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Weekly Spotlight: 25 February 2024


1.      Canada to Provide USD $80.5 Million for Kenyan-Led Security Operation in Haiti

On 22 February 2024, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced that the Canadian government will provide approximately USD $80.5 million of financial support for Kenya’s planned military intervention in Haiti. While this mission was not organised by the United Nations, it nevertheless received approval from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in October 2023 to quell the rising gang violence and deteriorating security situation within Haiti. Foreign Minister Joly explained that USD $27.1 million of Canada’s planned funding package will be provided to the United Nations Office for Project Support to purchase personal protective equipment, vehicles, and logistical and communications equipment for the Haitian National Police, while the rest will be allocated for initiatives related to tackling gender-based violence, anti-corruption programmes, and border security training.  

 

2.      Guyanese President Emphasises Integrated Energy Security as “Top Priority”

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo on 19 February 2024, Guyanese President Irfaan Ali emphasised the full integration of Guyana’s economy within CARICOM as a “top priority”. Specifically, President Ali explained that “our energy potential can only be translated into value if there is a market”, before adding that “we have to build infrastructure to facilitate this, to facilitate movement, trade, and integration.” Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, further expanded on this theme by warning that “in order to ensure energy security for the region, it is imperative that we effectively utilise our resources, whether they be hydrocarbon or renewable, through collaborative efforts.”

 

3.      Nigerian Navy Arrests Six Fuel Smugglers Bound for Cameroon

On 19 February 2024, Nigerian naval personnel operating in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State, arrested six smugglers attempting to transport 6,790 litres of illegal Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) into Cameroon. Captain Uche Aneke, Commanding Officer of the Ibaka Forward Operating Base (FOB), explained that “Falcon Eye Alignment Intelligence reports indicated that a boat was conveying products suspected to have been smuggled from a nearby creek towards Cameroon”, adding that “the gunboats from the base on routine patrol were vectored to intercept and arrest the six smugglers in a wooden boat containing 6,790 litres of PMS concealed under 25 bags of yams, drinks cartons, cornflakes, and over 200 tiles covered with a tarpaulin.”

 

4.      Dozens Killed Following Tribal Violence in Papua New Guinea Highlands

On 18 February 2024, at least twenty-six people were killed following an ambush in village of Akom, Enga province, marking Papua New Guinea’s deadliest instance of tribal violence in years. Prime Minister James Marape condemned the massacre as an act of “domestic terrorism”, and explained that the national executive council would meet to decide on the appropriate measures to address the situation, up to an including the declaration of a regional state of emergency. Furthermore, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that in response to the violence, the country was providing “considerable support” to Papua New Guinea, including the provision of specialist training for local police officers.

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