Daily Archives: May 13, 2014

IOM Conducts First Mass Oral Cholera Vaccination Campaign in South Sudan

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 13, 2014 – The start of South Sudan’s rainy season has dramatically raised the threat level of waterborne diseases, in particular cholera, for an estimated 86,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering in protection of civilian (PoC) sites in UN bases across the country.

“Despite ongoing efforts to improve living conditions at PoC sites, heavy rains coupled with congestion, poor hygiene practices and overburdened sanitation facilities have created conditions ripe for waterborne diseases,” says David Derthick, IOM Chief of Mission in South Sudan.

IOM’s Health Unit is responding to the threat by conducting Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaigns in PoC sites, in close cooperation with WHO, UNICEF and other health cluster partners.

The first campaign began on May 6th at the PoC site in Bor (Jonglei State), which hosts an estimated 3,600 IDPs. Some 2,862 IDPs were vaccinated. A second round will begin in Bor on May 20th.

“Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are at the forefront in preventing both endemic diarrheal diseases and cholera outbreaks, together with intensive health education campaigns conducted through community level volunteers,” says IOM South Sudan Migration Health Officer Haley West.

“Strengthening coordination mechanisms between WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Health cluster partners for harmonized and strong hygiene promotion is crucial. Cholera vaccination is a safe and effective additional tool that can be used under the right conditions to supplement existing cholera control measures,” she notes.

IOM is now also providing primary health care services for IDPs and host communities through clinics located in PoC sites in Malakal (Upper Nile State) and Bentiu (Unity State).

It has also extended mobile health services to the South Sudan-Sudan border area of Wunthou (Renk County, Upper Nile State), where an estimated 13,000 people are displaced.

IOM’s presence as the main health actor in these locations remains as the first line of defence against endemic diseases for thousands of vulnerable IDPs and their host communities.

SOURCE: International Office of Migration (IOM)

Africa Intelligence offers its subscribers a free mobile application

Africa Intelligence is a portal which hosts five publications providing exclusive information about Africa for a professional audience

PARIS, France, May 13, 2014 – Africa Intelligence (http://www.AfricaIntelligence.com) is today launching a mobile application for the exclusive use of its subscribers. After having gone 100% digital in April 2013, Africa Intelligence is pursuing its development and can now offer its readers the opportunity to access all their content on mobile appliances:

– Alerts to keep ahead of the news on every occasion;

– All articles, special reports and Insiders as they appear;

– Filters for selecting articles according to most recent publication or by individual publication or country;

– Nearly 20 years of archives made accessible by a powerful research engine.

Logo Africa Intelligence: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/logo-africa-intelligence.jpg

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1073

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1071

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1070

The application is available for use with IoS (Apple), Androïd and Windows operating systems.

In addition to launching the new mobile application, Africa Intelligence is also unveiling its new logos. These give the site a very modern graphic appearance, with stylish design, lively colours and uncluttered navigation.

These changes will be taken further in autumn 2014 through a redesigning of the user and graphic interface of the whole of the Africa Intelligence website.

Published in English (http://www.AfricaIntelligence.com) and in French (www.AfricaIntelligence.fr) since 1996, Africa Intelligence is a portal which hosts five publications providing exclusive information about Africa for a professional audience:

– Three regional publications explain the workings of political and economic power: West Africa Newsletter (West and Central Africa), The Indian Ocean Newsletter (African countries bordering on the Indian Ocean) and Maghreb Confidential (North Africa);

– Two sectorial publications follow economic and political strategy in the mining and energy sectors: Africa Energy Intelligence and Africa Mining Intelligence.

Africa Intelligence is published by Indigo Publications, an independent press group based in Paris. Apart from Africa Intelligence, the group, which is often described as “the smallest international press group in the world”, publishes three other websites (IntelligenceOnline.com, PresseNews.fr and LaLettreA.fr).

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Indigo Publications.

To download the mobile app: on the Apple Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/africa-intelligence/id825653432?mt=8), Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Indigo.AfricaIntelligence&hl=en-US ) and Windows Store (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/africa-intelligence-abonn%C3%A9s/37e08ad2-0888-4e52-8574-ed338bd8ca5b).

To read more about the mobile app: www.africaintelligence.com/mobile

To subscribe to Africa Intelligence: http://www.africaintelligence.com/payments/DefaultPayment.aspx

The website: www.africaintelligence.com

Contact: Elsa Berry, head of communication – berry@indigo-net.com – 00 33 1 44 88 57 32

SOURCE: Indigo Publications

Maqam Echahid redefines Algiers skyline with spectacular Philips LED digital lighting

Algiers iconic “Independence monument” illuminated with innovative, energy-efficient lighting during Philips’ fifth consecutive Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow

ALGIERS, Algeria, May 13, 2014 – Royal Philips (http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow) (AEX: PHIA, NYSE: PHG), the global leader in lighting, today unveiled the spectacular illumination of Algeria’s iconic Maqam Echahid with its latest LED lighting technology, boosting the beautification of the city of Algiers and cutting energy consumption by 75%. Philips is showcasing its LED lighting solutions in Algeria as part of the fifth consecutive pan-African Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow (http://www.philipsafricaroadshow.com). By making a stopover in Algeria for the second consecutive year, Philips underlines its commitment to enhance life in Africa by improving energy efficiency in Algeria.

Logo Philips: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/philips-1.jpg

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1068
(Maqam Echahid redefines Algiers skyline with spectacular Philips LED digital lighting)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1066
(Mr Eric Heutinck, CEO, Philips Maghreb)

LED lighting solutions improve energy performance in public spaces

“The spectacular lighting of Maqam Echahid demonstrates the incredible advances that are being made in the efficiency and beauty of LED illumination”, says Eric Heutinck, CEO, Philips Maghreb. “LED lighting innovations provide completely new opportunities to policy makers and governments to enhance city beautification and at the same time contribute to energy saving. We are extremely proud to see how Philips’ lighting solutions are contributing to improving the attractiveness of this stunning independence monument while reducing energy consumption in Algiers”.

Shedding new light on Algeria’s independence monument

Philips, the global leader in lighting, is placing LED technology at the service of one of the most important landmarks in Algeria. Located in Algiers and inaugurated in 1982 on the 20th anniversary of Algeria’s independence, Maqam Echahid is by far the most popular attraction in the city, with thousands of tourists visiting it annually. The spectacular Philips LED lighting is likely to further improve the tourism value of the monument.

Lower energy consumption and breathtaking views of Maqam Echahid

Today LED lighting can deliver very high energy efficiency, long life, and excellent quality of light, design flexibility, controllability and colour – all of which are essential to creating tailor-made solutions that are configured to meet the local customer’s expectations.

For the Maqam Echahid monument, Philips used a total of 9 luminaires, combining red, blue and green in each single luminaire which provides an endless spectrum of colors to highlight the features of this architectural masterpiece.

The advantages of the LED lighting installed at Maqam Echahid include:

⁻ The installed capacity of the lighting system is just 2.6 kW, compared to almost 10.8 kW previously, reducing energy consumption by 75%.

– Dynamic lighting that makes it possible to adjust the atmosphere of the site (change of intensity and color).

– A longer lifespan of the installation: around 100,000 hours compared to 12,000 hours with conventional lighting(1).

– A reduction in maintenance costs: LED luminaires require little maintenance.

Philips’ strengthens Algeria’s ambition to improve energy efficiency

Algeria has created a “green momentum” by launching an ambitious program to develop renewable energies and promote energy efficiency. Through combining initiatives and the acquisition of knowledge, Algeria is engaged in a new age of sustainable energy use.(2) Philips’ innovative LED lighting solutions tie in greatly with Algeria’s ambition to improve energy performance in public spaces.

The fifth pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow

After the launch in Cairo, Algeria is the second stop on Philips’ annual flagship Cairo to Cape Town roadshow (http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow) (from 14 April to 3 September 2014) which focuses on key challenges facing Africa today – the need for energy-efficient lighting and the revitalization of African healthcare infrastructure. Philips has committed to lighting up and illuminating one iconic monument in every city visited during the roadshow with the latest LED technology. As the number one LED lighting company in the world, Philips will now provide a stunning lighting makeover of historic, well-recognized monuments in African cities.

The Roadshow will make its way across seven countries and ten cities in Africa; next stop will be in Casablanca, Morocco on the 27th of May.

For more information please follow the Cairo to Cape Town roadshow on: http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow

(1) Subject to : lumen maintenance L50 at 25 degrees.

(2) Source: Portail des Energies Renouvelables en Algérie, 2011

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Royal Philips.

For further information, please contact:

Radhika Choksey

Philips Group Communications – Africa

Tel: +31 62525 9000

E-mail: radhika.choksey@philips.com

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (http://www.philips.com) (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 112,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at http://www.philips.com/newscenter.

SOURCE: Royal Philips


NEW YORK, May 13, 2014 – Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s briefing to the Security Council meeting on South Sudan, today:

Thank you for inviting me to brief you. I thank the Security Council for its attention to the mounting crisis in South Sudan.

I visited the country last week to sound the alarm about the violence and the risk of catastrophic famine, and to press the leaders to step back from the destructive path they are on. I had a long and productive meeting with President Salva Kiir last Tuesday in Juba, and spoke by telephone to former Vice-President Riek Machar. My message to both leaders was clear: they must work together to heal the wounds they have opened. I am pleased that they responded positively to my appeal to reopen dialogue.

I welcome the ceasefire agreement signed in Addis Ababa on Friday and I commend the mediation role of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dessalegn of Ethiopia. I call on the international community to continue to support IGAD’s efforts.

Since the crisis began five months ago, many thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, atrocities have been committed by both sides, more than a million people have been displaced, and nearly 5 million more need humanitarian assistance. If the conflict continues, half of South Sudan’s 12 million people will either be displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year’s end.

In Juba, I visited the Tomping protection of civilians site, which hosts some 20,000 people. I was moved by their welcome and appalled at the conditions they are having to endure, which are worse than in any of the many refugee camps I have visited around the world, including those in Syria. But, let me emphasize: our peacekeeping bases are not designed to accommodate such an influx — nor should they be. UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) and the various UN agencies are now working to provide safer, more hygienic accommodation for the more than 80,000 people we are sheltering around the country.

The United Nations policy of opening our gates as an emergency option to protect innocent civilians is correct, unprecedented and not without considerable risk — to United Nations staff, to our relations with communities and to those we are trying to shelter. It is not a routine decision, nor one we took lightly, but one we were morally compelled to take. I am proud of the actions of our United Nations peacekeepers and civilian staff. Their quick response and courage has saved tens of thousands of lives.

But this is not a long-term solution. This is an entirely man-made calamity and it needs the engagement of all actors to change course.

I see five priorities.

First, the fighting must end immediately. People need to be able to go back to their land to plant and tend their crops in peace. Hunger and malnutrition are already wide-spread. If this planting window is missed, there will be a real risk of famine. That is why we are calling for 30 days of tranquillity backed by both sides. I am troubled by the accusations by both sides of breaches of the ceasefire already, and I urge maximum restraint by all parties.

Second, both sides must fulfil their commitment by allowing humanitarian access — by air, by road, and in particular, by barge along the Nile. Peacekeepers and aid workers are operating under increasingly difficult circumstances. Attacks on the United Nations and the humanitarian community are unacceptable. They must cease immediately, and all parties should respect international human rights and humanitarian law.

Third, the international community must support humanitarian action. The United Nations is launching a massive operation to help 3.2 million people, but we need resources. The humanitarian community is $781 million short of the $1.27 billion that we estimate is needed by the middle of this year. I urge all countries to support the forthcoming 20 May donor conference on South Sudan being hosted by Norway and the United Nations.

Fourth, there must be justice and accountability. The human rights report issued by UNMISS last Thursday underscores the level of atrocities committed by all sides. There are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed. A special or hybrid tribunal with international involvement should be considered.

Fifth, the two leaders must recommit to inclusive nation-building that involves all political leaders and civil society. That means addressing the root causes of the conflict. They must cease a senseless power struggle and restore the sense of national unity that prevailed at the time of independence.

I commend the leadership of Prime Minister Dessalegn of Ethiopia as Chairman of IGAD, and also the efforts of United States Secretary of State John Kerry. Political dialogue is the only answer. Now the onus is on both South Sudanese leaders to accelerate the momentum for peace.


Somaliland authorities arrest two journalists

NEW YORK, May 13, 2014 – A regional court in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland remanded two journalists into custody on Saturday after charging them with libel, false publication, and anti-state propaganda, according to news reports and the local Somaliland Journalists’ Association. Yusuf Abdi Gabobe, chairman of the Haatuf Media Network, and Ahmed Ali, chief editor of the network, were jailed after the hearing, the reports said.

The judge denied the journalists bail, Hassan Ali, the journalists’ defense lawyer, told CPJ. The lawyer also said the court did not provide the defense team with adequate time to present its case. The hearings will resume later this month, according to local journalists.

News reports and local journalists said the charges against the journalists stemmed from a complaint filed by Hussein Abdi Duale, Somaliland’s energy minister, after the independent Haatuf newspaper, which publishes six days per week, and the English weekly Somaliland Times published a series of articles alleging corruption and mishandling of finances within the ministry, according to local reports. Both papers are owned by the Haatuf Media Network. The energy minister denied the allegations in court on Saturday.

On April 7, police raided the offices of the Haatuf Media Network citing a court order and indefinitely suspended Haatuf and the Somaliland Times, according to news reports and local journalists. Court authorities did not provide a process to appeal the suspension, the same sources said. Local journalists and news reports suggested at the time the closure was linked to the reports alleging corruption.

The news websites of both publications were blocked by telecommunication companies following an April 16 court order, according to news reports and local journalists.

Mohamed Osman, an official in the information ministry, told CPJ that authorities had asked the Haatuf Media Network to provide evidence supporting the allegations against the energy ministry. He said this was never provided. With Yusuf and Ahmed in jail, CPJ has been unable to reach anyone at Haatuf for the group’s response.

“Somaliland authorities have already raided Haatuf Media Network’s newsrooms, suspended its publications, and blocked its websites, but apparently they saw fit to take further steps to silence the staff and warn other journalists not to cross any red lines,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “We urge authorities to release Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and Ahmed Ali immediately and stop targeting the independent press.”

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the local human rights advocacy group the Human Rights Center delivered a petition to Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamoud Silyano, calling on him to lift the suspension of Haatuf and the Somaliland Times and another indefinitely suspended publication, Hubaal, according to the center’s chairman, Guleid Ahmed. The president has not yet responded to the petition.

Somaliland authorities have launched a crackdown on the press in recent months. In February, authorities banned indefinitely the private U.K.-based broadcaster Universal TV from airing in Somaliland after it broadcasta comedy program that ridiculed the president, according to local journalists and reports. On December 13, police raided and closed indefinitely the daily Hubaal citing a court order that claimed the publication promoted insecurity in the nation. The court did not allow for an appeal process, according to local journalists. Both outlets are still shut down.

SOURCE: Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)