The politics of survival and the structure of control in the unified Yemen 1990-97


Chapter 2

  1. For demographic figures see David Munro, The Oxford Dictionary of the World: Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 657.

  2. On neopatrimonialism, see S. N. Eisenstadt, Traditional Patrimonialism and Modern Neopatrimonialism, Sage Research Papers in the Social Sciences, Studies in Comparative Modernisation Series, vol. 1 (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1973).

  3. The disintegration of the former Soviet Union and prevalence of a single world order contributed crucially to the existence of the unified Yemen as it stands as the historical moment according to Migdal's definition.

  4. Such military threat changes the risk calculation of state leaders which induces them to take the initiative for concentrating social control.

Chapter 3

  1. On November 30, the independent People's Republic of Southern Yemen came into existence, which renamed the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1970 after the first leftist intraparty coup in June 1969 that overthrew the first President Qahtan al-Sha'abi, who was replaced by Salim Rubai Ali.

  2. The Constitution of 1978 states (Article 3) that the YSP armed with the theory of Scientific Socialism is the leader and guide of state and society. Article 12, states that the state will develop the national economy on the basis of the objective law of Scientific Socialism. See The Constitution of the PDRY, Aden: The Fourteenth of October Print-house, 1978, p. 4.

  3. 14th October (the official newspaper) 24 April 1987.

  4. Al-Thawri, 15 June 1985.

  5. See Eric Watkins, The legacy of the Yemen Socialist Party. Paper presented to a conference at SOAS, University of London, entitled "Lights on the Yemeni Crisis: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives", 24 September 1994.

  6. In fact, the pre-unification enthusiasm of some tribes for the South was well established. The tribes that were predominantly royalist in the 1960s were predominantly Socialist in the 1970s. For more details on this issue, see Paul K. Dresch, The tribal factor in the Yemeni crisis. Chapter 2 in Jamal S. al-Suwaidi (ed.), The Yemeni War of 1994: Causes and Consequences, the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, Saqi Books, 1995.

  7. See, Middle East Watch, A Division of Human Rights Watch, vol. 4, issue 10, November 1992, p. 15.

  8. For more details see, Rainer Hartmann, Yemeni Exodus from Saudi Arabia: The Gulf conflict and the ceasing of the workers immigration. Journal of South Asian and Middle East Studies, vol. XV1V, no. 2, Winter 1995, p. 38-52.

  9. Al-Watan al-Arabi, 25 October 1991.

  10. Al-Khalij, 22 November 1992.

  11. For details about the structure and ideology of the YRR see, Paul Dresch, Bernard Haykel, Stereotypes and Political Styles: Islamists and tribesfolk in Yemen. International Journal of Middle East Studies. vol. 27, no. 4 (1995), p. 405-31.

  12. Less than 50% of eligible voters were registered for the referendum. See Robin Bidwell, Yemen, in: The Middle East and North Africa 1993, London 1992, p. 948-88.

  13. Sheila Carapico, Elections and mass politics in Yemen. Middle East Report, no. 185, 1993, p. 2-6.

  14. Paul Dresch, ibid.

  15. For the argument whether the tribal society such as the Yemeni, is capable of developing a civil society, see Sheila Carapico, Yemen Between Civility and Civil War, chapter 9 in Augustus R. Norton (ed.), Civil Society in the Middle East. Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill, 1996, vol. 2.

  16. See al-Mustaqbal, December 22, 1991; and the interview with Shaykh Abd al-Wahab Sinan, Yemen Times (YT), December 25, 1991.

  17. Al-Shura, March 11, 1993 and al-Wahdawi, March 21, 1993.

  18. Personal interview with Zaid al-Wazir, held in Richmond, UK on 28 July 1997.

  19. Personal interview with Abd al-Rahman al-Jifri, held in London in August 4, 1997.

  20. For the YRR Social Welfare Association Activities, see al-Sahwa, 12 August 1993; al-Islah 26 July 1993., also see Carapico (1996) Ibid., p. 300.

  21. This figure has been taken from, Iris Glosemeyer, The first Yemeni parliamentary elections in 1993: practising democracy. Orient (Opladen), vol. 34, 1993, p. 439-51.

  22. While there were no women in the Parliament of the YAR, there were 11 female representatives in the Parliament of the PDRY.

  23. The Final Report of the Technical Committee, Sana'a 1993, p. 26.

  24. For details about procedures and preparations as well as for complaints and appeals of the elections of 1993, see Iris Glosemeyer, Ibid., also see the Final Report of the Technical Committee, Sana'a 1993.

  25. Al-Hayat, 16 August 1993.

  26. Intelligence Newsletter, 10 July 1993.

  27. See, Michael C. Hudson, Unhappy Yemen: Watching the slide toward civil war. Middle East Insight, vol. 10, nos. 4-5, 1994, p. 10-19.

  28. Ibid., p. 17.

  29. Kostiner, 1996, Ibid., p. 76.

  30. Ibid., p. 82.

  31. Ibid., p. 85.

Chapter 4

  1. Yasin Said Numan, al-Shura, April 6, 1997, p. 8-9.

  2. 26 September, August 22, 1994, p. 1

  3. Al-Thawrah, July 13, 1994, p. 1

  4. Al-Watheiqah, 15-30 November 1996, p. 1.

  5. see Joseph Kostiner, Middle East Contemporary Survey, vol. XV111. 1994, p. 719.

  6. The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, Articles 82 and 83.

  7. Al-Hayat, September 23, 1994.

  8. South Post (Barid al-Janoub) January 20, 1997, p. 10.

  9. Al-Shura, June 29, 1997, p. 2-3.

  10. 26 September, April 3, 1997, p. 9.

  11. 26 September, June 12, 1997, p. 9. and June 19, 1997, p. 8.

  12. Al-Watheiqah, December 1-15, 1996, p. 1. Also see, al-Muhajir, July 26, 1997, p.4. and al-Wehdah, August 1997, vol. 8, p. 12.

  13. The Middle East, July/August 1995, p. 6.

  14. Personal interview with Zaid al-Wazir, held in Richmond, UK on 28 July 1997.

  15. The Middle East, loc. cit.

  16. Al-Wehdah, August 1997, no. 8, p. 19.

  17. Carapico (1996) ibid, p. 289-90. Also see, the Human Rights Report issued by the Department of the State, USA, 1995, in al-Shura March 19, 1995, p. 6.

  18. see Dresch, 1995, ibid.

  19. Al-Wehdah, ibid, p. 13.

  20. Al-Watheiqah, February 15-28, 1997, p. 12.

  21. 26 September, April 17, 1997, p. 1.

  22. Al-Hayat, August 12, 1997, p. 1.

  23. Asharq al-Awsat, April 28, 1997, p. 3.

  24. Ibid., cit. loc.

  25. Middle East Mirror, April 28, 1997, p. 18.

  26. Ibid., May 6, 1997, p. 18-19.

  27. Ibid., May 6, 1997, p. 18.

  28. Ibid., May 1, 13 and 14 (1997).

  29. Ibid., May 1, 1997, p. 15.

  30. 26 September, May 29, 1997, p. 8-9.

  31. For more details about the Yemeni political parties see, Ahmed A.Karim Saif , Democracy in Yemen, al-Madinah Press, Cairo, 1991. Also see, Paul Dresch, Stereotypes and Political Styles: Islamists and tribesfolk in Yemen, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 27, no. 4 (1995) p. 405-31.

  32. CSO 1996, statistical year-book 1996, Central Statistical Organisation, Ministry of Planning & Development.

  33. Middle East Economic Digest, 27 October 1995.

  34. The Middle East, July/August 1995, p. 6.

  35. Yemen Times, December 4, 1995.

  36. CSO, 1996, p. 357.

  37. Personal interview, held in Oxford on Monday, August 4, 1997.

  38. Ibid.

  39. The tribal disputes which are believed to have been instigated by the government are widely covered by opposition media, see for example, al-Shura, January 1, 1997, p. 1. and the South Post (barid al-Janoub), January 20, 1997, p. 1.

  40. Interview, Ibid.

Last modified on 05/31/2016 16:59:30


For a long time, I have been interested in this subject. I hope to have gained a satisfactory understanding of Yemeni politics and to have reached a deep level of analysis beyond the direct occurrence of events. It has, therefore, been a profitable opportunity to have spent the past six months in this study. During this time, I was ably directed by a supportive supervisor, and so, my deep gratitude goes to Dr. Bruce Stanley, whose patience encouraged me to express my ideas, to discuss and to object. He would raise a key issue and then watch my responses, as when a stone is thrown into a lake resulting in a sequence of circular waves. Once again, many thanks to him.

I also extend my gratitude to Paul Auchterlonie, the assistant librarian at the old library of the University of Exeter for his valued assistance. My friend Glience, also offered helpful linguistic comments, which I deeply appreciate.

I extend additional thanks to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London, for letting me use their library, especially, the BBC collection. I am also grateful to different Yemeni political parties, who provided me a regular issues of their publications, which were helpful.

Finally, a special debt of gratitude is due to my parents, who despite their need of my help have encouraged me to achieve my degree.


ANM:Arab Nationalist Movement

CC:Consultative Council

COR:Council of Representatives

DPA:Document of the Pledge and Accord

DRY:Democratic Republic of Yemen

GCC:Gulf Co-operative Council

GPC:General People's Congress

LCCDs:Local Councils for Co-operation Development

LDAs:Local Development Associations

MEE:Military Economic Establishment

NLF:National Liberation Front

PDRY:People's Democratic Republic of Yemen

PSO:Political Security Office

RY:Republic of Yemen

YAR:Yemen Arab Republic

YR:Yemeni Riyal

YRR:Yemeni Reform Rally

YSP:Yemeni Socialist Party


The most important Yemeni political parties






General People's Congress

Aug. 1982 Sana'a


Pres. Ali A. Salih


Yemeni Socialist Party

Oct. 1978 Aden


Ali S. Obad (Moqbil)


Yemeni Reforming Rally

Sep. 1990 Sana'a


Sh. Abdelah H. al-Ahmar


Arab Socialist Ba'ath

1959 Aden


Dr. Qassim Sallam


Al-Haqq Party

Apr. 1991 Sana'a


Jud. A. al-Shami


Nasirite Unified Popular Organisation

1975 Sana'a


Abdelmelik al-Mikhlafi


Sons of Yemen League

Apr. 1959 Aden


Abdelrahman Ali al-Jifri


Union of Popular Forces

Oct. 1960 Beirut


Ibrahim Ali al-Wazir


Yemeni Unionist Aggregation

Jan. 1990 Aden


Omar al-Jawi


Source : Liberty, BM Freedom, London, Report April, 21 1993.

Abbr: Pres = The President; Sh = Shaykh; Dr = Doctor; Jud = Judge


The following newspapers and journals were consulted:


Asharq al-Awsat

Barid al-Janoub





14th October


26 September








Intelligence Newsletter

International Journal of Middle East Studies

Journal of South Asian and Middle East Studies

The Middle East

The Middle East and North Africa

Middle East Contemporary Survey

Middle East Economic Digest

Middle East Insight

Middle East Mirror

Middle East Report

Middle East Watch

Orient (Opladen)

Yemen Times

Articles and books

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  • Dresch, P. (1995) "The Tribal Factor in the Yemeni Crisis" Ch. 2 in al-Suwaidi, J. (Ed) "The Yemeni War of 1994: Causes and Consequences" London, Saqi Books.

  • Dresch, P. and Haykel, B. (1995) "Stereotypes and Political Styles: Islamists and Tribesfolk in Yemen" International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 405-31.

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  • Glosemeyer, I. (1993) "The First Yemeni Parliamentary Elections in 1993: Practising Democracy" Orient (Opladen), vol. 34, pp. 439-51.

  • Hall, S. (1991) "Yemen: The Politics of Unity" London, Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies.

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Copyright © Ahmed Abdel-Karim Saif 1998