Ali Naji al-Ra'awai
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Problem of carrying weapons in Yemen
Writes/ Ali Naji al-Ra'awai
Published Since: One Year and 11 Month and 5 Days
Saturday 22 December 2012 10:08 am


 It seems that all parts in Yemen have come to a common conviction that without restoration of factors of security and stability, ending division manifestations in the army, enforcing law and order, and stopping the flow of armed men to the capital and major cities, all attempts to build a modern civil state will remain hampered by the lawlessness and the violations of resulting from the manifestations of bearing arms in a chaotic and indiscriminate way.

 
Out of this conviction, the National Dialogue Preparatory Committee called last Sunday to quickly pave the way to start the dialogue    process by sending out all militants out of the capital and of the cities propose to hold the ND Conference. We believe that there is a need to listen to such a call and to deal with it responsibly and away from arrogance, running around in circles, and from misconception that will not lead us to a path of clear signs.
 

After a journey for more than half a century which is the age of their modern state, it is logical that the Yemeni people compare their situation with that of the other Arab countries that got rid of the negative legacy of the past for the interest of building up its presence and future. Through this comparison, the Yemenis will find obvious reasons that were enough to stop the flow of investments to their country and the decline of tourism, that were to make important resources that would revive the Yemeni economy and provide more opportunities for the youth, who are crowded in the unemployment queues. We do not know how the wise men in this country did not perceive the disadvantages of the phenomenon of bearing and spread of arms among the citizens in such horrible way, tough this phenomenon has serious damages on the track of the overall development and social peace.      
 

No doubt that this talk drives us to wonder about the motives of bearing arms in Yemen? Why the state had no role in regulating the possession of, bearing, and using the arms? Why was the position of the parties, civil society organizations, the political, cultural, and intellectual elites, and the media shy when it comes to this phenomenon? Why did the phenomenon of carrying weapons spread in the capital and major cities, although carrying weapons was limited to tribesmen in rural areas? Sana'a and other Yemeni cities were considered in the tribal tradition as (migration areas) where armed men are not allowed to enter them or take revenge in them.
 

 Trying to find answers to those questions, we find that there are some who sought to devote some of the deceiving terminology that link manhood to carrying weapons. Under the influence of this misconception, all procedures that aimed at organizing arms stumbled to the degree that a draft of law in this regard is still has yet to be settled in the Parliament since 1992. And it is truly regrettable that this dangerous phenomenon is neglected despite all its resulting tragedies.


A report issued recently by Ministry of Interior of Yemen indicated that 85% of injuries, accidents, and crimes that occur in Yemen resulted from the use of the firearm. As for the impact of this phenomenon on the development, a field study conducted in ten Yemeni provinces confirmed that bearing arms have come to pose a major obstacle to the completion of programs related to development plans, whether in the cities or in the urban areas.
 
 
It is assumed that the Yemenis have today become fully aware of the demands of their new reality which requires a qualitative treatment dominated by a state of awareness of what the current conditions needs, of security and stability. Yemen, therefore, would be able to recover, overcome the pitfalls, and move on to build the modern state away from the phenomenon of arms, which completely conflicts with the values of modern time and the public interest.
 
Time has come for the Yemenis to arm themselves with science and knowledge instead of arms, which is a manifestation of backwardness.



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