AL-AYYAM: Aden bi-weekly, 4-2-98. (Independent) [Archives:1998/06/Press Review]

February 9 1998

Main Headlines: 1- An unidentified ship landed 121 Somali refugees on the coast of Abyan, while, the smugglers fired in the air to frighten them – one refugee was shot in the thigh and the body of another was washed ashore. 2- Two young men were injured in an explosion of a missile left over from the 1994 war in Lahaj. 3- A charlatan clairvoyant who stole jewelry from unwitting clients was arrested in Aden and sent to Sanaa for trial. 4- Health inspection campaign discovered and destroyed large amounts of rotten meat in Aden, which was meant for sale during Eid. 5- League of Sons of Yemen denies forming a renegade opposition council. 6- A security officer and his 9-year-old son drown in Aden while on Eid vacation. Article Summary Qat Merchants Go on Strike Qat disappeared completely earlier this month in Aden when qat merchants went on a strike and refused to import the qat crop from Dhlai’, where it is planted 130km from Aden. Their aim was to draw attention the huge taxes imposed on them. They set up a “flying picket’ point on the Aden-Dhali’ road to deter the smaller merchants from transporting any qat. ‘I used to pay about YR2000 in taxes, now I have to pay YR10,000 for the same amount of qat,’ said an irate qat merchant. Some qat-tax collectors also demand one fifth of the amount of qat in addition to the official tax. The strike, which disappointed many a qat chewer over the Eid, was only lifted upon the intervention of a number of Dahli’ MPs who promised to relate the the qat merchants’ grievances to the relevant authorities.