Retired Army Generals threaten to riot [Archives:2007/1063/Front Page]

June 28 2007

By: YemenTimes Staff
ADEN, June 27 ) The Coordination Council of the 18-Civil and Military retirees Associations has declared objection to meet any committees send either by the ministry of Defense or by the interior ministry to discuss their demands. This statement comes after the government decision to dismiss many military employees from the service and forced them to early retirement.

Head of the Coordination Council, Mr. Nasser Al Noobah, has announced the Council's rejection to discourse with the government represented in the ministries of Defense and Interior unless a presidential decree was issued to solve their problems; “As along as the retirement of those military persons was imposed by a republican decree, so we will not accept any negotiation with the state unless a similar decree was undertaken to solve the problem”. Al Noobah confirmed.

On the other hand, Mr. Al Noobah has renewed his call to the people of the eastern and southern governorates to exercise all possible pressure through their parties, NGOs, and the press to defend their Just cases of which is the forcible retirement decision which was imposed by a political decision.

“In case we agree to have dialogue with state, it will have to be sponsored by an international mediation body as the state proved to be deceitful and unreliable in all accounts, including the frequent presidential promises which also were found fictitious” Al Noobah claimed.

Officially, the harmed retirees demanded in a statement distributed to the press to be fully compensated for unpaid pension period since July, 1994 up to date. They reconfirmed their absolute refusal to any individual negotiation except if the government offers a collective and a just solution that satisfies all the retirees around the country.

The military retirees pledged in their declaration the escalation of their peaceful protest until they got their demands met. Further, they have announced their determination to stage an open sit-in, dressed in military uniforms, at the festival shows area of Khur Maksser in Aden on July 5th, 2007. The statement added that the Coordination Council for War Retirees presided by Al Noobah is the only authorized body for any negotiations. The Retirees' concluded their statement in calling for the solidarity and support from all political parties and civic society organizations in order to get their rights which the government has denied.

On the other hand, while demonstrations and riots are witnessed in some southern and eastern governorates, one retired army officer, Saeed Shahtoor and his followers are still dwelling at Mahfad Mountains, Abyan governorate, announcing their commitment to their demands and denouncing the state policy towards their issue.

In addition, Al Wassat newspaper reporter located in the area reported that the an armed group of Shahttor aids headed to Jay-shan district to block roads in anticipation for a government attack and that the army car which was taken by them was finally released after tribal mediation took place.

It is worth to mention that since Sharttor resided in the mountains, his armed followers and allies are dramatically increasing in all over Abyan and the nearby areas. This indicates the extend of tension and outrage against the state in these areas especially because that most of Shahtoor supporters are military retirees who got retired during the war of 1994 or those who were deprived of joining the public employment.

Meanwhile, a bomb explosion took place in targeted governmental compounds in Ahwar district led to concrete damage to the buildings and was followed by fire-shooting exchanged between security officers and unknown armed gun men, no causalities reported.

In Lahj governorate, security forces have arrested two people holding large quantities of explosives they were hiding in their car. However, the official response of the state through the defense minister described the retirees as rebels and separatists who are trying to provoke a national disturbance under the so-called demands of retirees which based on unhidden political motivations, according to official media.

“The retirement rule was applied on both civil and military sectors fairly according to the law unlike the baseless accusations of those separatists and sick-hearted people” Defense minister declared according to the military forces website.