Jordan at a crossroads, end the crisis or uncertainty awaits us: Jordan’s king warns

File photo showing Jordanian King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Hani Al-Mulki who resigned over growing protests against his government’s austerity measures. (AFP)
Updated 05 June 2018
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Jordan at a crossroads, end the crisis or uncertainty awaits us: Jordan’s king warns

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced on Monday that he “stands with the Jordanian people” regarding the on-going crisis in the kingdom.

King Abdullah II said in a statement that he recognizes the people’s “struggles” amidst a hike in the cost of living that has led to five consecutive days of violent demonstrations in Jordan.

King Abdullah blamed regional conflicts for the worsening economic situation in his country, and he bemoaned the government for failing to communicate to the people its controversial new taxation plan.

Finally, the king called for a “constructive and transparent dialogue” to resolve the crisis, calling on the government to listen to all Jordanians.

The king’s statement also reiterateted the need to protect Jordanians with low-to-middle income — insisting that citizens must feel a higher return and quality of services in return for paying higher taxes.


UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

Khalifa Haftar. (Supplied)
Updated 21 August 2018
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UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

  • Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar
  • Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees

TRIPOLI: The UN has called on Libya’s internationally recognized government to crack down on armed groups obstructing the work of state institutions in the chaos-wracked country.
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) late on Sunday night expressed its “strong condemnation of the violence, intimidation and obstruction to the work of Libya’s sovereign institutions by militiamen.”
It called on the UN-backed Government of National Accord to “prosecute those responsible for these criminal actions.”
The GNA’s military and security institutions have failed to place limits on the powerful militias that sprung up in the turmoil that followed the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Several state institutions, including those in Tripoli, have been regular targets of harassment and intimidation by armed groups technically operating under the GNA’s Interior Ministry.
Members of militias “nominally acting under the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord are attacking sovereign institutions and preventing them from being able to operate effectively,” UNSMIL said.
Last week, the GNA’s National Oil Corp. said men from the Interior Ministry had forced their way into the headquarters of Brega Petroleum Marketing Company — a distribution outfit — to “arrest” its chief.
The Libyan Investment Authority, the GNA-managed sovereign wealth fund, recently moved from its downtown Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees.
UNSMIL said it would work with the international community and the GNA to “investigate the possibility of bringing sanctions against those interfering with or threatening the operations of any sovereign institution.”
Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
A myriad of militias,terrorist groups and people traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the North African country.