In a new act of defiance, Khar-toum asked African Union (AU) peacekeepers to leave Darfur by the end of the month, as its forces engaged in renewed fighting that threatened to plunge the battered region into fresh chaos.
"The African Union has already stated that it could not continue in Darfur, so if it is unable to pursue its assignment beyond September 30, then they have to leave before this date," foreign ministry spokesman Jamal Ibrahim said yesterday.
"At the same time, they have no right to transfer this assignment to the United Nations or any other party. This right rests with the government of Sudan," Ibrahim told reporters.
The Sudanese government had already rejected a UN Security Council resolution passed last Thursday, which calls for the deployment of more than 20,000 UN peacekeepers to take over from the embattled 7,000-strong AU force.
"Up to now, we have not been officially notified by the government of Sudan. Therefore, we cannot comment on it at the present time," the AU mission's spokesman Noureddine Mezni told reporters.
Khartoum submitted plans to the UN for the deployment of its own troops to replace AU monitors in Darfur, but the idea was rejected by the US and angered rebel movements. Sudanese government troops "aren't considered neutral," Washington's top Africa envoy Jendayi Frazer, the assistant secretary of State for African affairs, said last month.
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),
SMOOTHER TRANSIT: Japan Airlines reportedly planned to land the flight at Haneda Airport, but changed it to Narita for direct flights to Taiwan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Japan for allowing 94 Taiwanese on a chartered plane evacuating others stranded in Russia, where COVID-19 cases are rising and many international flights have been canceled. Ninety-four Taiwanese exchange students and expats, as well as two Russian spouses, arrived at Narita International Airport in Japan yesterday morning on a charter flight operated by Japan Airlines, before taking a transfer flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last night, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. As of press time last night, Russia had reported more than 362,000 cases of COVID-19, including more than 3,800 deaths. The government had