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US wants UAE, others to cease support for Sudan’s warring parties

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The United States wants all countries, including the United Arab Emirates, to stop helping the warring sides in Sudan, the U.S. ambassador to the UN said on Monday, warning that a “crisis of epic proportions is brewing.”

A year ago, there was a war in Sudan between the Sudanese Army (SAF) and the rebel Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This caused the biggest refugee crisis in the history of the world. In the past few days, the U.N. has been worried that the RSF might soon attack al-Fashir in Sudan’s North Darfur area.

The US continued to put sanctions on people who are linked to the Sudan issue. In September, the US also put sanctions on two companies, one of which was based in Russia. Washington has always said that the groups are making things less stable in Sudan, even though the war has killed thousands of civilians and forced millions to leave their homes.

In the same way, the UK has punished at least six businesses related to the fight between the army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is also the head of Sudan’s transitional government’s Sovereign Council, and army troops loyal to General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is the deputy leader of the council and is in charge of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Experts, residents, and aid groups say the fight for al-Fashir, which has a long history as a power centre, could go on longer, make race tensions worse in the area that began 20 years ago, and spread to the border between Sudan and Chad.

“As I’ve said before, history is repeating itself in Darfur in the worst possible way,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters on Monday, adding that al-Fashir was “on the precipice of a large-scale massacre.”

The U.N. says that around 300,000 people were killed in Darfur in the early 2000s when “Janjaweed” militias, from which the RSF grew, helped the army put down a revolt by mostly non-Arab groups. The International Criminal Court wants to bring charges against Sudanese leaders for crimes against humanity and murder.

This month, top U.N. officials told the Security Council that the lives of about 800,000 people in al-Fashir are in “extreme and immediate danger” because violence is getting worse and could “unleash bloody intercommunal strife throughout Darfur.”

In the huge western part of Darfur, Al-Fashir is the only big city that is not controlled by the RSF. Last year, the RSF and its partners took over four more Darfur state capitals. They were blamed for killing non-Arab groups based on their race and other wrongdoings in West Darfur.

“We do know that both sides are receiving support – both with weapons and other support – to fuel their efforts to continue to destroy Sudan and yes, we have engaged with the parties on that including with our colleagues from the UAE,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

It is said that the conflict has forced more than 3 million people to leave their homes and that thousands have died.

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Musings From Abroad

China’s Hailiang, Shinzoom to establish vehicle battery installations in Morocco

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Hailiang and Shinzoom, Chinese car battery makers, will establish two separate operations in Morocco as the country strives to adapt its burgeoning automotive sector to rising demand for electric vehicles, Moroccan officials announced on Tuesday.

Tanger Tech, the Moroccan northern industrial zone’s development authority, said Hailiang intends to establish a $450 million copper facility on a 30-hectare plot of land. Shinzoom, a subsidiary of Hunan Zhongke, plans to invest $460 million in an anode plant spanning 20 hectares, according to a statement.

In April, the Moroccan government approved Chinese electric battery company BTR New Material Group (835185.BJE)’s plans to build a factory in Tangier to manufacture crucial component cathodes.

Another Chinese firm, CNGR Advanced Material (300919.SZ), plans to develop a cathode plant in Jorf Lasfar, 100 miles south of Casablanca, where the government has set aside 283 hectares for electric battery sectors.

Last year, the Moroccan government and China’s Gotion agreed to examine establishing an electric vehicle battery plant in the country, with a potential investment of up to $6.3 billion. Last month, Industry Minister Ryad Mezzour told Reuters that the Gotion project was moving forward, with conversations over its footprint and location.

Morocco’s strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar, free trade agreements with important EU and US markets, and existing automotive sector cluster all attract Chinese enterprises.

In 2023, the automotive sector topped Morocco’s industrial exports with $14 billion, a 27% increase. Morocco is home to Stellantis (STLAM.MI) and Renault (RENA.PA) production factories with an annual combined capacity of 700,000 automobiles, as well as a network of local suppliers.

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Musings From Abroad

Prince Harry, Meghan treated to street-style dances in Nigeria as their trip winds down

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On Sunday, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were treated to street-style dances in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, where they announced a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and the non-profit Giants of Africa, which utilizes sports to empower young people.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making their first visit to Nigeria, where they were welcomed by the country’s chief of defence staff. The couple watched basketball practice at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on Lagos Mainland, where Harry participated in ball-bouncing drills and shot a hoop.

“What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing,” he said. “The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community and there are no barriers, which is the most important thing.”

The couple watched basketball practice at Ilupeju Senior Grammar School on Lagos Mainland, and Harry stepped on the court for some ball-bouncing drills and to shoot a hoop.

Former Toronto Raptors star Masai Ujiri, president of Giants of Africa, wished Meghan a happy Mother’s Day and said his organization was uniting communities and uplifting young people through sport, especially. Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa will construct a basketball court in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

“Talk about full circle again – never did I think we would be able to be here all those years later supporting the expansion of this incredible organization,” she said.
Harry and Meghan were set to round off their Lagos trip by attending a reception for a local charity. The couple live in the United States with their two children after Harry gave up working as a member of the royal family in 2020.

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