Local News

Soldiers on Campus: Side Effects

National Yemen

Abdulrahman Almozalem and his bus which was smashed by a soldier at Sana’a University

By Maram Alabbasi

Abdulrahman Almozelem, bus driver, was shocked to see a soldier hurrying toward him and then destroying the glass of his bus. Almozalem said that there were students and teachers on the bus at the time, and when he approached the school gate, a soldier approached the vehicle, shattered its windshield with his gun, and then departed without inspecting the people inside..

This event did not come from nowhere. Soliders and bus drivers at Sana’a University have many conflicts. “ I really don’t know why he chose my bus, but this angry soldier would have done it to anyone,” Almozalem said. Bus drivers work everyday under the threat of being forced out of the campus by soldiers who  are supposed to guard the university.

Soliders justify their behavior with school rules which state that private transportation is not allowed on campus. These rules state that only governmental transportation, which is free, is allowed.

The governmental transportation, though, is not readily available. Only one bus comes to the university two or three times early each morning; no other government-transport runs during the day. Students require transportation through the entire day to move between halls and to get to and from the gate of the university.

For students, these small, private buses do them a great favour; were it not for these buses, students would spend hours each week walking to distant facillties. Many students disapprove of the existence of soldiers at their university and have organized many marches and protests on campus. None of them have succeeded in diminishing the miilitary presence on campus.

Instead of securing daily university life, soldiers tend to start conflicts with bus drivers and the students themselves.

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