Full Ottoman control only lasted until 1832 when the British arrived along the Gulf
of Aden to take the city of the same name. They held this city and its surrounding
lands for some time as British influence eventually took control over nearly the
entire southern half of the modern country.
Despite Ottoman and British control the people regularly
rebelled against these foreign rulers. This led to the British and Ottomans to granting
titles, powers, and land upon some local leaders, while enlisting them to fight
those rebels who refused to submit to foreign occupation. This led to a re-birth
of Zaidi rule as the Ottomans recognized their control over the rural mountainous
lands to turn a potential threat into an ally.
At the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire collapsed, giving more lands to
Britain, while much of their territory fell into the hands of the local
people, many of whom continued to fight each other. They also faced a threat from
the north when the Al Saud family tried to take the lands to incorporate into their
growing Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In the 1930s war had broken out between the local people and the
Saudis, while Britain gained further control
over Aden, making that the economic capital of the region. Despite desperately clinging
to Aden, they gave up the rest of the region; the British only wanted the port city
to protect the Suez Canal so the rest of the modern country was left to rule itself.
After independence, the largest issue to address for the new government was re-taking
the city of Aden and the surrounding regions. They turned to Egypt
for support, who pressured the United Kingdom to
hand the lands over, however this only encouraged the Brits to secure their power
in the region (primarily to protect the Suez Canal) as they solidified power in
the 1960s with Saudi support. However the people protested and began attacks on
British vessels, leading the handover of the region in 1967.
After Britain left the region the local tribes continued
to fight for some time, but had most of their issues settled with the departure
of the Brits, leading to peace in 1970; peace amongst themselves and with
Saudi Arabia. With the departure of the British the country of the People's
Democratic Republic of Yemen was founded in the south as the
northern country remained.
This southern country became a communist country closely allied with the Soviet
Union and China. Just two years later though the north and
south were fighting as the Saudis came in to support the north. By year's end
the two stopped the violence and had agreed to unite to form a single country.
Prior to unification civil war broke out in South Yemen in
1986. Many people fled to the north as did politicians who lost influence and power
during the struggle. This led to greater communication among the two sides as they
opened their border for free passage in 1988. In 1990 the two sides united, creating
the Republic of Yemen. Just as the two sides united the economy
struggled and the unrest continued.
This unrest and economic turmoil led to a civil war in 1994. This was led by the
south who again sought independence, however the war was short lived as the majority
of both former governments united to take Aden in the same year. The rest of the
1990s were focused on political and economic unity.
In the 2000s internal fighting escalated as numerous groups either fought the government,
each other, or joined the ranks of Islamic extremist groups, such as Al Qaeda. The
most noticeably of these attacks were on the USS Cole, an
American military ship that was docked in Aden when it was bombed in 2000.
In 2011 two events greatly effected Yemen. The first was that
Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan; this revealed that
Al Qaeda had moved many stations of operation to the country of Yemen. Despite the
government's fight again terrorism and Al Qaeda, they have little control over
these groups in their mostly mountainous and deserted country. Second protests began
to arise against the government as the economy struggled, a part of what is called
"Arab Spring." Despite the president stepping down, full scale violence
has erupted in many Yemeni towns and villages between numerous ethnic groups and