Tag Archives: China

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 27, 2022

Afghanistan
Taliban denounce Pak PM Sharif’s ‘terror in Afghanistan’ remarks in UNGA address – Hindustan Times

Taliban has hit out at the U.S and Pakistan for claiming that terrorism exists in Afghanistan during the UN General Assembly address. In a scathing statement, the Afghanistan Foreign Ministry termed the claims as incorrect and pitched for UNGA seat handover to the Afghan government, who can then counter these ‘unsubstantiated’ concerns. Watch this video for more details. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Visit of Bangladesh Navy Operational Sea Training Group to SNC – Indian Navy

An eight member delegation from the Bangladesh Navy Operational Sea Training Group (BNOSTG) visited Headquarters Sea Training at Kochi to witness Operational Sea Training at Southern Naval Command. As part of the orientation training, interactive session along with practical classes on seamanship, firefighting, damage control, first aid and safety at sea were conducted. The interactive sessions also provided an opportunity to exchange the best practices followed. Click here to read…

No room to cut: Rising inflation traps Bangladesh climate migrants – Thomas Reuters Foundations

The rising cost of living is taking a heavy toll on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, including many already struggling to survive after climate change-fuelled disasters have claimed their homes and land. Bangladesh’s inflation rate is now about 7.5%, according to the country’s central bank, after the government dramatically boosted fuel prices in the face of rising global fossil fuel costs, in part as a result of the Ukraine conflict. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Vaccine Maitri: Bhutan and Nepal expressed their gratitude to India in UNGA, India sent vaccine to more than 100 countries – The Weekly Mail

Bhutan and Nepal expressed their gratitude to India at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. During this, he has expressed his gratitude for the significant support in the supply of covid-19 vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative of the Government of India. Let us tell you that under India’s Vaccine Friendship Initiative, neighbouring countries got a lot of help in vaccinating their population. Click here to read…

Maldives
Kyrgyzstan and Maldives sign agreement on the establishment of visa-free regime – Azer News

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Jeenbek Kulubaev met with his Maldivian counterpart Abdullah Shahid on September 23, Trend reports citing the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry’s press service. Click here to read…

The Maldives received 100,000 more Pfizer vaccine doses from the United States – The Paradise

The US government has provided the Maldives with an additional 100,620 doses of Pfizer vaccines as part of the COVAX deal. The latest shipment comes after the United States sent 439,920 Pfizer vaccine shots to the Maldives in January 2021 and January 2022.Click here to read…

Myanmar
India should negotiate with Myanmar military, ethnic groups to restore peace: Mizoram CM – Indian Express

India should negotiate with military authorities in trouble-torn Myanmar and various ethnic groups there to restore peace in the neighbouring country, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has said. India shares an over 1,600-km-long international border with Myanmar. Click here to read…

Recruitment Crisis Bites as Myanmar Junta Scrambles to Fill Gaps in Ranks – The Irrawaddy

“The Tatmadaw wants you,” used to be a familiar slogan on recruitment posters across Myanmar. Propaganda songs, like one which began: “Support the great Tatmadaw in every way to help it gain strength, never should we forget comrades who are our kin,” were played on the television and radio. But recruitment has broken down, forcing the regime to buy recruits since before the 2021 coup. Officers are being offered promotions and other incentives to find recruits, according to analysts. Click here to read…

Oral update on the human rights situation in Myanmar to the Human Rights Council – OHCHR

Military tactics increasingly involve indiscriminate attacks and weaponry. The growing use of air power and artillery during the monsoon season is significantly impacting civilians and residential areas. In Magway and Sagaing regions as well as Kachin, Shan, Kayah, and Kayin states, residential buildings – as many as 30,000 – schools and other civilian infrastructure have been burnt to the ground during military ground operations. Click here to read…

Nepal
‘Rapid demography change happening, Islamists getting help from Pakistan’: MP from Kapilvastu discusses growing security concerns at the India-Nepal border – OpIndia

There have been several reports in the recent past highlighting the rapidly changing demography in the sections of India near the Indo-Nepal border. The number of mosques and madrasas is constantly increasing. From August 20 to 27, 2022, an OpIndia team visited Nepal areas bordering India to take an account of the ground situation on that side of the border. This is the 23rd report in a series of articles documenting the facts discovered by the OpIndia team. Click here to read…

Pakistan
US asks Pakistan to better manage ties with India

The US has advised Pakistan to improve its ties with India even as it sidestepped New Delhi’s concerns over an upgrade assistance for Islamabad’s F-16s. “In our discussions today, we talked about the importance of managing a responsible relationship with India,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an event with Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Click here to read…

Pakistan FM replaced, veracity of audio tapes established – Tribune India

Rumours over the bugging of the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office were vindicated after the ruling coalition government replaced its Finance Minister as was discussed in a viral audio tape of conversation between PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz and her uncle and PM Shehbaz Sharif. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka keen to restart cancelled Japanese projects; Japan willing to lead creditor talks – Economy Next

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has told Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi that his government is keen to restart Japan-funded projects cancelled by the previous administration, while Minister Hayashi has expressed his country’s willingness to take a leading role in Sri Lanka’s negotiations with her creditors. Click here to read…

HNB allocates Rs. 10Mn to assist MSMEs affected by the economic crisis – Colombo Page

Sri Lanka’s most MSME-friendly bank, HNB PLC, once again allocated Rs. 10 million to assist entrepreneurs affected by the ongoing economic crisis as a part of its flagship ‘Oba Venuwen Api’ initiative to rebuild and revive the economy. Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 39, 2022)

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

COMMENTARY

India must step up its diplomatic efforts to help Mali

Mali is currently experiencing both an Islamist insurgency in the north of the country and a political crisis in the centre as a result of two consecutive coups. On August 18, 2020, a group of senior army officers dissatisfied with the deteriorating political and security situation overthrew the current democratically elected government and established a new transitional one. Click here to read…

Egypt is hosting COP27. What are the expectations?

As the host country for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) from November 6-18, Egypt has a huge role to play during its presidency of the event. Click here to read…

The rise of the opposition in Africa: Which governments are likely to fall next?

Governments in Africa are in trouble. Economic decline, more strategic opposition parties and increasingly sophisticated electorates have left ruling parties increasingly susceptible to election defeat. Click here to read…

NEWS

Eritrea starts big offensive in Ethiopia’s Tigray region – TPLF

Eritrean troops have launched a full-scale offensive in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, a spokesman for the Tigrayan rebel group, the TPLF, has said. Click here to read…

Ethiopia Rejects UN Report Warning of Crimes against Humanity in Tigray

Ethiopia on Tuesday rejected a report by U.N. investigators that accused Addis Ababa of possible ongoing crimes against humanity in its war-torn Tigray region, including using starvation as a weapon. Click here to read…

Central African Republic’s top court deals blow to president’s 3rd term bid

The Central African Republic’s Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that a commission for constitutional reforms set up recently is “unconstitutional,” dealing the first blow to President Faustin-Archange Touadera’s bid to get through legislation allowing him to run for a third term. Click here to read…

Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang, Africa’s Longest-Serving President, to Seek New Term

Teodoro Obiang, the president of Equatorial Guinea, who has led the country for more than 43 years, is the longest serving head of state in the world, excepting monarchs. Click here to read…

Senegal’s president appoints former economy minister as PM

Senegalese President Macky Sall reinstated the post of prime minister on Saturday, appointing a former economy minister to the job two months after a tense legislative election in which Sall’s ruling coalition lost its comfortable majority. Click here to read…

Sudan generals agree in principle to civilians naming prime minister, head of state

Sudan’s military leaders agreed on the appointment of a prime minister and head of state by civilian political forces, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said in a statement on Friday, following a meeting with head of state General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Click here to read…

Thousands protest alleged electoral fraud in Angola

Thousands of Angolans have protested against what they say was a flawed election last month that returned the ruling MPLA to power, continuing its nearly five decades of uninterrupted rule. Click here to read…

Commonwealth to observe Lesotho’s general elections

The Commonwealth will deploy a team to observe the general elections in Lesotho, scheduled for 7 October, 2022. The group will be led by the former president of Seychelles, His Excellency Danny Faure. Click here to read…

Mmusi Maimane says he is ready to be South Africa’s next president

Former Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has partnered with struggle veteran and current deputy mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro, Mkhuseli Jack, to form a new political platform, Build One SA, which is expected to contest the 2024 elections. Click here to read…

Western countries call for holding elections in war-torn Libya

The United States and four European countries have reiterated support to hold inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya “in the shortest time possible.” Click here to read…

Kenya’s Polisario Snub Reveals Morocco’s Growing Clout in Africa

Morocco’s phosphate riches are enabling its growing geopolitical clout, and its vital importance towards food security in Africa and beyond. Click here to read…

Western Sahara: South Sudan Slams Alleged Rapprochement with Polisario

Over the past years, South Sudan has repeatedly expressed interest in advancing economic and diplomatic ties with Rabat while notably distancing itself from the Polisario separatists. Click here to read…

Sudan committed to achieve national reconciliation, General Assembly hears

Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan Abdelrahman Al-Burhan, the President of the Transitional Government of Sudan, called for more multilateral action to find sustainable solutions to global challenges and to reduce terrible repercussions for people worldwide, particularly in countries affected by conflict and in the least developed countries. Click here to read…

Mozambique’s Nyusi Re-elected as Leader of Ruling Party

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi was elected on Sunday to a third five-year term as leader of the ruling Frelimo party. Click here to read…

Biden and Ramaphosa vow to strengthen US-South Africa ties

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa visits Washington for talks with Joe Biden on climate crisis, trade and Ukraine war, among other issues. Click here to read…

US Bill on Russia will punish African countries: SA Prez Cyril Ramaphosa

In terms of the Bill, the US will assess the influence that Russia has on African countries, especially those which it believes undermines the interests of those nations. Click here to read…

US Prez Biden calls South Africa a vital voice despite Russia stance

Biden made no direct mention that Ramaphosa is among African leaders who have maintained a neutral stance in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Click here to read…

South Africa’s Ruling ANC Loses Control of Key City Council

South Africa’s African National Congress was voted out of power in the southern Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, leaving the ruling party in control of only three of the nation’s eight biggest urban areas. Click here to read…

ECOWAS sanctions Guinea, condemns Mali over Ivorian troops

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, has announced more sanctions on Guinea’s military government after it failed to establish a new schedule for a transition to democracy. Click here to read…

South Africa in electricity crisis, nationwide blackouts

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had an urgent meeting scheduled with his Cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the country’s electricity crisis, which has led to unprecedented levels of nationwide power blackouts in Africa’s most developed economy. Click here to read…

Devil in detail of South Africa’s $8.5 billion climate funding, deal on hold

South Africa uses coal to generate more than 80% of its electricity and is the world’s 13th-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. With the country facing record blackouts this year and a number of its coal-fired plants approaching retirement age, additional generating capacity is urgently needed, along with the money to finance it. Click here to read…

At UN, Mali army-appointed PM slams France, praises Russia ties

Mali’s military-appointed prime minister has lashed out at France and the United Nations in a grievance-filled address over his nation’s deteriorating security situation while praising the “exemplary” cooperation with Russia. Click here to read…

Chinese, Algerian FMs meet on sidelines of UNGA session

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra on Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th session of the UN General Assembly. Click here to read…

Mali – Burkina Faso: Goïta and Damiba met to discuss counter-terrorism cooperation

Mali’s transitional president Assimi Goïta received Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, his Burkinabe counterpart, for the first time on 3 September in Bamako. At the heart of their discussions was counter-terrorism cooperation between their two countries, which have been shaken by jihadist groups. Click here to read…

Egypt’s leader meets with Sudan’s military ruler in Cairo

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt on Saturday met with Sudan’s leader in Cairo for talks that focused on ties between the two neighbors, officials said. Click here to read…

Presidential terms should be “limited” – Namibian President

Representative of the last wave of African leaders, Namibian President Hage Geingob, was in Luanda last week for the inauguration of João Lourenço and shared with Euronews his vision of current African politics. Click here to read…

South Sudan Hopes Planned Port in Djibouti Will Increase Market Access, Profits

Officials in South Sudan confirmed this month they have bought land on the coast of Djibouti to build a port. South Sudan says the port will be key for exporting the country’s crude oil. Click here to read…

Tunisia detains former PM Ali Laarayedh after 14-hour questioning

Tunisia’s anti-terrorism police have detained Ali Laarayedh, a former prime minister and senior official in the Ennahdha party, a move the opposition party have called a “political attack” by the country’s president. Click here to read…

Algeria: Free Activist Granted Refugee Status in Tunisia

Algerian authorities should immediately release Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian activist who disappeared a year ago from Tunisia and is now detained under investigation by an Algerian court, and ensure his freedom to leave the country. Click here to read…

Al-Shabaab suicide attack kills 7 in Somalia

A suicide attack claimed by the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab killed at least seven people and injured nine others in Mogadishu on Sunday, the army and eyewitnesses told AFP. Click here to read…

Jihadist Attack Kills Four in Burkina Faso

At least two soldiers and two civilian auxiliaries died in a “terrorist” attack on a patrol in eastern Burkina Faso, the army said Sunday. Click here to read…

Armed bandits kill 15 at mosque in northwest Nigeria, residents say

A gang of armed men killed at least 15 people at a mosque in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state, residents said on Saturday. Click here to read…

Tanzania’s investment bill to open up the economy

In a quest to reform the country’s economy, a new proposed investment act, tabled for the first reading, seeks to encourage and attract more trade and investments both local and foreign. Click here to read…

As COP27 Looms, Africa Receives a 10th of Climate Financing It Needs

As the international climate community prepares to descend on Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, new analysis shows just how far off their host continent is in terms of attracting the finance it needs to adapt to catastrophic global warming. Click here to read…

Why Angola is Africa’s next agricultural powerhouse

When thinking of Angola, often the first thing that comes to people’s mind is the oil industry, with the country having overtaken Nigeria as Africa’s largest oil producer last month. However, Angola may soon be known as an agricultural powerhouse on the African continent as well. Click here to read…

Ethiopia terminates contract with Chinese POLY-GCL effective today

Takele Uma, Ethiopia’s Minister of Mines & Petroleum announced the termination of the contract with the Chinese POLY-GCL, which has been engaged in oil exploration in Ethiopia. Click here to read…

DAL Group and Air Arabia announce joint venture to launch new airline in Sudan

Sudan’s most innovative and customer-focused conglomerate, DAL Group, and Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier operator, announced on Thursday the planned launch of “Air Arabia Sudan,” a joint-venture company to be based in Khartoum International Airport. Click here to read…

Major fair marks Turkish defense industry’s high ambitions in Africa

The Turkish defense industry has various high-quality products for African countries and the states in the region are already interested in what Türkiye has to offer. Click here to read…

Vietnam boosts cooperation with Netherlands, African countries

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh had bilateral meetings with the Dutch Prime Minister, and Foreign Ministers of Sierra Leon, Guinea-Bissau and Malawi in New York on September 23 on the sidelines of the high-level week of the 77th United Nations General Assembly. Click here to read…

Eswatini hosts the 15th biennial East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing conference

The Kingdom of Eswatini has once again hosted the East, Central, and Southern Africa College of Nursing (ECSACON) delegates for the 15th Biennial Scientific Conference and the 7th Quadrennial General Assembly. Click here to read…

Chinese, Gabonese FMs meet on sidelines of UNGA session

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here with Gabonese Foreign Minister Michael Moussa Adamo on Saturday on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. Click here to read…

Pressure is rising for western countries to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe

At the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Sept. 20, the African Union (AU) piled more pressure on the US, EU, and UK to lift all sanctions against Zimbabwe. Click here to read…

Uganda says Ebola caseload rises to 16 as outbreak grows

Uganda said on Sunday its Ebola caseload had jumped to 16 people while a further 18 people also likely had the disease, fuelling fears of a spreading outbreak that involves a strain for which a vaccine has not yet been found. Click here to read…

Severe Drought Set to Plague the Horn of Africa in October; Could Impact Over 36 Million People

At least 36.1 million people in the Horn of Africa, including 24.1 million in Ethiopia, 7.8 million in Somalia, and 4.2 million in Kenya, will be affected by severe drought in October, the United Nations has warned. Click here to read…

South Africans want this diamond back from Britain

A recent report said that calls for the return of Great Star of Africa or Cullinan I, world’s largest known clear-cut diamond, were growing in South Africa. Click here to read…

Rich Chinese culture wows fans in Rwanda

A crowd made up mainly of young people braved the scorching sun in the Rwandan capital of Kigali Friday visiting Chinese cultural exhibitions on display at the University of Rwanda, featuring items ranging from Chinese literature, calligraphy, dance music, traditional costume, cuisine to Chinese kung fu. Click here to read…

Three baby chimps were kidnapped from a sanctuary. Their abductors are demanding a ransom

An animal sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing demands for ransom money, after kidnappers abducted three of its baby chimpanzees. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

India: Visit of Minister of State for External Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan to the Republic of Djibouti (September 21-22, 2022)

Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan will pay an official visit to the Republic of Djibouti on 21-22 September 2022. This will be his first visit to the country. Click here to read…

At DefExpo 2022, India-Africa defence dialogue on the anvil

The forthcoming DefExpo 2022, scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar from October 18 to 22, will host the second edition of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue with invites extended to 53 African countries. A separate Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave with participation of approximately 40 countries is also on the anvil, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday. Click here to read…

Growing India-Africa Bonhomie: Factors and Trends

Despite the constraints posed by post-pandemic challenges, there has been a marked increase in the flurry of visits and engagement between India and Africa. In just 2021, there were at least 22 engagements between India and Africa including bilateral visits at the level of External Affairs Minister (EAM) and Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, routine foreign office consultations, virtual meetings and phone calls at the level of Prime Minister and other such diplomatic events. Click here to read…

India, Egypt sign MoU to further defence cooperation

India and Egypt on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance bilateral defence cooperation. This was signed by Defence Minister Rajanth Singh, who is in a two day visit to Cairo, and his Egyptian counterpart General Mohamed Zaki. Click here to read…

Indian Navy holds anti-piracy operations in Africa

Indian Navy warship INS Tarkash deployed in the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa participated in a joint maritime exercise with Nigerian Navy patrol ships NNS Kano, Osun, Sokoto and Nguru. Click here to read…

Industry can be roped in to fund CV Raman International Fellowship for African Researchers: DST Secy

The objective of this Fellowship is to provide an opportunity for African researchers to conduct collaborative research in various areas of science and technology in different Indian universities and R&D institutions under the guidance of host scientists in India. Click here to read…

Indian Envoy in South Africa Inaugurates Brahmos Aerospace Corporation Pavilion

Indian High Commissioner in South Africa Jaideep Sarkar September 21 inaugurated the BrahMos Aerospace corporation pavilion on the inaugural day of the Africa Aerospace and the Defence Expo in Cape Town. Click here to read…

India hopes to see Sudan emerge as prosperous, peaceful and stable country

India hopes to see Sudan emerge as a prosperous, peaceful and stable country, said India’s Permanent Representative at United Nations Ruchira Kamboj on Tuesday. Click here to read…

This time for Africa: For Indian exporters, a new continent of opportunities as demand wanes in Europe, US

“We are getting 20-25% more export orders from Africa than Europe, a major market that now seems to be drying up,” says Ritesh Bhansali, Director at Mumbai-based exporting firm Picaso Trade Enterprises. Click here to read…

India limits rice exports, Togo braces for impact

India recently decided to limit its rice exports, and this poses new risks for Africa’s food security. On September 9, the Indian government imposed a 20% tariff on exports of white and brown rice and banned the sale of broken rice abroad. Click here to read…

Bharathiyar Awards return to South Africa after Covid hiatus

The annual awards named after renowned Tamil poet and freedom fighter C Subramania Bharati, returned to the Siva Gnana Sabay — a religious organisation based in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg — after a two-year break forced by the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read…

Durga Puja goes global: From Finland to Colombia to Nigeria and more

Durga Puja has come a long way (quite literally) since the first ever barowari puja in Hooghly’s Guptipara in 1790, with Bengal’s favourite festival becoming a truly international affair in the third decade of the 21st century. Click here to read…

EEPC India raises curtain on INDEE Tanzania & inks MoU with Tanzania Chamber

India’s largest overseas engineering exhibition INDEE after completing 45 years, traversing 27 nations all set for the 42nd edition from September 22-24 in Tanzania. Click here to read…

After 8 Namibian cheetahs, India now working to get big cats from South Africa

After Namibian wild cheetahs, India might soon get to see South African felines roaming free in the wilds of the country. Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) has said that India is now working with South Africa to bring the big cats from there. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 26, 2022

Afghanistan
Blast kills 1, wounds 3 in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province – Dajji World

One person was killed and three others injured as a blast rocked Faizabad city, the capital of Afghanistan’s northern Badakhshan province, Provincial Head of Information and Culture Department Qari Maazudin Ahmadi said. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Boat on way to Mahalaya festival sinks in Bangladesh, killing 24; at least 30 missing – Dajji World

At least 24 people have died after a boat capsized in the Koratoya river in Bangladesh’s Panchagarh district with passengers to a temple on board on the Mahalaya festival ahead of Durga Puja. Click here to read…

Rupee-Taka trade: Rupee loan facility to Bangladesh may be under consideration to lessen strain on its forex kitty – Times Now

Soon, India could extend a rupee loan line to Bangladesh and see trade happening in local currency as the neighbouring country faces a dollar crunch, decline in it’s foreign exchange reserves and a weakening taka.Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bhutan unveils new national brand: ‘Believe’ – Kuensel Online

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched the new brand Bhutan ‘Believe’ yesterday. The country unveiled a new tourism strategy, underpinned by transformations in three key areas: enhancements to its sustainable development policies, infrastructure upgrades, and the elevation of the guest experience. Bhutan’s new tagline, Believe, reflects this determined focus on the future, as well as the transformative journeys experienced by its guests. Click here to read…

Maldives
‘Bharat ko badhaai’: At UN-India event, Maldives FM begins address on a special note – Hindustan Times

Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid further said that India has been a valuable partner in helping meet challenges from disaster relief to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and accessing vaccines to economic development and recovery. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US ‘Exploring Ways to Ramp Up Support’ for Myanmar Opposition: State Dept – The Irrawaddy

Earlier this week US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet met with representatives of Myanmar’s civilian parallel National Unity Government and some ethnic armed organizations. On Friday, he spoke with The Irrawaddy about those discussions, as well the ongoing US and international responses to the crisis in Myanmar. Click here to read…

Junta Watch: Drones Put Military on Edge; Nuclear Plans Proceed; and More – The Irrawaddy

The Myanmar military regime is installing anti-drone guns at important buildings and places, junta spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said at the regime’s regular press conference on Tuesday, an indication that the resistance’s drone warfare against the regime is working effectively. Click here to read…

Nepal
OpIndia Impact: Thermal cameras to be installed on the Indo-Nepal border, operators of Madarsas in border villages missing, pujari’s killer held after 2 years – OpIndia

The OpIndia team visited the Indo-Nepal border from August 20 to August 27, 2022, to learn about the ground realities of the demographic change amid the growing Muslim population and media reports of Islamic places of worship along the border. During this time, we obtained information about the Indian districts of Shravasti, Balrampur, Maharajganj, and Siddharthnagar, as well as the Dong and Kapilvastu districts in Nepal. Click here to read…

Pakistan
US’s $450 million F-16 package for Pakistan: A message for India, China factor, or quid pro quo – Times of India

America’s recent decision to approve a $450 million sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet has signalled a marked shift in Washington’s stand on Islamabad and stoked valid concerns in India. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry – CGTN

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry on the sidelines of the general debate of the UNGA 77 in New York on September 23. Wang Yi said that China and Sri Lanka established the relations of strategic partnership of cooperation, and the two countries have always shared weal and woe and treated each other in all sincerity. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, which is of great significance to inherit the past and usher in the future. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: September 23, 2022

Afghanistan
Cargo Leaves China For Afghanistan On New Route Bypassing Russia – Oil Price

China has dispatched a first load of freight to Afghanistan on a new road and rail route transiting Central Asia which will cut travel time by several weeks.The multimodal route starts in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province then passes through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan before entering Afghanistan. Click here to read…

21 years after 9/11, where does Afghanistan stand today – Economic Times

On May 2, 2011, the U.S. Special Forces killed Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in operation Neptune Spear. The fact that Bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan exposed Islamabad’s failure to track down, or failure to reveal the hideout of America’s most wanted terrorist. The U.S. led NATO forces left Kabul in 2021, but the war against terror continues in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Bangladesh, Cambodia to sign FTA for boosting trade cooperation – New Age BD

During a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and her Cambodian counterpart Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in New York on Thursday night, they agreed to do it, said foreign minister AK Abdul Momen while briefing reporters about the activities of the PM on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Click here to read…

Traders worried as India top bank suspends dollar transaction with Bangladesh – TBS News

The public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI), which has been operating for four decades in Dhaka, has suspended export-import transactions in dollars with Bangladesh, raising concern among the business community of both countries as India is the second highest import source for Bangladesh. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bhutan Reopens with New Sustainable Tourism Strategy – Travel Pulse

The Kingdom of Bhutan officially reopens to international travelers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic today, September 22, unveiling a new tourism strategy focusing on sustainable development, infrastructure upgrades and more. Click here to read…vv

Maldives
Maldives is proud to have demonstrated leadership at the UN General Assembly: FM Shahid – Raajje

Maldives is proud to have demonstrated leadership at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), says Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. FM Shahid said this in a message on the 57th Anniversary of the Maldives Membership at the UN, extended on Thursday. As such, FM Shahid highlighted on the fact that Maldives joined the UN at a time a small state joining the UN was questioned, 57 years ago. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US seeks action, possible UN resolution, on Myanmar junta – Channel News

The United States is seeking more pressure on Myanmar’s junta through the United Nations (UN) and is urging the international community not to recognize upcoming elections, a senior official said Thursday. Click here to read…

Mizoram chief minister meets Shah, discusses influx of refugees from Myanmar – Hindustan Times

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Thursday met Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to discuss the influx of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar. In an Instagram post, Zoramthanga said Shah took stock of the situation at the meeting. Click here to read…

Tatmadaw, ARSA, Arakan army, Yaba economy – News Age BD

BANGLADESH is in a spot as far as Myanmar is concerned. Not that Myanmar is doing much better having to fight just about every ethnic group in the country. Given the truncated reality of its cartography, Myanmar probably does not qualify as a state, certainly not as a single unit or even a federation. A half of the map is under rebel control. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal’s NDC on climate change – Kathmandu Post

The last three decades of the international climate regime have shown positive accomplishments. The establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the goals of mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change, the Kyoto Protocol with legally binding emissions targets for developed countries, the Paris Agreement with a temperature threshold of 2 degrees Celsius (and pursue best efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius), and establishment of the net-zero target are three key milestones of past 30 years of climate change negotiation. Click here to read…

Two Nepal projects selected under China’s GDI – Kathmandu Post

At a time when not a single project under the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiatives has commenced in Nepal, two projects from Nepal have been selected under China’s another initiative called, the Global Development Initiative. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Death toll in devastating Pakistan flooding reaches 1,596

The overall death toll in Pakistan from the devastating floods has increased to 1,596, with 12,863 others injured, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said. In the last 24 hours, 20 new fatalities were reported, reports Xinhua news agency citing the NDMA as saying. Click here to read…

China blocks action against Pakistan-based terrorist in ‘favour’ to close ally – Siasat

China has again blocked action in UN Sanctions Committee against Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader and 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused Sajid Mir, drawing strong criticism from India. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Foreign ambassadors assure support to recover Sri Lanka from the economic crisis – Colombo Page

The foreign ambassadors to Sri Lanka have assured President Ranil Wickremesinghe their support to get the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to recover the island nation from the worst economic crisis in its history. Click here to read…

New resolution on Sri Lanka tabled in Geneva – Colombo Gazette

The draft resolution, which was formally handed over to the Human Rights Council Secretariat on Wednesday, has been sponsored by the UK, US, Germany, Canada, Malawi, Montenegro and North Macedonia. Click here to read…

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 September 2022

DEFENCE

  • Indian Army Contingent Participates in Exercise Vostok- 2022.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissions India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi.
  • Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, to visit Nepal.
  • First Ever Visit by Indian Defence Minister to Mongolia.
  • Raksha Mantri participates in India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo.
  • CoE – SURVEI standardizes Drone images for land Survey.
  • DRDO & Indian Army successfully conduct six flight-tests of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system.
  • India-U.S.A 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue and India-U.S.A Maritime Security Dialogue.
  • 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting.
  • 1st Indian Army Logistics seminar held.
  • Japan-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise – Jimex 2022.
  • Exercise Pitch Black 2022 Concludes.
  • Multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022.
  • 36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference – South held in Port Blair.
  • Raksha Mantri’s telephonic conversation with US Secretary of Defence.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia
  • Somalian forces eliminated senior al-Shabaab terrorist and freed hostages in Lower Shabelle region.
Afghanistan
  • “JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar in Pakistan,” claimed Taliban.
  • Islamic State-led suicide attack killed two diplomats at Russian Embassy in Kabul.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NIA filed chargesheet against six perpetrators in the “targeted killing of Sarpanch of Village” case.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against eight terrorists/OGWs in “Pulwama JeM conspiracy” case.
  • Security forces eliminated two HM terrorists in gunfight in Anantnag.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Bihar in the “Maoist Terror Funding” case.
    Police arrested two Maoists from Telangana.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against two Maoists in “PGLA Recruitment case” of Kerala.
  • Security forces unearthed a Maoist dump in Andhra Pradesh.
Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
  • NIA Special Court (Ernakulam) convicted IS terrorist in “IS Wandoor Case” of Kerala.
  • NIA officials searched multiple locations in Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in the “PFI conspiracy” case.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against six JMB terrorists in “JMB Bhopal” case.
Khalistan-inspired Extremism
  • Canada-based think-tank endorsed “Khalistan Referendum”.
North-East India Insurgency
  • NIA searched locations in Mizoram in connection with pilferage of explosives from India to Myanmar.
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Assam in connection with ULFA recruitment case.
Narcotics Trafficking
  • NIA officials arrested three people in “Mundra Heroin” case.

DEFENCE

Indian Army Contingent Participates in Exercise Vostok- 2022.

A multilateral strategic and command Exercise Vostok – 2022 was held at the training grounds of the Eastern Military District of Russia from 01 to 07 September 2022. The exercise is aimed at interaction and coordination amongst other participating military contingents and observers.

The Indian Army contingent comprising of troops from 7/8 Gorkha Rifles had arrived at the exercise location and over the next seven days will undertake joint manoeuvres to include joint field training exercises, combat discussions, and firepower exercises. The Indian Army contingent will look forward to sharing practical aspects and put into practice the validated drills, procedures and practice amalgamation of new technology through discussions and tactical exercises.
Reference: Click here to read…

Prime Minister commissions India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi commissioned the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on September 02, 2022. During the event, the Prime Minister also unveiled the new Naval Ensign (Nishaan), doing away with the colonial past and befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage. He dedicated the new ensign to Chhatrapati Shivaji.

INS Vikrant is designed by Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard, Vikrant has been built with state of the art automation features and is the largest ship ever built in maritime history of India. The 262.5 m long and 61.6 m wide Vikrant displaces approx 43,000 T, having a maximum designed speed of 28 Knots with endurance of 7,500 Nautical Miles. The ship has around 2,200 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1,600 including women officers and sailors.

The ship is capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy). Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard. With 76% indigenous content, construction of INS Vikrant has resulted in direct employment generation for over 2,000 employees of CSL. In addition, it has resulted in indirect employment generation for approx 12,500 employees for over 550 OEMs, sub-contractors, ancillary industries and over 100 MSMEs as well, thereby bolstering plough back effect on economy.

New Ensign of Navy

Resonant to the ongoing national endeavour to move away from colonial past, need was felt to transition to a new design that drew inspiration from our history. The White Ensign identified nation-wide with the Navy, now comprises of two main constituents – the National Flag in the upper left canton, and a Navy Blue – Gold octagon at the centre of the fly side (away from the staff). The Octagon is with twin golden octagonal borders encompassing the golden National Emblem (Lion Capital of Ashoka – underscribed with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in blue Devnagri script) resting atop an anchor; and superimposed on a shield. Below the shield, within the octagon, in a golden bordered ribbon, on a Navy Blue background, is inscribed the motto of the Indian Navy ‘Sam No Varunah’ in golden Devnagriscript. The design encompassed within the octagon has been taken from the Indian Naval crest, wherein the fouled anchor, which is also associated with colonial legacy, has been replaced with a clear anchor underscoring the steadfastness of the Indian Navy.
For more information: Click here to read…

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, to visit Nepal.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande, is scheduled to visit Nepal from 05 to 08 September 2022. This is his first visit to Nepal as COAS. During his visit, the Army Chief will call on the thePresident of Nepal, the Prime Minister of Nepal and the Chief of the Army Staff of Nepali Army, apart from meeting with the Country’s senior military and civilian leadership where he will discuss avenues for enhancing India-Nepal defence relations.
For more information: Click here to read…

First Ever Visit by Indian Defence Minister to Mongolia.

The RM will pay an official visit to Mongolia from 05-07 September, 2022. The upcoming visit by Raksha Mantri is the first ever visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Mongolia and will further consolidate the defence cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries. During his visit he inaugurated the Cyber Security Training Centre, built with assistance from Government of India, at National Defence University in Ulaanbaatar. Shri Rajnath Singh, along with Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia, laid the foundation stone of the India-Mongolia Friendship School, which is being established with the assistance from Government of India.
For more information: Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri participates in India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo.

Upon completion of his visit to Mongolia, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh arrived in Japan on September 07, 2022 for a four-day official visit. The Raksha Mantri, along with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, participated in the 2nd India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo on September 08, 2022.

The RM held bilateral talks with Minister of Defense of Japan Mr Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo on September 08, 2022. The two Ministers reviewed various aspects of bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional affairs. During the delegation-level talks, Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted that the growing complexities in the India-Japan bilateral defence exercises is a testimony to the deepening of defence cooperation between the two countries. The Ministers expressed their commitment in continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including ‘Dharma Guardian’, ‘JIMEX’ and ‘Malabar’. They welcomed the operationalisation of the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services Agreement during Exercise ‘MILAN’ in March this year. The two Ministers agreed that the early conduct of the inaugural fighter exercise will pave way for much greater cooperation and interoperability between the Air Forces of the two countries.

The RM emphasised on the need to expand the scope of partnership in the field of Defence Equipment and Technological Cooperation. He invited Japanese industries to invest in India’s defence corridors where a conducive environment for the growth of the defence industry has been created by the Government of India. This year marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Japan. As two robust democracies, the two countries are pursuing a Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
For more Information: Click here to read…

CoE – SURVEI standardizes Drone images for land Survey.

Setting World’s first standard on land survey using drone, the Ministry of Defense’s Centre of Excellence – Satellite and Unmanned Remote Vehicle Initiative (CoE – SURVEI) has published a draft concept paper prescribing the technical parameters which may serve as a reference standard to estimate the image quality of drone survey output. The COE-SURVEI has solicited comments from the stakeholders in this regard for laying down uniform standards to evaluate quality of output of drone images for purpose of land survey. At present no uniform parameters exist for evaluation of images obtained by the use of drones for the purpose of land survey at present. This poses a challenge in carrying out post-processing analysis on the drone imagery output, restricting the ability to extract relevant information from drone data by using AI & ML tools.

CoE – SURVEI, in association with its knowledge partners has taken a lead in developing draft standards for drone survey output, and published the same for seeking views and wider consultations with drone community and other stakeholders. The draft standards prescribe 19 parameters to evaluate quality of drone output and 8 extension metrics/ techniques to estimate image quality, apart from indicating sample benchmarking from literature.
Reference: Click here to read…

India-U.S.A 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue and India-U.S.A Maritime Security Dialogue.

India-USA 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting was held on 07 September 2022 in New Delhi to follow-up on the India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in April 2022 in Washington D.C. Both sides reviewed implementation of outcomes of the 2+2 Ministerial pertaining to bilateral cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism, maritime security, education, health, climate and clean energy, critical technologies, space, and people-to-people linkages. They discussed ways to further strengthen the Major Defence Partnership, including in new and emerging areas in the defence domain such as space, AI and cyber.

The 5th India-US Maritime Security Dialogue (MSD) was held on 08 September 2022 in New Delhi. During MSD, the two sides discussed developments in the global maritime domain, bilateral maritime cooperation endeavors, regional support initiatives and collaborative efforts such as Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness. They affirmed their shared desire to enhance maritime security internationally and strengthen cooperation towards a free, open and inclusive maritime order that would support security, inclusive growth and prosperity.
For more information: Click here to read…

16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting.

On 8th September 2022, according to the consensus reached in the 16th round of India China Corps Commander Level Meeting, the Indian and Chinese troops in the area of Gogra-Hotsprings (PP-15) have begun to disengage in a coordinated and planned way, which is conducive to the peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Reference: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1857830″ target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

1st Indian Army Logistics seminar held.

In the keynote address at the conference at the first Indian Army Logistics seminar, organised on the theme ‘Samanjasya Se Shakti’, in New Delhi on September 12, 2022, the RM termed jointness among the three services as one of the major policy changes made in Ministry of Defence in the last few years, which has benefited a number of sectors across the board, especially logistics. He said, the foundation has been laid to establish a strong logistics system, which is pivotal for operational preparedness of the Armed Forces as it ensures that right items, with right quality & quantity, are available to the military at the right time and right place. Military logistics is an extremely important aspect that determines the outcome of a war, he said.
For more information: Click here to read…

Japan-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise – Jimex 2022.

The sixth edition of Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22) hosted by Indian Navy commenced in the Bay of Bengal on 11 Sep 22. This edition marks the 10th anniversary of JIMEX, which began in Japan in 2012. It also coincides with the 70th anniversary of establishing of diplomatic relations between India and Japan. JIMEX 22 seeks to consolidate the high degree of interoperability that exists between maritime forces of the two countries, through complex exercises in the surface, sub-surface and air domains.
For more information: Click here to read…

Exercise Pitch Black 2022 Concludes.

The Indian Air Force contingent participating in Exercise Pitch Black 22 in Australia has returned after successful participation in the multinational exercise. Exercise Pitch Black 22 was hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force at its Darwin Air Base. Spanning over a duration of three weeks, the exercise saw the participation of 17 Air Forces and over 2500 military personnel. The IAF contingent included four Su-30 MKI & two C-17 aircraft. The participating forces took part in various multi-aircraft combat drills by day & night, simulating complex aerial scenarios, involving large formations.
For more information: Click here to read…

Multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022.

INS Satpura and a P8 I Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Indian Navy reached Darwin in Australia on 12 Sep 22, for participation in the multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022, hosted by the Royal Australian Navy. The two week-long Exercise, both in harbour and sea, involves ships and maritime aircraft from 14 navies.
For more information: Click here to read…

36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference – South held in Port Blair.

36th Tri-Services Commanders’ Conference (TSCC) – South was held at Port Blair on 12th & 13th September 2022 under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The two-day conference was hosted by Commander-in-Chief, Andaman Nicobar Command Lt Gen Ajai Singh. GOC-in-C, Southern Command Lt Gen JS Nain; FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command V Adm Ajendra Bahadur Singh; FOC-in-C, Southern Naval Command V Adm MA Hampiholi; AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command Air Mshl J Chalapati and Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command V Adm Sanjay Vatsayan were among those who attended the conference.

The senior leadership deliberated upon aspects various pertaining to the geostrategic situation and infrastructure development in the Indian Ocean Region, coordinating the actions of Regional Command of the three services as well as avenues of augmenting tri-services training and readiness of all components. The conference was aimed at synergising collective strengths and capabilities of India’s littoral service and Integrated-Service commands. It focused on addressing contemporary security paradigms while seeking ways to enhance combat capability and make operations more effective and efficient.
Reference: Click here to read…

Raksha Mantri’s (RM) telephonic conversation with US Secretary of Defence.

The RM and his US counterpart Secretary of Defence Mr Lloyd Austin had a warm and fruitful telephonic conversation on 14th Sep. They reviewed the multi-faceted India-US defence cooperation and reiterated mutual commitment to further strengthen military-to-military ties. The RM and Secretary Austin also discussed regional issues and affirmed their shared desire for maintaining peace and stability in the region and beyond. Shri Rajnath Singh conveyed India’s concerns over the US decision to provide sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.
For more information: Click here to read…

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia
Somalian forces eliminated senior al-Shabaab terrorist and freed hostages in Lower Shabelle region.

On 10 September 2022, the Somali National Army (SNA) carried out counter-terrorism (CT) operation and killed al-Qa’ida affiliated al-Shabaab’s leader Carab, and injured other senior members, in the town of Mubaarak of Lower Shabelle region in southwest to Mogadishu, according to a statement issued by Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism. During the operation, the security forces freed several civilians who were being held by al-Shabaab in the Centre.
For more information: Click here to read…

Afghanistan
“JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar in Pakistan,” claimed Taliban.

In response to Pakistan’s letter to Afghanistan for the arrest of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid denied the presence of Masood Azhar in Afghanistan, as accused by Pakistan. “The leader of JeM group is not here [Afghanistan]. This is an organisation which could be in Pakistan. We have heard about this in news. Our [Taliban] reaction is that this is not true,” said Zabiullah Mujahid. “We also call on all parties to refrain from such allegations lacking any proof and documentation. Such media allegations can adversely affect bilateral relations between Kabul and Islamabad,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesman of Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
For more information: Click here to read…

Islamic State-led suicide attack killed two diplomats at Russian Embassy in Kabul.

On 05 September 2022, a suicide bombing outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul killed two officials of the embassy staff and at least one civilian. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry and State news agency— RIA Novosti, the explosion occurred at the entrance to the embassy’s consular section where several Afghans were waiting for the update on their visa applications. The Islamic State claimed the responsibility of the attack.

The incident is the recent in a series of attacks since the Taliban seized Kabul a year ago. The explosion appeared to be first of its kind to target a foreign diplomatic mission in Kabul.
For more information: Click here to read…

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
NIA filed chargesheet against six perpetrators in the “targeted killing of Sarpanch of Village” case.

On 09 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet against six perpetrators in the case related to the targeted killing of the Sarpanch Shabir Ahmad Mir, Sarpanch of village Adoora in Kulgam district. The killing was carried by Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists.

Aside from this incident, carrying out targeted killings in Kashmir Valley was a part of a larger plot by HM and other terrorist organisations to disturb the peace, undermine the Panchayti Raj System’s established democratic process in Kashmir Valley, as well as to instil fear among the region’s political leaders.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against eight terrorists/OGWs in “Pulwama JeM conspiracy” case.

On 07 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet in NIA Special Court, Jammu, against eight terrorists, including Over-Ground Workers (OGWs) of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) to execute terrorist activities against security forces in Southern Kashmir.

The investigations in the case— RC-02/2022/NIA/JMU have revealed that the chargesheet terrorists/OGWs had provided shelter, transportation, and other logistics support to JeM terrorists— Aquaib Mushtaq Bhat (local) and Kamaal Bhai (Pakistani), who were conspiring to carry out terrorist acts against security forces.
For more information: Click here to read…

Security forces eliminated two HM terrorists in gunfight in Anantnag.

On 06 September 2022, security forces killed two Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists— Danish Bhat and Basharat Nabi, in a gunfight in Pooshkreeri area of Srigufwara in Bijbehara area in Anantnag district of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Both terrorists were involved in the killing of a Territorial Army (TA) officer— Saleem Pandit in Bijbehara and two civilians in Jablipora area in Anantnag district in 2021.

More than 130 terrorists have been killed this year, including 32 Pakistani national. Terrorists have been targeting Kashmiri Pandits, non-locals, policemen on leave, and politically-affiliated locals.
For more information: Click here to read…

Left-Wing Extremism
NIA searched multiple locations in Bihar in the “Maoist Terror Funding” case.

On 07 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials carried out search operations at five locations in Jehanabad, Gaya, and Aurangabad districts of Bihar in Maoist terror-funding case in the Magadh region of Bihar for the revival of Magadh Zone of the CPI (Maoist).
For more information: Click here to read…

Police arrested two Maoists from Telangana.

In a joint operation with CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel, Charla Police, on 13 September 2022, arrested two Maoists— i) Vando Joga, and ii) Ravva Ungal, from Korakatpadu forest area in Charla Mandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in Telangana. Both arrested Maoists were members of a Maoist dalam led by Charla Local Organising Squad (LOS) commander Rajitha that planned to install landmines in the Kurnapalli-Bodanelli forest area in early September 2022 to kill police officers.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against two Maoists in “PGLA Recruitment case” of Kerala.

On 03 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against two Maoists in connection with the case— RC-01/2022/NIA/KOC which pertains to recruitment and training of youth by the CPI (Maoist) and their front organisations besides organising camps to further carry out their activities and spread of Maoist ideologies.
For more information: Click here to read…

Security forces unearthed a Maoist dump in Andhra Pradesh.

On 08 September 2022, security forces comprising of Alluri Sitarama Raju district special police and CRPF force of 198 and 234 Battalions, in a joint combing operation, discovered a huge Maoist dump in a forest area near Jakkam village in Pedabayalu mandal in Visakhapatanam district in Andhra Pradesh.

“Articles such as communication manpack trans-receivers and a large quantity of Cordtex (detonating cord is a thin, flexible plastic tube filled with pentaerythritol) were found in the dump and police analysed its intensity of explosion by material,” said Alluri Sitarama Raju district Superintendent of Police (SP) Sateesh Kumar.
For more information: Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
NIA Special Court (Ernakulam) convicted IS terrorist in “IS Wandoor Case” of Kerala.

On 14 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court, Ernakulam, convicted an Islamic State (IS) terrorist— Shaibu Nihar V.K., under Sections 120B r/w 125 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), r/w Sec 38, 39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], and also separately u/s 125 IPC, 38, 39 and 40 of the UA(P)A.

As per investigation, Shaibu Nihar had raised funds with intention of furthering the activities of IS and provided the same to co-accused of their intended travel to Syria. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on 19 September 2022.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA officials searched multiple locations in Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in the “PFI conspiracy” case.

On 08 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched 20 locations in nine districts of Bihar, including Nalanda, Katihar, Arariya, Madhubani, Patna, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, and Saran. Along with, as a separate incident, NIA officials searched locations at Shiv Ganga district in Tamil Nadu and South Kannada district in Karnataka in connection with the case— RC-31/2022/NIA/DLI pertaining to the involvement of Popular Front of India (PFI) in anti-national activities.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against six JMB terrorists in “JMB Bhopal” case.

On 07 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet against six Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorists— i) Fazar Ali, ii) Waliullah Milon, iii) Jainul Abidin, iv) Aqeel Ahmad Shaikh, v) Abdul Karim, and vi) Sheban Khan, in the case related to the arrest of six JMB terrorists, including three illegal Bangladeshi nationals, from Bhopal. The terrorists were involved in propagating JMB ideology and motivating youth to carryout jihad against India.
For more information: Click here to read…

Khalistan-inspired Extremism
Canada-based think-tank endorsed “Khalistan Referendum”.

In a press conference in Toronto and a virtual discussion, the chairman and members of the “Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC)”, released a report titled From Golden Temple to Punjab Independence, advocating the so-called Khalistan Referendum. The report was jointly published by Canada-based Research Institute on Self-Determination of Peoples and National (IRAI). The report reviewed the validity of ongoing Sikh secessionist referendum under international laws and established democratic norms.
“The referendum voting in the UK and European capitals had been a huge success and registered as a new model of campaigning. The model followed by Sikh for Justice (SFJ) can serve as a beacon for all those nations, ethnicities and groups who want to obtain their right to self-determination through peaceful ways,” said Matt Qvortrup, Chair of the PRC and academician at the Coventry University, UK.
For more information: Click here to read…

North-East India Insurgency
NIA searched locations in Mizoram in connection with pilferage of explosives from India to Myanmar.

On 13 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched two locations in Aizwal district in Mizoram in connection with the case of recovery of 2,400 kilograms of explosives, including 1,000 detonators, and 4,500 metres of detonating wire, cash of worth ₹ 73,500 and 9,35,500 Kyat (Myanmar currency unit).

Investigation revealed that the consignment of explosives was meant for the Myanmar based outfit— Chin National Front (CNF) which has been accumulating arms, ammunition and explosives for armed struggle against the Government of Myanmar. In the case— RC-09/2022/NIA/DLI, NIA had arrested and filed chargesheet against three accused on 19 April 2022.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA searched multiple locations in Assam in connection with ULFA recruitment case.

On 02 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched 16 locations in seven districts of Assam, including Kamrup, Nalbari, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sadiya, Charaideo, and Sibasagar in the case— RC-23/2022/NIA/DLI pertaining to the recruitment and other activities of ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom), and their training camps based across the India-Myanmar border in Myanmar.
For more information: Click here to read…

Narcotics Trafficking
NIA officials arrested three people in “Mundra Heroin” case.

On 14 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials arrested three people— i) Rah Matullah (permanent resident of Kabul, Afghanistan), ii) Ishwinder Singh, and iii) Jasbir Singh, for their active involvement in smuggling of heroin in large consignments camouflaged in containers of talc stones, bituminous coal, through maritime road.

The case involves one of the greatest international drug smuggling syndicates, which is run by the “Daad brothers”—Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad (both Afghan nationals), who are already wanted by the NIA in the Mundra case. The duo has smuggled many consignments of heroin into India, camouflaged in seemingly benign consignments of products such as semi-processed Talc stones and Bituminous coal. These consignments were imported through various Indian ports, including Mundra, Gujarat, and Kolkata, and then trucked to New Delhi. The investigation uncovered a vast and widespread network of drug traffickers, international facilitators/conduits, importers using fake/shell companies, distributors, and local wholesalers and retailers operating a massive international drug smuggling racket from a variety of countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 38, 2022)

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

COMMENTARY

The crisis in Mali poses a stiff hurdle for Indian diplomacy

With a heterogeneous mix of Islamists, separatists and ethnic militias, Mali has become a tinderbox and can explode anytime. India must act cautiously but fast. Click here to read…

Ten years after the Marikana massacre in South Africa

This August 2022, South Africa commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Marikana massacre. Located 90 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, Marikana is one of the richest mineral belts in the world. Click here to read…

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: its Impact and Implications for Southern Africa

This article attempts to contribute to the discussions on the evolutionary political confrontations and contradictions between Russia and Ukraine, its impact on and implications for Africa. Click here to read…

NEWS

Angola’s Joao Lourenco takes oath of office for second term as president

Angola’s Joao Lourenco took the oath of office Thursday for a second term as the country’s president at an inauguration ceremony held in Luanda, the Angolan capital. Click here to read…

Kenya snaps ties with Western Sahara’s Polisario after talks with Morocco

Nairobi rescinds its recognition of the area controlled by Polisario movement, which seeks independence of Western Sahara from Rabat after President William Ruto meets Moroccan FM Nasser Bourita. Click here to read…

Ethiopia’s economy struggles as war reignites in Tigray

Once home to one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, Ethiopia is struggling as the war in its Tigray region has reignited and weary citizens far from the front are pleading for peace. Click here to read…

Ruto appoints predecessor as peace envoy to Ethiopia, Great Lakes region

Newly sworn-in Kenyan President William Ruto has appointed his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta as peace envoy to Ethiopia and the Great Lakes region. Click here to read…

William Ruto: New Kenya president’s bold move to scrap subsidies

While leaders around the world are introducing subsidies to protect people from the rising cost of living, in his first major policy announcement, Kenya’s President William Ruto has surprised the nation by scrapping a subsidy on petrol which has increased the retail price to an all-time high. Click here to read…

Kenya revokes its support for Western Sahara independence, pleases Morocco

Hours after his swear-in ceremony, William Ruto, Kenya’s new president, upended the country’s decades-long policy of siding with the African Union on Western Sahara’s independence by revoking Nairobi’s support. Click here to read…

Egypt withdraws from Arab League meeting amid Libya presidency row

Egypt withdrew from an Arab League meeting on Tuesday in protest of chairing the session by the Libyan foreign minister in the outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh. Click here to read…

Djibouti: France’s President Emmanuel Macron reaffirms support for Ismaïl Omar Guelleh

France’s President Emmanuel Macron assured his “attachment to Djibouti’s stability” during a phone conversation with his Djiboutian counterpart Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. Click here to read…

Mozambique’s jihadis spread into most populous province

Extremists allied with the Islamic State group have spread their attacks further south into Mozambique’s most populous province, Nampula, including an assault on a Catholic mission in which an Italian nun was among those killed. Click here to read…

Grim outlook for Guinea-Bissau elections

Bá was found guilty of coordinating the import of 1 800 kilograms of cocaine in September 2020, resulting in the biggest seizure on record in Guinea-Bissau. Click here to read…

In Somalia, al-Shabab’s courts win more converts

More Somalis are losing faith in the country’s slow judicial process and taking their complaints to the armed group. Click here to read…

Chadian rebel pardoned by Egypt ahead of N’djamena dialogue

The release comes on the heels of a pre-negotiation parley held for months in Doha by the Qatari emirate with Chad’s envoys and more than 300 rebel groups. Click here to read…

Ivory Coast asks for ECOWAS summit over diplomatic row with Mali

Ivory Coast on Wednesday accused Mali of “blackmail” over 46 Ivorian troops who have been detained by Bamako and called for West African leaders to discuss the crisis as soon as possible. Click here to read…

‘Difficult’ Discussion on Ukraine Predicted at Biden-Ramaphosa Meeting

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House Friday, with trade, energy, and security all on the agenda. What’s not officially on the program, but will likely be discussed, analysts say, are the two democracies’ differences over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Click here to read…

Hungary’s Cooperation with Africa Built on Respect

“Hungary sees Africa not primarily as a continent of threats, but as a continent of opportunities and a continent of the future,” said Tristan Azbej, the State Secretary for the Aid of Christians and the Hungary Helps Program, at the opening of the Hungary-Africa Week, an educational, cultural, and economic event in Budapest on Monday. Click here to read…

UK-Africa ties: future looks gloomy under Liz Truss as political myopia reigns

Britain has a new prime minister in Liz Truss. For African leaders wondering what the new administration might mean for UK-Africa relationships, the view must be pretty gloomy. Click here to read…

Talks between rival Palestinian factions to resume in Algeria in October

The Fatah Party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) will join the dialogue on October 2. Click here to read…

South Sudan offers 14 oil blocks to increase output

South Sudan is putting up 14 oil blocks for sale in a bid to increase production to pre-war levels of 350,000 barrels a day. Click here to read…

Morocco, Nigeria ink deal to pipe gas to West Africa, Europe

The 5,600-km Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project traverses 13 African countries along Atlantic coast and would be linked to Maghreb–Europe Gas Pipeline in order to reach Europe via Algeria. Click here to read…

Morocco, World Bank Sign €236.7 Million Loan Agreement for North-East Project

Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah and World Bank Vice President for the MENA region Ferid Belhaj signed on Monday a €236.7 million (MAD 2.5 billion) loan agreement to finance Morocco’s North-East Economic Development Project. Click here to read…

NEWS

Turkish firm to build three luxury hotels in Rwanda

A Turkish company, Doğuş Group, is looking into investing in Rwanda’s hospitality sector by setting up at least three luxury resort hotels. Click here to read…

Senegal seeks to cash in on global dash for gas

President Macky Sall of Senegal has become a popular figure on the international stage. His country’s gas reserves, from which exports are due to start in the next couple of years, are now the target of intense interest by European leaders desperate to find alternatives to Russian gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Click here to read…

Botswana seeks investors in project to triple strategic oil reserves

Botswana Oil said in a tender document it was seeking bids from companies to design, build, finance and operate the Tshele Hills strategic oil storage depot, which will be transferred to the government after 20 years. Click here to read…

U.S. to withhold $130 mln of military aid to Egypt over human rights -official

The Biden administration has decided to withhold $130 million of foreign military aid to Egypt over its failure to fulfill human rights conditions, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Lenders urged to cancel Zambia debt as country faces economic collapse

More than 100 economists and academics have urged international lenders to crisis-stricken Zambia to write off a significant slice of their loans during financial restructuring talks this month. Click here to read…

Demonstrators burn Israeli flag in Morocco amid probe into misconduct at mission

Around 100 protestors rally against normalization in wake of recall of top Israeli envoy after allegations; initial investigation suggests sexual and financial improprieties. Click here to read…

Chinese-born candidate running for office in Lesotho promises jobs if elected

Jason Shao is an independent candidate running in the October 7 elections in Lesotho. Shao is a Chinese national and a naturalised citizen of Lesotho since 2006. Click here to read…

Nigerian inflation hits 17-year high

Inflation in Nigeria hit a 17-year high of 20.5 per cent in August, driven by soaring prices of food, diesel and a weakened currencyClick here to read…

Guests call out burkini ban at Tunisian hotels as discriminatory

On the second day of her stay at the Marriott Hotel in Sousse, Jannette Mensi waded into the swimming pool only to be told by hotel staff that she would have to get out due to her choice of swimwear — a burkini. Click here to read…

Soldiers and ‘terrorists’ dead in Burkina Faso attack

Two soldiers died and a dozen “terrorists” were killed on Monday during an attack against a military detachment in Burkina Faso’s militant-hit north, the army said. Click here to read…

Yemenia Airways handed maximum fine over 2009 plane crash in Comoros

Yemen’s national airline was convicted of “manslaughter and unintentional injuries” and given a fine of €225,000. The company was also ordered to pay two associations more than €1 million in legal fees and damages. Click here to read…

Tanzania becomes the latest African country to launch 5G

Tanzania’s leading telecom operator by subscriptions, Vodacom has launched the country’s first 5G technology in what promises to be a transformational development in the country’s digital journey. Click here to read…

William Ruto’s rise from chicken seller to Kenya’s president

He went to primary school barefoot, wearing his first pair of shoes at the age of 15. He also sold chicken and groundnuts by the roadside in rural areas of the Rift Valley. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

India-Africa ties deepen, MoS Muraleedharan in Nairobi

India and Kenya are working towards consolidating economic cooperation, maritime security, Indo-Pacific, Space Cooperation, fight against terrorism and Big Four Agenda of the African nation. Click here to read…

PM Modi congratulates Angola’s President on being re-elected

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco on being re-elected as the president of Angola. Click here to read…

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to embark on key Egypt visit next week

The two-day visit by Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh to Egypt next week will be part of India’s attempt to strengthen strategic ties with the Middle East. Click here to read…

CECPA fosters trade ties between India, Mauritius

The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) offers new opportunities for trade, investments, and services activities between Mauritius and India and can accelerate our economic growth. Click here to read…

Mauritius PM hails India for CECPA agreement, says it fosters trade between the two countries

Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on Tuesday, while speaking at an event to commemorate the relations between India and Mauritius expressed gratitude to New Delhi for their continued support and unwavering commitment to making CECPA a reality. Click here to read…

India, Madagascar sign MoU on training of diplomats

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Madagascar for the training of diplomats, according to an official statement. Click here to read…

Egypt, India discuss strengthening bilateral relations, international issue

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received on Saturday a telephone call from his Indian counterpart Subramaniam Jaishankar, where they discussed bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common interest. Click here to read…

Egypt interested in coordinating with India on climate issues: FM

FM highlighted Egypt’s interest in coordinating with India on various climate issues, taking into account India’s upcoming presidency of the G20 next year Click here to read…

Nigeria to produce vaccines locally with Serum Institute of India

Nigeria will partner with Serum Institute of India to start local manufacturing of vaccines used in the country’s immunisation programmes, health minister Osagie Ehanire said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

INS Tarkash Mission Deployed in Gulf of Guinea

Reinforcing Indian Navy’s commitment to maritime security, INS Tarkash is currently mission deployed in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) for anti-piracy operations. Click here to read…

Indian war vessel INS Tarkash takes part in Joint Maritime Exercise with Nigerian Navy

Indian Navy warship INS Tarkash which is currently mission deployed in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), took part in a Joint Maritime Exercise with Nigerian Navy Patrol Ships on September 12-13, according to a statement by Indian Navy. Click here to read…

Shri Prakash Chand appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the State of Eritrea

Shri Prakash Chand (YOA: 2004), presently Consul General, Consulate General of India, Bali, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the State of Eritrea. Click here to read…

India hopes to see Sudan emerge as prosperous, peaceful and stable country

India hopes to see Sudan emerge as a prosperous, peaceful and stable country, said India’s Permanent Representative at United Nations Ruchira Kamboj on Tuesday, adding that India remains confident that the people of Sudan will overcome the current challenges and press further ahead towards securing a stable and prosperous future. Click here to read…

Indian-origin officer appointed South Africa’s intelligence inspector-general

Imtiaz Ahmed Fazel, an Indian-origin intelligence service officer, has been appointed as the Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI) of South Africa by the country’s Parliament. Click here to read…

India will do its best to promote South-South cooperation: UN envoy Kamboj

South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. Click here to read…

Gujarat Ion Exchange and Chemicals Limited supplied and commissioned the High Speed Fully Automatic Turnkey Mineral Bottling Project in Ethiopia

GIECL, a leader in mineral water plant and turnkey water projects supplier for 26 years in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, delivered a working model of the unique combination “Fully Automatic Turnkey Mineral Water Bottling Project”. Click here to read…

10 things to know about the 8 Namibian cheetahs flying to India on PM Modi’s birthday

Five female and three male cheetahs are in the group being transported to India. All of them are below 5.5 years of age. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, September 15, 2022

China to further optimize industrial chain for pharmaceutical sector: Xinhuanet
September 14 2022

China will shore up weak links in the industrial chain for the pharmaceutical sector, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday. A monitoring system for essential drugs in short supply has already been established, Zhou Jian, an official with the ministry told a press conference, adding that the supply of a total of 100 categories of the drugs has been secured. Click here to read…

China deliberates on updating cybersecurity law: Xinhuanet
September 14, 2022

China’s cyberspace regulator on Wednesday revealed a set of draft revisions to the country’s cybersecurity law to solicit public opinion. China’s cybersecurity law entered into force in 2017. It amended the Administrative Penalty Law and adopted the Data Security Law and the Law on Protection of Personal Information in 2021. Click here to read…

China Coast Guards in Zhejiang and Fujian brace for Typhoon Muifa: China Military
September 14, 2022

China has upgraded the typhoon alert to orange, the second-highest level, as Muifa, the 12th typhoon in this year, is expected to make landfall in the coastal areas between Wenling city and Zhoushan city in southeast China’s Zhejiang Province during the afternoon and night of September 14. The Zhejiang and Fujian Provincial Bureaus of China Coast Guard (CCG) have taken multiple precautionary measures to mitigate possible disasters. Click here to read…

Water discharged into Yangtze to fight drought: China Daily
September 14, 2022

The Ministry of Water Resources is discharging more water into the Yangtze River Basin from surrounding reservoirs, hoping to relieve the lingering drought in the major rice-producing area at a critical time for crop growth. Click here to read…

Widespread roll-out of new technologies promotes high-efficiency development of agriculture in China: People’s Daily
September 14, 2022

In the most recent past decade, China has witnessed the rapid development of its agricultural technologies. The contribution of scientific and technological progress to agriculture has reached over 61 percent. Besides, the overall level of mechanization in the plowing, sowing, and harvesting of crops has now exceeded 72 percent, while high-quality crop varieties have surpassed 96 percent of the total. Click here to read…

China poised to shake up economic leadership as reformers bow out: Reuters
September 14, 2022

China’s ruling Communist Party sets the stage next month for the biggest overhaul of its economic leadership in a decade, with a generation of reform-minded policymakers expected to step down amid worsening growth prospects. Click here to read…

China seen holding medium-term rate steady despite growing economic gloom: Reuters
September 14, 2022

China’s central bank is widely expected to pause its monetary easing efforts and keep the medium-term policy rate steady this month, a Reuters survey showed, as widening policy divergence with the Federal Reserve could put further pressure on the Chinese yuan and risk capital outflows. Click here to read…

China protests to International Atomic Energy Agency over Aukus nuclear safeguards: South China Morning Post

September 14, 2022

China has lodged a strong protest with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) urging the nuclear watchdog not to back Australia’s plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines through the Aukus pact with the United States and Britain. Click here to read…

China’s top procuratorate orders arrest of former Yunnan political advisor: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) has announced its decision to arrest Huang Yi, a former senior political advisor in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, for suspected bribe-taking. Click here to read…

Chinese premier chairs State Council executive meeting: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday presided over a State Council executive meeting, which made decisions on multiple economic issues. The country will further extend the tax and fee deferrals for manufacturing firms as part of the stepped-up support for enterprises to navigate hardships, according to the meeting. Click here to read…

China to double down on stabilizing foreign trade, foreign investment to consolidate foundation of economic recovery: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

China will take further measures to stabilize foreign trade and foreign investment, with a view to consolidating the foundation of economic recovery, according to the decision made at the State Council’s Executive Meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Chinese, Uzbek state news agencies ink cooperation agreement: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

President of China’s Xinhua News Agency Fu Hua and Abdusaid Kuchimov, director general of the National News Agency of Uzbekistan (UzA) inked a cooperation agreement earlier this week. Fu expressed his confidence in successful cooperation between Xinhua and the UzA. Click here to read…

Xi arrives in Uzbekistan for state visit, SCO summit: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Wednesday evening to pay a state visit to Uzbekistan and attend the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Click here to read…

China to have 220 national hi-tech zones by 2025: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

China has established 173 national hi-tech zones so far and will raise the number to 220 by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), according to the Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 126 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
September 15 2022

The Chinese mainland on Wednesday reported 126 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 84 in Sichuan and nine in Tibet, according to the National Health Commission’s report Thursday. A total of 823 local asymptomatic carriers were newly identified. Click here to read…

Crackdown intensified on new addictive substances, illegal drugs: China Daily
September 15, 2022

Authorities have intensified their crackdown on new addictive substances and emerging drug-related problems, anti-drug officials said on Wednesday. The traditional and new drug problems have intertwined with each other, and the number of new types of drugs and new forms of crime are increasing, featuring anesthetic and psychotropic drugs to substitute for narcotics or taking multiple narcotics at the same time, said Zhao Zhongchen, deputy director of the narcotics control bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. Click here to read…

China mulls increased penalties, employment ban on internet violators to better safeguard cybersecurity: Global Times
September 15, 2022

China’s top cyberspace regulator on Wednesday proposed a series of amendments to the country’s cybersecurity law including raising penalty and an employment ban on internet operators who violated the law to better protect the legitimate rights and interests of individuals and organizations in cyberspace and safeguard national security. Click here to read…

China, Kazakhstan to jointly crack down on the ‘three evil forces,’ resolutely oppose interference by external forces: Global Times
September 15, 2022

China and Kazakhstan will continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning national sovereignty, stand ready to jointly crack down on the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism, and extremism and resolutely oppose interference by external forces, according to a joint statement on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kazakhstan issued during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Digitalization leads to better life of Chinese people: People’s Daily
September 15, 2022

Navigation apps that show real-time traffic information and estimated travel time, virtual fitting room that helps you get the best clothes you want when you shop online, and virtual museums where you can get close to valuable cultural relics at home… These scenarios have already become a part of the daily life of the Chinese people. Click here to read…

Russia says its navy in joint patrols with China in Pacific: Reuters
September 15, 2022

The Russian and Chinese navies are holding joint patrols in the Pacific Ocean, the Russian defence ministry said on Thursday, deepening military and diplomatic ties between Moscow and Beijing when their relations with the West have soured. Click here to read…

Taiwan hosts lawmakers to push China sanctions: Taipei Times
September 15, 2022

Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim on Tuesday hosted dozens of international lawmakers who back sanctions on China for aggression toward Taiwan, a show of support for Taipei amid military pressure from Beijing. Click here to read…

Whistle-blower says Twitter had a Chinese agent: Taipei Times
September 15, 2022

Twitter Inc’s former head of security on Tuesday told the US Congress that there was “at least one agent” from China’s intelligence service on Twitter’s payroll and that the company knowingly allowed India to add agents to the company roster as well, potentially giving those nations access to sensitive data about users. Click here to read…

Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam embrace China’s games and films, but stay on guard for a ‘cultural invasion’: South China Morning Post
September 15, 2022

In Taiwan, people are flocking online to play Identity V, a mobile “horror” game developed by Chinese company NetEase. In Vietnam, made-in-China films like Journey to the West, My Fair Princess and Shanghai Bund are essential viewing on television. Across Asia, Chinese media and entertainment exports are gaining popularity due to cultural links, rising production quality and fair prices. Click here to read…

VIF Cyber Review: August 2022

National

Telecom equipment manufacturers respond enthusiastically to the design-led incentive programme

Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi had outlined his vision of making India a self-reliant or Atmanirbhar nation. In line with the vision, in 2021, the Govt. of India launched the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to encourage telecom equipment manufacturing in the country. So far,31 companies are beneficiaries of the scheme for manufacturing various telecom equipment. In June 2022, the design-led PLI scheme was also introduced to advance the entire value chain in telecom manufacturing. All the existing incentives in the said scheme will be increased by 01 per cent. India is primed to become a telecom and networking equipment design and production centre.[1]

Ministry of Communication hosted ITU’s Regional Standardisation Forum for Asia and Oceania region in New Delhi, India

On 08 August 2022, the Ministry of Communication hosted the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Regional Standardisation Forum (RSF) for Asia and Oceania region in New Delhi, India. The Forum focused on “Regulatory and Policy aspects of Telecommunications/ICT” and was followed by the four-day meeting of ITU-T Study Group 3 Regional Group Asia and Oceania (ITU-T SG3RG-AO) from 09th-12th August 2022. Minister of State for Communication Devusinh Chauhan inaugurated the RSF.

The Forum serves as a platform for the constructive exchange of ideas on issues related to standardisation, such as India’s experience in various technological fields, such as Sustainable Digital Transformation (SDT), the function of ITU standards, utilising technology for financial and digital inclusion in emerging markets, the evolution of the data value chain, and digital health. The RSF was addressed by 15 eminent speakers from academia, international Organisations, the ICT sector and the Government of India (GoI). Over 250 delegates from 20 countries participated in the RSF. The key takeaways from the deliberations in the RSF will be presented atthe ITU-T Regional Group of Asia and Oceania meeting for further work on standardisation in the emerging areas.[2]

CERT-In hosted the Cyber Security exercise “Synergy” as part of the International Counter-Ransomware Initiative-Resilience Working Group

On 31 August 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), in collaboration with the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore, designed and conducted the Cyber Security exercise “Synergy” for 13 countries as a part of the International Counter-Ransomware Initiative-Resilience Working Group (ICRI-RWG), led by India under the leadership of National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).

The exercise theme was “Building Network Resiliency to Counter Ransomware Attacks”. The exercise scenario was inspired by real-life cyber incidents in which a low-impact domestic ransomware issue developedinto a global cyber security disaster. The CERT-In sponsored the exercise “Synergy” on its exercise simulation platform. Each State sent a National Crisis Management Team (NCMT) comprised of several government entities such as National CERTs/CSIRTs, Law-Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), Ministry of Communication & IT, and security agencies.[3]

Reliance Jio will launch ‘World’s most extensive’ 5G services during the Deepawali festival

At Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)’s 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM), the company’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced that Jio would commence the world’s most extensive 5G services to its subscribers in metro cities in the next two months. “Jio 5G will be the world’s largest and most advanced 5G network. Jio will deploy the latest version of 5G, called standalone 5G, which has zero dependencies on the 4G network. Jio further announced that they are committed to making India a data-powered economy even ahead of the US and China,” Jio has emerged as the biggest investor by committing US$19 Billion on 5G Communication services including US$11 Billion on Airwaves.

Threat actors exploiting “Zimbra” Collaboration Suite Vulnerability

According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In),threat actors actively exploit an authentication bypass Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability in Zimbra Collaboration Suite. The exposure enables the attacker to access the target network and launch additional attacks. The RCE vulnerability exists in the Zimbra collaboration suite due to improper uploading of files by the mboximport function. An authenticated attacker with admin rights could exploit this vulnerability by executing a specially crafted request to upload arbitrary files. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability could allow the attacker to traverse directories on the target system.[4]

CERT-In issued the “India Ransomware Report for H1-2022.”

On 02 August 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Team (CERT-In) released a report titled “Indian Ransomware Report for H1-2022,” which covered the most recent tactics and approaches and sector-specific trends detected in the first half of 2022 in the Indian Cyber Space.[5] The report also addressed ransomware-specific incident response, remediation, and mitigation techniques in light of the current threat scenario. The information is available at https://cert-in.org.in/PDF/RANSOMWARE_Report.pdf

International

An organisation in Eastern Europe became a victim of the most significant DDoS attack— 659 million Packets/Second

At the end of July and beginning of August 2022, an organisation became a victim of the biggest DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack with traffic of 659 million Packets per second (Mpps). Akamai Technologies announced that on 21 July 2022, they detected and mitigated the most significant DDoS attack launched against a European customer on the Prolexic platform. The attack was massive, with globally distributed attack traffic at 853.7 Gbps (Gigabits per second) and 659.6 Mpps over 14 hours.

The victim based in Eastern Europe was targeted 75 times in the past 30 days with horizontal attacks consisting of UDP, UDP fragmentation, ICMP flood, RESET flood, SYN flood, TCP anomaly, TCP fragment, PSH ACK flood, FIN push flood, and PUSH flood, among others. In September 2021, Yandex— a Russian Internet company, was hit by the Meris botnet, which launched DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacked with more than 21 million random packets. The use of DDoS attacks as a form of hacktivism has become increasingly popular in Eastern Europe due to incidents involving DDoS taking on a political tint.[6]

Chinese govt supported hackers deceptively carried out a year-long cyber espionage campaign against Australia

In a sophisticated year-long cyber espionage campaign, Chinese government-aligned hackers posed as media outlet employees and targeted Australian government agencies, news outlets, and manufacturing companies via the implantation of malicious software on targeted computers. In a phishing scam, these hackers claimed to be employees of Australian news publications, including The Australian and the Herald Sun.

In the cyber espionage campaign, the hackers targeted an array of defence contractors, manufacturers, universities, government agencies and legal firms across the Asia-Pacific. According to a report prepared by PwC and Proofpoint— a US cyber security firm, a prolific China-based entity known as TA423 or ‘Red Ladon’ executed the cyber espionage operation. The group— TA423 has been operating since 2013. “China was using cyber-attacks to gain a long-term economic and military advantage over other nations,” said cyber security expert— Sherrod DeGrippo. The Chinese embassy in Canberra, Australia, Countering the claims, stated that “China always firmly opposes cyber-attacks and cyber theft in all forms. All such accusations are groundless.”[7]

Hackers increasingly exploited DeFi bugs to steal cryptocurrency: FBI

In a statement released, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned investors about the cyber-criminals’ increasingly involvement in exploiting security vulnerabilities in Decentralised Finance (DeFi) platforms to steal cryptocurrency. The FBI encouraged investors to contact the FBI via the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) or the local FBI field office in case of any such theft. According to an estimate, around USD 1.3 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen between January and March 2022, stealing almost 97 per cent of it from DeFi platforms.

Attackers have utilised various ways to hack and steal cryptocurrency from DeFi platforms, including launching flash loans that trigger attacks in the platforms’ smart contracts and leveraging signature verification issues in its token bridge to withdraw all assets. The FBI has also observed hackers manipulating cryptocurrency price pairs by abusing a series of flaws, including the DeFi platforms’ use of a single price Oracle and then conducting leveraged trades to avoid slippage checks.[8]

Singapore witnessed a rise in cybercrime, phishing and ransomware threats in 2021

According to a report released by Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA), on 29 August 2022, firms and individuals faced a rise in cybercrime, phishing, and ransomware threats in 2021. In 2020, around 89 ransomware incidents were recorded; in 2021, the numbers jumped by 54 per cent, and 137 incidents were reported. Phishing cases also rose by 17 per cent in 2021, where about 55,000 unique Singapore-hosted phishing URLs with a “.sg” domain were observed; in 2020, around 47,000 such URLs were identified. “This was possibly driven by malicious actors’ exploitation of public interest in WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy announcement on users’ phone numbers being shared with Facebook,” informed the CSA. [9]

Endnotes :

[1] “Design led Incentive scheme gets enthusiastic response from Telecom Equipment manufacturers”, Ministry of Communications, 26 August 2022, available from: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1854731
[2] “ITU’s Regional Standardisation Forum (RSF) for Asia and Oceania region to be inaugurated tomorrow by Shri Devusinh Chauhan”, Ministry of Communications, 07 August 2022, available from: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1849356
[3] “CERT-In hosts Cyber Security Exercise ‘Synergy’ for 13 countries as part of International Counter Ransomware Initiative-Resilience Working Group”, Ministry of Electronics & IT, 31 August 2022, available from:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1855771
[4] “Threat Actors exploiting Zimbra Collaboration Suite Vulnerability”, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, 18 August 2022, accessed on 03 September 2022, available from: https://cert-in.org.in/
[5] “Indian Ransomware Report for H1-2022 by CERT-In”, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, 02 August 2022, accessed on 03 September 2022, available from: https://cert-in.org.in/
[6]Sparling, Craig. “Largest European DDoS Attack on Record”, Akamai Technologies, 27 July 2022, accessed on 03 August 2022, available from: https://www.akamai.com/blog/security/largest-european-ddos-attack-ever
[7]Knott, Matthew. “Chinese hackers pose as Australian News Corp sites in cyber espionage scam”, The Sunday Morning Herald, 30 August 2022, accessed on 02 September 2022, available from: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/chinese-hackers-pose-as-australian-news-corp-sites-in-cyber-espionage-scam-20220830-p5bduz.html
[8]Gatlan, Sergiu. “FBI: Hackers increasingly exploit DeFi bugs to steal cryptocurrency”, Bleeping Computer, 29 August 2022, accessed on 03 September 2022, available from: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-hackers-increasingly-exploit-defi-bugs-to-steal-cryptocurrency/
[9]Ganesan, Natasha. “Singapore faced more cybercrime, phishing, and ransomware threats in 2021”, Channel News Asia, 29 August 2022, accessed on 03 September 2022, available from: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/cybercrime-ransomware-phishing-cybersecurity-2021-2906386

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 37, 2022)

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

COMMENTARY

With Tears and Steel, Kenya’s ‘Hustler’ President Vanquishes His Foes

William Ruto built a career on beating the odds. In his greatest triumph, he is expected to be inaugurated as Kenya’s fifth president on TuesdayClick here to read…

The real reason Egypt is moving its capital

In 2015, Egypt’s government announced it would build a new capital city, about 45 kilometers outside of Cairo, the current capital. Click here to read…

Mikhail Gorbachev on the Streets of Accra

The aftershock of the collapse of the Soviet empire reverberated from Cape Town to Cairo. Click here to read…

NEWS

Kenya’s Supreme Court upholds Ruto’s narrow presidential win

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected challenges to the official results of the presidential election and upheld Deputy President William Ruto’s narrow win in East Africa’s most stable democracy. Click here to read…

Angola court rejects poll result appeal, opposition urges protest

Angola’s Constitutional Court made a final ruling on Thursday to dismiss a complaint filed by the runner-up in the August 24 election seeking to annul the results that gave victory to the ruling MPLA party. Click here to read…

Tunisian opposition to boycott December elections, decry ‘coup’

The National Salvation Front, a body representing the main parties in Tunisia’s opposition, including Ennahdha, has announced that it will boycott December elections to replace a parliament dissolved by President Kais Saied. Click here to read…

Burundi president names new PM after coup plot claims

President Ndayishimiye, a former army general, gave no reasons for the replacement but had warned of a coup plot against his government last week. Click here to read…

Power struggle continues in Libya

Recent deadly clashes have alarmed regional and international powers, as civilians fear displacement and a shortage of medicine and food. Click here to read…

Denmark moves closer to sending asylum seekers to Rwanda

Denmark signed a deal with Rwanda to move the Nordic country closer to setting up an asylum center outside of the European Union to reduce the number of people seeking refuge. Click here to read…

Commonwealth to observe Lesotho’s general elections

The Commonwealth will deploy a team to observe the general elections in Lesotho, scheduled for 7 October, 2022. The group will be led by the former president of Seychelles, His Excellency Danny Faure. Click here to read…

Moroccan army to participate in Israeli military conference next week, Israeli spox says

Morocco and Israel have gone on to sign a number of agreements- especially military deals – since Rabat and Tel Aviv normalised ties in late 2020. Click here to read…

DRC officials tumble as bridge collapses at ribbon-cutting ceremony

Dignitaries gathered to inaugurate a footbridge in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo only for the structure to collapse beneath their feet to the barely concealed delight of onlookers, a video shows. Click here to read…

Zambia seeks $8bn debt relief

Zambia is asking for more than $8bn of relief on its debts to Chinese lenders, private bondholders and other creditors, according to an IMF analysis, in a restructuring widely seen as a test of Beijing’s willingness to absorb losses on loans it has extended to developing countries. Click here to read…

Nigerian oil exports at lowest level in 25 years due to oil theft

Nigeria’s crude oil production fell below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, figures from its regulator show, as the nation grappled with rampant theft from its pipelines. Click here to read…

Togo: Parliament extends state of emergency in the north for six months

Togo’s parliament on Tuesday extended for six months the state of emergency in the Savannah region in the far north of the country, which has been plagued by incursions by jihadist groups. Click here to read…

Dozens of civilians killed in eastern Mali

Local officials said dozens of civilians were killed this week in Talataye, a town located in north-eastern Mali. The locality which sits at croassroads of influence for rival terrorist groups was allegedly attacked by EIGS fighters who have ties with the Islamic State organization. Click here to read…

Thirty-five civilians killed in convoy blast in Burkina Faso

At least 35 civilians have been killed and 37 wounded when a convoy carrying supplies in Burkina Faso’s jihadist-hit north struck an improvised explosive device, the governor of the Sahel region has said. Click here to read…

At least six Mozambicans beheaded, Italian nun shot dead by insurgents

At least six people were beheaded and an Italian nun killed on Tuesday by Islamic State-linked insurgents in Mozambique’s Nampula province, authorities said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Al-Shabaab: the latest addition to Ethiopia’s woes

In late July, al-Shabaab militants carried out an attack on three towns, Aato, Yeed, and Washaqo, which are on the Ethiopia-Somalia border. Click here to read…

Somali army kills senior Al Shabab militant, frees hostages

Somalia claims to have killed a senior militant leader during a military operation against Al Shabab terrorists in the country’s Lower Shabelle region, as well as freed several civilians who had been held hostage by them. Click here to read…

Thousands flee deadly violence in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state: UN

Deadly fighting between armed groups in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state has prompted thousands to flee from their homes and triggered violence in displacement camps, a UN spokesman said. Click here to read…

Burkina Faso buys 5 Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey

Burkina Faso is the latest country to acquire Bayraktar TB2 drone from Turkey to reinforce its aerial capabilities against insurgents. Click here to read…

Phase 2 of Senegal LNG project needs $5 bln – president

The second phase of Senegal’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) gas project will need investments worth around $5 billion and could start in 2024 or 2025, Senegal’s President Macky Sall said on Thursday. Click here to read…

How gold mining in Ghana is threatening Swiss chocolate

As the world’s second-largest cocoa producer continues to lose swathes of farmland to illegal gold mining, Switzerland’s chocolate makers are waking up to the threat to their raw material supply. Click here to read…

African bloc outlines 10-year plan

Africa’s second 10-year plan will focus on expansion of infrastructure development across the continent, increase agriculture outputs and clean energy transition, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission said Friday. Click here to read…

Deep-Water Somali Port Gives Landlocked Ethiopia New Trade Route

Somalia will open a deep-water port on its northern coast next month, with a road link forging a new trade route connecting Ethiopia’s south-eastern region with the city of Gara’ad. Click here to read…

Türkiye to send grain to Africa if Russian exports unblocked

President Erdogan echoes view of his Russian counterpart; says Ukrainian grain goes to developed countries, not to those in need. Click here to read…

1st Ukraine grain ship for Horn of Africa reaches Djibouti

The first ship carrying grain from Ukraine for people in the hungriest parts of the world has docked at the Horn of Africa port of Djibouti as areas of East Africa are badly affected by deadly drought and conflict. Click here to read…

Eni buys BP’s business in Algeria to secure more African gas

Italian energy group Eni (ENI.MI) said on Wednesday it had agreed to acquire BP’s (BP.L) business in Algeria, including two major gas fields. Click here to read…

African nations urged to pile on pressure at climate summit

The former Irish President has called on African nations to pile on the pressure on rich, heavily-polluting countries to fulfill their climate pledges to the continent during a visit to Uganda. Click here to read…

Tanzania dismisses claims of freezing maize export permits

Tanzania has dismissed claims by Kenyan traders that it has frozen the issuance of new maize export permits, urging them to follow procedures. Click here to read…

China-built flyover helps reducing traffic congestion in Botswanan capital

A China-built rainbow intersection which partially opened Friday will help reduce traffic congestion in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, said Mmoloki Baele, the project manager. Click here to read…

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II in Zimbabwe

In 1991, Queen Elizabeth II visited Zimbabwe for the meeting of the heads of government in the Commonwealth, a community of former British colonies. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

After vandalism during unrest in South Africa, India-based Cipla reopens Durban manufacturing site

Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla revealed that one of its plants in South Africa has reopened more than a month after it was vandalized during a period of civil unrest that claimed the lives of more than 300 and caused an estimated $3.3 billion in economic losses. Click here to read…

INS Tarkash Visited Port Lome, Togo

As part of her ongoing deployment to the Gulf of Guinea, INS Tarkash entered Lome, Togo on 01 September 2022. The first Indian Navy ship to make a port call at Togo, she was welcomed there by the Indian Ambassador to Togo, along with the local Indian diaspora. Click here to read…

Indian warship INS Tarkash arrives at Nigeria’s Port Lagos

Continuing with her deployment in the Gulf of Guinea, the naval vessel was welcomed by officials of the Nigerian Navy, the High Commission of India and children of the Indian Language School at the largest port of Nigeria, the Indian Navy said in an official statement. Click here to read…

All set to create a sattvik environment in Africa

Sattvik Certification South Africa (Pty) Ltd, licensee of Sattvik Council of India, in collaboration with DNV Business Assurance South Africa (Pty) Ltd, has introduced the Sattvik Certification Scheme for the African market in New Delhi. Click here to read…

Lootere teaser: Hansal Mehta’s thriller shows Rajat Kapoor’s ship hijacked in Somalia

Helmed by Hansal Mehta, Lootere traces the story of an Indian ship hijacked in Somalian waters. Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 36, 2022)

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

COMMENTARY

Marikana and its aftermath

In August 2022, South Africa commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Marikana Massacre. On 16 August 2012, South African Police shot down labourers of the Marikana platinum mine. Click here to read…

Japan’s opportunity to build a new legacy in Africa

At a time when China, the United States, and Russia are competing in Africa in ways reminiscent of Cold War rivalries on the continent, Japan, whose eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) has just ended in Tunis, is entering the arena too. Click here to read…

The Biden Administration’s New Africa Policy

Imagine you’ve just been confirmed to be the US ambassador to a small country in Africa. However, before departing to take up your assignment, you learn that the administration doesn’t yet have an official policy for that country. Click here to read…

NEWS

TICAD 2022: Japan’s Deepening Partnerships in Africa

The international context has changed markedly since the last TICAD in 2019. How is Japan approaching African countries today? Click here to read…

Japan, Africa leaders wrap up TICAD talks, vowing to tackle food crisis

Leaders from Japan and African nations on Sunday said the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine has caused a food crisis on the fast-growing continent, without referring to Moscow by name. Click here to read…

Kishida vows $30 billion over next three years for Africa as China and Russia loom

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday pledged $30 billion over the next three years for African development, with a focus on investing in human capital and fostering quality growth in a continent where China and Russia are exerting their influence. Click here to read…

Kenya election 2022: Were results sheets altered as Odinga claims?

William Ruto was declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential election over two weeks ago with 50.5% of the vote, but his opponent Raila Odinga is challenging the result, claiming it was fraudulent. Click here to read…

Angolan opposition files legal challenge, seeks annulment of vote

Angola’s main opposition party has filed a case with the country’s constitutional court to seek the annulment of last month’s election in which the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) was declared the winner. Click here to read…

Ethiopia, Eritrea forces launch new offensive in Tigray: TPLF

Ethiopian and Eritrean government forces have launched an attack in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, targeting rebel forces. Click here to read…

Biden to Meet South Africa Leader Amid Differences on Russia

President Joe Biden will host South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the White House this month as the administration looks to draw African nations closer to the U.S. Click here to read…

France’s Macron concludes Algeria visit with new pact

French President Emmanuel Macron and his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune have declared a “new, irreversible dynamic of progress” in their nations’ ties, concluding a visit by Macron aimed at ending months of tensions. Click here to read…

‘Air strike’ rocks Mekelle city in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

Ethiopian government officials were not immediately reachable for comment but officials at Ayder Referral Hospital say the midnight strike near Mekelle general hospital caused casualties. Click here to read…

New U.S. ambassador arrives in Sudan after 25 years of absence

The new U.S. ambassador John Godfrey arrived in Khartoum on Wednesday. He arrives after a 25-year absence of a US envoy in Sudan due to diplomatic differences between the two countries. Click here to read…

Mozambique reaffirms commitment to bilateral relations with Portugal

The Portuguese prime minister and the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, have expressed satisfaction with the resumption of bilateral meetings, and António Costa reaffirmed “every commitment” to continue working with that African country. Click here to read…

Morocco, Japan reiterates rejection of Tunisia’s invitation to separatist entity

Moroccan and Japanese foreign ministers reaffirmed in the strongest terms their denunciation of Tunisia’s unilateral invitation of the Algeria-backed Polisario entity to the Japan-Africa summit TICAD last Month. Click here to read…

1st Ukraine grain ship for Horn of Africa reaches Djibouti

The first ship carrying grain from Ukraine for people in the hungriest parts of the world has docked at the Horn of Africa port of Djibouti as areas of East Africa are badly affected by deadly drought and conflict. Click here to read…

South Africa’s Ruling ANC to Win 2024 Vote Even as City Support Plunges, Survey Shows

South Africa’s governing party is likely to win the country’s next national elections in 2024 even as its support slips further in major cities, a survey showed. Click here to read…

South Sudan’s former rebels join unified army

Thousands of former rebels swore an oath of loyalty in a ceremony held under tight security in South Sudan. Click here to read…

Egypt to Organize ‘Arab Labor Conference’ With Participation of 21 Countries

Egypt is preparing to host this month the work of the forty-eighth round of the Arab Labor Conference (ALC) to be attended by the labor ministers, delegations, organization and unions of 21 Arab countries. Click here to read…

Crisis-hit Zambia secures $1.3bn IMF loan to rebuild stricken economy

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $1.3bn (£1.1bn) loan to Zambia, as the country scrambles to rebuild its crisis-hit economy after defaulting on its foreign debts in 2020. Click here to read…

UN Secretary General proposes Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily as envoy to Libya

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has nominated Abdoulaye Bathily to be the new UN envoy to Libya, and France’s UN ambassador said he thinks the Security Council will approve the minister. Click here to read…

Algeria’s move to English signals erosion of France’s sway

In the world of diplomacy, few details carry as much import as language. And few languages carry the diplomatic and cultural heft that French has long boasted. Click here to read…

Tunisia: Pro-Saied party calls for including military in gov’t

The July 25 Movement, also known as the National Youth Movement of Tunisia, on Wednesday called for the formation of a “national salvation government” that encompasses “military figures” in order to avoid a “social explosion” as a result of the current economic situation. Click here to read…

Zimbabwe government harasses opposition with arrests, jail

Opposition politicians languishing in prison. Journalists and government critics harassed and arrested. Public meetings banned. Click here to read…

Türkiye-Egypt rapprochement continues gradually

The normalization process between Türkiye and Egypt continues at a gradual pace. Discussions are being held at the intelligence level and extending the process over time does not mean that it is not progressing positively. Click here to read…

Rwanda flight migrants ‘include victims of torture and human trafficking

Out of the 17 people that doctors conducted clinical assessments for, 14 showed evidence of having been tortured and six were survivors of trafficking. Click here to read…

Ex-Botswana president Khama: plans in place to ensure Masisi removed from power

Former Botswana president Ian Khama on Friday said plans were in place to ensure the electoral defeat of current Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi at that country’s next elections in 2024. Click here to read…

Russian exports to Morocco double in 1H 2022

Russian exports to the Kingdom of Morocco doubled in the first half of 2022, Russia’s Trade Representative to the country Artyom Tsingamzgvrishvili told TASS on Friday. Click here to read…

Second UN helicopter crashes in eastern DR Congo in five months

There were no passengers on board and three crew members were injured, the UN’s World Food Programme said. Click here to read…

Terrorism: Nigeria ranked second despite N11tn security budgets

Nigeria budgeted a total of N11.18tn for security from 2015 to 2022, investigations by The PUNCH have revealed. Despite the high budgetary allocation, however, the country remains the second most attacked country by the Islamic State terrorist group globally, according to the data by Jihad Analytics. Click here to read…

Comoros President ‘Regrets’ Morocco’s Absence from TICAD in Tunisia

Azali Assoumani, President of the East African country Comoros, said today that he regrets Morocco’s absence from the 8th edition of The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). Click here to read…

Central African Republic: UN expert calls for end to impunity, urges armed groups to lay down arms

Armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) must lay down their arms and engage in political dialogue, a UN expert said today, urging the international community to strengthen efforts to restore State authority and end impunity in the country. Click here to read…

At least 32 dead in renewed Tripoli fighting

At least 32 people have died in renewed fighting in Tripoli, ending the relative peace that has held for the last two years and signaling the breakdown of a political process that’s brought Libya no closer to long-delayed elections and a unified stateClick here to read…

Madagascar police shoot 18 dead in albino kidnap protest: Medic

Since 2020, there have been more than a dozen abductions, attacks and murders of people with albinism in Madagascar, according to the UN. Click here to read…

Tanzania launches first 5G technology

Telecom company Vodacom Tanzania Plc has launched the country’s first 5G technology in what promises to be a transformational development in the country’s digital journey. Click here to read…

The ‘Big Four’ are leading Africa’s start-up scene—Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya

Unperturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic, international investors have continued to pour money into the African continent’s start-up scene — but that influx of cash is not being distributed evenly. Click here to read…

E-Commerce Company Jumia Launches Drone Deliveries in Ghana

Africa’s largest e-commerce company, Jumia, launched the first commercial drone delivery service on the continent this week, offering delivery of products across Ghana. Click here to read…

Phase 2 of Senegal LNG project needs $5 bln: president

The second phase of Senegal’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) gas project will need investments worth around $5 billion and could start in 2024 or 2025, Senegal’s President Macky Sall said on Thursday. Click here to read…

Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline Project Will Help Create Competitive Zone in North-West Africa

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, which is currently in its Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) phase, will contribute to the emergence of an integrated and competitive North-West African zone. Click here to read…

Ivory Coast Supplies the World With Cocoa. Now It Wants Some for Itself

A new generation of Ivory Coast chocolatiers is striving to change an industry that has long left cocoa farmers in poverty. Click here to read…

Angolans gather for funeral of ex-leader Dos Santos amid dispute over vote
Angolans and foreign dignitaries gathered on Sunday for the funeral of long-serving ex-leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died in Spain in July but whose burial was delayed by a family request for an autopsy. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

Serum Institute signs deal with Aspen to sell vaccines in Africa

The deal with Serum gives Aspen certainty on volumes, which will eventually more than cover an expected decline in revenues from its COVID vaccine contract with J&J, he said. Click here to read…

India, South Africa to set up a Joint Working Group on Education

Union Education and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan held a bilateral meeting in Bali with Dr Bonginkosi Emmanuel “Blade” NZIMANDE, South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education, Science Innovation. Click here to read…

Nigeria seeks stronger ties with Indian textile industry

A 12-member delegation from Nigeria is on a week’s study tour to India. Nigeria is looking at strengthening its ties with Indian textile industry to revive its cotton integrated industry. Click here to read…

India, UAE working on joint health projects in Kenya and Tanzania

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are working on a joint initiative to establish health projects in Kenya and Tanzania and taking forward cooperation in food security within the I2U2 framework that includes the US and Israel. Click here to read…

Indian ambassador celebrates 75 years of diplomatic Egypt-India relations

India and Egypt are celebrating the 75th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations on 18 August 2022. As two of the world’s most ancient civilisations, India and Egypt have enjoyed close contacts for many centuries. Click here to read…

Egypt, India to see significant progress in political, economic, and cultural ties: Ambassador Gupte

Indian Ambassador in Cairo Ajit Gupte expected that the political, economic and cultural relations between India and Egypt would see significant progress in the near future. Click here to read…

At UNSC, India Names Turkey for Violating UNSC Sanctions on Libya

Stating that Turkey’s ‘blatant disregard’ was a cause for serious concern, India’s permanent representative to the UN said that the country’s activities had contributed to the ‘enduring political stalemate.’Click here to read…

South Africa and India will make four vaccines without the help of rich western countries

According to the announcement, Aspen SA Operations signed a deal to produce vaccines for the African market by packaging bulk drug substance—the actual vaccine ingredients—produced by the Serum Institute. Click here to read…

APO Group partners with PR Wire India to provide high-quality Pan-African press release content to the Indian market

APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, today announced a content partnership with PR Wire India (https://PRWireIndia.com) which will ensure all text, images, videos and soundbites distributed by APO Group are published on the PR Wire India platform. Click here to read…

UP Inc forges tie-ups in Africa, Europe to achieve $1 trn economy target

Aligning with the $-trillion economy goal set by the state government, the Uttar Pradesh Inc is forging industry and trade alliances with partners in the African, Latin American and European countries. Click here to read…

How Sunil Bharti Mittal turned Airtel around in Africa

In 2010, Bharti Airtel entered into a $10.7 billion deal to acquire Zain Telecom’s African operations in 15 nations. It was a bold move but challenges soon cropped up. Click here to read…

Airtel Africa aims to be continent’s biggest telco: CEO

Airtel Africa managing director and CEO Olusegun Ogunsanya said the telco, which operates in 14 countries, has captured the top spot in four and is No. 2 in nine others. Click here to read…

BPCL expects Mozambique project to take off next year

With the law and order situation improving considerably, Bharat Petroleum Corporation’s (BPCL’s) 12.88 million tonne per annum (mtpa) Mozambique LNG project should take off in the first half of next year, BPCL said on Monday. Click here to read…

Indian envoy Abhay Kumar discusses climate change with Madagascar Environment Minister

Indian Ambassador to Antananarivo Abhay Kumar met Madagascar Environment Minister Marie-Orlea Vina on Thursday and discussed several issues including ways to deal with climate change. Click here to read…

Made in India Suzuki Grand Vitara showcased in South Africa

The Grand Vitara for South Africa gets AllGrip AWD with automatic gearbox; joins a long list of made-in-India Suzuki cars sold there. Click here to read…