1. Sierra Leone imposes travel ban on ex-president in corruption crackdown
The Government of Sierra Leone has issued a travel ban to the country’s ex-president, Earnest Bai Koroma, as he is investigated for corruption during his term. Over 100 members of his government have been implicated as persons of interest in the ongoing probe into illicit dealings. Findings of the Commission of Inquiries, an oversight body headed by foreign judges instituted in 2018, alleges the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is part of a broader package of anti-corruption measures introduced by current President Maada Bio who noted that “we have to draw the line…we cannot be this corrupt as a nation and expect to develop”.
2. British Chief of the General Staff indicates British Army to maintain a 'more persistent presence' in Asia.
General Mark Carleton-Smith, UK Chief of the General Staff, has said the British Army is to have a "more persistent presence" in Asia. General Mark Carleton-Smith was speaking ahead of the UK's upcoming Integrated Strategic Review plotting the future of the British Armed Forces and their utility across the globe. Since 9/11 the British Army has pivoted away from the Far East and Indo-Pacific, instead focusing more heavily on the Middle East. The intent to maintain a greater presence in the East reverses this trend and aims to “change narratives, provide reassurance to allies and deterrence for adversaries,”.
3. Flooding is devastating northern Nigeria.
The death toll has risen to 95 as northern Nigeria’s Jigawa state experiences heavy floods. The floods, which have been caused by heavy rains through September, have left thousands homeless and destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of cultivated land. Estimates suggest that 25 percent of Nigeria’s rice crop has been lost to the floods, placing pressure on the country’s food supply chain. Nigeria currently has a ban on importing rice in a bid to stimulate indigenous production and crackdown on smuggling, but the floods appear to have scuppered this effort. More investment into flood resilient agricultural and housing infrastructure may mitigate damage in future rainy seasons.
4. India and Sri Lanka to deepen defence cooperation after bilateral summit.
After a bi-lateral summit between the two nations which focused on securing the Indian Ocean Region, India is expected to open a $50 million line of credit to Sri Lanka to bolster its defence sector. Alongside this India will provide the smaller nation with defence hardware and help improve the training of the Sri Lankan military. At the summit, the nations’ two PMs made a joint statement of their intention to “strengthen cooperation between the armed forces of the two sides, including through mutual exchange of personnel visits, maritime security cooperation and support to Sri Lanka in the spheres of defence and security.”
5. Solomon Islands PM calls the UN to curb illegal fishing.
Manasseh Sovare, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands has implored distant fishing nations to take efforts to curb illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing by their countrymen. The Solomon Islands relies on tuna fishing for the direct employment of 2000 people and the industry brings in $60 million per year to the country’s economy. However, small Pacific Island nations are losing $160 million a year in revenue due to predatory illegal fishing practices. Illegal fishing also has a pernicious impact on sustainability and biodiversity as fish populations are harvested too quickly.