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Weekly Round-Up

1. Almost 6000 Boko Haram fighters surrender in Nigeria.

In a massive boost for security in Nigeria, 6000 Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to the Nigerian Army. Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, spokesman for the armed forces announced that "Within the last few weeks, more than 5,890 terrorists comprising foot soldiers and their commanders have surrendered with their families to own troops in the North East Zone."

The surrender marks a major success for Nigeria’s security forces and follows the death of the group’s leader and founder Abubakr Shekau earlier this year. Fighting between Boko Haram and its off-shoot, Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), has continued as each organisation seeks pre-eminency in the country’s North East.

2. Zambia’s President disposes of military and police chiefs.

Newly elected Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has sacked the country’s military and police chiefs as part of a drive to rid Zambia of rampant corruption and the heavy handedness of his predecessor, Edward Lungo’s, administration.

The success of President Hichilema after a political career lasting decades, is seen as a portent for greater accountability in the security and justice sectors. President Hichilema has himself been detained by the security services on numerous occasions throughout his political life, and his victory came off the back of a campaign focused heavily on bringing greater due process to security in the country.

3. Sri Lanka declares food emergency.

The Sri Lankan government has declared a food emergency and have seized control of base food resources in order to ensure equitable distribution in the face of severe inflation and price rises. The country is currently dealing with one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks and has been placed on a two-week lockdown. The impact of lockdown, teamed with sharp devaluation of the rupee over recent months has led to food costs spiralling at the same time as a spike in hording. Given Sri Lanka imports a significant percentage of its food, the weakened rupee has put the cost of certain food stuffs beyond the reach of much of the population, fuelling rumours of a food shortage.

4. Australia and Papua New Guinea ministers issue joint commitment to shared security.

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, and Papua New Guinean counterpart, Soroi Eoe, co-chaired the 28th Papua New Guinea-Australia Ministerial Forum, bringing together 15 ministers from across the two countries. The ministers paid particular attention to commitments to joint security, including building on the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP), and the close ties between the two countries’ varied security services. Foreign Minister Payne said in the aftermath, “We welcomed the fact that our close security partnership continued to grow in 2020 and 2021, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Ministers committed to deepening this partnership, including agreement for officials to start discussions on a bilateral security treaty, as agreed under the Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership.”


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