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Terrorists Kill 13 Soldiers in Mali1 minute read

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No fewer than 25 people, including 13 soldiers, have been killed in multiple attacks in central Mali.

The jihadist burned down an army base and ambushed troops sent as reinforcements, the army and local authorities said on Tuesday.

The attacks were the deadliest since the Aug. 18 military coup that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and came just days after scores of jailed militants were freed by the interim government in a prisoner swap.

Nine soldiers were killed in the first attack that took place overnight against a base in Sokoura near the border with Burkina Faso, an army statement said.

At around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, another three soldiers were killed in an ambush at a bridge near the base as their unit headed to the scene of the first attack, it said.

Nine militants were killed in clashes with the reinforcement unit and two of their vehicles destroyed by the air force.

In a third assault about 40 minutes later near the town of Bandiagara, gunmen ambushed a commercial truck, killing 12 traders and one soldier, according to Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of nearby Bankass, to which the traders were en route.

A witness said he saw nine bodies at the military base and helped transport 20 wounded to local medical centres.

“They (jihadists) took all the vehicles and burned those they could not take away. The camp is burned,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.

A transitional government has been appointed since the military coup. But regional and international powers fear the violence could further destabilise the West African nation and undermine a French-directed military campaign against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the wider Sahel region.

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#EndSARS Protests: Nigeria Loses N700 Billion During Demonstrations – LCCI

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), says the Nigerian economy could have lost an estimated N700 billion to the #EndSARS protests in the last 12 days. The protest originated about two weeks ago on the issue of police brutality and extrajudicial killings. It has grown into a social crusade against bad governance.

A statement from the President of LCCI, Toki Mabogunje, states on the negative impact of the #EndSARS demonstrations on business activities across the country.

The statement is titled, ‘LCCI press release on the economic implications of EndSARS protest’.

It further explained that “The LCCI appreciates the value of citizens’ engagement and the demand for accountability which the EndSARS protest essentially represents.

“These are in consonance with democratic norms. They also form vital ingredients for good governance.

“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.

“The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated Seven Hundred Billion Naira (₦700 billion) loss in the past twelve days,” Mabogunje adds.

She noted that the #EndSARS demonstrations had been impactful and profound, adding that it had the power of the people and the potency of the energy of the youth to bring about change.

According to the LCCI president, the protests have achieved some significant outcomes and has reawakened the need to reform the shortcomings in Nigeria’s political governance.

She recommended that the protesters dialogue with the government.

This, according to Mobogunje, is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways.

Mobogunje urged the government to commit to rapid improvement in governance quality and accountability in the police and public sector. And urgently grant audience to the leadership of the #EndSARS to deliberate on the way forward and to agree on an action plan for the delivery of agreed outcomes.

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#ENDSARS protest and mental health

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Uganda Establishes First Free Zone at Entebbe Airport

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The government of Uganda through the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA) has finalised plans to establish the first public free zone at Entebbe International Airport. The free zone is projected to boost export-oriented investment in the country.

The project will be implemented by the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) on a five acre piece of land acquired from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) at the Entebbe International Airport premises.

Under the arrangement, the project targets sectors which include food processing, mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly, where all operators in the public free zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.

The development of the Public Free Zone projected to cost UGX 48billion will, on completion house seven production units and trade houses such as offices of the Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, and other government offices to promote enterprise. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has already awarded UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project.

Speaking at the site handover event, Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Uganda Free Zones Authority Executive Director, said the project is expected to contribute cargo volumes, create hundreds of direct jobs and significantly improve Uganda’s exports.

“On completion, the project will support increased production quality assurance and value addition to commodities that are widely produced by the masses to improve household incomes, create employment and eliminate poverty as well as improve the value of Uganda’s exports,” he said.

Alinda was speaking while handing over the site for the construction of the Entebbe International Airport Free Zone at which he said they had acquired five acres from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority for the development and contracted National Enterprise Corporation, the commercial arm of the UPDF for the construction.

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