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South Yemen

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Post 12 Jan 2010, 04:01
"Getting attacked is really the only way Americans learn about world geography"
- Jon Stewart

So, does anybody know anything about the socialist South Yemen? It received support from the Soviet Union, but what kind of system did they have? Especially considering that their industry was near zero.
Post 12 Jan 2010, 12:20
From what I understand, it was placed in a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. If I am not mistaken, the Saudi royal family backed the monarchist North Yemen, whilst Gamal Abdel Nasser supporter South Yemen and even sent troops in the 1960s, although I may certainly be mistaken.
Post 12 Jan 2010, 17:20
South Yemen had a fairly standard popular front government.
Post 13 Sep 2010, 17:49
Is the current Yemen socialist?
Post 13 Sep 2010, 19:47
*yawn* No Yemen isn't a socialist country, it reunited with Northern Yemen around the time Germany re-united. They were never in conflict against each other. Their only difference was that Yemen was controlled by the Ottomans and the British. Post WWI, part of Yemen became independent. The other half of Yemen still remained under British rule.
Post 14 Sep 2010, 00:04
South Yemen tried to break free in 1994 and this led to an armed occupation that continues to this day. Sana'a is currently cracking down on this secessionist movement under the guise of its efforts against Al-Quada in the Arabian Peninsula and the Houthis, efforts which receive plenty of backing from Saudi Arabia and the US.
Post 14 Sep 2010, 00:39
Is this a communist or socialist movement? How strong are they?
Post 14 Sep 2010, 09:53
No, according to Wikipedia and other sources, the Sa'dah insurgency seems to be religiously based. The Shia insurgents (Houthis) complain about discrimination and aggression by the Sunni government in Sana'a. The Yemeni government in turn alleges that they're seeking to overthrow the government and replace it with Shia religious law. It's alleged that the conflict is a proxy one fought by Iran and Saudi Arabia, with each side funding their preferred groups.
Post 16 Sep 2010, 05:17
From what I understand, it was placed in a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. If I am not mistaken, the Saudi royal family backed the monarchist North Yemen, whilst Gamal Abdel Nasser supporter South Yemen and even sent troops in the 1960s, although I may certainly be mistaken.

This was the Yemeni Civil War which took place in North Yemen. While it was happening near one another, the uprising that took place in South Yemen was separate from that in North Yemen. North Yemen was a kingdom that was, for the most part, independent. South Yemen was under British control, a protectorate called the "Federation of South Arabia" and popular revolts took place there during the 1960s. They were tremendously helped in 1967 when the Six-Day War closed the Suez Canal and caused the British forces to pull out. In 1969 a Marxist wing of the revolutionary movement took power and moved the state towards the Soviet Union.

North Yemen in 1962 fell into a civil war between republican factions and the old monarchy. South Yemeni revolutionaries and Egypt supported the republican movement in North Yemen against the monarchy in North Yemen. Egypt took a more direct intervention and paid a steep price- 25,000 dead Egyptian soldiers. In turn the monarchy was supported by Saudi Arabia. The Republican movement won the revolution, though it gravitated more towards Egypt and Arab nationalism rather than unification with South Yemen. Relations between the two were not bad though, but they were divided ideologically. South Yemen declared itself to be a Marxist-Leninist state and aligned itself with the Soviet Union. North Yemen followed Egypt and declared itself "non-aligned".

As for what South Yemen was; it was a fairly standard "socialist" country in those times. It had a planned economy, claimed to work in the name of the workers, a host of social services and a focus on education and development. It was undeveloped so I'd imagine it took a similar line of plan that Vietnam was doing. South Yemen also attempted to support revolutionaries in Oman and gave some support to Palestinian groups. It was based in various forms of agricultures. It made shoddy attempts at making light manufacturing and textiles to make an industrial base. It discovered oil late into its life. Education was fairly good too from what I've read, at least better than its counter parts in the rest of the peninsula.

Remnants of the old state can be seen in parts of South Yemen, notably in the old public institutions and the plethora of housing built by the state (South Yemen was one of the few states in the Peninsula that boasted no homelessness).

South Yemen's downfall came in the late 1980s and early 1900s like other socialist countries. The Soviet Union was collapsing and the eastern bloc countries were falling. Yugoslavia was fracturing apart. This meant vital trading partners were going away, a stab in the heart for a still developing socialist state. There was already factions within the ruling Yemen Socialist Party that often broke into street fighting through much of the late 1980s. Opportunist elements within the South Yemeni state seized advantage and had the country merge with the north, using the oil fields as bargaining chips to secure their positions. The uprising in 1994 was a result of hardliner South Yemeni communists who were opposed to this move, but they were defeated.

The Sa'dah insurgency isn't related to the old socialist regime though. That's a different issue.
Post 22 Sep 2010, 13:50
Red Commissar how do you get all this information? I am not trying to attack your sources but i am astonished by your vast amount of knowledge.
Post 22 Sep 2010, 18:19
Most of what I've learned about South Yemen is from things I've read on other sites and discussions I've had with people. There really isn't much written about South Yemen unfortunately, which is a shame really. It's interesting to see what concessions these regimes have to make when they arise in more religiously traditional places like Yemen. Beyond that we only have the example of Afghanistan under the People's Democratic Party.

Beyond this it is connecting the the dots between events.
Post 25 Sep 2010, 18:44
true enough. There is not even that much about the Afghanistan under the People's Democratic Party
Post 02 Oct 2010, 21:35
Here's a somewhat cynical take on Yemen. I'm not saying I agree with it 100%, but it's the War Nerd so it's a good read:
Post 03 Oct 2010, 20:45
That article is in the mindset of trying to bring everything back to Yemen's current situation and why the United States has been using it as a proxy in their "War on Terror".

What I want really is a good look at what made South Yemen tick, what its governments policies were, etc. This country was around for 23 years officially and it's more of a footnote than anything. It wasn't glamorous or really a Communist state persay, but anything trying to implement a somewhat real socialism in a region like the Arabian peninsula is worth looking at for how they tried to do it.

Boiling the civil war down to a conflict between the communist south and royalist north is simplistic though. The revolutions that formed South Yemen happened about the same time as the Yemeni Civil War in the north. While the Communist South supported the Republicans in the north, the Republicans were more aligned to Egypt's pan-Arab mindset.
Post 18 Aug 2014, 08:07
Hi guys I'm new member in your community and I saw this topic which is talking about my country ( South Yemen) between 1967-1994.
and I will be happy if you give me the permission to respond to you all if possible because there is a lot of information in the replays which can be corrected.

Thank you and Best Regards
Post 30 Aug 2014, 04:30
Well, what's your impression of South Yemen?
Post 30 Aug 2014, 09:29
Welcome, RedAkula (nice name, by the way)!

Yes, please do tell us more about your home country.
Post 01 Sep 2014, 14:43
I too would be interested to hear more about this from you RedAkula.
Post 20 May 2016, 00:02
did u see this?? is it going to happen??

Yemen’s south to announce independence on Saturday ... Arabia-war
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