Al-Barakani accuses Sheikh Al-Ahmar [Archives:2004/720/Local News]

March 15 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
Mr. Sultan Al-Barakani, Head of the PGC block in Parliament, accused Sheikh Abdullah Hussein Al-Ahmar, Speaker of Parliament and Chairman of Islah Party, of standing against the proposed law regarding the possession and carrying of arms. The Speaker has blocked all chances of its endorsement, stated Barakani, in a statement published by PGC Net.
Al-Barakani said, “Some political powers have dealt with project as if it targets them”. Predominately, these powers believe in the importance of weapons in political work
Mr. Al-Barakani accused Islah Party by saying, “It is known that Islah members have tried to create a sense of concern among tribes through promoting the rumor that this law will be a premise to the disarm all citizens completely. It will exceed the borders of the capitals of the governorates to reach each home in the country”.
He added that unfortunately some tribes took this rumor seriously, although the general principle of the proposed law is the regulation of possession and carrying of arms. They should prefer to have stable, secure and peaceful lives provided by the regulations of possession and carrying of arms instead of having to the worry and concern generated by revenge and the threats of those carrying arms.
The Government presented the draft law two years ago. The ruling party seeks its approval, but Islah Party rejects it.
Yemeni people carry arms publicly, especially in rural and remote areas, regardless of police efforts. Unofficial statistic indicates that nearly 50 million firearms are in the hands of citizens of this poor country, whose population is approximately 18.5 Million.
The ruling party sees Sheikh Al-Ahmar as the biggest obstacle standing against the approval of this policy. The Government's latest effort to present the project to the Parliament for discussion and approval was at the end of December of last year.
Sheikh Al-Ahmar sees that the phenomenon of carrying arms is part of the Yemeni tradition and the formation of the personality of the Yemeni citizen and regulating it should be limited to major cities and not in secondary cities or rural regions. However, the government finds that the continuous carrying and possession of weapons hinders the state's efforts to achieve security, stability and social peace and may be hampering the efforts of authorities in the fight against terrorism. The Government believes it exacerbates the losses and number of victims among security and armed forces in the event of clashes and armed confrontations with criminals or terrorists.