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The weekly briefing, 20 January 2014

The weekly briefing, 20 January 2014

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Published by Open Briefing
Political and security risk update from Open Briefing (United Kingdom, 20 January 2014).
Political and security risk update from Open Briefing (United Kingdom, 20 January 2014).

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Published by: Open Briefing on Jan 20, 2014
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Open Briefing |
1
 
The weekly briefing
| 20 January 2014
 Political and security risk updates
Africa:
Ugandan army helping South Sudan fight reels as U! "arns of "ar crimes#
 Americas:
$ederal troops attle "ith gangs and %igilantes for control o%er the &e'ican state of &ichoac(n#
 Asia and Pacific:
 Japan reuts rumours that President Shin)o *e is seeking to re%ise history te'tooks#
 Europe:
Ukraine passes anti+protest legislation aimed at curing ongoing anti+go%ernment demonstrations#
 Middle East:
,gyptians %ote in first allot since military remo%ed &ohammed &orsi from po"er#
 Polar regions:
!e" US !a%y *rctic strategy calls for more icereakers#
 
*frica
Ugandan army helping South Sudan fight rebels as U warns of war crimes
Uganda has issued a statement aout its forces assisting the South Sudanese *rmy in its fight against reels# On 1- January. Ugandan President /o"eri &use%eni admitted for the first time helping South Sudans President Sal%a iir fight the reels# &use%eni stated that Ugandan soldiers helped defeat reel forces outside of Jua on 1 January# On 13 January. Ugandas military spokesman. 5ieutenant 6olonel Paddy *nkunda. announced that Ugandan troops "ere engaged in efforts to dri%e reel forces from Bor. a strategically important to"n near the capital. Jua# 7he statements from ampala mark the first admission of Ugandan in%ol%ement in the South Sudanese conflict. after pre%ious denials and official statements aout only assisting the e%acuation of ci%ilians# 7he fighting started as a po"er struggle et"een iir and his former deputy. 8iek &achar. "ho no" leads the reel forces after eing accused of planning a coup# 7he open in%ol%ement of an outside force risks further escalating the conflict and raises further concerns aout the regional implications of the conflict# Other actors are likely to ecome in%ol%ed should they percei%e their interests to e at stake. "hich could lead to pro'y confrontations# On 19 January. the United !ations stated that it had e%idence of the use of child soldiers and "ar crimes committed y oth sides in the conflict# &ean"hile. peace negotiations continue in ,thiopia# *ddis *aa had pre%iously declared that e'ternal troops engaging in South Sudan "ould e :asolutely un"arranted# *s South Sudanese troops continued their ad%ance on Bor. mediators met reel leader &achar in an effort to ring ceasefire negotiations for"ard#
 
Open Briefing |
!
 
"ther de#elopments
 
The acting president of the $entral African %epublic &$A%'(
 
Ale)andre*+erdinand guendet( has declared that ,the party is o#er-
 as deserting soldiers and police returned to duty# !guendet pledged on 1 January that the "eeks of anarchy and sectarian %iolence "ould e s"iftly rought to an end. issuing "arnings to the "arring parties. the predominantly &uslim Seleka and the 6hristian anti+Balaka fighters# 7he pre%ious day. "arring fighters had struck a truce in Southern Bangui. "ith hopes for a calmer period for the "hole of the country# ;ith 1.000 killed in the past month alone and a fifth of the countrys population eing displaced as a result of the %iolence. despite $rench and *frican inter%ention. !guendets pro%isional parliament no" faces the task of stailising the situation and finding a ne" transitional president# 7he United States. mean"hile. stated that more international peacekeepers may e needed to impro%e the situation in 6*8#
The trial of four men charged with helping al*.aeda linked militants in the /estgate Mall attack has opened in 0enya
# 7he four men. "ho appeared in court on 1- January. all deny charges of using false documents and pro%iding support and shelter to the gunmen "ho killed at least 39 people in the attack on the !airoi mall on 21 Septemer 201# *ll the gunmen died in the attack. "hich "as claimed y Somali <slamist reel group al+Shaaa. highlighting the groups aility to strike outside Somalia#
igerian President oodluck 2onathan has sacked military chiefs
 
after a court ruled their appointments were unconstitutional3
 On 13 January. Jonathans office stated that he had replaced the heads of !igerias army. na%y and air force in "hat marks the fourth year of the countrys conflict "ith Boko =aram# 5ast year. human rights la"yer $estus eyamo had mounted a challenge to the military appointments. arguing they had not een appro%ed y the national assemly# <n July. the =igh 6ourt in *u>a declared that the appointments had indeed een unconstitutional# &ilitary operations against Boko =aram continue. "ith fre?uent clashes in the northeastern Borno state in particular# On 1- January. a car om killed at least 2@ people in the key attleground of &aiduguri#
"n the radar
 
 
The U Security $ouncil will consult on the 4oint United ations*African Union operation in 5arfur &UAM65' and 5emocratic %epublic of the $ongo sanctions3
 
Madagascar braces itself for opposition protests
 after the electoral court officially declares =ery 8a>aonarimampianina president+elect among accusations of %ote rigging#
*mericas
+ederal troops battle with gangs and #igilantes for control o#er the Me)ican state of Michoac7n
On 10 January. the go%ernor of &ichoac(n. $austo Aalle>o. re?uested help from the federal go%ernment to respond to a security crisis in the state# 7his follo"ed a recent spate of %iolence in "hich masked gunmen looted and set fire to shops and the main municipal uilding in the *pat)ing(n district# &ichoac(n state has ecome the stage for regular confrontations et"een the nights 7emplar cartel and %igilante groups# <n response to last "eeks e%ents. President ,nri?ue Pea !ieto announced the deployment of federal troops to re+estalish order in the state# =e "arned that anyone caught "ith "eapons "ould e punished in accordance "ith the la"# =o"e%er. ci%il militia ha%e refused to surrender in some districts in spite of the go%ernments demand#
 
Open Briefing |
8
 7he surge in %iolence in &ichoac(n demonstrates the limits of Pea !ietos security policies# <t is in the same state that former President $elipe 6alderCn first launched his unsuccessful "ar on drugs in 2009. sparking %iolence in "hich as many as D0.000 people are elie%ed to ha%e died# Euring his election campaign in Eecemer 2012. Pea !ieto promised to adopt a ne" approach to the countrys drug cartels# 7his "as reflected in an o%erall decrease in the numer of deployed federal troops# But as the troops "ithdre". drug cartels took ad%antage of the situation to e'pend their operations# <t is in this conte't that ci%il militias emerged in response to the increased presence of the nights 7emplars cartel in &ichoac(n state# Until recently. those groups enefited from the implicit acking of the go%ernment. "hich used them to fight a pro'y "ar against the cartels# =o"e%er. as the self+defence %igilante groups egan to take o%er entire districts it ecame clear that such strategy "as fraught "ith risk# <n the current climate. many remote %illages rely e'clusi%ely on the militias for their security# 7he self+proclaimed leader of the militias. Jose &anue &ireles. announced that his men "ill not gi%e up their "eapons until the drug traffickers ha%e een arrested# $or Pea !ieto this %iolence is especially ad timing. as the country seeks to attract in%estments for its ne"ly lieralised energy sector# $urthermore. the country is to host US President Barack Oama and 6anadian Prime &inister Stephen =arper for a trade summit ne't month#
"ther de#elopments A killing spree in 9rail raises concerns o#er the integrity of the country-s security forces3
On the e%ening of 12 January. 12 people "ere murdered in the city of 6ampinas. in the SFo Paulo state# $ollo"ing the killings. uses and cars "ere torched on 1 January in the same area# 7he 12 murders shared similar characteristics and occurred in a three+hour time inter%al# 7he "eapons used in the murders "ere the same calire as those used y the military police. arousing suspicions that officers "ere in%ol%ed in a retaliatory attack# *n in%estigation is no" under"ay# 7he killings add to the continuing security concerns regarding the capacity of the national police to handle the 2014 ;orld 6up and the Olympics in 2013#
"n 18 2anuary( a $olombian court put a temporary hold on a contro#ersial decision to remo#e 9ogot7 Mayor usta#o Petro from office3
<n early Eecemer. <nspector
General *le>andro OrdCe) ordered the remo%al of Petro for alleged mismanagement of the ruish collection system. and anned him from holding pulic office for a period of 1- years# $or "eeks. thousands of supporters ha%e marched on Bogotas Boli%ar S?uare in protest at Petros sacking# *s a former memer of the &+1@ guerrilla group. Petro is a symol of 6olomias left# =e is also held up as an e'ample of ho" former reels can e integrated into the political process# 7he courts decision is likely to positi%ely impact the current go%ernment peace talks "ith the 8e%olutionary *rmed $orces of 6olomia H$*86I#
The 5ominican %epublic has suspended its deportation of undocumented ;aitians3
On 19 January. the Eominican go%ernment announced that it "ould halt the deportation of =aitians descendants# 7he decision follo"s a contro%ersial ruling on 2 Septemer 201 that stripped descendants of =aitian migrants of their citi)enship. "hich affected in the region of 200.000 Eominicans and led to a spike in tensions et"een the Eominican and =aitian go%ernments# 7he recent announcement is likely to rela' the ilateral relationship some"hat#

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