Intellifusion Newsletter and 5 Incidents to catch up on


Friday 24th December 2021

Hi Dhananjaya,

Here’s your weekly rundown of the global security landscape, highlighting key incidents that have taken place from each region in the last seven days;

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Kabul, Afghanistan

A suicide bomber was shot and killed outside of the passport office in Kabul’s 3rd police district on Thursday morning. The bomber is believed to have been intending to target large crowds of people who have been gathering outside of the office for several weeks. At the time of writing, no group has claimed responsibility but the attack was likely carried out by Islamic State – Khorosan Province (IS-KP.)

IS-KP activity has remained high in Afghanistan, with the group able to carry out attacks in the heart of Kabul by using its large network of cells in the country’s capital. IS-KP has also remained active in the east of Afghanistan, where attacks have come in the form of attacks on checkpoints and patrols as well as assassinations in Jalalabad.

NORTH AMERICA

Guerrero, Mexico

On Tuesday afternoon, Mexican federal police (SSP) arrested two heavily armed men in Chichihualco, Guerrero. Moments later, a convoy of around 100 gunmen intercepted the security forces and ordered them to release the suspects, along with a pickup truck and the weapons that had been seized. The gunmen are believed to be members of Los Tlacos, a group that initially labelled itself as a self-defence force against the cartels.

Los Tlacos appear to be gaining ground against their main rival, La Bandera, which is a cell of the Guerreros Unidos cartel. In August, Los Tlacos dealt a major blow to their enemy when they assassinated the leader of La Bandera. One month later, Los Tlacos released a video in which they held 21 rivals hostage near Iguala. The bodies of four hostages were found in the city on the following morning.

EUROPE

Rome, Italy

This week has seen at least two roadblock protests carried out by Extinction Rebellion Italy. These protests have consisted of roadblocks on the A90 Highway (Grande Raccordo Anulare).

Such tactics are a direct copy from the Insulate Britain protests; whose members have focussed on blocking major highways and roads in order to draw attention to their cause. While the protests in Rome do not appear to be as widespread as those seen in Britain, the tactic of blocking major roads by climate activists now appears to be spreading to other European countries. Such a tactic caused significant issues for logistics in Britain and will likely need to be considered when using major roads; particularly during ‘rush hour’ periods.

AFRICA

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

On 17th December, port workers in Cote d’Ivoire’s main ports of Abidjan and San Pedro blocked access to the ports by blocking the gates. The strike by the dock workers was organised by the FNADCI, the main dockers’ union, and it was to demand that the government uphold a 2019 agreement to raise the salaries to USD 3.40 per hour, as well as to demand better working conditions. The strike was planned to last until 24th December, but it was suspended on 20th December, after the government told the union it was willing to negotiate.

Due to the strike, there were fears that there would be delays in the exportation of approximately 500,000-600,000 tonnes of cocoa beans expected to be exported by mid-January. Cocoa is one of the country’s largest exports, and it would have had significant consequences for all parties along the supply chain. The strike and port delays showcased another example of the current issues faced by the global shipping industry and wider logistics sector, which has been impacted by not only COVID-19, but economic impacts from strikes, protests, and fluctuating supply and demand among other issues.

SOUTH AMERICA

Sao Paulo, Brazil

On 21st December, 15 protests were held simultaneously across the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo, in areas like Butanta, Sao Mateus, Grajau, Vila Prudente, and central Sao Paulo among other areas. The acts primarily took place outside supermarkets. The acts were billed as the ‘Marches Against Hunger’, and they were organised by groups like the Central de Movimentos Populares (CMP). The protesters gathered to denounce hunger due to increased food costs, as well as against unemployment and an increase in living costs. The protests come days after another set of protests took place on 17th December across supermarkets in at least nine state capitals across Brazil.

The protest in central Sao Paulo took place in front of the Stock Exchange which had already been the site of protests against hunger in November after a Golden Bull, similar to the one in New York City, was placed outside the building. Some of the protests targeted the policies of the administration of President Bolsonaro which saw the dismantling to the Council for Food and Nutritional Security in January 2019. Such policies, along with the economic impact of COVID-19, has led to an increase in individuals that are food insecure. Continued hardships faced by the lower and middle classes will likely lead to additional protests in the run-up to the general election in October 2022.