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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh: Key dates in his life

The former president was killed on December 4, 2017 after a political career of extraordinary high and lows

Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed on December 4, 2017, attends an emergency Arab summit in Amman on November 11, 1987. Nabil Ismail / AFP
Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed on December 4, 2017, attends an emergency Arab summit in Amman on November 11, 1987. Nabil Ismail / AFP

March 21, 1942: The future Yemeni president was born to a North Yemen family linked to the powerful Hashid tribal confederation. At that time Yemen was divided into two countries.

1962: Saleh joined the army and took part in the coup that replaces the Zaidi imamate with an Arab nationalist republic.

1978: Following the assassination of president Ahmad Al Ghashmi, Saleh was elected president of North Yemen by a constituent assembly.

1990: He successfully steered North Yemen to reunification with the communist south, becoming president of a unified Yemen.

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1994: Saleh crushed a secession bid in the south.

2004-2010: The president fought northern Yemen's Houthi rebels, who, like him, belonged to the Zaidi Shiite minority.

2012: Saleh stepped down on February 27 after months of demonstrations against his 33-year rule, and after being injured in a June 2011 attack.

2014: The now former president allied himself with his former enemies, the Houthis, who in September of that year seized the capital, Sanaa, before later advancing south and briefly capturing Aden. The southern port city was quickly retaken by pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition, however.

2017: The alliance between Saleh and the Houthis falls apart, with the rebels claiming on December 4 that the ex-president had been killed. This claim was quickly confirmed by Saleh's own party, the General People's Congress.