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The weekly briefing, 14 April 2014

The weekly briefing, 14 April 2014

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Published by Open Briefing
Political and security risk update from Open Briefing (United Kingdom, 14 April 2014).
Political and security risk update from Open Briefing (United Kingdom, 14 April 2014).

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Published by: Open Briefing on Apr 14, 2014
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Open Briefing |
1
 
The weekly briefing
| 14 April 2014
 Political and security risk updates
Africa:
UN Secretary-eneral calls for independent rig!ts "onitoring in #estern Sa!ara a!ead of peacekeeping force de$ate%
 Americas:
ro&ing discontent &it! Argentine president a"id econo"ic U-turn%
Asia and Pacific:
'aoist (iolence "ars )ndia*s elections in +!!attisgar! state%
Europe:
NA,O raises concerns o(er ussian $uild-up near Ukrainian $order
 Middle East:
.iolence in )ra/ increases in run up to election%
Polar regions:
Nordic defence "inisters for" united front against ussia%
 
Africa
UN ecretary!"eneral calls for independent rights monitoring in #estern ahara ahead of peacekeeping force debate
)n a report to t!e UN Security +ouncil on 10 April UN Secretary-eneral Ban i-"oon !as called for independent !u"an rig!ts "onitoring in #estern Sa!ara% is report reopens t!e de$ate o(er &!et!er t!e e3isting UN peacekeeping force in t!e 'oroccan-controlled territory s!ould &iden t!eir re"it to include t!e reporting of !u"an rig!ts (iolations for &!ic! 'orocco !as co"e under rene&ed criticis" in recent "ont!s% #!ile Ban &elco"ed 'oroccan efforts to i"pro(e t!e situation in t!e disputed territory including t!e decision to end t!e trial of ci(ilians $y "ilitary tri$unal contro(ersy o(er t!e disputed territory re"ains% #estern Sa!ara !as $een under 'oroccan control for al"ost 40 years anne3ing t!e for"er Spanis! colony in a "o(e ne(er recognised $y t!e international co""unity% 'orocco !as $een criticised internationally follo&ing recent cla"pdo&ns on pro-independence groups in t!e territory% ,!e e3ploration of #estern Sa!aran &aters $y foreign oil co"panies !as also $eco"e a contentious issue% ,!e e3isting UN peacekeeping force ')NUSO !as "onitored a ceasefire $et&een 'orocco and t!e pro-independence Polisario ront $acked $y Algeria since 1551 $ut it is currently not responsi$le for reporting on !u"an rig!ts% #it! t!e UN force*s "andate rene&al co"ing up later t!is "ont! contro(ersy is likely to re-e"erge o(er t!e disputed territory% A US-led effort to e3tend t!e "andate to include !u"an rig!ts reporting &as dropped last year follo&ing intense 'oroccan lo$$ying efforts% 'orocco proposes autono"y "easures for t!e territory $ut t!e Polisario ront re6ects t!is insisting instead on t!e rig!t to a referendu"% ,!e Security +ouncil &ill ne3t consult on #estern Sa!ara on 17 April%
 
Open Briefing |
$
 
%ther de&elopments
 
The UN has appro&ed the deployment of 1$'((( troops to the )entral African *epublic +)A*,-
 ,!e Security +ouncil resolution &as endorsed unani"ously on 10 April "arking t!e UN*s "ost decisi(e step yet to ste" t!e spiral of sectarian (iolence% As t!e force &ill not deploy until Septe"$er t!e currently deployed 8000-strong peacekeeping force 9an a"alga"ation of African Union and :uropean forces led $y rance; is likely to $e conspicuously under-resourced due t!e contro(ersial recent &it!dra&al of +!adian forces follo&ing allegations of +!ad*s pro- S<l<ka in(ol(e"ent in +A% ,!e continuing conflict and retaliation $y t!e +!ristian anti-$alaka self-defence "ilitias !as led to an e3odus of predo"inantly 'usli" refugees into neig!$ouring countries &it! t!e UN refugee agency reporting t!e daily arri(al of t!ousands of refugees to +a"eroon in particular%
The United tates has announced sanctions targeting indi&iduals in&ol&ed in the outh udan conflict' the tate .epartment announced on 11 April-
 ,!e United States &!ic! $acked Sout! Sudan=s $id for independence in 2011 e3pressed increasing concern o(er t!e conflict t!at !as desta$ilised t!e country o(er t!e past "ont!s despite repeated ceasefire atte"pts% President Sal(a iir*s ar"y is fig!ting re$el forces tied to for"er .ice President iek 'ac!ar &!o is accused of conspiring to initiate a coup against t!e current president% 'ean&!ile re$el forces clai" t!at iir is trying to purge internal opposition $efore ne3t year=s elections% ,!e decision to i"pose sanctions including (isa $ans and asset sei>ures follo&s a decree signed $y US President Barack O$a"a last &eek aut!orising puniti(e sanctions against Sout! Sudanese indi(iduals t!reatening peace negotiations%
/uman *ights #atch has accused 0enya of mistreating the large omali population li&ing in the country-
 On 11 April t!e NO !ea(ily criticised t!e enyan go(ern"ent for its !ea(y-!anded approac! to&ards So"alis follo&ing increased security "easures against t!ose suspected of sy"pat!ising &it! So"alia=s radical al-S!a$aa$ t!e al-?aeda affiliated terrorist "o(e"ent t!at clai"ed responsi$ility for t!e 201@ attack on t!e #estgate s!opping "all in Nairo$i enya% O(er t!e pre(ious &eek police !a(e detained close to 4000 people a significant proportion of &!ic! &ere detained &it!in Nairo$i=s "ain So"ali district :astleig!% ,!e enyan go(ern"ent !as announced t!at se(eral !undred of t!e arrested are still undergoing identity c!ecks and 82 !a(e already $een e3pelled fro" t!e country%
%n the radar
 
 
Anti!go&ernment protests possible in wailand
 surrounding t!e $irt!day of ing 's&ati ))) on 15 April%
 
2irst round of the presidential election in Algeria
 on 17 April%
 
"eneral elections in outh Africa
 on 7 'ay%
 
3n&estigations are to be carried out into the shooting of 4ritish and 2rench consultants to the UN %ffice on .rugs and )rime +UN%.),'
 &!o &ere attacked upon t!eir arri(al in alkayo central So"alia on 7 April%
 
The UN is warning of the risk of food insecurity to up to four million people in udan
due to poor !ar(est conflict and displace"ent%
 
Open Briefing |
5
 
A"ericas
"rowing discontent with Argentine president amid economic U!turn
On 10 April a national la$our strike &as staged in Argentina*s capital Buenos Aires and t!e "a6or cities 'endo>a and +ordo$a% O(er a "illion people &ent on strike to de"and a 40 &age increase to co"pensate for inflation &!ic! pri(ate consultancies say currently stands at @ per year% Curing 24 !ours airports docks and road and rail net&orks &ere $locked% ,!e action &as called $y t!e +onfederation of Da$our 9+,; a union t!at represents dockers and road !auliers% ,!e +, is !eaded $y t!e po&erful la$our "agnate ugo 'oyano a for"er friend and no& $itter ri(al of President ernEnde> de irc!ner% Nearly one out of fi(e e"ployed F and t&o out of t!ree unionised &orkers F $elong to t!e +, "aking of it one of t!e largest la$our federations of t!e &orld% Since t!e $eginning of t!e year t!e country !as endured a U-turn in econo"ic policies% ,!e initial s!ift can $e identified in Ganuary &!en t!e +entral Bank of Argentina 9B+A; de(alued t!e peso $y nearly 20% Up until t!en ernande> !ad consistently re6ected t!e idea of suc! a se(ere de(aluation $ecause it &ould predo"inantly affect t!e &orking class &!ic! tends to rely e3clusi(ely on sa(ings to pay for retired% urt!er"ore in an effort to $olster t!e accounta$ility of its econo"ic indicators t!e go(ern"ent !as recently re(ie&ed its CP and inflation inde3es% Suc! a re(ie& &as de"anded $y t!e )nternational 'onetary und 9)'; &!ic! t!reatened t!e country &it! sanctions if it failed to pro(ide "ore relia$le econo"ic indicators% As a result t!e official inflation rate &as increased and t!e output gro&t! of 201@ &as re(ised fro" 4%5 to @% ,!ese transfor"ations reflect a $roader s!ift in t!e country*s econo"ic "odel in an atte"pt to $olster foreign in(est"ent and access to c!eap credit% ,!is &as a "a6or factor $e!ind t!e recent agree"ent to pay H $illion to t!e Spanis! oil and gas co"pany epsol in order to end an international legal suit after t!e go(ern"ent e3propriated epsol*s "a6ority stake in IP in 2012% ,!is return to "ore ort!odo3 policies &as also reflected in t!e recent 20 reduction in state su$sidies for gas and electricity tariffs% ,!e recent national protests s!ould $e understood in t!e conte3t of t!is U-turn in econo"ic policies% A&are of t!e li"its of its econo"ic "odel t!e Argentine go(ern"ent is undertaking a gradual fiscal and "onetary ad6ust"ent nota$ly to address t!e pro$le"s of rising inflation and decreasing foreign reser(es% As suc! furt!er national strikes are likely to occur as t!e go(ern"ent deepens t!e econo"ic refor"s% )n 'ay 2014 t!e go(ern"ent is to "eet &it! t!e +lu$ of Paris to renegotiate t!e repay"ent of H5 $illion of unpaid de$t issued during t!e country*s 2001 econo"ic crisis%
%ther de&elopments %n 1( April' 6eneuela7s President Nicol8s Maduro initiated a cycle of meetings with the opposition coalition' the .emocratic Unity *oundtable +MU.,-
 ,!e talks &ere organised at t!e $e!est of t!e Union of Sout! A"erican Nations 9UNASU;% ,!e opposition nota$ly de"ands an ar"istice for its i"prisoned leaders &!ic! t!e go(ern"ent !as not yet accepted%

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