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Yemenis Organize Marches to ‘Reclaim’ Country's Wealth from Regime

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011/12.

Yemen is known to be the poorest Arab country. Not many know it has natural resources and a strategic and vital port, which are sources of national revenue that have been mismanaged by the former corrupt regime headed by Ali Abdullah Saleh, which have only benefited him and his regime.

Over the past two months, revolutionary youth and activists have been organizing marches demanding an end to all corrupt deals made during Saleh's reign. A march demanding the cancellation of a liquified gas sales agreement with South Korea under the slogan “the people reclaim their wealth” was initiated by the Yemeni Revolution Electronic Coordination this week.

This comes days after a senior Yemeni transport ministry official said the ministry has begun contacts with Dubai government-owned port operator DP World on cancelling a contract to manage Aden port which the Yemeni Revolution Electronic Coordination had organized marches in the past weeks demanding an end to it.

The march was held in front of the oil ministry in the capital Sanaa on September 3, 2012, demanding an end to the 20 year unfair liquid gas sales agreement between Yemen and South Korea which sold Yemeni gas at a fixed price of US$ 3.20, a considerable lower price than the world selling market price.

Yemenis have been suffering from a food crisis due to the increase in prices, electricity and water cuts, and a shortage in fuel and cooking gas. In these hard living conditions, a gas canister was being sold in Yemen at a high price of 1,500 Yemeni riyals while it was being sold in South Korea for only 400 Yemeni riyals according to the agreement terms.

Photo of the march held infront of the oil ministry in Sanaa taken by Ridan Bahran. The sign in Arabic reads: 'Our gas: a canister is sold in Korea for 400 riyals and in Yemen for 1,500 riyals'.

Photo of the march held infront of the oil ministry in Sanaa taken by Ridan Bahran. The sign in Arabic reads: ‘Our gas: a canister is sold in Korea for 400 riyals and in Yemen for 1,500 riyals'.

Yemeni activist and revolution photographer Ridan Bahran documented the march with a video which he posted on TheRYemen on YouTube:

Another video was posted by samialyemen which featured a statement read by an activist demanding the current government to end all unfair deals which had been approved under the corrupt former government and reclaim Yemen's stolen wealth:

A photo album of the march calling for the cancellation of the gas sales agreement held in Ibb on the same day was posted on the Facebook page of the Yemeni Revolution Electronic Coordination.

March in Ibb courtesy of Essam Alkamaly. The sign in Arabic reads: We refuse the gas agreement which has made Yemen incur huge losses

March in Ibb courtesy of Essam Alkamaly. The sign in Arabic reads: We refuse the gas agreement which has made Yemen incur huge losses

Another march was organized yesterday, September 6, in Ibb, and Essam Alkamaly posted this video on YouTube showing the protest:

More photographs of the march can be found here. A similar march was also held in Taiz yesterday, and photographs can be seen here.

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011/12.

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