A six-way split is popular not only among Silicon Valley dreamers who (as discussed yesterday in this blog) would like to partition their state. It is also the magic number that the government of Yemen is banking on as it decides how to allocate power to the regions in a way that will mollify those who want to split the country up for good.
|Yemen’s president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.|
Hm, this doesn’t look quite like a rally for an interim president.
|The partition until 1990|
But it is not just Southerners who want to split away. The Houthi minority in the mountainous north of the country, along the border with Saudi Arabia, also have militias and also control territory. The Houthis are the group that ruled North Yemen when it was the Mutawakelite Kingdom of Yemen, an Arab Revolt successor to the Ottoman Empire. The Mutawakelites were turfed out of power in an Egyptian-led coup d’état in 1962 in a wave of movements that brought Nasserists, Ba’athists and other Arab nationalists to power in the wake of the Suez Canal crisis.
|Apparently some Yemenis wouldn’t mind too much if the South seceded.|
|The situation in Yemen early on in the Arab Spring, when the current conflict began ...|
|... and the state of play a little later on.|
(Both maps are from the excellent and worthwhile Political Geography Now website.)
|The Emirate of Waqar was short-lived.|
|Southern separatists with their flag|
[You can read more about South Yemen and other separatist movements, from the well known to the bizarre and obscure, in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar. The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this special announcement for more information on the book.]