International Round-Up: Death penalty for murderers of Danish backpacker - The Post

International Round-Up: Death penalty for murderers of Danish backpacker

Elsewhere, it’s been a busy week for Danish foreign aid and support

It’s hard to believe such a heinous crime was committed in such a beautiful setting (photo: Michel Gagnon)
October 31st, 2019 5:41 pm| by Jade Emerson Hebbert

On 17 December 2018, 24-year-old Danish backpacker Louisa Vesterager Jespersen was murdered while on holiday in Morocco with 28-year-old Norwegian co-traveller Maren Ueland.

On Wednesday morning, four men who were earlier this year found guilty of her murder were sentenced to death.

A further 20 men were found guilty of committing crimes in connection to the deaths, and all of them will serve time in prison.

Act of terror
The authorities considered the murders, which occurred outside the village of Imlil, to be an act of terrorism.

Videos have surfaced on the internet – both of the decapitations of the victims and the murderers pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

Uncertainty over execution
However, 1993 was the last time an execution was carried out in Morocco, so the fate of the four is far from certain.

The defence lawyer, who believes the ruling is too “harsh”, has announced the verdict will be appealed.

Denmark co-hosting African refugee conference
Denmark is currently co-hosting a conference entitled ‘Delivering the Global Compact on Refugees: Local Approaches to Inclusion’, which seeks to address how best to deal with 3.5 million refugees displaced in countries in Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa. Denmark has pledged 1.5 billion kroner to the initiative. The conference is dedicated to the sustainable inclusion of refugees into local communities using best practices. According to the Foreign Ministry, Danish Embassies are committed to “implementing several programs aimed at strengthening resilience, building livelihoods, promoting inclusive education and pushing for socio-economic empowerment and gender equality”.

Denmark approves aid to the Sahel Region
The Danish Parliament last week approved the government’s proposal for new military contributions to the Sahel region. The contributions – a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, 65 people to support the transportation of materials and personnel for six months, as well as up to 10 contributors to an intelligence unit – will aid MINUSMA, UN’s peacekeeping mission in Mali. Additionally, a French-led anti-terrorism mission, Operation Barkhane, will be provided with two EH-101 transport helicopters, 70 personnel and a smaller contribution of staff officers to the Sahel. Denmark has been a supporter of MINUSMA since 2014.

Danish Environmental Protection Agency inks Nairobi waste deal
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has signed a deal with the 2030 Water Resources Group of the World Bank to tackle Nairobi’s waste management and sanitation. Currently, the treatment plants are equipped to process less than half the waste Nairobi produces daily. The initiative will work to build upon ongoing efforts that take a modern approach to waste management systems, including industrial waste. All partners will work towards a unified solution for Nairobi’s environmental challenges.

Danish agriculture experts visit Uganda
Through Uganda’s attempts to modernise its agricultural industry, a team of food technology experts and agribusiness executives led by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council visited the country this week. The team consisting of companies and associations in the sector will visit under the auspices of Uganda’s Embassy of Denmark. Through presentations, business sessions, and visits to various farms and companies, Uganda is eager to learn from Denmark’s experience and create mutual opportunities through advancements in agriculture.

Swedish and Danish leaders discuss border alliance
PM Mette Frederiksen met with her Swedish counterpart, Stefan Löfven, in Stockholm on Tuesday to discuss and agree upon a joint analysis team to strengthen border security between the two nations. By exchanging information and intelligence, the initiative will work to increase and strengthen police co-operation between Denmark and Sweden in order to prevent and fight crime in both countries. “Security for citizens is a core priority for the government,” said Frederiksen. “We do not want organised criminals to move across the Sound – either way.”