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South Yemen Coup

Years: 1986-1986
Battle deaths: 10,000 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
Yemen

Published prior to 2013 | Altered: 2014-08-10 17:14:32
The earlier history of this region can be found at the entry for Hadhramaut. British influence increased among the traditional sultanates in the south and eastern portion of Yemen, historically known as the Hadhramaut after the British captured the port of Aden in 1839. It was ruled as part of British India until 1937, when Aden was made a crown colony with the remaining land designated as east Aden and west Aden protectorates. By 1965, most of the tribal states within the protectorates and the Aden colony proper had joined to form the British-sponsored Federation of South Arabia.

In 1965, two rival nationalist groups--the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) and the National Liberation Front (NLF) -- turned to terrorism in their struggle to control the country. In 1967, in the face of uncontrollable violence, British troops began withdrawing, Federation rule collapsed, and NLF elements took control after eliminating their FLOSY rivals. South Arabia, including Aden, was declared independent on November 30, 1967, and was renamed the People’s Republic of South Yemen. In June 1969, a radical wing of the Marxist NLF gained power and changed the country’s name on December 1, 1970, to the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). In the PDRY, all political parties were amalgamated into the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), which became the only legal party. The PDRY established close ties with the Soviet Union, Red China, Cuba, and radical Palestinians.

Republic of Yemen

Although the governments of the PDRY and the YAR declared that they approved a future union in 1972, little progress was made toward unification, and relations were often strained. In 1979, simmering tensions led to fighting, which was only resolved after Arab League mediation. The goal of unity was reaffirmed by the northern and southern heads of state during a summit meeting in Kuwait in March 1979. However, that same year the PDRY began sponsoring an insurgency against the YAR. In April 1980, PDRY President Abdul Fattah Ismail resigned and went into exile. His successor, Ali Nasir Muhammad, took a less interventionist stance toward both the YAR and neighboring Oman. On January 13, 1986, a violent struggle began in Aden between Ali Nasir Muhammad and the returned Abdul Fattah Ismail and their supporters. Fighting lasted for more than a month and resulted in thousands of casualties, Ali Nasir’s ouster, and Ismail’s death. Some 60,000 persons, including Ali Nasir and his supporters, fled to the YAR.

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 November 1989, the leaders of the YAR (Ali Abdullah Saleh) and the PDRY (Ali Salim al-Baidh) agreed on a draft unity constitution originally drawn up in 1981. The Republic of Yemen (ROY) was declared on May 22, 1990. Saleh became President, and al-Baidh became Vice President.

Source: Wikipedia | Published under the GNU Free Licence

SOURCES: FATALITY DATA

Data Sources

[1] Battle deaths: PRIO Battle Deaths Dataset v3.0 (link) (1946-88) ID: #164
Low: 10,000 High: 13,000

More about sources

NOTE ON NATION DATA

NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.

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