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South Sudan President Salva Kiir, left, and President of Sudanese Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Photo Sudans Post

 

JUBA – South Sudan government has rejected a Sudanese call for withdrawal, from Abyei, of Ethiopian troops serving under the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)  saying it does not agree with the call as long as the Ethiopian troops are serving professional as provided for in their mandate.

In April, Sudanese foreign minister Mariam Sadig Al Mahdi claimed in an interview with the pan-Arab Al-Hadath news channel that Ethiopia showed “unacceptable intransigence” in the talks over the GERD and that its decision to proceed with the second phase of the filling of its reservoir is contrary to international law.

In a statement following the visit of the United Nations Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Operations Jean Pierre Lacroix to South Sudan last week, South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said discussions between the top UN peacekeeping envoy and senior government officials, as well as with President Salva Kiir Mayardit, focused on the status of the Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei.

“The discussions touched on the status of the United Nations Interim Force for Abyei Area (UNISFA) in view of the call by our sisterly country the Sudan for the withdrawal of the Ethiopian Contingent from UNISFA,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement further said it has rejected the call by Sudan to replace the Ethiopian peacekeepers in the disputed territory and reiterated South Sudan’s call for the determination of the final status of the enclave.

“In this context, the Republic of South Sudan would like to make it clear that it does not concur with the call for the withdrawal of the Ethiopian contingent of UNISFA as this force continues to fulfill its mandate professionally and impartially,” the statement said.

“The Government of the Republic of South Sudan reiterates its call for settling the issue of the final status of Abyei through a political process,” it added.

It further stressed that the “people of Abyei have suffered enormously over the years, with tens of thousands having been displaced from most of their villages north and east of Abyei town. The need to end their plight could not be more imperative.” - Sudans Post

 

A Singaporean man who decided to return to Singapore from China using an illegally obtained Ugandan passport has been jailed for four months today Thursday.

Leng Choun Keong, 50, left Singapore for China in 1995 and his Singapore passport expired in 2005, but Leng did not renew it. He also did not validate his stay in China, where he worked as a disc jockey and developed a relationship with a woman.

Leng pleaded guilty to one count of producing the Ugandan passport to mislead immigration officers when he arrived at Changi Airport on 8 January last year.

He also pleaded guilty to two charges under the Enlistment Act for failing to return to Singapore before the expiry of an exit permit. Both charges, for two periods lasting more than seven years and more than four years, were taken into consideration for his sentencing.

Leng was fined $9,000 (about Shs 31m) for both Enlistment Act charges. According to court documents, Leng reported for his full-time National Service (NS) on 1 September 1988 and completed his full-time NS on 13 December 1990. He was then assigned to an NS unit for his reservist stint.

Leng was issued three exit permits for overseas employment, spanning from 14 June 1995 to 3 April 1998. His last exit permit was valid from 4 April 1997 to 3 April 1998. Leng failed to return to Singapore by the expiry of his last exit permit and did not apply for a new permit. Reminder letters were sent to Leng but he did not respond.

Leng's last known location was in China, but authorities did not have his valid contact details. Leng also did not keep in contact with his family.

After Leng’s Singapore passport expired in 2005 while he was in China, he failed to renew it and subsequently lost the document. As he did not validate his stay in China, he overstayed there.

In 2018, Leng decided to return to Singapore as his mother and brother were sick. As he did not have a Singapore passport, and was afraid of being punished by the Chinese authorities for overstaying, he decided to procure a passport.

He approached a friend known as “Fredrick” in China for the purpose. Leng paid a sum of $20,000 (about Shs 70m) to Fredrick for the document. About a month later, Leng received the Uganda passport from Fredrick with his photo affixed on it and bearing name “Leng Christopher”, with date of birth “25 November 1969". His nationality stated “Uganda”, and place of birth stated “Malaysia”.

Leng remained in China until January last year, when he decided to enter Singapore using the fake passport. On 8 January last year, he produced the Ugandan passport to an immigration officer at the Arrival Section of Changi Airport for his arrival immigration clearance.

On 14 October last year, Leng approached the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in Singapore for citizenship services, and was flagged and referred to the Central Manpower Base for investigations.

Court documents state that Leng was arrested by ICA officers at the ICA Investigation Branch on 31 May this year. - The Observer

The MoU was signed last week by Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive, QFC, and Nick Barigye, chief executive, RFL. Photo Gulf Times

 

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rwanda Finance (RFL) to facilitate initiatives that will promote the international development of both the QFC and Kigali International Financial Centre.

The pact would also enable the creation of a community between the fintech ecosystems of Qatar and Rwanda and initiate sharing of best practices for the development of Islamic finance in both markets.

The MoU was signed last week by Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive, QFC, and Nick Barigye, chief executive, RFL. Under the agreement, both parties intend to encourage their respective regulatory authorities to enter mutual recognition agreements to open new business opportunities in both markets.

"This MoU marks the long-term cooperation between QFC and RFL to support businesses in Rwanda and Qatar through joint initiatives that open doors for skills development, knowledge exchange and investment and partnership opportunities," al-Jaida said.

The agreement takes QFC a step further in its efforts to forging durable partnerships with international markets that help support Qatar’s economic diversification and capacity building drive, according to him.

The agreement would also help promote capacity building and skills development through training programmes, knowledge transfer, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the financial landscape.

To support the development of both markets, QFC and RFL will work closely on developing joint initiatives, such as roundtables, conferences, seminars, and other events, to engage members of both Rwanda and Qatar’s business communities, further strengthening the economic ties between the two countries.

"This partnership between our financial centres builds on the excellent existing relations between Rwanda and Qatar. RFL and QFC will collaborate on international promotion, mutual recognition, and the creation of a strong fintech community for the benefit of both our jurisdictions, further enhancing the Kigali International Financial Centre’s attractiveness as a destination for investors and financial actors who want to effectively manage their wealth and structure their investments across Africa," Barigye said. - Gulf Times

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