Shining a spotlight on some of the key security stories from across the Commonwealth
1. 58 killed by bandits in Kaduna and Borno states, Nigeria.
Bandits and insurgents are thought to have killed a total of 58 people last weekend in the state of Kaduna, northern Nigeria, and Borno, in the north-east. In Kaduna, bandits - which have significantly increased their activities in the region recently - are thought to have been responsible for the killing of 38 of that total. Security agencies are reported to have now stepped up patrolling efforts in the area. Meanwhile, Boko Haram has been identified as behind an attack in the village of Kilanga, Borno, that resulted in 20 deaths. The incidents have been condemned by President Myhammadu Buhari, who also ‘affirmed that [Nigeria’s] security forces have turned the heat on the terrorists who are getting frustrated and are soft-targeting innocent citizens, looting their assets, burning their homes and killing them indiscriminately’.
2. South African soldier killed by insurgents in Mozambique.
A member of the South African military deployed in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, has been killed following an ambush by insurgents, the army revealed on Tuesday. Brig-Gen Andires Mahapa, director of defence corporate communications, stated that the soldier had been ‘shot and declared dead on the scene’. It is thought the ambush was initially overcome by the group of soldiers, who had been deployed under Operation Vikela, but they were attacked again while waiting for a helicopter. Several other soldiers are also reported to have been injured. Leading South African defence and military leaders, including chief of the South Africa National Defence Force Gen Rudzani, expressed their condolences to the family and colleagues of the victim. Despite the recent spate of attacks in the last few weeks, President Filipe Nyusi stated that Mozambique had witnessed a reduction in jihadist activity than last year following assistance from Rwanda and Southern African Development Community.
3. Death toll reaches 27 as flooding hits Malaysia.
As of Wednesday, at least 27 people have been killed from severe flooding in Malaysia, with the death toll set to rise in the coming days. Heavy rain over the weekend, lasting three days, overflowed rivers and displaced around 70,000 people. Selangor is thought to be where the majority of deaths were recorded, which is a state surrounding the capital, Kuala Lumpur. However, it is estimated that over 200 places in six states have been affected. There has been criticism from the public directed at the Malaysian government for its handling of the floods, with complaints that response teams were slow and that insufficient warning was given beforehand. Reacting to this criticism, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri stated ‘I don’t deny (the weaknesses) and will improve in the future’. With the monsoon season expected to last for another two months, the country may not have seen the last of such flooding incidents.
4. Australian Defence Force partner with Vanuatu police for training exercises.
22 members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have delivered training to the Vanuatu Police (VPF) in a three-week program that focused on leadership development, vehicle maintenance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief planning. Colonel Kalshem Bongran of the Vanuatu Mobile Force stated that the training ‘has assisted in further developing the key skills and knowledge needed, including leadership and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief planning, to deliver key tasks outlined in Vanuatu’s National Security Strategy’. The collaborative exercises are said to have enhanced Australia and Vanuatu’s cooperation on future potential operations, such as natural disasters.