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Weekly Spotlight: 19 November 2023

1.      Caribbean States Meet in St Lucia to Discuss Gun Crime Reduction

From 14-15 November, officials from across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) gathered in St Lucia for the 3rd Annual Meeting of States of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, an initiative created to tackle rising gun violence within the Caribbean. The meeting was organised with the assistance of several international organisations including CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), INTERPOL, and the United Nations. Ministers from several Commonwealth Caribbean countries including Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Guyana attended the summit, which received significant funding from the Canadian government. This year’s meeting emphasised the importance of using data-driven approaches to formulate national gun violence reduction policies, and to measure progress against the 2020 regional roadmap plan.   


2.      Ghanaian Armed Forces Establishes New Cybersecurity Directorate

The Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF) have significantly bolstered the country’s national cybersecurity capabilities through the establishment of a Directorate of Cyber and Electronic Warfare Operation, announced on 15 November. The directorate’s primary function is to protect Ghana’s military from potential cyber-attacks by detecting and eliminating cyber-threats pre-emptively. During the initiative’s announcement, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama highlighted the critical need to protect Ghana’s data, telecommunications networks, and critical infrastructure, explaining that “we want to assure that all efforts are being made for members of the GAF to understanding the cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and their impact on mission readiness.”


3.      India and Namibia Strengthens Maritime Security Ties

The Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha visited Namibia’s Walvis Bay from 10-13 November, highlighting the emerging maritime security partnership taking shape between the two nations. During the visit, the Commanding Officer of INS Sumedha conducted meetings with several senior Namibian officials, including Rear Admiral Alweendo Amungulu, commander of the Namibian Navy. Discussions reportedly revolved around topics including best practice sharing, the strengthening of bilateral relations based on shared values, and the expansion of training schemes for Namibian officers in India. These visits were initiated as part of the Indian Navy’s “bridges of friendship” strategy, which aims to use joint exercises and naval deployments to strengthen India’s bilateral security partnerships with allied nations.  


4.      Four Killed During Counterterrorism Operation in North-West Pakistan

On 18 November, Pakistani security forces conducted a counterterrorism operation in Khaisoor, North Waziristan, in which four suspected terrorists were killed. During the operation, authorities confirmed the death of Ibrahim Musa, a senior leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militia, and seized a cache of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. Since Afghanistan’s return to Taliban control in 2021, militia groups such as the TTP have been able to orchestrate attacks against Pakistani targets from within Afghanistan, posing significant challenges for state law enforcement and security agencies in border regions such as North Waziristan.


5.      Papua New Guinea Provides Assistance to Solomon Islands Immigration Division

Ahead of the upcoming Pacific games in Honiara, Papua New Guinea’s Immigration and Citizenship Authority (PNGICA) has partnered with the Solomon Islands’ Immigration Division to help monitor and control the large numbers of athletes, organisers, and spectators expected to enter the country during the coming weeks. Christopher Akosawa, the Solomon Islands’ acting Director of Immigration, described the PNGICA’s assistance as “very helpful”, and specifically praised their help in establishing an efficient visa processing system. Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Mr Akosawa and Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Border Security John Rosso, signalling the potential for broader cooperation on immigration policy to develop between the two counties beyond the Pacific Games.


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