State of law and order:A must for Yemen’s development [Archives:2004/749/Viewpoint]

June 24 2004

If we prioritize Yemen's problems and challenges, there will no doubt that one of them will be the lack of law and order. For any country to flourish and develop, the enforcement of law and order is a major prerequisite.
Looking at cases of corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency, injustice, and other negative phenomena, we can easily conclude that the lack of the proper enforcement of the law was one of the contributing factors.
Just yesterday, I came to know that a person had his property stolen. The culprit was found and arrested in the same day, but because the imprisoned thief had ties and connections here and there, he managed to leave jail with a guarantee. This repeats itself in cases of murder and other grave crimes. It is obvious that under such conditions, talk about courts and justice will be in vain. So much corruption is evident at almost all levels of the state and even in the private sector. This makes law enforcement virtually impossible, especially when the ones who are supposed to apply the law are the first to violate it, giving great excuses to others to disrespect the law and be careless.
But again, when we try to see those who apply the law more promptly and honestly, we find that they are marginalized and face a lot of obstacles and problems. This is the tax of being honest and sincere in this country.
Hence, I believe if our President and government want the country to begin true reforms and develop economically, socially, and in all levels, they have no other alternative but to apply the law to themselves, their assistants and their people. Every Yemeni citizen, and in fact every person living in Yemen, should be treated equally in front of the law, regardless of status and position.
It is unfortunate however that some claim that the tribal structure of the Yemeni society makes applying the law, especially in tribal zones, impossible, and in fact, not applying the law becomes more of a necessity for the survival of the state. I see this as mere 'rubbish'. When there is a will there is a way, and I am sure tribesmen want to apply the law more than anyone else because they will gain significantly from being regular citizens and have their villages targeted for developmental projects of all kinds.
It is in our President's hands to make Yemen a place where laws are respected. This could take sometime and may require long-term methods and strategies, but eventually, it can happen just like other tribal countries around the world turned to be civilized, law-abiding nations.
It is all in our hands. If we want a civilized modern country, then we should start with the law, which is the essential basis upon which we can all build. Once we have a strong infrastructure, embodied in the state of law and order, everything else can take its place smoothly and in harmony.
Will our leaders understand my point?
I hope so.