Press Conference of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) Ellen Margrethe Loej and head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

JUBA, South Sudan, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Mission in South Sudan cordially invites members of the media in South Sudan to a press briefing by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) Ellen Margrethe Loej and head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Date: Thursday 11, December 2014

Time: 11:00am

Venue: Juba Conference Room, UNMISS compound in Tomping

Categories: AFRICA

After 23 Years, IOM, UNHCR Repatriate First Somali Refugees from Kenya

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM, in collaboration with UNHCR, yesterday (8/12) began the voluntary repatriation of 94 Somali refugees from Kenya, 23 years after conflict and famine drove them from their homeland.

The refugees, from the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex that hosts over 350,000 Somali refugees, travelled in two IOM buses with their possessions to the Dhobley way station in Afmadow District, Lower Juba, on the Somali-Kenya border.

The repatriation process is the outcome of the tri-partite agreement signed between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR in November 2013, agreeing a dignified and humane repatriation process for Somali refugees in Kenya on a voluntary basis.

IOM will provide food, accommodation and water at the way station and also advise the returnees on routes to their final destinations. The refugees will receive repatriation packages including food rations for three months, non-food items and a livelihood start-up grant from UNHCR and its partners.

Although Somalia is still affected by conflict, a few pockets are safe to receive returnees, especially those liberated by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“I am glad to see men, women and children go back voluntarily in dignified manner to rebuild their country,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission, Ali Abdi. “IOM will continue to help vulnerable communities willing to return to Somalia by providing them with services such as health care, water and sanitation during the repatriation exercise.”

The repatriation process is supported by the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubaland Authority.

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Appeals for USD 93 Million to Aid Victims of South Sudan Conflict

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM is appealing for USD 93.3 million to respond to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan through 2015.

Aid agencies anticipate that over 6.4 million people will need assistance in the first quarter of 2015, including 1.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs), 290,000 refugees and millions facing food insecurity.

“IOM has 400 staff working in eight sub-offices throughout South Sudan. The needs here are as immense and diverse as the country and IOM will continue to play a key role in the humanitarian response,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission David Derthick.

On 15 December 2013, violence broke out in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, and quickly spread throughout the country. The humanitarian consequences of the ongoing crisis include massive population displacement, high rates of death, disease and injuries, severe food insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and wide scale malnutrition.

One year into the crisis, over 1.4 million people are internally displaced. Of these, over 100,000 individuals are seeking physical protection within UN (UNMISS) bases. This number is expected to increase as sporadic fighting continues and the frontlines of battle continue to shift.

The current crisis occurs against the backdrop of chronic poverty, as South Sudan remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

Tensions are particularly high in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, where control has shifted between the warring parties several times in the past year. In 2015, the humanitarian community expects the total number of IDPs to rise to 1.95 million.

Categories: AFRICA

Protect our Girls, Urges AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security During her Nigeria Solidarity Mission

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Bineta Diop begun her Nigeria solidarity visit yesterday with a simple message, “protect our girls.” Speaking when she met members of the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign, a group that is advocating for greater global attention to the issue of the abducted Chibok girls, Diop pledged to take their plea for greater support, from AU member states, back to the leadership. “We have come to show solidarity with the people and Government of Nigeria and in particular with the families of the missing Chibok girls.”

Bineta Diop was joined by Amb. Diallo Amina Djibo of Niger in Ethiopia, who is also a member of AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and Justice Sophia Akuffo, former President of the African Court of Human and People’s rights.

Addressing members of the campaign, who gathered at a public park in Abuja, some of whom have been affected by the insurgency in the North, Amb. Djibo said, “This is an African women’s appeal. We are speaking first and foremost as mothers, whose daughters are missing. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the plight of our missing girls and we must speak out now.”

The team earlier held talks with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs, Fatmata Sow and ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Salamatu Suleiman. The team also held a roundtable meeting with members of the Nigerian Women Peace and security Network.

The purpose of their visit is among others to echo the voices of the women of Nigeria and support them in their efforts to bring to an end the ordeal of the Chibok girls and all other forms of gender based violence. They are also here to support the Government of Nigeria’s efforts to bring back the girls abducted by Boko Haram and galvanize the support of civil society organizations that are assisting the victims. The team is also calling for peaceful elections and for greater participation of women in Nigeria’s political space as a step towards curbing conflicts in the region and ensuring a prosperous future.

“In order to achieve the goal of a peaceful and prosperous Continent, women must be part of that transformation process,” said Diop at the start of her mission, which ends on Friday 12 December.

Categories: AFRICA

Gemalto Launches Enhanced Visual and Tactile Security Features for Official Identity Documents

AMSTERDAM, Netherland, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653) (http://www.gemalto.com), the world leader in digital security, launches Sealys Secure Surface (http://www.gemalto.com/govt/sealys/sealys-secure-surface-feature), a new family of cost-effective security features for polycarbonate identity documents that strengthens protection against fraud by combining three different effects: light reflection, movement and tactile elements.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141209g.jpg (Gemalto Sealys surface)

Sealys Secure Surface can be applied on the polycarbonate bodies of documents such as passport datapages, ID cards, healthcare cards, driver licenses, vehicle registrations, and resident permits. It offers visual and tactile effects that allow fast and efficient document authenticity checks, while legitimate document holders benefit from greater security and swift identification procedures.

Sealys Secure Surface is designed to enhance the security of existing features such as the changeable or multiple laser image, which enables several pieces of information – typically a portrait and a number – to be seen depending on the viewing angle.

• Sealys Lens Surface incorporates complex shapes and combinations of elements inside the changeable or multiple laser image, further strengthening the security of this graphical feature

• Sealys Optically Variable Surface provides brand-new optical elements with light reflective and animation effects, revealed by tilting a document at different angles.

• Sealys 3D Surface offers perceptible features for a polycarbonate document, such as surface embossing or Braille, with unmatched accuracy

“The three new innovative features can be elegantly combined to keep our customers one step ahead in the fight against fraud. They have already been implemented in a European national program since mid-November,” said Youzec Kurp, Vice President of Marketing & Products, Government Programs at Gemalto. “By combining Sealys Surface with Sealys Color in Polycarbonate (http://www.gemalto.com/govt/sealys/sealys-color-in-polycarbonate.html), a remarkable innovation that allows color photographs to be permanently embedded into polycarbonate documents, Gemalto brings to the market a unique combination of graphical security features.”

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

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security (http://www.gemalto.com/companyinfo/digital_security.html) with 2013 annual revenues of €2.4 billion and more than 12,000 employees operating out of 85 offices and 25 research and software development centers, located in 44 countries.

We are at the heart of the rapidly evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain and work – anytime, everywhere – in ways that are enjoyable and safe. Gemalto delivers on their expanding needs for personal mobile services, payment security, authenticated cloud access, identity and privacy protection, eHealthcare and eGovernment efficiency, convenient ticketing and dependable machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. We develop secure embedded software and secure products which we design and personalize. Our platforms and services manage these products, the confidential data they contain and the trusted end-user services made possible.

Our innovations enable our clients to offer trusted and convenient digital services to billions of individuals. Gemalto thrives with the growing number of people using its solutions to interact with the digital and wireless world.

For more information visit www.gemalto.com, www.justaskgemalto.com, blog.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Gemalto Media Contacts:

Kristel Teyras

Middle East & Africa

+33 1 55 01 57 89

kristel.teyras@gemalto.com

Peggy Edoire

Europe, Middle East & Africa

+33 4 42 36 45 40

peggy.edoire@gemalto.com

Vivian Liang

大中华地区 (Greater China)

+86 1059373046

vivian.liang@gemalto.com

Nicole Williams

North America

+1 512 758 8921

nicole.williams@gemalto.com

Pierre Lelievre

Asia Pacific

+65 6317 3802

pierre.lelievre@gemalto.com

Ernesto Haikewitsch

Latin America

+55 11 5105 9220

ernesto.haikewitsch@gemalto.com

Categories: AFRICA

DAMAC Properties Announce Tiger Woods Design to Create Golf Course for ‘AKOYA Oxygen’

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Golfing superstar Tiger Woods will design the new 18-hole championship golf course in Dubai to be built by luxury real estate developers, DAMAC Properties (http://www.damacproperties.com) and operated by The Trump Organization.

Photos and logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?searchterms=damac&level=search

Set within the 55 million sq ft master community of AKOYA Oxygen, the ‘Trump World Golf Club, Dubai’ will include a state-of-the-art clubhouse, world-class restaurant and pro shop. The course will be situated at the heart of the development, with some of the highest premium, residential developments in Dubai overlooking the course.

“Tiger Woods is one of the most famous and iconic sportsmen in the world who will bring his design expertise and worldwide playing experience to this amazing development,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties. “Add to that the golfing prowess and skills of The Trump Organisation, our leadership position in luxury real estate development, with the global appeal of Dubai, we believe The Trump World Golf Club Dubai, designed by Tiger Woods, will be a market leader, judged against the best golf courses in the world.”

“Bringing Tiger Woods to Dubai is a testament to the luxury and quality that can be anticipated at AKOYA Oxygen – where fashion meets the outdoors, and green really is the new black.”

Woods has already gained a strong reputation for golf course design, with projects underway in Mexico and the United States. His first course to open for play will be El Cardonal in Mexico, which is scheduled to open before the end of the year.

In reference to the style of course that he is creating, Woods said: “I’ve been fortunate to play great golf courses all over the globe, from the original links courses in Scotland to the famous parkland courses in America and the distinctive layouts on the sandbelt of Australia. I hope to bring elements of those great courses and others to the Trump World Golf Club Dubai with the end result being a course that golfers will want to play again and again.”

Woods has won 14 Majors in golf, second only to Jack Nicklaus, and is one of the most iconic sportsmen ever to grace the game. The two-time winner of the Dubai Desert Classic (2006 & 2008), who had previously looked at the opportunity to design a course in Dubai, is now returning to realize that dream.

He has won a total of 105 tournaments, 79 of those on the PGA TOUR, including four Masters Tournaments, four PGA Championships, three U.S. Open Championships, and three British Open Championships. With his second Masters victory in 2001, Woods became the first player ever to hold all four professional major championships at the same time.

“I can’t wait to see this stunning project come to life,” added Woods. “Dubai is fast becoming one of the most influential golfing destinations in the world, both for the professional game and for amateurs looking to enjoy the great weather, great courses and amazing lifestyle.”

“We plan to create a distinct and memorable golf course that players of all abilities find enjoyable,” he added. “I am very much looking forward to adding to the great courses of Dubai.”

Site preparation work on the Trump World Golf Club Dubai is already underway, with the course due to open by the end of 2017.

This will be the Trump Organization’s 18th golf property in the world and marks the second world-class course in Dubai with DAMAC Properties.

“Tiger Woods is the biggest name in professional golf,” said Mr. Donald J. Trump, Chairman & President of The Trump Organization. “His expertise comes from winning on every great course in the world, including his win at the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral, Miami. Tiger will be a tremendous asset in developing the course at the Trump World Golf Club, Dubai – and together, with DAMAC Properties, we will be doing something very special.”

The Trump World Golf Club, Dubai will anchor the AKOYA Oxygen master community that is located just off the Umm Suqeim road extension and less than 15 minutes from AKOYA by DAMAC.

AKOYA Oxygen will showcase the greenest living spaces in Dubai with parklands, green open spaces and private gardens. The development will include luxury living experiences in a lush, peaceful environment.

Established in 2002, DAMAC has delivered almost 12,000 units to date and currently has a development portfolio of over 39,000 units at various stages of progress and planning as of September 30th 2014, which includes over 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments.

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

Further information is available at www.damacproperties.com

For more information please contact: Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications, DAMAC. Tel: +971 4 3732190 │ Fax: 00 9714 3732335 │Email: niall.mcloughlin@damacgroup.com

About DAMAC Properties:

For over a decade, the rich and diverse real estate portfolio of DAMAC Properties (http://www.damacproperties.com) has been at the forefront of the Middle East’s luxury real estate market. With an enduring passion for design and quality, the company has built a reputation for creating some of the most iconic and desirable properties in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

Established in 2002, DAMAC has delivered almost 12,000 units to date and currently has a development portfolio of over 39,000 units at various stages of progress and planning as of September 30th 2014, which includes over 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments.

Always at the forefront of visionary concepts, DAMAC has relationships with Paramount Hotels & Resorts, (the official licensee of Paramount Pictures), Italian fashion houses Versace Home and FENDI Casa for branded residential apartments & villas and The Trump Organisation for the development & operations of the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai and The Trump Estates within the AKOYA by DAMAC development.

In Mid-2013, DAMAC Properties introduced the ‘AKOYA by DAMAC’ master plan development in Dubai. This includes mansions, villas, luxurious apartments and a retail centre all surrounding ‘The Trump International Golf Club. Within the AKOYA by DAMAC, living experiences include ‘The Trump Estates’, a limited collection of 100 luxurious mansions. Also set within the heart of the community is a global first, with the launch of FENDI fashion-styled villas. AKOYA by DAMAC is also the home of Golf Veduta – serviced hotel apartments and DAMAC serviced Villas by Paramount Hotels and Resorts.

Following the unprecedented success of AKOYA by DAMAC, AKOYA Oxygen was launched in August 2014. The 55 million sq ft development in Dubailand and will include the most lush, green living area in the region with more than 4,000 trees. The project also includes a five-star international Hotel, a luxury desert-style wellness centre, globally-recognised retail brands, leisure & entertainment offerings, and organic market places all set within beautiful manicured and peaceful landscaping.

As a global leader in branded real estate, the company is also developing a US$1 billion hotel and luxury serviced residences in the Burj Area of Dubai, called ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’, which will comprise the first Paramount Hotel & serviced Residences in the region.

Within the hospitality sector, DAMAC’s in-house hospitality team is responsible for managing the Company’s growing portfolio of over 10,000 units of leisure assets in its serviced hotel apartment developments. The division provides complete hospitality management through its own hospitality operating brands ‘DAMAC Maison Hotels and Hotel Apartments and NAIA by DAMAC.

As DAMAC continues to innovate and bring new concepts to the market, the Company is determined to build on its powerful performance to date. With vision and momentum, DAMAC is building the next generation of Middle East luxury living.

In addition to support services provided by the Dubai headquarters, the company’s comprehensive Customer Care Program provides solutions through its network with offices in the UAE, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, KSA and Qatar.

Further information is available at www.damacproperties.com or join DAMAC Properties on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/damacpropertiesofficial), Twitter (@DAMACOfficial) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/DAMACOfficial).

Categories: AFRICA