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Weekly Spotlight: 9th July 2023

1. Canada and Guyana Discuss Energy and Food Security During Bilateral Visit

Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mainder Sidhu, recently completed a two-day visit to Guyana from 05-07 July. Mr Sidhu engaged in constructive meetings with Guyanese Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd, in which potential areas for increased cooperation between the two nations regarding regional energy and food security were reportedly discussed in detail. Following the World Food Program’s recent report on Caribbean food security, which warned against the challenges posed by climate change driven natural disasters, such cooperation will prove critical in allowing Caribbean nations to further develop their security resilience by addressing such challenges in a collaborative manner.

2. Boko Haram Insurgents Killed in Borno State Jihadist Violence

Local reports indicate that a raid by the Islamic State of West African Provinces (ISWAP) on a Boko Haram controlled village in Sambisa Forest, Borno State, on 05 July has resulted in approximately fifty casualties. ISWAP militants launched an ambush raid on the village of Bula Alhaji Garwaye via motorcycle, before opening fire on Boko Haram operatives and their families. In addition to the ongoing violence that northern Nigeria continues to experience from jihadist groups, this incident also demonstrates the dangers of inter-group conflict, a vulnerability that state and regional security forces must consider when protecting civilians.

3. Tanzania and Zambia Boost Security Across Shared Oil Pipeline

On 07 July, representatives from Tanzania and Zambia met in Dar Es Salaam to discuss security enhancements for the shared Mafuta (TAZAMA) oil pipeline. The 1,062 mile pipeline is a central energy source for both Tanzania and Zambia, and is currently set for expansion, including the introduction of a separate gas pipeline. At a press conference hosted on 09 July, Zambian Defence Minister Ambrose Lufuma reported that there had been “security concerns over vandalism and spillages in both countries”, justifying the joint decision to increase security monitoring across the pipeline. Energy security remains a pertinent issue for East African nations, yet one which can be tackled effectively through joint initiatives between regional states.

4. Maldives and India Complete Sixth Joint Maritime Exercise

Contingents from the Maldives National Defence Coast Guard (MNDCG) and Indian Navy Special Forces successfully concluded their sixth joint maritime exercise Ekatha on 03 July. The comprehensive program, started on 04 June, covered a wide variety of skills and techniques such as asymmetric warfare, diving, and competitive self-defence techniques. The closing ceremony was attended by both MNDCG Brigadier General Ibrahim Hilmy and the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to the Maldives Mayank Singh, in which closer maritime security ties between the two nations were celebrated. As the Maldives continues to face both traditional and existential climate driven threats, this partnership will prove increasingly important in developing the nation’s broader security resilience.

5. Australia Provides Fiji with Specialist Logistics Training

On 07 July, the Australian Ministry of Defence reported the successful deployment of a Royal Australian Air Force School of Administration and Logistics Training (RAAFSALT) team to Fiji to deliver critical training to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). During the three week instruction course, completed under Operation Coral Warrior 2023, specialist instruction on dangerous goods handling, air cargo preparation, and pallet construction was completed successfully by RFMF personnel. RAAF instructor Sergeant Daniel Richards cited the operation as a resounding success, stating that “it was impressive to see how the RFMF embraced the dangerous goods training and excelled at it.” Logistical efficiency remains a cornerstone of operational success in tackling any security threat, and inter-island partnerships remain strong conduits for developing this important skillset.


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