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Weekly Round-Up

1. Jamaica announces plans for a national border security policy.

The Jamaican Government have announced plans for a national border security policy aimed at reducing risk and vulnerabilities in and around the country’s borders. Jamaica suffers from particular threats from illicit smuggling routes, and sees the impact of these activities play out in violence and criminality on the streets. Courtney Williams, permanent secretary in the Ministry for National Security, offered the specific rationale behind the project during its announcement, “This border security policy that we are developing aligns with key initiatives being undertaken by the Government of Jamaica's Vision 2030, and represents an important priority of the Government to disrupt the gun-for-drugs and food-for-guns trade, while bolstering our capacity as a country to fight transnational organised crime and criminal networks,”.

2. UK and Ghana commit to further security cooperation.

A visit by UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, to Accra has seen the UK commit an additional quarter of a million pounds to boosting security in Ghana. The funds build on the UK-Ghana Security Partnership and are in addition to the £1 Million of UK support to Ghana for its counter terrorism capability. In a release by UK FCDO the funds will support 4 new security and stability projects targeted at ‘growing the capacity of Ghana’s national crisis response model; providing specialists to help deliver Ghana’s nationwide security exercise; and funding on-the-ground civil society organisations through STAR Ghana Foundation, working directly with communities across the country that are most vulnerable to insecurity.’

3. South Africa Justice Department hit by Ransomware attack.

A ransomware attack has struck South Africa’s Justice Department, encrypting all electronic devices provided by the department. This is the second time in two months that a South African government department has been targeted.

Ransomware attacks exploit an organizations vulnerabilities, whether technical or personnel to access systems to steal passcodes and data in order to hold the organisation to ransom, in the hope that the organization will pay a hefty sum to retrieve this information. Attacks can be devastating and have been exacerbated by working from home trends seen since the start of the lockdown cycles in response to Covid-19.

4. Suicide attack in Pakistan kills troops and injures many more.

A suicide bomber has struck a Pakistan paramilitary checkpoint in South-West Pakistan near the town of Quetta in Balochistan, killing at least 3 and injuring tens more. The attack has been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, known under the acronym TTP. TTP are waging a low level insurgency campaign against the Pakistani authorities and have recently renewed their allegiance with their Afghan counterparts in light of the latter’s seizure of Kabul. This attack is the first since US President Joe Biden withdrew US forces from Afghanistan, triggering chaotic scenes as many thousands fled the Taliban advance and subsequent take-over of the country. The attack in Pakistan demonstrates the dilemma the government in Islamabad faces as it deals with the risk of Afghan Taliban success inspiring the Pakistani Taliban.


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