On May 22, the leaders former Marxist People's Democratic Republic of Yemen Ali Salim Al Beidh and the Yemen Arab Republic Ali Abdullah Saleh struck a deal to merge their two states into one state called Republican of Yemen. Ali Saleh Al Beidh agreed to relinquish power to his northern counterpart.
Three years later, differences between the two leaders came to the surface following a wave assassinations against members of the Socialist party.
In January,1994 the late Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah stepped in and invited the two quarrelling leaders to sign a peace agreement. The agreement lived shortly and the war broke out. On May 21,1994 Ali Saleh Al Beidh unilaterally announced from Aden the end of unity. The new state was not recognized by the international community.On July 7 1994,northern forces entered Aden and Al Beidh and other senior members of the Socialist party fled from Aden and went into exile. Al Beidh remained tight-lipped in Oman for 15 years .
In 2006/2007 thousands of discontented army pensioners from the South arranged rallies in Aden ,demanding equal rights with retired soldiers in the north. Then disgruntled citizens from the south joined them and the Southern Movement was born. As the movement gathered steam in the south, protesters turned into demanding the revival of the former South state.
Yemen government dealt with the movement with forces and hundreds of citizens died. On May 21st 2009,the movement got a shot in the arm as Ali Salim Al Beidh broke his silence and expressed his support with the movement.
Southerners have complained that the northerners who controlled the south in 1994 exclusively and illegally controlled the land in the south. They said that the wealth and political power were unfairly distributed and northerners took over important positions.
Ali Salim Al Beidh
Ali Salim Al Beidh is the southern leader of the Socialist Party and former vice-president of Yemen from 1990-1994.He was born in 1939 in the south-eastern province of Hadramout . He fought against the British occupation and was appointed the first minister of defense after independence in 1967. Al Beidh gained power in the South in 1986 after bloody infighting between members of the Socialist Party. On November 30,1989 he signed unity deal with the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. He was granted asylum in Oman in 1994 and left Oman to Germany in 2009.He lives now in Lebanon