Ministry of Interior prepares lists of arms retailers [Archives:2005/899/Local News]

December 1 2005

SANA'A, Nov. 29)Sources at the Ministry of Interior said that their ministry acquired the names of arms dealers who import weapons and retail them inside the country, however, the sources confirmed that no actions will be taken against arms dealers until a law prohibiting carrying arms has been approved by the parliament.

Such a law has aroused a wide controversy in the parliament, however, if approved; the law will result in decreasing crimes and violence. Arms trade is practiced widely as there are specialized markets for retailing and selling a variety weapons to consumers and even to the Ministries of Defense and Interior. Estimations indicate that Yemeni people possess more than 20 million pieces of heavy and light weapons, while official numbers claim that total arms do not exceed 9 million pieces.

Civil Society organizations in Yemen had organized a convoy to the Parliament demanding that a law prohibiting arms trade be approved, especially since three Years have passed since this law was relegated by the cabinet to the parliament.

Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhawri, head of the Defense Committee in the Parliament said that the approval of the law was hindered due to personal interests. Some of the MPs insist that the law or arms control and regulation of 1993 should be implemented instead of the new law. They think that it is a bit lenient and does not involve the big sharks in arms trading.

a national alliance named 'Towards a community free of arms' was formed last Thursday by Civil Society Organizations. The membership of this alliance is open for all wishing to join for the call for approving the eminent law.