State proves its seriousness in arms banning campaign [Archives:2007/1087/Front Page]

September 20 2007

By: Fatima Al-Ajel
Since late August the state has been working hard through its Ministry of Interior to exercise its ban on weapons in Yemeni cities. Many tribal sheikhs and figures wouldn't hear of it and challenged this regulation only to realize how serious the state is the hard way. According to official reports, the invasion and attack on lands, which is very common in Yemen, has been significantly reduced since the banning of arms has been implemented.

TAIZ, September 19 ) As a consequence to the Interior Ministry's campaign for weapon free cities issued late August, Security at city entry points have been adamant not to allow armed citizens to enter the main cities. This has caused a number of armed clashes between the security and tribal sheikhs who insisted on wearing their weapons into the city. Two people were reported dead in Taiz while several others injured during those clashes this week. The causalities were of a security soldier and Sheikh Abdul-Salam al-Kaisi. Despite this, the authority won its way and arrested the tribal men on charges of defying state laws and opening fire on security police.

Not only does the campaign ban arms in the cities, it also cancels any previous licensing of weapons whether light or heavy.

This accident was not the first during this week. Three days ago, Sheikh Derhm bin Yahya the director of Al-Qahira district in Taiz governorate was arrested when his bodyguards refused to give up their weapons to the security forces in Taiz. An argument also took place between Rima governor and security officials when the former insisted on entering Sana'a with his armed guards. The governor was prevented from entering the city.

A security officer confirmed that the weapons ban decree is in accordance with the tenth article of law No. (40) /1992 concerning gun carrying control. The article forbids any one who possesses weapons to carry it inside the capital city of Sana'a as well as cities of the other governorates.

Decrease in land invasion

The current campaign on disarmaments process inside cities led to reduction of lands invasion by 80 percent according to Major General, Al-Qawsi, the Ministry of Interior's deputy Mohammed Al-Qawsi.

Al-Qawsi called the officials to quickly register their bodyguards weapons as stated in the regulation, ensuring that after 60 days since August 23, the interior ministry will arrest and punish anyone who violates this decree.

According to Al-Qawsi, security apparatus seized 1954 weapons in all Yemeni governorates until last Wednesday 12 September. More than five hundred of which were confiscated in the capital city Sana'a.

uThe Interior Ministry has a strategy to seize weapons according to a plan, which will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will last for three months, however, the second and the third will continue until September 2008.