UAE flies medical aid to African countries in fight against coronavirus spread

The aid plane to Sierra Leone carried seven metric tons of medical supplies. (WAM)
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Updated 11 May 2020

UAE flies medical aid to African countries in fight against coronavirus spread

  • The UAE sent a medical aid plane to Niger and another to Mali that contain six metric tons of medical supplies
  • A Kuwaiti military aircraft shipped out medical supplies from China

DUBAI: The UAE sent aid planes to Sierra Leone, Niger and Mali on Sunday to help countries  fight the coronavirus outbreak in the region.
The aid included seven tons of medical supplies for about 7,000 medical professionals working in Sierra Leone,, state news agency WAM reported.
"The UAE is committed to assisting its partners throughout Africa in their relentless fight against COVID-19. Today’s provision of aid will boost medical professionals’ ability to combat this virus with the necessary protection and equipment to ensure their safety," Charge d'Affaires of the UAE Embassy in Senegal Omar Al-Meheiri said.
The UAE also sent  aid to Niger and Mali that c including six metric tons of medical supplies to help 6,000 professionals in each country.
"Aid to Niger comes as part of the UAE’s efforts to ensure that medical professionals throughout Africa, especially those in the Sahel region, have access to the necessary personal protective equipment to enable their critical work on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19," Charge d'Affaires of the UAE Embassy in Chad Amer Al-Menhali said.
"Mali is an important partner to the UAE in efforts to strengthen the fight against COVID-19 throughout Africa. Today’s delivery of medical aid to Mali will help protect medical workers who are leading the campaign against the virus’ spread," UAE Ambassador to Algeria and Non-Resident Ambassador to Mali Yousef Saif Al-Ali said.
So far the UAE has sent more than 479 tons of aid to more than 44 countries, benefitting nearly 479,000 medical professionals.
Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti military aircraft flew medical supplies from China to support the country’s fight against the pandemic, state news agency KUNA reported.
Kuwait’s Ambassador to China Sameeh Hayat said today’s aid plane was the 10th and that each shipment carries about 50 to 55 tons of medical supplies. He added that this trip came as part of a series of efforts done by the Ministry of Defense in coordination with the health ministry.


UN warns of possible ‘war crimes’ in Turkish-controlled Syria

Updated 5 min 39 sec ago

UN warns of possible ‘war crimes’ in Turkish-controlled Syria

  • The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups, Bachelet’s office said
  • Those affiliated groups have also seized and looted houses, land and property without any apparent military necessity, said OHCHR

GENEVA: Armed groups in the area of northern Syria controlled by Turkey may have committed war crimes and other violations of international law, the UN rights chief said Friday.
Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the situation in those areas of Syria was grim, with violence and criminality rife.
In a statement, Bachelet’s UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said it had noted an “alarming pattern in recent months of grave violations,” having documented increased killings, kidnappings, unlawful transfers of people, seizures of land and properties and forcible evictions.
The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups, Bachelet’s office said.
Those affiliated groups have also seized and looted houses, land and property without any apparent military necessity, said OHCHR.
Furthermore, increased infighting among the various Turkish-affiliated armed groups over power-sharing was causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.
Turkey controls large stretches of northeastern Syria through various armed groups, and is conducting operations aimed at driving out Kurdish militias and extremists.
In October last year, Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies occupied a 120-kilometer (75-mile) stretch of land inside the Syrian border from Kurdish forces.
Ankara has also deployed forces in several military posts it established in northwestern Idlib as part of a 2018 deal with regime ally Moscow, while Turkey also controls a stretch of territory along its border in neighboring Aleppo province following a series of military offensives since 2016.Bachelet’s office said it had documented the abduction and disappearance of civilians, including women and children.
It also said that from the start of the year until last Monday, it had verified the deaths of at least 116 civilians as a result of improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war, while a further 463 civilians were injured.
“I urge Turkey to immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into the incidents we have verified, account for the fate of those detained and abducted by the affiliated armed groups and hold accountable those responsible for what may, in some instances, amount to crimes under international law, including war crimes,” Bachelet said.
“This is all the more vital given that we have received disturbing reports that some detainees and abductees have allegedly been transferred to Turkey following their detention in Syria by affiliated armed groups.”
Meanwhile Bachelet voiced concern that parties to the conflict in Syria were using essential services as a weapon.
“Impeding access to water, sanitation and electricity endangers the lives of large numbers of people, a danger rendered all the more acute amid fighting a global pandemic,” she said.