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Swiss Hostage Killed In Mali

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 10 October 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, stands as Sophie Petronin, centre, a French aid worker held hostages for four years by Islamic extremists in Mali, is greeted by relatives upon her arrival at the Villacoublay military airport near Paris. CREDIT:AP


Hostage held for four years by Islamic extremists

Security // BLUF: Swiss hostage Beatrice Stoeckli has reportedly been killed by her Islamic militant captors in Mali.


Switzerland had been trying to secure her release for the past four years.


The Swiss foreign minister had commented that information of the death came from a French hostage who, along with several other hostages, was recently released.


Islamic extremist group Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam Muslimeen is reported to be responsible.


(See Point 1 Below for Further Information)


The Daily Quick-Look for 10 October 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.


1. MALI - Security: Switzerland says Swiss hostage in Mali has been killed

FYSA: Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that a Swiss woman who was held hostage in Mali has been killed by an Islamist group. The ministry said it was informed by French authorities that the hostage had been “killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organisation Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam Muslimeen about a month ago.” The group, known as JNIM, is Mali’s branch of al-Qaeda. Switzerland’s foreign minister condemned the killing of the hostage, Beatrice Stoeckli, whose release his country had quietly been trying to negotiate since she was kidnapped four years ago.“It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of our fellow citizen,” Ignazio Cassis said in a statement. “I condemn this cruel act and express my deepest sympathy to the relatives.” Cassis said the exact circumstances of her killing were still unclear. “The information about the killing was obtained by the French authorities from the recently released French hostage,” the ministry said. French aid worker Sophie Petronin was released with Italians Reverebd Pierluigi Maccalli and Nicola Chiacchio, and prominent Malian politician Soumaila Cisse this week, days after the Malian government freed nearly 200 Islamic militants in an apparent prisoner exchange. Stoeckli, a Christian missionary, and at least four further foreign hostages were also held by JNIM and its associates. The fate of the others wasn’t immediately known. The Swiss Foreign Ministry said it was trying to find out more about the circumstances of the killing and the whereabouts of her remains. (SMH. See link in heading for further reading)


2. ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN - Security, Political: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to ceasefire, Russia's Lavrov says

FYSA: Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire starting on Saturday to exchange prisoners and bodies of those killed in the conflict between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The talks were the first diplomatic contact between the enemies since fighting over the breakaway enclave erupted on Sept. 27, killing hundreds of people. The ceasefire begins at 12 p.m. Lavrov, who mediated the negotiations in Moscow, announced the ceasefire at 3 a.m.(midnight GMT) after 10 hours of talks with his Armenian and Azeri counterparts. He also said Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to start talks on the settlement of the conflict. Russia’s top diplomat added that International Red Cross Committee would act as an intermediary in the humanitarian operation. He did not provide details on the talks but said the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group would mediate. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. AUSTRALIA, CHINA - Political: Australian writer formally charged with espionage: reports

FYSA: Australian writer Yang Hengjun has reportedly been formally charged with espionage almost two years after he was first detained by Chinese authorities, paving the way for him to face trial. Chinese prosecutors have been running out of time to charge the University of Technology Sydney PhD graduate, who has been held since January 2019 without trial. His case has been handed between Chinese state security organs and the Supreme People's Procuratorate three times and prosecutors had less than two weeks left to charge Yang under China's opaque judicial system. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Saturday that Yang had been charged on October 7. There are no details about the exact nature of charges against Yang, a pro-democracy blogger who was born in China and once worked for its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yang's lawyer, Shang Baojun, told the ABC that Yang had been officially charged with espionage but gave no further details stating he was "strictly prohibited from being interviewed by the foreign media". (Stuff. See link in heading for further reading)



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