Sudan's President Bashir may face genocide charges again



Khartoum has accused the International Criminal Court of trying to influence peace talks with Darfur rebels and reform in Sudan after an appeals chamber ordered a review of the dropping of genocide charges against President Omar al Bashir. "The ICC wants to impact the political process in Sudan and the ongoing negotiations in Doha," Kamal Obeid, the state minister for information said, referring to consultations with Darfur rebels in Qatar. "If you look to the time of this process, it shows that the ICC wants to stop the political development in Sudan, but I believe it will help Sudanese to be more committed to the democratic transformation." Sudan's foreign ministry rejected "this political act and its destructive goals," which aims to "jeopardise the current peace process in Doha ... and the elections".

The ICC's appeals chamber ordered the pretrial chamber to reconsider its decision to drop three charges of genocide when it issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir last March on five counts of crimes against humanity and two of war crimes committed in Darfur. The judges said the standard of proof on which the pretrial chamber rejected the genocide charges was too demanding. They directed it to issue "a new decision using the correct standard of proof". The decision came as Mr Bashir briefly visited Doha to meet the Qatari emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani for talks that dealt with the Darfur peace process.

The rebel Justice and Equality Movement has held two rounds of talks with Sudanese officials. A JEM official welcomed the appeal court's decision as a victory for "the population of Darfur and justice" but added that his group was still committed to the peace talks. Other rebel groups have boycotted them. A Sudanese official said on Sunday that Khartoum wanted the talks to conclude before a general election expected in April, Sudan's first since 1986. * AFP

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The past Palme d'Or winners

2018 Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda

2017 The Square, Ruben Ostlund

2016 I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach

2015 DheepanJacques Audiard

2014 Winter Sleep (Kış Uykusu), Nuri Bilge Ceylan

2013 Blue is the Warmest Colour (La Vie d'Adèle: Chapitres 1 et 2), Abdellatif Kechiche, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux

2012 Amour, Michael Haneke

2011 The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick

2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat), Apichatpong Weerasethakul

2009 The White Ribbon (Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte), Michael Haneke

2008 The Class (Entre les murs), Laurent Cantet

The five pillars of Islam

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3. Hajj

4. Shahada

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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
'Brazen'

Director:+Monika Mitchell

Starring:+Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, Colleen Wheeler

Rating: 3/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Results

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8.15pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner Moqarrar, Fabrice Veron, Erwan Charpy.

8.50pm Nad Al Sheba Trophy Group 2 (TB) $300,000 (T) 2,810m, Winner Secret Advisor, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

9.25pm Curlin Stakes Listed (TB) $175,000 (D) 2,000m, ​​​​​​​Winner Parsimony, William Buick, Doug O’Neill.

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A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The Genius of Their Age

Author: S Frederick Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 290
Available: January 24

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Sweet Tooth

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UAE jiu-jitsu squad

Men: Hamad Nawad and Khalid Al Balushi (56kg), Omar Al Fadhli and Saeed Al Mazroui (62kg), Taleb Al Kirbi and Humaid Al Kaabi (69kg), Mohammed Al Qubaisi and Saud Al Hammadi (70kg), Khalfan Belhol and Mohammad Haitham Radhi (85kg), Faisal Al Ketbi and Zayed Al Kaabi (94kg)

Women: Wadima Al Yafei and Mahra Al Hanaei (49kg), Bashayer Al Matrooshi and Hessa Al Shamsi (62kg)

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Marital status: Single

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

Profile of Tamatem

Date started: March 2013

Founder: Hussam Hammo

Based: Amman, Jordan

Employees: 55

Funding: $6m

Funders: Wamda Capital, Modern Electronics (part of Al Falaisah Group) and North Base Media