Weekly Analysis 29th May

  • 27 May 2016 10:27

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 29th May.

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Afghanistan: Killing of Taliban leader Mullah Mansour unlikely to alter peace process

On 21 May, a US drone strike targeted and killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour. US President Barack Obama authorised the strike which took place in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The strike will have little impact on Afghanistan’s peace process, the failing of which has largely hinged on the inability of Pakistan to bring Mullah Mansour to the negotiating table. Pakistan’s government and intelligence agencies have been regularly accused of under participating and failing to commit to the Afghan peace process. The appointment of Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada as the new Afghan Taliban leader has not been accepted by all factions, but is likely to appeal to most rank-and-file members. To read more, sign up here

Venezuela:  State of emergency extended as crisis escalates

On 13 May, President Nicolas Maduro extended a nationwide state of economic emergency for an indefinite period. This condition grants him exceptional powers to dictate laws without requiring approval from the National Assembly, the opposition-controlled legislative body. In a defiant move against domestic and international opposition to his regime, Maduro also ordered a large-scale mobilisation of military resources, citing a threat imposed by external forces seeking to remove him from power. Opposition leaders, as well as international human rights groups, have called the move a self-imposed coup, warning that, as tensions increase, the risk of violence and severe unrest becomes imminent. To read more, sign up here

UK:  Granting of operational fracking licence to trigger environmental activism

On 24 May, North Yorkshire county councillors voted in favour of granting a fracking operation application, the first time in five years such a licence has been approved in the UK. The move is a significant development in the fledging fracking industry in the UK, which has been beset by delays, legal challenges and environmental opposition. While energy companies have been granted exploratory licences since a 2012 investigation into the environmental impact of fracking was declared “inconclusive”, this is the first time an energy company, in this case Third Energy, since 2011 has been given permission to carry out operational fracking at an existing drill site near Pickering, North Yorkshire. To read more, sign up here

Israel: Far-right captures security establishment with appointment of Lieberman as defence minister

With the appointment to the defence ministry of the extremist Israeli politician, Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist figure who has called for the mass expulsion of Israeli Arabs from the country, Israel’s government has moved still further away from any pretence that a two-state solution could possibly solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. The appointment will further damage US-Israeli relations, which have retracted to exclusively military-to-military connections at the same time as a period of volatility looms for the US as a result of the presidential election race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The appointment also confirms the political supremacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now likely to remain in his post at least until the next scheduled election in 2019. To read more, sign up here

Sudan: Authorities press for UN exit from Darfur

In refusing to renew a 12-month visa permit for Ivo Freijsen, head of the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Sudan has effectively expelled a senior UN official. Sudan’s foreign ministry has failed to provide a reason for their refusal to extend the permit, which is set to expire on 6 June. President Omar al-Bashir has previously called for the UN to leave Sudan’s Darfur region, asking for a renegotiation of the mission following supposed advances in conflict reconciliation in the region. However, violence remains widespread and food shortages as a result of a prolonged drought will place even more people at risk of humanitarian disaster. With Bashir’s outlook for foreign aid limited by an ICC warrant out for his arrest, continuing to expel UN aid workers and other NGOs from the country will do little to assuage concerns of impending disaster in the country. To read more, sign up here