Bloody land disputes are killing us [Archives:2002/43/Focus]

October 21 2002

It is quite disturbing to see how land disputes have claimed and continue to claim the lives of many innocent Yemenis. We’ve all heard of land disputes that ended in death or injury in one or another Yemeni governorate or province.
More saddening is that the government has been unwilling, or at unable to stop this. The authorities have not been able to enforce the laws that could prevent such disputes and have all disputed parties use the law to settle conflicts.
Sometimes I wonder why the government is keeping its suspicious silence. I ask myself: “Is it because the authorities are too weak to take control of the situation and bring those land looters to justice? Is the defect in the law itself? Is it due to the absence of a law regulating such matters? Is it because there are so many influential figures in the government benefiting from such disputes, or from the ineffective authorities in our long-awaited state of law and order, as it’s called by President Ali Abdullah Saleh?
These are all legitimate questions that we must answer. The dispute of lands has resulted in irrecoverable losses in lives and property. It signals the dangerous level of injustice that the country has reached and the urgent need to be halted before it is too late.
In order to solve the problem, we have to look back to its roots, and try to curb all types of corruption through the cooperation of all. We cannot blame one side and leave the others. We are all in this together.
We should have to question ourselves first, because we should have raised awareness in political and social sectors of the community about this issue. We should also be reporting the inefficiency of the governmental apparatuses in performing their duties properly.
Only if we do so, would we be able to help prevent disputes from killing more people.
We have to be prepared and join hands to overcome the challenges, rather than destroy our own economy. These conflicts and disputes are costing us dearly. Time is running out. We should act, and act now.