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Weekly Spotlight: 14 January 2024



1.      Trinidad and Tobago Heightens Security Measures Ahead of Annual Carnival Celebrations


Following the murder of National Carnival Commission (NCC) worker Akeil Archer in early January 2024, representatives from across Trinidad and Tobago’s private and public sectors convened in Port-of-Spain on 11 January to discuss methods of strengthening security provisions for the country’s upcoming Carnival celebrations. Reportedly, the meeting was attended by representatives from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TPS), the NCC, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts, the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters’ Association (TTPA), and the Port-of-Spain City Corporation. Discussions centred around the potential implementation of new security strategies including enhanced CCTV monitoring, the establishment of regular meetings between stakeholders, and a bolstered partnership between Carnival organisers and the TTPS.



2.      Togo Invests USD $30 Million in National Water Security


As part of the Togolese government’s 2024 budget, USD $30 million has been allocated for implementing clean water projects across the country in a bid to increase the nation’s overall water security. This marks a funding increase of 5.8% from 2023’s water budget, and will help the Togolese government achieve its ambitious aim of securing universal water access for its population by 2030, an objective initially set in Togo’s February 2021 national water supply strategy. The funding will be used for an array of planned projects including the construction of 850 human-powered pumps in the Kara and Savenes regions, connecting the Apédokoe borehole to the Sagbado water tower, and establishing six autonomous drinking water supply systems in outlying areas of Lomé.



3.      Twenty-Two Killed Following Goldmine Collapse in Northern Tanzania


Local reports indicate that twenty-two people between the ages of 24 and 38 were killed following the collapse of a goldmine in northern Tanzania’s Simiyu region at approximately 0500hrs (local time) on 13 January 2024. According to District Commissioner Simon Simalenga, access to the site had previously been restricted following heavy rainfall. However, the victims entered illegally during the evening hours of 12 January in an attempt to secure reserves to sell on the black market. Commissioner Simalenga confirmed that “search and rescue operations were continuing, although almost all the rubble that had buried them [the victims] has now been removed”.



4.      UK Announces Plans to Deploy Spearhead Carrier to Indian Ocean in 2025


On 10 January 2024, British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced plans to send the Royal Navy’s high-readiness Littoral Response Group to the Indian Ocean in 2024 and Carrier Strike Force in 2025 for joint training alongside Indian counterparts. The announcement was made following a bilateral summit with Indian Defence Minister Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, the first visit made by an Indian Defence Secretary to Westminster in over twenty years. The two nations also discussed broader initiatives for defence cooperation including the establishment of instructor exchanges, logistics partnerships, and joint specialist training between Indian and British forces.  Following the summit, Secretary Shapps commented that the relationship between India and the United Kingdom is “going from strength to strength”, elaborating that “together we share the same security challenges and are steadfast on our commitment to maintaining a free and prosperous Indi-Pacific.”



5.      Papua New Guinea Declares State of Emergency Following Riots


In response to deadly riots taking place in Port Moresby and other urban areas across Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister James Marape declared a national state of emergency on 12 January 2024. The state of emergency will remain in effect for fourteen days, and involves the preparation of 1,000 defence personnel to react to any resurgences of violence in urban areas. The riots, which began on 10 January 2024, resulted in a total of nine deaths in Port Moresby, and a further seven deaths in Lae, Papua New Guinea’s second largest city. On 12 January, Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles confirmed that Canberra had received requests for assistance, and that PNG’s security situation had improved slightly following the events of Wednesday evening. 

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