Yemen tells Saudi it defies treatyWall opposed by Wayilah tribes [Archives:2004/710/Front Page]

February 9 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
Yemen's Wayilah tribes issued a sharp statement on Feb. 7 in response to the Yemeni-Saudi border committee's memorandum which demanded members of the tribe to identify their properties outside the international borderline.
The tribe's border and properties extend along the border.
The tribesmen said they still and shall always stick to their title in respect of said properties.
The statement added that according to tribal customs in the peninsula, tribal borders existed prior to the establishment of both states. That any official borders established shall not supersede those old-time tribal borders.
The statement reiterated its total rejection of any new agreements impeding them to exercise their titles to their land properties and that they do not accept sale nor partitioning and that the persistence against their will shall lead to grave unwanted consequences.
The government of Yemen requested at the end of last month officially from the Saudis to cease construction of a separation wall at both sides of the border as that is in conflict with the border treaty signed in June, 2002.
The Emirates Albayan Newspaper said Jan. 30, according to a leak by a high-ranking diplomat, that Yemen has given by Saudi monarchy in Yemen a letter of protest against the developments effected by the Saudi Authorities along the border where the Saudis intend to build a concrete wall, tens of kilometers in areas bordering Saadah Governorate, namely through areas considered traditionally as Wayilah jurisdiction.
The Yemeni government declared that the wall shall be in contradiction with the border treaty and fell short with regard to the possible steps to be taken particularly now that the German Company entrusted with the border demarcation has suspended laying border posts.
An official source has declared that the Saudi authorities have constructed a separation concrete wall at the height of Six Meters and has extended 60 Inch Diameter steel pipes inside the disarmed space which was determined by Jeddah Border Accord .The Jeddah Border Accord provides for the non-creation of any fortifications, entrenchments or reinforcements leading to the obstruction of view or enable any of both parties to effect military reinforcements and that the disarmed area is left for border tribes pasturing.
It is to be noted that the relations between Yemen and Saudi Arabia have undergone tension as of the beginning of January after the Saudis began construction of the separation wall which they claim is intended to offset smuggling of arms and drugs. This was followed by the prevention of Yemeni products and the tit for tat reaction, as Yemen was obliged to prevent re-packaged Saudi products from entering the country. The Yemeni side has declared that if the Saudis are fond of a separation wall, they can proceed with the same away from the disarmed area.
It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz Alsaud has declared earlier that Yemen was in no position to join the GCC and later lightened his statement by alluding that every grouping has its own prerequisites which should be met prior to membership.