Middle East :: Yemen

Introduction ::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 and brief civil war in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border. Fighting in the northwest between the government and Huthi rebels, a group seeking a return to traditional Zaydi Islam, began in 2004 and has since resulted in six rounds of fighting - the last ended in early 2010 with a cease-fire that continues to hold. The southern secessionist movement was revitalized in 2008 when a popular socioeconomic protest movement initiated the prior year took on political goals including secession. Public rallies in Sana'a against then President SALIH - inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt - slowly built momentum starting in late January 2011 fueled by complaints over high unemployment, poor economic conditions, and corruption. By the following month, some protests had resulted in violence, and the demonstrations had spread to other major cities. By March the opposition had hardened its demands and was unifying behind calls for SALIH's immediate ouster. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in late April 2011, in an attempt to mediate the crisis in Yemen, proposed an agreement in which the president would step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution. SALIH's refusal to sign an agreement led to heavy street fighting and his injury in an explosion in June 2011. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2014 in October 2011 calling on both sides to end the violence and complete a power transfer deal. In late November 2011, SALIH signed the GCC-brokered agreement to step down and to transfer some of his powers to Vice President Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI. Following elections in February 2012, won by HADI, SALIH formally transferred his powers. In accordance with the GCC initiative, Yemen launched a National Dialogue to discuss key constitutional, political, and social issues in mid-March 2013.

Geography ::Yemen

    Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
    15 00 N, 48 00 E
    total: 527,968 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 50
    land: 527,968 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)
    slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming
    total: 1,746 km
    border countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
    1,906 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
    narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula
    lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
    highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m
    petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west
    arable land: 2.2%
    permanent crops: 0.55%
    other: 97.25% (2011)
    6,801 sq km (2004)
    2.1 cu km (2011)
    total: 3.57 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
    per capita: 162.4 cu m/yr (2005)
    sandstorms and dust storms in summer
    volcanism: limited volcanic activity; Jebel at Tair (Jabal al-Tair, Jebel Teir, Jabal al-Tayr, Jazirat at-Tair) (elev. 244 m), which forms an island in the Red Sea, erupted in 2007 after awakening from dormancy; other historically active volcanoes include Harra of Arhab, Harras of Dhamar, Harra es-Sawad, and Jebel Zubair, although many of these have not erupted in over a century
    limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    strategic location on Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes

People and Society ::Yemen

Government ::Yemen

    conventional long form: Republic of Yemen
    conventional short form: Yemen
    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah
    local short form: Al Yaman
    former: Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]
    republic
    name: Sanaa
    geographic coordinates: 15 21 N, 44 12 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    20 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) and 1 municipality*; Abyan, 'Adan (Aden), Ad Dali', Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, Amanat al 'Asimah (Sanaa City)*, 'Amran, Dhamar, Hadramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Raymah, Sa'dah, San'a' (Sanaa), Shabwah, Ta'izz
    22 May 1990 (Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]); note - previously North Yemen became independent in November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and became a republic with the overthrow of the theocratic Imamate in 1962; South Yemen became independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)
    Unification Day, 22 May (1990)
    16 May 1991; amended 29 September 1994 and February 2001
    mixed legal system of Islamic law, Napoleonic law, English common law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI (Field Marshal) (since 25 February 2012)
    head of government: Prime Minister Muhammad Salim BA SINDWAH (since 27 November 2011)
    cabinet: on 27 November 2011, Vice President HADI requested Interim Prime Minister Muhammad Salim BA SINDWAH to form a new government following the resignation of President SALIH on 24 November 2011
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term based on constitution; however a special election was held on 21 February 2012 to remove Ali Abdallah SALIH based on a GCC-mediated deal during the political crisis of 2011 (next election to be held in 2014); vice president appointed by the president but position is vacant; prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI elected as a consensus president with about 50% popular participation; no other candidates
    bicameral legislature consisting of a Shura Council (111 seats; members appointed by the president) and House of Representatives (301 seats; members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies to serve six-year terms)
    elections: last held on 27 April 2003 (scheduled April 2009 election postponed)
    election results: House of Representatives percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - GPC 238, Islah 47, YSP 6, Nasserite Unionist Party 3, National Arab Socialist Ba'th Party 2, independents 5
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the president of the Court, 2 deputies, and nearly 50 judges; court organized into constitutional, civil, commercial, family, administrative, criminal, military, and appeals scrutiny divisions)
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, chaired by the president of the republic and consisting of 10 high-ranking judicial officers; judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: appeal courts; district or first instance courts; commercial courts
    General People's Congress or GPC [Ali Abdallah SALIH, Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI]
    Islamic Reform Grouping or Islah [Muhammed Abdallah al-YADUMI, Abdul Wahab al-ANSI]
    Nasserite Unionist Party [Sultan al-ATWANI]
    Yemeni Socialist Party or YSP [Yasin Said NU'MAN]
    note: there are at least seven more active political parties
    Muslim Brotherhood
    Women National Committee
    other: conservative tribal groups; Huthis, southern secessionist groups; al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
    AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Adel Ali Ahmed AL-SUNAINI
    chancery: 2319 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 965-4760
    FAX: [1] (202) 337-2017
    chief of mission: Ambassador Gerald M. FEIERSTEIN
    embassy: Sa'awan Street, Sanaa
    mailing address: P. O. Box 22347, Sanaa
    telephone: [967] (1) 755-2000 ext. 2153 or 2266
    FAX: [967] (1) 303-182
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white)
    note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, and of Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt, which has a heraldic eagle centered in the white band
    golden eagle
    name: "al-qumhuriyatu l-muttahida" (United Republic)

    lyrics/music: Abdullah Abdulwahab NOA'MAN/Ayyoab Tarish ABSI
    note: adopted 1990; the music first served as the anthem for South Yemen before unification with North Yemen in 1990

Economy ::Yemen

Energy ::Yemen

Communications ::Yemen

    1.075 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    11.668 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    general assessment: since unification in 1990, efforts have been made to create a national telecommunications network
    domestic: the national network consists of microwave radio relay, cable, tropospheric scatter, GSM and CDMA mobile-cellular telephone systems; fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity remains low by regional standards
    international: country code - 967; landing point for the international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 2 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and Djibouti (2006)
    state-run TV with 2 stations; state-run radio with 2 national radio stations and 5 local stations; stations from Oman and Saudi Arabia can be accessed (2007)
    .ye
    33,206 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    2.349 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 71

Transportation ::Yemen

    57 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    total: 17
    over 3,047 m: 4
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 40
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 16
    under 914 m:
    9 (2013)
    gas 641 km; liquid petroleum gas 22 km; oil 1,370 km (2013)
    total: 71,300 km
    country comparison to the world: 67
    paved: 6,200 km
    unpaved: 65,100 km (2005)
    total: 5
    country comparison to the world: 126
    by type: chemical tanker 2, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1
    registered in other countries: 14 (Moldova 4, Panama 4, Sierra Leone 2, Togo 1, unknown 3) (2010)
    Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla
    the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Gulf of Aden are high risk for piracy; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crew, passengers, and cargo are held for ransom; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators reduced the incidence of piracy in that body of water by more than half in 2010

Military ::Yemen

Transnational Issues ::Yemen

    Saudi Arabia has reinforced its concrete-filled security barrier along sections of the fully demarcated border with Yemen to stem illegal cross-border activities
    refugees (country of origin): 5,221 (Ethiopia) (2012); 229,447 (Somalia) (2013)
    IDPs: 306,791 (conflict in Sa'ada governorate; clashes between AQAP and government forces) (2013)
    current situation: Yemen is a source and, to a much lesser extent, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; some Yemeni children, mostly boys, migrate to Yemeni cities or across the border to Saudi Arabia and, less frequently Oman, where they end up as forced laborers in domestic service or small shops, beggars, or prostitutes; some of the large number of child workers in Yemen also face conditions of forced labor; other Yemeni children are conscripted into the government's armed forces or tribal or rebel militias; to a lesser degree, Yemen is a country of origin for girls trafficked within country or to Saudi Arabia to work as prostitutes in hotels and clubs; additionally, Yemen is a destination and transit country for women and children from the Horn of Africa who are looking for work or have received false job offers in the Gulf states but are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor upon arrival; reports indicate that adults and children are still sold or inherited as slaves in Yemen
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; prolonged political, economic, and security crises impeded the government's modest anti-trafficking efforts; the government has not instituted formal procedures to identify and protect victims of trafficking or investigate or prosecute officials complicit in trafficking-related crimes; no known efforts have been made to investigate or punish the practice of chattel slavery; the government has taken some steps to prevent the recruitment of children in the armed forces, but it is unclear if efforts have been made to remove child soldiers from the military and provide them with protective or rehabilitative services; no progress has been made in implementing Yemen's 2008 national action plan on trafficking (2013)