Joint UK and US statement on the Nigerian elections

LONDON, United-Kingdom, March 30, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Joint Statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

“Our governments welcome the largely peaceful vote on 28 March. The Nigerian people have shown a commendable determination to register their vote and choose their leaders.

So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process. But there are disturbing indications that the collation process – where the votes are finally counted – may be subject to deliberate political interference. This would contravene the letter and spirit of the Abuja Accord, to which both major parties committed themselves.

The Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom would be very concerned by any attempts to undermine the independence of the Electoral Commission (INEC), or its Chairman, Prof Jega; or in any way distort the expressed will of the Nigerian people.”

Source:: Joint UK and US statement on the Nigerian elections

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Electricity: Aurecon awarded contract to provide engineering, design and construction supervision services for Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project (Zambia)

LUSAKA, Zambia, March 30, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Zambia Electricity Supply Commission (ZESCO) has awarded Aurecon (http://www.aurecongroup.com) a contract to provide engineering, design and construction supervision services for the USD200 million World Bank funded Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/150330au.jpg

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/150330a.jpg

Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, is regarded as the second fastest growing city in Africa. Its electricity demand has grown at 6% per annum over the previous 10 years, with demand now outstripping the installed capacity of the power system supplying the city.

“We are excited to work with ZESCO to increase the capacity and improve the reliability of Lusaka’s electricity transmission and distribution system for the community,” Aurecon project leader Anton Harmse said.

“The creation of this transmission and distribution infrastructure will ensure the long-term sustainable operation of the network,” Harmse said.

Using experience gained on projects previously executed for ZESCO and the World Bank, the Aurecon project team will look at identifying remedial or preventative measures that can be actioned to optimise the benefits of the system upgrades.

“The large number of sub-projects and the sequential implementation of the various components of the project will require significant effort during the project planning and scheduling stages,” Harmse added.

The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

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

Contact details

Jody Boshoff, Communication Manager

T +27 12 427 2066 I F +27 86 606 0671 I M +27 83 275 2526

E Jody.Boshoff@aurecongroup.com

About Aurecon

Aurecon (http://www.aurecongroup.com) provides engineering, management and specialist technical services for government and private sector clients globally. With an office network extending across 26 countries, Aurecon has been involved in projects in more than 80 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas and employs around 7 500 people across 11 industry groups including: Construction, Data &Telecommunications; Defence; Energy; Government; Manufacturing; Oil & Gas; Property; Resources; Transport; Water.

Please visit www.aurecongroup.com for further information.

Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd is committed to the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and has been verified as a Level 2 contributor to BBBEE.

Source:: Electricity: Aurecon awarded contract to provide engineering, design and construction supervision services for Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project (Zambia)

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DE-CIX to establish neutral Internet exchange at key landing site for Mediterranean, Africa and Middle East Internet traffic at TI Sparkle’s latest Next Generation Data Center in Palermo

ROME, Italy, March 30, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — TI Sparkle (http://www.tisparkle.com), the International Services arm of Telecom Italia Group, is announcing a new partnership with the world’s leading Internet exchange provider, DE-CIX (https://www.de-cix.net), who will establish an Internet exchange (IX) in “Sicily Hub,” TI Sparkle’s latest Next Generation Data Center in Palermo.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/tisparkle.png

DE-CIX provides premium IX services to all kinds of networks and operates numerous carrier-neutral and data center-neutral Internet exchanges around the world, including its flagship exchange, DE-CIX Frankfurt. The new exchange will be based on DE-CIX’s leading APOLLON platform, which provides unmatched scalability and performance.

DE-CIX’s new exchange at Sicily Hub was designed to allow carriers that land their IP backbones in Sicily to directly interconnect with each other and to other providers that have a presence in the facility. These other providers include some of the world’s most well-known and largest content players.

The new TI Sparkle facility is located closer to North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East than any other European peering point. It is also connected to all cable landing stations in Sicily and served by the TI Sparkle tier 1-grade IP Transit service, Seabone.

In addition, Sicily Hub’s open and resilient configuration supports carriers and ISPs that want to enhance the redundancy of their networks, while enjoying a rich ecosystem and market place of multi-breed interconnected players.

“Our partnership with DE-CIX and their new IX node in our Sicily Hub is the most important milestone in the creation of a massive IP gravitational center in the middle of the Mediterranean,” says Alessandro Talotta, TI Sparkle CEO. “We will be able to better serve ISPs in the area, including Africa and the Middle East, by bringing worldwide content directly to their doorsteps. The presence of DE-CIX’s leading global carrier-neutral Internet exchange as well as the most relevant global content providers that deliver media, gaming, e-commerce, social networks and video platforms, make Sicily Hub the best location for top-quality and cost-efficient public and private peering in the region.”

”There is an intense need in the region to bring content closer to the end users,” confirms Harald A. Summa, DE-CIX President. “The powerful combination of Sicily Hub and DE-CIX’s APOLLON platform will support Internet growth in this region so that end users will have a better Internet experience, better security and a lower risk of network outages.”

TI Sparkle’ Sicily Hub (http://www.tisparkle.com/default.aspx?Lang=ENG&idPage=2509) has been designed with the most advanced technologies and follows the most restrictive technical parameters typical of Telecom Italia Group’s Next Generation Data Centers.

This partnership between TI Sparkle and DE-CIX represents a first step towards a wider collaboration that will extend to other locations in the Mediterranean.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Telecom Italia Sparkle S.p.A. (TI Sparkle).

TI Sparkle Media Contact:

Filippo Sanpaolesi

TI Sparkle Communication

+390652745037

tisparkle.communication@telecomitalia.it

DE-CIX Media Contact:

Christine Keck

+1 301-801-4414

press-intl@de-cix.net

About DE-CIX

DE-CIX is provider of premium Internet exchange (IX) services and operates several carrier-neutral and independent Internet exchanges internationally, including DE-CIX Frankfurt, Germany; DE-CIX New York, USA; and UAE-IX in Dubai, UAE. With 3.8+ Terabits per second of peak traffic, DE-CIX Frankfurt is the world’s leading Internet exchange. Founded in 1995, DE-CIX has established an environment for the bilateral settlement-free exchange of Internet traffic, called peering. The company is serving 600+ carriers, ISPs and content networks from 60+ countries including all leading international players. In addition to Frankfurt, New York and Dubai, DE-CIX operates Internet exchange points in Hamburg and Munich. DE-CIX is your one-stop-shop for Peering, Interconnections and additional IX services. For more information, please go to www.de-cix.net

About Telecom Italia Sparkle

Telecom Italia Sparkle S.p.A. (TI Sparkle) (http://www.tisparkle.com) is the wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia Group (NYSE:TI) with the mission to develop and consolidate the Italian telco’s international services business. As a leading global carrier, TI Sparkle offers a full range of IP, Data, Mobile Data and Voice solutions to fixed and mobile operators, Internet service providers, Media and Content providers and to Multinational enterprises. Its sales force is active worldwide and distributed over 39 countries.

Find out more about Telecom Italia Sparkle at www.tisparkle.com or www.world.tisparkle.com

For more info on Sicily Hub please check www.tisparkle.com/default.aspx?Lang=ENG&idPage=2509

Source:: DE-CIX to establish neutral Internet exchange at key landing site for Mediterranean, Africa and Middle East Internet traffic at TI Sparkle’s latest Next Generation Data Center in Palermo

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FCO Press Release: Kenya Travel Advice Update

LONDON, United-Kingdom, March 27, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The UK has updated its travel advice for Kenya, extending advice against all but essential travel for the coast.

The FCO has updated its travel advice to Kenya, adding advice against all but essential travel to:

• Within 15km of the coast from the Tana River down to and including Tiwi

This means the FCO now advises against all but essential travel to the coast from Tiwi (just south of Mombasa) all the way up to the border with Somalia. This area includes Mombasa Island, Moi International Airport (Mombasa Airport), Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu but does not include Diani. Full travel advice to Kenya and a map can be found on the FCO website.

Our travel advice for other parts of the country, beyond the coast, has not changed. The vast majority of Kenya falls outside of our advice against all but essential travel. This includes Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills, Tsavo.

The Travel Advice now reads:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to

• areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border

• Garissa County

• the Eastleigh area of Nairobi

• Lamu County and those areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself

• Within 15km of the coast from the Tana River down to and including Tiwi (this area includes Mombasa Island, Moi International Airport, Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu)

If you’re currently in an area to which we now advise against all but essential travel you should consider whether you have an essential reason to remain. If not, you should leave the area.

The UK has a responsibility to inform British citizens of the potential threats aimed at both Kenya and the international community. Our travel advice solely reflects our objective assessment of the security position. It is kept under constant review.

Terrorism represents a shared threat and requires a shared response. The UK provides an extensive and ongoing programme of counter-terrorism assistance to the Kenyan Government, and is working closely with the Kenyan security agencies to counter this shared threat through assistance on investigating, prosecuting and detaining terrorists in line with international Human Rights standards.

Source:: FCO Press Release: Kenya Travel Advice Update

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Pope Expresses Solidarity with Families in Iraq and Nigeria

VATICAN, Holy See, March 27, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Pope Francis has a constant concern for the situation of Christian families and other groups of victims who have been expelled from their homes and villages, particularly in the city of Mosul and the Nineveh plains, many of whom have taken refuge in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Pope prays for them and hopes they can return and resume their lives in the lands and places where they have lived and built good relationships for hundreds of years.

In this coming Holy Week, these families are sharing together with Christ the unjust violence of which they have been made victims, participating in the suffering of Christ himself.

In a desire to be close to these families, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is returning to Iraq as a sign of nearness, affection, and unity in prayer with them.

The families of the Diocese of Rome, united with their bishop in the feeling of nearness and solidarity with these families, through a special collection in the parishes, are sending the traditional Easter cakes in the shape of a dove (colomba cake) to share the joy of Easter and as a herald of good based on the faith in the Resurrection of Christ.

The Holy Father, moreover, makes himself present in a concrete way with a tangible sign of solidarity. Not wanting to forget the suffering of the families in northern Nigeria either, he has also sent a similar sign of solidarity through the local Bishops Conference.

Source:: Pope Expresses Solidarity with Families in Iraq and Nigeria

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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO HOLD SPECIAL SESSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS, ABUSES AND VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY BOKO HARAM

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 27, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-third special session on Wednesday, 1 April 2015, “in light of the terrorist attacks and human rights abuses and violations committed by the terrorist group Boko Haram”.

The special session will start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, 1 April in Room XX at the Palais des Nations. The meeting will be webcast live at webtv.un.org.

The President of the Human Rights Council received a letter on 26 March by the Permanent Mission of Algeria, on behalf of the African Group in Geneva, containing the request to convene the special session.

In order for a special session to be convened, the support of one-third of the Council – 16 or more – is required. This request was thus far supported by the following States Members of the Council (20): Algeria, Botswana, Brazil, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Venezuela.

The request was also supported by the following observer States (four): Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Djibouti and Mozambique. The list of signatories remains open up to the holding of the special session.

In connection with the special session, the Human Rights Council will hold an organisational meeting on Monday, 30 March, at 3 p.m. in Room XX. This meeting is also open to the media.

Source:: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO HOLD SPECIAL SESSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS, ABUSES AND VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY BOKO HARAM

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