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64 dead in Papua New Guinea tribal violence

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By Francesca Hangeior
At least sixty-four bloodied bodies have been found along a stretch of road in Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands, police said Monday, a gruesome escalation of long-running violence between local warring tribes.

The victims were believed to be tribal fighters who were ambushed by a rival group in the early hours of Sunday.

The incident occurred near the town of Wabag, about 600 kilometres (370 miles) northwest of the capital Port Moresby.

The rugged and lawless area has for years been the scene of tit-for-tat mass killings between rival Sikin, Ambulin, Kaekin and other tribesmen.

Graphic police images from the scene showed stripped and bloodied bodies lying by the side of the road and piled up on the back of a flatbed truck.

Some men had limbs hacked and were left naked by the road with beer bottles or cans placed on their chests.

Police on Monday said gunfights were ongoing in nearby valleys and bodies were still being recovered from bushland near the road.

“We believe there are still some bodies… out there in the bush,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Samson Kua said.

Clans have fought each other in Papua New Guinea’s highlands for centuries, but an influx of mercenaries and automatic weapons has made clashes more deadly and escalated the cycle of violence.

Kua said the gunmen had used a veritable armoury, including SLR, AK-47, M4, AR15 and M16 rifles, as well as pump-action shotguns and home-made firearms.

The province’s acting police commander Patrick Peka said many of the dead were believed to be mercenaries — men who roam the countryside offering to help tribes settle scores with their rivals.

“The police and government cannot do much when leaders and educated elites supply arms, ammunitions and engage the services of gunmen from other parts of the province,” Peka said.

Papua New Guinea’s government has tried suppression, mediation, gun amnesties and a range of other strategies to control the violence, with little success.

The military had deployed about 100 troops to the area, but their impact has been limited and the security services remain outnumbered and outgunned.

The killings often take place in remote communities, with attackers launching raids or ambushes in revenge for previous attacks.

Civilians, including pregnant women and children, have been targeted in the past.

The murders are often extremely violent, with victims hacked with machetes, burned, mutilated or tortured.

Police privately complain that they do not have the resources to do the job, with officers so badly paid that some of the weapons that end up in the hands of the attackers have come from the police force.

Opponents of Prime Minister James Marape’s government on Monday called for more police to be deployed and for the force’s commissioner to resign.

Papua New Guinea’s population has more than doubled since 1980, placing increasing strain on land and resources and deepening tribal rivalries.

Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of neighbouring Australia, on Monday described the incident as “very disturbing”.

“We are providing considerable support, particularly for training police officers and for security in Papua New Guinea,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

“We remain available to provide whatever support we can.”

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I’ve been suffering in silence for two years, Korra Obidi laments

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By Francesca Hangeior

Dancer Korra Obidi has claimed she has been suffering in silence for two years after divorce.

Obidi allegedly suffered acid and a knife during a live session in the United Kingdom.

Korra explained that she escaped the attack in the best possible way and hoped the inquiry will provide some answers as to who the ringleader of the attack is.

She added that she doesn’t want to wait till the worst happens.

She wrote: “I escaped with the best possible scenario and this I am grateful. Hoping the investigations will yield some closure as to who the ring leader to all these attacks are.

“I have been suffering in silence for 2 years since divorce. Glad this was LIVE and there is ample evidence. Don’t want to wait till the worse happens and help will finally come.

“This can only be God, Thank you everyone.”

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NIMC Speaks On New National ID Card

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Following the announcement of the planned release of a new National Identification Number in the country by the Federal Government last week, the National Identity Management Çommission, NIMC has provided further clarifications on the proposed ID.

In a statement released and signed by Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke on Friday, the Commission said the new National ID Card is coming as a single, convenient, and General multipurpose card (GMPC), eliminating the need for multiple cards.

The single card with GMPC is said to have multiple use cases. as: Payments/Financial, Government intervention/services, travel, etc.

The card, according to the National Identity Management Commission is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System to deliver the payment and financial use cases.

“The card will be powered by the AFRIGO card scheme, an indigenous scheme powered by NIBSS.

Applicants for the card will have to request with their NIN through the self-service online portal, NIMC offices, or their respective banks.

“The card will be issued through the applicants’ respective banks in line with existing protocols with the issuance of the Debit/Credit cards.

“The card can be picked up by holders at the designated centre or delivered to the applicants at the requested location at an extra cost to be borne by the applicants’” the statement said.

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Nigerian Breweries shuts down two of its 9 plants due to ‘persistently challenging business environment’

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Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB plc) has indicated plans for company-wide reorganisation as part of strategic recovery plan which entails the temporary shutting down of two out of its nine breweries in Nigeria.

Following the recent announcement of its business recovery plan, the conglomerate which is a member of the HEINEKEN Group and Nigeria’s pioneer and largest brewing company indicated plans for a company-wide reorganisation aimed at securing a resilient and sustainable future for its stakeholders.

The company said the move is essential to improve its operational efficiency, financial stability and enable a return of the business to profitability, in the face of the persistently challenging business environment.

In letters signed by the company’s Human Resource Director, Grace Omo-Lamai, and addressed to the leadership of the National Union of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) and the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB), the company informed both unions that its proposed plan would include operational efficiency measures and a company-wide reorganisation that includes the temporary suspension of operations in two of its nine breweries.

As a result, and in accordance with labour requirements, the Company invited the Unions to discussions on the implications of the proposed measures.

It would be recalled that the company recently notified the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) of its plan to raise capital of up to ₦600 billion (Six Hundred billion naira) by way of a Rights Issue, as a means of restoring the company’s balance sheet to a healthy position following the net finance expenses of N189 billion recorded in 2023 driven mainly by a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion resulting from the devaluation of the naira.

Speaking on these developments, Managing Director/CEO Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi described the business recovery plan as strategic and vital for business continuity:

“The tough business landscape characterised by double-digit inflation rates, naira devaluation, FX challenges and diminished consumer spend has taken its toll on many businesses, including ours. This is why we have taken the decision to further consolidate our business operations for efficient cost management and optimal use of our resources for future sustainable growth”.

“We recognise and regret the impact that the suspension of brewery operations in the two affected locations may have on our employees. We are committed to limiting the impact on our people as much as possible by exhausting all options available including the relocation and redistribution of employees to our other seven breweries; and providing strong support and severance packages to all those that become unavoidably affected. We are also committed to supporting our host communities in ways that ensure they continue to feel our presence.”

“We remain wholly committed to having a positive impact on our host communities and our consumers; leveraging our strong supply chain footprint; excellent execution of our route to market strategy; and our rich portfolio of brands across the Lager, Stout, Malt, Soft drinks, and Energy drinks categories; and more recently, Wines and Spirits with the acquisition of Distell”, he added.

The Nigerian Breweries’ business recovery plan includes a Rights Issue and a company-wide reorganisation exercise which includes temporary suspension of two out of its nine breweries in the country and an optimisation of production capacity in the other seven breweries, some of which have received significant capital investment in recent years.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to the long-term future of Nigeria and “stands as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s beverage industry.”With over 77 years of operations, the company said it would continue to demonstrate its enduring commitment to the Nigerian market and its people.

Incorporated in 1946 as “Nigerian Brewery Limited,” NB Plc made history in June 1949 when the first bottle of STAR lager beer rolled out of its Lagos brewery bottling line.

Today, it has a rich portfolio of 21 high-quality brands, including iconic brands like Heineken, Desperados, Maltina, Life, Amstel Malta, Gulder, Fayrouz, and Legend produced from nine breweries and distributed nationwide.

NN Plc recently added to its portfolio with the acquisition of an 80% business stake in Distell Wines and Spirits Limited, a local business in the wines and spirits category, as a demonstration of its resilient and forward-thinking strategy to deliver long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.

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