1. Rwandan Ex-Police Chief Arrested in South Africa
Following 22 years as a fugitive, former Rwandan police chief Fulgence Kayishema was arrested on the 25th of May in South Africa due to his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. During the genocide, Kayishema directly orchestrated the arson and destruction of a Catholic church containing nearly 2,000 Tutsi men, women, and children, all of whom were seeking refuge from Hutu militants. Due to this atrocity, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted Kayishema on charges of genocide in 2001, causing him to flee the country. A South African led investigation involving, Mozambique, Eswatini, and Tanzania tracked the 62-year-old, by now living under a false identity, to the town of Paarl, where he was promptly arrested and brought to court awaiting trial. Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the Rwandan war crimes tribunal, praised South African efforts in tracking down Kayishema, commenting that their “exceptional skills, rigour, and cooperation were critical for this success”.
2. Total Prepares Resumption of Mozambique LNG Operations
After two years of delays caused by a jihadist insurgency, TotalEnergies has indicated its desire to resume the construction of a major LNG terminal in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.
The $20 billion project, due to commence exports by 2024, was halted in 2021 due to violent attacks from Islamist extremist groups. Initially overwhelmed by the attacks, the Mozambican Defence Forces sought military assistance from both Rwanda, and a Southern African Development Community (SADC) coalition containing troops from South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia. An independent report conducted by humanitarian expert Jean- Chrisophe Rufin acknowledged that whilst violence in the wider region had not been eliminated completely, the refinery’s location had experienced security stabilisation. Rwanda’s role in stabilising the region indicates both its aptitude and ambitions as a regional security provider, and combined with a more active SADC, these partnerships can continue to develop both security and energy resilience within Southern Africa and well beyond the region.
Papua New Guinea Signs Defence Pact with US
During the US Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea signed a new defence and maritime cooperation agreement with the United States. US Secretary of State
Anthony Blinken and Papuan Defence Minister Win Bakri Daki signed the security agreement on Monday 22 nd May, under which $45 million will be provided to cover an array of security threats such as transnational crime, climate change, and public health challenges. Despite criticism from opposition leaders, Prime Minister James Marape praised the new agreement, commenting that it will “boost economic security by giving PNG’s defence force the ability to know what is happening in its waters”.
4. India and Australia Sign Migration Deal
In Sydney, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Antony Albanese signed a major deal covering migration between India and Australia on the 24 th of May. Specifically, this deal aims to promote the mutual exchange of trade and skills through new schemes such as MATES (Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early Professionals Scheme), under which academics and professionals from both countries will enjoy easier mobility. Bilateral discussions, hailed as “constructive” by Modi, covered a further range of issues from green energy cooperation to regional security. Regarding shared commitments to regional security, Albanese commented that “Quad leaders stand together for an open, stable, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region … where all countries large and small benefit from a regional balance that keeps the peace”. The deepening of strategic ties between Australia and India appears likely to continue in this vein, with both countries aiming to complete a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement before 2024.