Viewed as partial treatment, President Saleh orders reinstatement of pensioners [Archives:2007/1075/Front Page]

August 9 2007

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, August 8 ) In fulfillment of military pensioners' demands, last Monday President Saleh ordered the government to work towards reinstating hundreds of pensioners from the southern and eastern areas of Yemen to their jobs as well as granting them their deserved promotions and financial allowances.

The Supreme Council for military and civil pensioners have staged many demonstrations in Aden, Lahj, Al-Dhale', Shabwa and Abyan, asking for justice and reinstatement of service, together with freeing those arrested during a peaceful demonstration held last Thursday.

Such demonstrations were led by high-ranking officers in protest against the forced removal of over 60,000 military and civil public servants following the 1994 civil war. Workers were either pensioned or suspended from work.

On Tuesday, Aden's security authorities released the chairman of the Pensioners Association, Nasser Al-Nobah, and three of his companions whom authorities arrested last Thursday, while four other ranking officers remain in jail.

Member of the Yemeni Socialist Party and head of the Foreign Affairs Department Mohammed Ghaleb Ahmed revealed that security forces arrested around 150 protesters during preceding demonstrations. Those who were arrested were locked in iron cages, including a member of political office and head of its branch in Aden Ali Munaser Mohammed.

Ahmed told that security forces locked arrested protesters in iron cages located on Al-Sheikh Othman and Al-Mansourah streets, noting that such conduct is a strange.

He added that other arrested demonstrators were transferred in groups and thrown into Bir Ahmed desert behind Cupota area, close to Salah Addin Camp in Al-Burikah and they managed with difficulty to return home.

Thousands of citizens demonstrated last Monday in Aden, Abyan, Al-Dhale', Lahj and Radfan demanding the release of those arrested on Thursday. Security forces arrested dozens during these demonstrations.

A laid-off pensioner, who declined to mention his name, pointed out that pensioners want the state to solve all issues and fulfill all of their demands at once and not over different phases.

He added that the reinstatement of a few pensioners is not sufficient and the announced raise of salaries is modest when compared with the current price hikes of foodstuff.

Moreover, he asked that the state secure residences, health services and free education for all pensioners. “We want to lead a decent life and we do not want the state to turn a deaf ear to our demands, because we sacrificed our youth and lives for the sake of the country,” he stated.