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Yemen plans 500 percent increase in anti-terror budget

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

CAIRO Yemen has approved a plan for a significant increase to its security agencies as part of an effort to battle Islamic insurgency groups.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the government will allocate 12,000 police and other law enforcement officers to the nation's security forces. Saleh said the increase was one recommendation by the Yemeni Defense Council, which issued a report over the weekend on the need to restructure and improve national security.

Under the council's plan approved by Saleh, Yemen would increase its security budget more than five-fold in 2003. Officials said the Interior Ministry budget would be increased from 5 billion Yemeni riyals [$28.2 million] in fiscal 2002 to 27 billion riyals [$152.5 million] in 2003, Middle East Newsline reported. The increase is expected to stem from U.S. military aid to Sanaa.


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Officials said the government plans to deploy the additional security forces around Yemen over the next month. Yemen has scheduled parliamentary elections on April 27.

Yemen's security plan also calls for the establishment of 260 administrative centers throughout the country. Yemen would be divided into 21 governorates, and under the first stage of the plan the government would establish 170 security centers.

Officials said that so far most of the Yemeni efforts have been focused on imposing order on provinces that border Saudi Arabia, long been used by Islamic insurgents linked to Al Qaida as well as arms and drug smugglers.

The provinces include that of Maareb and Jawf.

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