Sudan's Burhan Visits UAE for Talks Over Regional Issues

Burhan heading to the UAE from Khartoum International Airport (SUNA)
Burhan heading to the UAE from Khartoum International Airport (SUNA)
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Sudan's Burhan Visits UAE for Talks Over Regional Issues

Burhan heading to the UAE from Khartoum International Airport (SUNA)
Burhan heading to the UAE from Khartoum International Airport (SUNA)

President of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan started on Sunday a two-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates.

According to a Sovereign Council statement, Burhan was accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation and a number of experts and specialists in negotiation.

He discussed with the UAE leadership the situation in his country and a number of regional issues, the statement added.

The ministerial delegation, led by Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdelbari, is scheduled to hold direct talks with US officials present in the UAE.

The issues to be addressed are removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, supporting the transitional period, writing off American debts on Sudan, and urging friendly countries to take serious steps in the debt relief process.

The visit comes few days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued statements hinting Sudan’s delisting in late October.

On August 25, Pompeo affirmed during his visit to Khartoum the US continued support for the civilian-led transitional government, pointing out that “Sudan’s removal from the list remains a critical bilateral priority for both countries.”

He also raised the issue of Sudan establishing ties with Israel, yet Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told him he had no mandate to do so.

Parties within the ruling Forces of the Declaration for Freedom and Change oppose any steps to normalize relations with Israel.

The transitional government has earlier pledged to pay $300 million for families of the victims of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen and attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, meeting a key condition for removing the country from Washington's terrorism blacklist.

In October 2019, Burhan and Hamdok discussed in a joint visit to the UAE the bilateral relations, especially economic, investment and trade, opportunities for their development in various fields, as well as developments in the political situation in Sudan.

Burhan’s current visit to the UAE is the third. He first visited it in May 2019 as President of Sudan’s transitional military council.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE agreed in April 2019 to send three billion dollars worth of aid, throwing a lifeline to the country’s new military leaders after protests led to the ousting of president Omar al-Bashir.

The two Gulf Arab countries deposited $500 million with the Sudanese central bank and sent the rest in the form of food, medicine, and petroleum products.



Renewed Accusations against Islamic Movement of Fueling War in Sudan

 A circulating archive photo of the leader of the “Freedom and Change” coalition, Khaled Omar Youssef
A circulating archive photo of the leader of the “Freedom and Change” coalition, Khaled Omar Youssef
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Renewed Accusations against Islamic Movement of Fueling War in Sudan

 A circulating archive photo of the leader of the “Freedom and Change” coalition, Khaled Omar Youssef
A circulating archive photo of the leader of the “Freedom and Change” coalition, Khaled Omar Youssef

Following the imposition of US sanctions against former Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti, civilian leaders and officials in the Forces of Freedom and Change called for designating the Islamic Movement, especially its extremist wing, a “terrorist group,” pointing to its role in igniting the war in the country.

The leader of the Forces of Freedom and Change, Khaled Omar Youssef, said that the sanctions confirmed the involvement of the “third party” in the war, which has been going on for 6 months between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Omar, who served as minister of the Council of Ministers in the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, said on X that the sanctions included, for the first time, a “third party” other than the two warring sides, which is the Islamic Movement, represented by its current leader, Ali Ahmed Karti.

Omar explained that the continuation of the current war was not in the interest of any party in Sudan, except elements of the former regime.

On Thursday, the United States announced individual sanctions against Ali Karti, the Secretary-General of the Sudanese Islamic Movement, and two companies associated with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Shihab Ibrahim, leader of the Forces of Freedom and Change, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the sanctions confirmed the role of the Islamic Movement, led by Karti, in igniting the war and its determination to return to power or to remain influential on the political scene.

He also called for designating the movement as a “terrorist group.”

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Islamic Movement described the US Treasury Department’s decision as a source of “honor”.

“The decision of the US Treasury Department is akin to a badge of honor for the Secretary-General of our movement. He has steadfastly dedicated himself and his resources as a jihadist in the name of God and the nation,” the movement said in a statement.

It also emphasized that it “comes as no surprise that the United States is making unjust decisions and positioning itself on the wrong side during a pivotal era in Sudan’s history.”


Türkiye Confirms Readiness to Resume Normalization Talks with Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairing the National Security Council meeting (Turkish Presidency)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairing the National Security Council meeting (Turkish Presidency)
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Türkiye Confirms Readiness to Resume Normalization Talks with Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairing the National Security Council meeting (Turkish Presidency)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairing the National Security Council meeting (Turkish Presidency)

Türkiye has confirmed its readiness to resume normalization talks with Syria, but refused calls for a military withdrawal from the north of the country, saying that it was “illogical” to raise this matter at the present time.

Turkish Defense Minister Yaşar Guler noted that his country “is ready to resume talks with Syria, with the participation of Russia and Iran, as part of the normalization of relations between Ankara and Damascus.”

In statements to the media on Friday, Guler said that Ankara was always ready for dialogue, but the demands of the Syrian side were “not something that can be accepted immediately.”

Türkiye questions the ability of the Syrian army to protect the borders, which Ankara says are threatened by the spread of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the largest component of the SDF.

Moscow, which is sponsoring the process of normalizing relations between Ankara and Damascus, proposed returning to the Adana Agreement, signed in 1999, which allows Turkish forces to penetrate 5 kilometers deep into Syrian territory if they are exposed to threats. However, Türkiye insists on a distance of 30 kilometers and refuses to withdraw from areas under its control in northern Syria.

Iran also revealed that an agreement had been reached between Ankara and Damascus during the last Astana round, which was held on June 20-21, on a formula for the withdrawal of Turkish forces and securing the borders. But the two capitals did not comment on this announcement, which was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

Meanwhile, the Turkish National Security Council confirmed Ankara’s determination to fight terrorist organizations in the region, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which Türkiye considers to be an arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Syria.

A statement issued on Thursday night, at the conclusion of the council meeting, pointed to “the legitimate resistance of the Syrian people against the terrorist organization, which kills innocents and recruits children...”

The statement added that this organization “is the biggest obstacle to peace, security and stability in Syria.”


The National Council Welcomes IAEA’s Decision to Consider Palestine a State

The Palestinian delegation at the IAEA General Conference
The Palestinian delegation at the IAEA General Conference
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The National Council Welcomes IAEA’s Decision to Consider Palestine a State

The Palestinian delegation at the IAEA General Conference
The Palestinian delegation at the IAEA General Conference

The Palestinian National Council and other official institutions in Ramallah welcomed two recent decisions that were described as historic.

The General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency voted by a majority on a draft-resolution to officially adopt the designation of “State of Palestine”. In parallel, the Anglican Church in South Africa decided to declare Israel an “apartheid state.”

In a statement on Friday, the Palestinian National Council said that the overwhelming vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency was a clear condemnation of the Israeli occupation policy of expansion and illegal annexation in violation of international laws.

The Council thanked “all the countries that supported and endorsed the decision, especially the sister Arab Republic of Egypt, which submitted the request on behalf of the State of Palestine.”

The General Conference of the IAEA had voted, with an overwhelming majority of 92 countries, on the Egyptian draft-resolution to officially adopt the designation of “State of Palestine”, and grant it more privileges and rights. The voting was held within the 67th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna.

Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian National Council, Rawhi Fattouh, welcomed the decision of the Anglican Church in South Africa to declare Israel an “apartheid state.”

In a statement on Friday, Fattouh said: “This decision is a victory for our Palestinian cause, and expresses the extent of injustice and racial discrimination against the Palestinian people, especially the storming of Islamic and Christian places of worship, the attacks on Christian clergy, and the operations of repression committed by the fascist occupation government.”

The Higher Committee of Churches Affairs in Palestine also hailed the decision of the Anglican Church, noting that it came in response to and in solidarity with the calls made by Palestinian Christians to hold Israel accountable for its “crimes against the Palestinian people.”

The Anglican Church in South Africa has dioceses in Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Angola, and St. Helena, in addition to South Africa. It holds its church council, the “Synod,” every three years.


UNICEF: More Than 16,000 Children Are Displaced Following Libya Floods

A Libyan child near his destroyed house in Derna (Reuters)
A Libyan child near his destroyed house in Derna (Reuters)
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UNICEF: More Than 16,000 Children Are Displaced Following Libya Floods

A Libyan child near his destroyed house in Derna (Reuters)
A Libyan child near his destroyed house in Derna (Reuters)

More than 16,000 children are displaced in eastern Libya following “Africa’s deadliest storm in recorded history,” UNICEF has warned.

The UN agency said Friday that the displaced children’s psychosocial well-being is at stake, noting that many more children are affected due to a lack of essential services, such as health, schooling, and safe water supply.

While the number of children among the casualties is not yet confirmed, UNICEF fears hundreds died in the disaster, given that children account for about 40 percent of the population.

UNICEF stated that significant damage to health and education infrastructure means children once again risk further disruption to their learning and the outbreak of deadly diseases.

It noted that waterborne illnesses are a growing concern due to water supply issues, significant damage to water sources and sewer networks, and the risk of groundwater contamination.

In Derna alone, 50 percent of water systems are estimated to have been damaged.

UNICEF has actively supported the children in eastern Libya since day two of the crisis.

Sixty-five metric tons of relief supplies have been delivered to affected areas, including medical supplies for 50,000 people for three months, family hygiene kits for almost 17,000 people, 500 children’s winter clothing sets, 200 school-in-a-box kits, and 32,000 water purification tablets.

UNICEF has also dispatched mobile child protection and psychosocial support teams to help children cope with the emotional toll of the disaster.


Houthis Intensify Campaign of Arrests in Sanaa

Protesters demonstrate in Taiz (Reuters)
Protesters demonstrate in Taiz (Reuters)
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Houthis Intensify Campaign of Arrests in Sanaa

Protesters demonstrate in Taiz (Reuters)
Protesters demonstrate in Taiz (Reuters)

In an unprecedented security deployment, Houthi security forces have spread throughout Sanaa, intensifying a campaign of arrests against individuals suspected of participating in celebrations marking the anniversary of the September 26 Revolution.

The group threatened opposition figures while its supporters continued their campaign against Yemeni women, accusing them of being agents.

Local sources and residents in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis had closed the Sabeen Square, which is one of Sanaa's largest squares and a significant place for youth and military displays.

The Houthi forces have deployed armed units throughout various districts of the capital and pursued young individuals accused of participating in the September 26 Revolution anniversary celebrations. They arrested numerous individuals, including teenagers.

According to sources, Houthis promised to release detainees under fourteen years of age after detaining them for several days. However, the rest of the prisoners will be referred to intelligence agencies for investigation, sparking fears of torture.

Houthi media continues its campaign against celebration participants, particularly in Sanaa and Ibb.

Local sources reported that opposition figures received death threats for calling for the release of detainees.

- The government denounces

Yemen's Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Moammar al-Eryani condemned the Houthi smear campaign against Yemeni women who took to Sanaa streets, raising flags and chanting national slogans, in celebration of the 61st anniversary of the September 26 Revolution.

Eryani said the campaign revealed the "true and ugly face of the militia and its disavowal of all values ​​and customs."

The Minister noted that Yemeni women suffered unprecedented pains since the Houthi militia's coup in 2015, as thousands of women were abducted from their homes, workplaces, public streets, and checkpoints.

The Yemeni Minister warned of Houthi "brainwashing" attempts through media, platforms, and cultural policies implemented in schools and universities.

The attempts aim to "limit the role of women to be a reproductive role driven by the idea of ​​jihad and providing child soldiers who use them as fuel for their endless wars, and pushes women to retreat to home."

The Minister characterized Houthi group policies as "destructive policies for the society that extend to future generations, and with which they lead Yemen in the footsteps of the Taliban and other terrorist groups to threaten not only the peace of Yemen but the security and peace of the entire world."

Eryani criticized restricting women's movement and freedom by preventing their movement between governorates and their travel through Sanaa airport without a mahram, a male relative escort.

He stated that the Houthis prohibited them from working with organizations, using telephones and cosmetics, and going to restaurants without showing the marriage contract, and sitting in public places.

- Diverse violations

The Minister highlighted Houthi practices against women, stating that they mobilized and recruited hundreds of women, blackmailed them for their livelihoods, and integrated them into their security apparatus known as al-Zainabiyat.

He called on the international community, the UN, its special envoy to Yemen, and human and women's rights organizations to assume their part in stopping ongoing Houthi violations against Yemeni women.

According to him, they constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination against Women.

Eryani emphasized the need to work immediately to release all abducted and forcibly disappeared women, prosecute those involved in crimes and violations against Yemeni women, and include the militia and its leaders on terrorist lists.


Algeria Bans French Educational Curriculum amid Worsening Disputes with Paris

 The Algerian President with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in Algeria on Oct. 10, 2022 (Algerian Presidency)
The Algerian President with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in Algeria on Oct. 10, 2022 (Algerian Presidency)
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Algeria Bans French Educational Curriculum amid Worsening Disputes with Paris

 The Algerian President with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in Algeria on Oct. 10, 2022 (Algerian Presidency)
The Algerian President with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in Algeria on Oct. 10, 2022 (Algerian Presidency)

Algeria’s Ministry of Education has warned more than 500 private schools against using the French curriculum, threatening to resort to the judiciary in the event of non-compliance with the decision, which comes in the context of the conflict between the two countries over the history of France’s colonial past in Algeria.

While the Algerian education law stipulates the application of the local curriculum only, an inspection conducted by the ministry highlighted a certain degree of non-compliance, as some schools adopt the French curriculum exclusively, to meet the demands of the parents, who hope to send their children to French universities in the future.

In parallel with this measure, which raises controversy among students and parents alike, the National Center for Distance Education announced that it will stop receiving registration requests for those wishing to sit the French baccalaureate exam, which is held in May of each year.

Pedagogy specialists have pointed to a number of problems faced by baccalaureate holders when they are forced to continue their education in French in many Algerian colleges and universities, in the fields of medicine, engineering, and various sciences.

According to observers, these government decisions reflect the intensifying conflict between the two countries over the history of French colonialism in Algeria. While the Algerians insist that France apologize for the crimes of the occupation, Paris categorically refuses to make such step.

Last year, the Algerian government introduced the teaching of English in the first educational cycle, in preparation for replacing the French language, which has been used as the official language of companies and government agencies since independence in 1962.

In 2021, several ministries started applying Arabic in all their internal correspondence and documents, prohibiting their staff from using a language other than Arabic. This came in response to statements by French President Emmanuel Macron in October 2021, in which he said that Algeria was not a nation before the French occupation in 1830.


Israeli Troops Kill Hamas Man Who Army Says Attacked Post in West Bank

A protester hurls stones at members of the Israeli forces as they clash in the village of Kfar Qaddum, in the occupied West Bank, on September 29, 2023, during a demonstration against expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
A protester hurls stones at members of the Israeli forces as they clash in the village of Kfar Qaddum, in the occupied West Bank, on September 29, 2023, during a demonstration against expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
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Israeli Troops Kill Hamas Man Who Army Says Attacked Post in West Bank

A protester hurls stones at members of the Israeli forces as they clash in the village of Kfar Qaddum, in the occupied West Bank, on September 29, 2023, during a demonstration against expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
A protester hurls stones at members of the Israeli forces as they clash in the village of Kfar Qaddum, in the occupied West Bank, on September 29, 2023, during a demonstration against expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Israeli soldiers on Friday killed a member of the Hamas group who the army said was among assailants who threw fire bombs at a military post in the occupied West Bank.

The military said the attack on the post was near Psagot, an Israeli settlement.

"Soldiers conducting routine activity at the scene identified the suspects and responded with live fire. Two assailants were neutralized and transferred to receive medical treatment," Reuters quoted the army.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said one of the men later died of his wounds. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip but has strong support in the West Bank as well, claimed the man as a member.

Violence in the West Bank has raged for more than a year, amid stepped-up Israeli military raids, increased settler assaults on Palestinian villages, and a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.


Syrian Kurdish Fighters Say They've Captured Senior ISIS Militant

ISIS militants - AFP/File Photo
ISIS militants - AFP/File Photo
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Syrian Kurdish Fighters Say They've Captured Senior ISIS Militant

ISIS militants - AFP/File Photo
ISIS militants - AFP/File Photo

Syrian Kurdish fighters and American forces have captured a senior member of the ISIS group, a militant described as one of its “key facilitators," the force said Friday.

Mahmdouh Ibrahim al-Haji, also known as Abu Youssef, was taken into custody on Thursday in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, according to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, just days after the US military said it had captured another ISIS operator in northern Syria.

According to a statement from the Syrian Kurdish fighters, al-Haji “was actively involved in enabling ... terrorist cells in the region.” It added that the joint force raided his hideout west of Raqqa, "and successfully apprehended him.”

Despite their defeat in Syria in March 2019, ISIS sleeper cells are still able to carry out deadly attacks that have killed scores of people over the past year.

According to The AP, the US has approximately 900 troops in Syria focused on countering the remnants of ISIS, which had held a wide swath of the country until 2019.

ISIS declared a self-styled caliphate across the territory in Syria and Iraq that it seized in 2014. It was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017, following a three-year battle that left tens of thousands of people dead and cities in ruins.

UN experts said last month that ISIS still commands between 5,000 and 7,000 members across its former stronghold in Syria and Iraq and that its fighters pose the most serious threat in Afghanistan today.


Palestinian Security Force Deploys in School Compound in Lebanon Refugee Camp

A member of the joint Palestinian security force stands guard in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
A member of the joint Palestinian security force stands guard in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Palestinian Security Force Deploys in School Compound in Lebanon Refugee Camp

A member of the joint Palestinian security force stands guard in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
A member of the joint Palestinian security force stands guard in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

A Palestinian security force deployed Friday in a school complex in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp in the country’s south, replacing gunmen who had occupied it since fighting broke out in late July leaving more than 30 people dead.

The deployment raises hopes that a nearly two-week ceasefire can hold at the Ain el-Hilweh camp near the southern port city of Sidon and that school buildings can be restored. On Sept. 14, members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah group and two militant factions, Jund al Sham and Shabab al Muslim, agreed to a cessation of hostilities.

The complex includes eight schools. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has been urging gunmen from various factions who had dug into position in around the compound to evacuate the area ahead of the school year that is supposed to start in early October.

In the afternoon, a security force of 55 armed fighters who had been considered neutral in the recent clashes — from factions including Hamas, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Asbat al-Ansar — took over the badly damaged compound.


Four More Officials Held after Libya Flood Disaster

People clean their homes which were impacted by fatal floods in Derna, Libya, September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
People clean their homes which were impacted by fatal floods in Derna, Libya, September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
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Four More Officials Held after Libya Flood Disaster

People clean their homes which were impacted by fatal floods in Derna, Libya, September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
People clean their homes which were impacted by fatal floods in Derna, Libya, September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Libya's prosecutor general has ordered the arrest of four more officials, bringing to 12 the number held as part of an inquiry into this month's flood that killed thousands.

Flooding caused by hurricane-strength Storm Daniel tore through eastern Libya on September 10, leaving at least 3,893 people dead and thousands more missing.

The seaside city of Derna was the worst-hit in the flash flood, which witnesses likened to a tsunami. It burst through two dams and washed entire neighborhoods into the Mediterranean.

The four additional suspects, including two members of the Derna municipal council, were arrested for suspected "bad management of the administrative and financial missions which were incumbent upon them", said a statement issued overnight Thursday-Friday by the prosecutor general's office in Tripoli, western Libya.

On Monday the office ordered the arrest of eight officials, including Derna's mayor who was sacked after the flood.