Sanaa, Asharq Al-Awsat- Yemen has decided to shut down all private shops trading in arm and explosives throughout the country. This decision was made by the Yemeni government in its official weekly meeting, which was headed by the Yemeni Prime Minster, Ali Mujur.
The government attributed its decision to the fact that these shops contribute to the illegal trafficking and circulation of these weapons. The Yemeni government stressed the need for strict implementation of the resolution and has formed a committee headed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Dr. Rashid al Alimi, that will be responsible for its implementation.
Specialized field committees are being formed to receive requests from those wanting to trade their personally owned arms or who want to repair them. These requests will be required to be submitted to the Ministry of Interior, which in turn grants those seeking permission to trade their weapons and ammunition a month’s duration to obtain the required license. The government has warned that those who do not abide by the resolution will have all the weapons, ammunition and explosives in their possession confiscated.
Headed by the Yemeni prime minister, the governmental committee entrusted with the implementation of this measure also includes Brigadier General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad; Minister of Finance, Noman al Suhaibi and the Minister of Local Administration, Abdul-Qader Hilal.
There are several markets in Yemen for arms dealing the most famous of which is the one in the Saada province wherein a number of districts have witnessed savage clashes between the government and the al Houthi group over the past three months. Also popular is the Jahana market, which lies 40 kilometers east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. There is a less known market in the Jahran district in the Dhamar province, which is located 70 kilometers south of Sanaa.
According to unofficial figures, there is a variety of weapons in Yemen that are estimated at 50 million weapons ranging from heavy- to medium- and light weapons, however the Interior ministry has refuted the claim and stated that the figure is exaggerated and does not reflect the number of weapons in the country.
Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who heads the National Defense Council has approved a plan to identify the locations of these markets, as well as the decision that the government purchase these heavy weapons from their owners since they represent obstacles to development and investment, in addition to causing concern among the security men and threatening the stability of the country.