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Yemen-Saudi Arabia
 

 Antagonists

Yemen

Saudi Arabia

Danger of civil war and resplitting the country

Danger of conflict with Saudi Arabia

Status

Potential

Connections

MiddleEastWars

Yemen

Saudi Arabia

Explanation

The frontier between the two states is undefined. The Saudis are hostile to the embryonic or potential democracy of the Yemen, as well the Communist past of the south, which has left a legacy of non-traditional customs in the south (such as equality for women and lack of respect for royalty).

The Yemen is stronger in terms of a population which is hard working and poor. Its army is probably more efficient than the Saudi army. In the long run the Yemen may prove to be a more cohesive power than Saudi Arabia whose main cohesion comes from the oil money.

The Saudis possess American weaponry but may not be good at using it. The Yemenis possess morale and an agricultural economy.

Saudis massed troops on the borders early 1995. Probably bluff.

Shortly after Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait the Yemen ambassador failed to support the Saudi and American demands in the UN. Saudi Arabia then expelled all Yemeni workers, sending several hundred thousand home and crippling the economy.

Civil War
The two Yemens fought again. Signs of war in May 1994 quickly grew into conflict, which showed that the two states had not combined. There are rumors that money from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been used for arms, perhaps to prevent the establishment of a non-monarchical state by encouraging existing rivalries which might otherwise have been resolved. It might also be delayed revenge for Yemen's UN vote against military attack on Iraq during the Kuwait crisis. North Yemen won and controlled the combined state.

Bandit activity continues, by for example, kidnapping tourists for ransom to persuade the government to give aid to the tribe.

Among the bandit activity can be found sympathisers of Osama bin laden (of Yemeni origin). It was from Yemen that an Osamist attack occurred on a US warship in Aden.

There are reports in November 2009 of Saudi air strikes on targets in the disputed border region, killing Yemenis.

Last revised 9/11/09


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