Yemeni President Approves Border Accord, Tribal Leader Rejects it

Published June 27th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Yemen's president approved a border agreement with Saudi Arabia on Monday, but a tribal leader rejected it and warned that his followers will fight to defend the status quo, reported The Associated Press.  

President Ali Abdullah Saleh's approval comes two days after the accord, which is aimed at ending decades of border disputes, was approved by parliament, said the AP.  

But Sheik Mohammed bin Shajeh, the Yemeni tribal leader of Waella, an area the new border will split, told the AP that he rejects the accord and will sacrifice money and men to defeat it.  

"Those who have demarcated the borders, whether experts or committees, do not know the borders between one tribe and another, especially the tribes that are divided between the two countries," Sheik Mohammed said.  

"We have border documents that specify borders between tribes. These documents are hundreds of years old and therefore neither Saudi nor Yemeni authorities can ignore them."  

Large parts of Yemen are lawless, inhabited by tribes that often kidnap foreigners and use guns to settle scores or express discontent with the government, said the agency.  

In Saudi Arabia, the Royal Court issued a statement Monday approving the accord and saying that "a specialized international company will prepare the maps for the border line between the two countries." 

The Saudi Cabinet and consultative council approved the agreement last week.  

The accord, signed on June 12th in Saudi Arabia by the two countries' foreign ministers, demarcates a new frontier across the desert of the southeastern Arabian Peninsula.  

Under the accord, three disputed islands will be Yemeni.  

The border area has potentially lucrative oil deposits, and the accord says any natural wealth discovered along the border will be extracted by both countries, according to the agency -  



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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