Despite its ancient roots as the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the modern Republic of Yemen is a relatively new state.
It was created after communist South Yemen and traditional North Yemen merged in 1990, following years of strife.
Tensions remain between the north and the south, however. A southern separatist movement was defeated in a short civil war in 1994, and tensions re-emerged in 2009 when government troops and rebels, known as the Houthi, clashed in the north, killing hundreds and displacing more than a quarter of a million people.
A fresh wave of protests in 2011, inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, forced then-President Ali Abdallah Saleh to resign.
Yemen has also become a base for militant groups, like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State, adding to instability in the country. The country spiralled into civil war in 2014 and, despite peace initiatives, fighting continues.
- Republic of Yemen
- Capital : Sanaa
- Population 25.6 million
- Area 536,869 sq km (207,286 sq miles)
- Major language Arabic
- Major religion Islam
- Life expectancy 65 years (men), 68 years (women)
- Currency Yemeni riyal