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Political and security risk updates
Africa: Renamo adopts a more fle ible approac! to dialogue in "o#ambi$ue% Americas: &'( ruling on maritime border dispute gi)es symbolic )ictory to Peru o)er '!ile% Asia and Pacific: P!ilippine peace deal is marred by offensi)e against Bangsamoro &slamic Freedom Fig!ters% Europe: *krainian go)ernment grants concessions to t!e opposition as international outcry gro+s% Middle East: ,iolent clas!es continue in t!e nort! and sout! of -emen% Polar regions: .!ell calls off /rctic oil e ploration%
Renamo adopts a more flexible approach to dialogue in Mo ambi!ue On 31 (anuary0 t!e spokesman for t!e "o#ambican 1ational Resistance 2Renamo30 Fernando "a#anga0 indicated t!at t!e demand for parity +it! t!e incumbent Fremilo party 4 +!ic! came from t!e 5ecember 2012 electoral reforms 4 may no longer pro)e a prominent sticking point for furt!er dialogue on t!e 1ational 6lection 'ommission% 7!e announcement marks a mo)e to+ards a more fle ible engagement in t!e negotiation process0 follo+ing t!e recent Renamo party boycotting of negotiations +it! delegates of t!e go)ernment% 7!ere !as been an increase in military acti)ity from bot! Renamo and t!e "o#ambi$ue /rmed forces 2F/5"3% Renamo military acti)ity !as no+ been noted in t!e nort!ern pro)ince of 1ampula0 t!e central pro)ince of .ofala and0 more recently0 t!e sout!ern pro)ince of &n!ambane% 8ea)y fig!ting continues around t!e 9orongosa district in close pro imity to /fonso 5!lakama:s former bus! !ead$uarters in .atun;ira% &t +as !ere t!at t!e first outbreaks of )iolence occurred on 21 October 2013 follo+ing a F/5" operation% /ttacks in "ua)e0 "orrumbene and 8omoine suggest t!at Renamo is sending fig!ters sout! from 9orongose to t!e less densely populated areas of &n!ambane pro)ince% On < (anuary0 Renamo briefly re=occupied its main +ar=time base at 1!amungue in Pembe0 sout!ern &n!ambane pro)ince0 but +as subse$uently dri)en out of t!is position by go)ernment forces% &t is probable t!at Renamo is attempting to consolidate its national interests in "o#ambi$ue% /gainst t!e backdrop of t!e atrocities of t!e 1>?1=>2 ci)il +ar0 t!is increased acti)ity from Renamo0 particularly t!roug!out &n!ambane0 is creating significant le)els of internal displacement as frig!tened ci)ilians eit!er abandon t!eir !omes or are forced to relocate to temporary refugee centres% Open Briefing | 1
7!e relati)e successes of go)ernment forces in combating Renamo:s recent )iolence0 coupled +it! a corresponding failure of Renamo to consolidate and operate from strategic interests t!roug!out "o#ambi$ue0 is indicati)e of t!e group:s reduced capacity to engage in sustained )iolent conflict in comparison to t!eir ci)il +ar capabilities% 7!e recent s!ift to+ards a more fle ible stance on negotiations may indicate a recognition by Renamo of t!e limitations of military action0 and represent an encouraging s!ift to+ards rene+ed political engagement in t!e run up to t!e general elections on 1@ October% 7!e pursuit of a solution to t!e recent outbreak of )iolence and displacement +ill ultimately rest on t!e ability of "o#ambi$ue:s democratic institutions to capitalise on a softening of Renamo:s political approac!0 and t!e ability of F/5" to maintain a minimum le)el of security +it! selecti)e and proportionate military action against rebel acti)ity% 7!ere is a serious danger t!at t!e adoption of draconian measures by F/5" forces in order to combat Renamo could result in !ig! ci)ilian casualties and !uman rig!ts abuses +it!in "o#ambi$ue0 furt!er destabilising t!e country% #ther de$elopments The donor conference in Addis Ababa% Ethiopia% concluded on "& 'anuary +it! t!e announcement of A314 million in international donations to fund t!e @0000=strong /frican=led peacekeeping mission 2"&.'/3 in t!e 'entral /frican Republic 2'/R3% 7!e operational costs for t!e mission are estimated at A40> million0 and suggestions !a)e been put for+ard to fund t!e remaining deficit +it! assessed contributions from /frican *nion members% 7!is de)elopment occurs against t!e backdrop of *1 concerns t!at t!e current security situation is limiting access to citi#ens outside t!e capital0 Bangui0 re$uesting A1@2 million from t!e .ecurity 'ouncil to fund a t!ree=mont! emergency inter)ention initiati)e% 7!e *nited 1ations aims to pro)ide additional security and aid to appro imately 1%2 million '/R citi#ens follo+ing t!e outbreak of +idespread sectarian )iolence bet+een '!ristian anti=Bakala militia and "uslim .BlBka forces% A large body of (oko )aram combatants attacked *awuri $illage in (orno +tate% ,igeria% on "'anuary. 7!e militants detonated prepositioned e plosi)es and set fire to local residences0 resulting in @2 deat!s% On t!e same day0 an attack occurred on a c!urc! congregation in Caga '!aka+a )illage0 /dama+a .tate0 killing 22 and resulting in a four=!our !ostage situation% 7!ese recent attacks continue to !ig!lig!t concerns t!at t!e 1igerian go)ernment !as been unable to $uell t!e acti)ities of t!e *.=designated terrorist organisation follo+ing t!e sacking of President 9oodluck (onat!an:s military !ig! commander on 1D (anuary% /oncerns were raised at an African 0nion summit that the 0gandan deployment in +outh +udan is exacerbating peacebuilding efforts. *gandan +it!dra+al is a key demand of t!e .out! .udanese rebels0 +!o accuse *gandan forces of repeated ceasefire )iolations% &n contrast0 t!e .out! .udanese go)ernment !as stated t!at it +ill only sanction t!e +it!dra+al of *gandan troops from its territory upon t!e complete cessation of !ostilities% 7!e de)elopment occurs as t!e &ntergo)ernmental /ut!ority on 5e)elopment 2&9/53 !as directed a team of special en)oys to monitor t!e current ceasefire agreement0 +!ile *1 peacekeeping forces in .out! .udan 2*1"&..3 seek to )erify reported !uman rig!ts abuses%
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#n the radar • • • *enya2s Attorney 3eneral% 3ithu Muigai% is expected in The )ague in t+o +eeks: time% Mo ambi!ue2s 4remilo party is to select new presidential candidate. 4ollowing the recent grenade attack% further attacks are possible in Rwanda during t!e period commemorating t!e 1>>4 genocide% • Potential for protests at Platinum mining sites in +outh Africa during ongoing strike o$er wages% despite a court pro!ibiting furt!er strikes%
5/' ruling on maritime border dispute gi$es symbolic $ictory to Peru o$er /hile On 2< (anuary0 t!e &nternational 'ourt of (ustice 2&'(3 in 7!e 8ague ruled in fa)our of Peru in a maritime border dispute% 7!e ruling put an end to a border dispute t!at tainted t!e bilateral relations!ip since t!e Car of t!e Pacific 21?<>=?33% 7!e border !ad been redra+n to Peru:s detriment follo+ing its defeat in t!e conflict0 during +!ic! Peru lost 2@E of its territory and Boli)ia lost its access to t!e sea% &n Peru0 t!e unresol)ed dispute fed into nationalist r!etoric t!at portrayed '!ile as an imperial po+er% 7!e recent ;udgement +ill ease tensions by a+arding Peru some 220000 s$uare kilometres of ocean% 7!e maritime #one situated at t!e nort! of '!ile and .out! of Peru is considered to be one of t!e +orld:s ric!est fis!ing grounds0 +it! an annual catc! of o)er A100 million% /ccording to t!e redra+n maritime boundary0 Peru +ill gain economic pri)ileges on a #one t!at spans from ?0 up to 200 nautical miles +est of t!e '!ilean nort!ern city of /rica% 8o+e)er0 t!is means t!at t!e fis! ric! coastal #one0 from /rica up to ?0 nautical miles +est0 +ill remain in '!ilean possession% C!ile t!e ruling +as recei)ed +it! muc! relief in Peru0 '!ile:s reaction +as more negati)e% 1ationalist protests against +!at is percei)ed as an outrage for '!ilean so)ereignty +ere staged by fis!ermen in /rica% &n a national transmission on 2< (anuary0 '!ilean President .ebastiFn PiGera called t!e &'( decision a Hregrettable loss: for t!e country% &n contrast0 Peru)ian President Ollanta 8umala said t!e ruling ga)e Peru Hgrounds for satisfaction:% 1e)ert!eless0 t!e ruling !as in o)erall fa)oured t!e '!ilean position by only marginally modifying t!e '!ilean nort!ern maritime border +it! Peru% Furt!ermore0 t!e lucrati)e fis!ing grounds t!at are situated near t!e coast +ill remain in '!ilean +aters% /s suc!0 t!e ruling mostly represents a symbolic )ictory for Peru:s +ounded national pride but +ill !a)e little impact in economic terms% "oreo)er0 t!e ruling !as opened a ne+ c!apter in Iatin /merica:s regional integration% Political and economic ties bet+een Peru and '!ile !a)e dramatically increased in t!e last decade +it! bilateral trade gro+ing to o)er A3 billion a year% 7!e t+o countries are also part of t!e Pacific /lliance0 a free=trade block t!at includes "e ico and 'olombia t!at +as formed in 2012% 7!is precedent is likely to bolster t!e role of international intuitions in t!e settlement of international disputes in t!e region% '!ile:s President=elect "ic!elle Bac!elet0 +!o +ill take office from 11 "arc!0 !as pledged a gradual implementation of t!e ne+ borders as t!e e act geograp!ic coordinates are yet to be agreed upon% 7!e success of bot! countries in cooperating in t!e implementation of t!e ruling is likely to pressure 'olombia to soften its refusal to apply an &'( ruling last year t!at granted a s+at!e of 'aribbean +aters to 1icaragua% &n addition0 Boli)ia filed a demand in 2013 against '!ile to negotiate on its claim for so)ereign access to t!e sea%
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#ther de$elopments A leading local newspaper in Ecuador was fined o$er a satirical cartoon. 7!e 6cuadorian go)ernment fined El Universo for a cartoon pointing to t!e oil industry corruption of go)ernment officials t!at +as publis!ed on 2< 5ecember 2013% /ccording to t!e national media +atc!dog0 t!e cartoon +as defamatory and promoted social unrest% /s a result0 El Universo !as been sentenced to pay a fine e$ual to 2E of sales during t!e fourt! $uarter of 2013% 7!e decision raised furt!er concerns about press freedom in 6cuador0 +!ere President Rafael 'orrea !as regularly criticised t!e media since !is election in early 200<% The Mexican go$ernment has legitimised the formation of ci$il militias in the state of Michoac7n. On 2< (anuary0 an eig!t=point agreement +as reac!ed bet+een t!e federal go)ernment and t!e state of "ic!oacFn to institutionalise t!e )igilantes% 7!e ci)il militias emerged a year ago in response to t!e limited presence of t!e military amid t!e gro+ing influence of t!e Jnig!t 7emplar cartel in t!e region% &n t!e +eek of 20 (anuary0 t!e go)ernment deployed troops in t!e region but clas!es +it! t!e )igilantes occurred as t!ey refused to gi)e up t!eir +eapons% 7!e recent agreement re)eals t!e go)ernment:s +illingness to relin$uis! its monopoly on t!e legitimate use of armed force in e c!ange for s!ort=term peace% "any critics !a)e emp!asised t!e risk of t!e militias creating a state of t!eir o+n% The ,ational Assembly in ,icaragua has passed reform allowing for the indefinite re8election of the president. On 2? (anuary0 a reform +as appro)ed t!at modifies 40 articles of t!e constitution to endo+ furt!er po+ers on t!e president% 7!e reform +as supported by President 5aniel Ortega:s .andinista 1ational Iiberation front 2F.I130 a left=+ing party t!at forms a ma;ority in t!e assembly% 7!e altered constitution allo+s for t!e indefinite re=election of t!e president and t!e possibility for a direct presidential election +it! simple ma;ority% 7!is reform clears t!e +ay for t!e populist president to run for a t!ird successi)e term in 201D% #n the radar • Mexican President Pe9a ,ieto is to meet 0+ President #bama and /anadian Prime Minister +tephen )arper in 7oluca0 "e ico0 on 1> February% • :idespread fuel shortages in 4rench 3uiana% Martini!ue and 3uadeloupe to continue in the short term due to a strike by petrol station +orkers% • The 0+ Embassy has issued an emergency warning of a spike in criminal acti$ity in the (ahamas.
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/sia and Pacific
Philippine peace deal is marred by offensi$e against (angsamoro 5slamic 4reedom 4ighters /t least 40 fig!ters !a)e been confirmed killed in a !ea)y artillery barrage during a fres! offensi)e against t!e Bangsamoro &slamic Freedom Fig!ters 2B&FF3 in "aguindanao pro)ince0 t!e P!ilippines0 on 30 (anuary% /round 100000 )illagers fled t!eir !omes in fear of being caug!t in t!e crossfire% President Benigno /$uino &&& ordered t!e military to launc! t!is assault in retaliation for attacks in sout!ern "aguindanao% B&IF oppose peace talks bet+een t!e P!ilippine go)ernment and t!e "oro &slamic Iiberation Front 2"&IF3% B&FF broke a+ay from "&IF in 200? and )o+ed to continue t!eir separatist efforts0 as t!ey belie)ed talks +ould not lead to a separate Bangsamoro territory in "indanao% 8o+e)er0 t!e landmark peace deal bet+een t!e P!ilippine go)ernment and "&IF +as concluded on 2@ (anuary% 7!e go)ernment agreed to gi)e "&IF control o)er an autonomous area of "indanao and a s!are in its resources in return for t!e gradual surrender of +eapons% 7!e go)ernment deny t!ere is any direct link bet+een t!e peace deal and t!e offensi)e against B&FF but understand t!at t!e image of peace !as been spoilt% 9o)ernment officials !oped t!e peace deal +ould make t!e "indanao more peaceful and prosperous% &t is clear0 !o+e)er0 t!at fig!ting +ill continue as B&FF +ill continue to try and undo t!e implementation of t!e peace agreement% 1onet!eless0 B&FF are increasingly isolated0 as all ot!er players are determined t!at t!e peace process s!ould be successful% #ther de$elopments )undreds of people in <elhi% 5ndia% protested on 1 4ebruary against the death of a uni$ersity student. 1ido 7ania0 a student from nort!east &ndia0 +as beaten to deat! by s!opkeepers on 2> (anuary% Protestors belie)e t!is !ig!lig!ts t!e entrenc!ed racism against minorities from nort!east &ndia% &ndigenous nort!eastern &ndians are et!ically close to t!e Burmese and argue t!ey encounter fre$uent and often )iolent racism from t!e rest of t!e country% /hinese state media report that six people were killed in explosions in =in>iang region and another six were shot dead by police on 11 'anuary. 8o+e)er0 information lea)ing Kin;iang is tig!tly controlled and t!ese reports are difficult to )erify% Kin;iang is !ome to t!e "uslim *ig!ur minority and sees sporadic clas!es0 t!e fre$uency of +!ic! !as increased since t!e 7iananmen .$uare car e plosion in late October 2013 and t!e repressi)e measures t!at !a)e follo+ed% #n the radar • Prime Minister +hin o Abe2s ?iberal <emocratic Party will soon challenge 'apan2s constitutional interpretation% which bans collecti$e self8defence. • 'apanese 4oreign Minister 4umio *ishida will meet 0+ +ecretary of +tate 'ohn *erry on 4ebruary to discuss t!e relocation of t!e *. "arine 'orps bases in (apan% • )ong *ong $isa restrictions will be enacted against Philippine officials because of President Benigno /$uino:s refusal to apologise for t!e bungled !andling of t!e 2010 "anila bus !ostage crisis% • The main 5slamist opposition party in Pakistan% 'amaat8e85slami% ha$e rescheduled a nationwide shutdown strike for @ February%
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0krainian go$ernment grants concessions to the opposition as international outcry grows On 31 (anuary0 *krainian President ,iktor -anuko)yc! signed into la+ a bill t!at repealed t!e contro)ersial anti=protest la+0 +!ic! !ad fuelled )iolent demonstrations and clas!es +it! police around *kraine during (anuary% 7!e repealed la+ banned unaut!orised tents in public areas0 t!e pro!ibited t!e +earing masks and !elmets during protests and aut!orised t!e ;ail term of up to fi)e years for protesters +!o blocked public buildings% 7!e ne+ la+0 +!ic! +as backed by -anuko)yc!:s Regions Party0 granted concessions to t!e opposition and amnesty to protesters +!o !a)e been detained since t!e beginning of t!e protest on 21 1o)ember% 8o+e)er0 t!e *krainian go)ernment added a late clause to t!e bill0 in +!ic! it insisted t!at t!e protesters )acate occupied go)ernment buildings +it!in 1@ daysL t!is +as met +it! anger by t!e opposition% -anuko)yc! !opes t!at t!ese ne+ concessions +ill bring stability to t!e country follo+ing t+o mont!s of ci)il unrest% 8o+e)er0 t!ey came at t!e same time as missing opposition acti)ist 5mytro Bulato) re=emerged0 claiming t!at !e !ad been abducted and tortured0 +it! some reports claiming t!at *krainian security forces +ere in)ol)ed% On 2? (anuary0 t!e prime minister0 "ykola /#aro)0 !ad resigned in anot!er bid to ease tensions bet+een t!e go)ernment and t!e opposition% 7!e position !ad been offered to and re;ected by opposition leader /rseniy -atsenyuk on 2D (anuary% /#aro) !as instead been replaced in t!e interim by !is deputy0 .ergiy /rbu#o)0 and it is not clear +!o t!e permanent candidate +ill be% Iater t!at day0 t!e *krainian parliament )oted to repeal t!e anti=protest la+ at a special parliamentary session% 'laims of )ote rigging later emerged after p!otograp!s +ere publis!ed of parliamentary allies to -anuko)yc! using t!e )oting terminals of t!eir absent colleagues% 7!e opposition !ad initially re;ected t!e amnesty la+0 fearing t!at t!e ne+ legislation meant t!at t!e ;ailed protesters +ould remain !ostages until t!e opposition freed go)ernment buildings% 7!ey later +elcomed t!e bill once it +as clarified t!at demonstrators +ould be allo+ed to remain in locations of peaceful protests and t!us protests could continue on Jie):s &ndependence .$uare0 +!ere protests !a)e been t!e symbol of t!e mo)ement% 7!e ne+ concessions are unlikely to calm t!e ci)il unrest and t!e reappearance of Bulto) !as added fire to t!e protest mo)ement and increased t!e *krainian go)ernment:s international criticism% ,itali Jlitsc!ko of t!e *5/R party and leader of t!e opposition mo)ement said t!at t!e torture of Bulato) !ad been a +arning by t!e regime to ot!er protesters% 7!e *1:s !uman rig!ts office0 /mnesty &nternational and 'at!erine /s!ton0 t!e 6* foreign policy c!ief0 called on *kraine to launc! independent in)estigations into reports of deat!s0 kidnappings and torture since t!e beginning of t!e political unrest% /s!ton also +arned *krainian aut!orities to decease immediately t!eir targeting of acti)ists% 7!e *. embassy0 +!ic! released a p!oto of Bulato):s beaten face0 )oiced concerns o)er t!e fate of anot!er 2< acti)ists +!o !a)e gone missing% On 1 February0 *kraine:s opposition leaders met *. .ecretary of .tate (o!n Jerry and stressed t!e need for an action plan0 not only )ocal support0 from t!e Cest%
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#ther de$elopments Russia and the European 0nion held a >oint summit on "A 'anuary. 7!e s!ort meeting !ad been cut do+n from a planned t+o=day summit amid gro+ing tensions bet+een "osco+ and Brussels% *kraine dominated t!e discussions% On t!e same day t!at 'at!erine /s!ton +as due to )isit t!e country0 Russia re;ected t!e need for any international interference in t!e political crisis and argued t!at international en)oys +ere adding to t!e unrest% /t a conference follo+ing t!e summit0 President ,ladimir Putin defended t!e loan Russia !ad offered t!e *krainian go)ernment in 5ecember 20130 arguing t!at it !ad offered better terms t!an t!e &"F package% 8o+e)er0 reneging on !is pre)ious commitment to -anuko)yc!0 t!e Putin announced t!at Russia +ould suspend a loan to *kraine until a ne+ go)ernment +as formed% #n 1 4ebruary% at the ;Bth Munich +ecurity /onference% the 0+ defence secretary% /huck )agel% stated that the 0nited +tates sought an increased partnership with the E0 for defence against security t!reats and +ould seek a closer collaboration +it! t!e union% On 30 (anuary0 during a )isit to Carsa+0 8agel announced t!at t!e *nited .tates +as still planning to deploy an anti=missile s!ield in Poland0 +!ic! is e pected to !appen in 201? +it! t!e implementation of t!e 6uropean of t!e anti=missile system% 7!e increased cooperation bet+een t!e *nited .tates and Poland0 suc! as in air force e ercises and Poland:s acti)e role in 1/7O0 !as been greeted poorly by Russia0 +!o belie)es t!at it is t!e target of t!e anti=missile s!ield% #n 11 'anuary% (ritish Prime Minister <a$id /ameron and 4rench President 4rancois )ollande agreed to greater cooperation bet+een t!e t+o countries in defence0 climate policy and nuclear energy at t!e *J=France .ummit 2014% 7!e t+o leaders set in motion plans for ;oint in)estment in t!e procurement of defence e$uipment0 t!e de)elopment of t!e 'ombined (oint 6 peditionary Force 2an /nglo=Frenc! ;oint military and training operation3 and a study into a potential future /nglo=Frenc! combat air system% Ot!er agreements included Frenc! in)estment in t!e Britis! nuclear +eapons base0 t!e /tomic Ceapons 6stablis!ment0 and +orking toget!er on security issues0 suc! as terrorism and drugs and arms trafficking% 8o+e)er0 t!e t+o leaders s!arply disagreed o)er 6* treaty reform% #n the radar • • • The European /ommission will publish an anti8corruption report on 3 February% The +erbian go$ernment has called for snap elections% +!ic! +ill be !eld on 1D "arc!% <enmark2s prime minister% )elle Thorning8+chmidt% is expected to announce six new ministers this week% after t!e .ocialist People:s Party +it!dre+ from t!e coalition go)ernment% • /atherine Ashton% Europe2s foreign policy chief% will return to 0kraine to try and ease the escalating political crisis. • MEPs and representati$es of the 3reek E0 presidency will hold their fourth trialogue meeting with the European Parliament aimed at brokering a deal on an 6* bank fund in .trasbourg t!is +eek%
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Ciolent clashes continue in the north and south of Demen .ectarian )iolence erupted on 2< (anuary in t!e )illages of t!e /r!ab mountains0 nort! of t!e capital city0 .anaMa0 killing 21 and in;uring do#ens% 7!e attacks +ere carried out bet+een opposing .!iMite 8out!is and ultra=conser)ati)e .unni .alafis t+o +eeks after reac!ing ceasefire agreements in t!e region0 ending +eeks of )iolent conflict t!at !a)e left !undreds dead% 8out!i militants !a)e been blamed for t!e clas!es0 +it! claims t!at attacks on .alafi positions in t!e !ig!lands represent a strategic attempt to dri)e tribesmen from t!eir lands and impose .!ia &slam upon t!e region% Prominent 8out!i spokesman0 "o!ammed /bdel=.alam0 !as criticised t!e go)ernment for supporting .alafi rebel groups% On t!e same day0 clas!es bet+een -emeni troops and separatists in t!e sout!ern city of /ta$ occurred during a protest against t!e ne+ly agreed constitutional federalist reform0 +!ic! aims to reconcile t!e nort!ern and sout!ern pro)inces% Protests are likely to continue in t!e follo+ing +eeks as political radicals in fa)our of an independent sout! continue to re;ect t!e conditions of t!e -emeni dialogue conference% 7!e sout! +as independent follo+ing Britis! colonial rule from 1>D< until t!e formation of t!e -emeni Republic in 1>>00 attempting succession in 1>>4 t!at resulted in a bloody ci)il +ar% .ince t!e ousting of President /li /bdulla! .ale! in 20120 t!e separatist mo)ement !as gro+n in strengt! in many areas of t!e sout!0 leading to increased tensions% 7!e )iolence is likely to cause embarrassment to t!e regionMs poorest country0 and t!reatens to undermine de)elopments praised by t!e international community follo+ing t!e conclusion of t!e 1ational 5ialogue 'onference t!e pre)ious +eek% 7!e *1=backed transitional president0 /bd=Rabbu "ansour0 faces c!allenges in uniting t!e stateMs fractious ideologies responsible for escalating )iolence +it!in t!e sout!ern pro)inces0 and in combating increasing sectarian tensions in t!e nort!% #ther de$elopments An Egyptian interior ministry official was shot dead outside his home in /airo on "A 'anuary. 9eneral "o!amed .aeed +as gunned do+n by &slamist militants on a motorcycle !ours before t!e deposed "uslim Brot!er!ood president0 "o!amed "orsi0 appeared in court on ;ailbreak c!arges% &nsurgency group /nsar Bayt al="a$dis !as claimed responsibility for t!e attack% 7!e latest assassination +as met +it! a coordinated military crackdo+n across t!e troubled .inai Peninsula0 !ome to t!e group +it! suspected ties to 8amas% 6gyptian armed forces launc!ed air offensi)es and engaged militants in t!e nort!ern to+ns of .!eik! Nu+eid and /l=/ris! on 2> (anuary0 killing a reported 10 /nsar Bayt al="a$dis members% ?ebanese military prosecutor has charged 11 with links to organised terror groups. On 2> (anuary0 state commissioner to t!e military court (udge .a$r .a$r c!arged t!e indi)iduals of Iebanese and Palestinian descent +it! plotting terrorist attacks +it!in t!e county% 7!e indi)iduals0 +it! connections to al=Oaeda0 /bdulla! /##am Brigades and 1usra Front0 face t!e deat! penalty if con)icted% (amal 5aftardar0 belie)ed to be a leaders!ip candidate in t!e /bdulla! /##am Brigades0 faces furt!er c!arges of terrorist recruitmentL identity card fraudL illegal transfer of recruits to neig!bouring .yria0 &ra$0 /fg!anistan and -emenL and e plosi)es c!arges% .a$r also announced c!arges against .unni cleric Omar /tras! for conspiracy to form terrorist cells comprised of Iebanese0 .yrian and Palestinian militants% 7!e in)estigation continues%
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+ix gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a go$ernment building in (aghdad% 5ra!% on 1B 'anuary. 7!e assault on a state=led transportation company0 led to clas!es bet+een security forces and militants% Reports confirm state police s!ot dead four attackers0 t!oug! a furt!er t+o detonated suicide )ests in t!e building:s entrance% 1o group !as claimed responsibility for t!e attack% On t!e same day0 t+o car bombs e ploded in t!e capital0 killing nine and +ounding do#ens% .ectarian )iolence continues to escalate in &ra$ as .unni militants clas! +it! t!e .!iMite=led go)ernment% 7!e latest attacks !a)e raised t!e 2014 deat! toll to o)er >00 4 t!ree times !ig!er t!an t!e figure for (anuary 2013% #n the radar • +econd negotiated deadline of +yrian chemical arms se!uestration on ; 4ebruary. 'oncerns !a)e been raised by t!e international community o)er t!e likeli!ood of t!is target being met% • 11 4ebruary marks the anni$ersary of the o$erthrow of former Egyptian president )osni Mubarak. • • • ,ational <ay on "; 4ebruary celebrates the founding of the state of *uwait in 1&@1. The anni$ersary of the "B11 ci$il uprising in Demen is on 11 February% +yrian oppositional leader Ahmad 'arba is to $isit the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow on 4 February0 as Russia continues to !old significant influence on .yria:s future%
+hell calls off Arctic oil exploration Royal 5utc! .!ellMs '6O0 Ben ,an Beurden0 !as said t!at t!e oil ma;or +ill not proceed +it! planned e ploration and drilling in /rctic +aters off t!e /laskan coast in 2014% 7!e announcement +as deli)ered on 30 (anuary to a room full of in)estors and ;ournalists during a press conference called to discuss t!e company:s fourt!=$uarter 2013 results% &t +as accompanied by re)elations of a steep drop in earnings and a pledge by t!e ne+ '6O to restructure operations to impro)e t!e company:s cas! flo+% 7!e plan to return to /rctic +aters in t!e '!ukc!i .ea +as announced in 1o)ember last year and itself follo+ed from a disastrous e ploration season in 2012% &t !as no+ been cut in t!e interests of t!is ne+ regime% ,an Beurden also cited a recent court ruling t!at !as cast serious doubts on t!e future of currently acti)e oil leases in t!e /rcticL an appeals court agreed +it! en)ironmental and /laska 1ati)e groups t!at t!e federal go)ernment !ad underestimated t!e scale of oil drilling t!at +ould follo+ t!e licenses it sold in 200?% .!ell:s position0 +!ile not a promise to abandon t!e /rctic completely0 demonstrates a number of t!e problems t!at frustrate t!e efforts of oil ma;ors to e ploit t!e belie)ed potential of /rctic energy resources% First0 t!ere are t!e tec!nical difficulties of drilling in suc! e treme climatesL in .!ell:s disastrous 2012 /rctic e ploration season0 !ea)y storms grounded a mobile rig t!at +as being to+ed out of t!e Beaufort .ea0 causing damage t!at may see t!e A200 million rig scrapped% 7!ese are compounded by t!e lack of infrastructure in nearby ports and t!e limited capabilities of searc! and rescue teams% .econd0 t!ere is t!e dogged and !ig!ly )isible campaigning of en)ironmental groups0 +!ose recent lobbying of go)ernments !as fre$uently been successful% 7!ird0 t!ere is t!e massi)e cost of arctic drilling in a period +!en t!e acti)ation of ne+ sources of s!ale gas and tar sands is sending global oil costs plummeting% /ll companies seeking to e tract oil and gas in t!e /rctic face t!ese problems0 and many en)ironmentalists and some business analysts $uestion t!e potential for profitable e traction in t!is region
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C!ile t!ese difficulties are uni)ersal0 it is t!e legal and political dimensions t!at seem likely to determine t!e final decisions of oil ma;ors in t!eir /rctic in)estment policies% 7!ese dimensions !a)e considerably undermined .!ell:s efforts in t!e '!ukc!i and Beaufort .eas0 as t!e recent ruling 2and t!e massi)e fines for breaking air pollution limits le)elled against t!e firm in 20123 aptly demonstrates% -et t!ere is considerable )ariation% &n Russia0 national companies suc! as Rosneft and 9a#prom en;oy t!e protection of t!e courts0 +!ilst international companies can fall foul of t!em and conse$uently include suc! risks in t!eir calculations% 7!us0 +!ile BP suffered from its cooperation +it! Rosneft0 6 on is still engaged in a A3%2 billion partners!ip for /rctic resources +it! t!e company% &n 1or+ay0 t!e current oil=friendly go)ernment is considering abolis!ing an oil ta introduced by t!e former go)ernment in an attempt to make field de)elopments more profitable0 and t!e 23rd 1or+egian licensing round recei)ed a lot of attention from energy companies% 8o+e)er0 t!e success of many of t!e sites +!ic! border Russian +aters is t!reatened by t!e possibility of interference from "osco+0 and gi)en t!e +idespread scepticism of t!e 1or+egian population to+ards oil e ploration in t!e /rctic t!ere is no guarantee t!at t!e go)ernment:s oil=friendly policies +ill continue into t!e future% 7!us0 +!ile en)ironmentalists are +rong to cite .!ell:s recent difficulties as e)idence t!at arctic oil e ploration +ill never be profitable0 t!e case !ig!lig!ts t!e crucial importance for potential in)estors of politics in t!e region% #ther de$elopments Russian gas producer ,o$atek has announced that it will build a second li!uefied natural gas E?,3F plant in the Damal Peninsula in Russia2s 4ar ,orth. 7!e federal go)ernment !as appro)ed t!e plans and pro;ect de)elopment is due to start in 201?% 1o)atek controls se)eral large gas fields in t!e region0 +!ic! toget!er are belie)ed to !old up to 1%? trillion cubic metres of gas% "uc! of t!e I19 produced +ill be s!ipped out t!roug! t!e 1ort!ern .ea Route% The :hite )ouse has published an implementation plan detailing policy recommendations at federal% state% pri$ate sector and ,3# le$els for the realisation of the 0+ ,ational +trategy for the Arctic Region% +!ic! +as publis!ed in "ay of last year% 7!e Hlines of effort: t!at t!e report cites as guiding principles for t!e implantation of *. strategy are $uoted as Ht!e ad)ancement of *. security interests:0 Ht!e pursuit of responsible /rctic region ste+ards!ip: and Ht!e strengt!ening of international cooperation:% &n terms of t!e latter0 it is recommended t!at t!e C!ite 8ouse press for 'ongress to ratify t!e *1 'on)ention on t!e Ia+ of t!e .ea0 as +ell as proposing t!at a special summit of t!e /rctic 'ouncil s!ould be !eld in 201D to mark t!e international body:s 20t! anni)ersary% 7!e document fails to make any commitment to t!e purc!asing of t!e icebreakers0 +!ic! t!e *. 1a)y called for earlier t!is mont!% The American (ureau of +hipping EA(+F has released an ad$isory on na$igation along the ,orthern +ea Route to support s!ip o+ners and operators intending to transit s!ipping routes t!roug! t!e /rctic seas% 7!e document:s publication comes at a time of !eated discussion o)er t!e international regulation and tec!nical practicalities of s!ipping along t!e route% 7!e ad)isory0 de)eloped toget!er +it! Russia:s 'entral "arine Researc! and 5esign &nstitute0 includes an appendi listing Russian s!ipping and icebreaking ser)ices%
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#n the radar • Academics and engineers will meet in ?ondon 68; 4ebruary at the "nd 5MarEst Arctic +hipping and Technology /onference. 7!e discussion +ill focus on !o+ to prepare )essels for /rctic conditions +!ile ensuring s!ipping remains profitable% • +cientists and glaciologists will meet in #ttawa 18; 4ebruary to discuss the modelling and mapping of Arctic glaciers. • The roundtable discussion GThe 5mplementation of 5nfrastructural +upport for the Realisation of the Arctic +trategy H "B"B2 will take place in ,orilsk0 Russia0 on 4 February%
Published with intelligence support from Bradburys Global Risk Partners | www.bradburys.co.uk
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