AU asks Mali groups to cut ties with ‘terrorists’

Updated 15 November 2012
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AU asks Mali groups to cut ties with ‘terrorists’

PARIS: African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma yesterday urged armed groups in Mali, sliced in two since a coup, to sever ties with “terrorists.”
Her appeal following talks in Paris with French President Francois Hollande came as African plans to send a 3,300-strong military force to retake control of northern Mali gathered pace with a west African regional bloc and the African Union endorsing military intervention.
Mali rapidly imploded after a coup in Bamako in March allowed Tuareg desert nomads, who had relaunched a decades-old rebellion for independence, to seize the main towns in the desert north.
Tuareg were quickly sidelined by militants linked to Al-Qaeda, who implemented their separate law.
“We’d like to convince the armed Malian groups to come to the negotiations and to delink themselves with the terrorists and criminal groups,” said Zuma.
“The preparations for the intervention are continuing, and we’ll take it step by step,” she said, stressing that she preferred a peaceful resolution.
“Obviously, if we can get peace in Mali and recovering the territorial integrity without going to war fine, but we are preparing,” Zuma added. The entire northern expanse of Mali — an area bigger than France — has been under rebel control since shortly after a March 22 army coup that led to a power vacuum across the desert north that was quickly filled by rebel forces.
Meanwhile, Ansar Dine, one of the armed groups occupying northern Mali, said yesterday it does not want to impose separate law across the entire country, but still wants to keep it in its stronghold of Kidal. The movement currently occupies the sparsely populated Kidal region in the northeast of the country.
Hollande, who has said that France would not intervene on its own in the crisis, reiterated yesterday that “it is the responsibility of Africans to find solutions so that Mali regains its territorial integrity.” The UN is expected to pass a resolution approving the African military mission for Mali before the end of the year, but it is still not clear when the first troops could be deployed.


With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

Routine day at Dubai International Airport. AN photo
Updated 23 May 2018
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With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

  • The ruler of Dubai changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies
  • The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals

NEW DELHI: Indians are likely to “flood” the UAE once its recently announced residency visa rules for students and highly qualified professionals come into place, experts said Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and the prime minister of the UAE, announced on Sunday a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as their families.
 As part of the changes, students will get five-year visas and “exceptional” graduates will be eligible for a 10-year visa.  Students currently have to apply to renew their visa each year.
The ruler of Dubai also changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies. So far companies have been required to have a local partner who would hold the majority stake.
 The changes are expected to kick in during the third quarter of this year.
 “The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted as he announced the new rules.
 The UAE, with its proximity to India, high salaries and low taxes, has always been a magnet for Indians. It is home to about 2.6 million Indians who make up roughly 30 percent of the country’s population, according to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. These numbers are expected to shoot up once the new rules apply.
 “Indians are always looking at new work opportunities anywhere in the world,” said Aradhana Mahna, managing director of Manya Education, a study abroad solutions provider in Delhi.  While the US and the UK have historically been avenues for Indian students looking to study abroad, the number of students applying to those countries have undergone a “sharp decline” since the election of US President Donald Trump — who made protectionist comments during his campaign days and since taking office — and since the UK decided to split with the European Union, Mahna said.
 “Dubai is close to home and that has always made it a preferred destination for Indians. Especially now with the US going down, it will be flooded by Indians,” she added.
Mukesh Bhasin, partner at Career Connect, an executive search firm that focuses on banking, financial services and the insurance sector (BFSI), agreed that the new rules would go a long way in attracting Indian talent.
 “The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals,” he said. “The encouraging visa regime will lead to a lot of interest from Indian BFSI professionals toward Middle East opportunities given the already-existing tax benefits and international-quality lifestyle.”
 Since the collapse in 2008 of Lehman Brothers, most developed markets, including neighboring Singapore and Hong Kong, have cut back on the number of people they are hiring from abroad for their domestic operations. This includes a slowdown in foreign transfers for Indian employees of multinational banks, said Bhasin.