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Sudan foreign ministry spokesman sacked after Israel deal comment | Israel News

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Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesman has been dismissed after making allegedly unauthorised comments indicating there were contacts with Israel regarding normalising ties.

The development on Wednesday comes after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel announced last week that they were to establish diplomatic ties, a deal denounced by the Palestinians as a “betrayal” of their cause.

The agreement makes the UAE only the third Arab nation – after Egypt and Jordan – to have full ties with Israel. 

Sudanese acting Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din “has dismissed Haidar Badawi from his position as spokesman and head of the media division” at the ministry, a statement by the official SUNA news agency said on Wednesday.

It came a day after Badawi said Sudan was “looking forward to concluding a peace agreement with Israel”.

What’s behind the agreement between UAE and Israel?

“There is no reason to continue hostility between Sudan and Israel,” Badawi was quoted as saying by Sky News Arabia.

“We don’t deny that there are communications” with Israel, he added, saying both countries would gain much from a deal. 

Badawi’s remarks immediately drew a pledge from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “do all that’s needed” to wrap up a deal.

Qamar al-Din sought to distance himself from Badawi’s comments, saying they were received “with astonishment”. He insisted his ministry had not discussed the issue of ties with Israel.

In February, Netanyahu met General Abdel Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional government, during a secret trip to Uganda, where both leaders agreed to pursue normalisation of ties, according to Israeli officials. 

A senior Palestinian official at the time had denounced the meeting as a “stab in the back of the Palestinian people”.

“President Burhan put Sudan on the right track with his meeting with the Israeli prime minister,” Badawi said. 

‘Communication’ between the two states

Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Israeli news site Ynet in an interview that he believes the talks with Sudan will lead to a deal.

“There is communication between the two states and I believe that it will develop into the advancement of an agreement between the countries. But we need to look, we need to wait. Is it right for Israel and Sudan? The answer is yes,” he said. 

A Sudanese government official told The Associated Press news agency on Tuesday that deliberations between Sudanese and Israeli officials have been going on for months, with help from Egypt, the UAE and the United States. 

“It’s a matter of time. We are finalising everything,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to reporters.

“The Emirati move encouraged us and helped calm some voices within the government who were afraid of backlash from the Sudanese public.” 

An Israeli deal with Sudan would mark another setback for the Palestinians, who have long counted on the Arab world to press Israel to make concessions to them as a condition for normalisation. That wall of Arab support had long served as one of the Palestinians’ few points of leverage against Israel.

Sudan, a majority Arab nation, hosted the landmark Arab conference after the 1967 war where eight Arab countries approved the “three no’s”: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations.

But in recent years, those hostilities have softened.

Israel previously considered Sudan a security threat, due to Iran’s suspected use of the country as a conduit for overland smuggling of munitions to the occupied Gaza Strip.

However, since longtime President Omar al-Bashir was removed from office last year, Khartoum has distanced itself from Iran and no longer poses such a threat, Israeli officials say. 

Sudan is now on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow al-Bashir in April 2019. A military-civilian government rules the country, with elections deemed possible in late 2022.

At the time of the Burhan-Netanyahu meeting, the Sudanese military said the talks with Israel were an effort to help end Sudan’s status as an international pariah state. 

“History!” said Netanyahu, who had been fighting for his political survival back home, in a tweet at the time.

Sudan is desperate to lift sanctions linked to its listing by the US as a state sponsor of “terror”. That would be a key step towards ending its isolation and rebuilding its battered economy. The US and Israel are staunch allies.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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