Jordan to deploy armed forces in all governorates to enforce weekend COVID-19 curfew

Mazen Faraiah, director of operations at the National Center for Security and Crisis Management’s crisis cell, announces a new weekend curfew during a press conference in Amman, Jordan. (Petra)
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Updated 06 October 2020

Jordan to deploy armed forces in all governorates to enforce weekend COVID-19 curfew

  • Curfew will be imposed on Thursdays and Fridays
  • Education will return back to distance learning

RIYADH: Jordan said it will impose a comprehensive curfew from midnight on Thursday for a period of 48 hours, which will be repeated in the coming weeks.
Armed forces will also be deployed in all governorates of the kingdom, starting from Wednesday morning to ensure the curfew is enforced, said Mazen Faraiah, director of operations at the National Center for Security and Crisis Management’s crisis cell.
Faraiah said that during the curfew hours, no one is permitted to leave their homes, including electronic permit holders, with the exception of epidemiological investigation teams, medical and nursing staff, and a limited number of those in charge of maintaining the work of institutions for vital sectors.
He also said that passengers departing or arriving into Jordan will be allowed to travel during curfew hours, provided they show flight tickets at security checkpoints.
He added that partial curfews will continue to apply daily starting from 12 a.m. for businesses and 1 a.m. for citizens until 6 a.m., stressing that no one is permitted to leave their home unless authorized to do so.
Minister of State for Media Affairs, Amjad Adaileh, said that the high number of coronavirus cases poses a great pressure on the health system.
The kingdom reported 12 COVID-19 related deaths and 1,537 new confirmed cases on Tuesday.
Education minister Tayseer Al-Noaimi said that the ministry decided to “suspend school attendance in all educational authorities, starting from Friday, in order to preserve the health and safety of students, teachers, cadres and the entire community,” state-run Petra news agency reported.
During a press conference, prime minister Omar Razzaz, Al-Noaimi said that schools will continue through distance learning, and added that international examinations will continue in accordance with approved centers, and approved health conditions and protocols.
Al-Noaimi added that “we cannot determine the duration of the suspension, as it depends on the epidemiological situation” of the virus.
He also said that the attendance of teachers and administrative bodies in public schools will be on a rotation basis.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mohieldin Touq, also announced that public and private universities in Jordan will also switch to remote learning for the next semester in all specializations and levels of bachelor’s, diploma, master’s and PhD.


German defense minister rejects Turkey complaint over Libya weapons ship search

Updated 24 November 2020

German defense minister rejects Turkey complaint over Libya weapons ship search

  • Germany insists it acted correctly in boarding a Turkish ship to enforce arms embargo of Libya
  • Turkey summoned European diplomats to complain at the operation

BERLIN: Germany’s defense minister on Tuesday rejected Turkey’s complaints over the search of a Turkish freighter in the Mediterranean Sea by a German frigate participating in a European mission, insisting that German sailors acted correctly.
Sunday’s incident prompted Turkey to summon diplomats representing the European Union, Germany and Italy and assert that the Libya-bound freighter Rosaline-A was subjected to an “illegal” search by personnel from the German frigate Hamburg. The German ship is part of the European Union’s Irini naval mission, which is enforcing an arms embargo against Libya.
German officials say that the order to board the ship came from Irini’s headquarters in Rome and that Turkey protested while the team was on board. The search was then ended.
Turkey says the search was “unauthorized and conducted by force.”
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer backed the German crew’s actions.
“It is important to me to make really clear that the Bundeswehr soldiers behaved completely correctly,” she said during an appearance in Berlin. “They did what is asked of them in the framework of the European Irini mandate.”
“That there is this debate with the Turkish side points to one of the fundamental problems of this European mission,” Kramp-Karrenbauer added, without elaborating. “But it is very important to me to say clearly here that there are no grounds for these accusations that are now being made against the soldiers.”
This was the second incident between Turkey and naval forces from a NATO ally enforcing an arms blockade against Libya.
In June, NATO launched an investigation over an incident between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean, after France said one of its frigates was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Turkish civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking.
Turkey supports a UN-backed government in Tripoli against rival forces based in the country’s east. It has complained that the EU naval operation focuses its efforts too much on the Tripoli administration and turns a blind eye to weapons sent to the eastern-based forces.
In Ankara, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Irini was “flawed from the onset.”
“It is not based on firm international legal foundations,” Akar said. He renewed Turkey’s criticism of the German ship’s actions.
“The incident was against international laws and practices. It was wrong,” he said.
Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed that “Turkey is still an important partner for us in NATO.” Turkey being outside the military alliance would make the situation even more difficult, she argued, and Turkish soldiers are “absolutely reliable partners” in NATO missions.
But she conceded that Turkey poses “a big challenge” because of how its domestic politics have developed and because it has its “own agenda, which is difficult to reconcile with European questions in particular.”