Archive for May, 2016


May 14, 2016

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Tens of thousands of people rallied Saturday in separate demonstrations for and against the regional Bosnian Serb government in the northern city of Banja Luka, kept apart by police and barricades to prevent violence.

The pro-EU Alliance for Changes is accusing the Bosnian Serb government of corruption and its leader Milorad Dodik of dictatorship, saying he has brought the region to the brink of financial collapse. The Alliance claims Bosnian Serbs would be much better off cooperating with others in the country on reforms to improve people’s lives and get Bosnia into the 28-nation European Union.

Dodik’s camp accuses the opposition of betraying Bosnian Serb national interests, which according to him lie in seceding from Bosnia and creating a new Serb country with close ties to Russia. Bosnian Serbs fought in a 1992-95 war for secession and annexation to neighboring Serbia but the conflict ended with 100,000 dead with a peace agreement that left Bosnia’s the external borders intact but divided the country into two regions — Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosniaks and Croats. Each have their own state-like institutions and are linked by a joint government, a three-member presidency and a parliament.

International officials have repeatedly told Dodik the dissolution of the country is impossible but his obstructions to the functioning of the state have left Bosnia lagging on the road toward the EU. His opponents claim he wants a separate country so he can control the courts and hide his financial embezzlements that have enriched him and his allies but impoverished the people.

Both sides brought thousands by bus Saturday to Banja Luka. Opposition supporters held banners saying “You will all go to jail,” and demanded an early general election while Dodik’s supporters carried pictures of him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If we do not have a country, we will be killed,” Dodik told his supporters. “Republika Srpska is a country and we are defending it.” He then sang a folk song with the lyrics “nobody can do us any harm, we are stronger than destiny.”

A few hundred meters (yards) away, opposition supporters called for his resignation and chanted “Thief! Thief!” The Alliance for Changes a year ago began revealing evidence of corruption Dodik and his allies were allegedly involved in as well as economic data showing how Bosnian living standards have eroded during his reign.

One after the other, speakers at the opposition rally complained about the bad living conditions, how their retirements are the lowest in Europe and how the children of officials in Dodik’s government own property abroad while theirs don’t even have jobs.

“Is this in the Bosnian Serb national interest?” asked Milana Karanovic-Miljevic, who came from Drvar, one of Bosnia’s poorest towns. At both rallies, former soldiers who fought for Republika Srpska competed in patriotic speeches claiming their respective camp was the real keeper of the ideas of wartime leaders Radovan Karadzic and general Ratko Mladic. Both men are jailed by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. One is convicted of war crimes and the other is on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity, committed while creating Republika Srpska.

Adding to the confusion, Mladic’s son appeared on the stage of the pro-government rally to greet Dodik’s supporters, while Karadzic’s daughter spoke on the other stage, greeting opposition backers. Both said they spoke on behalf of their fathers.

The rallies ended peacefully.

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May 20, 2016

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament on Friday approved a bill to amend the constitution to strip lawmakers of immunity, a move that paves the way for trials of several pro-Kurdish and other legislators.

A total of 376 deputies in the 550-seat assembly in Ankara voted in favor of the government-backed bill, which was enough to avoid a referendum. It now needs to be ratified by the president. The amendment was proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party after the president accused the pro-Kurdish party, People’s Democratic Party, HDP, of being an arm of outlawed Kurdish rebels and repeatedly called for their prosecution on terror related charges. It puts 138 lawmakers, the vast majority of them from two opposition parties, at risk of prosecution.

The result of the vote was criticized by officials in the European Union and Germany and condemned by Turkish opposition lawmakers, who said they would fight against it. Speaking in the Black Sea town of Rize moments ahead of the final round of voting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope the bill would be adopted, saying “my people don’t want to see criminal deputies in parliament.”

The decision coincides with a wave of violence in Turkey’s southeast following the collapse of a more than two-year peace process between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK. The HDP, which backs Kurdish and other minority rights, denies accusations that it is the political arm of the PKK, considered a terrorist group by Ankara and its allies. The party has urged the government to end security operations in the southeast and to resume peace efforts.

Turkey has a history of excluding Kurds from politics and critics see the bill as an effort to wipe out the pro-Kurdish party at a time when Erdogan is trying to push forward other controversial reforms, including a constitutional amendment to transform Turkey into a presidential system.

Out of 667 legal files, 405 are against the HDP and 102 concern members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), according to a Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

The parliamentarians at risk of prosecution fall roughly into three categories: those who like HDP members are accused of supporting the PKK, those who are accused of insulting the president, and those under investigation for corruption or other criminal offenses.

Murat Somer, politics professor at Istanbul’s Koc University, said the legal proceedings risk paralyzing parliament and weakening government oversight. The legality and constitutionality of the amendment is also likely to come under question.

“Parliament is one important platform where the opposition can voice its criticism and represent its interest but now the parliament itself will be weakened,” he said. “It will create a long series of legal questions and complexities.”

Turkey is undergoing a period of political transition as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced he will be stepping down. On Sunday the ruling party is due to confirm an ally of the president, Binali Yildirim, as the next premier and party chairman. Many see the shake-up as one in a series of measures designed to concentrate power in the office of the presidency.

Speaking after the vote, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas struck a defiant tone saying a request would be presented to the Constitutional Court to abolish the amendment. “No one from our party, including me, will go to the court will-nilly as if nothing has happened,” he said. “Everyone should know this. The fighting has just started.”

The result of the vote caused alarm in the EU, which has been working closely with Turkey to address the migrant crisis despite a series of controversies relating to human rights and press freedom that have put pressure on their relationship.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, the bloc’s top official for enlargement, issued a joint statement describing the decision as a “matter of serious concern.” “A restrictive interpretation of the legal framework and the Constitution in particular continue to pose a risk to the freedom of expression of Members of Parliament in Turkey,” they added.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert also expressed concern “about the increasing polarization of the domestic debate in Turkey” and said it would be a topic of discussion in an upcoming meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Turkish counterpart.

The NATO member is also part of the U.S.-led alliance against the Islamic State group.

Frank Jordans and Geir Moulson in Berlin and Lorne Cooke in Brussels also contributed. Bram Janssen and Berza Simsek in Istanbul also contributed.

May 08, 2016

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president has kept up his rebuke of European nations, accusing them of “dictatorship” and “cruelty” for keeping their frontiers closed to migrants and refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict.

Addressing an audience attending a short film competition titled “Mercy and Justice” in Istanbul Sunday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said European nations had “no mercy and no justice.” This week, Erdogan threw into doubt the future of a deal with the European Union which would allow Turkish citizens visa-free travel in Europe, by suggesting that Turkey wouldn’t meet a EU demand for his country to reform its anti-terrorism legislation.

His harsh words against the EU came after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who negotiated the deal, announced he would step down later this month, following a rift with Erdogan.

May 16, 2016

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Authorities locked down Afghanistan’s capital Monday as tens of thousands of members of an ethnic minority group marched through the streets to protest the proposed route of a power line.

By early morning, members of the Hazara minority had filled streets leading into central Kabul. But their path to the presidential palace, their intended destination, was blocked armed police and stacked shipping containers, closing off Kabul’s commercial center to all vehicle and foot traffic.

Most of the city’s shops were shuttered and armed police units had taken up positions around the city. Authorities told protest organizers that the march would be confined to a specific route that would not take them near the presidential palace. A November demonstration by Hazaras turned violent.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul closed its consular section and warned Americans to limit their movement within Kabul. “Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” it said in an emergency message.

Daud Naji, a protest leader, said the Hazaras were demanding access to a planned multimillion-dollar regional electricity line. The so-called TUTAP line is backed by the Asian Development Bank with the involvement of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The original plan routed the line through Bamiyan province, in Afghanistan’s central highlands, where most of the country’s Hazaras live. But that route was changed in 2013 by the previous Afghan government.

Leaders of Monday’s demonstration have called the routing of the line away from their territory evidence of enduring bias against the Hazara minority. Hazaras account for up to 15 percent of Afghanistan’s estimated 30 million-strong population, are considered the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, and often complain of discrimination.

Bamiyan is poverty stricken, though it is largely peaceful and has potential as a tourist destination. Hazaras, most of whom are Shiite Muslims, have been persecuted in the past, notably by the extremist Sunni Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime.

Afghanistan is desperately short of power, with less than 40 percent of the population connected to the grid, according to the World Bank. Almost 75 percent of the country’s power is imported. Political commentator Haroun Mir said that what started as an isolated grievance from an ethnic minority has gained momentum and grown into an umbrella issue for the many opponents of President Ashraf Ghani’s government.

“This is a mobilization and I know many Tajiks are supporting Hazaras, not because absolutely they want this thing to go through Bamiyan but because they hate this government and this is an opportunity for them to further weaken it,” he said.

Intense negotiations between Ghani and lawmakers aimed at cancelling the protest broke down late Sunday. Hazara lawmakers had walked out of parliament on Saturday to pressure the government on the issue.

The president appointed a 12-member team to investigate the viability of rerouting the line through Bamiyan and suspended work on the project until the commission reported its findings later this month, his office said in a statement.

Author: Adnan Abu Amer

May 19, 2016

Translator: Pascale el-Khoury

Jordan and Turkey are vying for power in Jerusalem, and Turkey appears to be gaining the upper hand at this point.

In a clear sign of the decline of the Jordanian role in Jerusalem, Jordan recently called off its agreement with Israel to install surveillance cameras in Al-Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards. The cameras were supposed to help control the security situation on the Temple Mount, but the Palestinian Authority wasn’t consulted — and wasn’t happy about it.

At the same time, Turkey’s activity in Jerusalem seems to be gaining momentum. On April 25, Istanbul hosted the “Thank you Turkey” festival organized by Arab nongovernmental organizations in appreciation of Turkey’s role in the protection of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. The festival was attended by Khaled Meshaal, head of the Hamas political bureau, and Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the mufti of Jerusalem and preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The festival also aimed to thank Turkey for increasing financial and in-kind aid to residents of Jerusalem and implementing a series of charity and development projects in the city at a cost estimated at tens of millions of dollars.

This may indicate a switch between the roles of Jordan and Turkey in Jerusalem: Turkey seems to be gaining influence, while Jordan seems to be losing its influence.

Sabri told Al-Monitor, “The Turkish aid to the holy city contributed to its reconstruction in general and alleviated the suffering of Jerusalemites by funding social and humanitarian projects. We, the Jerusalemites, thank Turkey’s president, government and people for their aid to the city.”

Sabri urged Turkish citizens and institutions to visit Jerusalem, in light of declining Arab support. He added, ”Arab countries are preoccupied with their internal problems and bloody conflicts and have neglected this city, not to mention the competition over influence between Turkey and Arab countries.”

Perhaps a comparison and look back at how Jerusalemites welcomed visiting Jordanian and Turkish officials indicates the changing influence and implicitly reflects the great appreciation the Jerusalemites have for Turkey. Jerusalemites welcomed Mohammed Gormaz, the Turkish minister of religious affairs, with great warmth when he visited May 15, 2015, and he was asked to deliver the Friday sermon at the mosque.

Only a week later, a visit by Ahmed Halil, Jordan’s chief of judges, must have embarrassed him. He was prevented from delivering the Friday sermon or praying at the mosque. There was an attempted attack on the Jordanian delegation, which included Minister of Religious Endowments Hayel Daoud, forcing the group to flee from an Al-Aqsa courtyard.

Meanwhile, Turkey has done more to aid Jerusalem. Some Turkish institutions are implementing charitable projects such as Tika Agency, the Meshale International Student Association and Kanadil Organization.

Bulent Korkmaz, Tika program coordinator in Jerusalem, told Al-Monitor, “Turkey’s projects in Jerusalem are humanitarian and relief projects. These include completing the student housing project at Al-Quds University at a cost of $10 million, equipping the Sharia Court archives, restoring the elderly care home, providing thousands of suhur [breakfast] and iftar [dinner] meals in the holy month of Ramadan, supplying electronic equipment to Jerusalem’s schools, restoring houses and shops and increasing the number of classes of some schools.”

Two reasons may have led to Turkey’s growing influence in Jerusalem. First, the Turks have strong feelings of solidarity toward their Muslim brothers — Sunnis in particular — who urge them to support Al-Aqsa Mosque. Second, Turkish leaders aspire to play a regional role similar to that of the Ottoman Empire in the Arab and Muslim world. This probably explains Turkey’s increased support in the Palestinian territories.

“The competition between the Turks and the Jordanians in Jerusalem is very obvious, especially with regard to aids and promotion of religious tourism,” Khalil Tufakji told Al-Monitor. Tufakji is a Palestinian expert on Jewish settlements and head of the Maps and Survey Department at Jerusalem’s Orient House, the PLO headquarters in Jerusalem.

He noted that the countries “are not publicly declaring their competition, yet Turkey’s financial aid and its support for religious tourism in Jerusalem indicates an increased Turkish influence in Jerusalem and, in turn, a remarkable decline of Jordan’s influence.”

“The competition between Jordan and Turkey has an economic dimension,” he added. “Amman wants Turkish tourists, initially heading to Jerusalem, to travel by road and pass through Jordan, which will generate revenues for its treasury, instead of taking a direct flight from Ankara Airport to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, without passing through Jordan.”

Turkish delegations continue to visit Jerusalem; most recently, Adnan al-Husseini, Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, received a delegation from the Turkish Green Crescent Society visiting Jerusalem on April 21 to discuss Jerusalem issues.

Turkey has been working on promoting its ties with Jerusalem for some time. Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) issued a decision in April 2015 to include Al-Aqsa Mosque into the Umrah religious pilgrimage. Turkish citizens will stay three days in Jerusalem, four days in Medina and seven days in Mecca.

Former Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Khaled Abu Arafa told Al-Monitor, “Jordan and Turkey’s competition in Jerusalem is no secret, yet they made sure to keep it muffled so as not to sour their relations. It is clear that Ankara has an agenda … aimed at increasing its influence in Jerusalem, to encourage its citizens to intensify their visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque and to provide scholarships to large numbers of Jerusalemites to complete their studies in Turkey.”

He added, “Turkey has been sending its officials to Jerusalem without coordination with Amman, angering Jordan, which considers itself the guardian of Jerusalem, though there is no agreement binding Turkey to inform Jordan in advance of its intent to make an official visit to Jerusalem. It seems that Israel is concerned about the increasing influence of Turkey in Jerusalem, given that Turkey is a strong state, while Jordan does not seem to have the same strength.”

Turkey’s strength is manifested by its currently thriving economy, whereas Jordan faces a difficult economic situation. A study published in April by Israeli researcher Pinhas Inbari reveals that Israel condones Turkey’s increased influence in the holy city, even though Israel is concerned about the proliferation of Turkish flags and photos of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the streets of Jerusalem.

The Jordanian-Turkish competition for influence in Jerusalem has been reflected for years in political speeches. Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s prime minister until recently, stated on several occasions that Turkey considers Jerusalem one of its “domestic affairs.” On Nov. 7, 2014, he said, “Al-Quds [Jerusalem] is our cause.”

In September 2015, Erdogan warned that Turkey will not tolerate Israel’s continued aggression against Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the hill where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, and said Israel is playing with fire. On the other hand, Jordanian King Abdullah II said in February that the protection of the mosque falls within the royal family’s guardianship over Jerusalem.

Hanna Issa, secretary-general of the Islamic-Christian Commission for Support of Jerusalem and Holy Sites, told Al-Monitor, “Jordan is the guardian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, while Turkey is providing Jerusalemites with financial aid and relief services, given its status as a rich country with a powerful economy, while Jordan’s economy is stumbling.” (Jordan is just beginning to recover from a $3 billion budget deficit and is still burdened by the cost of hosting 1 million Syrian refugees and severely strained by regional instability.)

However, Issa added, “Coordination between the two countries is ongoing to serve Jerusalem and Jerusalemites.”

Turkey has close ties with Hamas, whose relations with Jordan have been almost nonexistent since Hamas leaders were ousted from Amman in 1999 and numerous Qatari mediations failed to mend the ties.

The PA’s relationship with Jordan was marred by Jordan’s agreement in October with Israel to install the surveillance cameras at the mosque without consulting the PA. PA President Mahmoud Abbas also fears Jordan’s support of his archenemy, Mohammed Dahlan, who visited Amman in April. This situation may work in Turkey’s favor, allowing it to extend its influence in Jerusalem at Jordan’s expense.

The spread of Turkish flags, Turkish shawarma restaurants and photos of Erdogan on the walls of Jerusalem indicate that the Turks are serious about increasing their influence in the city.

Source: al-Monitor.

Link: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/05/turkey-jordan-palestine-jerusalem-competition-influence.html.

May 08, 2016

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese voted Sunday in municipal elections in Beirut and the Bekaa Valley amid tight security and a low turnout in the capital that has recently seen the largest anti-government protests in years following a months-long trash crisis.

Security was tight in the country as authorities took strict measures to guarantee that the vote passes without trouble. Lebanon was hit by a wave of bombings in recent years that killed scores of people and Syria’s civil war has spilled over in the past.

Sunday’s vote is the first to be held in the country since 2010. The government has postponed parliamentary elections, citing security concerns linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria. Lebanon has also been without a president since 2014, with the parliament failing to elect a leader amid political disagreements, and a paralysis among political rivals often related to their stance on the war in Syria.

Polling stations for the municipal election will be open on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (0400 GMT to 1600 GMT). Results are expected as early as Monday. There are 1.8 million voters registered for this round of voting. Three other rounds will take place over the coming weeks in other parts of the country.

In Beirut, residents are voting for the first time since an eight-month trash crisis ignited anti-government protests, with an outsider group of candidates challenging a political establishment widely seen as corrupt and incompetent.

Beirut Madinati, Arabic for “Beirut, My City,” has vowed to clean up both the city’s streets and its politics. It is running against “Beirutis,” a list backed by several political groups, including the powerful predominantly Sunni Muslim Future Movement of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Shiite Muslim Amal group and the country’s three main Christian groups.

Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah group is only backing neighborhood mayors, but not municipal candidates, in Beirut. Hezbollah has a strong base in the country’s south and the Bekaa Valley, and is fielding municipal candidates there.

But turnout was low in Beirut by the afternoon. The interior minister said turnout was at 13 percent in the capital. The highest turnout was in Baalbek, a Hezbollah-stronghold near the Syrian border, where 33 percent voted.

Nadine Labaki, a well-known film director and candidate on the Beirut Madinati list, called on voters to “not let us down” in a televised interview. “It is not necessary that everything related to our daily life must wait for political parties to come to an agreement,” she told Al-Jadeed TV.

Madinati hopes to channel the energy of the protest movement, which emerged in response to the trash crisis that stemmed from a government failure for months to reach an agreement on how to deal with it. The protests went on to challenge the political class that has governed Lebanon since the end of its 1975-1990 civil war.

In one of the Bekaa’s main cities, Baalbek, political groups, primarily Hezbollah and allied Shiite group Amal are pitted against family-backed candidates. A day ahead of the elections, Lebanese army and police intensified patrols and deployed in front of polling stations. Motorcycles were banned on the day of the vote in an apparent attempt to head off potential attacks or speedy getaways. And to avoid late night crowds, Beirut’s famed nightclubs were ordered closed while bars and restaurants had to shut after midnight Saturday.

In the eastern town of Arsal, a curfew was imposed on tens of thousands of Syrian refugees until the polling stations close. Lebanon is home to more than a million registered Syrian refugees, the equivalent of a quarter the country’s population of 4.5 million. Another half million unregistered Syrians live in the country.

“Their situation is not right. It is a dangerous thing. Hopefully, when the municipality is elected, they will find a solution for them and they don’t stay in town here and return to their country,” said voter Walid Saramani from Zahleh, a major town in the Bekaa valley.

Successfully organizing the municipal elections will strengthen the argument that delaying other votes for security concerns is unnecessary. “These (elections) prove that Lebanon’s democracy is in good shape and we can hold elections,” said Hariri, the son of late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated by a massive bomb in Beirut in 2005.

Associated Press writers Maeva Bambuck and Andrea Rosa in Beirut contributed to this report.

5/10/2016

AMMONNEWS – The number of minor females marriages in the kingdom is increasing from the last years, the number of females who married last year; 2015 is (10866) minors, increasing from the last year, which the minors who married in, is 10834.

In 2013 there were 9618 cases according to what was revealed in a formal statistics recently from the Supreme Judge Department, and Ammon could get a copy.

According to statistics, Jordan gave in marriage 31318 minors in the last three years.

The percentage of the minor females in the kingdom last year is 13.35% of the total marriages number percentage. The number of marriage cases in the kingdom last year was 81373 cases, (10866) of them are minors, 494 minors of them divorced in the same year, which means the percentage of 8.8%.

The status law texts in article 10, the age of the couple should complete 18 solar years, but the law allows the marriage of people whom complete 15 years old under the agreement of the Supreme Judge, and in some cases he permits.

Source: Ammon News.

Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleno=31308.

5/10/2016

AMMONNEWS – An industrial partnership of Paramount Group, the African-based global defense and aerospace company, has begun local production of one of the world’s most advanced armored vehicles for the Jordanian Armed Forces.

Paramount Group and Jordan Manufacturing Services Solutions (JMSS) announced the signing of a new contract that will see JMSS leading on the local production and assembly of the MBOMBE 6×6 at a dedicated facility in the Dulail- King Abdullah II Design Development Bureau (KADDB) Industrial Park. The announcement was made at the Special Operations Forces Exhibition & Conference (Sofex-2016) in Amman, Jordan.

Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and executive chairman of Paramount Group, said: “We are extremely proud to expand our collaborative partnerships with local Jordanian industry, working together to bolster local industrialization, creating advanced technologies and skilled jobs. It is an honour to collaborate on the production of the MBOMBE 6×6 for the Jordanian armed forces and I am committed to developing further such partnerships across the Middle East.”

The international partnership will ultimately deliver 50 MBOMBE to the Jordanian Armed Forces. Paramount Group has been producing the first MBOMBE in South Africa and the process of vehicle delivery has started with the first 25 vehicles expected to be delivered to Jordan over the summer of 2016.

Additional local partners who form the supply chain include: the King Abdullah II Design Development Bureau (KADDB), the Jordan Advanced Machining Company (JAMCO), which will manufacture the turret and pestle mounts, and Aselsan Middle East, which will provide intercom systems.

Khaled Tashtshe, general manager, said: “JMSS is a regional leader in manufacturing Medium and Heavy vehicles, recognized for its technical excellence. We are proud to play a leading role in the local production and assembly of the MBOMBE armored vehicle.”

As with other such Paramount Group partnerships across the Middle East, Jordan will benefit from the South African company’s extensive industrial and technical training programs. Paramount Group will deliver vehicle maintenance training and other highly-skilled courses for Jordanian employees of JMSS and members of the Jordanian armed forces will receive training on the operation and technical maintenance of the MBOMBE.

Ichikowitz added: “Regional governments are working valiantly to confront security threats of unprecedented scope and scale in an era of squeezed military budgets. But they cannot do it alone. Regional security starts with economic security and the defense industry must accept the responsibility of offering more affordable, adaptable solutions.

“As a South African company, with a proven track record of providing solutions to stabilize asymmetrical warfare, Paramount Group is a trusted partner to governments across the Middle East.

“Paramount Group is privileged to play our part in supporting the growth of the Middle East’s military industrial capability, and we look forward to announcing further such collaborations in the future.”

JMSS and partners will start immediately to fabricate the jigs to build the MBOMBE hulls before producing the second tranche of 25 armored vehicles in Jordan. The proposed build will require them to fabricate the hull assembly as all welded sub-assemblies and cut and bend plates will be delivered by Paramount Group. The bolt on assembly will be done in Jordan, as with the major sub-assemblies like the power pack, wheel stations, suspension and hatches.

The Jordanian MBOMBE is a bespoke version developed by Paramount Group. It can uniquely withstand the extreme climates of the Middle East: during the armored vehicle’s development it underwent extensive trials comprising 50-degree Celsius desert environments in Jordan and the UAE, to -50-degree Celsius during winter trials in Kazakhstan.

Across all models, the MBOMBE contains the latest armoured and land mine protected technology in the world, providing unrivalled protection against landmines, IEDs, side blasts and RPG attacks. – TradeArabia News Service

Source: Ammon News.

Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleno=31309.

10/15/2011

AMMONNEWS – Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit on Wednesday evening called for an emergency meeting for the cabinet and security chiefs to discuss the riots and chaos that took place on Wednesday in several places in the kingdom against the Municipal Elections.

Ammon News learned that Bakhit and Minister of Interior Mazen Saket called for the emergency meeting at the Prime Ministry to deliberate on means of dealing with the various protests taking place demanding mergers or disengagement of local municipalities.

Local residents on Wednesday had blocked the main Queen Alia International Airport highway and main desert highway leading to Aqaba and southern governorates in protest of the municipal decisions.

The riots witnessed fired gunshots, vandalism of passing vehicles, burning rubber tires, and hurling rocks.

The international road leading to Aqaba remained blocked from Al Jiza district and in several other locations, including Al Damakhi, Muwaqqar, and Zamileh.

Several governorates throughout the kingdom had also witnessed protests throughout the week with local residents calling for establishing new municipalities for their respective districts.

Source: Ammon News.

Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=14117.

10/15/2011

AMMONNEWS – A Jordanian coalition of pro-reform movements announced that it will partake in a protest organized to take place in front of the American Embassy in Amman on Saturday, October 15.

The Popular and Youth Coalition for Change on Wednesday said it will participate in the protest organized by reform movements, trade unions, and political activists at 5 PM on Saturday against “Capitalism, global neoliberalism, privatization, and destroying the role of the private sector,” according to their expression.

The protest comes around the same time as similar demonstrations throughout the world, including the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests in New York, encompassing similar slogans and objectives.

Various governorates throughout the kingdom will also witness demonstrations on Friday organized by populist and youth movements under the banner “Our Unity and Freedom and Red Lines.”

Source: Ammon News.

Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=14115.