Press Review [Archives:2000/28/Press Review]

July 10 2000

Yemeni press this week continues its coverage of developments after and response to the border treaty between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Almost all Yemeni newspapers have highlighted the ceremony of exchanging documents of the treaty in Sana’a by the foreign ministers of both countries.
In addition to the variety of themes dealt with in the commentary columns, analytical articles and editorials, most of the newspapers concentrated on internal issues focusing on the necessity of solving the phenomenon of corruption particularly within the state organizations. They have also dealt with vital political issues concerning the overall situation in the country.

Main Headlines:
-Following the Exchange of Border Documents, Saudi Welcome of Yemeni Labor
-Discovery of Largest Unexplored Minerals Reserve in Yemen
-Council of Ministers Unanimous on Suing Ash-Shumoa Weekly Newspaper, and Ath-Thaqafiya Stands Trial
-Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate, and Compulsory Reserves
-Arrest Campaign Among the Al-Zaidi Tribe
– Morgue Murderer Threatens of Hunger Strike
-Prince Saud Al-Faisal: Our Relations with Yemen Older than the GCC & Will Remain
-Opposition Parties Coordination Council Welcomes Border Treaty As Step To Arab Peninsula Unity
-World Bank: Concentration on Aden as Major Income Resource in Yemen, Necessary
-Eight Girls Kidnapped in Capital Last Month
Following are excerpts from the main article and analysis published by some of Yemeni newspapers.
An article published in As-Sahwa weekly in its edition on 6 July 2000 comments on favoritism and corruption. It says people dream of seeing justice prevail and equality achieved. Every citizen would in this case find his own opportunity and right to education, health care, public services and job opportunity. He would not be forced to depend on others to recommend him or seek intervention of an influential person, or to pay bribes.
The article says further that nepotism and flattery are the most serious causes of corruption at all levels. Moreover, absence of justice, and predominance of personal whims represent the main cause of dissatisfaction and loss of faith of the public.
The article wonders whether there would be a serious and sincere consideration to eradicate this cancer in favor of achieving the desired for social justice.
Al-Mithaq weekly, organ of the People’s General Conference Party has focused in its editorial on 3 July 2000 on the gains achieved in Yemen. It says that internal construction is dependent on a huge asset of gigantic accomplishments. It has further affirms that such gains constitute a big forward leap towards more spacious horizons embodied in the establishment of best relations; internally, regionally, and internationally.
The Yemeni unity, the editorial further says, is therefore a new springboard and qualitative move in the course of Yemen history. The national charter contains the important principles that have unified all segments of the people. The reason behind the people’s unity is that the charter is not imposed by certain group or authority but is rather the reflection of the people’s aspiration.
RAY weekly, mouthpiece of Sons of Yemen League, 4 July 2000 has in an article defined the role of Yemen in safeguarding the regional security and stability. The article presumes that there are two major conditions Yemen has to meet to be qualified to play an effective role in preserving security and stability in the region.
According to the article the first pre-requisite is that Yemen succeeds in establishment of security and stability for all in Yemen’s territories. This, it concludes, could only be an outcome of integrated successes in all social areas. Success should encompass political, economic, social, constitutional, judiciary, educational, cultural, legal and health fields. This objective should be realized by upgrading human awareness, promoting understanding, cooperation and furthering of interests within the country and with other countries.
The second pre-condition that the RAY article proposes is that Yemen should comprehend clearly that its security and stability are dependent on those of the region it is part of.
Ath-Thawra daily of July 9, 2000 has said in its editorial that president Ali Abdullah Saleh has specified features of the coming stage in certain integrated tasks. The main points on top the government’s agenda for the coming period, is the fulfillment of the objectives of the new era of change Yemen has embarked on.
Elimination of the wrongs of the past and its negative impact, has now become a matter dictated by the inevitability of the political, economic and social changes.
The strengthening of the state of law and order, putting an end to corruption and ending security disturbances are primary tasks representing the foundation stone of the internal structure.
Al-Wahdawi weekly (organ of People’s Unionist Nasserite Organization, 4 July 2000)
An article published in the newspaper criticizes strongly the Higher Council of Universities’ stance over the way the Yemeni press has dealt with the serial killer of the medicine faculty morgue. The Universities Council had on Sunday 2 July accused the press of an ” attempt to defame reputation of the largest scientific institution” through the way some papers were handling the incident.
The article interprets the Universities Council response as showing indifference towards ” dishonoring medical faculty girl students, dismembering their bodies and dumping them into the college sewage.”
The article concludes by emphasizing that what happened here could not occur even in a jungle inhabited by wolves.
26 September, weekly, organ of Yemen Armed Forces, 6 July 2000, highlighted in its editorial the gains and victories scored by Yemen.
Titled ” Successive Victories” the weekly editorial says it is necessary to mention that Yemen’s magnificent successes and victories, particularly in resolving its border issues with neighborly countries, affirm the righteous approach and option of the Yemen’s political leadership. This approach represents an extension of the Yemeni people’s aspirations for conciliation, peace and prosperity.
26 September editorial has stressed that the anniversary of defeating the secessionist movement on July 7, 1994, has this year a special flavor. It coincides with the ceremony of exchanging documents of marine and land borders treaty between Yemen and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The border treaty was signed and endorsed by the two sisterly countries last month.
The weekly editorial has further said that attention would be focused on implementation of the future priorities defined by president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The priorities are: continuation of economic, financial and administrative reforms and fighting and eliminating of corruption in state institutions and the society. The objectives also include stabilization of security and upgrading the level of law and institutions.
ATTAGAMMU weekly, mouthpiece of Attagammu Al-Wahdawi Al-Yemeni 3 July 2000.
In its editorial titled ” Pull Out of Dhalie” the newspaper calls up on the government to withdraw its army units stationed at forward military camps in Dhalie governorate. It proposes that army units should pull out from the governorate to a distance not less than 20 kilometers away from the city.
The newspaper says that the authority should set up a plan for withdrawing military camps, barracks and check-points from the city’s densely populated areas and the capital. Armed forces have to be stationed in positions where they are able to repel any external provocations and dangers threatening safety of the country’s borders.
The article concludes that the armed forces’ continued stay in Al-Dhalie is unjustifiable. Owing to its position, particularly before the Yemeni unification, Al-Dhalie represented one of the confrontation lines between the former two parts of Yemen. At present it is no longer an area of sabotage disturbing Sana’a, capital of the unified state.
An-Nass independent weekly, 3 July 2000 published a leading article on page 2 titled ” Protection of Gains against Corruption”.
The article suggests that the first step for uprooting corruption and the corrupt is by the outright recognition of their existence. Since the president has declared the first step, the ensuing move is represented by the overall change compatible with the aim. There must exist a harmony between the means and the end. It is unreasonable to expect from a mechanism itself operated by the corrupt to be the means for elimination of corruption and rid the state institutions and society of its effects. The president is not required to effect an absolute change, but it is unacceptable also to retain the same elements and the present mechanism in the absolute sense.
Reality may not accept both trends simultaneously, but can accommodate the balance. Such equilibrium would achieve the goal by means of extraordinary measures meant for extraordinary situations.
Ash-Shumoa independent weekly July 8, 2000 has said in its editorial that the July 7 would continue to be a red letter day in the life of the Yemeni people. It embodies the people’s relentless struggle for consolidating the values of the unity, patriotism and realization of security and stability.
While observing the 7th anniversary of the occasion, we comprehend fully that the victory was that of the forces that uphold justice, rights and unity. It was on the other hand a humiliating defeat to the forces of evil that subvert security and stability and prefer to live in luxury at the expense of the homeland and the people.
As we are celebrating the anniversary of routing the conspirators and secessionists, we hope that our observance of the coming anniversary of July 7 would coincide with the celebration of the first anniversary of elimination of corruption. As we defeated secessionism, similarly, we should eliminate corruption. This would be the major concern of the coming stage.
An article in Al-Umma in its issue on July 6 has discussed the question of privatization of public sector institutions. It says that the government announcement of the intention to privatize some unsuccessful state institutions seems to include the successful projects of the public sector as well. Undoubtedly, the current campaign against the public sector unfolds a complete design to weaken the role of the state in the organization of the national economy and liquidation of the public sector.
What is more astonishing is that the call for privatization is no longer hiding behind selling unsuccessful state projects. The call has exceeded that to include some of the successful agricultural units of the public sector. We warn against the consequences of selling the successful units of the agricultural sector due to the negative results that may emerge from such a step.
The article concludes that the role the private sector is required to play could not always be realized by privatization of the public sector units. That role could be achieved only by the private sector’s initiatives for building and investing in new projects and creating new productive energies. Such policy would increase the stability of the national economy create more job opportunities and increase the national income.
Ath-Thawri weekly, organ of the Yemeni Socialist Party (6 July 2000) has strongly criticized the exaggerated manner of observing the anniversary of July 7, the day of victory over the secessionist movement in 1994.
An article published by the newspaper wonders about what made the celebration of the ”war day” to be bigger that the day of peace. The article is skeptical about the justification of blowing out the importance of the occasion July 7, so as to ascribe it greater importance than declaration of the Yemeni revolution and that of the unity. The implication of the unnecessary pomposity is entirely to highlight that the rival (the Socialist Party) has gone. The paper adds that the war and the secessionism are two faces of the same coin although the war was more detriment to the unity. Six years have passed on the first anniversary of the hated war and it has become crystal clear that there were no victors or vanquished in that war. The only losers are the people and the country.