Disputes over weapons [Archives:2003/666/Local News]

September 8 2003

Sana'a, Sep 6- Around 150 parliament members signed presented in the parliament a memorandum last week demanding the postponement of discussing a draft law on regulating possession of weapons.
The draft law had been earlier referred to the parliament by the government that set up a special committee to study it and give its remarks before putting it to voting.
Sources reckoned that those who asked for the delay attributed their opinion to the current circumstances the Arab region is leading and developments in Iraq and Palestine.
It is also believed that the situation dictates the necessity of keeping weapons in possession of the citizens in the Arab countries for self defense.
According to latest statistics, more than 50 million different kinds of weapons are possessed by Yemenis, reveal the latest statistics on weapon possession.
In other words, on average every Yemeni possesses three pieces of weapons. A few years ago, the parliament issued a law to curb possession and carrying of arms inside major cities.
But this law has not been put to action. Arms market spread all over Yemen just like any other markets of vegetables, spices, etc. The biggest and most famous arms market is the Attalh in Sada'a.
Political analysts attribute spread of weapons to the good number of tribal wars Yemen has passed through.
Social and economic studies confirm that putting an end to carrying weapons and its trade will help the government achieve developmental projects particularly in the countryside. If it is applied, it will reduce smuggling and other illegal trade activities.
Weapon stores and arms possession have resulted in unenviable problems such as long-term tribal conflicts.