• Saudi court adviser indicates continuation of Qatari boycott, but low risk of escalation and damage to Qatari economy

    Event On 6 March, Saud Al Qahtani, the Saudi royal court adviser, used his Twitter account to downplay the prospect of any reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the end of a boycott that has been in place since June 2017. Qahtani has taken a prominent social media role in criticising

  • Kazakhstan puts Barys through its paces

    Kazakhstan has finished putting the Barys 8 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle through a harsh winter testing programme, Jane’s has been told. During the trials, which began in December 2017, the vehicle undertook a range of factory acceptance tests in conditions that saw the temperature drop to

  • Russian airlifter crash in Syria claims 32

    A Russian transport aircraft crashed in Syria on 6 March with the loss of all 32 on board, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed. The Antonov An-26 ‘Curl’ twin-engined turboprop came down while attempting to land at Humaymim air base on the Syrian coast, killing the 26 passengers and

  • Islamist attack in Burkina Faso’s capital indicates increasing vulnerability of hardened security force targets

    Key Points The timing of the attacks and the deliberate targeting suggest improving intelligence of the jihadists. Jihadists are likely to aim future attacks at harder targets such as army headquarters and foreign governments’ assets. Jihadists’ complex attacks are likely to involve

  • Nigeria graduates first homegrown UAV pilots

    The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) graduated its first indigenously trained unmanned air vehicle (UAV) pilots on 2 March. It announced three days later that the five new pilots had received their wings following about two years of training at the 401 Flying Training School (FTS) in Kaduna. After

  • US donates fast boats to Kenya

    The United States delivered the final six of 10 Metal Shark fast vessels to the Kenya Navy in an event held in Mombasa on 27 February. The US embassy in Kenya said the boats were worth KES500 million (USD4.9 million), making it the largest US maritime security co-operation programme in sub-Saharan

  • JNIM militants kill two gendarmerie personnel in Burkina Faso's Ouagadougou

    TWO gendarmerie personnel were killed when Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) militants attacked the French embassy in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou on 2 March, Al-Jazeera and Reuters reported. Four militants were killed in retaliatory fire. Simultaneously, militants detonated a suicide

  • Saudi MMSC contract awarded

    The US Department of Defense announced on 5 March that it had awarded a USD481 million contract to Lockheed Martin to “long-lead-time material” for Saudi Arabia’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships. It was announced in October 2015 that the US government had approved the

  • SVBIED attack kills one soldier in Somalia's Mogadishu

    ONE soldier was killed when a Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen militant conducted a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack targeting a military base 30km from Somalia's capital Mogadishu on 2 March, Reuters reported. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • SVBIED attack targeting military headquarters kills five soldiers in Burkina Faso's Ouagadougou

    FIVE soldiers were killed and 64 others were wounded when Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Mulimin (JNIM) militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at military headquarters before militants on foot attacked the building in Burkina Faso's Ouagadougou on 2 March,

  • Saudi production of An-132D takes step forward

    Antonov, Taqnia Aeronautics, and Wahaj have signed an agreement to jointly manufacture the An-132D multi-purpose transport aircraft. The modernised version of the An-132 is being co-developed by Ukrainian company Antonov and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology

  • 'Anarchists' threaten violence in Greece's Athens

    IN A STATEMENT released on March 1, a group identified only as 'Anarchists' claimed responsibility for a number of attacks across Greece - including one on a police station - and threatened further attacks in the capital Athens, The Times reported. The statement referred to the detention of

  • Al-Shabaab mortar attack kills three civilians in Kenya's Mogadishu

    THREE civilians were killed and two others wounded during a mortar attack by Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen militants near a stadium in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on 1 March, Reuters reported. Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • Replacement of Ugandan security officials consistent with president’s rotation strategy, increases likelihood of improved relations with Rwanda

    Event On 4 March, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced the removals from office of Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura and Security Minister Henry Tumukunde, replacing them with Deputy Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola and General Elly Tumwine, respectively. Both

  • Iran likely to face increasing banking difficulties due to US/regional pressures, despite FATF continuing its suspension of countermeasures

    Key Points Although the FATF decided to continue its suspension of countermeasures against Iran, Iran remains on the FATF’s ‘high risk’ banking jurisdiction list. Iran is highly unlikely to fulfil its requirements under the FATF action plan, meaning the suspension of FATF

  • STM to upgrade Pakistan Navy's second Khalid-class submarine

    Turkish defence engineering company STM (Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret) has signed a contract amendment with Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production for the mid-life upgrade of the second of three Khalid (Agosta 90B)-class diesel-electric attack submarines operated by the

  • IED attack wounds four civilians in Iraq's Baghdad

    FOUR civilians were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED), emplaced by unidentified militants, detonated near a sheep market in the Hor Rajab area of Iraq's capital Baghdad on 28 February, Iraqi News reported. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • Recent armed robberies indicative of growing violent crimes in Ghana, Accra and Tema-based financial institutions likely targets

    Event Two armed robberies took place in Accra and Tema in the Greater Accra region on 27 and 28 February, with at least one person being murdered, local media reports state. On 27 February, four armed men entered a car dealership during business hours in the North Industrial Area of Accra. The

  • Suspected Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyya suicide attack kills two soldiers in Nigeria's Lake Chad region

    TWO soldiers were wounded during a suicide attack by a suspected Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyya militant in an unspecified location in Nigeria's Lake Chad region on 27 February, the Premium Times reported. The attack occurred during a counter-terrorism operation, and the suicide bomber detonated their

  • Top Saudi commanders replaced

    The Saudi military got a new chief of the general staff, as well as new land, air, air defence, and strategic missile forces commanders under a royal order announced on 26 February. General Abd-al-Rahman bin Saleh bin Abdullah al-Bunyan was retired and replaced as chief of the General Staff by his