Yemen Democratic Republic

South Yemen, officially the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, also known as Democratic Yemen or Yemen (Aden), was a communist state in the Middle East that existed from 1967 to 1990. The state was located in the southern and eastern regions of the modern-day Republic of Yemen. Its capital and largest city was Aden.

In 1839, the British East India Company occupied the state of Lahej, including Aden, after Sultan Muhsin Bin Fadl ceded the territory to the British. Aden became an important trading hub and a coaling station for ships as part of British India. After 1937, the city of Aden became a British colony. The colony of Aden, the Aden hinterland, and Hadhramaut were tied to Britain through treaties, forming the Aden Protectorate. In 1963, parts of the protectorate, including Aden, joined the Federation of Saudi Arabia. The remaining states, including Hadhramaut, joined the Protectorate of South Arabia. Both polities were still tied to Britain with promises of total independence in five years' time. However, two nationalist groups, the National Liberation Front (NLF) and the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY), started an armed struggle against the British called the Aden Emergency. This struggle resulted in the independence of South Yemen from the British and the renaming of Southern Yemen to the People’s Republic of Yemen in 1967. The People’s Republic of Yemen was admitted into the UN as a member state in the same year.  

In 1970, the radical Marxist wing of the NLF reorganized the country into the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and introduced a program of nationalization. Relations between YAR (North Yemen) and PDRY were strained yet cordial, with the intent of unification. However, the unification efforts were delayed because of the two Yemenite Wars (1972 & 1979). The official Yemeni unification took place in 1990. 

South Yemen used the South Yemeni dinar as its currency. The dinar was divided into 1,000 fils. The South Arabian Currency Authority held central bank responsibilities until the Bank of Yemen was established in 1967. After the unification of Yemen, the dinar was still one of the two official currencies of Yemen until 1996.  The dinar was replaced by the Yemeni rial at a rate of 1 dinar to 26 rial. 

The South Arabian Currency Authority issued notes in denominations of 250 fils, 500 fils, 1 dinar, and 5 dinars on April 1965. Two years later, the 10-dinar note was introduced. After the Bank of Yemen fully took over responsibilities from the Currency Authority, the notes were updated to reflect the change.

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