Ra’ash villagers return back home [Archives:2007/1032/Local News]

March 12 2007

SANA'A, March 11 ) About 400 citizens from Al-Soufa and Ra'ash villages returned home after spending many weeks in Al-Udeen's Hardh district. The villagers were forced out by Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Mansour. President Saleh has delegated the Attorney General and security authorities to look into the Ra'ash villagers' complaints.

Lawyer Abdulrahman Barman from the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, known as Hood, told Yemen Times that villagers came back home after Ibb's Governor guaranteed their safety.

Barman added that Sheikh Mansour, who considers himself a main point of authority in the area, set up check points made from his followers, to display his power before the returning villagers. The villagers came back in a convoy of 400 cars headed by the district's chief of security and local council members.

He went on to say that there was a clear paramilitary presence in the nearby mountains, and that the Sheikh's followers surrounded the convoy in a valley very close to Ra'ash for many hours. The siege was lifted after many hours of heated arguments. The official parties' representatives kept silent.

The parliamentary committee will prepare a report dealing with the difficulties they faced, and the report will be presented before Parliament during the next round of session, detailing everything about their field visit to the area and their meeting with the displaced people.

Some sources mention that President Saleh's directives were not implemented and further the Ibb Governor informed him that he was unable to implement any against Sheikh Mansour.