Africa: French president visits Central African Republic amid sectarian violence.
Americas: Embezzlement scandal further discredits Colombian military.
Asia and Pacific: North Korea launches four short-range missiles in response to US-South Korea joint annual military exercises.
Europe: Ukraine accuses Russia of invasion as Russian parliament approves army intervention.
Middle East: Egypt’s prime minister announces resignation of his cabinet.
Polar regions: United States to appoint new special envoy to the Arctic.
French president visits Central African Republic amid sectarian violence
French President François Hollande arrived in Central African Republic (CAR) on 28 February to meet with the former colony’s interim president, Catherine Samba Panza. Returning from a security conference with African leaders in Nigeria, Hollande is also scheduled to meet CAR religious leaders in the capital, Bangui, in response to reports that hundreds of Muslims are seeking refuge in a Catholic church in Carnot following mass killings in CAR’s remote southwest.
Hollande’s second visit to the country demonstrates increased international focus on the CAR conflict, after France committed 2,000 troops to stem the sectarian violence that has steadily escalated since December 2013. French peacekeepers have so far denied claims of ethnic cleansing, yet have acknowledged that the country’s Muslims are under intense pressure from Christian anti-Balaka militias, established in defence against the Muslim Séléka alliance that seized power late last year.
The humanitarian situation in CAR is intensifying. The fighting and problematic infrastructure is making it almost impossible to get aid into the country, with relief organisations warning of a worsening food crisis. The UNHCR reported on 25 February that more than 15,000 people in various locations in the west of CAR are surrounded by armed groups and are at high risk of attack. While the United Nations has announced that the overall situation has improved marginally since December, when approximately 1,000 fatalities occurred in a matter of days, a plan for immediate resolution of the tensions seems unlikely given the continuing reprisals. As such, there are calls for an increased international peacekeeping effort.
Somali terror group Al-Shabaab carried out a deadly attack in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, on 27 February. The explosion, which occurred close to the national security headquarters, killed at least 10 people. Al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesperson, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, has threatened further attacks. Although al-Shabaab was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union forces, it has maintained a strong foothold in rural areas. With the latest car bomb following an attack on the president’s palace on 21 February, it now appears that the group is regaining its strength in urban centres. The UN Security Council will soon hold consultations on its mission in Somalia (UNSOM), while the international arms embargo is due to be partially lifted on 6 March.
Humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières reported on 26 February that warring factions in South Sudan have attacked hospitals, looting and murdering patients in their beds. These attacks are significantly increasing the difficulty of providing humanitarian relief within the country, which has seen thousands of people killed and nearly one million civilians displaced following clashes between rebel forces and government troops, aided by support from neighbouring Uganda. Significant confrontations have most recently occurred around the northern oil hub of Malakal, and other strategically important towns, with increasingly frequent reports of war crimes committed by both sides.
The World Bank has suspended a $90 million loan intended to strengthen Ugandan healthcare after the country’s president, Yoweri Museveni, signed a controversial bill adopting harsh prison terms for homosexual offences. The global lending institution’s decision comes days after countries including Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands announced their intention to freeze aid programmes in response to the new laws. While Uganda relies heavily on foreign aid, the country’s government down played the significance of the cuts, denying that they will hamper current development objectives. The Ugandan currency, however, decreased in value against the dollar following the World Bank’s announcement.
On the radar
- The Nigerian presidency is under fire for attempting to link the suspended Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, to Boko Haram.
- The UN Security Council urging Guinea-Bissau to hold elections as soon as possible, with sanctions to be applied if a return to constitutional order fails.
- Nigeria, preparing for the centenary of the country’s unification, is stepping up its efforts against Boko Haram after the Islamist group killed approximately 60 boarding school students in the country’s northeast.
- Rwanda is protesting a French court’s decision to overturn the extradition orders of two genocide suspects.
Embezzlement scandal further discredits Colombian military
Colombian political magazine Semana has claimed that active and imprisoned military commanders have been embezzling millions of dollars from Colombia’s defence budget. The scandal was uncovered several weeks after revelations of spying by a clandestine military unit on the ongoing government peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Semana report implicates high-ranking military officers as well as Ecuador’s defence ministry and military contractors from Venezuela. General Javier Enrique Rey Navas, head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, resigned in mid-February over his alleged involvement in the affair. The following day, President Juan Manuel Santos announced the replacement of General Leonardo Barrero with General Juan Pablo Rodriguez, six months before the end of his official mandate as commander of the national army.
The roots of the recent affair are to be found in the 2006 ‘false positives’ scandal. The false positive practice involved the extrajudicial killings of thousands of civilians by members of the military who disguised their victims as guerrillas in order to present them as combat kills. Two hundred and thirty soldiers were sentenced for their part in the scandal during the eight years of former President Álvaro Uribe’s two mandates. The Semana investigation, which heard hundreds of hours of audio recordings between officers, revealed that high-ranking officials had diverted funds and organised favours for imprisoned members of the military and their families. The bribes were taken from budgets that were intended for fuel, military apparel, subsidies for active soldiers and spare parts for helicopters. The payments and favours were allegedly employed to prevent imprisoned soldiers from blowing the whistle on their superiors. General Barrero was sacked on the basis of an audio recording indicating his intention to ‘create a mafia to discredit prosecutors’. Revelations of corruption within the Colombian military are not uncommon. However, Santos’s strong reaction following the Semana publication demonstrates a commitment to reform a military institution that is very much suspicious of an eventual peace agreement with FARC.
Santos rapidly denounced the scandal as ‘unacceptable’, as he called the Colombian armed forces the ‘backbone of democracy’. Although the president’s move against the military has created discontent among powerful high-ranked officers, it will also strengthen his control over the army in the light of the FARC peace negotiations. General Rodriguez has in the past explicitly demonstrated his support for a peaceful reintegration of FARC into the Colombian system. Nevertheless, in his parting speech, Barrero signalled doubts about the peace process and openly stated his disagreement with the possibility of an eventual reintegration of FARC. As such, divisions within the military between supporters and opponents of a peace deal will continue to present a major impediment in the current negotiations with FARC.
The arrest of a Mexican drug lord signals an end to the impunity of rich drug traffickers. US authorities confirmed the capture of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, arguably the world’s most-wanted drug lord. Guzmán headed the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organisation that controlled cross-border drug smuggling activities and possessed a highly sophisticated system of money laundering. He was first arrested in 1993 before his escape from a Mexican prison in 2001. Guzmán was tracked down by a joint operation between Mexican authorities and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and his capture is likely to boost President Enrique Peña Nieto’s credibility over the handling of the country’s cartel problem amid a sharp rise of violence in recent years.
Local elections in Ecuador showed strengthened opposition to President Rafael Correa. Correa’s Alianza PAIS (AP) suffered a major setback during the 24 February municipal and regional elections. The party received particularly severe blow in the capital, Quito, where centrist candidate Mauricio Rodas won with a 20-point margin over incumbent AP mayor, Augusto Barrera. In recent months, Correa has had confrontations with various sectors, including business groups, banks, the media, indigenous people and environmental groups. Nevertheless, Correa remains the country’s dominant political figure amid a divided opposition.
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro called for a national peace conference amid violent street protests. Weeks of violent protests have been staged by the opposition against Maduro’s government, which have resulted in 14 deaths and over 140 injuries. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski has announced he will boycott any conference, claiming it represents a diversion manoeuvre. A handful of marches have been staged across the country since the calls for a national peace conference.
On the radar
- Unrest to continue in Venezuela as the Anniversary of former President Hugo Chávez’s death approaches on 5 March.
- FARC has rejected a possible ceasefire during legislative elections on 9 March.
- Miners plan nationwide strike in Peru on 17 March in protest against the government’s decision to regulate miners in order to curb illegal mining within the country.
- The second round of the presidential elections is to be held in El Salvador on 9 March.
- Nationwide strikes expected across Argentina on 5 and 12 March organised by the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA).
Asia and Pacific
North Korea launches four short-range missiles in response to US-South Korea joint annual military exercises
On 27 February, South Korea’s defence ministry reported that North Korea had fired four short-range Scud missiles from the North’s southeast coast towards the northeast into the Sea of Japan at 17:42 local time. The launch was sanctioned three days after the United States and South Korea began their largest annual joint military exercises. The joint military drills, Key resolve and Foal Eagle, are expected to continue until 6 March and 18 April respectively.
In 2013, US-South Korea joint military exercises led to a sharp intensification of rhetoric from North Korea. That same year, North Korea threatened to launch a nuclear strike against the United States. At that time, the North Korean government declared void the treaty that ended the Korean War in 1953. Pyongyang subsequently launched several short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. Nuclear weapons testing in 2013 led to additional economic sanctions on North Korea. Last week’s Scud missile launch is the first time since 2009 that the North Korean military has fired weapons that have the capacity to reach the entire Korean Peninsula. The South Korean defence ministry signalled that they deemed the launch to be a threat and a military provocation, but did, however, recognise the possibility that the launch was part of North Korean military exercises.
Thursday’s launches follow a recent easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. South and North Korean officials recently held high-level talks before a series of family reunions. Based on this notable progress in bilateral relations, it is unlikely that North Korea will exhibit increasingly hostile behaviour. Rather, facing US-South Korean military exercises, the launches represent a reminder of military strength for North Korea’s neighbours, and also for its own citizens.
Twenty nine people have been killed and more than 130 injured in a massive knife attack at the train station in Kunming, Yunnan province, China, on 1 March. The attack was carried out by approximately 10 assailants in what Chinese authorities are describing as a highly organised and planned terrorist attack. Police rapidly sealed off the area, shot and killed four of the attackers and arrested a female suspect. Top national security official, Meng Jianzhu, was flown into the southwestern city to oversee the investigation. In the past decade, China has experienced a number of terrorist attacks, and several knife attacks have been reported against government officials, but this is the first attack of this scope and organisation. Authorities have indicated that Uyghur militants from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are likely to be responsible for the attack.
Thai protest leaders to withdraw from several areas in Bangkok and reduce the scale of protests. After another week of political protests marred by violence, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban indicated on 28 February that demonstrators would reduce their presence on the streets of Bangkok. Earlier this week, Suthep presented an offer to negotiate with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. This offer contrasts starkly with his consistent refusal to negotiate since demonstrations began in late 2013. Yingluck is currently facing negligence charges by an anti-corruption commission. The charges surround a rice subsidy that was intended to increase the prices earned by farmers, but eventually caused a reduction in exports. Despite protests in urban areas, Yingluck does maintain strong support in rural areas of the country. Thus, despite announcements of a protest scale back, concerns remain that opposition demonstrations may turn into violent conflict with the prime minister’s supporters.
Philippine authorities and Muslim rebellion leaders are likely to sign an agreement to end insurgency. Talks continue in Malaysia between Philippine negotiators and leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Analysts in Malaysia report that a peace deal is likely by the end of March. Four power-sharing accords have been signed over the past several years. Agreements have been reached on issues surrounding transition of power, power sharing and economic development. Since the insurgency began over 40 years ago, MILF has sought political autonomy in the southern regions of the country. Violence associated with the conflict has resulted in more than 150,000 deaths and destroyed the economic productivity of several areas. Although a final deal appears likely, challenges regarding implementing and maintaining the agreements remain.
On the radar
- The United States government will send a high-ranking state department official, Nisha Desai Biswal, to India on 4-6 March to discuss a variety of economic and security issues.
- Myanmar’s parliament will debate a law that modifies aspects of existing restrictions on protests and political demonstrations. As written, the bill provides only a modest reduction in restrictions on demonstration.
- Pakistani Taliban leaders have announced a one-month ceasefire with government officials in an attempt to revive failed peace talks.
Ukraine accuses Russia of invasion as Russian parliament approves army intervention
Tensions reached crisis point last week in Ukraine as a pro-Russian leader took charge of the regional government in semi-autonomous Crimea. On 27 February, at an emergency vote in the Crimean parliament, deputies elected the leader of the main pro-Russian party, Sergiy Aksyonov, as the new Crimean prime minister, and also voted to bring forward a referendum vote on the status of Crimea from 25 May to 30 March. Crimea is dominated by ethnic Russians, many of whom still see ousted Viktor Yanukovych as president. Yanukovych appeared on 28 February at a press conference in the southern Russian town of Rostov-on-Don, where he denied the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian government and asserted that he remained the president of Ukraine. On the same day, tensions further escalated with reports that 2,000 Russian troops were airborne to a military base near the regional capital of the Crimea, Sevastopol. Overnight, on 27 February, pro-Russian gunmen occupied state buildings in the capital and supposed soldiers of the Russian fleets took over two Crimean airports: the main international airport in Simferopol and a military airfield. Despite the Kiev government shutting Ukrainian airspace on 28 February, local media reported that 13 Russian aircrafts, with 150 troops in each helicopter, had landed at Gvardeyskaya Airport in Crimea. On 1 March, Putin was granted authority by the duma to use the Russian Army in Ukraine in order to protect Russian interests. Reports suggest Russia has deployed extra troops to its military bases in the southeast and is amassing heavy armour on the border.
The Ukrainian government has seen these developments as Russian occupation and military aggression. Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchinov, has expressed concern that Russia is seeking to annex Crimea, and that the Russian government would follow the same tactics that were used in the Russo-Georgia war in 2008 over the breakaway region of Abkhazia. A leader of the pro-EU movement, Vitali Klitschko, has called for a general mobilisation of the Ukrainian Army in Crimea. Meanwhile, the West has sought to dissuade Russia from further action. President Barack Obama has warned Moscow against an intervention in the crisis following the troop movements, suggesting an intervention in Ukraine would lead to ‘costs’. It has been reported that possible repercussions could include boycotts and sanctions. A UN Security Council meeting was held on 1 March at the request of the United Kingdom after the announcement of the authorisation of Russian military intervention.
Resentment towards the Turkish government flared up again this week. Demonstrators across the country protested against the signing of a bill that will tighten the government’s control of the judiciary. On 26 February, protests took place in six cities, with large rallies in Istanbul and Ankara, where police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters. Under the new legislation, the government will have more power to name judges and prosecutors – a power that critics argue undermines the principle of separation of powers in the Turkish constitution. The president, Abdullah Gül, has also indicated that he is likely to sign another controversial bill that would strengthen state control over the internet. The government also faced a fresh scandal after two recordings were posted on YouTube on 24 and 27 February suggesting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his son to hide a large sum of money from the investigators of a corruption scandal. Ankara’s chief prosecutor launched an investigation on 24 February to investigate the authenticity of the recording and whether Erdogan had committed the accused criminal act. The recent scandal comes as the campaign season was launched in Turkey, with local elections to be held on 30 March.
On 24 February, the Armenian news agency, Armenpress, announced that Russia would commence plans to upgrade its military bases in Armenia. New military aviation facilities are to be built for Russia’s South Military Region at its Erebuni airbase. The works will include increasing capacity for helicopter engine testing and service maintenance. In 2013, the head of Armenia’s National Security Council, Artur Bagdasaryan, announced that Russia would be modernising its bases over the next few years. The airbase is part of Russia’s 102nd military base located in Gyumri, near Armenia’s border with Turkey. Armenia authorised Russia’s military presence in 1995 under a bilateral treaty, extended in 2010 from 25 to 49 years, ensuring that Russia has a presence in the country until 2044. Russia will deploy new helicopters for the airbase in late 2014.
On 25 February, Italy’s new coalition government won two confidence votes in both houses of Italy’s parliament, the chamber of deputies and the senate. Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) forms the majority of the ruling coalition party with the New Centre Right (NCD) party, which is led by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. On 24 February, the new prime minister, Renzi, unveiled to the senate his plans and promised immediate and radical reforms. Renzi has pledged to push through political and electoral overhaul, which he has already brokered with Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister and leader of the Forza Italia party. This reform package would alter Italy’s voting system to favour big parties and working parliamentary majorities. The prime minister also announced his plan to concentrate law-making in the lower house, by amending the constitution to reduce the power of the senate. Renzi has promised bold and innovative measures to revive the recession-gripped economy and outlined four immediate reforms, including the repayment of government debt, support for small and medium enterprises, reducing income and labour taxes, and an overhaul of the justice system and public administrations. However, Renzi will face difficulties in achieving these goals, primarily from the opposition and trade unions.
On the radar
- The Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, has warned that the capital may face a shutdown of public services this week due to a cash crisis.
- Public sector union ADEDY plan to stage a 48-hour nationwide strike and anti-austerity rallies across Greece on 13-14 March.
- The parties of the centre-left Unity alliance will hold a rally in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, on 15 March.
- Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenny will travel to Washington on 17 March to meet with President Barak Obama.
Egypt’s prime minister announces resignation of his cabinet
Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced that his cabinet had resigned on 25 February. The announcement was somewhat unexpected, and the military-backed president, Adly Mansour, was quick to appoint a new prime minister, former housing minister Ibrahim Mahlab, on 26 February. Mahlab has promised to provide a secure climate in the run up to presidential elections expected to be held by the end of April 2014.
The outgoing interim government of el-Beblawi has come under criticism for failing to curb the threat of militancy in the country. Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula, such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, have intensified attacks on security forces since the overthrow of Mohammad Morsi and claimed responsibility for a recent suicide bombing that resulted in the deaths of several South Korean tourists. The tourism industry has already been heavily affected by the country’s political turmoil and the German foreign office has recently warned its citizens against travel to beach resorts in Sinai, including Sharm el-Sheikh. Moreover, the el-Beblawi administration has been criticised for failing to improve the country’s economic troubles since Morsi’s overthrow in July 2013. Egypt had received billions of dollars in aid from Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, to assist with the marginalisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, but has failed to outline any long-term, sustainable economic proposals. The crackdown on Islamists and liberals has lead to many deaths and the imprisonment of thousands of individuals.
Allies of Egypt, including the United States, will be concerned about a return to autocratic rule since the military removed the democratically elected Morsi. It is widely expected that the army chief and defence minister, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will announce his candidacy for the presidential bid. Al-Sisi has been accused of attempting to restore a military-backed government and was appointed defence minister in the wake of Morsi’s ousting. However, in order to run for candidacy, al-Sisi must step down from his post, but has so far failed to do so during the recent government transition.
On 23 February, a field hospital in northern Syria was the subject of a car bomb attack. At least 14 people were killed and 70 others were wounded at the site in the opposition held town of Atmeh, close to the Turkish border. Atmeh has been home to the site of thousands of internally displaced people that have fled their homes since the war began three years ago. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but it is believed that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a militant group that has been highly active in Syria, is responsible.
Reports emerged on 24 February that Iran planned to sell £117 million in weaponry to Iraq in violation of a United Nations embargo. Reuters announced that they had seen documents of an agreement between Tehran and Baghdad in November, said to be a week after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from lobbying US President Barack Obama for weapons to combat al-Qaeda-linked militants. Tehran has denied the existence of any such agreement and Baghdad has neither confirmed nor denied the sale. Any deal between Iran and Iraq will be a concern to the United States as the two neighbours become closer aligned, and Washington may pressure Baghdad into cancelling any future purchase.
Israeli aircraft carried out cross-border airstrikes on targets in northern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, late on 24 February. Targets are reported to have been missile or rocket bases associated with Hezbollah. This is the first time that Israel has conducted cross-border attacks on Hezbollah positions since the civil war in Syria began in 2011. In 2006, Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah fought a month-long war that ended in stalemate. The Shia militant group is allied to President Bashar al-Assad and has sent fighters across the border to fight alongside Syrian government troops. Hezbollah issued a statement on 26 February, warning that there will be a response and denied that any missile targets had been damaged. The Israeli military declined to comment and has indicated that Hezbollah must be prevented from gaining weapons and ammunitions from Syria.
On the radar
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with US President Barack Obama for the annual American Israeli Public Affairs Committee policy conference on 3-4 March.
- Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif is likely to call a meeting with chief ministers to discuss security policy and possible military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Regions.
- Increased likelihood of anti-government protests in Bahrain on 14 March, the anniversary of the military assistance from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
- Talks between Tehran and the P5+1 concerning Iran’s nuclear programme are set to convene in Vienna on 17 March.
- Journalists plan to rally on 3 March outside the interior ministry building in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, overthe alleged excessive force used by police against journalists during a protest on 28 February.
United States to appoint new special envoy to the Arctic
US Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the creation of a new special envoy to the Arctic. Kerry explained the decision with reference to the United States’ upcoming chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, also highlighting that the appointment of a special envoy able to lobby for national interests at all meetings of the Arctic Council has become a common practice for circumpolar states. In a later press release, Kerry stated that ‘the Arctic region is the last global frontier and a region with enormous and growing geostrategic, economic, climate, environment, and national security implications for the United States and the world’.
As Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski pointedly remarked in a letter to President Barak Obama in early February, the lack of a special envoy at the Arctic Council has been a missed opportunity for the US to promote its interests at this crucial international forum. The decision could be a crucial element of the US government’s alleged increasing focus and involvement in Arctic affairs, signalled in 2013 by the release first of the White House’s ‘National Strategy for the Arctic Region’ and later by the defence department’s ‘Arctic Strategy’.
The success of the new envoy will depend on a number of factors, including the scope of the envoy’s brief, the quality of the candidate finally decided upon, and the maintenance of an effective working relationship between this candidate and the Alaskan government and senators. In a press release following the news of Kerry’s decision, Murkowski expressed doubts that at least the first of these demands would be met, questioning Kerry’s failure to use the word ‘ambassador’ in the letter sent to the senators, and calling the creation of a post without this title and the authority it brings no more than ‘window dressing’. Kerry later replied that even if senate approval is not sought (a usual practice for the naming of an ambassador) this title will be applied to the envoy because he or she will be acting in such a role.
Russia plans to re-establish several military camps in the Arctic, including one on the Kola Peninsula. The commander of the Western Military District, Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov, said that work on re-establishing the base on the Kola Peninsula will begin in September this year. There are several more or less dilapidated bases on the Kola Peninsula – from Liinakhamari on the border with Norway in the west to Gremikha on the coast of the Barents Sea in the East – which Sidorov could be referring to, but the exact location is as of yet unconfirmed.
Igor Koshin has been appointed as the new regional governor of Russia’s Nenets Autonomous Okrug region. The appointment of Koshin, who has close ties to Moscow, is a clear indication of the region’s growing importance for the government. The region has in recent years become one of Russia’s leading oil producers, and will be an important part of the development of infrastructure that will be necessary for integrating into the economy the vast and almost untapped gas riches that lie beyond in the Yamal Peninsula. The head of the regional Nenets Accounts Chamber, Oleg Belak, has alleged that the former governor, Igor Fyodorov, had not managed ‘to find a common language with the regional elite’.
Consensus was reached between the five Arctic coastal states to protect the central Arctic Ocean from unregulated fishing. The agreement came during a meeting held between delegations from the states in Greenland during the last week of February. A press release from the meeting stated that all participants recognised the unique opportunity to protect the central Arctic Ocean from unregulated fishing. Recognising the responsibilities of coastal states to conserve and manage fish stocks in their 200 miles zones, participants continued discussions relating to the conservation and management of fish stocks in the high seas portion of the central Arctic Ocean.
On the radar
- A scientific conference on the theme of ‘Cultural Resilience and Human Rights: Perspectives on Northern Indigenous Peoples’, will take place 3-4 March in Rovaniemi, Finland.
- Academics will meet in Boston, United States, to discuss the theme of ‘Warming Arctic: Development, Stewardship and Science’, on 3-4 March.
- An ‘Arctic Summit’ organised by The Economist in London for 4 March promises to bring together Arctic stakeholders from business, politics and academia.
Analysts: Claudia Wagner, Patrick Sewell, Matthew Couillard, Tancrède Feuillade, Laura Hartmann, Daniel Taylor, Derek Crystal and Chris Abbott.
Published with intelligence support from Bradburys Global Risk Partners, www.bradburys.co.uk.