Weekly Analysis 12 August

  • 12 Aug 2016 12:46
The G4S Risk Analysis team produces weekly risk analysis pieces on current events pertinent to security and business operations. Please see below for excerpts of our weekly analysis for the week ending 12 August.
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Thailand: Military set to entrench political influence following constitutional referendum

On 7 August, Thailand voted overwhelmingly to accept a new draft constitution. The referendum, called by the interim military-backed National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta, not only saw the public endorse the draft constitution, but accept that a junta-appointed Senate would have a role in selecting a new prime minister following a promised general election in 2017. Proponents of the constitution laud the referendum as a major step in securing a “fully-functioning democracy” for Thailand, claiming that it will enhance the ability of successive governments to root out corruption and restore political stability. To read more, sign up here

Pakistan: Quetta hospital bombing highlights continued threat to legal professionals

A suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the emergency hospital ward of Quetta Civil Hospital on 8 August, killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens more. The blast struck as hundreds of journalists and lawyers were delivering the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi, president of the Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) who was killed in a targeted shooting earlier in the day. It is unclear whether the two events are linked, although the majority of those injured in the Quetta bombing were also members of the BBA. The attacks are in line with a recent spike in the targeted killings of legal professionals who denounce the actions of the Taliban and advocate for true democracy in Pakistan. To read more, sign up here

Russia: Protests bring anti-terror laws into focus

On 9 August, several hundred people protested in Moscow’s Sokolinki Park against the government’s package of anti-terrorism bills signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in July. Decrying state encroachment into privacy and civil liberty matters, the new laws allow for more stringent punishment for terrorism-related offences and require that telecommunications providers store users’ information for up to six months, including calls, messages, photos and videos. The laws have sparked criticism from human rights advocates and telecoms companies, which compare the reforms to the USA Patriot Act; however, whereas that allowed for covert surveillance, the Russian act mandates open surveillance. To read more, sign up here

South Africa: Local elections bring unknown future of coalitions for big cities

Poor local election results for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have drawn the country’s smaller parties, such as the liberal, centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA) and the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), into the unknown territory of coalition negotiations. Although there will be some short-term uncertainty, the overall outcomes are expected to be positive for long-term economic development, which has been beset by high unemployment, poor mining output, an ineffective state education system and ailing electricity generation under the ANC. The emergent risk to monitor will be the new role of the EFF, led by its young firebrand leader Julius Malema, as it pursues its agenda of nationalising mines and banks, and expropriating white-owned land. To read more, sign up here

Nicaragua: President Ortega’s autocratic ambitions threaten democracy in Nicaragua

On 2 August, President Daniel Ortega announced that he will be running for a third term in the 6 November general election, alongside the first lady, Rosario Murillo, whom he named as his running mate and vice-presidential candidate. The announcement has triggered severe criticism among the opposition, which warns that Ortega’s move intends to establish a family dynasty. This is the latest in a series of controversial initiatives that raise concern over the government’s crackdown on the already fragile opposition. To read more, sign up here

Libya: US airstrikes aimed at bolstering GNA

US jets have launched airstrikes targeting Islamic State (IS) in Sirte since 1 August, aiding the militias allied to the Government of National Accord (GNA) that are fighting the terrorist organisation in the city since May. The GNA confirmed it had requested the US’s support as Misratan militias were struggling to breakdown IS’s control over several key districts of the city. However, the GNA may also have called for the strikes amid growing protests over foreign interference on behalf of General Khalifa Haftar, which continues to stoke unrest and undermine the legitimacy and authority of the GNA as Libya’s internationally supported and only legitimate unity government in the country. To read more, sign up here