Newsletter: Intellifusion: 5 incidents to catch up on.


Friday 22nd October 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;

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Pakistan

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group has continued to carry out a series of attacks targeting Pakistani security forces in areas close to the Afghan border, particularly in the North Waziristan area where the group is based. A ceasefire reached between the Pakistani government and elements of the TTP between 1st and 20th October raised hopes in Pakistan that attacks may reduce, but the ceasefire was limited in impact with it being restricted to South Waziristan. Furthermore, a faction of the TTP led by Hakeemullah Mehsud did not agree to the ceasefire and attacks continued in North Waziristan, with small checkpoints and patrols being attacked regularly this week.

NORTH AMERICA

United States

On 15th October, hundreds of Boeing employees and members of the public protested outside the assembly factory in Everett, Washington over plans for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all 125,000 Boeing employees across the United States.

This follows an executive order issued by President Biden on the 9th September requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all non-exempt federal employees and contractors by the 8th December.

Boeing employees in Texas are not immediately affected as Governor Abbott issued his own executive order on 11th October barring any mandated COVID-19 vaccine policy by public or private bodies.

This incident highlights ongoing tensions between the pro and anti-vaccination lobby across the country and raises the possibility of further demonstrations and protests against public authorities and private enterprise as they enforce COVID-19 vaccine legislation.

EUROPE

Ukraine

Monitoring of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine has seen efforts to hinder the operations of the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM Ukraine) for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE) from both the Ukrainians and Russia-backed separatists. On the Ukrainian, the SMM Ukraine has been experiencing electronic jamming against its UAVs when conducting test flights in the north west of Donetsk Oblast; such activity (by both sides) has been focussed on hiding activities along the front lines of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. During these incidents of jamming, the SMM has sighted what appears to be a counter-rockets, artillery and mortars radar (or C-RAM, an AN/TPQ-36 radar) close to the north west outskirts of Donetsk City.

On the Russian side, the SMM Ukraine within Donetsk City has been blocked from leaving its office to conduct patrols since 15th October by pro-Russia separatists. A similar protest occurred in Horlivka on 17th October but has since ended. These efforts occurred in relation to the arrest of a separatist conducting reconnaissance of Ukrainian positions.

These incidents would indicate an increase in efforts to hinder the SMM Ukraine in order to increase their respective freedom of movement and action. Should these efforts continue, it is possible that more weapon systems will be brought into the region by both sides, with an increase in ceasefire violations as a result.

AFRICA

Morocco and Algeria

A senior Moroccan official has warned that the flow of gas could be reversed on the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline, which supplies gas to Europe from Algeria via Morocco, if Algeria does not renew a supply agreement that expires on 31st October. Though Algeria have stated that they have not made a final decision on its renewal, they earlier indicated that they would instead expand the Medgas pipeline to reach a volume of 10 billion cubic metres by December 2021. .

Tensions between Morocco and Algeria have been increasing since August. Though Morocco has long accused Algeria of supporting Western Sahara pro-independence. In August, Algeria accused MAK, a separatist movement, and Rachad, a political movement, of being behind wildfires in Kabylia in August, and accused Morocco of financing both MAK and Rachad. Later, Algeria’s foreign minister announced the suspension of diplomatic ties with Morocco citing “hostile actions” and in September Algeria closed its airspace to all Moroccan civilian and military aircraft. The Moroccan decision to normalise relations with Israel has added to further tension between the neighbouring countries. 

SOUTH AMERICA

Haiti

On 16th October, 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian national, including five children, were kidnapped in Ganthier, a town east of Port-au-Prince. The victims are members of a Christian missionary group who were travelling from an orphanage by bus when they were kidnapped by members of the 400 Mawozo gang. The gang has since demanded USD 1 million in ransom per person. The incident caused Hiatians to protest against worsening insecurity on 18th October.

Following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July and a magnitude-7.2 earthquake in August, crimes like kidnapping, extortion and violent attacks have surged in Haiti. The country has the world’s highest number of abductions per person, with 628 abductions being reported since the start of 2021. The 400 Mawozo are believed to be behind the majority of recent kidnappings, which have targeted children, doctors, priests, police officers and bus passengers.