x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sudan on the right track to mend tensions

Sudan has taken a sound step towards achieving peace after the central government signed the framework agreement with the Justice and Equality Movement. The process will be formally concluded in Qatar wrote the Saudi newspaper Al Watan.

Sudan has taken a sound step towards achieving peace after the central government signed the framework agreement with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Chad. The process will be formally concluded in Doha, Qatar, wrote the Saudi newspaper Al Watan in its editorial. The final settlement is expected to pull the country out from the cycle of crises and usher in a phase of economic development.

Even after signing the Nivasha Accord that ended more than 20 years of war in the South, Darfur has remained an obstacle in a comprehensive peace deal. Before formally signing the Ndjamena agreement today, Khartoum would like, however, to see other factions joining JEM to this accord. This one will lay foundations for security and stability in the Darfur province. At the same time, it will help to devise and implement sustainable economic development plans there.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the present agreement is the first decisive action to address further challenges, internally and externally. Sudan is soon to engage in legislative elections next April, which will be followed next year by the self- determination referendum. If all goes well, such political developments will likely to influence Sudan's relations with the International Court of Justice Court and thereby the fate of the president Omar al Bashir.

Having resolved to gradually withdraw from Afghanistan starting next year, why are the US and Nato sending an additional 30,000 troops? asked Salam Akour in an opinion piece for the Jordanian newspaper Al Rai. It can be assumed that the goal of reinforcing the western military presence is in order to strengthen the negotiation position of the US with the Taliban. A traditional tactic, it is less likely to be effective this time because of the unusual political situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban dominates most territories and influences Kabul.

Moreover, as long as the allied forces led by the US are unpopular among Afghans, most political and military observers affirmed that a foreseeable victory is almost impossible. Besides military setbacks, the western allied forces are increasingly criticised for their military engagement in the region, which is seen as both immoral and irrational, not the least a reminder of the US invasion of Iraq.

"The US should learn from past experiences, and ponder on the financial meltdown instigated by US foreign policy of the former president George W Bush ... It should also satisfy the promises of its president, Barack Obama, in his speeches in Istanbul and Cairo aiming at achieving peace in the Middle East and in the whole world."

The assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai has entered a new dramatic chapter after the Dubai police general commander Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamin revealed that an inside Hamas agent, who was well-informed about the movements of Mabhouh in Dubai, leaked information to the Mossad. The Lt Gen described him as the "deadly element", opined Tariq Alhomayed in a comment article in the London-based newspaper Al Sharq Al Awsat. "While previously it had praised the role of Dubai police authorities in disclosing important details on the assassination in a record time, Hamas rejected the claim that an inside agent was involved in the murder - It also rejected the demands of Lt Gen Khalfan that Hamas quickly conduct an internal investigation, knowing that its political bureau chief Khaled Mishaal declared a few days ago that the movement was carrying out an internal inquiry in accordance with in-house procedures." Hamas is in a dilemma on how to deal with the information provided by the Dubai police about the Hamas agent who helped the Mossad. If it is confirmed that a Hamas agent is involved, this may bring into question previous cases of murder, such as Imad Mughniya, Hizbullah's operations chief. An open-ended question would arise then, were such acts of murder facilitated by leaked information to the Mossad, or were they a result of a breach act undertaken by the Mossad itself? Hamas is in a dilemma on how to deal with the information provided by the Dubai police about the Hamas agent who helped the Mossad. If it is confirmed that a Hamas agent is involved, this may bring into question previous cases of murder, such as Imad Mughniya, Hizbullah's operations chief. An open-ended question would arise then, were such acts of murder facilitated by leaked information to the Mossad, or were they a result of a breach act undertaken by the Mossad itself?

The news of a hacked public school website being shut down after an adult picture was posted on it raises many questions about the extent of web security measures adopted by schools, observed Fadheela al Muaeini in an opinion piece for the UAE newspaper Al Bayan. Subsequently, many parents inquired about how this happened and who designed this website. They also wondered how it was impossible not to identify the source, and asked the school administrations to make sure its websites are well immune.

"I believe these are very legitimate demands. About eight months ago I reported on this issue after many experts pointed out the risk of constructing websites for schools without taking measures which ensure good use and protection." Many IT professionals, in fact, highlighted the fact that lots of UAE websites do not meet quality standards. They blame the non-existence of an inventory of quality standards and a control system for auditing websites to be undertaken by competent authorities, as is done in the West.

In this context, there is a need to devise special standards and enforce quality websites. * Digest compiled by Mostapha Elmouloudi melmouloudi@thenational.ae