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Weekly Spotlight: 17 December 2023

1.      Blue Justice Hub Conducts Inaugural Meeting and Training Session in Kingston

The Blue Justice Hub, a multinational organisation created to combat fisheries-related crime across the Caribbean, hosted its inaugural meeting in Kingston, Jamaica on 05 December 2023. The meeting provided opportunities for delegations from across the Caribbean to discuss methods of facilitating closer inter-agency cooperation on reducing organised crime within the region’s fisheries, which has posed significant threats to the Caribbean’s food security in recent years. Specifically, the Blue Justice Hub provided training on how to best use cutting-edge technologies including automatic identification systems, radar, and satellite imaging to form comprehensive responses to organised crime in the Caribbean’s fisheries. AnaMaria Nunez, the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Technical Specialist for Water, Oceans, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, commended the Blue Justice Hub as a “a testament to our shared commitment to address food security and the growth of the Blue Economy in the region.”


2.      Nigerian Authorities Rescue Seven Kidnapped Students in Nasarawa State

During the evening hours of 10 December, Nigerian security operatives successfully recovered seven students abducted from the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State the previous week. Four male and three male undergraduate students were kidnapped from the Federal University of Lafia by unidentified terrorists on 29 November, likely in an attempt to extort a ransom payment. However, as of writing, it remains unclear whether the suspects were additionally motivated by extremist ideologies. Following the victims’ recovery, they were transferred to the Federal University of Lafia’s medical clinic for immediate treatment, where local sources reported staff observing symptoms of mental and physical fatigue.


3.      Regional Security Emphasised in 2023 Colombo Security Conclave Meeting

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval emphasised the importance of regional approaches to maritime security during the sixth meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) hosted in Port Louis, Mauritius on 07 December. The CSC, initially established between the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka in 2020, aims to promote regional maritime security in the Indian Ocean based on a model of five security pillars: traditional security threats, terrorist organisations, organised crime groups, cyber threats, and natural disasters. Following this years’ meeting, the Indian High Commission reported that "Mr Doval emphasised the crucial role of CSC in ensuring regional security and stability, and highlighted the significance of continued engagements under the five pillars of cooperation.”


4.      India and Kenya Deepen Maritime Security Ties Following State Visit from President Ruto

Following a state visit made by Kenyan President William Ruto to New Delhi on 05 December, India and Kenya signed several comprehensive agreements on areas ranging from space exploration to maritime security cooperation. With regards to the later subject, the two countries agreed to expand their maritime security relationship based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation signed in 2016. Using the formal dialogue mechanism established under this MoU, Nairobi and New Delhi have agreed to introduce new policies such as the implementation of anti-piracy and drug trafficking initiatives, the establishment of a real-time intelligence sharing platform, and the deployment of an Indian instructor to the Kenya Navy Training College (KNTC) to facilitate the exchange of best practices.


5.      Australian and Papua New Guinea Agree Major Security Deal

On 07 December, representatives from Australia and Papua New Guinea agreed a major security deal during a meeting in the Australian capital of Canberra. Under the USD $130 million deal, Papua New Guinea will receive significant support for defence funding, the establishment of a new police training facility, and border security from the Australian government. Moreover, while the deal does not preclude Papua New Guinea from signing pacts with other nations, it does contain a provision for both nations to consult with one another regarding shared security threats. In an official statement, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hailed the deal as “significant and historic”, adding that the agreement would “ make it easier for Australia to help PNG address its internal security needs and for Australia and Papua New Guinea to support each other’s security and the region’s stability.”


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