Status Quo Side: Royalists
Non-Status Quo Side: Republicans
Region: Middle East
Conflict Type: External Intervention
Issues in Dispute: Governance, Strategic
Determined to oust Britain from Aden, the traditionalist Imam Ahmad, though challenged by modernizers, welcomed Russian and Egyptian advisers. His authority waned with his health. The anti-Royalist Egyptian role was manifest by January 1962. Al-Badr, who succeeded as Imam in September, was deposed and escaped to Saudi Arabia.
The Imam returned to rally loyal northern tribes. The new Republican regime embarked on reforms. Egyptian troops arrived in October-November.
Hostilities between Republicans and Royalists, epitomizing the prevalent pan-Arab factions, began in November with Egypt and Saudi Arabia as rival sponsors and suppliers. The latters' periodic attempts at moderating the conflict, plus UNYOM (4/1963-9/1964), succeeded in August 1965 in achieving a cease-fire as anti-Egyptian Republican elements (the Third Force) gained influence. [see ADY]
The cease-fire agreement provided for a 1966 plebiscite after Egypt withdrew. But rivalry in pan-Arab affairs, increasing Soviet influence among Republicans, and Royalist rapprochement with anti-Egyptian Republicans, led to new Egyptian hostilities.
Egypt began a determined effort to force a settlement, including gas warfare. After the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, however, the USSR gradually assumed Egypt's supplier role as "liberal" Republicans took power and Saudi Arabia prodded the Royalists to negotiate with them.
Egyptian troops having been withdrawn by the end of 1967, discussions were eventually begun on a possible coalition to end the civil war. Some Royalists were given government posts. In July 1970 Saudi Arabia give formal recognition plus famine aid to the new government. In December 1970 a new constitution was promulgated, acceptable to both Royalists and Republicans. Political parties were banned in the hope of avoiding renewal of the feuds that had led to the civil war.
Civil war ended when Saudi Arabia withheld further support to the Royalists, some of whom then joined the government. Saudi Arabia and Britain granted recognition in July.
Copyright © 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton