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Mali Jihadists Kill Swiss Aid Worker Kidnapped In 20162 minutes read

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A Swiss aid worker, Beatrice Stöckli, who was kidnapped four years ago in Mali by Islamist terrorist organization, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslim (JNIM), was killed last year, a statement said on Saturday.

Stockli, who settled in Mali in 2005 was first kidnapped in 2012 by the jihadist group Ansar Dine and later freed after nine days in captivity. In January 2016, she was abducted again.

On Friday, authorities in France informed their Swiss counterpart Stockli was dead.

She was said to have been killed last month.

It is believed that the French authorities got the information from a recently released abductee, Sophie Pétronin. 75-year-old Petronin, also an aid worker in Mali, was abducted in the West African country in 2016 and released on 5 October 2020. She arrived in France yesterday to the welcoming arms of her family and the French President Emmanuel Macron.

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of our fellow citizen,” says Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis.

“I condemn this cruel act and express my deepest sympathy to the relatives.”

The exact circumstances of the killing of the Swiss hostage are currently still unclear.

Switzerland demands handing over of Stockli’s remains, the statement said.

The Swiss authorities, under the direction of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), are making every effort to find out more about the circumstances of the killing and the whereabouts of the remains, it added.

The statement read in part, “Switzerland will make every effort to preserve the remains of the Swiss hostage. To this end, the FDFA will also approach the transition government in Mali. Interdepartmental task force in action Together with the relevant Malian authorities and with international partners, the Swiss authorities have worked over the past four years to ensure that the Swiss citizen is released and can return to her family. Members of the Federal Council have personally and repeatedly lobbied the relevant Malian authorities for her release. An interdepartmental task force under the leadership of the FDFA was deployed. The task force included representatives of the FDFA, the Federal Office of Police (fedpol), the Federal Intelligence Service (NDB) and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, the authorities were in constant contact with the victim’s family.”

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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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