Yemenis Demand Back "Saudi-Occupied" Territory
Yemen group calls for liberation of Saudi-occupied lands
A Yemeni human rights group Aseer called on Wednesday for retrieving all Yemeni lands that are occupied by neighbor Saudi Arabia.
Aseer classified the districts of Najran, Jizan and Aseer – currently in southwest Saudi Arabia close to the Yemeni border – as occupied lands.
The group accused former dictator Ali Abdallah Saleh of conceding the lands for, what it considered, a “Saudi occupation,” through the Taif and Jeddah borders agreements that were signed by the two countries in 2000.
Yemeni opposition groups claim that Saleh surrendered the region of Aseer for $18 billion, which was then distributed amongst high-ranking officials in Saleh's regime.
“Regaining Yemeni lands is a first step towards regaining sovereignty and independence from Saudi hegemony,” the group said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement also refused Saudi control over Yemeni decision-making.
Aseer's spokesperson, Abdulrahman al-Ashoul, considered the regaining of the lands a national issue that concerns all Yemeni people, adding that this “political fight should not be exploited in any political struggle between political parties.”
Al-Ashoul condemned any Yemeni who would benefit from Saudi support, calling for taking a stand against such people.
The group is scheduled to meet with a number of legal consultants to discuss the possibility of filing a case against the Saudi occupation and recognizing Yemen's right to the disputed regions.
These discussions will be held “with specialists in international law, geography, legal consultants and historians in Sanaa and Beirut to prepare a complete project and work plan.”
Yemen shares a 1,800km with Saudi Arabia, The two countries finalized a border agreement in 12 June 2000, but Asser does not recognize such a deal as it was done under Saudi-backed dictator Saleh.
Early this year, Saudi Arabia, along with the United States, played an important role in pushing Saleh aside in a deal that was aimed at retaining its interests and influence in the impoverished Arab state.
Posted on 06/08/2012 3:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald