Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 31 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

From Afghan ceasefire to US pressure on Libya conflict: the non-coronavirus news you may have missed

The Taliban and Afghan government have agreed a three-day ceasefire

An Afghan security official stands guard on a roadside check point as the Taliban declared a three day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr. EPA
An Afghan security official stands guard on a roadside check point as the Taliban declared a three day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr. EPA

Three-day ceasefire declared in Afghanistan for Eid Al Fitr

Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents declared a three-day ceasefire for Eid starting on Sunday.

The ceasefire on Saturday came after weeks of intensified attacks on government forces despite a peace deal agreed with the United States in February.

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani accepted the truce and said on social media that he had ordered the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) to comply.

The Taliban statement also instructed its fighters to refrain from entering government areas and also said that Kabul forces were not allowed to enter territories under their control.

Read more on the ceasefire here.

Sudan recovers $4 billion in assets looted by Omar Al Bashir

Omar Al Bashir is escorted back to prison after a hearing in his corruption trial. AFP
Omar Al Bashir is escorted back to prison after a hearing in his corruption trial. AFP

Sudan has confiscated $4 billion (Dh14.6b) worth of assets from former president Omar Al Bashir, the country's anti-corruption body said.

Al Bashir's decades-long rule came to an end last year when the army moved to remove him as head of state amid nationwide mass protests. Since then, the country has taken steps towards democracy with a power-sharing deal between civilian leadership led by Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and the military heads.

The former president was jailed in December after being found guilty of illicitly possessing millions of dollars in foreign currencies. He has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity committed in the western region of Darfur and the new administration has said it will look at handing him over to face trial.

Saudi to name ambassador to Iraq after deputy prime minister's visit

In a sign of warming ties between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the kingdom is set to announce a new ambassador to Baghdad after a visit by Deputy Prime Minister and acting finance and oil minister Dr Ali Allawi.

Mr Allawi met with several senior Saudi ministers and his trip comes just weeks after Iraq’s new prime minister, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, secured the majority of his new cabinet and took office.

Relations between Saudi and Iraq have been fraught by Iran’s proximity to senior Iraqi figures and its ongoing backing of Iraqi militias that are part of the national security structure.

US presses for Libya ceasefire amid concern over influx of weapons

The United States pressed for a ceasefire in Libya during calls at the weekend to the UN-recognised government in Tripoli and its main backer Turkey.

President Donald Trump raised the issue with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, the White House said.

"President Trump reiterated concern over worsening foreign interference in Libya and the need for rapid de-escalation,” spokesman Judd Deere said.

Mr Trump's call came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Government of National Accord to accept a ceasefire with forces loyal to the rival administration in the east of Libya and criticised the flow of weapons into the country despite a United Nations embargo.

EU calls for returning ISIS fighters to be prosecuted as war criminals

Yazidi Nobel laureate Nadia Murad is calling on ISIS fighters to be tried as war criminals. AFP
Yazidi Nobel laureate Nadia Murad is calling on ISIS fighters to be tried as war criminals. AFP

ISIS fighters need to be tried for war crimes as well as terror offences to receive tougher sentences, EU prosecutors have said.

The move comes as the world’s first Yazidi genocide trial against a member of ISIS takes place in Germany against the backdrop of the EU Day Against Impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes on Saturday.

Matevz Pezdirc, the head of the EU’s Genocide Network, urged countries to prosecute returning ISIS Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) as war criminals to ensure they were held accountable for their crimes and received longer sentences.

“Isis should not only be considered a terror organisation but also party to a non-international armed conflict taking place in Syria and Iraq,” he said.

Updated: May 24, 2020 03:07 PM

THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email