South Yemen

People's Democratic Republic of Yemen

جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية
Jumhūrīyat al-Yaman ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah ash-Sha'bīyah
1967–1990
Anthem: الجمهورية المتحدة (Arabic)
al-Jumhūrīyah al-Muttaḥidâh
"United Republic"
(Original lyrics)


The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1989
The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1989
Status
Capital
and largest city
Aden
Common languages
Religion
Sunni Islam
GovernmentFederal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
General Secretary 
• 1978–1980
Abdul Fattah Ismail
• 1980–1986
Ali Nasir Muhammad
• 1986–1990
Ali Salim al-Beidh
President 
• 1967–1969 (first)
Qahtan al-Shaabi
• 1986–1990 (last)
Haidar al-Attas
Prime Minister 
• 1969
Faysal al-Shaabi
• 1969–1971
Muhammad Ali Haitham
• 1971–1985
Ali Nasir Muhammad
• 1985–1986
Haidar al-Attas
• 1986–1990
Yasin Said Numan
LegislatureSupreme People's Council
Historical eraCold War
• Independence declared
30 November 1967
14 December 1967
• Constitution adopted
31 October 1978
22 May 1990
Area
1990360,133 km2 (139,048 sq mi)
Population
• 1990
2,585,484
CurrencySouth Yemeni dinar
Calling code967
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Federation of South Arabia
Protectorate of South Arabia
Yemen

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).

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 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.

History

British rule

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.

Decolonization

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.

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.

Disputes with North Yemen

The Arabian peninsula in 1914

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.[6][7]

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.[8] His successor, Ali Nasir Muhammad, took a less interventionist stance toward both North Yemen and neighbouring Oman.

Civil war

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.[9]

Reforms and attempts for unification

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]

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: گونئی یمن
беларуская: Паўднёвы Емен
català: Iemen del Sud
čeština: Jižní Jemen
dansk: Sydyemen
español: Yemen del Sur
euskara: Hego Yemen
فارسی: یمن جنوبی
galego: Iemen do Sur
한국어: 남예멘
Bahasa Indonesia: Yaman Selatan
Interlingue: Sud-Yemen
עברית: דרום תימן
مازِرونی: جنوبی یمن
norsk: Sør-Jemen
norsk nynorsk: Sør-Jemen
português: Iémen do Sul
Soomaaliga: Yamanta Koonfureed
српски / srpski: Јужни Јемен
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Demokratska Narodna Republika Jemen
svenska: Sydjemen
Tagalog: Timog Yemen
Türkçe: Güney Yemen