History of Yemen: Civil war

History of Yemen: Civil war Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010

Imam Yayha ruled the Yemen until his assassination in 1948, and was succeeded by his son Ahmad (1896-1962). Clashes with the British over Aden were characteristic of Ahmad's rule, and he sought protection from Cairo, resulting in a short-lived pact between Yemen, Egypt and Syria.

On his father's death in 1962, Ahmad's son, Muhammed al-Badr, ruled for only a week, before a military coup led by Colonel Abdullah al-Sallal proclaimed a republic. Backed by the United Arab Republic, this new regime was known as the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR).

The deposed imam fled to the mountains of the north, and his Royalist forces, backed by Saudi Arabia, waged a civil war against the YAR which lasted for eight years. Egypt gave aid to the Republican army and a meeting between Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1965 led to an agreement to end the involvement of both these countries in the civil war. Arrangements were made to hold a plebiscite to allow the people of YAR to choose their own form of government, but this never happened and fighting was resumed in 1966.

Egyptian troops withdrew from the region in 1967, and President al-Sallal was overthrown. He was sent into exile in Iraq and replaced by Abdul Rahman al-Iryani. The war continued until 1970, when the YAR was finally recognised by Saudi Arabia.

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