police escorts in yemen
Just left yemen. Entered from Djibouti at Al Mokka, and traveled escort free through Taiz to San'a.
In San'a the tourist police would not issue a travel permit east to Shibam through Marib (the normal escort city) because of the Belgium killings.
Only option was to go south to Aden and along the coast to Oman. Made it 20km from San'a before the escorts started. Lots of phoning around and waiting for the police to decide what to do with us. The police in a Hyundai Sante Fe crammed with soldiers would bring us to the next police stop where sometimes they would exchange us for a new escort, or sometimes continue to the next. Take lots of photocopies of your travel permit. Everybody wants one. 20 would not be too many.
At sunset trying to get to Shuqra (with Yemens only slow driver at the wheel of the escort car) the police would not let us go to the town (2 km from their police checkpoint) and we camped behind the garbage dump - i mean their office.
After Al Mukulla on the way to Oman was the only part of the trip where we were allowed to travel without escort, and had a nice couple bush camps on that stretch.
There would be plenty of super bush camps and dirt roads all over the show if one would be allowed to go there.
It is hard to be angry with the police for being cautious or concerned for our safety, but nothing says "TOURIST COMING YOUR WAY" more than a blue and white police car with lights flashing and siren wailing leading a motorcycle or two. We met with the director of security of Taizz and his explanation of the shooting was tribal conflict between the tribe in Hadramut and the government.
Go slow, be well.