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Political and security risk updates
Africa: International Criminal Court finds former Congolese crimes in historical con!iction"
arlord guilty of
Americas: #ene$uela%s turmoil e&poses domestic and regional political rifts" Asia and Pacific: China%s 'ational People%s Congress (egins its annual meeting early indications of political priorities" Europe: )kraine political crisis escalates as Crimean parliament !otes to *oin +ussia" Middle East: Bom( (last in Bahrain kills three police officers" Polar regions: )nited ,tates and Canada cancel *oint -rctic military training e&ercises ith +ussia" ith
International Criminal Court finds former Congolese warlord guilty of war crimes in historical con iction In a *udgment passed on . March/ the International Criminal Court 0ICC1 found former Congolese militia leader 2ermain 3atanga guilty of ar crimes" 3atanga as found guilty of (eing an accessory to crimes including murder and pillage in an attack on the !illage of Bogoro in the diamond4rich northeast of the 5emocratic +epu(lic of the Congo 05+ Congo1 in 2006/ killing around 200 ci!ilians" 7o e!er/ the court in 8he 7ague found 3atanga not guilty of using child soldiers and ac9uitted him of rape charges" 8he decision marks only the second con!iction in the ICC:s 114year history" 8he case/ hich lasted fi!e years/ trial as plagued as also the first to include charges of se&ual !iolence" 8he ith contradicting testimonies making it difficult to esta(lish as 3atanga:s assistance in
3atanga:s role in the Patriotic +esistance ;orce/ an armed group acti!e in 5+ Congo in the early 2000s" <udge Bruno Cotte stated that it pro!iding the attackers Bogoro attack" 3atanga/ 3a(ila/ as tasked ith arms that directly facilitated the (loodshed in the ho ser!ed as an army general under President <oseph as arrested (y go!ernment here he first ent
ith com(atting ci!il unrest" 7e
authorities in 200= and su(se9uently transferred to 8he 7ague/ on trial in 2010"
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Mathieu 'gud*olo Chui/ another prominent militia leader ere split/
ho stood trial
ith 3atanga (efore the cases
as ac9uitted in court last year due to lack of e!idence" 8his ac9uittal prompted the ICC to alter
the nature of charges (rought against 3atanga/ arguing that 3atanga had facilitated the crimes/ rather than (eing central to their enactment as originally charged" One of the three ICC *udges criticised this alteration as conspicuously limiting of 3atanga%s a(ility to defend against the charges" 3atanga/ once kno n as >,im(a% 0lion1/ "ther de elopments "n # March$ the %& 'igh Commissioner for (efugees$ Antonio )uterres$ informed the *ecurity Council that thousands of Muslims are fleeing the Central African (epublic +CA(, as a result of worsening sectarian iolence- )' ,ecretary42eneral Ban 3i4moon and C-+ Minister of ;oreign -ffairs 8oussaint 3ongo45oudou (oth urged the ,ecurity Council to deploy an international peacekeeping mission to the country" 2uterres self4defence groups/ into a cleansing of the arned that the fighting (et een the Muslim ,?l?ka militia and Christian effecti!ely turned hich has escalated since its onset in 5ecem(er 2016/ had no eeks" ill (e sentenced later at a separate hearing" ho as
estern C-+:s Muslim population" ;rance is e&pected to propose a resolution in
order to create an international peacekeeping force in the coming
President Moncef Mar.ouki/s office announced that the go ernment had lifted the state of emergency in Tunisia on 0 March- 8he state of emergency/ in force since the 2011 uprising/ had kept the country under tight security measures in the face of popular protesting and sporadic attacks (y re(el groups" 8he authority of the army and police to inter!ene in protests has resulted in the arrest or death of do$ens of protestors o!er recent months" 8ourism/ a ma*or sector of the 8unisian economy/ impacted in the ake of the uprisings/ as nota(ly ith the num(er of !isitors falling (y more than a million" In
'o!em(er 2016/ Mar$ouki announced an e&tension of the state of emergency until the end of <une 2014/ (ut the recent return to relati!e calm has resulted in remo!al of the emergency status four months early" *aadi )addafi$ third son of former 1ibyan dictator Muammar )addafi$ was e2tradited from &iger to 1ibya on # March- 8he @i(yan go!ernment has announced that he is no capital/ 8ripoli" Ahen the pre!ious @i(yan regime (eing held at a prison in the
as toppled in the 2011 re!olution/ ,aadi 2addafi had
(een granted entry to 'iger on humanitarian grounds" 8he Aest -frican state%s go!ernment had pre!iously refused to e&tradite him/ despite Interpol ha!ing issued a notice for e&tradition" "n the radar • Anti3terror operations in the *ahel are likely to intensify as the -frican )nion launches a cooperati!e initiati!e • ith regional countries to impro!e sta(ility"
4iplomatic tensions are likely to continue to rise between *outh Africa and (wanda follo ing tit4for4tat e&pulsions"
The 5est Africa &etwork for Peacebuilding +5A&EP, is warning of growing post3election unrest in )hana (et een the ruling 'ational 5emocratic Congress 0'5C1 and the main opposition 'e Patriotic Party 0'PP1"
The %& *ecurity Council is to consult on its support mission and sanction imposition in 1ibya +%&*MI1,-
Platinum prices are likely to continue rising after the collapse of talks intended to end the *outh African miner standoffOpen Briefing | !
7ene.uela/s turmoil e2poses domestic and regional political rifts On = March/ #ene$uelan President 'icolBs Maduro (lasted the Aashington4(ased Organisation of -merican ,tates 0O-,1 for attempting to address the country%s ongoing political crisis" ,ince 12 ;e(ruary/ !iolent (ands ha!e s armed the streets of #ene$uela%s ma*or cities/ resulting in 600 in*uries and appro&imately 20 deaths" ,tudents angry a(out the country%s rampant crime/ shortage of (asic goods/ and rising inflation/ initially staged the protests/ (ut the unrest rapidly degenerated into !iolence (et een radical opponents and supporters of Maduro%s go!ernment" 8he rise of !iolence/ coupled (reaches of human rights (y the #ene$uelan intelligence ser!ices/ has generated ith alleged idespread attention
from the international community" 7o e!er/ Maduro is suspicious to the inter!ention of outsiders/ arguing that it is part of an >international fascist conspiracy%" On = March/ #ene$uela (roke off relations ith Panama o!er its call for the O-, to con!ene to discuss the crisis" 8he follo ing day/ Maduro called for an emergency meeting ithin the frame ork of the )nion of ,outh -merican 'ations 0)'-,)+1"
8hese recent de!elopments took place around the anni!ersary of the death of #ene$uela%s charismatic leader 7ugo Cha!e$ on = March 2016" ,ince Cha!e$%s death/ a dou(le form of polarisation has occurred" ;irst/ a domestic di!ision has (een e&acer(ated/ ith a radicalised opposition and a more hardline go!ernment" 8his e&plains in part the dramatic escalation of !iolence since the outset of the protests and the ina(ility of the traditional opposition parties to call for an armistice" -s such/ the figurehead of the opposition/ @eopoldo @Cpe$/ has (een held in custody since 1D ;e(ruary" ,econdly/ the radicalisation of Maduro%s regime has e&posed the regional political rift (et een left ing and more conser!ati!e go!ernments" Ahile the traditional leftist go!ernments of the region/ such as in -rgentina and Bra$il/ ha!e openly supported Maduro in the ongoing crisis/ more li(eral states/ such as Colom(ia/ ha!e condemned the go!ernment response to the protests" In contrast to the O-,/ the )'-,)+ is an e&clusi!ely ,outh -merican grouping that em(races the !ie s of the region%s left4 ing go!ernments" 8he Bra$ilian foreign ministry has urged )'-,)+ mem(ers to accept #ene$uela%s demand for an emergency meeting" 8he appro!al of the 12 )'-,)+ mem(ers is re9uired (efore the organisation of such a consultation" 7o e!er/ e!en ithin the ,outh -merican grouping/ some disagree on Maduro%s handling of the situation and ha!e so far refused to take part in the meeting" -s such/ the holding of the international summit remains !ery much in 9uestion" But if organisation does proceed/ such a meeting could ser!e as a le!er to settle for an armistice (et een #ene$uela%s different political factions" ;urthermore/ it ould demonstrate a rene ed sense of regional cohesion" It is unlikely ill emerge ithout the in!ol!ement of a third4party that a peaceful solution to #ene$uela%s political crisis #ene$uela%s political class" "ther de elopments Colombian President 8uan Manuel *antos has ordered military inter ention in one of the country/s/ principle port cities- On E March/ ,antos announced the imminent inter!ention (y special forces to counter the operations of criminal gangs and drug traffickers in Buena!entura" Buena!entura is Colom(ia%s principle port on its Pacific coast" It as host to year4long !iolent strife in!ol!ing t o ri!al gangs competing for control of the drug trafficking route" Open Briefing | 6
international actor" In the meantime/ further !iolence is to (e e&pected amid an increasing di!ide ithin
"n 0 March$ left3wing candidate 8ohnny Araya announced his withdrawal from the Costa (ican presidential election- -raya is from the same party as the outgoing President @aura Chinchilla/ the 'ational @i(eration ;ront" 7e secured 60F of the !otes in the first round/ compared to 61F for his centre4 right opponent/ @uis 2uillermo ,olis" -raya has *ustified his decision (ased on the financial costs of his campaign and his lack of pu(lic support" 7o e!er/ it is (elie!ed that his desire to a!oid a historic defeat for his party" In accordance round election ill still take place on E -pril" ithdra al as moti!ated (y the ith the Costa +ican constitution/ a second4
Military police ha e clashed with Indigenous groups in central Chile- On = March/ at least se!en military police officers ere in*ured in a confrontation as (uilt on land that ith Indigenous Mapuche in the region of -raucania" as theirs (y ancestral rights" 8he incident came days after a
,ecurity forces inter!ened after 60 hooded indi!iduals from the Mapuche community took o!er a pri!ate farm that they claimed Mapuche leader as sentenced to 1D years in *ail for arson and the su(se9uent deaths of the targeted hich is home to
property o ners" Conflicts (et een indigenous communities/ pri!ate lando ners and e&tracti!e corporations ha!e (een particularly salient in recent years/ especially in southern Chile/ nearly one million Mapuche" "n the radar • • *tudent opposition protests to be staged in 7ene.uela/s main citiesProtests against the costs of staging the :I:A 5orld Cup !;19 in <ra.il are planned in (io de 8aneiro and *ao Paulo on 12 and 16 March respecti!ely" • Miners affiliated to the C"&AMI union ha e planned strikes across Peru on 1. March"
-sia and Pacific
China/s &ational People/s Congress begins its annual meeting with early indications of political priorities On = March/ the Chinese legislature/ the 'ational People%s Congress 0'PC1/ opened its annual meeting" 8he meeting is scheduled to last for 10 days/ and delegations from across China ill discuss a ide range of issues that the country faces" -t the opening session/ @i 3e9iang/ the Chinese premier/ set out se!eral key targets for China in the coming year" 8he 'PC has set an economic gro th target of ."=F 0the same as 20161 and target inflation at 6"=F" In addition to these economic goals/ the go!ernment has announced that it ill increase military and defence spending (y 12"2F/ (ringing the total (udgeted spending to ere appro&imately ),G161"E (illion" @i also mentioned that a num(er of painful ad*ustments and reforms necessary if China is to achie!e these goals" -lthough the 'OC is largely considered to (e a ru((erstamping mechanism for the Communist Party/ these announcements ser!e as important signals for the future of Chinese policy" -t the Central Committee%s 8hird Plenum meeting in 'o!em(er 2016/ ro(ust economic reforms ere announced" ,uch reforms included restructuring state4o ned enterprises/ increased o!ersight in China%s credit markets/ and impro!ed ur(an4rural integration aimed at (uilding a more consumption4oriented economy" 8hese reforms are/ ho e!er/ likely to reduce gro th rates in the short term" 8herefore/ the announcement that China promoting rapid gro th" ill attempt to maintain its full ."=F gro th rate target indicates that reforms are likely to take a (ackseat to
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@ooking for ard/ it is unlikely that any ma*or policy shifts
ill come out of this meeting of the 'PC" idespread gro th of informal credit
'e!ertheless/ these early announcements do pro!ide a (arometer for attitudes inside the go!ernment" Ma*or issues in the Chinese economy do e&ist/ for e&le the that the Chinese go!ernment is markets/ (ut the indication (y the go!ernment that painful reforms are necessary pro!ides some hope illing to confront such deeply entrenched issues" On the other hand/ an ell as (olstering domestic security" -s the meetings progress/ e&pansion of military spending reflects a gro ing le!el of seriousness at protecting China%s territorial claims in the Hast and ,outh China ,eas/ as a clearer picture of the path of reforms and security intentions is likely to emerge" "ther de elopments *outh =orean opposition groups reach an agreement to merge- A final agreement regarding the steps for the merger was reached less than a eek after ,outh 3orea%s 5emocratic Party and a group of
politicians led (y (usinessman and independent politician -hn Cheol4soo announced their intention to com(ine political forces against the ruling conser!ati!e ,aenuri Party" Prior to the merger/ -hn had (een planning to formalise his support into a third party/ the 'e Political #isionary Party" -lthough the idely criticised (y its 5emocratic Party en*oys much greater support in parliament/ the party has (een
o n mem(ers and constituents" -hn%s group is likely to gain from the political and financial resources that the 5emocratic Party offers" Hlections are set to take place on . <une/ and this political merger has not only changed the political landscape in ,outh 3orea (ut also strengthens opposition unity against the incum(ent ma*ority ,aenuri Party of President Park 2eun4hye" (ecent assassination points to continued iolence surrounding Indonesia/s upcoming elections- 8he -ceh 'ational Party mem(er/ kno n as ;aisal/ a legislati!e candidate/ gunmen in ,outh -ceh/ and found in the early hours of 6 March 5emocratic 'ational Party Party as also targeted as shot in his car (y unkno n ounds to his (ack/ chest
and stomach" ,uch political !iolence is not uncommon in Indonesia" +ecently/ a candidate from the ith a Moloto! cocktail/ hile the head of the -ceh 'ational as (eaten to death (y men from the ri!al -ceh Party" Political associated !iolence has (een largely
confided to -ceh in north estern Indonesia/ though police ha!e recei!ed reports of !oter intimidation in other areas of the country" @egislati!e elections are due to (e held on I -pril" -lthough officials to not e&pect such incidents to interfere -ceh as the elections dra nearer" ith upcoming elections/ sporadic !iolence is likely to (e itnessed in
Association of East Asian &ations +A*EA&, >oint military e2ercises are to take place in the *traits of Malacca- On = March/ -,H-' announced that its mem(er states% defence forces had agreed to conduct *oint military e&ercises" 8he e&ercises ill take place ne&t year/ and are the first maritime security ith economic/ political and (order issuesJ ho e!er/
operation conducted of this kind" Past e&ercises ha!e focused on the deli!ery of humanitarian aid and disaster relief" -,H-'%s cooperation typically deals representati!es at this year%s -,H-' 5efence ;orces Informal Meeting ackno ledged shifting security concerns" Currently/ Indonesia/ #ietnam/ Brunei/ the Philippines and Malaysia are engaged in territorial disputes ith China in the ,outh China ,ea region" 8he announcement of military e&ercises indicates an orld%s most !ital shipping lanes for ell as an ele!ated concern o!er China%s na!al e&pansion and increasing focus on security in the ,traits of Malacca/ one of the energy and other commodities/ as aggressi!eness in defending its territorial claims in the region"
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"n the radar • Thailand/s opposition protesters will continue to scale back their presence in <angkok as election re3runs are successfully carried out in fi e pro inces- +oughly half of senate seats are due for election at the end of March" • India/s Ministry of 'ome Affairs announced on 9 March that a new state$ Telangana$ currently part of Andhra Pradesh$ is to formally come into e2istence on ! 8une !;19• Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim will appeal the ? March ruling that sentenced him to fi e years in prison on sodomy charges- 8he charges are idely seen as a means to
suppress opposition support and scupper his plans to run for a state post later this month"
%kraine political crisis escalates as Crimean parliament otes to >oin (ussia 8he political crisis in )kraine further escalated last eek" +ussia no holds de4facto control of the semi4
autonomous state of Crimea" Aestern leaders re(uked Putin%s denial of an unla ful +ussian troop presence on the peninsula" 8he Aest continues to ask +ussia to use diplomacy to resol!e the crisis as the )nited ,tates issued the first sanctions and !isa restrictions against +ussia in response to its actions in )kraine" Mean hile/ the Crimean parliament !oted unanimously on E March to *oin +ussia/ and (rought for ard a referendum on the issue to 1E March" 8he )krainian go!ernment/ H) mem(ers and the )nited ,tates ha!e o(*ected to the !ote and argued that it is not legitimate" 3ie! has agreed to hold talks Mosco / on the condition that +ussia ithdra its troops from Crimea and cease supporting the ne ith
Crimean authorities" 7o e!er/ the +ussian foreign minister/ ,ergey @a!ro!/ declined to meet his )krainian counterpart/ -ndriy 5eshchytsia/ at a meeting arranged (y ), ,ecretary of ,tate <ohn 3erry on = March" 8he Organisation for ,ecurity and Co4operation in Hurope 0O,CH1 sent 6= unarmed o(ser!ers to )kraine last eek/ (ut the o(ser!ers ha!e (een refused entry (y pro4+ussia forces that fired arning shots as the party made its third attempt to cross into Crimea on D March" On 6 March/ #ladimir Putin held his first pu(lic appearance since the ne s of +ussian troop presence on the semi4autonomous peninsula" Putin said that the 3ie! go!ernment had acted illegitimately o!er the eastern/ southeastern and Crimean regionsJ ho e!er/ the +ussian president insisted that a +ussian use of force ould (e a last resort" Putin added that +ussia could not ignore calls to protect +ussians in eastern as acting in full compliance of international la " Putin denied the presence of (elie!ed to (e in Crimea/ compared )kraine/ and that +ussia
any +ussian troops outside their mandated Black ,ea fleet (ases/ an assertion ridiculed (y the Aest" -ccording to )krainian (order guards/ 60/000 +ussian soldiers are no to the 11/000 (ased at the Black ,ea fleet (ase (efore the crisis" )nder a 2010 +ussia4)kraine agreement/ +ussia can ha!e a ma&imum of 2=/000 troops in Crimea" On 4 March/ +ussian forces fired the first shots as a arning to unarmed )krainian soldiers ho ere marching to ards the sei$ed air(ase at Bel(ek in as considering halting inspections ,8-+8 nuclear arms reduction treaty and the 2011 #ienna ,e!astopol" On D March/ +ussian ne s agencies reported that Mosco (y the )nited ,tates in +ussia in line the 'e ith Mosco "
agreement (et een +ussia and '-8O in retaliation for Aashington%s decision to halt military cooperation
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)kraine faces further pressure after 2a$prom/ the +ussian gas company/ announced that the company considering cutting supplies to )kraine after the go!ernment failed to pay its (ill for <anuary" Putin has pre!iously said that +ussia ould (e prepared to financially assist )kraine/ (ut due to late payments/ +ussia has (een una(le to do so" If )kraine fails to pay for its ;e(ruary gas supplies/ it ,enate/ to allo the )nited ,tates to loan )kraine G1 (illion to help lessen the (lo
ill o e +ussia G2
(illion" 7o e!er/ on . March the ), 7ouse of +epresentati!es appro!ed a (ill/ yet to (e !oted upon (y the of the +ussian proposal to lift the su(sidies on the cost of energy" 8he )nited ,tates has also offered to send technical e&perts to ad!ise the )krainian ministry of central (anking and finance/ and ne sanctions should +ussian leaders fail to ithdra ill train o(ser!ers for the arning +ussia of elections on 2= May" On D March/ the ;rench and ), presidents released a statement international o(ser!ers into the Crimea" "ther de elopments The Macedonian parliament was dissol ed on 0 March by unanimous ote of all 11? present MPs- On E March/ parliamentary speaker 8ra*ko #el*ano!ski re!ealed the decision to hold early elections on 2. -pril" 8he elections had originally (een scheduled for 201=" 8he ne date coincides ith the second round of the presidential !ote K the first !ote (eing held on 16 -pril" 8he 5emocratic )nion for Integration 05)I1 party/ a *unior mem(er of the coalition go!ernment/ pushed for early elections after 5)I failed to agree on a *oint presidential candidate ith the leading party in the coalition/ the right4 ing #M+O45PM'H" 8he largest opposition party/ the social4democrats ,5,M/ has accused the coalition of falsifying this crisis as an e&cuse for calling early elections" +ecent polls indicate that the ne&t go!ernment is likely to (e another coalition (et een the #M+O45PM'H and 5)I parties" "n 9 March$ the (omanian parliament appro ed Prime Minister 7ictor Ponta/s new cabinet$ after a split in the former ruling *ocial 1iberal %nion +%*1, go ernment the preceding week- 8he @i(erals left the coalition it had formed agreement on 6 March go!ernment hopes form a ne ith Ponta%s ,ocial 5emocrat Party 0P,51 and the Conser!ati!es after a series as a(le to sign an hich the
their forces from the peninsula and allo
of ro s o!er +omania%s commitment to the IM;%s L4 (illion aid deal" 7o e!er/ Ponta
ith the 5emocratic )nion of 7ungarians in +omania 0)5M+1 to *oin the coalition"
8he !ote of confidence has gi!en Ponta the mandate to push through IM;4(acked reforms/ the legitimacy of +omania%s ne
ill speed up the country%s gro th" 7o e!er/ President 8raian Basescu has 9uestioned go!ernment/ 9uestioning the prime minister%s constitutional right to
go!ernment/ and has threatened to take the Ponta to court"
"n ? March$ &orthern Ireland authorities announced that three incidents of dangerous post had been reported- -n army (om( disposal s9uad as sent to a +oyal Mail sorting office on E March in @ondonderry
and another postal office in @is(urn on . March" -ccording to local media/ one of the parcels had (een addressed to Magha(erry Prison in @is(urn" ;irst Minister Peter +o(inson and 5eputy ;irst Minister Martin Mc2uinness issued a *oint statement on . March condemning the ne s that a primary school in 8o(ermore had recei!ed a (ullet in the mail" Postal (om(s ha!e (een rife in 'orthern Ireland in the last fe months/ ith (om( de!ices (eing sent to ,ecretary of ,tate 8heresa #illiers/ the de!ol!ed *ustice minister/ 5a!id ;ord/ and the pu(lic prosecution offices in @ondonderry" 8he use of such de!ices has (een a tactic of repu(lican and loyalist terrorist groups since the 1I.0s"
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"n the radar • The foreign affairs committee of the European parliament will discuss an A11 billion E% aid package to %kraine on 11 March" • • The European Parliament will debate on 11 March and ote on 1! March on the &*A inBuiry%rgent session of the E% Council for :oreign Affairs on the crisis in %kraine is to be held on 10 March" • E%3%* summit will be held in <russels on 2E March"
<omb blast in <ahrain kills three police officers - remotely4detonated de!ice killed three police officers hen it e&ploded as hundreds of mourners ere attempting to as dismantled
marched in procession to mark the death of a ,hia man in police custody" Police 5aih/ est of the capital/ Manama" 8 o other de!ices
disperse a cro d of opposition protestors that had separated from the main procession in the !illage of ere detonated and a fourth causing no further in*uries" One of the police officers killed in the (last Hmirates/ operating in a 2ulf Cooperation Council force" 8he Bahraini authorities announced that 2= people had (een arrested in connection ith the (om(ing" as from the )nited -ra(
8hey also listed se!eral noted opposition groups as terrorist organisationsM the ;e(ruary 14 coalition/ al4 -shtar Brigades and +esistance Brigades" 8he ;e(ruary 14 group has (een acti!e in Bahrain since ci!il unrest (egan in 2011/ helping to organise protest demonstrations/ hile the al4-shtar Brigades had pre!iously claimed responsi(ility for committing attacks in Bahrain" Opposition groups ha!e condemned the (om(ing and reiterated the re9uirement for protestors to carry out peaceful demonstrations in order to push for reforms" 8ensions in Bahrain ha!e (een simmering since protest mo!ements (egan in 2011 during the go!ernment to push for ard sign that these ith reforms against the current ruling family" - further round of ider -ra(
,pring" 8he ,hia ma*ority ha!e accused the ,unni4led go!ernment of discrimination and ha!e urged the reconciliation talks (et een opposition groups and the go!ernment are e&pected/ though there is little ill (e successful" Protests are e&pected to continue and further security support from ,audi -ra(ia remains a possi(ility" "ther de elopments *audi Arabia has taken steps to crackdown on percei ed threats to the kingdom- On . March/ the kingdom formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group" 8he Muslim Brotherhood has (een forced underground in Hgypt since their remo!al from go!ernment/ despite (eing democratically elected to po er" +iyadh is concerned that the Brotherhood has (een gathering momentum ithin the kingdom and that their doctrine challenges the ,audi dynastic rule" 8ensions amongst the 2ulf dynasties are high after Natar refused to denounce the Brotherhood" +iyadh has also designated the 'usra ;ront and the Islamic state of Ira9 and the @e!ant 0I,I@1 as terrorist organisations/ among fears that ,audi citi$ens are fighting in conflicts a(road"
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"n # March$ it was announced that Egypt/s cabinet had appro ed laws to facilitate a presidential election after the military3backed interim go ernment resigned une2pectedly last month- - date has yet to (e announced/ (ut it is e&pected that the election ill (e held in the spring" ;ield Marshall -(del
;attah el4,isi is e&pected to for ard his candidacy follo ing the official announcement of the electoral plans" 8he hugely popular army chief remo!ed former President Mohamed Morsi from po er in <uly 2016/ and is e&pected to claim !ictory in the polls" A &AT" airstrike killed fi e Afghan soldiers in Afghanistan on # March- 8he airstrike took place in the eastern pro!ince of @ogar/ seriously ounding at least eight other soldiers and se!eral ci!ilians" - '-8O ere mistaken for insurgents" ould
spokesman confirmed the incident and (elie!ed that -fghan security forces
8he use of (oth -fghan and coalition4led airstrikes in -fghanistan has (ecome a source of tension (et een -fghan President 7amid 3ar$ai and the )nited ,tates" - (ilateral security agreement that allo for a ), military presence in the country after 2014 has yet to (e signed"
"n the radar • Pakistan may launch a full3scale military operation against Taliban insurgents in the tribal areas close to Afghanistan during March if the 8ali(an fails to uphold a recently agreed ceasefire" • *yria will miss the 10 March deadline in the programme to destroy its chemical weapons production facilities in a deal agreed • ith the )nited ,tates and +ussia"
Protests are e2pected to continue in Egypt this week against the newly appointed interim go ernment and against the 2ulf ,tates that ha!e supported the military4(acked go!ernment"
'eightened security e2pected following a suicide attack at a northern security checkpoint in 'illa$ IraB$ on C March that killed at least 6= people and in*ured o!er 100"
Planned protests e2pected on 1!$ 10 and !1 March in Algiers$ Algeria$ against President -(dela$i$ Bouteflika:s (id to seek a fourth term in office"
%nited *tates and Canada cancel >oint Arctic military training e2ercises with (ussia ), and Canadian officials ha!e stated that military cooperation ith +ussia is to (e temporarily suspended for hat the 'orth -merican
as part of a package of diplomatic sanctions aimed at punishing Mosco
states descri(e as an illegal occupation and in!asion of neigh(ouring )kraine" 8he announcement came at separate press conferences deli!ered on 2 March and 4 March respecti!ely" - num(er of military training e&ercises to (e held in -rctic territory later in the year ill (e cancelled under the suspension/ including the na!al training e&ercise 'orthern Hagle/ held in the Barents ,ea (et een the )nited ,tates/ +ussia and 'or ay/ and 'O+-5%s air force e&ercise #igilant Hagle held in the 'orthern Pacific (et een the )nited ,tates/ Canada and +ussia" 8he Canadian authorities also e&pelled nine +ussian soldiers located on Canadian territory on E March"
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8he harsh climatic conditions and sparse populations of the -rctic region mean that national go!ernments are often forced to rely on military forces to pro!ide key infrastructure/ particularly for search and rescue operations" In contrast to the seemingly fraught relationships (et een the 'orth -merican states and +ussia in other areas/ cooperation (et een -rctic states in the sphere of military training e&ercises has in recent years (een remarka(ly effecti!e" 8he -rctic Council has also made considera(le progress in this area/ particularly ith the passage of its first legally (inding agreement (et een the eight mem(er states/ the -rctic ,earch and +escue -greement" Increasing le!els of cooperation not only help guarantee the safety of nati!es and !isitors to the -rctic/ they also help set an important international precedent and maintain the region as one free of conflict and mutual suspicion" 8he recent announcements from Aashington and Otta a threaten to derail this progress" ), and Canadian actions there(y undermine the integrity of their commitments to the -rctic and the -rctic Council" 8hey also potentially place li!es at riskJ economic acti!ity and tourism is increasing human presence in the -rctic/ ith one official in northeast Canada last eek reporting that the num(er of search and rescue operations conducted in his territory is increasing (y on a!erage 1041=F e!ery year" Ahile the )nited ,tates and Canada ha!e the right to apply sanctions against +ussia/ their choice to put -rctic cooperation at risk in the pursuit of other aims is a orrying precedent in a region here economic/ en!ironmental and security risks are so clearly transnational in nature" "ther de elopments Two pre iously abandoned military bases in (ussia/s =ola Peninsula are to be reopened$ according to the minister of property relations in Murmansk/ O(last Oleg Ma$uro!" Ma$uro!/ speaking to I8-+48-,, on 4 March/ said that the (ases ere in the south est of the Murmansk region/ close to the (order ith ;inland" Preparations are under ay to ready housing (locks and infrastructure for the arri!al of 6/000 soldiers and officers of the 'orthern ;leet" :inland/s )reen 1eague is threatening to boycott the go ernment o er the construction of a contro ersial new nuclear power plant in the PyhD>oki region of Central :inland- In the original plan appro!ed in 2011 the ;innish go!ernment granted the 2erman energy company H"O' the licence to (uild the plant/ (ut su(se9uent changes to the pro*ect ha!e seen H"O' replaced (y +ussia%s state4o ned nuclear firm +osatom" 5espite changes to the pro*ect/ a num(er of '2Os and local citi$ens are concerned that +osatom lacks the en!ironmental credentials to pursue the pro*ect/ and are demanding the organisation of a ne tender" ;inland is hea!ily reliant on +ussian gas/ and local (usiness leaders claim the pro*ect is essential for ;inland to gain cheaper energy and greater energy security" :rench scientists re i ed a 6;$;;;3year3old irus found in the Arctic permafrost in Eastern *iberia-lthough the particular !irus in 9uestion is not a human pathogen/ the research suggests that the disco!ery is a orrying precedent/ as other potentially harmful !iruses may (e aiting to (e released from the -rctic%s rapidly tha ing permafrost"
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"n the radar • The Annual Arctic <usiness :orum will be held in (o aniemi$ :inland$ on 11316 March- Business leaders from a in the -rctic" • A conference on the theme of E*ustainable Arctic *hipping and Marine "perations/ will be held in 1ondon$ %nited =ingdom$ on 11 March- 5elegates ill discuss in particular the state of ide range of different industries ill meet to discuss ne (usiness opportunities
readiness of maritime and search and rescue infrastructure along the 'orth est Passage and 'orthern ,ea +oute"
Published with intelligence support from Bradburys Global Risk Partners | www-bradburys-co-uk
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