Humanitarian organizations in South Sudan condemn violence against civilians

JUBA, South Sudan, April 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Country representatives of key non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and donors in South Sudan unite in condemning recent days’ attacks against civilians in Bentiu,

Bor, and other parts of the country. Humanitarian partners are particularly outraged by deliberate and targeted killings of civilians in hospitals, churches, UN peacekeeping bases and other places where people’s rights should be sacrosanct.

Aid agencies pledge to continue to stand with all civilians in South Sudan, whoever they are – in particular with the children, women and elderly people who bear the brunt of this conflict.

Humanitarian organizations have deployed emergency surgical teams to Bentiu and Bor, boosting the health response to the recent violence. Aid workers also continue to provide food, shelter, water, protection and other essential services, including to civilians sheltering inside UN peacekeeping bases.

Across the country, aid agencies aim to provide life-saving assistance to 3.2 million people, who face increasingly difficult conditions, by June 2014.

Source: APO

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Philips brings history to life by illuminating the historical Baron Palace in Cairo with spectacular LED digital lighting

CAIRO, Egypt, April 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

- Latest addition to global line-up of iconic city monuments lit by Philips

- 21st century LED technology to highlight iconic city monuments during fifth consecutive Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow

Royal Philips (http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow) (AEX: PHIA, NYSE: PHG), the global leader in lighting, today unveiled a stunning lighting makeover of the historic, well-renowned Baron Palace, one of the oldest buildings in Cairo as part of its fifth consecutive pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow (http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow). Philips’ latest LED technology combining warm and cool daylight colors has been used to highlight the palace’s features as never before. The innovative LED Lighting allows energy savings of 80% over the traditional lights that are currently used in the Palace and has a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours.

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

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

Download the bannere: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/bannere.jpg

Download the infographic: http://www.apo-mail.org/140417.pdf

About Baron Palace

The Baron Palace was built between 1907 and 1911 for the Belgian-born industrialist, Baron-General Edouard Louis Joseph Empain (1852-1929). He chose the prestigious location in Heliopolis and ordered Alexander Marcel, a French architect and a member of the prestigious French Institute, to build him a palace with an architectural style that was very different. The Palace was constructed in reinforced concrete over a rotating base which revolves the palace to access sun beams in all directions. Today, the palace, which is located close to the presidential Palace, remains a tourist attraction as an architectural masterpiece with a rich history and unique design.

“The lighting up of the Baron Palace creates an almost mythical atmosphere around the palace that brings history to life. Philips is very proud to have placed its know-how and technology at the service of this iconic monument. For us the challenge was to devise effective lighting while respecting the authenticity of this monument. The lighting really had to enhance the beauty of the site without at any time overwhelming it. We are very proud of the final result and hope it will improve the tourism value of the Palace”, says Tamer Abol Ghar, CEO, Philips Egypt and General Manager, Philips Lighting Egypt & Sudan.

The advantages of the LED lighting provided at Baron Palace include:

• 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 50,000 hours compared to 12,000 hours with conventional lighting.

• A reduction in maintenance costs: LED luminaires require little maintenance, while at the same time they cut energy consumption by 80%.

The Baron Palace is the latest world-renowned site to be transformed by Philips in Egypt; Philips is also responsible for the illumination of the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza, the Cairo Tower, and the Nile West Bank in Luxor as well as the Hibiz Temple in the Western Desert. As the number one lighting company in the world, Philips has transformed iconic city landmarks around the globe and during the Cairo to Cape Town roadshow 2014 (http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow), will be providing a lighting makeover of historic, well-recognized monuments in African cities.

First stop on the fifth pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow

Cairo was the first 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 Algiers on 12th May followed by Casablanca, Morocco on 27th of May.

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

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 115,000 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: APO

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U.S. Condemns Attacks in South Sudan

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

Marie Harf

Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

April 17, 2014

The United States strongly condemns the attack on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Bor today by armed individuals that resulted in dozens of civilian casualties. We reiterate our call upon the Government of South Sudan to end the violence and to fulfill its primary responsibility to maintain law and order and provide full support for the UNMISS mission to protect civilians.

The United States also condemns the recent attacks and counter-attacks in the town of Bentiu by anti-government and pro-government forces in violation of the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement. The deliberate targeting of civilians during these attacks is unacceptable and those responsible for such acts must be held accountable.

These incidents underscore yet again the urgent need for the Government and opposition forces to immediately stop fighting and cooperate with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM). We look forward to the MVM report on the incident in Bentiu. We call on both sides of the conflict to honor the CoH agreement signed on January 23, end all military actions, halt all attacks directed at civilians, and enter into an inclusive, political dialogue aimed at ensuring peace, justice, security and economic stability for the people of South Sudan.

Source: APO

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Canada and Egypt Highlight Commitment to Strengthened Cooperation

OTTAWA, Canada, April 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On April 17, 2014, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt Nabil Fahmy and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada John Baird held a warm and productive meeting in Cairo, Egypt. The Ministers exchanged views on prospects for cooperation between Canada and Egypt, bilateral matters including important consular issues, and a wide range of pressing regional challenges.

The two Ministers shared perspectives on global and regional issues of importance to both countries, including the threat of extremism and terrorism, the crisis in Syria, the Middle East Peace Process, and other Middle Eastern and African Issues. Ministers pledged to work together to address regional political, security and humanitarian challenges.

The Ministers committed to work closely together to build and strengthen political, economic, trade, social and cultural linkages between Canada and Egypt for the benefit of both countries. There are important opportunities for development cooperation in Egypt, reflecting Egypt’s priorities, including in partnership with other regional states committed to Egypt’s security and prosperity.

The Ministers’ discussion included Egypt’s ongoing transition to democracy ahead of Presidential elections planned in May 2014, as well as the political, economic and security situation in the country. The Ministers focused on how Canada can most effectively assist Egypt at this critical juncture, as Egyptians build a country that is democratic, secure and prosperous.

Source: APO

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Mali: ICRC team released

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The five members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team abducted on 8 February 2014 in northern Mali have been released today. Two of them have minor injuries but their condition is not life-threatening and they will all soon be reunited with their families.

The ICRC staff members, all Malian, were freed by chance during a military operation conducted by French forces in the north of the country.

“We are relieved that everything turned out well for our staff,” said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. “For the families, who were notified straight away, it is the end of an ordeal. We would like to thank the local people, community and religious leaders and all those who helped us through this difficult period, as well as our staff members’ families for their patience and courage.”

“We hope that this happy ending for our staff means that the ICRC’s activities to help people affected by the conflict in Mali can continue nationwide. Once again, we call for respect for the strictly humanitarian work of the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross,” said Mr Luedi.

Source: APO

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