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New Era Newspaper Tuesday, February 6, 2018

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18 WORLD Tuesday, February 6 2018 | NEW ERA Paris attacks suspect arrives for Belgian trial BRUSSELS The last surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, arrived at a court in Brussels amid tight security Monday to stand trial over a shootout that led to his capture. The 28-year-old, once Europe’s most wanted man, left a jail near the French capital in the middle of the night in a convoy of tactical police The Belgian-born French national of Moroccan descent faces charges of attempted terrorist murder of police over a gun battle in the Forest district of Brussels on March 15, 2016. which came as Abdeslam was on the run four months after the Paris attacks. He was captured three days later. Hundreds of Belgian security forces turned the Palais de Justice court building in Brussels into a virtual fortress while a helicopter with searchlights circled overhead as he arrived. “This must remain an ordinary trial,” said Luc Hennart, who presides over the court. “If there is the slightest problem I will order the courtroom to be evacuated.” Abdeslam and the man arrested with him, Tunisian national The non-jury trial is the prelude to a later one in France and prosecutors hope the Brussels trial will yield clues Photo: Nampa/AFP not only about the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris but also the suicide bombings months later in Brussels. Abdeslam has refused point-blank to speak to investigators throughout the nearly two years since his arrest, which capped a four-month hunt for Europe’s most wanted man. But he has insisted on attending the Brussels trial, where three judges are to lead proceedings for four days, raising the question of whether he will use it to break his silence. Hennart insisted that the trial would only focus on the shootout, saying: “That is what we will talk about, we will not talk about either the Brussels or Paris attacks.” Tight secrecy surrounded the plans for transferring Abdeslam from Fleury-Merogis prison in the Parisian suburbs, and then back to a prison just across the border in northern France every night. Two separate convoys left Fleury- Merogis in the middle of the night third group of unmarked vehicles left shortly afterwards. The boyish former bar owner has spent nearly 20 months in isolation at Fleury-Merogis, after being transferred to France after his arrest. At the Brussels court journalists security checks. A police sniffer dog checked the austere courtroom itself, into which journalists were banned from taking phones and computers. Investigators believe Abdeslam’s capture three days after the shootout caused members of his jihadist cell to bring forward plans for the attacks in Brussels. Suicide attacks on March 22, 2016, killed 32 people at Brussels airport and a metro station near the EU headquarters. The same cell is believed to have been behind both the Paris and Brussels attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State group. Police say Abdeslam and Ayari when it was raided by French and Belgian police in a routine operation after the Paris attacks. A third suspect, 33-year-old Algerian Mohamed Belkaid, died their escape through a back door. Police say they found Abdeslam’s they were on the trail of the last on the Bataclan concert hall, bars, restaurants and the national stadium in the French capital on November 13, 2015. Abdeslam is reported to have disposed of a suicide belt before fleeing. He is also suspected of being the driver in the attacks, in which his brother Brahim was one of the suicide bombers. Armed officers shot in the leg and captured him and Ayari just yards from Abdeslam’s home in Molenbeek, a gritty Brussels immigrant neighbourhood. Ayari entered Europe in September 2015 via the Greek island of Lesbos at the height of a migration crisis gripping the continent, and was one of dozen suspected jihadists ferried around Europe by Abdeslam. - Nampa/AFP JAKARTA The UN human rights chief warned Monday that possible acts of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority could fuel a religious-based conflict that spreads beyond the country’s borders. “Myanmar faces a very serious crisis – with a potentially severe impact on the security of the region,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said during a speech in Jakarta. His remarks follow the publication of a report last week about mass graves of Rohingya in Myanmar’s crisis-hit Rakhine state, where government troops have been accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against the minority. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya h a v e f l e d t o b o r d e r i n g Bangladesh since last August. Myanmar denied the mass grave report and wider allegations of rights abuses, saying it launched a proportionate crackdown on Rohingya rebels. But it has blocked reporters and UN investigators from independently accessing the refugee claims about a genocide. Zeid on Monday said Myanmar had enjoyed strong growth including a focus on socio-economic development in the Rakhine region, but that this could not mask “institutionalised discrimination” against the minority. The UN rights chief is due to meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo as well as groups during his three-day visit. Among the issues expected to be discussed is a crackdown on the LGBT community in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. Parliament is set to pass a longdormant bill to make sex outside marriage illegal. Gay marriage does not exist in Indonesia, meaning homosexual relations would be effectively outlawed. - Nampa/AFP BERLIN Talks between the top German parties on forming a new government for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fourth term spilled into to be growing they would strike a deal. Marathon weekend negotiations failed to yield the desired breakthrough on all outstanding differences. However both sides appeared upbeat about the chance for an agreement by a self-imposed Tuesday deadline. “We’ve reached the point where we can get a good outcome,” conservative Armin Laschet, premier of Germany’s most populous state North Rhine- Westphalia, told public broadcaster ARD. a deal” on Monday, Justice Minister Heiko Maas of the Social Democrats (SPD) told the same programme. The parties are set to return to the negotiating table at 10am (0900 GMT). Europe’s top economic power has been locked in political limbo since an inconclusive general election in September. Although Merkel’s Christian Democrats came out on top, they failed to secure a ruling majority, leading to the longest coalition negotiations in post-war history. The Social Democrats, the country’s second largest party, have served under Merkel in a right-left “grand coalition” for two of her three terms since 2005. But governing in her shadow has cost them vital support and they scored a historic low 20.5 percent in the September poll. Their leader Martin Schulz had initially ruled out working with her in the next four years, preferring to sharpen the SPD’s parties, the Free Democrats and Greens, to form a new government. But when those talks collapsed in acrimony in November, she had to once more woo a reluctant SPD for a new pact. The SPD has sought to drive up the price for a new deal, which it must still sell to pact in a yes-or-no referendum. That vote is expected to be tight, with leaders aiming to have a government in place by the end of March. Both main parties reached a breakthrough deal in January when they presented an in-principle agreement to start formal coalition talks. thrown up several sticking points. SPD demands to shift temporary workers to permanent contracts, and to make Germany’s health insurance system fairer have run into strong conservative opposition. “You see in the areas where we are still far apart that we are very different parties and that we come from very different fundamental beliefs,” Family Affairs Minister Katarina Barley of the SPD told public radio. She said she was nevertheless hopeful of an agreement, but noted: “as long as deal is not sealed”.

Tuesday, February 6 2018 | NEW ERA NEW ERA Khoekhoegowab 19 Selma Ikelas !K ra ! New Erab ra a ! ! ra a ra ra ka ra PROCUREMENT: REQUEST FOR SEALED QUOTATION BID NO DESCRIPTION CLOSING DATE @ TIME NCS/RFQ/ NCAA-11/2017 NCS/RFQ/ NCAA-12/2017 NCAA: Cleaning Services at t NCAA: Security Services at 20 February 2018 20 February 2018 st proof Completed proposal, clearly marked with the relevant TOR reference number may be posted to: st For enquiries please call: Ms. A Strauss at tel: 061-702224

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167