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Gulf and Red Sea Regions

Stories under this heading cover the Gulf and the Red Sea regions, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the countries bordering the Red Sea.

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The Emirates in mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

The Emirates in mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have started a forty days mourning period after the death was announced yesterday of the country's second president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. Khalifa succeeded his father as Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE in 2004. However since 2014, following a stroke, he has played only a symbolic role in public life, with most day to day government decisions taken by his heir and brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Sheikh Khalifa was laid to rest on Saturday (14 May) in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.  The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, each of which still have control over many internal issues. However all defence, foreign policy and security issues are decided at the federal level. The accession of Sheikh Mohammed as president is not automatic, since the rulers of the seven emirates will have to meet in the next thirty days to formally elect the new president. But tradition and real politik has it that the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, by far the richest and the strongest of the seven emirates, gets the position of President.

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UN accuses all parties in Ethiopia of committing humanitarian abuses

UN accuses all parties in Ethiopia of committing humanitarian abuses

The United Nations condemned the atrocities committed in the conflict over Tigray and accused all parties of committing humanitarian abuses. However, the report is also a subject of doubt due to the rare collaboration between the UN and the Ethiopian rights commission and the lack of alternative investigations.
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Kuwait plans to pardon dissidents

Kuwait plans to pardon dissidents

Kuwait’s emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah has initiated an amnesty process to pardon political dissidents and critics as part of wider political reforms in the country. The amnesty decision is expected to include the self-exiled parliamentarians who fled imprisonment after taking part in the 2011 storming of the parliament over alleged corruption and mismanagement by the government.