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LATEST POSTS - MYREPORTAFRICA

Two United Nations human rights experts have expressed serious concern over a new European Commission policy on Mediterranean Sea rescues, warning that more people will drown.

“The EU's proposed new action plan, including a code of conduct for organizations operating rescue boats, threatens life and breaches international standards by condemning people to face further human rights violations in Libya,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, and the Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer.

The code of conduct, drawn up by Italy with the backing of Brussels, aims to stop privately-operated ships ferrying refugees to safety in Italy from waters off the Libyan coast. It is part of a wider EU plan to reduce the pressure of migrant arrivals. Libya has also announced a search and rescue zone beyond its territorial waters, and is restricting access to international waters by humanitarian vessels.

“The solution is not to restrict access to international waters or firing weapons to threaten boats, as Libya has reportedly done repeatedly. This will result in more deaths of migrants at sea and is in contravention of the obligation to rescue people in distress,” the experts said.

They added that international organizations were making “tremendous rescue efforts”, with their vessels providing up to 40% of all search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

The Special Rapporteurs expressed concern that the European Commission was trying to move Europe's borders to Libya. They highlighted that, under international law, migrants should be allowed to disembark at the nearest port where their lives and freedom would not be threatened, and should then receive information, care and equitable processing of their asylum claims.

“Libya simply cannot be regarded as a safe place to disembark and the EU policy is in denial of this fact,” they said. “Migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard will face indefinite detention in dire and inhumane conditions, at risk of death, torture or other severe human rights violations, without any judicial review.”

Libyan detention centres were severely overcrowded with inadequate access to toilets, washing facilities, ventilation, food and clean water, they noted. Detainees also lacked access to a legal process or lawyers.

The human rights experts also highlighted that migrants in Libya risked labor exploitation and were vulnerable to other forms of contemporary slavery; while women were at risk of rape and other sexual violence.

They said it was vital for the EU and Libya to bring more European rescue boats to the coast of Libya, but warned that an Italian naval mission currently operating in Libyan waters could breach Italy's obligations of non-refoulement, in providing logistical, technical and operational support to the Libyan coast guard.

“It is high time to tackle the real issue, which is the disproportionate impact on frontline States such as Italy and Greece, and relocate migrants and refugees to all Schengen Member countries, instead of supporting measures which drive migration further underground and increase human suffering, in violation of human rights law,” the Special Rapporteurs said.

“States should expand their visa regimes and provide more options for refugee settlement, temporary protection, visitors, family reunification, work, resident, retirement and student visas”, they added, “in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure that migrants no longer have to embark on such deadly journeys.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, paid his first official visit as High Commissioner to Sudan this week, at a time when refugees continue to flee the brutal conflict in South Sudan. He called on the international community to recognize Sudan's long-standing tradition of hosting refugees and asked for more support for the country.

“For decades, Sudan has kept its doors open to people fleeing war, hunger and hardship. I saw this myself when I worked there as a UNHCR field officer nearly 30 years ago and this continues today as South Sudanese refugees flee the horrors of war,” UNHCR's Grandi said on Wednesday while wrapping-up his visit to Sudan.

Sudan is one of the major hosting countries for refugees fleeing the deadly conflict in South Sudan. These refugees are able to benefit from the government‘s extension of certain freedoms, including to work and move, and also receive generous support from host communities.

The UN Refugee Chief visited Al-Nimir refugee camp in East Darfur during his visit, hosting over 5,000 South Sudanese refugees who arrived at the camp in April, and praised the solidarity of the local Sudanese hosts. “Host communities are generously sharing all available resources, but they are very visibly under immense pressure with already scarce resources.”

Grandi said this exceptional generosity needed to be acknowledged and supported. “Sudan's generosity must be matched with international solidarity and resources. Much more donor support is required - and urgently - so that we can help the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the country and the communities that are hosting them.”

The UN refugee chief also called once again on the international community to do much more to end the fighting in South Sudan, which is causing the world's fastest growing forced displacement tragedy, without an immediate end in sight. “Parties to the conflict, regional states and the international community need to put an end to this tragedy,” he said.

High Commissioner Grandi met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and welcomed the President‘s assurances that Sudan will continue providing safety to those fleeing conflict and persecution – including those who arrive from South Sudan, and other countries in the region.

Sudan has hosted over 416,000 South Sudanese refugees since 2013 - including some 170,000 new arrivals in 2017, making it one of the largest refugee receiving countries in the region. Hundreds of thousands of other South Sudanese who stayed in Sudan following the separation of the two countries are also in need of humanitarian assistance. Sudan also continues to host refugees from Eritrea, Syria, Yemen, Chad and other countries.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Seychelles' Paris-based Ambassador, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, has presented his Letters of Credential to Mrs. Irina Bokova, the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris yesterday.

Ambassador Radegonde and the Director General reviewed UNESCO's activities, particularly those centred on Africa and Small Island Developing States. The Director General expressed her appreciation for Seychelles' active participation and involvement in these activities.

Mrs. Bokova leaves her post later this year at the end of her 8 years term of office. Ambassador Radegonde took the opportunity to thank her for her leadership of the Organisation as well as for the special attention she has consistently given Africa and Small Island Developing States in UNESCO's activities and programmes.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Horst Köhler, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, as his Personal Envoy for Western Sahara.

The new Personal Envoy succeeds Christopher Ross of the United States who completed his assignment on 30 April 2017. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Ross' tireless efforts and dedication to facilitate negotiations between the parties in order to achieve a just, durable and mutually acceptable political solution, which would provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Mr. Köhler brings more than 35 years of experience in government and international organizations, including as President of the Federal Republic of Germany (2004-2010), Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. (2000-2004) and President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London (1998-2000). Mr. Köhler also served as State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance (1990-1993) before being appointed President of the German Savings Bank Association (1993).

Mr. Köhler graduated from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen with a Diploma in Public Economics and Political Sciences in 1969. He also obtained his doctorate degree in Economics in 1977 and has been an Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen since 2003.

Born in 1943, Mr. Köhler is married and has two children.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrives in South Sudan today to view the devastating effects that the country's continued violence is having on the millions of residents on the brink of extreme hunger.

The numbers associated with South Sudan's violence reveal the level of brutality being carried out against civilians. Of the country's population of 12 million, one in three residents has been displaced, while one in two is severely hungry and in need of food assistance.

The number of hungry and displaced South Sudanese is overwhelming,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer. “The staggering scale of suffering is evidence of the cumulative effect of 3.5 years of a style of fighting that appears calibrated to maximize misery. Warfare should not directly impact the lives of so many civilians.”

Severe physical and sexual attacks against civilians, obstruction of healthcare delivery and other abuses continue to be reported across South Sudan. Medical needs are rising because of increased fighting. The number of wounded treated in ICRC-supported hospitals is significantly higher this year than for the same period last year. The ICRC has carried out more than 500 medical evacuations this year, more than in all of 2016.

The long conflict is tearing apart an uncountable number of families. Nearly 2 million people have fled across South Sudan's borders, and 2 million more are internally displaced. The number of family members separated by conflict and reunited by the ICRC has already more than doubled this year compared with 2016, to nearly four dozen, including many children.

While in South Sudan President Maurer will meet with high-level government officials and visit ICRC food, medical/surgical and water assistance operations in the field. The president will then travel to the Imvepi and Rhino refugee camps in Uganda to meet with some of the South Sudanese refugees there and hear about the challenges they face. On Monday Aug. 21 President Maurer is scheduled to meet with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

Media planning note:

1) On Monday Aug. 21 at 9 a.m., President Maurer will hold a news conference at the ICRC office in Kampala, located at Plot 8, John Babiiha Avenue, Lower Kololo. Media welcome.

2) At 10 a.m. on Aug. 21 a Skype news conference will be held for interested correspondents outside Uganda. Join online: https://conf.icrc.org/meet/jstraziuso/732TF92C or by phone: +41227302579; Conference ID 768261.

3) Video b-roll and still photos of a recent food distribution in South Sudan will be available at
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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is shocked about the suffering caused by the dramatic floods and landslide last Monday in Sierra Leone, especially in the capital, Freetown. Hundreds were killed and thousands rendered homeless. The Minister's thoughts are with the victims' families and friends, as well as with the Sierra Leonean people, who were hit hard by this disaster. Our country expresses its solidarity with Sierra Leone.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Ruby Sandhu-Rojon as his new Deputy Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel. Ms. Sandhu-Rojon succeeds Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, who completed her assignment on 6 August 2017.

The Secretary-General is grateful for Ms. Guebre Sellassie's accomplishments as Special Envoy for the Sahel and later as Deputy Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, including for her role in mobilizing international support for the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.

Ms. Sandhu-Rojon brings to the position extensive experience with the United Nations, including in leadership positions with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and strong strategic planning, coordination, and programmatic skills. Since 2014, she has been serving as the UNDP Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa. She served as UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana from 2010 to 2014, and was the UNDP Country Director in Burkina Faso, where she also assumed the interim role of Resident Representative. Earlier in her career, Ms. Sandhu-Rojon was posted to Germany as Chief of the African Section of UN Volunteers (UNV), as Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Madagascar from 1999 to 2002, and as Special Assistant to the Administrator of UNDP from 1997 to 1999. She started her career as a Programme Officer at the African section of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Born in 1962, Ms. Sandhu-Rojon holds a MSc in Russian Politics from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Political Science specializing in International Economics and Politics from Bryn Mawr College, US. She is married with two children.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food assistance to 7,500 people affected by the massive mudslides and flooding in Sierra Leone that have killed scores of people and left many more homeless and in desperate need of assistance.

Hours after Monday's mudslides around Freetown, WFP began distributing initial two-week rations of rice, pulses, vegetable oil and salt to the hardest-hit communities of Regent, Sugar Loaf and Mortomeh around the capital. The assistance will be provided to both survivors of the mudslides and households hosting them, as well as rescue workers and mortuary attendants.

The UN has tasked WFP to support and coordinate a joint and effective humanitarian response to ensure food, shelter and other essential assistance is delivered to those who need it as speedily as possible.

“The mudslides have left a path of death and devastation,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Housainou Taal. “Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families. At the same time, we are now focusing on the survivors, so they can recover and move ahead.”

The experience of Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak has prepared the humanitarian community to offer a swift, joint response to this current emergency. Beyond delivering food assistance, WFP is working closely with the government and other partners in search and rescue efforts, notably by providing logistics, geo-spatial mapping of disaster areas and other support.

“We can only hope the rains and flash floods will subside, so the current emergency does not turn into a larger catastrophe,” Taal said.

WFP has been working in Sierra Leone since 1968. Our food and nutritional assistance helps more than 800,000 people to build resilience and supports some of the country's most vulnerable residents, including Ebola orphans and survivors, people living with HIV and tuberculosis, and smallholder farmers.

Hi-res photos available here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/AuqVrXo5B6.

Distributed by APO on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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We strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali. Our prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in this senseless violence.

In Mali, terrorists killed one UN peacekeeper and several other employees of the UN peacekeeping mission. Attacks on innocent civilians and those who put themselves in harm's way to protect them are especially shameful.

We take these threats to the peace and security of the region seriously and we will continue to support countries in the region in their efforts to combat terrorism.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

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  • Best-selling line with more than 30 million units sold all offering renowned GROHE quality
  • GROHE SilkMove cartridge for uniquely comfortable lever action
  • Designed and engineered in Germany

With more than 30 million faucets installed to date, Eurosmart - the best-selling line of GROHE (www.GROHE.com) faucets worldwide -, is now widely available in West Africa. Eurosmart combines high quality with an attractive design and innovative technology. Whether it is in residential bathrooms and kitchens or in public and commercial settings, Eurosmart is the smart choice for all who expect the very best value for money.

Launched almost twenty years ago, the Eurosmart line has benefited from a steady string of improvements ever since. At the heart of Eurosmart's enduring functionality is GROHE SilkMove technology, whose unique smoothness of operation allows for accurate water control at all times. There is also a Eurosmart model featuring GROHE SilkMove ES, which helps save energy and carbon emissions by releasing only cold water instead of mixed water when the faucet is activated with the lever in its default centre position. In addition, water consumption can be capped at 5.7 litres per minute thanks to GROHE EcoJoy technology.

Apart from its distinctly contemporary design, the key to Eurosmart's universal appeal lies in its extensive range of models and variants. While the basin faucets are available in a range of sizes from small to large, the shower and tub faucets come in wall-mounted and behind-the-wall versions. The kitchen line-up includes single-lever mixers of various heights as well as wall-mounted models. Add to this the brand-new single-lever model with extractable dual-action spray, which uses GROHE EasyDock for easy retraction and docking. The Eurosmart range is completed by a bidet faucet plus a variety of touchless faucets for public bathrooms as well as for residential guest bathrooms. With its clean and sleek aesthetics, its high build quality and finish, as well as its extensive variety of models, Eurosmart remains one of the most popular choices when it comes to specifying faucets for a wide variety of projects. Favoured by many international architects and interior designers, Eurosmart can be found in countlessresidential complexes, hotels and public buildings around the world.

Distributed by APO on behalf of GROHE.

For media inquiries please contact:
Lina Varytimidou
Varytimidou@GroME.com

About GROHE:
GROHE (www.GROHE.com) is the world's leading provider of sanitary fittings and a global brand, dedicated to providing innovative water products. For many decades, GROHE has been committed to the brand values of technology, quality, design and sustainability that all illustrate GROHE's commitment to creating exceptional experiences and to delivering “Pure Freude an Wasser”. With its engineering, innovation and design activities firmly anchored in Germany, GROHE products bear the badge of quality “Made in Germany”, ultimately strengthening the customers' confidence in the brand. All plants of the GROHE manufacturing network make use of high-precision production engineering to ensure compliance with consistently high GROHE standards. This way GROHE ensures that its products live up to the most uncompromising demands in terms of workmanship and functionality. Over the past ten years alone, the success of GROHE has been confirmed by more than 240 design and innovation awards as well as several top rankings as one of “Germany's most sustainable major companies”. Numerous high-profile projects around the globe are fitted with GROHE products, testifying to architects', designers' and developers' preference for the brand. GROHE is part of the LIXIL Group Corporation, a publicly listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. LIXIL is the global market leader in the sanitary ware industry, managing a broad portfolio of well-known household brands such as GROHE, American Standard, and INAX. It is also Japan's leading provider of housing and building materials, products and services.

About LIXIL Corporation:
LIXIL is a global leader in the housing and building industry. Our unique portfolio spans everything from technologies that revolutionize how we interact with water in our daily lives, to a full lineup of products and services for houses and major architectural projects. Delivering core strengths in water, kitchen, housing, and building technologies, our brands including LIXIL, INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and Permasteelisa are leaders in the industries and regions in which they operate. LIXIL operates in more than 150 countries and employs more than 70,000 people, bringing together function, quality, and design to make people's lives better and more delightful – wherever they are. Learn more at www.Lixil.com, www.Facebook.com/lixilgroup and www.LinkedIn.com/company/lixil-group.

Facebook (www.Facebook.com) is once again throwing its full support behind young, digital talent in South Africa, with a busy programme of events for Loeries 2017 Creative Week. The world's largest social media community is sponsoring the Student Category of The Loeries Awards for the second year running, as well as hosting workshops and hackathons to help upskill young South African creatives in the latest practices for digital marketing and advertising.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director of Facebook Africa, said: “At Facebook, we are passionate about helping talented young creatives across Africa and the Middle East to develop their skills and deliver great concepts that help brands to grow, while entertaining and informing the community. Africa and the Middle East's emerging digital creatives represent a powerfully diverse pool of talent—one that holds the key to reaching the next billion people.”

Highlights scheduled for Facebook's Loeries Creative Week include:

  • Made on Mobile, 16 August: Giving back to the local community, while showcasing the power of mobile and advertising for small businesses, Facebook will host a hands-on workshop in KwaMashu township. Designed for local small to medium sized businesses, the session will help local SMBs create an engaging and effective business presence, and campaign using only a mobile phone.
  • Instagram “Durban's Passions” hack, 17 August: Working with top students from advertising schools around the country for a day of fun and learning at the Facebook Creative Hub, the hack will be themed around Instagram and Stories. Exploring quick, creative and easy ways to use video and mobile to connect with passions on Instagram, students will be challenged to create stories about Durban, which will then be judged by a panel including Facebook's Creative Shop and Durban Tourism.
  • Seminar of Creativity with Facebook Live, 18 August: Facebook's head of Creative Shop for Middle East and Africa (MEA), Weera Saad will be speaking at the Seminar of Creativity. Exploring mobile as the new creative canvas and how Africa can be driving innovation through its use, the Seminar will also be shown on Facebook Live to encourage conversation around mobile and creativity.
  • Student Category Award, 19 August: New this year, is Facebook's very own award –‘The Facebook Challenge' in the student category of the Loeries Awards. This recognises and celebrates the achievements of the next generation of creative professionals who are redefining creativity on mobile. Awarded to a student campaign that creatively addresses gender equality using mobile video, the winning entry will be announced on Saturday evening.

“I am excited to be part of the journey that Facebook and the Loeries have embarked on to invest in and grow the next generation of creatives,” says Weera Saad, Head of Creative Shop Facebook for Middle East and Africa. “It will be a pleasure to speak to young creatives in the region about how they can use mobile and video platforms to build connections, conversations and communities.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Facebook.

Media contacts:
Idea Engineers – PR agency for Facebook
Facebook@IdeaEngineers.co.za

The decision to release the Zambian opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, will help to progress peaceful dialogue, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said in a statement today.

The Secretary-General was responding to the news that Zambia's Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had decided to stay the treason case against the leader of the United Party for National Development through what's called a nolle prosequi.

Expressing delight at the developments Secretary-General Scotland said, the DPP's decision to issue a nolle prosequi was understandable and that in the circumstances it “is reasonable and offers a unique opportunity for the country to move forward in the interest of all Zambians, and to achieve political cohesion and reconciliation through dialogue.”

She added, “The DPP, as a custodian of the public interest and the rule of law, must have weighed what was in the interest of justice and the public interest at this delicate point in Zambia's history and decided that, at this material time, it was not in the interest of the public to prosecute the leader of the opposition, especially following the commitment to peace and harmony generously given by both President Lungu and Mr Hichilema to me during my recent visit to Zambia, and their pledge to engage in a constructive, responsible and forward-looking dialogue.

“This is an opportunity for Zambians and their leaders to show the world that the Republic of Zambia still remains a symbol of peace and a beacon of stability, unity and political tolerance in Africa and the Commonwealth.”

The Secretary-General also used the opportunity to thank President Edgar Lungu and Mr Hichilema for their commitment and resolve to move forward, putting the past behind them and looking ahead to jointly and collectively address the issues that have deeply divided the peace-loving people of Zambia.

“I believe Zambians can rely on these leaders to wholeheartedly engage in this process and to craft a democratic, sustainable pathway which will lead the country not just to successful elections in 2021, but beyond,” she said.

Last week the Secretary-General announced that Commonwealth peace envoy Professor Ibrahim Gambari will be deployed to support the dialogue between the parties. In her statement today she confirmed that Professor Gambari will be arrive in Zambia “at the earliest convenience” and stressed that the Commonwealth and other stakeholders “would work towards ensuring that dialogue outcomes are implemented in good time for the 2021 elections”.

The Secretary-General is due to conclude her peace and relationship building tour of Africa today. She visited Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Mozambique.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Commonwealth Secretariat.

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Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) experts have discovered a backdoor planted in a server management software product used by hundreds of large businesses around the world. When activated, the backdoor allows attackers to download further malicious modules or steal data. Kaspersky Lab has alerted NetSarang, the vendor of the affected software, and it has promptly removed the malicious code and released an update (http://APO.af/uoH4Qj) for customers.

ShadowPad is one of the largest known supply-chain attacks. Had it not been detected and patched so quickly, it could potentially have targeted hundreds of organisations worldwide.

In July, 2017 Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis (GReAT) team was approached by one of its partners – a financial institution. The organisation's security specialists were worried about suspicious DNS (domain name server) requests originating on a system involved in the processing of financial transactions. Further investigation showed that the source of these requests was server management software produced by a legitimate company and used by hundreds of customers in industries like financial services, education, telecoms, manufacturing, energy, and transportation. The most worrying finding was the fact that the vendor did not mean for the software to make these requests.

Further Kaspersky Lab analysis showed that the suspicious requests were actually the result of the activity of a malicious module hidden inside a recent version of the legitimate software. Following the installation of an infected software update, the malicious module would start sending DNS-queries to specific domains (its command and control server) at a frequency of once every eight hours. The request would contain basic information about the victim system (user name, domain name, host name). If the attackers considered the system to be “interesting”, the command server would reply and activate a fully-fledged backdoor platform that would silently deploy itself inside the attacked computer. After that, on command from the attackers, the backdoor platform would be able to download and execute further malicious code.

Following the discovery, Kaspersky Lab researchers immediately contacted NetSarang. The company reacted fast and released an updated version of the software without the malicious code.

So far, according to Kaspersky Lab research, the malicious module has been activated in Hong Kong, but it could be lying dormant on many other systems worldwide, especially if the users have not installed the updated version of the affected software.

While analysing the tools techniques and procedures used by the attackers, Kaspersky Lab researchers came to the conclusion that some similarities exist that point to PlugX malware variants used by the Winnti APT, a known Chinese-speaking cyberespionage group. This information, however, is not enough to establish a precise connection to these actors.

“ShadowPad is an example of how dangerous and wide-scale a successful supply-chain attack can be. Given the opportunities for reach and data collection it gives to the attackers, most likely it will be reproduced again and again with some other widely used software component. Luckily NetSarang was fast to react to our notification and released a clean software update, most likely preventing hundreds of data stealing attacks against its clients. However, this case shows that large companies should rely on advanced solutions capable of monitoring network activity and detecting anomalies. This is where you can spot malicious activity even if the attackers were sophisticated enough to hide their malware inside legitimate software,” said Igor Soumenkov, security expert, Global Research and Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.

NetSarang Statement

“To combat the ever-changing landscape of cyberattacks NetSarang has incorporated various methods and measures to prevent our line of products from being compromised, infected, or utilised by cyberespionage groups. Regretfully, the Build release of our full line of products on July 18th, 2017 was unknowingly shipped with a backdoor which had the potential to be exploited by its creator.

The security of our customers and user base is our highest priority and ultimately, our responsibility. The fact that malicious groups and entities are utilising commercial and legitimate software for illicit gain is an ever-growing concern and one that NetSarang, as well as others in the computer software industry, is taking very seriously.

NetSarang is committed to its users' privacy and has incorporated a more robust system to ensure that never again will a compromised product be delivered to its users. NetSarang will continue to evaluate and improve our security not only to combat the efforts of cyber espionage groups around the world but also in order to regain the trust of its loyal user base.”

All Kaspersky Lab products detect and protect against the ShadowPad malware as “Backdoor[dot]Win32[dot]ShadowPad[dot]a”.

Kaspersky Lab advises users to update (http://APO.af/uoH4Qj) immediately to the latest version of the NetSarang software, from which the malicious module has been removed, and to check their systems for signs of DNS queries to unusual domains. A list of the command server domains used by the malicious module can be found in the Securelist blogpost (http://APO.af/PXBCv3), which also includes further technical information on the backdoor.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Kaspersky.

Media contact:
Princess Tsambo
Orange Ink (OrangeInk.co.za)
Cell: +27 76 544 6703
Tel: +27 11 465 4075; +27 11 465 4030
Princess@OrangeInk.co.za

About Kaspersky Lab:
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2017. Kaspersky Lab's deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company's comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.Kaspersky.co.za.

About NetSarang:
NetSarang Computer, Inc. develops, markets and supports secure connectivity solution in the global market. The company develops a family of PC X server and SSH client software for PC-to-Unix and PC-to-Linux, and is expanding its TCP/IP network technologies to other Internet businesses. The company offers its products and services to more than 90 countries around the world.


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In just two years, Angonix (www.Angonix.net) – an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) based in Luanda – has grown exponentially to become the third largest African IXP. With peak traffic of 10.8 Gbps (www.Angonix.net/about-angonix/statistics) (as recorded in July 2017), Angonix has become a competitive force in Angola and the sub-Saharan region.

Managed by Angola Cables (http://AngolaCables.co.ao), Angonix allows global and local networks such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to interconnect directly to exchange Internet traffic. Angonix currently has 17 members (www.Angonix.net/customers-partners/customers/), including leading financial institutions, cable and satellite companies, ISPs, mobile phone operators and various communications service providers operating on the continent. An interactive infographic about Angonix is available here (http://APO.af/iStTCm).

Darwin Costa, project manager at Angonix, explains what makes the IXP unique. “We provide a physical access point through which major networks with their own Autonomous System Numbers can connect and exchange traffic. As a neutral IXP, Angonix allows content to be localised at greatly reduced per-bit delivery costs and offers improved routing efficiency. Its commercial offering features peering Ports of 1G Ethernet and 10G Ethernet, with speeds of 1000Mbps and 10 000Mbps, respectively.

Proud of the impact the organisation is seeing in improving Internet access in Africa, Costa adds: “With a suite of strategic communications assets on the continent, Angola Cables will become the only carrier able to directly connect networks from the Americas and Europe to the third largest platform in Africa, Angonix. Remote peering services will soon be launched whereby peering ports on Angonix will be available in other markets.”

He adds that the growth of Angonix has exceeded even the most optimistic of forecasts. “Our growth is an indication of how ripe the continent is for digital growth.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Angola Cables.

For further information contact:
Andrew Fletcher Cole
Atmosphere Communications
Cel: +27 (0)79 483 3208
AndrewC@Atmosphere.co.za

About Angonix:
In operation since March 2015, Angonix is the third largest Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Africa. Located in Luanda, Angola, it acts as a bridge between the continent and the rest of the world by providing a carrier-neutral Internet hub to interconnect global networks, network operators, content providers and other organisations with their own Autonomous System Number. For more information, visit www.Angonix.net.

About Angola Cables:
Angola Cables is a multinational telecommunications company founded in 2009, which operates in the wholesale market and whose core business is the commercialisation of capacity in international circuits for voice and data through Submarine Cable Systems. SACS and the Monet cable system will interconnect three continents (South America, North America and Africa) as well as a Tier III data centre in Fortaleza to interconnect the cable systems. Angola Cables also runs Angonix, a neutral Internet Exchange Point located in Luanda, which interconnects global networks and content providers. Angola Cables also manages Angonap, a neutral data centre located in Luanda and the company's traffic exchange point in Angola. For more information, visit www.AngolaCables.co.ao.


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Dozens of people where killed yesterday when multiple suicide bombers detonated devises outside a camp sheltering displaced people in Borno State. Attacks on civilians sheltering in displacement sites are on the rise, worsening an already dire situation for people on the brink of famine in northeast Nigeria.

“Camps like the one attacked yesterday sheltering displaced women and children are being indiscriminately targeted. Towns we previously considered safe for civilians are also under attack,” said Ernest Mutanga, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)'s head of programmes in Nigeria. “As the government's military offensive intensifies, armed groups seem to be looking for softer targets like places where civilians are sheltering.”

190 security incidents involving civilians were reported in July in northeast Nigeria. This was substantially more than the total combined for May and June. Also of note was an increase in the number of attacks on sites sheltering displaced civilians.

On 23 July, a suicide bomber killed three people and injured 17 others in a displacement (IDP) camp in Borno State. The same day another suspected female suicide bomber was shot dead by the military as she tried to climb a perimeter wall surrounding an IDP camp.

Five days earlier on 28 July, five people were killed and six wounded in Dikwa town when two suicide bombers detonated explosives in an area sheltering displaced families. Dikwa town was previously considered safe from the time the Nigerian military took control of it a year ago.

“Camps sheltering innocent families fleeing war should be places of refuge. But instead they are turning into death traps. Armed groups in this conflict are pushing people from one hell into another,” said Mutanga.

Insecurity is hampering the humanitarian response. For example, NRC staff had to temporarily suspend operations in Mamenti area of Maiduguri City in June because of threats from armed groups. Hundreds of people did not receive food, clean water and hygiene support as a result.

The arrival of the rainy season has worsened access to communities, already causing flooding in multiple areas. Heavy rains are preventing helicopters from landing, and cutting road access. NRC has had to have cranes accompany some truck deliveries of aid into displacement camps, as the small feeder roads are often flooded. This substantially increases the costs of aid delivery.

Northeast Nigeria is already experiencing a widespread food crisis, with food security experts forecasting a rise in the number of people facing crisis, emergency and famine conditions from 4.7 million to 5.2 million by the end of the month. This includes 50,000 people forecast to be affected by famine-like conditions.

“Parts of northeast Nigeria are already forecast to tip into famine. Any worsening of the crisis could be that tipping point,” warned Mutanga.

“We need to see the Nigerian government stepping up to protect civilians in displacement camps. It's their primary responsibility,” said Mutanga. “However, law enforcement agencies must adhere to human rights laws while protecting people fleeing the conflict.”

The worsening situation in Nigeria comes as aid organisations prepare to mark World Humanitarian Day this week on 19 August, calling attention for better protection to civilians targeted in conflict.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Norwegian Refugee Council.

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The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Ghassan Salame arrived in Misrata today as part of his ongoing efforts to hear from Libyans on how best to move the political process forward and bring peace to the country.

Upon landing at Misrata Airport, the SRSG headed to the municipality and met with the Municipal Council on the town's priorities, challenges and vision for the future. “I commend Misrata's contribution to fighting terrorism and efforts to build one united, sovereign Libya,” Dr. Salame said “Yes, challenges exist, but I am optimistic that Libya can emerge from this crisis,” he added.

The Special Representative met with the Misrata Political Gathering and other community leaders and listened with great respect and interest to their views and suggestions for advancing peace in Libya. He also met with members of the Chamber of Commerce and other Libyan businessmen on the economic situation in the country and the support the United Nations may provide.

The Special Representative concluded his visit with students at Misrata University to hear firsthand about their concerns in the present, hopes for the future and how the United Nation can best support.

“This is the first of many visits to Misrata. I had very constructive discussion with the political and community leaders of the city. I will be back soon to meet with the other economic, social and security actors on the ground,” the SRSG affirmed.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its partner World Vision have launched an emergency operation to provide food assistance to 42,000 food insecure people in the Kasai and Kasai Central provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Food assistance will be provided to people who have fled their villages due to conflict in the region.

Where safe access is possible, WFP plans to assist 25,000 displaced persons in Kasai Central and 17,000 people in the Kasai province in the coming days. However, WFP urgently requires US$17.3 million to support scale up of its operations to assist 250,000 vulnerable persons in Kasai and Kasai Central provinces from September to December 2017.

Food distributions have started in the town of Tshilumba with further distributions scheduled this month. As part of this effort and where safe access is possible, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) continue to identify the most vulnerable displaced people in areas identified with high levels of food insecurity, as determined in a recent food security study.

The results of this recent food security assessment showed that in the last year, the number of people in need of urgent humanitarian food assistance in the DRC rose by 1.8 million, from 5.9 million to 7.7 million. In conflict-ridden areas, more than 1.5 million people are facing “emergency” levels of food insecurity, leaving many with no option but to sell everything they have while skipping or reducing their meals.

In addition to food distributions, WFP is leading the Logistics Cluster, which provides technical and logistical support to humanitarian organizations and has been operational in the Kasai region since June. Mobile warehouses have been built to store food and non-food items, while several trucks have been sent to Kasai and Kasai Central to transport food and supplies.

In order to meet the huge needs of the displaced people in hard-to-reach areas, the WFP-led United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has expanded its support since June, positioning an aircraft in Kananga in Kasai Central on a permanent basis and starting three weekly flights to Tshikapa, Kasai. As a result, those most in need are more accessible to humanitarian organizations.

"We launched this emergency response as soon as funds became available,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP Representative and Country Director in DRC. “We targeted the most vulnerable among the vulnerable, and our access to these displaced people also depend on security conditions. However, with nearly one and a half million displaced people in the Kasai region, additional donor support is essential for WFP to scale up our operations and reach more vulnerable displaced people.”

Scores of people have fled their villages due to the conflict that broke out in the Kasai region in August 2016. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are some 1.4 million internally displaced people across the Kasai provinces. In addition, more than 31,000 people have fled the region into neighboring Angola. With up to 3.8 million people displaced in total, the DRC is home to the largest population of internally displaced people in Africa.

The sharp deterioration in people's food security is mainly attributable to displacement caused by an upsurge in conflict and pest infestation in crops across the country. WFP continues to coordinate with FAO and other partners to serve the most vulnerable people in the Kasai region, as well as in other parts of the country.

Distributed by APO on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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Federal-Mogul Motorparts' (www.FMmotorparts.com) fans are in for a special surprise as the high-quality aftermarket car parts brand, a division of Federal-Mogul LLC, launches a special social media campaign to reward them.

Followers of the Champion® brand's Facebook page are invited to take part in a competition granting two participants the chance to win USD 50 vouchers for Amazon purchases every single week, over a period of 8 weeks. The weekly winners will also be included in the competition's grand prize draw, a trip for two to the NASCAR Euro Series event in Belgium in October 2017.

All users have to do to participate in the #AlwaysChampion and #RoadToNASCAR competition is enter their details in a Facebook page form. Lucky draws are held every week for 8 weeks, with the 16 weekly winners automatically considered for the grand prize draw. The grand prize draw winner will be announced on Sunday 10th September 2017.

Federal-Mogul Motorparts' Champion® brand delivers high quality ignition products including spark and glow plugs, control units, coils, wires, and filters to aftermarket enthusiasts who want the best for their vehicles.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal-Mogul Corporation.

Contact:
Rabih Saab
Quill Communications
00971 55 566 1370
RSaab@QuillMENA.com

About Federal-Mogul:
Federal-Mogul LLC is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world's manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company's products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety.
Federal-Mogul operates two independent business divisions, each with a chief executive officer reporting to Federal-Mogul's Board of Directors.
Federal-Mogul Motorparts sells and distributes a broad portfolio of products through more than 20 of the world's most recognized brands in the global vehicle aftermarket, while also serving original equipment vehicle manufacturers with products including braking, wipers and a range of chassis components. The company's aftermarket brands include ANCO® wipers; Beck/Arnley® premium OE quality parts and fluids; BERU®* ignition systems; Champion® lighting, spark plugs, wipers and filters; Interfil® filters; AE®, Fel-Pro®, FP Diesel®, Goetze®, Glyco®, National®, Nüral®, Payen®, Sealed Power® and Speed-Pro® engine products; MOOG® chassis components; and Abex®, Ferodo®, Jurid® and Wagner® brake products and lighting.
Federal-Mogul Powertrain designs and manufactures original equipment powertrain components and systems protection products for automotive, heavy-duty, industrial and transport applications.
Federal-Mogul was founded in Detroit in 1899 and maintains its worldwide headquarters in Southfield, Michigan. The company employs nearly 53,000 in 24 countries. For more information, please visit www.FMmotorparts.eu.
*BERU is a registered trademark of BorgWarner Ludwigsburg GmbH