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Weekly Round-Up

1. Jihadist attack in Cameroon kills three.

Jihadists seeping over the border from Nigeria have killed three people in Kaliari, northern Cameroon. The district mayor and traditional leader Mahamat Chetima Abba noted that the attack had been carried out by Boko Haram, which has not yet been confirmed. Cameroon has developed several civilian defence forces in its troubled Northern region which sees violence spilling over the Nigerian border regularly. The men who were killed were part of this kind of village defence force.

2. Kenya to take up position on UN Security Council.

This week Kenya assumed its position on the UN Security Council, having been elected to the position six months ago. Kenya won the available African seat over Djibouti, with 129 votes compared to 62. The country will serve a two-year term in the UN’s most powerful decision making organ, allowing it to influence decisions on some of the world’s most contentious security issues. President Uhuru Kenyatta said that winning the seat was a “demonstration of the country’s growing profile and influence in the community of nations”.

3. India has sent six tons of relief supplies to Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Yasa.

After Fiji has been devastated by Cyclone Yasa, India has sent six tonnes of relief supplies including temporary shelters and hygiene kits. Many people in Fiji have lost access to food, water and power in the wake of the cyclone. The supplies were airlifted via Sydney, with India’s Ministry of External Affairs noting that this “was possible thanks to the effective cooperation among multiple agencies in three countries to deliver the relief material to Fiji in record time”.

4. 28,000 people evacuated from their homes due to flooding in Malaysia.

28,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Malaysia, due to severe flooding. Video footage shows people forced to swim through fast flowing deep waters to reach safety. Flooding hits the country’s east coast on a seasonal basis, however, modelling suggests that this year’s floods are the worst for several decades. Panang state has born the brunt of the flooding with 75% of evacuation taking place there. Many communities have lost electricity and experienced widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure. There have been four recorded fatalities so far, but that number is expected to rise. The problems caused by these floods are compounded by the ongoing pandemic, with many fearing those in relief centres could be exposed to COVID-19.

5. Australia raises security concerns over Chinese attempts to acquire Pacific cables.

Several Chinese companies, of which many have ties to the state, have been buying in or attempting to buy into communication cable infrastructure projects in the Pacific. Canberra (alongside the United States) has raised concerns that the proposed Huawei Marine project to build a $72.6 million undersea cable linked to Nauru, Kiribati and Micronesia will expose the region to spying. Such cables see the flow of massive volumes of data and if they are operated by companies under the de facto control of the Chinese government there is the risk that data could be siphoned off. Australia has previously excluded Huawei Marine from cabling projects to connect Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, citing similar concerns.

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