Israel sends first delegation to Sudan since normalization

Israel sends first delegation to Sudan since normalization
Demonstrators hold Sudanese flag. (Reuters)
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Updated 23 November 2020

Israel sends first delegation to Sudan since normalization

Israel sends first delegation to Sudan since normalization
  • Israeli army radio reported Monday that the trip was under way
  • Sudan was the third Arab country this year to announce a deal with Israel

JERUSALEM: Israel on Monday sent a delegation to Sudan, its first since last month’s announcement of normalization of relations between the two countries, a senior Israeli official said.
For days there have been rumors in Jerusalem that a delegation would visit Khartoum in the wake of the accord announced by US President Donald Trump on October 23.
Israeli army radio reported Monday that the trip was under way.
The Israeli official confirmed the report to AFP but declined to say who was in the delegation.
Sudan was the third Arab country this year to announce a deal with Israel, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in February in Uganda with Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council.
In August, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled on the first official direct flight from Tel Aviv to Khartoum.
The normalization agreement came a year after the fall of president Omar Al-Bashir’s regime and as the transitional authorities in Khartoum drew closer to the United States.
It followed on the heels of Sudan depositing $335 million in a special account to compensate survivors and relatives of victims of the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by Al-Qaeda.
The attacks, which Bashir had welcomed, had killed more than 200 people.
After the money was deposited Trump formally moved to delist Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.


UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks
Updated 22 January 2021

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks

UN says 12 murdered in Syria camp in two weeks
  • The foreigners are families of jihadists from the Daesh group

BEIRUT: Twelve murders have taken place at a displaced camp in northeast Syria in just over two weeks, the UN said Thursday, sounding the alarm over an “increasingly untenable” security situation.
Held by Kurdish forces, Al-Hol camp — Syria’s biggest — holds almost 62,000 people, of whom more than 80 percent are women and children, including Syrians, Iraqis and thousands from as far afield as Europe and Asia.
The foreigners are families of jihadists from the Daesh group, which seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The Iraqi and Syrian residents of the camp largely fled subsequent fighting between Daesh and Kurdish forces.
“Between 1 and 16 January, the UN received reports of the murders of 12 Syrian and Iraqi camp residents,” said the UN statement, adding that an Iraqi woman was among those killed.
“The disturbing events indicate an increasingly untenable security environment at Al-Hol,” it added.
The camp had already witnessed several security incidents in recent months, sometimes involving Daesh supporters.
These have included escape attempts and attacks against guards or staff employed by NGOs, sometimes with knives, other times with firearms.
The UN statement published on Thursday said that Imran Riza, its Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, and Muhannad Hadi, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, expressed their “serious concern over the deteriorating security conditions” at the camp.
The two UN officials also stressed the “urgent need for durable solutions to be found for every person living in the camp.”
Since the fall of IS’ self-proclaimed caliphate in March 2019 after a US-backed Kurdish offensive in eastern Syria, Kurdish authorities have repeatedly demanded that countries repatriate women and children.
But most countries, especially European nations, are reluctant to take back their citizens. Some, including France, have brought home a limited number of French jihadists and children.
“The recent rise in violence... jeopardizes the ability for the UN and humanitarian partners to continue to safely deliver critical humanitarian assistance,” the UN statement added.
Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011 after the violent repression of protests, quickly spiralling into a multi fronted conflict that pulled in numerous actors, including jihadist groups and foreign powers.