Country report and updates: Yemen
In 1990 the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) combined to form the Republic of Yemen. The northern and southern armed forces were supposed to merge, but this proved to be a difficult process. In May 1994 a short civil war broke out, which was won by the northern forces. Since then the armed forces have been further reorganised, the role of the southern forces thought to have somewhat reduced.
Conscription has existed ever since unification in 1990. Previously, it applied in both North and South Yemen.
All men between the ages of 18 and 30 years are liable for military service. 
The actual duration of military service is not quite clear.
According to the Yemen Embassy in Washington DC in 1995, the length of military service is one year. 
According to other sources, however, it lasts for two years, three years or from two to three years.   
postponement and exemption
No further information available.
No information available.
During the 1994 civil war there were many reports of forced recruitment, particularly of children. People were forcibly recruited because of their tribal or political affiliation or for simply being 'in the wrong place at the wrong time'. 
2 Conscientious objection
The right to conscientious objection is not legally recognized and there is no provision for substitute service.  
According to the Yemen Embassy in Washington DC in 1995, there is a possibility to perform a civil service as an 'alternative' to military service. No further details are known - if such a service is available it would be at the discretion of the authorities and not an actual right. 
3 Draft evasion and desertion
Failure to report for service (up to the age of 30) is punishable by up to two years' imprisonment.
Evasion through desertion or fraud is punishable by up to three years' imprisonment or a fine.  
One source indicates that, as the armed forces are not very well organised, the conscription system is quite fluid and people "come and go". This suggests that draft evasion and desertion are quite widespread. 
Those who have not completed military service are not usually allowed permission to leave the country and are not entitled to receive such state certificates as university diplomas. 
Before 1990, conscription existed in both North and South Yemen. In both countries the right to conscientious objection was not legally recognized and there were no provisions for substitute service. 
6 Annual statistics
The armed forces comprise some 66,300 troops, which is 0.43 percent of the population. Each year about 148,000 men reach conscription age. There are 25,000 conscripts in the armed forces.  
Before unification in 1990, North Yemen's armed forces consisted of 38,500 troops (including 25,000 conscripts) and South Yemen's were 27,000-strong (including 18,000 conscripts). 
 UN Commission on Human Rights 1997. The question of conscientious objection to military service, report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 1995/83. United Nations, Geneva. E/CN.4/1997/96.  Amnesty International 1991. Conscientious objection to military service. AI, London.  German Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1996. Bericht über die asyl- und abschieberelevante Lage in der Republik Jemen, Stand: Mitte April 1996. Auswärtiges Amt, Bonn.  DIRB, 6 January 1995.  Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London.  Amnesty International 1988. Conscientious objection to military service. AI, London.  Institute for Strategic Studies 1994. Military Balance 1994/95. ISS, London.  Institute for Strategic Studies 1996. Military Balance 1996/1997. ISS, London.
9 August 2005
19. The Committee regrets that no response was provided by the delegation to the question whether Yemen law recognizes a right to conscientious objection to military service (art. 18).
The State party should ensure that persons liable for military service may claim the status of conscientious objector and perform alternative service that is not of a punitive character.