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.

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Disputes - international

Demarcation of delimited boundary with Saudi Arabia involves nomadic tribal affiliations; Yemen has asserted traditional fishing rights to islands ceded to Eritrea in ICJ ruling.

Surface Area: 527,970 square km
Population: 20,024,867 (July 2004 est.)
Located in: Asia (Middle East)
Capital City: Sanaa
Head of State: Field Marshall Ali Abdallah SALIH
Prime Minister: Abd al-Qadir BA JAMAL
Independent since: 22 May 1990, Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic; previously North Yemen had become independent on NA November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)
Currency: Yemeni rial (YER)
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