Iraq has asked Turkey to open an additional border crossing. The two countries are working for opening the new crossing, in a move which is aimed at developing trade between them and lightening traffic at the only land access to Turkey at al-Khabour area, in northern Iraq. The new suggested border gate would be five kilometers away from al-Khabour.
Omdurman National Bank in Sudan has launched and implemented the country’s first ATMs, says global channel banking software solutions provider CR2. The bank has rolled out its first 10 ATMs in the capital city, Khartoum and will roll out a further 12 throughout the country including Port Sudan and Wad Medini
The world’s two most populous countries, India and China, are working to set up their first direct trade link since a 1962 border war by reopening a section of the famed Silk Road. The point of contact is the 4545m Nathu La pass on the border between India’s Sikkim and China’s Tibet where hundreds of Indian workers are repairing roads and building customs facilities. The trading post, 52km east of the Sikkim capital, Gangtok, is the clearest sign of rapprochement between the two countries, which still dispute much of their 4000km border that stretches from Kashmir in the west to India’s far-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. The initial trade is expected to be much the same as in the Silk Road days, with Chinese silk, yak tails and raw wool likely to hit Indian markets via the small village of Sherathang, about five kilometers from the Nathu La pass.
The deputy leader of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels has entered Congo after striking out west for the first time from his hideouts in the mountains of southern Sudan. During two decades of war, fighters from the cult-like group had never crossed over the White Nile, supposedly because they feared losing the magical protection of their leader, the self-proclaimed prophet Joseph Kony. Kony’s deputy, Vincent Otti, and about 50 fighters forded the river last week before burning homes on the road between the Sudanese towns of Juba and Yei.
Yemen has detained more than 10,000 illegal African immigrants this year, after more than 100 would-be migrants drowned this month trying to reach the Arab republic. 10,750 people have been seized in Yemeni cities and on the coast, which faces the Horn of Africa, including more than 10,000 Somalis and 350 Ethiopians. The Somalis are being held at a detention camp in the southern Abyan province, while the others were repatriated.
Alstom, Siemens and Mitsubishi are among companies bidding for a $5 billion Saudi Arabian project to create the first rail link between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The state-run Saudi Railways Organization got initial offers from eight groups interested in the project that involves building a 1,065-kilometer (665 miles) railroad across the desert-kingdom. The existing Saudi rail network consists of two 500-kilometer (313-mile) lines connecting Riyadh with the Persian Gulf seaport of Dammam and the petroleum center at Haradh. A third railway line is being considered to link the religious centers of Mecca and Medina with the Red Sea port of Jeddah and industrial city of Yanbu.