1. British Royal Navy Vessel Deployed to Caribbean
On 26th May, HMS Dauntless departed Portsmouth Harbour for a 5-month deployment to the Caribbean. The type-45 destroyer was deployed by the Royal Navy to assist Caribbean nations with countering regional drug trafficking, and to assist with any local humanitarian relief that may be required in anticipation of the region’s hurricane season, which occurs from June to November each year. The destroyer will also participate in Exercise Unitas alongside Latin American and Caribbean nations.
2. Bola Tinubu Inaugurated as Nigerian President
On Monday 29th May, Bola Tinubu was officially inaugurated as president of Nigeria. The All Progressive Party (APP) candidate won the election with 37% of the popular vote, and vowed to make security a national priority throughout his campaign. Specifically, Mr Tinubu pledged to employ more staff, increase the quality of training, provide more equipment, and increase pay for the security sector. These reforms could have a key impact in tackling Nigeria’s security crisis, particularly the frequent instances of kidnappings for ransom in the North and Southwest of the country. Following his victory, Mr Tinubu stated that “Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.”
3. Mozambique Cholera Outbreak Sparks Tensions
Following the spread of fake news regarding local cholera outbreaks, Mozambique has experienced a wave of civil unrest against government health officials. Since September 2022, the outbreak has killed at least 135 citizens. Fake news, which has spread predominantly through social media, has incorrectly attributed the spread of the water-borne disease to local health officials and grassroots leaders, accusing their policies of adding chlorine to water and using purifiers of being vehicles for transmission. Indeed, this has recently translated into violence. Such instances include a man accused of spreading the disease via infected dust being killed in the town of Gurue, Zambezia, and 4 local officials being killed following protests in Nampula province. WHO Africa representative Severin von Xylander warned that the fake news “undermines trust in health authorities, which hampers public health responses and ultimately prolongs outbreaks."
4. Sri Lanka Aims to Establish National Cyber Security Agency
At the Colombo Cyber Security Conference, State Minister for Technology Kanaka Herath confirmed that the Sri Lankan government is in the process of establishing a national cyber security authority. Firstly, the government aims to pass a cyber security bill following approval from the attorney general, before establishing a comprehensive agency within the Ministry of Technology to safeguard both private and public sector data, as well as provide online protection for children and social media users. This decision further indicates Sri Lanka’s desire to create a more robust national cybersecurity infrastructure, as shown by its upward trajectory from 98th to 81st in the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI) from 2020 to 2022. Minister Herath commented that “We shall be able to safeguard our country from cyberattacks as well as personal risks and difficulties if this Act is implemented.”
5. New Zealand Extends Solomon Islands Deployment
On the 29th of May, New Zealand announced its intention to extend its security deployment to the Solomon Islands. The joint announcement by Defence Minister Andrew Little and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta stated that the deployment, initially launched to quell anti-government protests in late 2021 following a request from the Solomon Islands government, will be extended until at least December 31st, 2023. In addition to the 15 New Zealand Defence Force personnel currently deployed, further contingents from Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji are working in tandem with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to provide enhanced local security. Defence Minister Little announced that "We are proud to be part of this Australian-coordinated, regional effort where police and defence organisations from within the Pacific work together to support the region's own security needs."