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), was a communist state in the southern and eastern provinces of the present-day Republic of Yemen, including the island of Socotra.
In 1838, Sultan Muhsin bin Fadl of the nearby state of Lahej ceded 194 km² (75 sq. miles) including Aden to theBritish. 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 Indiaand the Red Sea, and following the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, it became a coaling station for ships en route toIndia. Aden was ruled as part of British India until 1937, when the city of Aden became the Colony of Aden. The Adenhinterland 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.
Following independence, South Yemen was divided into six governorates (Arabic sg. muhafazah), with roughly natural boundaries, each given a name by numeral. From 1967 to 1978, they were named officially by numerals only; from 1979 to 1990, they were given new official names. The islands: Kamaran (until 1972, when it was seized by North Yemen), Perim (Meyun), Socotra, Abd-el-Kuri, Samha (inhabited), Darsah and others uninhabited from the Socotra archipelago were district (mudiriyah) of the First/Aden Governorate being under Prime-Minister of the state supervision.
|Numeral||Name||Approximate Area (km.²)||Capital|
There was little industrial output, or mineral wealth exploitation, in South Yemen, until the mid-1980s, following the discovery of significant petroleum reserves in the central regions near Shibam and Mukalla. The main sources of income were agriculture, mostly fruit, cereal crops, cattle and sheep, fishing and later, oil exports.
The national budget was 13.43 million dinars in 1976, and the gross national product was USD $150 million. The total national debt was $52.4 million.
The following airlines had operated from the PDRY:
- Aden Airways(1949–1967). Ceased operations on 30 June 1967 at the time of British withdrawal from the Federation and the Protectorate of South Arabia.
- Alyemda – Democratic Yemen Airlines (1961–1996).