Yemenis are sedentary and they live in small villages and towns scattered throughout the highlands and coastal regions.
In 1962, factions within the Yemeni armed forces carried out a coup against the monarch, Imam Muhammad al-Badr. Supported by Nasser, the coup leaders abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the existence of the Yemen Arab Republic.
Imam Muhammad hid in the northern region of the country and he began looking for support in the local tribes.Yemen was plunged into civil war.
The royalists in the north were helped by the Saudi government and the republican regime of Abdallah al-Sallal received military assistance from Nasser.
In 1967, Britain withdrew from the Aden Protectorate and was immediately replaced by a Marxist National Liberation Front that established the People's Democratic Republic of South Yemen.
Therefore, Saudi Arabia (King Faysal) faced two dangerous Yemens, both of them with radical governments, both of them supported by the Soviet Union, both of them supporting republican rule, both of them against monarchies!!
Fighting between the republicans and the royalists continued until 1970, when Saudi Arabia formally recognized the republican regime and stopped aid to the royalists. Between 1967 and 1972 frequent border clashes occurred between Yemen and Southern Yemen, until an accord was signed (1972) to merge the two countries.
The next president, Lt.-Col. Ali Abdullah Saleh, strengthened various democratic procedures. In early 1979 border fighting with neighboring Southern Yemen erupted into full-scale war. Peace was soon established, however, and another unification agreement was devised. Saleh was elected for his third term in 1988.
Nearly half of Yemen's population lives below the poverty line of $2 a day and doesn't have access to proper sanitation. Less than a tenth of the roads are paved. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes by conflict, flooding the cities.
The country is enduring a rebellion in the north and a secessionist movement in the south.
Saleh's current term in office expires in 2013 but proposed amendments to the constitution could let him remain in power for two additional terms of ten years.