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In January 1963, in response to growing nationalist unrest in the region, the British persuaded the sheikhdoms of the Aden Protectorates to merge with the Colony of Aden and form the Federation of South Arabia (FSA).
In what were the Aden Protectorates to the south, ruled for half a century by tribal leaders and petty 'sultans' guided by British political officers, security was generally maintained, but local government was rudimentary and sealed roads were almost non-existent.