Tag Archives: sudan

Observations of an expat: Shifting Arabian sands

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The recent establishment of diplomatic relations and business ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates raises a host of questions, hopes, problems, issues and consequences.

Is it good or bad?  In the constant shifting sands of the Middle East where tribal loyalties overlap with religious and ethnic rivalries it is probably best to say that it is a bit of both, and the need for a supreme balancing act will continue to be the order of the day.

The UAE has at least partially opened the diplomatic floodgates and other Arab countries are expected to soon follow. It is reckoned that the next Arab country to establish links with Israeli will be the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was among the first to congratulate both Israel and the UAE on their bold move. The reason? Sunni king Al Khalifa is terrified of Iran. The Persians have long claimed the island as part of their territory, and 60 percent of the population is Shia.

Next on the likely list is Oman. The late Sultan Qaboos regularly acted as a mediator between Arab and Israeli interests. In 2018 he hosted a visit to Muscat by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Omanis have been praised for their regional diplomacy, not only between Israel and the Arab world, but also between Iran and Arabia.

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone – Darfur is still suffering ten years after conflict began

Women in the Abu Shouk camp for displaced people, north Darfur, Sudan - Some rights reserved by DFID - UK Department for International DevelopmentJust back from a visit to Darfur, Lynne Featherstone writes on Huffpo about continuing concerns for the region:

Britain’s aid programme is about people, not numbers. But sometimes, the figures are so shocking it is impossible to escape them.

This year marks 10 years since the start of conflict in Darfur and the numbers speak for themselves. During

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‘Sent back by Britain. Executed in Darfur’

So reports The Independent today:

A failed asylum-seeker who returned to Darfur under a government repatriation scheme has been murdered by Sudanese security officers after they followed him home from the airport in Khartoum, The Independent has learnt.

Adam Osman Mohammed, 32, was gunned down in his home in front of his wife and four-year-old son just days after arriving in his village in south Darfur.

The case is to be used by asylum campaigners to counter Home Office attempts to lift the ban on the removal and deportation to Sudan of failed asylum-seekers. Next month, government lawyers are expected to go to

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Opinion: With Darfur still burning, the question that must be asked – has the Liberal hand lost its touch in times of crisis?

With the relentless genocide in Darfur still incendiary, our attention must turn to the lack of affront from the liberal contingent. Unlike the Arab/Israeli conflict or the violence in Sri Lanka, the Liberal Democrats have lucid policy on the crisis in Sudan. Without a doubt the strength of Lib Dem rhetoric does not match the strength of our policy. This begs the question: has the Liberal hand lost its touch in times of crisis?

It was Liberals who hailed the end of Apartheid. The recent death of Helen Suzman was a poignant reminder of this. It was liberal democracy that salved …

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