Oil Pipeline Pierced, Again [Archives:2000/22/Local News]

May 29 2000

The technical team could control the explosion that occurred in the oil pipe, on Monday 22nd of May at Sofal Moor, Khawlan area. It is 90 Km away from the east of Sana’a, extending from Safer field to Ras Essa in the Red Sea. It was done by some antisocial elements in the area. It is worth mentioning that this explosion is no. 16, which happened in this area till date. The explosions caused a huge depletion of oil creating a massive oil slick and affecting the environment and nearby farms.
The first explosion occurred in July 1993. It was caused by unidentified groups for unknown motives.
There were 37 explosions which occurred at the beginning of 1998, especially after the declaration of prices increase by the government. These started in Mareb and extended to Yamanya area in Khawlan, Sana’a governorate. Most of these explosions are concentrated on the pipe line that links Sana’a with Mareb, 150 Km.
According to reliable sources the total damage caused due to those explosions was around US$ 9,200,000. Those groups responsible for these explosions are from the neighboring areas. They claim that they resort to all these subversive acts to exert pressure on the government to employ their sons in the oil companies operating in their areas. In addition, they have some demands to be met and projects to be carried out. They say that this is the only way through which they can fulfill their demands.
Tribal sources pointed out that these explosions which have intensified since 1998 are politically motivated. But in fact it is an outlet of the tribes vengeance against the government. They feel that they are deprived of the projects which should legitimately be implemented in their areas. Furthermore, they believe that there is no justice in allocating projects. Others see that these explosions resulted by internal conflicts among tribes.
The state, however, sees some internal and external forces at work behind these incidents.
Officials in the state call sheikhs of those groups to come for a negotiated settlement with the government, but we do not foresee any solutions for these problems. The military forces that have been sent to those areas could not safeguard oil pipes. The total financial damages involved in the loss and cost of damaged oil pipes amounts to millions of dollars. This damage is more than the amount that would be required for implementing the developmental projects in those areas. There must be insightful solutions to the problems in the national interest. The state must curb the acts of sabotage.
The only ones who gain from these acts are sheikhs who get the benefit of meeting the military leaders of the state and saboteurs of oil pipes. But the ultimate losers of all these things are the citizens.