Geographic and Governmental Profile of Yemen

Background
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 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 ceasefire 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 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, President SALIH signed the GCC-brokered agreement to step down and to transfer some of his powers to Vice President Abd al-Rabuh Mansur HADI. Following elections in February 2012, won by HADI, SALIH formally transferred his powers.
Location
Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates
15 00 N, 48 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Middle East
Area
total:
527,968 sq km
rank:
50
land:
527,968 sq km
water:
0 sq km
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)
Area - comparative
slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming
Land boundaries
total:
1,746 km
border countries:
Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
Coastline
1,906 km
Maritime claims
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
Climate
mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
Terrain
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
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point:
Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m
Natural resources
petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west
Land use
arable land:
2.91%
permanent crops:
0.25%
other:
96.84% (2005)
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Irrigated land
6,800 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
4.1 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
6.63 cu km/yr (4%/1%/95%)
per capita:
316 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
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
Environment - current issues
limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements
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
Geography - note
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
Country name
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]
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Sanaa
geographic coordinates:
15 21 N, 44 12 E
time difference:
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
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
Independence
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)
National holiday
Unification Day, 22 May (1990)
Constitution
16 May 1991; amended 29 September 1994 and February 2001
Legal system
mixed legal system of Islamic law, English common law, and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI (Field Marshal) (since 25 February 2012); vice president (vacant)
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
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; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results:
Abd al-Rabuh Mansur HADI elected as a consensus president with about 50% popular participation; no other candidates
Legislative branch
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 for two years)
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
Judicial branch
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders
General People's Congress or GPC [Abdul-Kader BAJAMMAL]; Islamic Reform Grouping or Islah [Muhammed Abdallah AL-YADUMI]; Nasserite Unionist Party [Abd al-Malik al-MAKHLAFI]; National Arab Socialist Ba'th Party [Dr. Qasim SALAM]; Yemeni Socialist Party or YSP [Yasin Said NU'MAN]; note - there are at least seven more active political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders
Muslim Brotherhood; Women National Committee
other:
conservative tribal groups; Huthis, southern secessionist groups; al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
International organization participation
AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Adel Ali Ahmed ALSUNAINI
chancery:
2319 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 965-4760
FAX:
[1] (202) 337-2017
Diplomatic representation from the US
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
Flag description
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)
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
National symbol(s)
golden eagle
National anthem
name:
"al-qumhuriyatu l-muttahida" (United Republic)
lyrics/music:
Abdullah Abdulwahab NOA'MAN/Ayyoab Tarish ABSI
adopted 1990; the music first served as the anthem for South Yemen before unification with North Yemen in 1990
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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