Geographical naming: Saudi Arabia and Egypt praised by UN for standardization efforts

A group of 84 islands in the Red Sea lying 40 km Off the southern coast of Saudi Arabia, the Farasan Islands Reserve is especially rich in seabird life. (Supplied)
Updated 11 January 2019
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Geographical naming: Saudi Arabia and Egypt praised by UN for standardization efforts

  • The antiquities of the Farasan islands vary in date between the first millennium B. C. and the Ottoman period

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been recognized by the UN for their work on the international standardization of geographical names.
The two countries are the first Arab states to have their Romanization efforts highlighted in the magazine of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN).
In the 55th issue of the information bulletin, Saudi Arabia was praised for its continued focus on standardizing geographical names in the Kingdom for inclusion on global databases.
The Kingdom’s NCGEGN is headed by the Darah Foundation.
 One of its key responsibilities is to prepare a national index for geographical names in Arabic and Latin alphabets (Romanized), which will become a binding reference for all government agencies. Where necessary, King Salman will give his final approval to names.
The Darah Foundation adopted the Arab Romanization project in 2017 as one of its initiatives toward helping realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”