Al-Juneed to YT: “Over than 10 Million Landmines were Planted in Thale’a and I Call upon all the Donor Agencies Supporting the Governorate for Completing its Infrastructure” [Archives:2001/29/Interview]

July 16 2001

Talking about Thale’a which is 80 Km-drive from the capital Sana’a is a tale about the conflict of the past and the present. This Governorate incorporates all the bordering districts during the pre-unification period.
We usually hear media reports about incidents and confrontations taking place in this Governorate from time to time. Yemen Times attempted to know more about the status of this Governorate from different angles.
Hassan al-Zaidi of Yemen Times paid a visit to the Governorate and conducted an interview with Mr. Salleh Qasim al-Juneed Governor of Thale’a. Since he is a son of this soil he has been able to understand the nature and the people of this Governorate. He was elected in 1988 as a representative of his district to the Shura Council although he was then the rapporteur of the financial committee at the parliament.
Mr. al-Juneed has a bachelor degree in administration from Sana’a University and a high diploma in international politics. He also has a master’s degree in political systems from the University of Khartoum.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q: What are the reasons behind the creation of the Governorate of Thale’a ?
A: First of all I’d like to thank Yemen Times for this interview. As far as the creation of this Governorate is concerned, the Governorate of Thale’a was created in 27-7-1998. The governorate consists of nine districts, four of which used to be under the control of the former Arab Republic of Yemen: al-Husha, Demet and al-Juban and the other five districts used to be under the control of the former Yemen Democratic Republic. These are: Thale’a, al-Hassen, al-Azareq, al-Shu’aeb and al-Habileen. Regardless of its composition the Governorate with its current structure has been shaped by the circumstances and the necessity of the social, tribal, cultural and economic relations shared by the people of this Governorate.
Q: What about the expatriates of this Governorate?
A: We do have expatriates but they are not that much, compared with the other governorates; some of them live in the US, the UK, and in the Gulf countries.
Q: The past of this Governorate is full of conflicts, What do the people of this Governorate think of the aftermath of that conflicts?
A: I can say that the unification has been reflected in this Governorate since the bordering area between the former south and north of Yemen was merged into a single Governorate. Actually, the past of this area is full of conflicts and disasters. This area experienced several wars and conflicts during the so-called the January conflicts of 1986 and during the conflict that took place at the Middle-lands. The Socialist Party was trying to export socialism to the north through this area. Furthermore, it resorted to creating paramilitary troops and planting landmines. But at the end the unification healed all the wounds of the past and turned a new page for this part of the country.
Q: What about the clashes taking place between the army and the people of the Governorate and the media reports on the increase of the military units which have interfered in the daily life of the people here?
A: I’d like to note that we do not have any intention to create further military sites. As far as the newly created military sites are concerned, it is just one military site. Moreover, all countries of the world have military camps in their territories, but what is more important is that they should not interfere in the life of the people. Military units exist nationwide and the camp stationed here is the 35 Armored Battalion which replaced A’boud battalion. In fact, there is no conflict between the army.
Q: Then, how problems are solved: is it through the army, the police, tribal arbitration or through justice?
A:There is no arbitriation as we refer all cases to the court and justice.
Q: What about the status of security in the Governorate?
A: I want you to be the umpire on this situation as you have stayed in the Governorate for three days and got acquainted with the situation here. The people of Thale’a are peaceful and friendly and we deal with them on this basis.
Q: What about the situation of prisons in the Governorate?
A: In fact, we have one prison which dates back to the pre-revolution period. This prison is not well-prepared but we do have at the time being a reformatory which is estimated at YR 150 million. This reformatory consists of a prison for men and another for women in addition to other workshops and a health clinic. The Human Right Organization has supervised the planning and the implementation of this reformatory which will be completed at the end of the current year.
Q: What about the situation of women in the Governorate?
A: The situation of women here is not that good and as far as their social participation is concerned. It is approximately non-existent and merely restricted to working in farms.
Q: What kind of projects are implemented in the Governorate?
A: One of the most important projects is linking the capital of the Governorate with the districts. There are many roads which have been constructed at the estimated cost of YR 790 million in addition to the establishment of the tech city at the estimated cost of YR 350 million, a medical city and a sport city were also established.
Q: What about the local councils in the Governorate? Can their revenues contribute to the development of the Governorate?
A: I think that the revenues of the Governorate are not sufficient for its development. So it is in a dire need for infrastructure projects as the revenues do not exceed 40 YR million per year.
Q: Any final comment you want to make?
A: At the end of this meeting, I’d like to thank the Yemen Times, represented by its Editor-in-Chief Mr. Waleed Abdulaziz al-Saqaf and all of its staff, for this visit. And I invite again, through your newspaper, all the organizations and authorities offering aids to Yemen to visit the Governorate of Thale’a and to establish contact with us for the sake of developing this Governorate.