1. Canada to invest $80 million in new national cybersecurity network.
The Canadian government has announced that it will invest $80 million over a period of four years in a new pan-Canadian cybersecurity initiative. The Cyber Security Innovation Network will aim to support cybersecurity research and development and aid the growth of the country’s cybersecurity capacity through private sector and academic collaboration. François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said in statement that “Strong cyber security expertise and innovations are key to protecting Canada’s data and intellectual property” and continued on to say that this imperative was the impetus for the new scheme.
You can read more of Minister Champagne’s thoughts on the importance of cybersecurity in the upcoming Commonwealth Emerging Technology Insight, published by CSG.
2. Ugandan Army to assist Congo in fight against Islamist rebels.
It has been reported that The Ugandan and Congolese armies are in the process of setting up a forward operations centre in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to carry out a joint offensive against a group of extremists known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The group has killed around 850 people in the last year and is believed to operate across the Ugandan and Congolese border as well as having links to the Islamic State. Hopefully, this concerted international response will be able to curb the groups mounting activities.
3. Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchange gifts at de facto border in honour of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The armies of India and Pakistan exchanged sweets at the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir, to mark the end of Eid. An Indian army spokesperson in Srinagar noted that “On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the tradition of exchanging sweets between India and Pakistan on major festivals like Eid, Holi, Diwali and respective National days was revived and meetings were held at the Tithwal crossing on Kishanganga River in Tangdhar, Kupwara and Kaman Aman Setu in Uri to exchange sweets and pleasantries”.
4. Papua New Guinea and Bougainville agree new terms for transfer of power.
The Papua New Guinea government have agreed new terms for the transfer of powers to the authorities in Bougainville. Port Moresby had previously halted agreed movement of certain powers to the government in Bougainville, arguing the autonomous region didn't have the necessary capabilities for their implementation. The Prime Minister in Papua New Guinea, James Marape met with Bougainville leader and former rebel fighter Ishmael Toroama. The transfer of powers could signal the start of broader discussions on formal independence for the region.
5. Nauru becomes the first country to vaccinate all adults against Covid-19.
Nauru has become the first country to vaccinate its entire adult population against Covid-19, in what officials are describing as a “world record” vaccination drive. All adults have now received at least one dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, provided under the global Covax scheme. Nauru is one of the only places in the world that has remained Covid-free and this represents a serious milestone in their continued health security. The government noted in a statement that “The National Coronavirus Taskforce is extremely pleased with this world record result and thanks everyone on Nauru for playing their part”.