Yemeni MPs Want End to Revenge, Kidnapping Cases
Yemen’s Shura council, or parliament, on Sunday set up an ad hoc panel to propose ways of settling revenge cases and reconciling feuding tribes, reported the official Yemeni news agency Saba.
In its first meeting, the newly formed body set up a committee to deal with the problem.
On Saturday, President Ali Abdullah Saleh asked the council to “seriously seek solutions for...revenge cases and kidnapping of foreigners.” President Saleh underlined that ending revenge and kidnapping issues would help the government proceed with building the homeland.
"The first issue you would deal with is the revenge phenomenon, we have to spare no effort to bring it to an end," he was quoted as saying.
More than 200 foreigners, mostly Westerners, have been kidnapped by Yemen's tribes since the early 1990s to be used as bargaining chips with the government for better services or the release of jailed relatives, an article by the weekly Yemen Observer said in December of last year.
Disputes with foreign oil companies are also a motive for kidnapping.
Most hostages have been released unharmed, but in 1999, four Western tourists kidnapped by Islamic militants were killed during a shootout with Yemeni security forces dealing the country's tourist industry a devastating blow.
The government's response to the kidnappings has taken the form of a chain of blame with increasingly bizarre links, said the paper.
Last year, Yemen passed a law that allows judges to sentence kidnappers to death, and at least three people convicted of kidnapping have been executed – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)