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Arabic press review: Saudi Arabia detains senior commander in Yemeni army

Meanwhile, Sudan faces a medicine shortage and media outlets face prosecution in Kuwait
Yemeni army reinforcements arrive to join fighters loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government, on the southern front of Marib on 16 November 2021 (AFP)
Yemeni army reinforcements arrive to join fighters loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government, on the southern front of Marib on 16 November 2021 (AFP)

Saudi Arabia detains Yemeni commander

Saudi authorities arrested the commander of the Sixth Military Region in the Yemeni army, Major General Heikal Hantaf, after he arrived at Jeddah airport a few days ago, the Arabi 21 website reported.

An informed military source, who asked not to be named, said Hantaf arrived in Saudi Arabia - after receiving assurances from senior military leaders in the Yemeni army - to settle his problems with Saudi military leadership, including "financial dues relating to the Northern Axis forces of the border guards in Al-Jawf border governorate, adjacent to the kingdom".

According to the military source, upon his arrival Hantaf was informed that an arrest warrant had been issued against him by the Saudi-led coalition leadership.

"After that, the Yemeni military commander was transferred to a hotel in the city of Jeddah and was detained there," the source said.

Sudan facing a medicine crisis

Sudan is suffering from a lack of life-saving medicines, with the shelves of many pharmacies running empty due to a near-complete halt in supply.

This shortage coincides with a sharp increase in Sudan of the price of medication - most notably among medicines used to treat the kidneys, diabetes and for chemotherapy - according to a report published by the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper in London.

Officials and specialists attribute the crisis to the lack of foreign currency available in the country, as well as the expansion of the black market to now include certain medicines in the absence of government control over the markets.

The Sudanese Pharmacists Association said it expects more medications to join the missing list soon.

"This will have significant health, psychological and financial consequences for cancer patients and their families," it said in a statement. "Cancer patients in particular and Sudanese patients in general are suffering from this situation."

A Sudanese citizen said that due to the lack of availability of cancer medication, he has been unable to find a single dose for four months, despite having searched for it in numerous pharmacies.

Several pharmacists acknowledged the lack of availability of medication for chronic diseases in pharmacies and hospitals, especially medicine used to treat cancer, hepatitis, diabetes and epilepsy.

Pharmacist Ibrahim Babiker said that the suspension of some companies from the market and their departure from Sudan led to the black market being the alternative site to purchase medicines that enter the country through smuggling.

He confirmed that the economic crisis that the country is experiencing had greatly contributed to this.

Another pharmacist, who refused to be named, revealed that some life-saving drugs were available in private pharmacies, but were being sold in dollars. Some of them, the pharmacist added, were also leaked to the black market.

Due to the deterioration of the health sector in Sudan, and the lack of available chemotherapy for cancer patients, 70 percent of patients have had to travel to neighbouring countries for treatment, with most heading to Egypt or Jordan.

Dozens of media outlets in Kuwait face trial

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information has referred 38 media establishments to the Public Prosecution in preparation for their trial for violating the terms and conditions of election coverage, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Elections for the new National Assembly are supposed to be held on 29 September, weeks after the issuance of the emir's decree dissolving parliament.

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The assistant secretary of the ministry of information, Lafi al-Subaie, said that 38 media outlets were referred to the Public Prosecution for violating laws regulating coverage of the 2022 parliamentary elections.

Al-Subaie said that the ministry took legal measures in coordination with the Ministry of Interior against a production company that filmed in front of the Elections Affairs Department without obtaining a licence and approval from the relevant government agencies, confirming that "the ministry will not allow any action that may distort the democratic process".

He explained that the ministry continuously monitors the performance of electronic, visual, audio and print media for the elections to ensure that they take into account the provisions of relevant laws, regulations and decisions to ensure the best coverage of the elections.

Jordan repatriates 40 citizens arrested in Kenya

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that 40 Jordanians arrested in Kenya on Sunday have been released and will arrive in Amman on Saturday. 

The ministry said that it had followed up on their case through the Jordanian embassy in Nairobi, according to the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a tweet: "The 40 Jordanians were arrested in Kenya for violating the regulations and instructions there."

He added: "The ministry worked to return them to Jordan. They will depart early on Friday to Amman via the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and will arrive on Saturday evening."

The official spokesman for the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haitham Abu Al-Ful, said that the information available to the embassy in Nairobi was that they were detained for violating Kenyan tourist regulations.

Kenyan media said that Mombasa police had arrested 40 Jordanian tourists on charges of begging in the city's streets.

They explained that the detainees were collecting money in the old town and Mariketti market to finance their travel to the capital, Nairobi.

The media quoted the police chief as saying that the police arrested the Jordanians after they received complaints from Kenyan citizens. He added that the detainees were 19 adults and 21 children. and held valid tourist visas. However, begging violated the terms of their tourist visas, which led to their arrest.

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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