Ali Salem al Beidh

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Ali Salem al Beidh
علي سالم البيض
Al Beidh in 1990
Vice President of Yemen
In office
22 May 1990 – 6 May 1994
PresidentAli Abdullah Saleh (Chairman of the Presidential Council)
Prime MinisterHaidar Abu Bakr al-Attas
Muhammad Said al-Attar
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byAbdrabbuh Mansur Hadi (Vice President)
General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party
In office
24 January 1986 – 9 June 1994[1]
Preceded byAli Nasir Muhammad
Succeeded byAli Saleh Obad (Moqbel)
Personal details
Born (1939-02-10) 10 February 1939 (age 85)
Ar Raydah Wa Qusayar, Aden Protectorate
(present-day Yemen)
Political partyYemeni Socialist Party
Al Hirak

Ali Salem al-Beidh (Arabic: علي سالم البيض, romanized‘Alī Sālim al-Bīḍ; born 10 February 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 the unification in 1990.[2] 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 Hirak.

Leadership in South Yemen[edit]

He studied for a Commerce degree and became a School Teacher in Mukalla in 1961. He joined the National Liberation Front in 1963 as the Local Committee founder in Mukalla, and went underground in 1965. In 1966 he was admitted into the Hadramawt Provincial Committee of the NLF. After independence he joined the YSP. In 1971 he was selected as the General Secretary of the Hadhramawt Provincial Committee and was admitted into the YSP National Central Committee as a Candidate-Member. Selected as Full Member of the Central Committee in 1975, well as Deputy Minister for School Education and Vocational Training. In 1977, he was admitted as Candidate Member for the YSP Politburo, and a full Politburo member in 1981. Ali 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.[3][4] In a coup that took the lives of anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 people, Ali was one of the few high-ranking officials who survived.[5]

Suffering a loss of more than half its aid from the Soviet Union from 1986 to 1989[6] and an interest in possible oil reserves on the border between the countries, Ali's government worked toward unification with North Yemen officials.[7][8]

Unification and Civil War[edit]

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

South Yemen movement[edit]

After fifteen years of living in exile Ali 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 Kitzbühel, Austria, the former President called for a return of South Yemen.[9][10] Since then he has called for several demonstrations to demonstrate the strength of the movement.[11] These have continued into 2011.[12] As a result of his increased involvement, he lost his right to stay in Oman after violating the conditions of his citizenship.[13] Following the 2011 Yemeni uprising, he renewed calls for reinstating South Yemen as a separate country.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Memory of Time". Al Moqatel. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Yemeni governments of the 1990s". Archived from the original on 28 February 2012.
  3. ^ Busky, Donald, Communism in history and theory: Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, page 74
  4. ^ Rouhollah K. Ramazani and Joseph A. Kechichian, The Gulf Cooperation Council: record and analysis, University of Virginia Press, 1988, page 125
  5. ^ Halliday, Fred, Revolution and Foreign Policy: The Case of South Yemen, 1967-1987, Cambridge University Press, 2002, page 42
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Jonsson, Gabriel, Towards Korean reconciliation: socio-cultural exchanges and cooperation, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006, pages 38-40
  8. ^ Coswell, Alan, 2 Yemens Let Animosity Fizzle into Coziness, New York Times, 20 October 1989
  9. ^ صبرنيوز - SBR NEWS. "President Ali Salem al-Baid in a dialogue with Al GULF NEWS". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Full Translated Speech of Ali Salem Al-Beidh". 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  11. ^ Rally in Aden
  12. ^ "Civil Disobedience Paralyzes Life in Some Southern Cities - Yemen Post English Newspaper Online". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Oman Strips Yemeni Dissident of Citizenship for Returning to Politics". 25 May 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Ali Salim al-Beidh calls for secession". UPI. 19 May 2012. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Office created
Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council of Yemen
Succeeded byas Vice President of Yemen