Oman to deport over 1,000 expats

Updated 27 May 2015
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Oman to deport over 1,000 expats

MUSCAT: Oman plans to deport over 1,000 foreigners found to be working illegally on a multi-billion dollar project to expand Muscat International Airport, in a sign of tensions between its labor policy and its big infrastructure building plans.
“The companies for which these illegal workers were working will be fined and the workers will be deported,” Salim bin Said Al-Badi, director-general of labor welfare at the Ministry of Manpower, was quoted as saying this week by local media.
Times of Oman said the laborers were employed to build a new terminal at the airport, but did not have the necessary work permits for the construction sector. Instead, they held visas to work in restaurants, coffee shops and barber shops, and as tailors and housemaids.
The media reports said at least some of the workers were from Bangladesh, but did not give details or name the companies involved.
There are over 1.5 million foreign workers in Oman, many of them from south and southeast Asia; they far outnumber the Omani citizens working in the private sector.
The government wants to limit the number of foreigners, in order to make more jobs available for Omanis and reduce the amount of wages remitted abroad.
The Al Shabiba daily quoted Minister of Transport and Communications Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Futaisi as saying the deportations would not delay the planned completion of the airport project by the end of 2016.


Sudan’s army calls for unconditional talks with protesters

Updated 20 June 2019
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Sudan’s army calls for unconditional talks with protesters

  • Protest leaders have set conditions for a resumption of talks, including a withdrawal of the military and militias from cities
  • At least 128 people were killed across the country since security forces cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s military council said talks on the transition of power should resume without preconditions, signaling a continued standoff with opposition leaders who launched nighttime demonstrations to push for civilian rule.
Protest leaders have set conditions for a resumption of talks, including a withdrawal of the military and militias from cities, the resumption of Internet service and an international investigation of the violent razing of their sit-in camp on June 3.
Transition talks collapsed over the military’s crackdown.
At least 128 people were killed across the country since security forces cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters. Authorities offer a lower death toll of 61, including three from security forces.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the council, told health workers in Khartoum on Wednesday that the council did not have preconditions for returning to the negotiating table with the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which has represented protesters.
He said neither side should make up-front demands.
“I repeat our invitation to all political forces and the FDFC to come (for talks), and there is no need for preconditions,” he said. “We do not deny their role in the uprising and the popular revolution ..., but the solution should be satisfactory to all Sudanese factions.”
Protest leaders could not be reached immediately for comment.
On Saturday, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association said it would stick to its conditions for the resumption of talks.
Meanwhile, protest leaders launched nighttime protests this week.
Late Wednesday, about 300 protesters, mostly young people, marched in Khartoum’s western district of Abbasiya, waving Sudanese flags and calling for justice for those killed since the sit-in dispersal.
Protesters avoid daytime demonstrations for fear of being quashed by security forces heavily deployed in Khartoum.
The military council has rejected the idea of an international probe and said it had started its own investigation along with another one by prosecutors.
An Ethiopian initiative to resume talks apparently failed to make progress in the deadlock. A top general in the military council pushed back last week against a key demand from the protest leaders to have the majority in a transitional legislative body.
Burhan said that the country cannot remain without a government, more than three months after the military ousted autocratic President Omar Al-Bashir in April.
“We do not want that things (get) out of control,” Burhan said. “Another coup could be carried out because of the country’s impasse.”