S. Sudan drops kidnapping charges against American

Updated 07 December 2012
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S. Sudan drops kidnapping charges against American

JUBA, South Sudan: South Sudan has dropped charges against an American citizen arrested for kidnapping and whose family claimed security forces demanded $ 100,000 for his release, US diplomats said yesterday.
Elton McCabe and his Iraqi colleague Mohamed Oghlah were arrested in October on charges of plotting to kidnap a Indian businessman for a $ 5 million ransom.
“We can confirm that the High Court of Central Equatoria State dismissed the case against Mr. Elton McCabe and Mr. Mohamed Oghlah,” the US embassy in Juba said in a statement. McCabe’s wife said last month that the men, who were working for a consultancy firm in Juba, were arrested on the street by intelligence services on Oct. 14, and were beaten in custody and denied food and medicine.
She added that she had been asked to pay $ 100,000 for his release. South Sudan’s government and security forces have yet to comment on the matter and could not be reached yesterday.
Their lawyer Agok Makur said the justice ministry “once they realized that there was no case wrote to the judge” and the case had been dropped.
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation after winning independence in July 2011 following decades of war with Sudan, is struggling to build basic institutions, and its security forces are made up of former rebel fighters.


Macron and Merkel warn of ‘humanitarian risks’ in Idlib

Russian military support has helped Syrian regime troops to regain control of key cities such as Aleppo. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Macron and Merkel warn of ‘humanitarian risks’ in Idlib

  • US-backed forces had repelled a raid by Daesh targeting barracks housing American and French troops in eastern Syria
  • Daesh overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” in territory it controlled

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern Friday about the humanitarian situation in the opposition-held Syrian region of Idlib, which is shaping up be the country’s next big battleground.
In a telephone call the two leaders described the “humanitarian risks” in Idlib, where regime forces have stepped up their bombardments of opposition positions in recent days, as “very high,” according to the French presidency.
They also called for an “inclusive political process to allow lasting peace in the region.”
President Bashar Assad has set his sights on retaking control of the northwestern province of Idlib — the biggest area still in opposition hands after seven years of war.
Last week, regime helicopters dropped leaflets over towns in Idlib’s east, urging people to surrender.
Idlib, which sits between Syria’s Mediterranean coast and the second city Aleppo, has been a landing point for thousands of civilians and rebel fighters and their families as part of deals struck with the regime following successive regime victories.
The UN has called for talks to avert “a civilian bloodbath” in the northern province, which borders Turkey.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said US-backed forces had repelled a raid by Daesh targeting barracks housing American and French troops in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition supporting them were on high alert after the raid late on Friday at the Omar oil field in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, the Britain-based war monitor said.
“The attack targeted the oil field’s housing, where US-led coalition forces and leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces are present,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Seven terrorists were killed in the attack, which ended at dawn after clashes near the barracks, he added.
Contacted by AFP, neither the US-led coalition nor the Kurdish-led SDF were immediately available for comment.
In October last year, the SDF took control of the Omar oil field, one of the largest in Syria, which according to The Syria Report economic weekly had a pre-war output of 30,000 barrels per day. “It’s the largest attack of its kind since the oil field was turned into a coalition base” following its capture by the SDF, Abdel Rahman said.
Daesh overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” in territory it controlled.
But the terrorist group has since lost nearly all of it to multiple offensives in both countries.
In Syria, two separate campaigns — by the US-backed SDF and by the Russia-supported regime — have reduced Daesh’s presence to pockets in Deir Ezzor and in the vast desert that lies between it and the capital.