Yemen’s Bloody 20th Century: A War Every 7 Years! [Archives:1998/34/Front Page]

August 24 1998

Well, we are getting to the end of this century. There are less than 500 days left and we will say ‘good bye’ to the 20th century. It has been a bloody century for humanity. But it has been more so for us Yemenis.
Yemen Times reports (please read on page 5) that Yemen has had more than 14 wars during this century. That is without counting the small internecine inter-tribal wars and urban shoot-outs/explosions.
The average, therefore, is a war every seven years. It is possible that we will finish this century with yet another war, given the way things are drifting.
Yemenis started the century with a war on the Ottomans. It was a war of independence which brought the Imamic kingdom. Then the nation had a series of wars with British colonial forces, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and lastly with Eritrea.
But the bloodiest of all wars have been the wars among Yemenis. The seven-year civil war following the September 1962 revolution, the upheavals in the former PDRY (South Yemen), and of course, the wars between the two Yemens.
No wonder, backwardness seems to settle in the country for good. The nation needs peace and stability to make meaningful progress. But that has not been the historic fact.