Yemen: The Tortuous Quest for Unity 1990-94

by Kostiner, Joseph

Examining the unification process between North and South Yemen, this study begins with the preparations during the 1970s and ’80s, which preceded union in 1990. It then examines the subsequent evolution of unity and the problems which led to internal war and the occupation of South Yemen by North Yemeni forces in 1994, concluding with some thoughts on the implications of this forced unity. Within the broad context of post-Cold War conditions, the Gulf War and inter-Arab relations, Yemeni hopes for unification are examined, as are the reasons why these were to be frustrated, with the co-existence of two rival state systems and communities. Attention is paid to the role of Islamic and tribal groups and values, and special emphasis is placed on the convulsions accompanying democratization.