Security news

SADC considers Mozambique intervention plan

By Helmoed-Römer Heitman 29 April 2021
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is deliberating a plan for the regional group to deploy a military force to Mozambique to help stabilise the northern Cabo Delgado province where Islamist insurgents are overwhelming security forces...

Delayed Ethiopian poll likely to be disrupted by ongoing conflict

By Jordan Anderson & Nizar Manek 27 April 2021
Ethiopia’s general election, originally scheduled for August 2020 but delayed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, is set for 5 June. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is looking to secure a mandate for his Prosperity Party (PP), formed in November 2019 out of the parties in Ethiopia’s former ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), with the exception of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), with which he went to war in November 2020.  The conditions for holding the polls are worse than in 2020. Despite limited...

Report finds that damage control failures led to sinking of RNoN frigate

By Richard Scott 22 April 2021
A second report into the circumstances leading to the loss of the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) guided-missile frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad has concluded that the ship could have been saved if the crew had been better trained in damage control procedures and more familiar with the ship’s stability characteristics.    The Norwegian frigate HNoMS   Helge Ingstad  takes on water after colliding with the tanker   Sola TS  on 8 November 2018 in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen.  (MARIT HOMMEDAL/AFP via Getty Ima...

Russia imposes no fly zones to practise aviation shipping attacks

By Bruce Jones 21 April 2021
Russia has issued an international notice to pilots (NOTAM) creating no fly zones over Crimea and parts of the Black Sea from 20–24 April in order to practise convoy protection and surface attack drills. ”The area has been declared temporarily dang...

Update: Russia amasses amphibious forces in Black Sea

By Tim Ripley & Bruce Jones 20 April 2021
Russia has continued its build up of amphibious forces in the Black Sea for upcoming exercises with the passage of four Project 775 Ropucha-class large landing ships through the Bosphorus on 17 April.    The Russian Northern Fleet Project 775 Ropucha-class large landing ship  Kondopoga  is pictured transiting the Bosphorus en route to the Black Sea on 17 April.  (Devrim Yaylali)    The four ships –  Kaliningrad  and  Korolev  from the Baltic Fleet, and  Kondopoga  and  Aleksan...

Increasingly lethal response likely to quell Myanmar protests

By Deepa Kumar 20 April 2021
In a statement released on 13 April, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned that Myanmar was moving towards a “full blown conflict”. The comments followed the killing of at least 82 people when security forces opened fir...

NAVAIR teams completes PALS certification on Queen Elizabeth

By Richard Scott 20 April 2021
A team from the US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR’s) Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213) has completed certification of the precision approach and landing system (PALS) fitted to the UK Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth ahead of the ship’s first operational deployment in late May.    An F-35B prepares to land aboard the RN carrier HMS   Queen Elizabeth  . In March, the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office completed a critical step in readying the ship for its fir...

Prospects for Afghan peace deal in near future ‘remain low', says ODNI

By Gabriel Dominguez 19 April 2021
The US intelligence community is not optimistic about the prospects of the Afghan government and the Taliban reaching a peace deal anytime soon to end the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan.  “We assess that prospects for a peace deal will remai...

China's ‘push for global power' poses greatest security threat to US, says US intelligence community

By Gabriel Dominguez 19 April 2021
The US intelligence community has put what it described as China’s ‘push for global power’ at the top of its latest annual report on worldwide threats to the national security of the United States.  Released on 13 April by the Office of the Direct...

US Navy cancels Black Sea deployment amid rising tension with Russia

By Bruce Jones & Michael Fabey 16 April 2021
Turkey’s Anadolu state news agency, quoting Turkish diplomatic sources, reported on 15 April that the deployment of two US Navy (USN) warships to the Black Sea scheduled for 14 and 15 April had been cancelled. Ankara had not been informed of any po...

Update: US set to withdraw remaining troops from Afghanistan before 11 September

By Gabriel Dominguez 15 April 2021
US President Joe Biden announced on 14 April that he plans to withdraw the remaining 2,500 US troops from Afghanistan before 11 September, almost 20 years after the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States that resulted in the country engaging in its longest-running war.  “After consulting with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the [US] Congress and the vice president, as well as with [Afghan President] Mr [Ashraf] Ghani and many others ar...

Manila increases number of assets patrolling West Philippine Sea amid continued presence of Chinese vessels

By Gabriel Dominguez 14 April 2021
The Philippines has increased the number of maritime assets deployed to areas it claims in the disputed South China Sea (SCS) amid what Manila described as a “continuous swarming” in the West Philippine Sea of Chinese coastguard and “maritime militia” vessels.    PLAN Jiangdao (Type 056/056A)-class corvette   Baise  was spotted by the Philippine’s NTF-WPS near the disputed Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea on 11 April.  (NTF-WPS)  The state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported on 13 April that the Phil...

UNAMA reports 29% rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan in first quarter of 2021

By Gabriel Dominguez 14 April 2021
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose by 29% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2020, according to a 14 April report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  In its latest ‘Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’ report, the UN mission said it documented 1,783 civilian casualties (573 killed and 1,210 injured), adding that of particular concern is the 37% rise in the number of women killed and injured, as well as a 23% increase in child casualties.  Afghan security officials ins...

Russian Caspian Flotilla amphibious vessels transfer to Black Sea

By Bruce Jones 09 April 2021
Russian threat capabilities against Ukraine were added to on 7 April when Moscow’s Ministry of Defence announced that more than 10 amphibious landing and artillery ships are to be transferred from the Caspian Flotilla to the Black Sea Fleet headqua...

Wings over Mandalay: Myanmar's junta deploy Chinese-made CH-3A tactical UAVs to observe protest movements

By Kelvin Wong 08 April 2021
Kelvin Wong, unmanned systems editor has confirmed the use of the Chinese-made CH-3A tactical UAV in Myanmar. The latest open-source intelligence from Janes follows. Key pointsMyanmar’s military junta has begun to use its unmanned aerial vehicles to support its operations against protest movements.A rare sighting of the Chinese-made CH-3A tactical UAV over Mandalay has enabled Janes to confirm that it is in operational use in Myanmar following years of speculation.  Popular unrest in central Myanmar has been steadily increasing in the two month...

Finnish public urged to boost domestic and business internet security

By Charles Forrester 07 April 2021
The Finnish security and intelligence service (Suojelupoliisi: SUPO) made a rare appeal to the public to bolster cyber-security efforts on 10 March. The organisation had noted an increase in cyber espionage utilising Finnish infrastructure to give...

Analysis: The South Sudanese armed forces' struggle for unity

By Matthew Alderton 30 March 2021
Reports from the UN Secretary General to the UN Security Council and the EU’s High Representative to South Sudan, released in February and March respectively, show there is a long way to go to achieve the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) that was signed on 12 September 2018.  The deal, signed in Addis Ababa between President Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army in Government (SPLM/A-IG) and Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army in Oppositi...

20 PLA aircraft enter Taiwan's ADIZ after Taipei and Washington sign coast guard co-operation agreement

By Gabriel Dominguez 29 March 2021
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) accused 20 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft of entering the island’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) on 26 March, a day after Washington and Taipei signed a memorandum of understandi...

Saudi Arabia considers national security implications of peak oil

By Jamie Ingram 26 March 2021
A ballistic missile fired by Yemen-based Ansar Allah militants (more commonly referred to as the Houthis) hit an area outside a residential compound for workers of the state-controlled oil company Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Eastern Province, on the evening of 7 March. Saudi Arabia’s defence systems downed the missile, with no casualties reported. On the same day, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack on the company’s storage tanks at nearby Ras Tanura was foiled. Energy assets across Saudi Arabia, most notably the Saudi Aramco-owned Abqaiq pr...

Ethiopian PM admits Eritrean presence in Tigray

By Jeremy Binnie 24 March 2021
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has admitted for the first time that Eritrean troops are operating in his country’s Tigray region.  He told the parliament on 23 March that Ethiopia was indebted to Eritrea for providing a refuge to soldiers who...
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