Saudi-Yemeni Border Conflict


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Saudi-Yemeni Border Conflict


NAME OF CONFLICT: Saudi-Yemeni Border Conflict

ALTERNATE NAMES: None known at this time


Saudi Arabia




BEGAN: May 1, 1998

ENDED: 1998



PREDECESSOR: (Related conflicts that occurred before)
Saudi-Yemen War of 1934

Saudi-Yemen Border Clashes (Dec. 1994-Jan. 1995)

CONCURRENT: (Related conflicts occurring at the same time)

Yemen Tribal Uprising (1998)

SUCCESSOR: (Related conflicts that occur later)


Following a bloody war which ended in 1932, the new kingdom of Saudi Arabia concluded a peace treaty with it's southern neighbor, Yemen. This agreement, called the Taif Treaty, delineated their common border, though disputes have flared up over the years. Apparently, the official reasons for this current round of border fighting relates to disputes over who owns certain islands in the Red Sea.

However, it is also known that the monarchist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rather uncomfortable with Yemen's experiment with democracy (Yemen is the only nation on the Arabian Peninsula with a democratic style government). Allegations have been made that Saudi Arabia is attempting to sabotage this democratic regime through military intimidation as well as aiding internal strife within Yemen. (See Yemen Tribal Uprising (1998)


Saudi Arabia alleges that on May 1, 1998, Yemeni troops occupied a disputed island in the Red Sea and fired upon Saudi border guards. Since then, both sides claim that several dozen border incursions have been made, including attacks on villages and pitched battles on Duwaima Island which involved the Saudi Navy and Army and the Yemeni Army. As of July 19, 1998, Yemen claims it's forces have taken control over this island.


Not known at this time.


Several dozen casualties from both sides reported as of 7-29-98.



None discerned at this point.


1. Yahoo and Reuters news stories
News from Yahoo on this conflict

CIA Factbook on Country or conflict Click on the country name (Saudi Arabia or Yemen) at this site.

Yemen: The International Dimension-- A very detailed and informative article by Brian Whitaker. The article describes the background and consequences of a very long period of tension between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Yemen and Stability in the Persian Gulf--A good background article on Saudi-Yemeni tension and border conflict.

Yemen News--Website with up-to-date information on Yemen.

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