Weekly Analysis 19th August

  • 19 Aug 2016 13:48
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 19 August.
China

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Zambia: Presidential election result perpetuates economic concerns

On 15 August, President Edgar Lungu was re-elected as leader of Zambia. Following widespread violence between supporters of Lungu’s Patriotic Front (PF) party and members of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Zambia’s main opposition party, ahead of the vote, Lungu garnered 50.53 percent of the vote to the UPND’s 46.67 percent, marginally avoiding a runoff. Lungu’s main rival and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema disputed the vote, accusing electoral officials of impartiality and vote rigging following a delay in the delivery of the result. Hichilema has submitted a formal challenge to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, meaning that Lungu’s inauguration has been delayed pending a court ruling. To read more, sign up here

Ukraine: Alleged Kiev-backed infiltration into Crimea increases fears of open conflict

Tensions are continuing to escalate in northern Crimea following claims of several alleged infiltrations into the Russian-occupied region by Kiev-backed fighters, raising concerns of renewed conflict in the south-east and east of Ukraine. On 10 August, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed it had prevented a planned attack by the Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s intelligence agency in the northern Crimean town of Armyansk after the FSB detained several Ukrainians in the city on 6 August. The detainees have been accused of planning a state-sponsored attack on Russian infrastructure in the region. The FSB claims that large quantities of Ukrainian military weapons and explosives were also recovered during the confrontation in which one Russian soldier was killed. A second Russian soldier was killed on 7 August after Ukrainian troops allegedly attempted a second incursion supported by live fire from within Ukrainian territory. To read more, sign up here

Thailand: Bomb attacks threaten tourism revenues

On 11-12 August, a series of coordinated explosions struck seven districts across southern Thailand. Improvised explosive devices were detonated in areas popular with tourists, including Hua Hin, Phuket and Phang Nga. The attacks have seen security tightened across the country. Additional security personnel have been deployed to the attack sites and at high-congestion areas, including checkpoints, bus stations, markets, tourist attractions, government offices, and at Phuket International Airport (HKT). An ongoing search operation has seen security personnel discover two concealed incendiary devices in Hua Hin and arrest at least two individuals suspected of involvement in the attacks. To read more, sign up here

Argentina: Civil unrest increases amid rising prices and inflation

After eight months in power, President Mauricio Macri’s presidency is facing a series of significant challenges in its attempt to boost the economy and ease civil unrest triggered by recent controversial reforms. The latest massive demonstrations in Buenos Aires highlight Macri’s declining popular support and the need to compromise with the left-wing opposition, which is key to continue delivering his promise of developing the country and improving the security environment. To read more, sign up here

Egypt: Sisi remains reliant on foreign aid despite pledge to improve economy

On 11 August, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported it had reached an initial deal with the Egyptian government for a USD 12 billion loan over three years. The government has requested IMF’s assistance amid a US dollar shortage, dwindling foreign reserves and declining tourism revenues. As part of the deal, IMF wants the government to pass a value added tax law and other economic reforms, including a more flexible exchange rate. Despite receiving billions in loans, central bank deposits, energy deals and grants from Gulf nations and pledging to stabilise the economy, President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi has so far failed to realise economic stability, let alone growth, as he bypasses structural changes in favour of big ticket projects that have had little or negative impact on the economy. To read more, sign up here