Al-Sahwa [Archives:2008/1176/Press Review]

July 28 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Top Stories

– Armed confrontations between army and Houthis renew in Harf Sifyan

– Supreme Anti-Corruption Authority backs draft Law of the Right to Know

– 8 injured, another 37 arrested as policemen tried to disperse peaceful protest

– Two policemen injured in clashes with slum dwellers

Local sources have affirmed that two soldiers were seriously injured on Sunday when policemen tried to evict slum dwellers, known as akhadams or marginalized people, from shacks they recently created in the heart of the Yemeni capital city of Sana'a, the website reported.

It quoted informed sources as saying that the police injured two slum dwellers, but did not manage to evict any of the roughly 80 families in the slum.

Slum dwellers explained to that they would not move from their huts until they are given lands or accommodations as they could no longer afford to rent apartments which cost 25,000 riyals [US$125] per month in Sana'a.

On its part, reported that Police used a tractor to demolish about 10 tin shacks, according to Saad Ahmed Salem, a slum leader, but did not succeed in evicting any of the roughly 200 families in the slum.

Ameen Jamaan, the deputy mayor of Sanaa, told IRIN: “We gave them notice to leave but they refused. Their makeshift homes would have developed into a neighborhood, which is against the city's plan.”

Known as `akhdaam' (Arabic: `servants'), the slum-dwellers moved into Al-Hasabah neighborhood in June. “We admit the land doesn't belong to us, but we have found a suitable place to live. We could not pay the monthly rents in Sanaa,” Salem told IRIN on 21 July.

“They [policemen] attacked us with stones and batons when we tried to stop them. Eight of our people were slightly injured,” he said, adding that the incident had caused panic. Women and children were shocked and could not sleep all night, he said. “We were worried the area would be set ablaze.”