A country in the south and south-west of the Arabian peninsula; population 26,800,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Arabic; capital, Sana'a. Official name Yemen Republic.
An Islamic country since the mid 7th century, Yemen was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century. It came under increasing British influence in the 19th century, and the port of Aden was developed as a British military base. After the Second World War civil war between royalist and republican forces ended with British withdrawal and the partition of the country (1967). South Yemen declared itself independent as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, the North becoming the Yemen Arab Republic. In 1990 the countries reunited to form the Republic of Yemen; in 1994 the South briefly seceded but was defeated in a short civil war