July 7th marks the end of the 1994 civil war, as the day that Aden fell to northern troops. The aftermath is, of course, not remembered fondly in the south as tribal and Islamist forces sacked the city in what some call a repeat of the 1948 sack of San'a. There have been a number of books written on the subject, but Bashir al-Bakr's Yemen's War is probably the most fiercely eloquent of these - if, like most books on the topic, extremely biased.

It seems as if all sides (there are more than two in this equation) are preparing for the 7th. As a way of easing tensions, the government released 30 plus prisoners today from last week's dust-up in al-Dhala' but few, I think, believe this will defuse the situation that appears to be brewing on the 7th.