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Weekly Spotlight: 31 March 2024

1.      Jamaica Hosts Training Programme for Joint CARICOM and Canadian Security Task Force

From 28 March – 26 April 2024, Jamaica will host a joint contingency training exercise in collaboration with CARICOM and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The initiative, dubbed Exercise Trogon Shield, aims to train the security forces of CARICOM member states to conduct joint multi-national security operations, and will be undertaken by contingents from the Jamaican Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Guard (JCG), Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), and Belize Defence Force (BDF). Member states are likely to use the training exercise as an opportunity to develop skills relevant to upcoming joint security operations in Haiti, whose rapidly deteriorating security landscape has resulted in multiple calls being issued for a multinational intervention to restore order. 


2.      UK and Nigeria Deepen Security Collaboration Following Bilateral Summit

As part of the annual Migration, Justice, and Home Affairs dialogue, British and Nigerian officials met to discuss methods of collaboration on a wide range of security issues including migration management and organised crime during a bilateral summit hosted in London. Among other topics, officials explored new initiatives aimed at preventing youth involvement in criminal enterprises, intercepting human and commodity trafficking rings, and combatting online fraud. In a joint statement prepared following the summit’s conclusion, officials from both nations explained that “these collaborative efforts underscore our shared commitment to tackle crime and destabilising factors head-on, highlighting the depth of the UK-Nigeria relationship.”


3.      Zambian Air Force Inducts New Enstrom 480B Turbine Helicopters

On 25 March 2024, the Zambian Air Force (ZAF) formally inducted two Enstrom 480B turbine helicopters into service. The new helicopters are equipped with several advanced features such as cargo hooks, camera hard points, and Garmin avionics, all of which will significantly improve the technical capabilities of the ZAF. Lieutenant General Oscar Msitu Nyoni explained that the Enstrom 480Bs would be used to train new pilots, and serve a further variety of purposes in active duty including search and rescue missions, medical evacuations, reconnaissance operations, and anti-poaching missions. Furthermore, Lieutenant General Nyoni also highlighted the importance of the Enstrom 480Bs in improving food security due to its ability to assist in surveillance operations against food smuggling and illegal mining.


4.      India, Mozambique, and Tanzania Undertake Trilateral Joint Naval Exercise

From 21-29 March, contingents from the Indian, Mozambican, and Tanzanian navies completed a trilateral exercise in the Indian Ocean. The joint exercise, dubbed IMT Trilat, involved training personnel in a variety of specialist skills including medical evacuations, firefighting, and countering asymmetric maritime threats. The exercise was divided into three phases, including a preliminary harbour phase from 21-24 March, an active maritime surveillance phase from 25-27 March, and a debrief phase from 27-29 March.  IMT Trilat concluded with a joint debrief in the Mozambican port city of Nacala, where Indian vessels welcomed both military and civilian visitors on board to promote cultural exchanges between the exercise’s member states.


5.      Commonwealth Secretary-General Discusses Climate Security Initiatives with Tongan Leadership

On 30 March 20024, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland travelled to Tonga to discuss future initiatives for tackling joint security challenges in the Pacific islands region. Tongan and Commonwealth representatives discussed methods of combatting security issues specific to Pacific islands nations including climate change, maritime security, and national debts. Specifically, Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni highlighted the impact of climate-driven physical threats such as flooding, volcanic activity, and rising sea levels on Tonga’s national security. During her visit, Baroness Scotland also announced the establishment of the Commonwealth AI Academy: an initiative aimed at providing young people across the Commonwealth with access to free, high-quality educational resources regarding the use of artificial intelligence.


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