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Weekly Spotlight: 6th August 2023

1. Grenada Proposes Establishment of National Security Council

During a televised address to the nation delivered on 04 August, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell announced his intention to establish Grenada’s first national security council. This decision has been taken with the intention of tackling the recent increase in criminal activity observed across the island state, where the number of firearms proliferation cases, sexual assaults, and drug trafficking offences have all increased since 2022. In his address, Prime Minister Mitchell stated that the new national security council will “create and implement a comprehensive national security policy and strategy for Grenada that will underscore the country’s security goals and priorities.” Stakeholders from state law enforcement agencies, trade unions, and private sector enterprises will all be represented within the new council to gain as representative a view of national security as possible.

2. President Tinubu Seeks Senate Approval for ECOWAS Military Intervention in Niger

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has sought written approval from the national senate on 04 August to conduct military operations against the recent coup in Niger. The ECOWAS bloc, whose rotating presidency is currently held by Nigeria, threatened collective military action should the Nigerien junta fail to cede power to democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum by a 06 August deadline. Whilst the bloc has imposed economic sanctions, some members, including Nigeria, warn that more urgent action to restore democracy in Niger must be taken to prevent a further destabilisation of regional security. At the time of writing, Nigeria’s senate has not yet granted its approval for military action, instead urging President Tinubu to explore all diplomatic options before resorting to the use of force.

3. President of Mozambique Visits Rwandan Troops in Cabo Delgado

On 04 August, President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique visited Rwandan troops stationed in the town of Palma, Cabdo Delgado, to celebrate the re-opening of financial services within the region. During the visit, President Nyusi personally thanked Rwandan forces for their assistance, and cited the opening of the Millenium bank in the town of Parma as tangible evidence of their positive impact on local security. Rwandan Defence Force personnel have been stationed in the region at the direct request of Mozambique since late 2021 to help quell a regional Islamist insurgency, and have been largely viewed thus far as competent and trusted providers of local security.

4. Maharashtra State Establishes India’s Largest Cybersecurity Platform

At a passing-out ceremony for local police inspectors held on 06 August, Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the state government’s establishment of India’s largest cybersecurity platform. The new platform will reportedly bring financial institutions, banks, and personal social media accounts under the collective purview of state authorities, allowing them to quickly identify and act against future cyber-attacks. While addressing the police academy’s 494 new graduates, Mr Fadnavis further stated that Maharashtra State police would be given special training on the new platform to ensure they are “well equipped in tackling new age crimes.”

5. New Zealand Publishes National Security Strategy and Defence Review

The government of New Zealand published the nation’s first national security strategy document and defence review on 04 August 2023. In contrast to previous publications on national defence, this document highlighted how New Zealand’s geographic isolation no longer shielded the nation from security threats such as climate change, cybercrime, and increased strategic competition from great powers in the Indo-Pacific. Defence Minister Andrew Little’s warning that New Zealand “does not live in a benign strategic environment” was echoed throughout the publication, in which twelve separate security threats were discussed in detail. The document finished by recommending that New Zealand direct more significant state resources towards strengthening its bilateral and regional security partnerships.


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