Yemen government slams new ‘one-sided’ UN proposal on Taiz

A demonstrator holds a sign reading ‘end Taiz siege’ demanding the end of a blockade of the area imposed by Yemen’s Houthi militia. (File/AFP)
A demonstrator holds a sign reading ‘end Taiz siege’ demanding the end of a blockade of the area imposed by Yemen’s Houthi militia. (File/AFP)
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Updated 06 July 2022

Yemen government slams new ‘one-sided’ UN proposal on Taiz

Yemen government slams new ‘one-sided’ UN proposal on Taiz
  • The Yemeni government said it was not consulted beforehand on the proposal
  • Grundberg has intensely engaged with both parties to push for the full implementation of the truce’s elements

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: Hans Grundberg, the UN special envoy for Yemen, has presented a new proposal on opening roads in the besieged city of Taiz in an attempt to break the deadlock after the Iran-backed Houthis rejected his first proposal, the Yemeni government said.
The Yemeni government said it was not consulted beforehand on the proposal, which it considers “biased” toward the Houthis.
In his first proposal, Grundberg suggested opening a main road and several small secondary roads leading into and out of Taiz in a bid to end the impasse during discussions between the Yemeni government and the Houthis in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
The Yemeni government agreed to the proposal while the Houthis rejected it and insisted on opening old, unpaved and narrow roads.
Abdul Kareem Shaiban, head of the government’s delegation at the talks in Amman, said the envoy’s new proposal has taken into consideration Houthi demands by suggesting opening only small roads that do not alleviate the suffering of tens of thousands of people who live under the Houthi siege.
“He should have sat with us before announcing the proposal that has removed the demand for opening the main road known as Softeel, which connects Taiz with Aden and Sanaa,” he told Arab News by telephone. “We are back where we started.”
Shaiban said the Yemeni government delegation was not invited to Amman to discuss the new proposal, slamming the UN envoy for abandoning his first proposal and approving the Houthi demands.
Responding to the government’s criticism, the office of the UN Yemen envoy told Arab News that Grundberg has intensely engaged with both parties to push for the full implementation of the truce’s elements, including opening roads in Taiz, stating that new proposals or ideas on related issues are discussed with both sides.
“Draft proposals and options to open roads in Taiz and other governorates have been presented and discussed with both parties. The UN underlines the need to demonstrate the political will to reach an agreement soonest to make tangible progress,” the office said.
Under the UN-brokered deal that came into effect on April 2, the Yemeni government allowed the resumption of commercial flights from the Houthi-held airport in Sanaa, facilitated the arrival of fuel ships to the Hodeidah seaport, stopped hostilities on all fronts and allowed travelers with Houthi-issued passports to fly on Yemenia Airways.
While the Houthis have stopped fighting, mainly their deadly offensive on the central city of Marib, they have refused to lift their siege on Taiz, a key element of the truce.
In a letter sent to the UN Yemen envoy on Tuesday, Shaiban suggested opening five roads that link the city with other provinces, including two roads that were included in the envoy’s first proposal.
“We assure that these roads are safe, achieve the humanitarian aspect and are convenient to the people,” he said.
The UN Yemen envoy said that military delegates from the Yemeni government and the Houthis that met in Amman this week pledged again to respect the truce by stopping hostilities and military activities during Eid celebrations. Both sides also agreed to jointly work on upholding the truce, building trust and easing the suffering of the people in Yemen.
“The parties agreed to continue discussions focused on preventing or reducing as much as possible movements of military personnel and equipment and means of exercising effective operational control to ensure that all forces understand and comply with their responsibilities in the truce,” Grundberg said in a statement.


UN slams ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children

UN slams ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children
Updated 38 min 36 sec ago

UN slams ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children

UN slams ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children
  • The latest child casuality is 10-year-old Liyan Al-Shaer, who died in a Jerusalem hospital from a head wound sustained during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza
  • Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, on a protracted hunger strike, has been moved from an Israeli jail to a hospital because of his worsening condition

GENEVA/RAMALLAH: The UN rights chief voiced alarm Thursday at the number of Palestinian children killed and wounded this month and demanded those responsible be brought to account.

Last week saw three days of intense conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants in the densely populated Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

“Inflicting hurt on any child during the course of conflict is deeply disturbing,” Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement.

“The killing and maiming of so many children this year is unconscionable.”

Her office said 19 Palestinian children had been killed in the Palestinian territories in the recent unrest, taking the total number this year to 37.

The latest child casuality was 10-year-old Liyan Al-Shaer, who died in a Jerusalem hospital Thursday from a head wound sustained in the latest round of Gaza violence.

Seventeen children were killed during the Gaza hostilities from August 5 to 7, while two more were killed on Tuesday in Israeli law enforcement operations in the West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Office OHCHR said that among the 48 Palestinians killed in last week’s Gaza conflict, there were at least 22 civilians. They included the 17 children.
Of the 360 Palestinians reported injured, nearly two-thirds were civilians, including 151 children, OHCHR said.
Three Gazan children are on life-support systems at a hospital in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Thursday.
“In a number of incidents, children were the majority of casualties,” Bachelet’s office said.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian prisoner on a protracted hunger strike was moved Thursday from an Israeli jail to a hospital because of his worsening condition, the prisoner’s wife said.
Khalil Awawdeh has refused food for just over 160 days according to this family in a bid to draw attention to his detention by Israel without trial or charge. His case was thrust into the spotlight after a flare-up of violence last weekend between Israel and Gaza militants, who demanded that he be released as part of a cease-fire that ended the fighting.

The 40-year-old father of four was arrested by Israel in December, accused of being a member of a militant group, a charge Awawdeh’s lawyer said he denies. Recently, he has been using a wheelchair and was showing memory loss and speech difficulties, according to his lawyer, Ahlam Haddad.
Dalal Awawdeh, Khalil’s wife, said his condition had deteriorated, prompting Israeli authorities to move him to a hospital. The Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents former and current prisoners, confirmed that Awawdeh’s condition had worsened.

“He is in a real life-threatening situation,” said Qadura Fares, the head of the organization. “He could die at any moment.”

Prospects for Awawdeh’s release under the cease-fire are uncertain. But his case highlights the plight of hundreds of Palestinians who are being held by Israel under a system that critics say denies them the right to due process, known as administrative detention.


Crew of Lebanese Army boat rescued after vessel catches fire during security operation

Crew of Lebanese Army boat rescued after vessel catches fire during security operation
Updated 24 min 46 sec ago

Crew of Lebanese Army boat rescued after vessel catches fire during security operation

Crew of Lebanese Army boat rescued after vessel catches fire during security operation
  • Navy boats and Lebanese Civil Defense teams responded to assist the stricken vessel

BEIRUT: The crew of a Lebanese Army speed cruiser that was taking part in a security operation off Al-Saadiyat coast on Thursday had to be rescued after their vessel caught fire, according to a statement by the army.

Later it was revealed that seven crew members were saved from the burning vessel.
Other navy boats and Lebanese Civil Defense teams responded to assist the stricken vessel and help put out the fire.

No casualties were reported.


UAE to issue new-generation Emirati passports

UAE to issue new-generation Emirati passports
Updated 11 August 2022

UAE to issue new-generation Emirati passports

UAE to issue new-generation Emirati passports
  • Part of efforts to use technology in reinforcing identification of personal identity and eliminating forgery

DUBAI: The UAE will issue a new generation of Emirati passports from Sept. 1, authorities said on Thursday.

The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) said the new passports, equipped with the latest technologies, will have advanced security features.

 

 

The new-generation passports are part of efforts to use technology in reinforcing identification of personal identity and eliminating forgery or fraud, according to Ali Muhammad Al-Shamsi, Chairman of ICP, in a report from state news agency WAM.

The complex security specifications feature a polycarbonate introduction page, laser technologies and “three-dimensional tangible elements.”

Authorities said holders of the current passports can still use their travel document until expiry.


Egypt warns of cracks in Ethiopian dam

Egypt warns of cracks in Ethiopian dam
Updated 11 August 2022

Egypt warns of cracks in Ethiopian dam

Egypt warns of cracks in Ethiopian dam
  • Cairo, Khartoum fear it will reduce their share of Nile waters
  • Egypt says it will take all necessary measures to protect national security

CAIRO: In a letter to the UN Security Council, Egypt has warned of cracks in the concrete facade of the sub-dam linked to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Cairo said this is particularly alarming due to Ethiopia’s failure to comply with its duty to conduct the required environmental and socioeconomic impact studies.

The letter, sent to the UNSC president, said Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Aty had received a message about Ethiopia’s intention to unilaterally resume filling the GERD during the current rainy season.

Abdel-Aty said Ethiopia’s decision comes in the absence of an agreement between it and Egypt and Sudan on the rules governing the filling and operation of the dam, constituting a violation of the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries.

He stressed that Cairo holds Ethiopia fully responsible for any significant harm that may be caused to Egypt by these repeated violations.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said the country reserves its right guaranteed in the UN Charter to take all necessary measures to ensure and protect its national security, including against any harm that Ethiopia’s unilateral measures may cause.

The GERD has raised tensions between Ethiopia on one hand and Egypt and Sudan on the other.

The latter two countries are demanding a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, which they fear will reduce their share of the Nile’s waters.

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UK police seek urgent help locating boy last seen in Turkey

UK police seek urgent help locating boy last seen in Turkey
Updated 11 August 2022

UK police seek urgent help locating boy last seen in Turkey

UK police seek urgent help locating boy last seen in Turkey
  • 4-year-old George Jack Temperley-Wells visited Antalya with his mother to see his father

LONDON: Police in the UK have asked for help to locate a 4-year-old boy who is thought to be missing after traveling to Turkey.

George Jack Temperley-Wells is believed to have gone to visit his father Scott Nigel Wells in the city of Antalya on June 29 with his mother Brogan Elizabeth Temperley. Antalya is a popular summer holiday destination for Britons.

Durham Police said anyone in contact with Temperley should notify authorities in Turkey or the UK immediately with information on her whereabouts, adding that they have serious concerns for the welfare of her son.

The police said the boy has red hair, a pale complexion and dark eyes, while his mother is described as being slim with long dark hair and dark eyes.

The force released two images of the trio dining in the area at a restaurant recently, where they were seen smiling together.

People in Turkey with information should visit their nearest police station or call 112/115. Anyone in the UK with information should contact Durham Constabulary on 101, and quote the incident number 325 for June 30.