Southern Yemen leader sees independence referendum soon

Yemeni soldiers march during a military parade in the southern port city of Aden,Yemen, on October 14, 2017, Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 14 October 2017
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Southern Yemen leader sees independence referendum soon

ADEN/DUBAI: Yemen’s former Aden governor, who has declared a council that seeks secession for southern Yemen, said late on Friday a referendum on independence would be announced soon.
Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi, who governed Yemen’s main southern city of Aden until he was sacked by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in April, made his announcement during an interview with a local news channel.
Al-Zubaidi announced on May 11 the new council formed by senior tribal, military and political figures. The council seeks the secession of southern Yemen and is looking to establish a political leadership under his presidency that would represent and administer the south.
The move threatens more turmoil in the impoverished country where the internationally recognized government is forced to sit in Aden because Houthi rebels control the capital Sanaa.
Hadi’s government has rejected the formation of the council, saying it would deepen divisions and play into the hands of the Houthi rebels.
Many southerners feel that officials in the north have exploited their resources and cut them off from jobs and influence.
‘Saleh stable’
Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh has had a successful operation at a Sanaa hospital after a Russian medical team was flown in to perform it, government sources said on Saturday.
The Russian team arrived in Sanaa two days ago and operated on Saleh on Friday for the wounds he sustained in an assassination attempt in 2011.
Saleh’s General People’s Congress Party said the procedure was successful, and that his condition was stable. He was severely wounded in an attack on the presidential palace in Sanaa in June 2011. He went to the US for treatment on one occasion, before a travel ban was imposed.
The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Saleh in 2014, accusing him of threatening peace and obstructing Yemen’s political process, subjecting him to a global travel ban and an asset freeze.Saleh ruled Yemen for 34 years, but was forced from power after pro-democracy protests in 2012. Forming a surprise alliance with the Houthi movement when they seized Sanaa in 2014.


British defense contractor under fraud investigation over suspected corruption in Algeria

Updated 42 min 29 sec ago
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British defense contractor under fraud investigation over suspected corruption in Algeria

  • Ultra said in a statement that it had referred itself to the British fraud authorities and that the SFO investigation concerned the business conduct of Ultra, its subsidiaries, employees and associated persons
  • The SFO’s investigation into Ultra, which makes military electronics for land, air and sea forces, follows probes into other British companies operating in the defense sector including Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems

LONDON: Ultra Electronics on Thursday announced that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office had opened a criminal investigation into “suspected corruption in the conduct of business” by the British defense contractor in Algeria.
Ultra said in a statement that it had referred itself to the British fraud authorities and that the SFO investigation concerned the business conduct of Ultra, its subsidiaries, employees and associated persons.
“Given the stage of these matters, it is not possible to estimate reliably what effect the outcome of this matter may have on the group,” Ultra said, adding that it continued to co-operate with the SFO.
The SFO in a statement said it was looking into Ultra but said it could not provide additional information as the investigation “is live.”
Ultra shares were down 6 percent in early trade.
The SFO’s investigation into Ultra, which makes military electronics for land, air and sea forces, follows probes into other British companies operating in the defense sector including Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
Ultra Electronics’s biggest market is North America with just 17 percent of its revenue coming from what it calls “rest of the world.” It does not mention Algeria in its annual report.
Ultra, which last month abandoned a bid for US company Sparton Corp. due to anti-trust concerns, is currently without a chief executive.
Douglas Caster assumed the role of executive chairman last year after the previous CEO quit. New CEO Simon Pryce is due to join in June.
The SFO has been criticized by lawmakers in the past over its efforts to bring companies and senior individuals to book. More recently it has secured deferred prosecution agreements with Rolls-Royce and Tesco and filed unprecedented criminal charges against Barclays and former senior executives.