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Volume :6 Issue : 21 1980      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE YEMEN BRITISH RELATIONS DURING THE REGION OF IMAM YEHYA BIN HAMEED EDDIN

Auther : Dr. Futoh Al-Khatresh

 

         Imam Yahya Bin Hameed Eddin took over the power in February 1904, sparing no efforts to strengthen his rule as a Zaidi leader.

         The first seven years of his rule were a continuous chain of conflicts and fights against the Ottoman, which eventually ended by the “Peace Treaty” in 1911 with the Turkish Wali Ahmed Izzat Pasha.

        When the First World War started Imam Yahya decided to adopt a neutral stand till the 30th October 1918 when the ceasefire was declared and the Turks abandoned their dominions leaving them to the allies.  At that stage Imam Yahya entered Sana’a and proclaimed himself a ruler of whole Yemen.

        However, the relationship between Iman Yahya and the British deteriorated.  And when the Turkish garrison in Hudaida refused to surrender to the British, the British troops killed its population before finally occupying it.  When the Imam wrote to the British Resident in Aden protesting against that aggression.  The reply was that the British troops entered Hudaida in order to restore order and discipline, and that they are intending to hand over the city to him as soon as the order was restored.  But the British did not keep their promise.

         Meanwhile Imam Yahya was strengthening his power over his territories trying at the same time to take over more lands in order to secure a path for Yemen trade on the Red Sea.

         In 1909 the Imam ordered his troops to march over the nine protectorates, which he was considering as a part of Yemen.  His plan was to hit the British troops in the areas surrounding Hudaida so as to force them to leave the city and to hand it over to him.  The troops of Imam Yahya also marched towards the protectorate of Aden and occupied Al Dalei, AlShaib, Ajoud and Al Quatib.

         Nevertheless, those developments made the British to make a bargain with the Imam in order to evacuate Hudaida in case an agreement was reached about the borders of the protectorates.  The British sent a mission headed by Colonel Jacob who was caught with his mission by the tribesmen and imprisoned for four months.

        Anyhow, the British handed over Hudaida to Idrisi (Prince of Aseer) who was the ally of the British during the First World War.  But owing to the strategic position of Hudaida as the first seaport on the Red Sea, a dispute developed between Imam Yahya and the British, which remained unsolved.

        At last on the 18th June 1923, Imam Yahya issued a political and religious declaration in which he used some cordial phrases about the British (Willingness to agree with Britain).  The British welcomed this declaration and sent another mission headed also by Colonel Jacob.  Unfortunately the mission was once again a failure.  And in March 1925 Imam Yahya ordered his troops to occupy Hudaida after Idris had died.  And later signed a treaty with Italy.

       The Imam looked forward to keeping the protectorates of Aden.  But the British wanted to hold Aden as a strategic base for easy access to India and the Far East.

       Inspite of many efforts to reach an agreement between the Imam and the British, troubles continued until agreement was eventually reached in February, 1934 which was called “Pact of Sana’a” and which was signed on 4th of September, 1934 when the troops of the Imam evacuated 64 villages in Awthali and a further 8 villages in Dalei.

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