1. UK Foreign Secretary Pledges £22 million towards Jamaican Security
As part of his tour to the Caribbean and Latin America, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly
announced a commitment of £22 million towards Jamaican security on the 19th of May. The
joint announcement by the Foreign Secretary and Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith took place at the inaugural Jamaica-UK Strategic Dialogue
hosted in Kingstown. The agreement outlines the provision of £15 million towards a joint
violence prevention partnership to tackle organised and serious crime, with a further £7
million set aside for developing climate resilience. The British High Commission’s official
statement praised the “forging of new partnerships in key areas of mutual interest”, with
Foreign Minister Johnson Smith commenting that “Jamaica welcomes the enhancement and
optimisation of our partnership with the UK to yield more tangible results towards our
national development goals”.
2. Gunmen attack Embassy Convoy in Nigeria
An attack by unknown assailants in Nigeria’s Anambra state has claimed the lives of four US
embassy staff members. In the town of Atani, armed gunmen attacked the diplomatic convoy at 15:30 local time, killing two police officers and two consulate staff before taking two police officers and a driver hostage. Whilst the identity of the attackers remains uncertain, the Nigerian government have attributed the violence to the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPB) movement. Whilst the group does possess a paramilitary branch, The IPB have repeatedly denied any involvement with this attack. The US State department and Nigerian security services continue to investigate the incident, with jihadist movements, pirate groups, and other militias active within the region all remaining potential suspects.
3. Lesotho Declares Curfew Following Murder of Journalist
Following his exposé of a corruption scandal, Radio presenter and journalist Ralikonelo ‘Leqhashasha’ Joki was shot 13 times in Maseru, Lesotho. Prior to his murder, the host of prime-time current affairs show Hlokoana-La-Tsela (I heard it through the grapevine) reported on the involvement of 5 local politicians in an illegal alcohol trading scheme, resulting in several death threats being sent to the presenter. Following this attack, Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli signed a nationwide curfew between 22:00 and 04:00 into effect on the 16th of May for an indefinite period.
4. Balochistan Military Deployment Approved following Unrest
In response to growing civil unrest, the federal government of Pakistan deployed military
units to Balochistan on Monday 15th May. Under Article 245 of Pakistan’s constitution, the
federal cabinet approved the decision to send troops to the province, which has experienced a rise in security tensions following the arrest of Former prime minister Imran Khan on 9th May. Political unrest in the region is compounded by the existing threats from Balochi separatists and Islamist extremists.
5. Bangladesh Executes Rapid Response to Cyclone Mocha
On Sunday 14th May, Cyclone Mocha made landfall near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border,
causing widespread destruction in both Cox’s Bazar and Rakhine state. The category 5
tropical storm brought extremely heavy rainfall and winds reaching up to 130mph, resulting
in extensive damage to property, agriculture, and infrastructure. In preparation for the storm’s arrival, Bangladeshi authorities were able to successfully evacuate over 750,000 residents of Cox’s Bazar, many of which are Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar, to safety further inland. Despite this success, the UN has launched an aid appeal for $42 million to fund Bangladeshi resettlement programs, food rations, and medical aid to combat the eminent threat of water-borne disease.