1. Hundreds of terrorists surrender to the Nigerian military in Nasawara.
According to the Nigerian military, 400 members of the terrorist group Darul Salam have surrendered after a bomb making factory was destroyed in the central-Northern state of Nasawara. In the process of storming the camp a large cache of weapons and explosive material was recovered by government troops. Subsequently, the army are combing the surrounding forests in the Uttu area for remnants of the militant cadre. Darul Salam are an Islamist terrorist organisation that has become increasingly active in the North-central region of Nigeria and are linked to several kidnappings and inter-ethnic clashes.
2. Africa eradicates wild Polio after 24-year vaccination campaign.
It has been four years since the wild Polio virus was detected in Africa, leading the African Regional Certification Commission to declare the continent free of the disease. Wild Polio is a serious virus that can cause irreversible paralysis and death. Indeed, at the height of its prevalence it paralysed 75,000 African children per year. This achievement comes after a concerted vaccination effort launched by African heads of state in 1996, which has seen billions of vaccines administered. It is a testament to the power of multilateralism and partnership between nations.
3. Cybersecurity threat detected across Africa, with malware preloaded onto budget phones.
Malware has been found on thousands of phones across Africa that drains mobile users bank accounts by automatically signing them up to paid subscription services. The code was found on 53,000 devices in Cameroon, Ghana and South Africa as well as other African countries. The devices implicated in this subtle cyber-attack were W2 handsets made by the Chinese budget phone company Tecno, who deny knowing that the issue had not been fixed when the phones were rolled out. Upstream, an anti-fraud company, have recorded suspicious activity in up to 200,000 more handsets across Africa. Malicious programs like this are a particular threat to budget mobile users across the continent who often rely on secure telecoms for key services like banking.
4. India’s landmark first indigenous aircraft carrier is set to conduct basin trials.
India’s major defence project to develop a home manufactured aircraft carrier has finished in harbour tests and has been greenlit for ‘basin’ tests in water, representing a major step forward. This paves the way for open sea tests later in the year and signals the ship being inducted into the Navy by the end of 2021 as the INS Vikrant. It was hoped that sea trials would already be underway, but they were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. INS Vikrant will house numerous Mig-29k fighter aircraft. The ability to produce aircraft carriers indigenously will increase India’s power projection capabilities in the Indo-Pacific and improve the country’s naval defence's in the face of its regional rivals.
5. Australia pledges A$1 Billion in defence spending as part of Coronavirus stimulus package.
In a bid to support the country’s defence industry, which has been shocked by the economic effects of Coronavirus, the Australian government will pledge to spend A$ 1 Billion on upgrading defence facilities, offering additional employment to army reservists and upgrading military vehicles. Many of the military facilities that are set to be are upgraded are in areas that have been worst affected by bush fires. This military spending is part of a wider A$ 260 Billion stimulus spending effort.