Yemen Arab Republic

The 10 banknotes issued from 1964 to 1971

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Historical context

In the early 1960s, the Mutawakkilite kingdom of Yemen was ruled with an iron fist by Imam Mohammed al-Badr. In 1962, the Shiite monarchy was overthrown by a coup d'état organized by the Nasserists of the National Liberation Front, who took control of the country on September 27, 1962. Mohammed al-Badr fled and found asylum in Saudi Arabia. The Yemen Arab Republic is officially declared. But the emergence of this new state, also called North Yemen, unleashes a civil war between Arab nationalists supported by the United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) and royalists of Mohammed al-Badr supported by Saudi Arabia and Jordan. This proxy war between Egypt and Saudi Arabia ended in 1970 with the recognition of the Yemen Arab Republic by Saudi Arabia and the Western powers.

The south of the country saw the emergence of another state, the Democratic Republic of Yemen, which gained independence on November 30, 1967, following successive mergers between the colony of Aden (administered until 1967 by the British), the South Arabian Protectorate and the Arabian Federation. The very young Democratic Republic of Yemen, "the only communist state in the Arab world", is supported by the Soviet Union. But the collapse of communism and internal divisions end up weakening the country which is not long in considering a unification with the neighbor to the north. The process is delayed by political instability which results in multiple coups d'état in both countries. The tension was at its height in 1979, when war broke out between the two countries, in the context of the Cold War (North Yemen being considered pro-Western and South Yemen considered pro-Soviet).

After multiple attempts at negotiations, the unification of Yemen was effective on May 22, 1990 and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) was merged into the Arab Republic of Yemen (North Yemen) to form the Republic of Yemen ( 1). Ali Abdallah Saleh, President of the Former Yemen Arab Republic, becomes President of the Republic of Yemen ...

During their short existence, the two Yemen will therefore have succeeded in putting into circulation a few banknotes. For the Arab Republic of Yemen, these are 10 banknotes issued between 1964 and 1971 and for the Democratic Republic of Yemen (2), 4 banknotes issued in 1984 by the Bank of Yemen.


(1) Banknotes of the Republic of Yemen are not yet available in the numizon catalog!
(2) The 4 banknotes of the Democratic Republic of Yemen have been listed in the catalog for a few weeks but were not disclosed when they were published.

Our sources

  • "Yemen Arab Republic" by Wikipedia.
  • "South Yemen" by Wikipedia.
  • "Arab Republic of Yemen" by Owen W. Linzmayer (The banknote Book).
  • "Democratic Republic of Yemen" by Owen W. Linzmayer (The banknote Book).
  • "Yemen Currency Board" by Bank Note Museum.
  • « Yemen Arab Republic", Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1961-present, 17th edition (pages 1073 to 1075).
  • « Yemen, Democratic Republic", Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1961-present, 17th edition (page 1080).

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