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Organized begging networks in Baghdad: Children are victims

November 9, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Poverty and financial destitution are no longer the main causes of the spread of begging in the cities of Iraq. Instead, begging has turned into a profitable job which is not limited to the elderly or women. It has rather become dominated by children of all ages, who are spread in markets, traffic junctions, near worshiping places and hospitals, in a phenomenon the country has not witnessed before the 2003 US invasion. Abu Fatima, a merchant in Baghdad, told The New Arab that “children beggars cannot be blamed because they are exploited by brokers and organized networks. This phenomenon has become a threat to drivers and passers-by after beggars turned into using manners that are not limited to asking for […]

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UN warns if no Yemen aid access, world will see largest famine in decades

November 9, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock warned on Wednesday that if a Saudi-led military coalition did not allow humanitarian aid access to Yemen then it would cause “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims.” The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi movement in neighboring Yemen said on Monday it had closed all air, land and sea ports to the Arabian Peninsula country to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran. The move, which follows the interception of a missile fired towards the Saudi capital Riyadh on Saturday, is likely to worsen a humanitarian crisis in Yemen that according to the United Nations has pushed some seven million people to the […]

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Interior minister: Algeria facing security threats

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Algerian Minister of Interior and Local Government, Noureddine Bedoui, warned that “his country is going through serious period characterised by a range of security risks surrounding the country.” Speeking to Al-Shorouk TV channel, Bedoui called on “all Algerians to be highly vigilant and cautious and to assist the different security services in their mission to maintain Algeria’s security and stability.” He added, “We are currently  surrounded by security risks.” Bedoui stressed that “the state is determined to eliminate the alien and dangerous phenomenon of terrorism” and “to raise civil and political awareness so to ensure both security and stability, as they are prerequisites for development”. On Thursday a terrorist, carrying a firearm and an explosive charge, attacked the entrance of […]

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Egypt authorities ban Sunday edition of pro-govt daily

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Egyptian authorities have banned publication of the Sunday edition of a pro-government newspaper for questioning the security apparatus’s failure to arrest a former government minister convicted of corruption. According to a statement released by private daily Al-Bawaba, publication of the paper’s Sunday edition was banned because it featured a news report on the failure of Egypt’s security apparatus to arrest Habib al-Adly, a former interior minister who served under autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak was forced to step down as president following an 18-day popular uprising in early 2011. After having played a central role in Mubarak’s repressive regime from 1997 to 2011, Al-Adly was slapped with a seven-year jail sentence in April — along with millions of dollars […]

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Hezbollah: US preventing aid reaching stranded Daesh convoy

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said in a statement on Saturday that it and the Syrian army had fulfilled their obligations by safely transporting a convoy of Daesh fighters and their families out of Syrian government territory. However, it said US warplanes were stopping the convoy from moving towards its destination in Daesh-held territory and were also preventing any aid reaching the buses, which had old people, casualties and pregnant women aboard. Six buses from the convoy were still in Syrian government territory and in the care of Hezbollah and the Syrian government, the statement said. Read: Hezbollah, Syrian army seek new route for stranded Daesh convoy Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia group allied to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, called […]

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Kurd poll won’t solve region’s woes: Iraqi Shia leader

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The leader of Iraq’s Shia National Alliance, the largest bloc in the country’s parliament, has voiced disapproval of next month’s planned referendum on Kurdish regional independence. “Whoever thinks secession [of the Kurdish region from the state of Iraq] will end the region’s problems is deluded,” Ammar al-Hakim said while addressing thousands of supporters in Baghdad on Saturday. “A unified Iraq is the only guarantee of our freedom; it’s our strength and our glory,” he asserted. Al-Hakim, whose alliance holds 180 of 328 seats in parliament, added: Experience has shown that when Iraq is weak, the region is weak… A strong Iraq – with good neighbourly relations – is in the interest of the entire region. On September 25, residents of […]

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Turkey aid agency delivers aid to Iraq’s war-weary poor

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) on Saturday, the second day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, sacrificed 40 cattle and distributed the meat to poor families in northern Iraq. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Izzet Sahin, IHH’s humanitarian diplomacy coordinator, said that 2,000 families in the Digebe refugee camp (located between Mosul and Erbil) had received contributions of meat. According to Sahin, the IHH plans to distribute more meat in Iraq’s northern Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah provinces and in the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar in Nineveh province, both of which were recently liberated from the Daesh terrorist group. “We are focusing mainly on regions [of Iraq] that contain large numbers of refugees and poor people,” he said, going on to […]

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Erdogan continues telephone diplomacy on Myanmar crisis

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

In holiday greetings to his Kazakh, Senegalese, and Nigerian counterparts, Turkey’s president on Saturday stressed the importance of working together to solve the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, according to presidential sources. The sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave Eid-al Adha greetings in telephone calls to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Earlier this week, Erdogan also discussed the crisis in Myanmar on the phone with the leaders of Pakistan, Iran, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, and Bangladesh. Turkish FM: Why are Muslim nations silent on Rohingya?   Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25 when the country’s […]

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Iraqi forces gear up for fresh anti-Daesh ops in Kirkuk

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Iraq’s military has redeployed troops from Baghdad to Kirkuk for a fresh campaign aimed at retaking Kirkuk’s Al-Hawija district from the Daesh terrorist group, the Defence Ministry said Saturday. In a statement, the ministry said that additional units of the Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) had been sent from the capital to participate in the upcoming operation. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Police Captain Jabbar Hassan said that army troops and IFP units had arrived in Mosul’s southern Al-Qayyarah district on Saturday after being withdrawn from recently-liberated Tal Afar in Nineveh province. According to Hassan, these forces will be employed in the planned campaign to retake Al-Hawija in southern Kirkuk. “Most of the troops who participated in the liberation of Tal Afar […]

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Al Shabaab attacks military base near Somalia’s Kismayu

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Al Shabaab militants attacked a military base near Somalia’s southern port city of Kismayu early on Sunday, a Somali army officer said, adding that he did not immediately have details of any casualties. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said 26 Somali soldiers had been killed in the incident, but that could not be confirmed by other sources. “We understand al Shabaab attacked the base and fierce fighting and a blast occurred, but still we have no details,” Mohamed Isa, a military officer, told Reuters from Kismayu. The attack was on a base in the village of Bala Gudud, near Kismayu. State radio also reported the base had been attacked but said casualties were not yet known. The base […]

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