1. Malawi and Rwanda sign security pact to fight transnational crime.
Malawi and Rwanda have signed a new security pact aimed at curbing terrorism as well drug and human trafficking within both countries. This pact was agreed during a meeting of security officials from both countries in Lilongwe. A permanent forum will be established whereby operational level officials from both countries can frequently meet to discuss security issues affecting the two countries. The new agreement will also allow for information sharing between police forces and collaboration on capacity building and training. Dr George Kainja, Malawi’s Chief of Police, noted that the meeting was a great success.
2. Security tightened along Tamil Nadu coast, India
Tamil Nadu State Police and Indian Central Intelligence Agencies have been on high alert this week after reports of an armed group trying to enter the province from Sri Lanka. Extra naval patrols have been mounted off the region’s coastline after a boat carrying armed operatives was spotted in the Rameswaram area. The identity and motivation of the group is currently unknown, but security officials believe it is likely to be related to transnational crime.
3. Bangladesh seeks clear guidance from the UN regarding Rohingya refugees.
AK Abdul Momen, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister has sought a “clear roadmap” from the UN on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Since 2017, Bangladesh has set up 34 camps which house 900,000 refugees in the south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazaar. However, this situation is not sustainable, as resources in the camps are stretched thin and residents live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Momen has emphasised that the best solution to the Rohingya crisis within his country “lies in their safe and sustainable repatriation to Myanmar” and is calling upon the UN to assist in repatriation efforts.
4. Australian Defence Force to fund upgrade of Papua New Guinea naval base
The Australian Defence Force will fund an upgrade of Papua New Guinea's main naval base on Manus Island, which will be carried out by an Australian private contractor. The project is estimated to cost A$175 million and is expected to significantly improve PNG's naval capabilities. Speaking on the matter, the head of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Major General Gilbert Toropo noted that, "Redevelopment and rehabilitation of Lombrum Naval Base will really set the foundation for our effective maritime patrols" and continued on to acknowledge that Chinese presence in the Pacific was a growing concern for PNG.