937 to 1963 located in the south of contemporary Yemen. It consisted of the port of Aden and its immediate surroundings.
The Aden Protectorate was a British protectorate in southern Arabia which evolved in the hinterland of the port of Aden and in the Hadramaut following the conquest of Aden by Great Britain in 1839, and it continued until the 1960s. In 1940 it was divided for administrative purposes into the Western Protectorate and the Eastern Protectorate. Today the territory forms part of the Republic of Yemen.
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown on the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The whole was also more formally called the Indian Empire. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.
The Federation of South Arabia and the Protectorate of South Arabia merged to become South Yemen on 30 November 1967 and became a Marxist socialist republic in 1970 supported by the Soviet Union. Despite its efforts to bring stability into the region, it was involved in a brief civil war in 1986. With the collapse of communism, South Yemen was unified with the Yemen Arab Republic (commonly known as "North Yemen") on 22 May 1990, to form the present-day Yemen. After four years, however, South Yemen declared its secession from the north, which resulted in the north occupying south Yemen and the 1994 civil war. Another attempt to restore South Yemen continues on since 2017.
The Federation of South Arabia was an organization of states under British protection in what would become South Yemen. It was formed on 4 April 1962 from the 15 protected states of the Federation of Arab Emirates of the South. On 18 January 1963 it was merged with the Crown colony of Aden. In June 1964, the Upper Aulaqi Sultanate was added for a total of 17 states. A team was sent to the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. The Federation was abolished when it gained independence along with the Protectorate of South Arabia as the People's Republic of Southern Yemen on 30 November 1967.
The Protectorate of South Arabia consisted of 4 states located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula under treaties of protection with Britain.
Marxism is a theory and method of working-class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
In 1838, Sultan Muhsin Bin Fadl of the state of Lahej ceded 194 km² (75 sq. miles) including Aden to the British. On 19 January 1839, the British East India Company landed Royal Marines at Aden to occupy the territory and stop attacks by pirates against British shipping to India. It then became an important trading hub between British India and the Red Sea, and following the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, it became a coaling station for ships en route to India. Aden was ruled as part of British India until 1937, when the city of Aden became the Colony of Aden. The Aden hinterland and Hadhramaut to the east formed the remainder of what would become South Yemen and was not administered directly by Aden but were tied to Britain by treaties of protection with local rulers of traditional polities that, together, became known as the Aden Protectorate. Economic development was largely centered in Aden, and while the city flourished, the states of the Aden Protectorate stagnated.
Lahej, the Sultanate of Lahej, or, sometimes, the Abdali Sultanate, was a Sheikdom based in Lahej in Southern Arabia. The Sultanate became self-ruled in 1728 and gained independence in 1740. In 1839, the Sultanate became Aden Protectorate of the British Empire, though nominally the 'Abdali Sultan retained his status. The Aden Protectorate was briefly ruled again by the Ottomans during World War I, but regained by the British and absorbed into Federation of South Arabia in 1963. The 'Abdali dynasty was officially abolished in 1967, with the proclamation of South Yemen.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy's infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664.
In 1963, Aden and much of the Protectorate were joined to form the Federation of South Arabia with the remaining states that declined to join, mainly in Hadhramaut, forming the separate Protectorate of South Arabia. Both of these polities were still tied to Britain with promises of total independence in 1968. Two nationalist groups, the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) and the National Liberation Front (NLF), began an armed struggle known as the Aden Emergency on 14 October 1963 against British control and, with the temporary closure of the Suez Canal in 1967, the British began to withdraw. One faction, NLF, was invited to the Geneva Talks to sign the independence agreement with the British. However, Britain - who during its occupation of Aden signed several treaties of protection with the local sheikhdoms and emirates of the Federation of South Arabia - excluded them in the talks and thus the agreement stated "...the handover of the territory of South Arabia to the (Yemeni) NLF...". Southern Yemen became independent as the People's Republic of Southern Yemen on 30 November 1967, and the National Liberation Front consolidated its control in the country.
Nationalism is an ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.
The Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) was an Arab nationalist military organization operating in the Federation of South Arabia in the 1960s. As the British tried to exit its Federation of South Arabia colony Abdullah al Asnag created FLOSY. FLOSY attempted to seize power when the British left from another military group operating in South Arabia, the Marxist National Liberation Front (NLF).
The Aden Emergency, also known as the Radfan Uprising, was an insurgency against the Forces of the British Empire in the Protectorate of South Arabia, which now form part of Yemen. Partly inspired by Nasser's pan-Arab nationalism, it began on 14 October 1963 with the throwing of a grenade at a gathering of British officials at Aden Airport. A state of emergency was then declared in the British Crown colony of Aden and its hinterland, the Aden Protectorate. The emergency escalated in 1967 and hastened the end of British rule in the territory which had begun in 1839. On 30 November 1967, British forces withdrew and the independent People's Republic of South Yemen was proclaimed.
In June 1969, a radical Marxist wing of the NLF gained power and on 1 December 1970, reorganized the country into the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). Subsequently, all political parties were amalgamated into the National Liberation Front, renamed the Yemeni Socialist Party, which became the only legal party. The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen established close ties with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. East Germany's constitution of 1968 even served as a kind of blueprint for the PDRY's first constitution.
The new government embarked on a programme of nationalisation, introduced central planning, put limits on housing ownership and rent, and implemented a land reform. By 1973, the GDP of South Yemen increased by 25 percent.And despite the conservative environment and resistance, women became legally equal to men, polygamy, child marriage and arranged marriage were all banned by law. Equal rights in divorce were also sanctioned. The Republic also secularised education and sharia law was replaced by a state legal code.
The major communist powers assisted in the building of the PDRY's armed forces. Strong support from Moscow resulted in Soviet naval forces gaining access to naval facilities in South Yemen.
Unlike the early decades of East Germany and West Germany, North Korea and South Korea, or North Vietnam and South Vietnam, North Yemen (YAR) and South Yemen (PDRY) remained relatively friendly, though relations were often strained. Fighting broke out in 1972, and a short-lived, small proxy border conflict was resolved with negotiations, where it was declared unification would eventually occur.
However, these plans were put on hold in 1979, as the PDRY funded Red rebels in the YAR, and war was only prevented by an Arab League intervention. The goal of unity was reaffirmed by the northern and southern heads of state during a summit meeting in Kuwait in March 1979.
In 1980, PDRY president Abdul Fattah Ismail resigned and went into exile in Moscow, having lost the confidence of his sponsors in the USSR.His successor, Ali Nasir Muhammad, took a less interventionist stance toward both North Yemen and neighbouring Oman.
On January 13, 1986, a violent struggle began in Aden between Ali Nasir's supporters and supporters of the returned Ismail, who wanted power back. Fighting, known as the South Yemen Civil War, lasted for more than a month and resulted in thousands of casualties, Ali Nasir's ouster, and Ismail's death. Some 60,000 people, including the deposed Ali Nasir, fled to the YAR. Ali Salim al-Beidh, an ally of Ismail who had succeeded in escaping the attack on pro-Ismail members of the Politburo, then became General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party.
Against the background of the perestroika in the USSR, the main backer of the PDRY, political reforms were started in the late 1980s. Political prisoners were released, political parties were formed and the system of justice was reckoned to be more equitable than in the North. In May 1988, the YAR and PDRY governments came to an understanding that considerably reduced tensions including agreement to renew discussions concerning unification, to establish a joint oil exploration area along their undefined border, to demilitarize the border, and to allow Yemenis unrestricted border passage on the basis of only a national identification card. In 1990, the parties reached a full agreement on joint governing of Yemen, and the countries were effectively merged as Yemen.[ citation needed ]
Since 2007, some Southerners have been actively protesting for independence, in a movement known as 'Al Hirak' or the Southern Movement. During the Yemen Civil War 2015, in response to incursions by the Houthis and military forces loyal to deposed Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, members of the Southern Movement formed 'Popular Resistance' militias. Since the Battle of Aden, these armed groups have sought to defend the South against Houthi/Saleh attempts to take over the country and have taken the current state of civil war as opportunity to further their struggle for independence.
In late January 2018, separatists loyal to the Southern Transitional Council successfully seized control of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government headquarters in Aden in an apparent coup d'état against the Hadi government.
South Yemen's ethnic groups are Arabs (92.8%), Somalis (3.7%), Blacks 1.1%, Indians and Pakistanis (1%), and other (1.4%) (2000). The only recognized political party in South Yemen was the Yemeni Socialist Party, which ran the country and the economy along self-described Marxist lines, modeled on the Soviet Union.[ citation needed ]
The constitution prescribed universal suffrage.
The Supreme People's Council was appointed by the General Command of the National Liberation Front in 1971.
In Aden, there was a structured judicial system with a supreme court.
Education was paid for through general taxation.
There was no housing crisis in South Yemen. Surplus housing built by the British meant that there were few homeless people in Aden, and people built their own houses out of adobe and mud in the rural areas.
South Yemen developed as a Marxist, mostly secularsociety ruled first by the National Liberation Front, which later morphed into the ruling Yemeni Socialist Party. The only avowedly Marxist nation in the Middle East, South Yemen received significant foreign aid and other assistance from the USSR and East Germany, which stationed several hundred officers of the Stasi in the country to train the nation's secret police and establish another arms trafficking route to Palestine. The East Germans didn't leave until 1990, when the Yemeni government declined to pay their salaries which had been terminated with the dissolution of the Stasi during German reunification.
In 1976, the South Yemen national football team participated in the Asia Cup, where the team lost to Iraq 1-0 and to Iran 8-0. They entered their only World Cup qualification campaign in 1986 and were knocked out in the first round by Bahrain. On September 2, 1965, South Yemen played their first international match against the United Arab Republic, to whom they lost 14-0. On November 5, 1989, South Yemen played its last international match against Guinea, to whom they lost 1-0. The team stopped playing when the North and South united in 1990 to form the modern state of Yemen.
In 1988, the South Yemen Olympic team made its debut in Seoul. Sending only eight athletes, the country won no medals. This was the only time the country went to the Olympics until unification in 1990.
Following independence, South Yemen was divided into six governorates (Arabic sg. muhafazah), with roughly natural boundaries, each given a name by numeral. From 1967 to 1978, they were named officially by numerals only; from 1979 to 1990, they were given new official names. The islands: Kamaran (until 1972, when it was seized by North Yemen), Perim (Meyun), Socotra, Abd-el-Kuri, Samha (inhabited), Darsah and others uninhabited from the Socotra archipelago were districts (mudiriyah) of the First/Aden Governorate being under Prime-Minister of the state supervision.
|Numeral||Name||Approximate Area (km.²)||Capital|
There was little industrial output, or mineral wealth exploitation, in South Yemen, until the mid-1980s, following the discovery of significant petroleum reserves in the central regions near Shibam and Mukalla. The main sources of income were agriculture, mostly fruit, cereal crops, cattle and sheep, fishing and later, oil exports.
The national budget was 13.43 million dinars in 1976, and the gross national product was US$150 million. The total national debt was $52.4 million.
The following airlines had operated from the PDRY:
Politics of Yemen is in an uncertain state due to a 2014–15 coup d'état. An armed group known as the Houthis or Ansar Allah seized control of the Yemeni government and announced it would dissolve parliament, as well as install a "presidential council", "transitional national council", and "supreme revolutionary council" to govern the country for an interim period. However, the deposed president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, has declared he is still in office and is working to establish a rival government in Aden.
The Flag of Yemen was adopted on May 22, 1990, the day that North Yemen and South Yemen were unified. The flag is essentially the Arab Liberation Flag of 1952, introduced after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 in which Arab nationalism was a dominant theme. The Arab Liberation Flag served as the inspiration for the flags of both North and South Yemen prior to unification, as well as for the current flags of Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria.
Ali Salem al Beidh is a Yemeni politician who served as the General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) in South Yemen and as Vice President of Yemen following the unification in 1990. He left the unification government in 1993, sparking the 1994 civil war in Yemen and then went into exile in Oman. He is a leader of the Southern independence movement known as Al Hirak.
Abd al-Fattah Ismail Ali Al-Jawfi was the de facto leader of People's Democratic Republic of Yemen from 1969 to 1980.
Salim Rubai Ali was the head of state of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen from 22 June 1969 until his assassination on 26 June 1978. Rubai Ali led the left wing of the National Front for the Liberation of South Yemen (NLF), which forced the British to withdraw from South Arabia on 29 November 1967. Rubai Ali's radicals gained dominance over the more moderate President Qahtan al-Shaabi's elements, allowing Rubai Ali to seize power; he retained the title of Chairman of the Presidential Council throughout his term, even as the NF changed the name of the country from the People's Republic of South Yemen to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1970.
Qahtan Muhammad al-Shaabi was the first President of the People's Republic of South Yemen. Al-Shaabi's National Liberation Front (NLF) political organisation wrested control of the country from the British and won political supremacy over the opposition Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) in 1967. On 30 November 1967, the protectorate of South Arabia was declared independent as the People's Republic of South Yemen with al-Shaabi as President. Al-Shaabi held the presidency until 22 June 1969, when a hard-line Marxist group from within his own NLF seized control. He was replaced by Salim Rubai Ali (Salmin) and jailed, then placed under house arrest until the 1970s, and lived quietly in Aden from his release until his death in 1981.
Ali Nasir Muhammad Husani is the former leader of South Yemen serving as General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party between 1980 and 1986. He was twice president of South Yemen and once the Prime Minister. He served as the Prime Minister from 2 August 1971 until 14 February 1985 and as Chairman of the Presidential Council from 26 June 1978 - 27 December 1978. In April 1980, South Yemeni president Abdul Fattah Ismail resigned and moved to Moscow. His successor was Ali Nasir Muhammad who took a less interventionist stance toward both North Yemen and neighbouring Oman. On January 13, 1986, a violent struggle began in Aden between Ali Nasir's supporters and supporters of the returned Ismail. Fighting lasted for more than a month and resulted in thousands of casualties, Ali Nasir's ouster, and Ismail's death. Muhammad's term had lasted from 21 April 1980 to 24 January 1986. Some 60,000 people, including the deposed Ali Nasir, fled to North Yemen. He was succeeded by Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas.
The State of Aden was a state constituted in Aden within the Federation of South Arabia. Following its establishment on 18 January 1963 Sir Charles Hepburn Johnston stepped down as the last Governor of Aden.
Dhala or Dhali`, Amiri, or the Emirate of Dhala was a state in the British Aden Protectorate, the Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, and its successor, the Federation of South Arabia. Its capital was Dhala.
The Yemeni Socialist Party is a political party in Yemen. A successor of Yemen's National Liberation Front, it was the ruling party in South Yemen until Yemeni unification in 1990. Originally Marxist–Leninist, the party has gradually evolved into a democratic socialist opposition party in today's unified Yemen.
The Alawi Sheikhdom, or Alawi — was a Sheikhdom located in the Adan region of southwestern Yemen. Its capital was Al Qasha. The state was abolished in 1967 with the independence of the People's Republic of South Yemen.
Lower Aulaqi, or the Lower Aulaqi Sultanate, was a state in the Aden Protectorate, the Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, and its successor, the Federation of South Arabia. Its capital was Ahwar.
Yemeni unification took place on May 22, 1990, when the area of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen was united with the Yemen Arab Republic, forming the Republic of Yemen.
The modern history of Yemen began with the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire. In 1839 the British set up a protective area around the southern port of Aden and in 1918 the northern Kingdom of Yemen gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. North Yemen became a republic in 1962, but it was not until 1967 that the British Empire withdrew from what became South Yemen. In 1970, the southern government adopted a communist governmental system. The two countries were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990.
The National Liberation Front or NLF was a Marxist paramilitary organization and a political party operating in the Federation of South Arabia, during the Aden Emergency. During the North Yemen Civil War, fighting spilled over into South Yemen as the British attempted to establish an autonomous colony known as the Federation of South Arabia. Following the exit of the British armed forces, the NLF seized power from its rival, the Arab nationalist Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY). In the aftermath of the Emergency, the NLF reorganized itself into the Yemeni Socialist Party and established a single-party Marxist-Leninist government, known as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.
The South Yemen Civil War, colloquially referred to as The Events of '86, or more simply as The Events, was a failed coup d'etat and armed conflict which took place in January 1986 in South Yemen. The civil war developed as a result of ideological and tribal tensions between two factions of the ruling Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), centred on Abdul Fattah Ismail and Ali Nasir Muhammad for the leadership of the YSP. The conflict quickly escalated into a costly civil war that lasted eleven days and resulted in thousands of casualties. Additionally, the conflict resulted in the demise of much of the Yemeni Socialist Party's most experienced leadership cadre, contributing to the country's eventual unification with North Yemen in 1990.
The NDF Rebellion was an uprising in the Yemen Arab Republic by the National Democratic Front, under Yahya Shami, between 1978 and 1982.
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