Development goes hand in hand with security [Archives:2003/684/Opinion]

November 9 2003

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Security and development are two essential interconnected and interdependent factors in life. The realisation of one of them means the achievement of the other. The state had given much attention to security question in the past periods and concentrated that attention on the central region of the country i.e. the governorates of Marib, Al-Jawf and Shabwa of which some has called the axis of evil. The interior ministry has inaugurated its first phase of the security deployment plan in July 2002 that included the deployment of thousands of security men in 13 security zones in the governorates of Mareb, Shabwa and Jawf. The interior ministry's second phase was started last October with 11 thousand soldiers for 159 security check-points covering 323 districts and 10 thousand km of roads and 70 security , and traffic.
Warnings at the ceremony of inaugurating the first security phase were resounding against those who violate security and destabilize life and at the same time promises of development were also accompanying the campaign. the president has warned in a speech those violating security to stop and that it must be enough. Moreover, the president added that during the years 2004-2005 there would be a qualitative leap in development because as the president said the development would be active and advance when security and stability become firm.
The first phase of the plan for security deployment has perhaps been aimed at stabilization security and stability in addition to fighting all kinds of crime, but the major goal he plan has been meant for is fighting terror and hunting down elements wanted by the state for terrorist issues and imposing the state prestige.
The question that is aroused is that could not it be possible to give a proportion of even 3o% of the opportunities of recruitment to the residents of these governorates to take part in this security campaign as an essential factor of development and stability in this ''axis'' which we as its sons call the axis of good and wealth due to what it possesses of constituents representing the basic cornerstone in the development process? Why the development issues did not accompany the beginning of pumping millions of oil barrels from these areas which began since 1986? Could not the ministry of interior give an opportunity for the sons of these areas and encourage them to join the security force to be useful in keeping peace and stability?
Some of the tribes and citizens of these areas have welcomed this security force that was deployed in their area and attached hope on it to help stop bloodshed and tribal wars that tens of military units stationed there could not stop them. Others have considered it as came under an American support for the purpose of suppressing tribes under pretext of fighting terror. Officials should be just and fair in handling this question and dealing with development and security affairs in these governorates and follow suit of the president. They have to provide opportunities for sons of these governorates to take part in both development and security affairs so that to restore to them their conviction in these measures. The officials have to change the ways and measures taken sometimes against people in those governorates and not to consider them as Bedouins who understand nothing. Or as some media and some official sides benefiting from this situation have visualized them as seminaries harboring and supporting terrorist elements.
maybe the Americans were right in the question of dealing with problems of security when they have allocated a number of millions of dollars in support for health, educational and agricultural projects to be implemented in those governorates. The essential and main question is that of the officials changing of their vision and attitude towards the sons of these governorates and to deal with them as citizens having the right to life and development and have priority in contributing to these issues not the contrary as the present reality is.