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Not to be confused with Zanzibar.
Zinjibar is located in Yemen
Location in Yemen
Coordinates: 13°7′42″N 45°22′49″E / 13.12833°N 45.38028°E / 13.12833; 45.38028Coordinates: 13°7′42″N 45°22′49″E / 13.12833°N 45.38028°E / 13.12833; 45.38028
Country  Yemen
Governorate Abyan
District Zinjibar
Population (2004)
 • Total 19,879
Time zone Yemen Standard Time (UTC+3)

Zinjibar (Arabic: زنجبار‎‎ Zinjibār) is a port and coastal town in south-central Yemen, the capital of Zinjibar District and the Abyan Governorate. It is located next to the Wadi Bana[1] in the Abyan Delta. From 1962 to 1967, it was the administrative capital of the Fadhli Sultanate, although the royal residence remained at the former capital of Shuqrah. At the time of the 2004 census, Zinjibar's population numbered 19,879 inhabitants. The town supports a small seaside resort and fishing industry.[2] Cotton (Gossypium barbadense) grown in the area is brokered in the market.[3]


Zinjibar was a long-established trading center for commerce with the Far East.[4] However, in 1163 (559 AH) the town was burned and destroyed by Abdel Nabi Ali Mahdi Yoosuf. It was rebuilt as is evidenced by 15th century Yemeni pottery at the Mazda (القريات) archaeological site, but was destroyed again in tribal warfare. In the 19th century, Fadhli Sultan Hussein bin Ahmed bin Abdullah re-established the town, also was exiled to Pune India and in the early 1920s was ordered to be returned, Sultan Saleh Abdullah bin Hussein bin Ahmed was exiled by the British to Zinzibar thous upon his return he renamed the town Zinjibar in honor of his exile.

The name Zanjibâr is from Persian compound Zangī-bâr, meaning "coast of the dark-skinned". The name Zanzibar is also of the same root.

2011 revolt[edit]

Main article: Battle of Zinjibar

In May 2011, the town was reported as overtaken by Islamist militants as part of the 2011 Yemeni uprising.[5][6] On June 12, 2012, the militants were driven out by the Yemeni army.[7] On the same date, the neighboring town of Jaʿār, 15 kilometers or 9 miles to the north, was also retaken by the government forces.[8]

2015 conflict[edit]

Soldiers allied with the Houthis took over Zinjibar in late March 2015, driving out troops and fighters loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The city became a target for the airstrikes of a multinational coalition intervening in Yemen on Hadi's behalf.[9] On 2 December 2015, Ansar al-Sharia captured Zinjibar, along with Jaʿār.[10]

2016 conflict[edit]

In early May 2016, AQAP fighters withdrew from the city of Zinjibar and Jaar after negotiation with Hadi loyalists.[10] Since then, it has repeatedly withdrawn and returned. On 14 August, the cities were fully captured by pro-government forces who dislodged the militants from the them[11]


  1. ^ Hämäläinen, Pertti (1999) Yemen Lonely Planet, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, page 195, ISBN 0-86442-603-8
  2. ^ Hämäläinen, Pertti (1999) Yemen Lonely Planet, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, page 230, ISBN 0-86442-603-8
  3. ^ Dresch, Paul (2000) A history of modern Yemen Cambridge University Press, New York, page 121, ISBN 0-521-79092-1
  4. ^ Lane, A. and Serjeant, R. B. (1948) "Pottery and glass frag- ments from the Aden littoral, with historical notes" Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1948: pp. 108–133
  5. ^ Arrabyee, Nasser; Kasinoff, Laura (May 29, 2011). "Islamists seize a Yemeni city, stoking fears" New York Times; archived here by WebCite
  6. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (30 May 2011) "Analysis: Al-Qaida exploiting failed states for sovereignty" Jerusalem Post; archived Archived 2011-06-16 at WebCite by WebCite
  7. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/06/201261271339613508.html
  8. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/12/world/middleeast/12reuters-yemen-jaar.html?_r=1&ref=global-home
  9. ^ "Diplomats and U.N. staff flee Yemen as Houthis target Aden". Reuters UK. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/05/06/Al-Qaeda-pulls-out-of-two-southern-cities-in-Yemen.html
  11. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-qaeda-idUSKCN10P0GJ