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Perim

PERIM

yemeni island in the red sea.

This small, barren volcanic island with a well-protected harbor is located in the Bab al-Mandab Straits at the lower end of the Red Sea, between Yemen and the coast of Africa at Djibouti, and theoretically should have some strategic value. Seized by the British occupiers of Aden in 1857, Perim (also Barim) Island was used as a coaling station by the British until the 1930s. The island became a part of South Yemen upon independence in 1967; with the unification of the two Yemens in 1990, it became a part of the Republic of Yemen. Despite the presence of a tiny garrison of South Yemeni troops through the 1980s and even rumors of the presence of Israeli observers, Perim was accorded no real strategic or economic significance during the late twentieth century, in contrast to Socotra Island in the Arabian Sea. A poor fishing village exists side by side with the rusting, collapsing remains of its more glorious days as a coaling station.

see also yemen; yemen civil war.


Bibliography


Burrowes, Robert D. Historical Dictionary of Yemen. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1995.

robert d. burrowes

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Perim

Perim (pārēm´, pēr´Ĭm), Arab. Barim, island, c.5 sq mi (13 sq km), off the SW Arabian peninsula in the Bab el Mandeb strait; it is part of Yemen. A rocky and barren island rising to c.215 ft (65 m), it is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Perim was occupied by France in the 18th cent., and then briefly by Britain (1799). It was reoccupied (1857) by the British and later connected administratively with Aden. Perim flourished (1883–1936) as a coaling station but declined when oil became more widely used by ships. In 1967, Perim's small population voted to become part of South Yemen (since merged with Yemen).

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