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Weekly Round-Up


1. Five civilians have been killed by a suicide attack in Northern Cameroon.

A suicide bomber has killed five villagers in Northern Cameroon in the village of Zeleved, including the village chief. It is believed that the attacker had crossed the border with Nigeria and was a member of Boko Haram or its splinter group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). This attack is the latest in a recent spike of violence in Northern Cameroon which is seeing unrest generated both by Islamist terrorism and violent Anglophone separatists. The multi-faceted security threats facing Cameroon highlight the importance of robust international cooperation as borders in the region do not prevent spill-overs of violence.

2. Uganda calls in troops to protect South Sudanese refugees from violent locals.

The Ugandan government has sent security forces to its north-west region after attacks on South Sudanese refugees by locals has left ten people dead and nineteen seriously wounded. The violence erupted at a water collection point in the Madi- Okollo district in response to alleged attacks on local populations by refugees. A Ugandan People’s Defence Forces spokesmen noted that “Deployments have been made there to prevent another fight and deadly clash. These communities – both the refugees and the locals – are capable of mobilising revenge attacks on each other”. Uganda has long been a world leader in its progressive treatment of refugees.

3. Fake news is miring government response to insurgency in Mozambique.

A video circulating on social media in Mozambique that appears to show men dressed in army uniforms beating and killing a woman has been denounced as fake by Mozambique Defence Minister Jaime Neto. Mr Neto asserted that the video had been doctored by “malicious people” seeking to undermine the military and condemned the footage as “horrifying”. Mozambique’s defence ministry has promised further investigation. It is difficult for citizens and onlookers to know what is really going on in Mozambique as the terrorists in Cabo Delgado have engaged in a campaign of impersonating government forces with stolen uniforms and spreading fake news through other outlets. False information has exacerbated tension and encouraged polarisation throughout the conflict, escalating the violence.

4. Attacks on Pakistan Security Forces Surge in Afghan Border Region.

A surge in attacks on Pakistani Security Forces in the country's north west has seen 40 soldiers die since March. The spike in violence is feared to be a consequence of Pakistani Taliban reasserting themselves in the country on the back of a potential peace deal between the Afghan Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan. The near daily attacks have seen a variety of small arms ambushes, roadside bombs, and sniper fire targeting Pakistani forces.

The Pakistani Taliban, with renewed links to Al Qaeda, have emerged again having been roundly subdued by sustained Pakistani military action in the first half of the last decade. The mountainous region of North West Pakistan, with its strong Pashtun tribal identity, has previously been a haven for militants. There are concerns that as the peace deal between the Afghan Taliban and the Government in Kabul takes shape, Pakistani militants will return to Pakistan from their extant Afghan boltholes and once again destabilise the region and its beleaguered populace.

5. After months of standoff officials in China and India have tentatively agreed to disengage from the border.

In a joint statement Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi “agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions". This is a sign of hope that the border clashes, which saw at least 20 Indian and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers killed, will be resolved peacefully. At times there was a distinct possibility that tensions between the nuclear neighbours could escalate dangerously, but that risk presently appears to be behind us.


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