Daily Archives: May 28, 2014

Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the sentencing to death of Sudanese woman Meriam Yehya Ibrahim

BERLIN, Germany, May 28, 2014– Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid and Member of the German Bundestag, issued the following statement today (27 May 2014) on the sentencing to death of the Sudanese woman Meriam Yehya Ibrahim:

I am very concerned about the death sentence imposed on Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and am personally committed to working to save Ms Ibrahim’s life. The Federal Republic of Germany has already appealed to the Sudanese Government in Khartoum together with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States and has urged it to strictly observe the Sudan’s international commitments to comply with human rights, particularly the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to life. The Federal Foreign Office in Berlin has also urgently appealed to the Sudanese Embassy for the Sudan to observe human rights in the case of Ms Ibrahim.

The Federal Government condemns all forms of torture and inhuman treatment. The Sudan is obliged under international law to defend and promote religious freedom. The Sudanese Government has now acknowledged that the sentence may be flawed. The case has already been referred to a higher court, and I sincerely hope that a new verdict will be passed which complies with rule of law principles and reverses the death sentence. I call upon the Sudan to refrain from either imposing the death penalty or carrying it out.

Background information:

In mid May 2014 a Sudanese court of first instance in Khartoum condemned Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag to death for abandoning her Muslim faith. The proceedings are still ongoing. Under Sudanese law all death sentences must be confirmed by the Supreme Court. In the Sudan, Islam is the state religion, but the Sudanese constitution also provides for the observance of various other religions and the free practice of faith.

SOURCE: Germany – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mali: Civilians suffering effects of recent fighting in Kidal

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 28, 2014 People in Kidal and those who had to flee the city to escape clashes between the Malian armed forces and armed groups are facing a number of serious problems. The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross are striving to help them.

Kidal’s water supply was suddenly cut off after the generators that had been running well pumps were damaged. In addition, thousands of people who found refuge in the city of Gao, about 350 kilometres south of Kidal, now find themselves in desperate straits.

“Restoring the water supply in Kidal is one of our priorities,” said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. “The situation of displaced people has been made worse by the circumstances in which they were forced to leave their homes. Most had to flee quickly, leaving everything behind, and now it’s hard for them to meet their basic needs.”

Restoring the flow of water to Kidal

“To make safe drinking water available again to people in Kidal, our staff restored to working order the five generators that had broken down,” said Abdoule-Karim Diomande, in charge of the ICRC’s water and habitat programme in Mali. “This will make it possible to resume pumping water from wells that supply around 300,000 litres every day.”

Providing emergency aid for displaced people

To respond to the most urgent needs of the people who fled Kidal for Gao, the Mali Red Cross and the ICRC distributed more than 55 tonnes of food to around 4,450 people, some 1,800 of whom were also given tarpaulins, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen utensils, buckets, clothing and hygiene items.

“We’re providing what is most urgently needed,” said Jules Amoti, who coordinates the ICRC’s economic security activities in Mali. “We’re also preparing a similar distribution for more than 5,000 residents of Kidal.”

Treating casualties in Gao Regional Hospital

A total of 69 casualties have so far been treated by an ICRC medical team working in Gao Regional Hospital. Eleven of the patients are still hospitalized and receiving surgical treatment.

“Most of the patients are victims of gunshot injuries requiring surgery,” said Kathrine Zimmermann, in charge of the ICRC’s health-care activities in Mali. “To boost our set-up in Gao, four tonnes of medical supplies will arrive within the next few days. A surgeon and a nurse will also be coming.”

Visiting people detained in connection with the fighting

On 22 and 23 May, ICRC delegates visited people arrested in connection with recent clashes and detained in Kidal by the High Council for the Unity of Azawad or by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. Emergency relief items were distributed, and arrangements were made for detainees who had not yet been able to contact their families to call them by telephone.

Visits of this kind, which the ICRC hopes to be able to repeat in the coming days, aim to ensure that the people are held and treated humanely.

SOURCE

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Orange Launches ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2 Smartphone Across Africa & Middle East

PARIS, France, May 28, 2014 Orange (http://www.orange.com) today is announcing the launch of the ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2 smartphone – an affordable, feature-packed smartphone that will rapidly bring the benefits of the mobile internet to consumers across Africa and the Middle East.

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This launch follows the successful launch by Orange of the original ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which sold nearly 250,000 units across 6 months, rapidly becoming the most popular smartphone in Orange shops in African and the Middle East. One out of every five smartphones sold by Orange across Africa and the Middle East is now an Alcatel smartphone.

“The smartphone landscape is rapidly changing – with high quality smartphones becoming increasingly affordable and accessible,” said Yves Maitre, Executive Vice President, Connected Objects and Partnerships at Orange. “At Orange we continue to make the internet more accessible to our customers in Africa and the Middle East by providing the best phones and tablets, on the best networks, with localised content and services at a price that is accessible for even more of our customers.”

With the ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2, Orange offers customers a full featured 3G Android Jellybean 4.2 smartphone with a 3.5″HVGA screen, dual-core 1.0 GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 512 MB of RAM. The sleek smartphone weighs in at 100g and is only 10.5mm thick.

The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2 comes pre-loaded with the top social networks and other popular applications, and Orange customers will have access to a range of great benefits, including:

• Orange Football Fan Club: Easily follow the news about their favourite teams and gain access to international football news. Personalise the app in order to follow your favourite teams. In-app gaming also allows you to play and bet on matches and to win prizes.

• Orange Updates: This application brings relevant and local applications directly to customers. Orange Updates offers the possibility to access the Orange apps catalogue which has been created together with local and international partners, and allows customers to download a variety of Orange apps at no additional cost.

• “My personal hotspot“: Access sharing across multiple screens with only one internet connection, and simply manage connections from all devices. Through ‘my personal hotspot’, in just one click the smartphone is transformed into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

• Lookout Mobile Security: Installed on every ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2 , this app provides anti-virus protection, monitors and saves data, encrypts your confidential information, and tracks the smartphone when it is either lost or stolen.

• My Orange: With ‘My Orange’, customers can stay in touch with their Orange account, following the rate of voice, SMS, & data consumption, and recharge their account.

• Control My Data : Allows customers to monitor their data consumption on the mobile network, Wi-Fi network and also when roaming. Control My Data notifies customers when they reach a data limit that they choose, and allows customers to block data usage by application.

“ALCATEL ONETOUCH is proud to be launching the ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2 with Orange, bringing the benefits of mobile internet available to even more consumers around the world.” said Dr. George Guo, CEO of TCL Communication Technology, creators of the ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2. “With our strategic partner Orange, we are committed to help everyone to explore and to create more in their daily lives.”

The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 2 is available today or will be launching soon with Orange in 21 countries across Africa, the Middle East and select countries in Europe and Asia.(1)

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

Press Contacts

Jeff Sharpe: +44 7887 620 901 – jeff.sharpe@orange.com

Tom Wright: +33 1 44 44 93 93 – tom.wright@orange.com

(1) The Alcatel Pixi 2 from Orange is available today in Kenya, Madagascar, Jordan, Cameroon, Egypt, Senegal and will be available in 15 other countries across AMEA in the coming weeks including Botswana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Republic of Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Vanuatu and Tunisia. Outside of AMEA, Orange will also be selling the Pixi 2 in Armenia and the Caribbean. Other countries may be added in the future.

Specification list:

• Standby Time: 3,5 hours working time

• Screen size: 3,5 inches HVGA

• Weight: 100g

• Thickness: 10.5mm

• Chipset: MT6572M, Dual Core 1.2 GHz CPU

• Camera Features: 2 mega pixel

• Connectivity: WiFi, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 + A2DP, GPS/A-GPS, HSPA+ (HSDPA/HSUPA)

• Memory: RAM: 512MB; EMMC: 2GB, MicroSD (up to 32GB)

• Operating System: Android Jelly Bean (4.2)

• Sensor: Gravity sensor

• User interface: Micro USB, 3.5mm stereo audio jack headset, build-in MIC,

• Battery: 1300mAh

about Orange

Orange (http://www.orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion euros in 2013 and has 164,000 employees worldwide at 31 March 2014, including 101,000 employees in France. Present in 30 countries, the Group has a total customer base of more than 239 million customers at 31 March 2014, including 182 million mobile customers and 16 million fixed broadband customers worldwide. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services.

Orange is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).

For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.livetv.orange.com or to follow us on Twitter: @orangegrouppr.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

SOURCE: Orange

Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 28, 2014 – The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has issued its seasonal outlook for the forthcoming June to August rainy season, factoring in the likely development of an El Niño event which may have significant climatic impacts over parts of Eastern Africa.

June to August constitutes an important rainfall season over the northern sector and the western parts of the equatorial sector of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region. The regional consensus climate outlook indicates increased likelihood of near normal to below normal rainfall over most parts of the northern and equatorial sectors except for parts of north western Ethiopia; south-eastern Uganda and much of South Sudan which have increased likelihood of receiving near normal to above normal rainfall. The rest of the region is expected to remain dry as usual at this time of year.

Factors influencing the climate include sea surface temperatures over western Indian Ocean, together with the atmospheric and oceanic conditions collectively

associated with El Niño. Most models indicate that El Niño – neutral conditions will persist through part of the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 season (March-May) and most likely transitioning to El Niño during June-August months. WMO is monitoring the situation.

“Past records show depressed rainfall in Northern sector of GHA during strong El Nino years. It should be noted that many parts of the eastern sectors of the GHA received low rainfall during March to May 2014 season. Drought occurrence during the months of June-August would have far reaching consequences,” said the climate outlook.

The climate outlook was issued at the end of the 37th session of the Forum organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC),25-26 May 2014 in Khartoum, Sudan. It brought together national, regional and international climate experts as well as users of climate early warning advisories from sectors such as food security, health and water resources and for disaster risk reduction.

WMO has been supporting Regional Climate Outlook Forums around the world, ever since the inception of the first forum in Southern Africa in 1997. Regional Climate Outlook Forums presently serve more than half the world’s population. WMO is working to ensure that the climate outlook information is reliable and accessible to the user community as part of the Global Framework for Climate Services.

SOURCE: World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Competition Increases for African Countries Seeking FDI into their Power Sectors

The 16th annual Africa Energy Forum will take place in Istanbul on 18 – 20 June 2014

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 28, 2014 – As competition increases among government stakeholders vying for investment into power sector projects across Africa, the most competitive countries will gather in Istanbul to promote stability and bankability. The need for countries to compete was highlighted at the World Economic Forum in Nigeria earlier this month, when questions were asked about the ability of some countries to attract foreign private sector investment.

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In terms of investment generation for Africa, the power sector has traditionally been less attractive than elsewhere in the world. With large swathes of poor and crippling infrastructure, the market severely lacked bankability.

However, government representatives from South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon, Namibia, Ghana and Zambia are confirmed to showcase the transformations in investment policies and regulation with specific focus on FDI at the Africa Energy Forum (http://www.africa-energy-forum.com). It is clear that for these nations, the credibility is there and that capturing investment is of paramount importance.

The 16th annual Africa Energy Forum, hosted with the support of the Ministry for Energy, Turkey, will take place in Istanbul on 18 – 20 June 2014. The meeting will also host energy ministers from Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Cameron, with a final confirmation pending from the Nigerian Minister of Finance and the Minister of Mines & Energy, Cote d’Ivoire.

The Forum in remains a relevant and an important meeting for Africa, despite being held outside of the continent – it’s where the industry gathers to promote investment.

The event is organised by EnergyNet and is part of a global portfolio of investment meetings, conferences and infrastructure events focused specifically on power and industrial sectors across Africa. For more information visit http://www.energynet.co.uk

SOURCE: EnergyNet Ltd.