More than 100 UAE residents tamper with their COVID-19 results to enter Abu Dhabi

More than 100 UAE residents tamper with their COVID-19 results to enter Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi requires residents going through its border checkpoints to present proof they are negative for coronavirus. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 24 July 2020

More than 100 UAE residents tamper with their COVID-19 results to enter Abu Dhabi

More than 100 UAE residents tamper with their COVID-19 results to enter Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi recently updated its travel rules to allow residents to take 48-hour trips outside the emirate

DUBAI: More than 100 UAE residents have been referred to federal authorities for legal action after tampering with the messages of their COVID-19 results to pass through Abu Dhabi’s border checkpoints.

The accused, of different nationalities, have been detained by police and their cases were referred for prosecution, Salem Al-Zaabi, Acting Director of the Federal Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Prosecution, said in a report from state news agency WAM.

“The move falls within the efforts made by the relevant state authorities to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, curb the virus’ spread and ensure the compliance of all Emiratis and residents with the instructions taken by the relevant authorities,” Al-Zaabi said.

Abu Dhabi recently updated its travel rules to allow residents to take 48-hour trips outside the emirate, but must be tested in the city before they leave. Police at border checkpoints check text message confirmation from testing centers or the Al Hosn tracing app to ensure all motorists are negative from coronavirus.

“The Public Prosecution calls upon the public to comply with the preventive and precautionary measures, including all the decisions taken by the relevant government authorities, in order to avoid legal liability,” Al-Zaabi said.

“Legal action will be taken against all those who fail to comply with the COVID-19 countermeasures in order to ensure the safety of the society and its protection and support the government measures taken to stem the fallout of the pandemic on the various heath, economic and social aspects of life.”


Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce

Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce
In this file photo taken on November 19, 2020, a Libyan stands in front of a school, which was damaged during fighting between rival factions, in the capital Tripoli's suburb of Ain Zara. (AFP)
Updated 24 January 2021

Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce

Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce
  • Ankara and Moscow appear intent on defending their interests under any final settlement

TRIPOLI: Foreign forces ignored a deadline to pull out of Libya as scheduled on Saturday under a UN-backed cease-fire deal, highlighting the fragility of peace efforts after a decade of conflict.

Satellite images broadcast by CNN show a trench running tens of kilometers dug by “Russian mercenaries” near the frontline coastal city of Sirte, as main foreign protagonists Ankara and Moscow appear intent on defending their interests under any final settlement.
An unidentified US intelligence official, quoted by the American news network, said there was “no intent or movement by either Turkish or Russian forces to abide by the UN-brokered agreement.”
“This has the potential to derail an already fragile peace process and cease-fire. It will be a really difficult year ahead,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged all “regional and international actors to respect the provisions” of the Oct. 23 cease-fire accord that set out a withdrawal within three months of all foreign troops and mercenaries.
That deadline passed on Saturday, with no movement announced or observed on the ground.
The UN estimates there are still some 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries in Libya helping the warring factions, the UN-recognized Government of National Accord in Tripoli and military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the east. The GNA has received military support from Turkey. Haftar has the backing of Russia.
Guterres called on all parties to implement the terms of the cease-fire “without delay,” something he noted “includes ensuring the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, and the full and unconditional respect of the Security Council arms embargo,” which has been in place since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi.

HIGHLIGHT

The UN estimates there are still some 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries in Libya helping the warring factions.

Any withdrawal or end to foreign interference “does not depend on the Libyans but on the outside powers,” said Khaled Al-Montasser, professor of international relations at Tripoli University.
Turkey on Friday welcomed a deal reached at UN-backed talks for Libya’s warring factions to set up an interim executive to rule the North African country until polls in December.
Turkey has backed the GNA with military advisers, materiel and mercenaries, repelling an advance on Tripoli by Haftar’s forces, and it also has a military base in Al-Watiya on the border with Tunisia under a 2019 military accord.
Last December, parliament in Ankara extended by 18 months its authorization for Turkey’s troop deployment in Libya, in apparent disregard of the cease-fire deal.
“The mercenaries are unlikely to leave Libya so long as the countries which have engaged them have not guaranteed their interests in the new transitional phase,” said Montasser, referring to the multiple tracks of UN-sponsored talks currently underway.
“Their presence keeps alive the threat of military confrontation at any moment, while the current calm staying in place seems uncertain,” he said.
Most of the foreign forces are concentrated around Sirte, at Al-Jufra airbase held by Haftar’s forces 500 km south of Tripoli and further west in Al-Watiya.