Newsetter: Intellifusion : 5 Incidents


WEEKLY

Friday 24th September 2021

Hi Dhananjaya,

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;

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MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Afghanistan

Islamic State – Khorosan Province (ISKP) have carried out a series of bombings and assassinations in the eastern city of Jalalabad targeting Taliban personnel. Following the attacks, the Taliban allegedly killed three suspected IS-KP members during an operation in the Behsud district north of Jalalabad. Following the seizure of Kabul by the Taliban, IS-KP are expected to carry out attacks similar those seen in Jalalabad this week in order to undermine the Taliban and challenge their authority. IS-KP lack territorial control in Afghanistan but in previous years have relied upon a network of locally recruited cells to carry out attacks in Kabul and Jalalabad, often explicitly targeting civilians with high casualties.

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EUROPE

Germany, UK, Austria, and Switzerland

Reporting has shown the annual Global Climate Strike will occur on 24th September 2021. Numerous European countries – especially Germany, the UK, Austria and Switzerland – will have protests in main squares/town centres carried out by climate change activists. These upcoming protests are a recurring annual event.

Climate change protesters – Extinction Rebellion, Youth for Climate and Fridays for Future in particular – have shown a tendency to carry out protests designed to cause inconvenience to bystanders or direct actions against companies they hold responsible for environmental problems (real or perceived). These annual protests are planned and promoted well in advance in order to draw large numbers; furthermore, there have been numerous natural disasters across Europe this year which often encourage these activist groups to increase the severity and tempo of their activities. These upcoming protests are likely to draw large crowds and feature direct actions against corporate headquarters for companies in oil and gas, government and banking/finance.

Adding to the above are increasing protests against mandatory vaccination laws and other COVID-19 regulations across Europe. These protests are beginning to become larger and more heated due to people losing jobs, businesses and freedoms courtesy of the laws/regulations. These protesters also appear to be noticing major differences in treatment by law enforcement; with climate change protesters receiving softer treatment from police while protests against COVID-19 restrictions have been treated in a much more harsh manner.

With these protests beginning on 24th September 2021 and current state of frustration across Europe, this weekend will likely see heightened chances of large protests becoming riots. Town centres across Europe will likely be areas featuring large crowds and large police presence preparing for unrest.

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AFRICA

Sudan

Sudan’s government claim to have thwarted an alleged coup after sporadic gunfire was heard in the early morning hours of 21st September in Khartoum and at an army base in Omdurman. The army later stated that 21 officers and a number of soldiers and civilians were arrested with investigations ongoing to capture others involved in the coup attempt. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok claimed that the coup plotters were linked to former President Omar al-Bashir.

Although Sudan’s democratic transition remains on track with the UN reporting in early September of growing momentum towards the drafting of a new constitution and the organisation of elections, tension remains between civilian and military leaders in the transitional government and the latter are said to remain a dominant force in Sudan’s politics and economy. The transitional government’s failure to deal with economic challenges – which have been aggravated by floods, locust infestations and COVID-19 – have further added to growing discontent with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and distrust with the transitional government.

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NORTH AMERICA

California

Over recent weeks, significant congestion has been reported at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, with ships being forced to wait offshore to unload cargo.

On 19th September, a record number of 73 ships were left waiting to enter the ports, and as of 22nd September, around 60 ships were unable to unload. The cause of the disruption has been attributed to two main factors; the shortage of heavy goods vehicles and drivers to transport the cargo, coupled with an increased demand for imports at the U.S. begins to financially recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both ports account for 40% of container imports to the U.S., and with imports expecting to peak ahead of the Christmas period, the situation is not likely to resolve imminently.

In recent days ships have increasingly been diverted to the Port of Oakland, although the facility has a lower capacity to handle high volumes of imports. As a consequence of this, it is likely that the current shipping crisis will continue to have repercussions for the transportation and retail industries with supply chain disruption inevitable.

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SOUTH AMERICA

Colombia

The police and army began air and land operations to restore control after presumed members of the Jaime Martínez Mobile Column of FARC attacked a police station using explosives and assault rifles in the village of El Carmelo in Cajibío, Cauca Department on the morning of 20th September. During the counter-offensive, fighting was also reported in the villages of El Amparo in La Betulia district, and La Estrella in Mindalá district.

Fighting in the Cauca Department comes the same week that Henry Acosta, a mediator between the government and FARC rebels, warned that slow progress has been made since the signing of the peace agreement, particularly in relation to the social and economic reintegration of former combatants. Acosta also stated that at least 6,000 have again taken up arms for FARC with about 2,500 re-joining several groups including the Jaime Martínez-led faction. Acosta has predicted a return to fighting between FARC and the government, who have been slow to implement the agreement.

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