Sudan’s Al-Bashir reiterates pledge to give up power in 2020

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir today renewed his previous pledges to give up power at the end of his second presidential term in 2020. “I promise to give you Sudan in 2020 clean, after achieving peace in the Darfur region and the regions of the Blue Nile and South Kordofan,” he said. The premier went on to announce the start of the implementation of a package of development and service projects in the five states of the Darfur region without giving details about the nature of the projects. “The next phase will see the evacuation of displaced persons camps, renovation of their original places, and the provision of basic services for them,” he said. Read: Sudan and South Sudan agree to […]

Sudan welcomes Palestinian reconciliation

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah as a victory for the Palestinian people and Arab nations, the Sudanese news agency reported. The president made the remarks during a meeting with the Palestinian Presidential envoy Azzam Al-Ahmad who delivered a letter from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas regarding developments between the two parties. During the meeting, Al-Ahmad stressed Abbas’ keenness to brief the Sudanese leadership on the Palestinian developments, considering Khartoum among the first countries to hasten dialogue between Hamas and Fatah. Read: Handing control of crossings to the PA ‘removes Israeli pretext for siege on Gaza’ He went on to brief Al-Bashir regarding the Palestinian struggle in east Jerusalem, attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque […]

Is Saudi’s Bin Salman tackling corruption or making money?

Tackling corruption is an Islamic duty akin to combating terrorism, senior Saudi clerics have said in response to the recent purge on princes, officials and businessmen which has seen dozens arrested over the weekend. As part of its “religious duty”, the newly established anti-corruption commission, set up at the behest of King Salman, hit the ground running and has already led to the arrest of prominent businessmen including Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal who is said to be worth $16.7 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Critics have called the cull further proof that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is eradicating any opposition, ensuring his succession and gaining overall control of the country. The move comes less than five months after he […]

Saudi deputy governor killed in helicopter crash near Yemen

The deputy governor of Saudi Arabia’s southern Asir province and several colleagues were killed in a helicopter crash yesterday, Saudi state TV Ekhbariya reported. Local newspaper Okaz reported the helicopter went down while the officials were taking a tour of an area near the coast in Asir, which borders Yemen. The reports did not elaborate on the cause of the crash. The news comes as Saudi Arabia has begun a crackdown on princes, businessmen and officials, including the Kingdom’s best-known international investor, Al-Waleed Bin Talal who was detained at the weekend. Read: Saudi Arabia arrests 46 for ‘stirring divisions’ A no-fly list has been drawn up and security forces in some Saudi airports were barring owners of private jets from taking […]

Saudi imposes travel bans, arrests prominent businessman

A top entrepreneur was reportedly held today in the biggest anti-corruption purge of the Kingdom’s affluent elite in its modern history. Nasser Bin Aqeel Al-Tayyar, a board member at one of the country’s largest travel agencies, was detained as part of a campaign of mass arrests of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen. The arrests are the latest in a series of dramatic steps by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to assert Saudi influence internationally and centralise his own power within a hereditary ruling system at home. The campaign also lengthens an already daunting list of challenges undertaken by the 32-year-old since his father, King Salman, ascended the throne in 2015, including going to war in Yemen, cranking up Riyadh’s […]

Egyptian mother puts her own children up for sale

An Egyptian mother has reportedly put her three children up for sale. Due to the country’s deteriorating economy under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi she needs cash for a house, food and medicine. According to The New Khalij, Hagar Ta’lib said that she and her husband are in need of a home after they were forced to leave their one bedroom flat when they were unable to pay the rent. The Egyptian housewife also said that her and her family were forced to leave a vacant shop in a building owned by the city council of Dasouq in the northern governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh, where she had lived temporarily. Hagar, who was carrying a placard in which she offered to sell […]

Israel arrests 483 Palestinian children this year

Israeli occupation forces have arrested 483 Palestinian children since the start of 2017, the Prisoners and Freed Prisoners Committee announced yesterday. Quds Press reported the official Palestinian rights groups saying that the Israeli occupation locked up a number of these children in Ofer Military Prison under administrative detention. The lawyer of the rights group Louai Al-Mansi said “40 Palestinian children were arrested in October”; eight of them were tortured. Al-Mansi said that one child was arrested after he was shot and wounded by Israeli occupation forces. Read: 250 Palestinian children placed under house arrest The children range in age from 13-17 years old, he explained. Fines of 78,000 shekels ($21,430) had been levied on them.

Report: Lebanon will not accept Hariri’s resignation until he returns

Lebanese President Michel Aoun will not accept or reject the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri until he returns from Saudi Arabia to explain his reasons, sources in the presidential palace said. “The president of the republic continues contact and we know that there is no final decision before Hariri’s return and understanding his reasons,” Reuters quoted the sources as saying. Hariri left Lebanon heading to Saudi Arabia on Friday and announced his resignation abruptly from Riyadh on Saturday. Aoun’s decision to delay the decision in Hariri’s resignation signals ambiguity in finding a clear political successor to Hariri which would delay political consultations on the new prime minister. Read: Lebanon too weak for Hariri resignation

Pakistan’s military chief visits Tehran amidst Saudi-Iran tension

Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, arrived in Tehran yesterday on a three day tour in which the influential military chief will meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and discuss defence and security issues. The trip is the first time in more than two decades that an army chief from the Sunni majority state and a close ally of Saudi Arabia has made an official visit to Iran. His arrival was announced by military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor through a tweet. No formal statement was, however, issued revealing the sensitivity with which the two sides are dealing with the visit amidst escalation tensions in the region. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia intercepted missiles over the capital […]