The Corruption Eating Away at Yemen from the Inside
National Yemen, June 1st 2014
If you look at world history you will see three primary reasons why states undergo great upheavals, or even collapse; wars, political instability and socioeconomic problems. Most of the time, these three are inter-related and can distinguishably reveal themselves. However there is usually another cause that develops silently but eats away at the state from the inside; corruption.
Corruption is one of the main reasons behind socioeconomic problems, one of the three causes of the collapse of states. This player is not alone in the economic world. It is accompanied by bribery and misappropriation, and when those three combine together the result would be the inevitable economic death of the state.
These three players have actively taken parts in Yemen for a very long time. A report prepared by The London Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, in 2013 on the subject of corruption and capital flight in Yemen makes this abundantly clear. (1)
According to the report, 46% of Yemenis are malnourished, and the reason for this is the elite who exploit the country's resources in order to accumulate wealth and then send it out of the country. (2) The report states that not only is this money acquired illegally, but tax is also avoided by sending it abroad. Yemen stands in fifth place in the world in terms of illegal capital flight. The total amount fleeing from the country between the years 1990-2008 is twelve billion dollars. (3) The report goes on to say that the source of a part of this capital is credits obtained from overseas, and that since international institutions are aware of this matter, they are unwilling to issue credit for Yemen. Another important point stressed in the report is that there is also no mechanism in Yemen to prevent the misappropriation of credits obtained. (4) In subsequent sections the report states that corruption is widespread in the military as well; there are many soldiers involved in fuel smuggling and human trafficking and that there is no civilian authority in the country to prevent this. (5)
There may be deficiencies or errors in this report, but it is nonetheless impossible to deny that there is massive corruption and misappropriation going on in Yemen.
New legal arrangements could be introduced in Yemen in order to prevent corruption, and new regulatory bodies could be established, as in many other countries but mostly, the reasons for this situation in Yemen need to be closely examined. Such examination will show that instilling a fear of God in the hearts of every official will produce more precise results than installing a regulator in every institution.
There is a huge difference in behavior between someone who knows that he will go to God and be rewarded (or punished) for his actions and someone who imagines he will not have to account for anything. Someone with no fear of God can commit all kinds of wickedness and turn a blind eye to all manner of immorality out of self-interest. For example, someone capable of coveting even the property of an orphan out of worldly self-interest or some other mundane reason will do so because he has no fear or awe of God. If he believed in God and the Day of Reckoning with certain knowledge he would never do something for which he cannot account in the Hereafter. While those with no fear of God will be capable of stealing from the poor without batting an eye, those who fear God would share all they have with their brothers, even though they themselves are in need.
"You who have faith! Give away some of the good things you have earned and some of what We have produced for you from the earth. Do not have recourse to bad things when you give, things you would only take with your eyes tight shut! Know that God is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy." (Surat al-Baqara, 267)
This fine moral conception is the result of a healthy fear of God. Therefore, when all members of society fear God, all phenomena that will be unpleasing to Him, such as injustice, misappropriation, bribery and corruption, will come to an end.
Another reason for the cruelty and immorality of some people is their passionate devotion to the life of this world. Such people are perhaps worried about ending up in poverty or having no guarantees for their future; because of those reasons, many people make habits out of crimes such as bribery, corruption, theft, bearing false witness or prostitution. However for a believer, the approval of God is more important than anything else in the world. Such a person will scrupulously avoid anything he knows will cause him to lose the approval of God. He will fear God alone, and neither death, nor hunger nor any other troubles will turn him away from the true path.
Consequently, someone who fears God will never compromise on the moral values of the Qur'an, no matter the circumstances; at the same time, such a person will be completely trustworthy. He will always behave in a conscientious manner. Even if he is alone, since he knows that God always sees and hears him he will never behave wrongly or cruelly under any circumstances.
2- Londra Merkezli Chatham House isimli Kraliyet Enstitüsü'nün Yemen'de yolsuzluk ve sermaye kaçışı konusunda 2013 yılında hazırladığı Rapor, sf. VII.
3- A.g.e. sf.XI
4- A.g.e. sf.3
5- A.g.e. sf.21