Courtesy: Intelligence Fusion Newsletter.


  • Here’s your weekly rundown of the global security landscape, highlighting key incidents that have taken place from each region in the last seven days;

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Indonesia

A series of clashes were reported this week between Indonesian security forces and militants in West Papua Province. The clashes involved militants from the Kelompok Kriminal Bersenjata (KKB) group and took place in the Mayuberi, Makki and Serambakon areas. In a separate incident, two soldiers were captured and killed by militants from the West Papua Liberation Army, leading to an operation aimed at pursuing the group responsible. The clashes come after security forces launched an operation across West Papua following the death of a senior intelligence official earlier in the year.

The relationship between security forces and the local population in the area is poor, and security forces have frequently been accused of rights abuses during previous operations, often leading to displacement of civilians. Clashes are expected to continue across the province as the operation continues, leading to displacement and clashes in isolated rural areas.

EUROPE

Europewide

Over the past seven days there have been numerous Palestine Solidarity protests across Europe. Among those involved in these protests have been the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and Palestine Action; both groups are anti-Israel who realise their aims through targeting businesses involved in Israel in any fashion.

The main difference between the two is that Palestine Action appears to be largely based in the UK and engages in direct action protests (Elbit Systems is its current target). While Palestine Action has been targeting Elbit, BDS has been increasing its rhetoric against Puma, AXA Insurance, Hewlett-Packard and Soda Stream. As the protests have occurred over the last seven days, the rhetoric and direct action against these businesses appears to have increased in what appears to be an attempt to capitalise on the situation and increase the pressure on these businesses.

These current circumstances would indicate that activist threats against the people, assets and reputation against businesses with real or perceived interests in Israel appears to be increasing at this time. Businesses with real or perceived interests in Israel can likely anticipate activists targeting them through protests and online smear campaigns.

AFRICA

Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the country will begin a trial run for generating power from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam during the upcoming rainy season between June and August. The ministry warned that “no force can disrupt” its efforts to fill the dam, which will reach full generating capacity in 2023. Egypt, which along with Sudan relies on Nile water resources, said it will manage water shortages caused by the filling.

A final agreement between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the operation of the dam is yet to be reached. Talks held in Kinshasa in April of this year ended with no progress. Both countries have condemned Ethiopian intransigence in negotiations while Ethiopia accused Egypt and Sudan of efforts to “internationalise” the dispute. Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has warned of unprecedented instability in the region if Egypt’s water supply is affected. Egypt and Sudan carried out joint air drills during the Nile Eagles 2 exercise in late March/early April.

NORTH AMERICA

Zitacuaro, Mexico

On 17th May, authorities discovered eight men and one woman shot to death and left inside a vehicle along a road in the Ignacio Zaragoza neighbourhood of Zitacuaro. The act is believed to have been perpetrated by members of the Familia Michoacana criminal group under the command of Medardo Hernandez Vera, alias Mantecas. The killings would be related to the sale of drugs.

The Familia Michoacana, with the help of its allies, is currently fighting the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG) in the area of Zitacuaro and in the wider state of Michoacan for control of territory to produce, traffic and sell drugs. Cartel activity in Mexico accounts for the majority of violent incidents in the country, and tactics and levels of violence have increased recently in the area, with the use of explosives attached to drones being used in a number of attacks by the CJNG against rivals and armed forces.

SOUTH AMERICA

Venezuela

On Monday 17th May, a FARC dissident leader was allegedly killed by Colombian special forces during an operation in Venezuela.

FARC dissidents claim that one of their leaders, known by the alias Jesús Santrich, was killed along with five others by Colombian special forces. The incident allegedly took place on the side of the Serranía del Perijá mountain, located on Venezuela’s western border with Colombia.

Santrich was one of the chief negotiators for the FARC but rejected the 2016 peace accord after two years when he became wanted by the United States on drug trafficking charges. He eventually fled to Venezuela, where he co-founded the Segunda Marquetalia and announced a new offensive against the Colombian government.

Both the Venezuelan and Colombian government have yet to confirm the incident, which, if true, may further deteriorate relations between the two countries. It would mean that Colombia violated Venezuela’s sovereignty, and that Venezuela harboured FARC dissidents, possibly confirming an alliance between the Venezuelan government and the Segunda Marquetalia.

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THE INSIGHT: An Intelligence Fusion Podcast

A fortnightly podcast that expands on key incidents and events, providing you with wider analysis on security trends, evolving patterns and unexplored geopolitical themes from every corner of the globe.

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