Middle East: Yemen

About Yemen

North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Sanaa
Population: 18,078,035 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 19% (1992 est.)
Language: Arabic
Date of independence: 22 May 1990, Republic of Yemen was
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble, small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper, fertile soil in west
Environmental Issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Agricultural Products: grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat (mildly narcotic shrub), coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish
Imports: food and live animals, machinery and equipment
Exports: crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Saudi Arabia 10%, UAE 8%, US 7%, France 7%, Italy 6% (1999)
EXPORTS: Thailand 34%, China 26%, South Korea 14%, Japan 3% (1999)


Yemen Headlines

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