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Egypt seeks support of Libya tribes amid threat of intervention | Egypt News

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As Egypt flexes its muscles with threats to intervene in Libya’s civil war, its President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has sought to join forces with some of the neighbouring country’s powerful tribes. 

Cairo hopes the alliances would boost its legitimacy if it were to wade into the battlefield against forces backed by regional rival Turkey, and give it a local partner aside from the volatile renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, analysts say. 

Last month, el-Sisi hosted Libya’s Supreme Tribal Council, its sheikhs, and elders dressed in white turbans and robes, at a conference in a Cairo hotel organised by Egyptian intelligence agencies. 

For many of Libya’s tribal leaders, Egypt offers a “lifeline” of support, said Abdelsalam Bohraqa al-Jarrari, a tribal elder from Tarhuna, south of the capital Tripoli.

“We want a complete military intervention – air and ground support,” he said after meeting with el-Sisi, claiming preparations had already begun along the Libya-Egypt border.

“We want new and advanced weaponry,” he said. 

Libya’s patchwork of tribes – including the Warfalla, Tuareg, Berber and other ethnicities – command powerful loyalty and have in the past fought against Ottoman and European colonisers. 

Some of them support the UN-recognised and Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli in the west, which made a series of battlefield gains against Haftar earlier this year.

But many powerful tribes back Haftar, who is based in the eastern city of Benghazi and enjoys the support of Egypt as well as the United Arab Emirates, Russia and other powers.

‘Men who can eat rocks’

Traditional tribal leaders are seen as having greater influence in the Haftar-controlled, rural east than the more densely populated and urban west of Libya.

Haftar spent 14 months trying to seize Tripoli before his forces suffered a string of defeats in early summer – among them tribal fighters proud of their battlefield prowess.

“We have men who can eat rocks and spit them out,” said Arafallah Daynoum Hurra, of Libya’s Al-Barasa tribe in the eastern Al-Bayda region. 

But, he explained, “we’re in an uneven battle and that’s why we retreated.”

The front line is now halfway between the capital and Haftar’s stronghold Benghazi, just west of the central Mediterranean coastal city of Sirte.

Haftar’s forces spent 14 months trying to seize Tripoli before his forces suffered a string of defeats in early summer [Reuters]

Sirte is the strategic gateway to Libya’s main oil fields and export terminals, and to the key Al-Jufra airbase to the south.

It is also a symbolic site as the hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose 2011 overthrow and killing in a NATO-backed uprising threw the country into chaos.

For now, fighting has stalled in what German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas this week called a “deceptive calm” with arms and mercenaries still flooding into the county. 

Western powers, fearing a GNA attack on Sirte would raise the prospect of direct clashes between regional heavyweights Turkey and Egypt, have called for renewed peace efforts. 

‘Diversify risk’

El-Sisi has promised not to let GNA forces take Sirte – although Cairo has since also stressed it is open to peace initiatives through dialogue.

The head of Libya’s Supreme Tribal Council, Saleh al-Fandi, said the tribes stand firmly with Haftar and Egypt.

“The Egyptian army has been given the greenlight from us … to strike immediately if the [GNA] militias lift a finger in Sirte,” he said while in Cairo.

“[El-]Sisi told us when we met that Egypt will give us air and ground support if the Turks cross the red line of Sirte,” said Fandi. 

“As tribes we are giving legitimacy to Egyptian troops to protect … Libya’s national security,” which was in line with Egypt’s interests, he said.

Al-Jarrari, the tribal elder from Tarhuna, said he sees Egyptian support as the only way to end a grinding civil war centred on some of Africa’s richest oil reserves. 

‘Hard to manage’

Jalel Harchaoui, research fellow at The Hague-based Clingendael Institute, said Egypt hopes its support for Libyan tribal leaders will “kill two birds with one stone”.

It aims to counter and delegitimise Turkey’s presence in Libya while finding local allies aside from Haftar, he said.

“Cairo wants to diversify its risk away from excessive dependence on the 77-year-old Haftar, whom the Egyptians find too whimsical and hard to manage,” Harchaoui added. 

“That is why the Egyptians now wish to put in place an array of Libyan figures … more dependable, more malleable and more stable from an Egyptian perspective.”



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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