Yemen, officially known as the Republic of Yemen, is an Arab sovereign state in the Middle East at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is the second-largest country in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 km². The coastline stretches for about 2,000 km. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east-northeast. Although Yemen's constitutionally stated capital is the city of Sana'a, the city has been under Houthi rebel control since February 2015. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands; the largest of these is Socotra.
Yemen is a developing country, and the poorest country in the Middle East. Under the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen was described by critics as a kleptocracy. According to the 2009 international corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Yemen ranked 164 out of 182 countries surveyed. In the absence of strong state institutions, elite politics in Yemen constituted a de facto form of collaborative governance, where competing tribal, regional, religious, and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced.
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