Ali Salim al-Beidh

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Ali Salem al-Beidh
Vice President of Yemen
In office
22 May 1990 – May 1994
President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Prime Minister Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas
Muhammad Said al-Attar
Preceded by Position Created
Succeeded by Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi
Personal details
Born 1939 (age 74–75)
Hadhramaut, Aden Protectorate
Political party Yemeni Socialist Party
Al Harak
Religion Islam

Ali Salim al-Beidh (‘Alī Sālim al-Bīḍ, Arabic: علي سالم البيض‎) (born 1939) is a Yemeni politician who served as the General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) in South Yemen and as Vice President of Yemen following unification in 1990.[1] He left the unification government in 1993, sparking the 1994 civil war in Yemen and then went into exile in Oman. He is a leader of the Southern independence movement known as Al Harak.

Leadership in South Yemen[edit]

A former Politburo member, al-Beidh took the top position in the YSP following a 12-day 1986 civil war between forces loyal to former chairman Abdul Fattah Ismail and then-chairman Ali Nasir Muhammad. An Ismail ally, he took control after Muhammad's defeat and defection and Ismail's disappearance.[2][3] In a coup that took the lives of anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 people, al-Beidh was one of the few high-ranking officials who survived.[4]

Suffering a loss of more than half its aid from the Soviet Union from 1986 to 1989[5] and an interest in possible oil reserves on the border between the countries, al-Beidh's government worked toward unification with North Yemen officials.[6][7]

Unification and Civil War[edit]

Following the unification with the North in 1990, he took up the position of vice-president in the transition government of unified Yemen. But in 1993, al-Beidh quit the government and returned to the former Southern capital of Aden, claiming that the new government was ignoring the needs of the south. On 21 May 1994, as the South's military position weakened, al-Beidh declared the Democratic Republic of Yemen. He served as the only President of the DRY, from 21 May to 7 July 1994. Al-Beidh fled to the neighboring Sultanate of Oman after his failed secession.

South Yemen movement[edit]

After fifteen years of living in exile Salim al-Beidh resumed his political career on the eve of the 19th anniversary of the Yemeni unification. This came amid highly escalating tensions in the south, with clashes and violence between protesters and Yemeni security forces. In a televised speech from Germany, the former President declared himself leader of Al Harak, the southern separatist movement, and called for a return of South Yemen.[8] [9][not in citation given] Since then he has called for several demonstrations to demonstrate the strength of the movement.[10] These have continued into 2011.[11] As a result of his increased involvement, he lost his right to stay in Oman after violating the conditions of his citizenship.[12] Following the 2011 Yemeni uprising, he renewed calls for reinstating South Yemen as a separate country.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Busky, Donald, Communism in history and theory: Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, page 74
  3. ^ Rouhollah K. Ramazani and Joseph A. Kechichian, The Gulf Cooperation Council: record and analysis, University of Virginia Press, 1988, page 125
  4. ^ Halliday, Fred, Revolution and Foreign Policy: The Case of South Yemen, 1967-1987, Cambridge University Press, 2002, page 42
  5. ^ Hurd, Robert and Noakes, Greg, North and South Yemen Lead Up to the Break Up, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July/August 1994, Page 48
  6. ^ Jonsson, Gabriel, Towards Korean reconciliation: socio-cultural exchanges and cooperation, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006, pages 38-40
  7. ^ Coswell, Alan, 2 Yemens Let Animosity Fizzle into Coziness, New York Times, 20 October 1989
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Full Translated Speech of Ali Salem Al-Beidh". 1 June 2009. 
  10. ^ Rally in Aden
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Oman Strips Yemeni Dissident of Citizenship for Returning to Politics". 25 May 2009. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]