RESOURCE CENTRE OF DEMOCRACY, GOOD GOVERNANCE,TRANSPARENCY,ACCOUNTABILITY,AND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EMERGING DEMOCRACIES IN THE HORN OF AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST. THE BLOG IS TRI-LINGUAL: ENGLISH, SOMALI AND ARABIC.
There is no democracy without effective opposition. And there is no effective opposition without free and independent media.
According to a report carried by Al-Eqtisadiah business daily, a consultancy house would study prospects of cutting down charges of domestic Haj service agents.
Interior Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Ahmed has instructed the Haj Ministry to take measures to reduce charges imposed on domestic pilgrims. Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, chairman of the Central Haj Committee, warned that the government would think of deporting illegal pilgrims as a majority of them are expatriate workers in the Kingdom. He also ordered an investigation into an incident where 36 pilgrims where injured when undocumented pilgrims rushed into a railway station and caused train services to be delayed. Haj Minister Bandar Hajar said among the 230 licensed domestic Haj agencies, only 19 offered low-cost services with their prices ranging between SR 1,900 and SR 3,900. The ministry later learned that these 19 agencies accommodated only 30,000 pilgrims. The ministry then licensed 17 more companies that helped 3,000 more pilgrims to perform Haj charging lower prices. Deputy Makkah Gov. Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khodairy disclosed that the higher authorities have approved the plan to build a wall around the holy sites, adding that experts are currently studying the project.