Tag Archives: Africa

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 September 2021

DEFENCE

  • Kazakhstan joint military exercise Kazind-21.
  • Indian army to participate in multi-lateral exercise Zapad 2021 in Russia.
  • India & US sign project agreement for air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle.
  • Pacific air chiefs’ symposium 2021.
  • 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).
  • Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy commence bilateral exercise – ‘Ausindex’.
  • Delegation of Financial powers to Armed Forces for Revenue Procurement.
  • Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force.
  • Inauguration of emergency landing facility.
  • DRDO hands over air defence missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force.
  • First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
  • India–Africa Defence Dialogue to be held alongside every DefExpo.
  • 6th edition of Exercise “Peaceful Mission”.
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addresses 18th India-US Economic Summit.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

  • India and Russia discussed bilateral cooperation on security issues.
Africa
Nigeria
  • Around 6,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered in last few weeks: claimed Nigerian armed forces.
Afghanistan
  • “Al-Qa’ida will rebuild in Afghanistan,” said CIA’s former Dy. Director Morell.
  • “Al-Qa’ida may seek a comeback in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,” said the US Defense Secretary Austin.
  • “The UN must not give recognition to Taliban-led government in Afghanistan,” said Afghan envoy to the UN.
Pakistan
  • “Pakistan is involved in harbouring Taliban and the Haqqanis,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • Pakistan continues to develop culture of violence, claimed India at the UN.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NH-44 is high on target of JeM and LeT: warned intelligence agencies.
  • Security forces arrested a HM terrorist from Pulwama district.
  • Pakistan’s ISI exporting IS-KP operatives to PoK for a major attack in Kashmir, claimed intelligence reports.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • In 2020, Maoist violence highest in Chhattisgarh: NCRB data.
  • Police arrested senior Maoist leader from Odisha.
  • 52 Maoists, including sympathisers, surrendered in Telangana.
Islamic Extremism
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against three IS operatives in Kerala module case.
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against an IS operative in ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • NIA Special Court framed charges against eight KLF terrorists in connection to killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu, SC awardee.
North-East Region Insurgency
  • NIA filed charge-sheet against five ULFA-I operatives in 2019 Grenade Blast case.

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

  • “Cyber-attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure”, claimed ACSC.
  • Indian start-up firm comes up with a device to prevent cyber-attacks.
  • US keen to collaborate with Telangana State government in cyber security.
Defence
Indian army to participate in multi-lateral exercise Zapad 2021 in Russia

A 200 personnel contingent of Indian Army is participating in Exercise ZAPAD 2021, a Multi Nation exercise being held at Nizhniy, Russia from 03 to 16 September 2021. ZAPAD 2021 is one of the theatre level exercises of Russian Armed Forces and will focus primarily on operations against terrorists. Over a dozen countries from Eurasian and South Asian Region will participate in this signature event. The NAGA Battalion group participating in the exercise will feature an all Arms combined task force. The exercise aims to enhance military and strategic ties amongst the participating nations while they plan & execute this exercise.

Kazakhstan joint military exercise Kazind-21

The India – Kazakhstan joint military exercise “KAZIND-21” commenced on 01 Sep 2021 at training node Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. This is the 5th Edition of Annual bilateral joint exercise of both Armies and will continue till 10th September 2021. The fourth edition of the exercise was held at Pithoragarh, India in Sep 2019. The contingent comprises 120 troops from Kazakhstan and 90 soldiers from the Indian Army. Both the contingents will share their expertise and skills in the field of counter terror operations. The exercise will culminate in a 48 hours joint validation exercise scheduled on 08 & 09 September 2021. Click here to read…

India & US sign project agreement for air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle

Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence signed a Project Agreement (PA) for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) under the Joint Working Group Air Systems in the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) on July 30, 2021. The PA for ALUAV falls under the Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Memorandum of Agreement between Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence, which was first signed in January 2006 and renewed in January 2015. The agreement is a significant step towards deepening defence technology collaboration between the two nations through co-development of defence equipment. Click here to read…

Pacific Air Chiefs’ symposium 2021

Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) attended the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium 2021 (PACS-21) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii from 30 Aug to 02 Sep 21. The event themed “Enduring Cooperation towards Regional Stability” was attended by Air Chiefs from countries in the Indo-Pacific region. CAS was nominated as the Dean for the Symposium.

The Symposium saw deliberations through panel discussions, table top exercises and keynote addresses on topics ranging from aspects of Regional Security and the significance of Air Domain Awareness, to cooperation amongst Air Forces for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations.In addition to participation in the symposium, CAS met General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force and General Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Commander, Pacific Air Forces. He also held bilateral and multilateral meetings on defence cooperation and security with Air Chiefs from eleven other countries. Click here to read…

28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)

The 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) was conducted from 02 to 04 Sep 21.The Indian Navy, Singapore Navy participated with their ships and four F-16 fighter aircraft of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also participated in the exercise during the Air Defence Drills. Click here to read…

Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy commence bilateral exercise – ‘Ausindex’

The Indian Navy Task Group participated in the 4th edition of AUSINDEX from 06 to 10 Sep 21. Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac Class Frigate, HMAS Warramunga which participated in Exercise MALABAR along with the IN units is also part of the exercise. This edition of AUSINDEX includes complex surface, sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating Navies.

The participating Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively.

The exercise is a true representation of Joint Guidance signed by the Chief of the Naval Staff, IN and Chief of Navy, RAN on 18 Aug 21. This important document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations and aims to further consolidate shared commitment to regional and global security challenges promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Click here to read…

Delegation of Financial powers to Armed Forces for Revenue Procurement

Raksha Mantri released in New Delhi on September 07, 2021 order on Delegation of Financial Powers to Defence Services (DFPDS) 2021, providing enhanced delegation of Revenue Procurement powers to the Armed Forces. The DFPDS 2021 aims to empower field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business and enhance jointness among the Services.

The enhanced delegation of Financial Powers to functionaries in Service Headquarters and lower formations would result in quicker decision making at all levels leading to better planning and operational preparedness of the Services in a quicker time frame and optimum utilisation of resources. Some of the highlights are:-

  • Financial powers devolved to field formations; focus on operational preparedness; promote ease of doing business & jointness among Services
  • Two times general enhancement for Competent Financial Authorities; Up to 5-10 times at field formations in certain Schedules
  • 10% increase in Delegated Financial Powers of Vice Chiefs of Services
  • Up to three times increase in Schedules related to Indigenisation/R&D to achieve ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
  • Enabling provision of Emergency Financial Powers to Field formations below Command level for Defence Services incorporated in Emergency Powers Schedule for ops immediate military necessities

Click here to read….

Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force

Today, Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of fifty six C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain for the Indian Air Force. C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 Tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract and forty aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium within ten years of signing of the contract. Click here to read…

Inauguration of emergency landing facility

The Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) was inaugurated for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Satta-Gandhav stretch on NH-925A near Barmer, Rajasthan on September 09, 2021. Two Union Ministers travelled to Barmer on C-130J aircraft to inaugurate the facility. They also witnessed aircraft operations on the ELF, which has been constructed in just 19 months by M/S GHV India Pvt. Ltd. under the supervision of IAF and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). This is the first time that a National Highway has been used for emergency landing of aircraft of Indian Air Force. This landing strip will be able to facilitate landing of all types of IAF aircraft. Click here to read…

DRDO hands over air defence missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force

First deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System was handed over to Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Raksha Mantri at Air Force Station, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on September 09, 2021. The MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network centric combat Air Defence System developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Indian industry comprising of private and public sectors including MSMEs.
Key Highlights:

  • MRSAM provides air defence against aerial threats like fighter aircraft, UAVs, guided and unguided munitions & cruise missiles
  • Capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kilometres
  • Indigenously developed rocket motor & control system for achieving high manoeuvrability
  • State-of-the-art missile system
First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

India hosted the inaugural India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on 11 September 2021 in New Delhi. H.E. Ms. Marise Payne, Foreign Minister, and H.E. Mr. Peter Dutton, Defence Minister, of Australia were visiting India on 10-12 September 2021 to take part in the Dialogue. From the Indian side, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar lead the delegation which comprised of officials from the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs. The inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is being held pursuant to the elevation of India-Australia bilateral relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the India-Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit on 04 June 2020. The agenda for the Dialogue covered a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The RM in his interaction with the Australian Defence Minister highlighted the following issues in his address.

  • Wide-ranging discussions on bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional issues
  • Both sides agree to work jointly to realise full potential of India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  • Partnership based on shared vision of free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region
  • Military engagements to be expanded
  • Australian industry invited to take advantage of India’s liberalised FDI policies

Click here to read…

India–Africa Defence Dialogue to be held alongside every Def Expo

India proposes to institutionalise the India Africa Defence Dialogue during successive Def Expos to be held once every two years. Institutionalisation of the India Africa Defence Dialogue will help building on the existing partnerships between African countries & India and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagements including areas like capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter terrorism.

It has been decided that Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses shall be the knowledge partner of India Africa Defence Dialogue and will assist in providing necessary support for enhanced defence cooperation between India and Africa. It has also been decided that Raksha Mantri will host the Defence Ministers of African Nations in the next India – Africa Defence Dialogue on the sidelines of the Def Expo that is scheduled to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in March 2022. The broad theme of this India Africa Defence Dialogue will be ‘India – Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’.

6th edition of Exercise “Peaceful Mission”

Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is a Multilateral Exercise, which is conducted biennially as part of military diplomacy between Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states. The 6th edition of Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is being hosted by Russia in the Orenburg Region of South West Russia from 13 to 25 September 2021. The aim of the exercise is to foster close relations between SCO member states and to enhance abilities of the military leaders to command multi-national military contingents.

The Indian military contingent comprising of an all arms combined force of 200 personnel to include 38 personnel from the Indian Air Force is participating in the Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION -2021. The Indian contingent was inducted to the exercise area by two IL-76 aircrafts. Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri (RM) addresses the 18th India-US Economic Summit

Delivering the inaugural address at the 18th India-US Economic Summit, on the theme ‘Bouncing Back – Resilient Recovery Path Post COVID-19’ organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce through video conferencing on September 15, 2021. The RM highlighted the defence sector as an integral part of not just the security but overall growth of the country, RM stated the initiatives taken by the Government have transformed India into a strong and reliable investment destination. He said, India is now home to stable and secure government which focuses on economic growth through series of reforms. He added that robust domestic demand and availability of talented young work force & innovation make India a major investment destination.

The RM called upon the industry leaders to focus on transfer of technology through joint ventures to realise the country’s true potential in defence sector. The foreign OEMs can set up manufacturing facilities individually or partner with Indian companies through a JV or technology agreement to capitalise on the ‘Make in India’ initiative, he added. The RM exhorted them to begin the process of Research and Development with the young minds of the country which will increase the linkages among the industries and create an ecosystem through equal contribution from academia and research.

The RM emphasised that there is a lot of scope for the American and Indian defence Industries for co-production and co-development, adding that Indian industry can supply components to American Industries. Click here to read…

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

India and Russia discussed bilateral cooperation on security issues

On 08 September 2021, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA)— Ajit Doval and Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council— Nikolai Patrushev met in New Delhi and discussed deepening the bilateral cooperation on security issues and intensifying the joint efforts on special services and military establishments, with emphasis on anti-terror track, combating illegal migration and narcotics trafficking.

The humanitarian and migration crisis in Afghanistan, including the prospects for the India-Russia joint efforts for creating the launch of peaceful settlement process on the basis of an intra-Afghan dialogue was also discussed. Click here to read…

Africa
Nigeria
Around 6,000 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered in last few weeks: claimed Nigerian armed forces

In a statement released on 02 September 2021, the Nigerian armed forces informed that in last few weeks, more than 5,860 Boko Haram terrorists, including commanders, have surrendered with their families in the North-East zone. “Out of surrendered terrorists, 565 had been handed over to the government of North-Eastern Borno State for further management after thorough profiling”, said Spokesperson for the Nigerian armed forces— Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko. Click here to read…

Afghanistan
“Al-Qa’ida will rebuild in Afghanistan,” said CIA’s former Dy. Director Morell

Addressing an online forum hosted by the United States (US) Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia on 08 September, the former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—Michael Morell emphasised that the Taliban will provide safe-haven to al-Qa’ida and the latter intent to build its capability to attack the US at home. “Counter-terrorism efforts fall into a pattern in which their (al-Qa’ida’s) capabilities can be easily degraded by a focused effort, but easily rebuilds when the focus fades,” said Morell. Click here to read…

“Al-Qa’ida may seek a comeback in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,” said the US Defense Secretary Austin

On 09 September 2021, the United States (US) Secretary of Defense— Llyod Austin said that the al-Qa’ida group that used Afghanistan as a staging base to attack the US 20 years ago, may attempt to regenerate there following the US withdrawal that has left the Taliban in power. “We have put the Taliban on notice that we expect them to not allow that happen”, Secretary of State Austin said, referring to the possibility of al-Qa’ida using Afghanistan as a staging base in the future. Click here to read…

“The UN must not give recognition to Taliban-led government in Afghanistan,” said Afghan envoy to the UN

On 09 September 2021, the Afghanistan Ambassador to the United Nations (UN)— Ghulam Isaczai urged that the UN should not recognise “caretaker” government formed by the Taliban which overthrew the democratically elected government in mid-August this year. “I….ask you [the UN] to withhold any recognition of any government in Afghanistan, unless it is truly inclusive and formed on the basis of the free will of the people,” said Ambassador Isaczai. Click here to read…

Pakistan
“Pakistan is involved in harbouring Taliban and the Haqqanis,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Speaking at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on 13 September 2021, the United States (US) Secretary of State—Antony Blinken said that Pakistan has harboured the members of the Taliban, including terrorists of Haqqani Network (HQN), and needs to “line-up” with a broad majority of the international community regarding Afghanistan.

Pakistan has denied its deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of supporting the group overtly and covertly. It (Pakistan) is also a nation where many senior Taliban leaders, including slain al-Qa’ida leader— Osama bin Laden, have escaped to after the US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan in 2001. Click here to read…

Pakistan continues to develop culture of violence, claimed India at the UN

In the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 07 September 2021, the First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN)— Vidisha Maitra said that Pakistan continues to foment a “culture of violence” at home and across the border; along with using the UN platform for hate speech against India. We dismiss and condemn all such efforts. Click here to read…

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NH-44 is high on target of JeM and LeT: warned intelligence agencies

The Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) send intelligence inputs to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) indicating that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are planning to carry out a major attack along the National Highway-44 (NH-44) in Srinagar—from Qazigund to Khanabal.

Also, there have been reports of Masood Azhar (JeM’s leader) meeting Taliban’s top leaders in Kandahar in mid-August seeking support for anti-India operations. In 2021, around 272 youths from Kashmir went missing, and it is estimated that at least 82 of them have joined terrorist groups in the Valley, with 42 being recruited by LeT. Click here to read…

Security forces arrested a HM terrorist from Pulwama district

In a joint operation on 09 September 2021, the 50 Rashtriya Rifle (RR), Awantipora police, and the 185th Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), arrested a Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorist— Shahid Ahmed Khanday, from Androosa Khrew area of Awantipora area in Pulwama district.

During the search operation, security forces observed some suspicious movement in the area and noticed that a person was trying to flee; however, he was apprehended by the security forces personnel. Click here to read…

Pakistan’s ISI exporting IS-KP operatives to PoK for a major attack in Kashmir, claimed intelligence reports

The intelligence reports claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been exporting the Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) terrorists into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with aim to carry out major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

These IS-KP terrorists were released from Afghan jails and returned to Pakistan after the Taliban overthrew the Ghani government in Afghanistan, amidst the United States (US) withdrawal from the country. Click here to read…

Left-Wing Extremism
In 2020, Maoist violence highest in Chhattisgarh: NCRB data

According to the annual report released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), on 14 September 2021, Chhattisgarh recorded the highest number of Maoist-related crimes in 2020. Followed by Jharkhand (133 cases registered) and Maharashtra (32 cases registered), Chhattisgarh topped in murders, loot, attempted murders, and arson by Maoists. Click here to read…

Police arrested senior Maoist leader from Odisha

On 14 September 2021, Odisha police arrested senior Maoist leader and Special Zonal Committee member of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC)—Dubbasi Shankar aka Mahender, from Koraput district in Odisha.

Reportedly, Dubbasi had moved out of the jungle terrain to undergo some medical treatment in Koraput district, where he was arrested by police’s special team. Click here to read…

52 Maoists, including sympathisers, surrendered in Telangana

On 09 September 2021, 52 Maoists, including village committee members and sympathisers, from four border villages of Charlamandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in Telangana, surrendered before Superintendent of Police (SP).

Among those who surrendered were five women and seven minors from Pusuguppa, Battigudem, Bathinapalli, and Chennapuram villages. In November 2020, 33 Maoists, including village committee members, had surrendered before police. Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism
NIA filed charge-sheet against three IS operatives in Kerala module case

On 08 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against three Islamic State (IS) operatives—Mohammed Ameen aka Abu Yahya, Mushab Anwar, and Rahees Rasheed. The case was registered on 05 March 2021, pertaining to terrorist activities of Mohammed Ameen and his associates. Mohammed Ameen have been running various IS propaganda on different social media platforms, including Telegram, Hoop, and Instagram. Click here to read…

NIA filed charge-sheet against an IS operative in ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case

On 03 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against Shihabudeenaka Sirajudeenaka Khalid aka Rajesh—an Islamic State (IS) operative, in connection with ‘al-Hind Bengaluru module’ case.

On 10 January 2020, the case was registered against Mehboob Pasha aka Abdullah, and 16 others, in several cases related to terrorism, and murder of Hindu leaders. Investigation has revealed that Shihabudeen was part of larger conspiracy and had collected & hand-over the arms & ammunition in Mumbai to other operatives to be used in the murder of the Special Sub-Inspector (SSI) Y Wilson in Tamil Nadu police. Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism inspired Extremism
NIA Special Court framed charges against eight KLF terrorists in connection to killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu, SC awardee

On 31 August 2021, the Special Judge for NIA (National Investigation Agency) cases, Mohali, framed charges against eight Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) terrorists— i) Sukhraj Singh aka Sukhaaka Lakhanpal, ii) Ravinder Singh aka Ravi Dhillon, iii) Akashdeep Arora aka Dhaliwal, iv) Jagroop Singh, v) Sukhdeep Singh aka Buraaka Bhura, vi) Gurjit Singh aka Bha, vii) Inderjit Singh, and viii) Sukhmeet Pal Singh aka Sukhaka SukhBhikariwal, in connection with murder of Comrade Balwinder Singh, Shaurya Chakra awardee. On 16 October 2020, two unidentified persons killed Comrade Balwinder Singh at his residence in Bhikhiwind, Taran Tarn district in Punjab. Click here to read…

North-East Region Insurgency
NIA filed charge-sheet against five ULFA-I operatives in 2019 Grenade Blast case

On 14 September 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary charge-sheet against five operatives of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) in connection with 2019 Grenade Blast case. In 2019, two ULFA-I operatives threw grenade at a police party near Central Mall, RGB road, Guwahati, in which 12 people were injured. The self-styled commander-in-chief of ULFA-I—Paresh Baruah, took responsibility of the attack.

The charge-sheeted accused are identified as—Pappu Koch Bokoliyal aka BijoyAsom, Amrit Ballav Goswami, Paresh Baruah aka Paresh Asom, Arunodoy Dahotiya aka Bijit Gogoi, and Munna Baruah aka Munna Asom. Click here to read…

CYBER, INFORMATION WARFARE & AI (SECURITY PERSPECTIVE)

“Cyber-attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure”, claimed the ACSC

In a report published on 15 September 2021, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) informed that a quarter of cyber attacks reported to the Australian security officials over the past year have targeted the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and essential services, including healthcare, food distribution, and energy. The ransomware attacks increased by 15 per cent in the 2020-2021 financial year, as compared to the previous financial year. The ACSC received more than 67,500 reports of cyber-crime of all types in 2020-2021. Click here to read…

Indian start-up firm comes up with a device to prevent cyber-attacks

A Pune-based cyber security start-up firm—Elementik Technologies has launched “Byteseal”— a device to prevent identity-related cyber-attacks, such as phishing and credential thefts. The start-up incubated with Science and Technology Park in Pune and has raised ₹ 1 crore through the Park’s seed-funding scheme, supported by the Department of Science and Technology.

“Byteseal is a secure authentication device which helps subscribers manage their passwords in a more secure and simple way. The device carries the world’s most secure capacitive fingerprint sensor, wireless connectivity to phone and computer via Bluetooth technology and has a long-lasting rechargeable battery up to three months,” said Nikhilesh Wani—founder of the Elementik Technologies. Click here to read…

US keen to collaborate with Telangana State government in cyber security

The United States (US) government expressed its interest to explore ties with Telangana State government in cyber security areas, mainly crypto currency forensics, capacity building, and technology transfer. During her visit to India in August 2021, the US Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) for Cyber & Emerging Technologies— Anne Neuberger exchanged thoughts on potential cooperation with the State government of Telangana, represented by Industries & Commerce and IT Principal Secretary— Jayesh Ranjan.

Telangana State has been a forerunner in cyber security with dedicated efforts such as State policy, Hyderabad Security Cluster (HSC) and Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCE). Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 39, 2021)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

COMMENTARY

Future of Post-Islamist India-Morocco Relations

In the parliamentary electionsof 8th September, Morocco’s long-ruling Islamists suffered a crushing defeat by the liberal parties. With just 12 seats, Islamist Justice and Development (PJD)Party finished much behind its main rivals, the National Rally of Independents (RNI) and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), with 102 and 82 seats respectivelyin the 395-seat assembly. Morocco’s oldest party, The Istiqlal (Independence) also made a surprisingly remarkable comeback and added 32 more to its previous tally to reach 78 seats. Click here to read

NEWS

Mali marks 61st Independence Day celebration with military parade

Mali has marked its 61st anniversary of the country’s independence from France. The celebration however comes at a time of political uncertainty for the sahelian nation. Click here to read

Morocco’s PM-designate Akhannouch announces coalition government

Morocco’s designated Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch said on Wednesday that the three biggest winners of this month’s parliamentary had agreed to form a new cabinet. Click here to read

Egypt uses ‘radio diplomacy’ in Africa to influence Nile dam dispute

Amid the ongoing dispute over the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt is working to expand its broadcasting system targeting Nile Basin countries to promote Egypt’s positions Click here to read

Tunisia’s Saied strengthens presidential powers in decrees

Tunisian President Kaïs Saied issued presidential decrees bolstering the already near-total power he granted himself two months ago. Click here to read

Sudan coup attempt has failed, government says

Sudan’s fragile political transition has been plunged into uncertainty after a reported coup attempt by soldiers loyal to the former autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019.Bashir himself came to power after a military coup in 1989. Click here to read

Beijing finds itself cornered by Africa as they cancel China-led projects

China is increasingly finding itself being cornered by African countries on investment-related matters with several of them cancelling their contracts with Chinese companies, according to a media report. Click here to read

Why Africa is sending more satellites into space

Africa’s space industry has been slow to take off, but it’s predicted to skyrocket in the next few years. Since the continent’s first satellite launched more than 20 years ago, 44 have been sent into orbit by 13 African countries, further 125 are being developed by 23 countries, all expected to launch before 2025. Click here to read

“Hotel Rwanda” Hero Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison On Terror Charges

Paul Rusesabagina, the “Hotel Rwanda” hero who became a fiercely outspoken government critic, was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in prison on terrorism charges after what his supporters labelled a politically motivated show trial. Click here to read

Somalis enjoy first public film screening in 30 years

Somalia has hosted its first public film-screening in 30 years – raising hopes of a cultural revival in the war-ravaged country.The theatre has been a suicide bomb target and a base for warlords. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-58661531″ target=”_blank”>Click here to read

INDIA IN AFRICA

India upgrades its relationship with Algeria

India had a close relationship with Algeria way before its independence in 1962 when the diplomatic relationship was established. New Delhi supported and even hosted the Algerian Independence Movement represented by National Liberation Front (NLF). Click here to read

Coaches from Rae Bareli factory set to roll into Mozambique

Nearly eight years after its commissioning, the modern coach factory (MCF), Rae Bareli, will dispatch its first export quality train set to Mozambique by next month. Click here to read

Ghana President Akufo-Addo slams European nations for not recognizing India-made India-Africa

Ghana has termed as unfortunate the development in some countries in Europe of not recognising the Covishield vaccine manufactured in India for travellers, saying the use of vaccines as a tool for immigration control will be a truly retrogressive step. Click here to read

Ambassador Abhay Kumar meets young Malagasy diplomats who will get training in Delhi

India’s Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar met young diplomats from Madagascar who are joining the first special course for diplomats in the Indian Ocean Region at the Sushma Swaraj Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi starting September 20. Click here to read

India to train African students for UNESCO India-Africa science hackathon with AICTE

India in partnership with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will train students from over 30 African countries for UNESCO India-Africa science hackathon, representative of India to UNESCO, Vishal V Sharma said on social media. Click here to read

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 38, 2021)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

COMMENTARY

Comeback Season of Coups in Africa

Although Military coups have been a part of African political life since the days of independence, with the introduction of multi-party politics of the 90s, the number of coups were coming down, blowing a second wind of change in Africa, and with it the hope for democratic transition in the continent. However, with three successful coups (two in Mali and one in Guinea early this month), one failed attempt in Niger and an institutional coup in Chad within a year, questions are arising regarding the nature of these coups, the reason of their resurgence, whether some of these coups can actually help in democratic transition, and the overall implications of these coups on prospects of democratic governance in Africa.

NEWS

Elections represent an opportunity for stability and unity in Libya

“Libya is at a crossroads where positive or negative outcomes are equally possible,” said Mr. Kubiš. “With the election in December there is an opportunity for Libya to move gradually and convincingly into a more stable, representative and civilian track.” Click here to read

Tunisian president rejects dialogue with ‘traitors’

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied said on Tuesday he would not do deals with those he described as “traitors”, an apparent reference to the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, the biggest in the suspended parliament. Click here to read

Russian mercenary deal in Mali trigger French alarm

French ministers warned Mali on Tuesday against striking a deal with Russian private security group Wagner amid claims the West African country’s military junta is close to hiring 1,000 mercenaries from the controversial firm. Click here to read

Zambian president promises to cut deficit, review mining policies

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said on Friday his new government would implement policies to reduce the fiscal deficit, restore economic growth and review mining policies. In his first address to a new session of parliament since his election in August, Hichilema said officials would also review agricultural policies, revise electricity prices and reform state power firm Zesco. Click here to read

Drought puts 2.1 million Kenyans at risk of starvation

An estimated 2.1 million Kenyans face starvation due to a drought in half the country, which is affecting harvests. The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said people living in 23 counties across the arid north, north-eastern and coastal parts of the country will be in “urgent need” of food aid over the next six months, after poor rains between March and May this year. Click here to read

Ethiopia targets implementation of 17 geothermal projects

With a large-scale plan to invest up to $40 billion in 71 clean energy projects over the next 10 years, Ethiopia is targeting to become a major player in supplying electricity to the African continent. In line with this, the country expects to have 35,000 MW of installed geothermal capacity by 2037. Click here to read

INDIA IN AFRICA

MoS Muraleedharan to visit Algeria from Sep 15-17

Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will be visiting Algeria from September 15 to 17, an official statement said. During his visit, he will call on Algerian Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane and also to hold talks with his counterpart Ramtane Lamamra. Click here to read

Eye on China, India set to cement Africa defense ties

With China making deep inroads into Africa, India now plans to institutionalise a biennial conclave with the defence ministers of different countries of the continent. Defence minister Rajnath Singh will host the second India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) on the side lines of the DefExpo scheduled at Gandhinagar in Gujarat in March next year. Click here to read

India enters into agreements with African nations to import pulses

India has entered into agreements with Malawi and Mozambique for the import of pulses and is negotiating with some other African nations to source pulses for meeting the domestic requirement, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Tuesday. Click here to read

Mauritius Coast Guard gets Do 228 from India

India has officially handed over a Do 228 turboprop aircraft to the Mauritius Coast Guard, which will lease it for maritime security duties. The Indian Navy said the aircraft (MSN 4059) was handed over to the Maritime Air Squadron of the National Coast Guard on 13 September. Click here to read

India considers resuming vaccine exports soon, focus on Africa

India is considering resuming exports of Covid-19 vaccines soon, mainly to Africa, as it has partly immunised a majority of its adults and supplies have surged, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. India, the world’s biggest maker of vaccines overall, stopped vaccine exports in April to focus on inoculating its own population as infections exploded. Click here to read

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 37, 2021)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

Another Day, Another Coup in West Africa

In the early morning of Sunday, heavy gunfire was heard near Guinea’s presidential palace, in capital Conakry, prompting fear of instability. This was followed by social media updates, where people of Guinea saw their President Mr. Condé being held in custody by some men in military attire. And then the leader of the group, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the head of Guinea’s special forces, appeared on television to announce that he has staged a coup and urged the armed forces to back him. Thereupon, the constitution, government and all institutions were dissolved with an announcement that a new “union” government would be formed in weeks. Click here to read

Latest News in Africa
Islamists Thrashed by Liberal Parties in Morocco election

Morocco’s moderate Islamist party suffered major losses in parliamentary elections on Wednesday, a stinging setback in one of the last countries where Islamists had risen to power after the Arab Spring protests. Click here to read

Kenya removed from piracy red list

The global shipping industry has removed Kenya maritime waters within the Indian Ocean from the piracy red list, 12 years after it was designated a high-risk area (HRA). The move will save Kenya and East Africa millions of shillings in insurance and other security expenses, and could open up Kenya’s ports for more business. Click here to read

Protests and Repression in eSwatini Intensify

Since protests broke out in June, the police, military and security forces in eSwatini have killed at least 70 protesters and injured many more. eSwatini is the last feudal dictatorship in Africa, a system described by the current king, 53-year-old Mswati III, as a monarchical democracy, giving prominence to the monarchy and all power vested on him and his parasitic family. Click here to read

In Zimbabwe, Late President Mugabe Book Set to Be Launched

A book that discusses the life of Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe, published by the Richard Mahomva led Leader for Africa Network (LAN) is set to be launched virtually by the SAPES Trust. The book will be titled ‘ Remembering Robert Mugabe- Politics, Legacy and Death’. Click here to read

ONGC is Exploring Some Stakes of Woodside Oil in Senegal

India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. is exploring a purchase of a significant minority stake in the $4 billion-plus Sangomar oil project off the coast of Senegal from Woodside Petroleum Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. Click here to read

Nigeria struggles to find buyers for Oil Exports

Nigeria has sent a signal that the recovery in global oil demand still has some way to go, with volumes for next month’s loading struggling to find a home, even among its main customers. Nigeria has sent a signal that the recovery in global oil demand still has some way to go, with volumes for next month’s loading struggling to find a home, even among its main customers. Click here to read

Mauritius ex-PM flown to India for Covid treatment

Mauritius former PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam flew to Delhi on Wednesday (September 8) on a charter for urgent Covid treatment at AIIMS. His condition is learnt to be serious. Click here to read