Yemen People's Democratic Republic (1967-1990)
 

 
The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (Arabic: جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية‎‎ Jumhūrīyat al-Yaman ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah ash-Sha‘bīyah), also referred to as South Yemen, Democratic Yemen or Yemen (Aden) aka South Arabian Federation, was a socialist state in the southern and eastern provinces of the present-day Republic of Yemen, including the island of Socotra. Capital: Aden.

It united with the Yemen Arab Republic (commonly known as "North Yemen") on 22 May 1990, to form the present-day Yemen. After four years, however, South Yemen declared its secession from the north, which resulted in the north occupying south Yemen and the 1994 civil war.
In 1838, Sultan Muhsin bin Fadl of the nearby state of Lahej ceded 194 km˛ (75 sq. miles) including Aden to the British. On 19 January 1839, the British East India Company landed Royal Marines at Aden to occupy the territory and stop attacks by pirates against British shipping to India. It then became an important trading hub between British India and the Red Sea, and following the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, it became a coaling station for ships en route to India. Aden was ruled as part of British India until 1937, when the city of Aden became the Colony of Aden. The Aden hinterland and Hadhramaut to the east formed the remainder of what would become South Yemen and was not administered directly by Aden but were tied to Britain by treaties of protection with local rulers of traditional polities that, together, became known as the Aden Protectorate. Economic development was largely centered in Aden, and while the city flourished, the states of the Aden Protectorate stagnated.

In 1963, Aden and much of the Protectorate were joined to form the Federation of South Arabia with the remaining states that declined to join, mainly in Hadhramaut, forming the separate Protectorate of South Arabia. Both of these polities were still tied to Britain with promises of total independence in 1968. Two nationalist groups, the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) and the National Liberation Front (NLF), began an armed struggle (Aden Emergency) on 14 October 1963 against British control and, with the temporary closure of the Suez Canal in 1967, the British began to withdraw. One faction, NLF, was invited to the Geneva Talks to sign the independence agreement with the British. Ironically, Britain, who during its occupation of Aden signed several treaties of protection with the local sheikhdoms and emirates of the Federation of South Arabia, excluded them in the talks and thus the agreement stated "...the handover of the territory of South Arabia to the (Yemeni) NLF...". Southern Yemen became independent as the People's Republic of Southern Yemen on 30 November 1967, and the National Liberation Front consolidated its control in the country.

In June 1969, a radical Marxist wing of the NLF gained power and on 1 December 1970, reorganized the country into the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). Subsequently, all political parties were amalgamated into the National Liberation Front, renamed the Yemeni Socialist Party, which became the only legal party. The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen established close ties with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. East Germany's consititution of 1968 even served as a kind of blueprint for the PDRY's first constitution. The major communist powers assisted in the building of the PDRY's armed forces. Strong support from Moscow resulted in Soviet naval forces gaining access to naval facilities in South Yemen.
Unlike the early decades of East Germany and West Germany, North Korea and South Korea, or North Vietnam and South Vietnam, North Yemen (YAR) and South Yemen (PDRY) remained relatively friendly, though relations were often strained. Fighting broke out in 1972, and a short-lived, small proxy border conflict was resolved with negotiations, where it was declared unification would eventually occur.
However, these plans were put on hold in 1979, as the PDRY funded Red rebels in the YAR, and war was only prevented by an Arab League intervention. The goal of unity was reaffirmed by the northern and southern heads of state during a summit meeting in Kuwait in March 1979. In 1980, PDRY president Abdul Fattah Ismail resigned and went into exile in Moscow, having lost the confidence of his sponsors in the USSR. His successor, Ali Nasir Muhammad, took a less interventionist stance toward both North Yemen and neighbouring Oman.
On January 13, 1986, a violent struggle began in Aden between Ali Nasir's supporters and supporters of the returned Ismail, who wanted power back. Fighting, known as the South Yemen Civil War, lasted for more than a month and resulted in thousands of casualties, Ali Nasir's ouster, and Ismail's death. Some 60,000 people, including the deposed Ali Nasir, fled to the YAR. Ali Salim al-Beidh, an ally of Ismail who had succeeded in escaping the attack on pro-Ismail members of the Politburo, then became General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party. Against the background of the Perestroika in the USSR, Yemen's main backer, South Yemen started political reforms in the late 1980s. Political prisoners were released, political parties were formed and the justice was reckoned to be more equitable than in the North. In May 1988, the YAR and PDRY governments came to an understanding that considerably reduced tensions including agreement to renew discussions concerning unification, to establish a joint oil exploration area along their undefined border, to demilitarize the border, and to allow Yemenis unrestricted border passage on the basis of only a national identification card. In 1990, the parties reached a full agreement on joint governing of Yemen, and the countries were effectively merged as Yemen.
Since 2007, Southerners have been actively protesting for independence, in a movement known as 'Al Hirak' or the Southern Movement. During the Yemen Civil War 2015, in response to incursions by the Houthis and military forces loyal to deposed Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, members of the Southern Movement formed 'Popular Resistance' militias. Since the Battle of Aden, these armed groups have sought to defend the South against Houthi/Saleh attempts to take over the country and have taken the current state of civil war as opportunity to further their struggle for independence.
 
               30 Nov 1967  Independence (People's Republic of South Yemen).
               30 Nov 1970  People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
               22 May 1990  Unification with Yemen (Sana) as Republic of Yemen.
 22 May 1994 - 07 Jul 1994  Former South Yemen in secession from Yemen as Democratic
                             Republic of Yemen.
 

Arab Democratic of Yemen (South Yemen) highlighted in light Orange in above map with Aden as it's capital.
 
  • President
  • Qahtan Muhammad al-Shaabi.........................30 Nov 1967 - 22 Jun 1969
  • Chairmen of the Presidential Council
    • Presidential Council (22 Jun 1969 - 23 Jun 1969)
    • Muhammad Ali Haitham
    • Muhammad Salih al-Awlaqi
    • Abdul Fattah Ismail
    • Salem Ali Rubayyi
    • Ali Ahmad Nasir Antar al-Bishi
    • Salem Ali Rubayyi
  • Ali Nasir Muhammad Husani.........................26 Jun 1978 - 27 Dec 1978
  • He was acting to 01 Jul 1978.
  • Chairmen of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Council
  • Abdul Fattah Ismail...............................27 Dec 1978 - 26 Apr 1980
  • Ali Nasir Muhammad Husani.........................26 Apr 1980 - 24 Jan 1986
  • Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas..........................25 Jan 1986 - 22 May 1990
  • He was interim to 08 Feb 1986.
  • President
  • Ali Salim al-Baidh (in rebellion).................22 May 1994 - 07 Jul 1994
 
  • Secretary Generals of the Central Committee of the Socialist Party of Yemen
  • Abdul Fattah Islamil (1st time)..................11 Oct 1978 - 21 Apr 1980
  • Ali Nasir Muhammad Husani (1st time).............21 Apr 1980 - 12 Feb 1985
  • Abdul Fattah Ismail (2nd time)...................12 Feb 1985 - 24 Jan 1986
  • Ali Nasir Muhammad Husani (2nd time).............24 Jan 1986 - 06 Feb 1986
  • Ali Salim al-Beidh...............................06 Feb 1986 - 22 May 1990
 
 
Dinar = 20 Dirhams = 1000 fils
Currency: The dinar (Arabic: دينار‎‎) was the currency of South Arabia and then South Yemen between 1965 and 1990. Code: YDD (ISO 4217). It was subdivided into 1000 fils (فلس). After Yemen's monetary unification on 1 July 1990, it was one of the two official currencies used in Yemen Republic until 11 June 1996.
The dinar was introduced in 1965 as the South Arabian Dinar, replacing the East African shilling at a rate of 1 dinar = 20 shillings, thus setting the dinar initially equal to the British pound. It was renamed the South Yemeni dinar after the Aden Protectorate became independent in 1967 as the South Yemen. The South Yemeni dinar was replaced by the rial following unification with North Yemen. The exchange rate was 1 dinar = 26 rial. Dinar banknotes remained legal tender until 1996. In 1965, coins (dated 1964) were introduced for South Arabia in denominations of 1, 5, 25 and 50 fils. The 1 fils was struck in aluminium, the 5 fils in bronze and the higher two denominations in cupro-nickel. In 1971, coins were issued in the name of "Democratic Yemen", changing to the "People's democratic Republic of Yemen" in 1973. That year, aluminium 2˝ fils were introduced, followed by aluminium 10 fils and cupro-nickel 100 and 250 fils in 1981. The 10 fils was scalloped shaped whilst the 100 fils was octagonal.
 
1971
 

KM#2 5 Fils. Year: 1971. Weight: 4.52 g [4.50 g]. Metal: Bronze. Diameter: 23.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: Dot at the top. "5 FILS" written at the top left side. "٥" (5) and "فلوس" (Fils) written at the top right side. Crossed daggers in the center. Date written at the bottom. Reverse: "االيمن الديمقراطي" (Democratic Yemen) written in Arabic at the top section. Small dot on each side. 8-sided star design in the center. "DEMOCRATIC YEMEN" written at the bottom section. Mintage: 2,000,000. Mintage Years: One year type.
 
1973 (AH 1393)
 

KM#3 2.5 Fils. Year: AH 1393 - 1973. Weight: 0.66 g [0.65 g]. Metal: Aluminum. Diameter: 17.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint.
Obverse: "جمهورية اليمن الدمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top section. Value "٢,٥" (2.5) written in the center. "١٩٧٣" (1973) written at the bottom left side. "١٣٩٣" (1393) written on the bottom right side. "فلس" (Fils) written at the bottom. Reverse: Leafy plant in the center. Mintage: 20,000,000. Mintage Years: One year type.

KM#4 5 Fils. Year: AH 1393 - 1973. Weight: 1.34 g [1.35 g]. Metal: Aluminum. Diameter: 23.10 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint.

Obverse: "جمهورية اليمن الدمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top section. Value "٥" (5) written in the center. "١٩٧٣" (1973) written at the bottom left side. "١٣٩٣" (1393) written on the bottom right side. "فلس" (Fils) written at the bottom. Reverse: Spiny lobster in the center. Mintage: 20,000,000. Mintage Years: AH 1393 (1973) and AH 1404 (1984).

 
1976
 

KM#5 25 Fils. Year: 1976. Weight: 4.55 g [4.55 g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 20.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint.
Obverse: Dot at the top. "25 FILS" written at the top left side. "٢٥" (25) and "فلسا" (Fils) written at the top right side. Dhow in the center. Date written at the bottom. Reverse: "جمهورية اليمن الدمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top section. 8-sided star design in the center. "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN" written at the bottom section. Mintage: 2,000,000. Mintage Years: 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982 and 1984.

KM#6 50 Fils. Year: 1976. Weight: 9.60 g [9.60 g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 27.80 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint.
Obverse: "درهم واحد" (One Dirham) in Arabic written at the top. "50 FILS" written at the top left side. "٥٠" (50) and "فلسا" (Fils) written at the top right side. Dhow in the center. Date written at the bottom. Reverse: "جمهورية اليمن الدمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top section. 8-sided star design in the center. "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN" written at the bottom section. Mintage: 2,000,000. Mintage Years: 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1984.
 
1977
 

Same as above KM#5 (25 Fils) but...

Year: 1977. Weight: 4.44 g. Mintage: 1,000,000.

Same as above KM#6 (50 Fils) but...

Year: 1977. Weight: 9.30 g. Mintage: 2,000,000.

KM#7 250 Fils. Year: 1977. Weight: 12.50 g [12.50 g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 31.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: "مصرف اليمن" (Bank of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top banner. Parts of main economy as one symbol in the center. "250 FILS" written at the left side. "٢٥٠" (250) and "فلسا" (Fils) written at the right side. "Bank of Yemen" stylishly written at the bottom banner and Date "1977" written below it. Reverse: "جمهورية اليمن الدمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top. Sira Fortress on the mountain in the center. "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN" written at the bottom section. "قلعة صيره" (Sira Fortress), "٣٠" with "نوفمبر" (Thirty November) and "العيد العاشر الاستقلال ١٩٦٧-١٩٧٧" (Tenth Anniversary of Independence 1967-1977) written as three line at the base of the mountain. Mintage: 30,000. Mintage Years: One year type.

 
1979
 

Same as above KM#5 (25 Fils) but...

Year: 1979. Weight: 4.63 g. Mintage: N/A.

Same as above KM#6 (50 Fils) but...

Year: 1979. Weight: 8.76 g. Mintage: N/A.

 
1981
 

KM#9 10 Fils. Year: 1981. Weight: 2.20 g [2.20 g]. Metal: Aluminum. Diameter: 25.60 mm; Scalloped with 10 notches. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint.
Obverse: "جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) in Arabic written at the top. Sira Fortress on the mountain in the center. "قلعة صيرة" (Sira Fortress) and year "1981" written below the fortress. "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN" written at the bottom section. Reverse: "مصرف اليمن" (Bank of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top. Numeral "١٠" (10) and "فلوس" (Fulus) written in the center circle. "BANK OF YEMEN" written at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Mintage Years: One year type.

KM#10 100 Fils. Year: 1981. Weight: 10.00 g [10.00 g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 23.10 mm; 8-sided. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint.

Obverse: "جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) in Arabic written at the top. Sira Fortress on the mountain in the center. "قلعة صيرة" (Sira Fortress) and year "1981" written below the fortress. "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN" written at the bottom section. Reverse: "مصرف اليمن" (Bank of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top. Numeral "١٠٠" (100) and "فلس" (Fils) written in the center circle. "BANK OF YEMEN" written at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Mintage Years: One year type.

KM#11 250 Fils. Year: 1981. Weight: 10.97 g [11.00 g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 31.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: "جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية" (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen) in Arabic written at the top. Sira Fortress on the mountain in the center. "قلعة صيرة" (Sira Fortress) and year "1981" written below the fortress. "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN" written at the bottom section. Reverse: "مصرف اليمن" (Bank of Yemen) written in Arabic at the top. Numeral "٢٥٠" (250) and "فلسا" (Fils) written in the center circle. "BANK OF YEMEN" written at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Mintage Years: One year type.
 
1982
 

Same as above KM#5 (25 Fils) but...

Year: 1982. Weight: 4.47 g. Mintage: N/A.

 
1984
 

Same as above KM#4 (5 Fils) but...

Year: AH1404 - 1984. Weight: 1.38 g. Mintage: N/A.

Same as above KM#5 (25 Fils) but...

Year: 1984. Weight: 4.51 g. Mintage: N/A.

Same as above KM#6 (50 Fils) but...

Year: 1984. Weight: 9.09 g. Mintage: N/A.

 
 
Early coins of Yemen dynasties:

Click below on earlier coinage of British India used in South of Yemen (Aden):

  • East India Company (inc. William IV and Victoria)16 Aug 1765 - 30 Sep 1858
  • Victoria.........................................01 Nov 1858 - 22 Jan 1901
  • Edward VII.......................................22 Jan 1901 - 06 May 1910
  • George V.........................................06 May 1910 - 20 Jan 1936
  • George VI........................................12 Dec 1936 - 15 Aug 1947

Rulers with Coins of Yemen states under British Protectorate:

Mutawakkilite Kingdom coins:

Rulers and Coins of Yemen 1962 to 1990 can be viewed by clicking the below links:

Rulers and Coins of "Republic of Yemen", 1990 to date can be viewed at:

 
 
 
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Chiefa Coins