Complicated problem in Yemen [Archives:2003/668/Reportage]

September 15 2003

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
Revenge is still a serious and complicated social problem in Yemen that had appeared since very old days, especially after the time of colonialism and it has been cherished as a result of ignorance and uncivilized traditions.
The revenge problem is a result of absence of justice among people that is replaced by oppression, injustice and the different forms of fanaticism.
Islam and other heavenly religions have prohibited this crime and put various punishments against its perpetrators. Revenge spread in Yemen can be attributed to the absence of justice and not having final sentences in many cases at courts of law.
Recently, Yemen has witnessed horrible events due to vengeance incidents that are posing a threat to security of the society as such incidents have extended even to worshipping places and mosques.
The officially reported figures on revenge and surveys warn against genuine danger that should be strongly faced. In 2001-2002, 3960 persons were the victims of revenge incidents and 36196 criminal cases were recorded in 2002 only, while 1097 crimes recorded by the end of 2002.
Through a careful reading of these figures, we would realize the importance of how imperative it is to tackle this lethal social problem that needs to be uprooted whatever the costs were.
Many analysts, writers and people interested in this phenomenon are not amazed by these large figures as they are partly the result of the large number of weapons in possession of the people in Yemen, estimated at about 60 million pieces. However, a report about the light and medium weapons issued in Geneva recently has indicated that there are 9.6 million arms pieces in Yemen, an average of 40 pieces for each 100 people.
Yet, the revenge problem is still a persistent problem as long as weapons are the hand of indifferent and ignorant people who are destroying whole families.
So unresolved crime disputes, especially murder cases and lacking of awareness campaigns about this problem make the revenge phenomenon a culture that cannot be easily removed.