Tag Archives: Iran

China: Daily Scan, August 25, 2022

Nationalistic blogger Sima Nan banned from Chinese social media: South China Morning Post
August 23, 2022

Sima Nan, a Chinese blogger who shot to fame on the back of rising nationalism by writing inflammatory articles about the United States, was suddenly banned from his social media accounts for unknown reasons. He has been blocked from posting on Weibo, WeChat, Bilibili and Douyin “for violation of relevant laws and regulations”, according to notices posted on the platforms, but his previous posts remained untouched. He last updated his accounts on Saturday. No further details were released, and the immediate cause of what appears to be a collective effort by Chinese social media to censor his accounts is not clear. It is not known when or if he will be able to resume posting on the platforms. Click here to read…

China’s offshore undersea detection system passes sea trial: Xinhuanet
August 24, 2022

China’s independently developed offshore undersea mobile detection system Haizhe, also called Jellyfish, has completed its 3,000-meter deep sea trial in a methane seep zone of the South China Sea and passed the acceptance, the China Science Daily reported on Wednesday. Click here to read…

China launches human resources website for older people: Xinhuanet
August 24, 2022

China on Wednesday launched a human resources website for older people, marking the first step of building a human resources information service platform for the country’s older citizens. The website, launched by the China National Committee on Ageing, offers content including human resources policies, human resources knowledge and employment information. Click here to read…

Chinese police solve over 1,500 cases in crackdown on production, sale of fake medicine: Xinhuanet
August 24, 2022

Chinese police have solved over 1,500 cases involving the production and sale of fake or substandard medicine in the first half of this year, with the value of money involved amounting to 4.78 billion yuan (about 696 million U.S. dollars), said the Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Circular urges study of book on Xi Jinping’s thinking on armed forces: China Military
August 24, 2022

A circular has called on Party organizations at all levels and the armed forces to conduct thorough and in-depth study of a new book on Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the armed forces. The circular was jointly released by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission. Click here to read…

Chinese defense chief delivers video speech at SCO defense ministers meeting: China Military
August 24, 2022

The 19th meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on August 24, 2022. Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe attended and addressed the meeting via video link. Click here to read…

China expresses condolences to victims of floods in Pakistan, provides relief supplies, aid: Global Times
August 24, 2022

China is offering emergency aid, including needed supplies and $300,000 in cash to Pakistan, to support its disaster-hit areas where flood has caused casualties and property loss, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

YU-20 aerial tanker to star in PLA Air Force’s open day event: Global Times
August 24, 2022

The YU-20 aerial tanker, the force amplifier that recently entered service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and made frequent appearances in exercises around the island of Taiwan earlier this month, will be a star of the show at the upcoming PLA Air Force open day event with its first static display to the general public. Click here to read…

China, Iran Friendship Associations vow to strengthen bilateral Belt and Road cooperation: People’s Daily
August 24, 2022

The 13th annual conference of China Iran Friendship Associations and Dialogues between the sister provinces/cities of China and Iran was held online on Tuesday to bolster cooperation between the two countries. Under the theme of “Future-oriented China-Iran Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: Win-win Cooperation for Common Development,” the conference was jointly organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, China-Iran Friendship Association, and Iran-China Friendship Association. Click here to read…

China halts more than 20 IPOs sponsored by China Merchants Securities amid probe: Reuters
August 24, 2022

Chinese bourses have halted processing more than 20 initial public offering (IPO) plans sponsored by China Merchants Securities (600999.SS), following an investigation into the broker, according to exchange disclosures. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange has suspended 15 IPO plans set for its ChiNext board, while the Shanghai exchange has paused five IPOs targeting its tech-focused STAR Market since last Friday, exchange filings showed. Click here to read…

China exerting growing pressure on foreign companies, study finds: Reuters
August 24, 2022

China is exerting increasing pressure on foreign companies doing business in its markets to bring them into line with its political agenda, broadening the “red lines” for issues to which it is allergic, a German study seen by Reuters shows. A survey of more than 100 companies by the Berlin-based Merics think tank for China studies and the BDI industry association showed that the threshhold for exerting pressure on companies is falling. The number of known cases rose significantly from 2018, it found. Click here to read…

China regulator warns banks against yuan selling: Reuters
August 24, 2022

China’s foreign exchange regulator phoned several banks on Wednesday to warn them against aggressively selling the Chinese currency, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, in a new sign of official discomfort with recent yuan weakness. Click here to read…

Japan to pledge human resources investment in Africa to counter China: Kyodo
August 24, 2022

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will announce investment in human resources in Africa at a gathering held in Tunisia later this week, in an effort to counter China’s influence on the continent, government sources said Wednesday. At the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Kishida will pledge to invest in fostering the talents of 300,000 people for the next three years, primarily in the agriculture and health sectors, according to the sources. Click here to read…

Ideas shared to improve job market: China Daily
August 25, 2022

National political advisers have presented their ideas on helping the nation tackle its employment problems, which have been compounded by COVID-19 and an economic slowdown. Held from Monday to Wednesday, a session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference focused on stabilizing the job market by implementing an employment-first policy. Click here to read…

Minister calls for more SCO security cooperation: China Daily
August 25, 2022

China’s defense minister on Wednesday called for global solidarity amid multiple crises and challenges rarely seen in history, encouraging member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to deepen security cooperation. Click here to read…

China to build on policy package for stabilizing economy to firm up foundation for recovery, growth: People’s Daily
August 25, 2022

China will adopt follow-up policies on top of the policy package for stabilizing the economy as part of intensified efforts to consolidate the foundation of economic recovery and growth, and send taskforces to localities to supervise and assist work on this front to promote policy implementation at a faster pace, according to the decision made at the State Council’s Executive Meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. Click here to read…

China reopens to foreign students after two years: Taipei Times
August 25, 2022

China yesterday opened its borders for foreign students for the first time in more than two years, easing restrictions on their entry imposed in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign nationals holding a Chinese residence permit for study or an APEC business travel card would be allowed to enter the country, the Chinese embassy in the US said in a statement on WeChat on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Xi Jinping looks to take China beyond Deng Xiaoping’s ‘get rich’ era with historic third term: South China Morning Post
August 25, 2022

On a cold morning in mid-January, two dozen senior Communist Party officials, wrapped in black coats to protect them against the winter chill, stood solemnly in rows at the courtyard of Guohong Mansion, home to China’s top economic planning agency. The group had gathered for the launch of the Xi Jinping Economic Thought Research Centre, the 18th research institution set up since the Chinese president’s philosophy was enshrined in the constitution in 2018. Click here to read…

Chinese prosecutors charge former senior official of Guangxi with bribery: Xinhuanet
August 25, 2022

A public prosecution has been instituted against Liu Hongwu, former vice chairman of the people’s government of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. He is suspected of bribery, an official statement said on Thursday. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 345 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
August 25, 2022

The Chinese mainland on Wednesday reported 345 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 217 were in Hainan Province, the National Health Commission said Thursday. Altogether 1,289 local asymptomatic carriers were newly identified on Wednesday, including 521 in Tibet and 309 in Hainan, said the commission in its report. Click here to read…

China to implement negative list for cross-border trade in services: Qiushi
August 25, 2022

China will implement a negative list for cross-border trade in services, expand opening-up in the services sector and bolster digital trade to shore up economic growth, said government officials on Tuesday. A negative list refers to special administrative measures for access of foreign investors to specific fields. China introduced a negative list for cross-border trade in services at the Hainan Free Trade Port last year. Click here to read…

China achieves progress in building international consumption centers: Qiushi
August 25, 2022

Progress has been made by Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing, one year after the five leading cities were approved to develop international consumption centers cities. On Aug. 8, Aveda, a high-level manufacturer of hair care products owned by Estée Lauder Companies, opened its first store on the Chinese mainland at the Taikoo Li Qiantan, a mega shopping mall in Shanghai. Click here to read…

West Asia Round up-July 2022

Abstract:

After 19 months into his Presidency the US Administration decided that President Joe Biden embark on a ‘mending fences’ visit to West Asia including Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia to interact bilaterally and regionally with GCC++ leaders in Jeddah at the Security and Development Summit . While Khashoggi’s assassination and Biden’s berating of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his election campaign were the bitter pills both sides decided to swallow. Saudi Arabia and the US will cooperate on a range of future industries including 5G networks, enhanced cyber security, and space exploration, in addition to public health for which several agreements were signed.

Russia-Ukraine war was the backdrop as higher energy production to ease supply constraints especially to Europe remained a priority. So did update on the status of negotiations on the Iranian Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) while assuring its Gulf and Middle East partners of USA’s continued support and interest in their security. He said ‘USA was not going anywhere’. Biden also made greater efforts to persuade the Saudi’s to near- normalize ties with Tel Aviv even as Riyadh opened up its airspace for all airlines including El AL. Saudi FM, however, clarified that no normalization possible until the two state solution with Palestine is reached and opening of the air space was not a precursor either.

Biden also attended the I2U2 Summit leaders from India, Israel and UAE; it is considered to be a techno-economic extension of the Abraham Accords. It was agreed by all four sides to expedite the mutually beneficial projects in the six designated areas to begin with. This QUAD in once year with the appointed Sherpas and experts at beck and call as well as PPP enterprise seems to have achieved much more in less than a year including a Virtual Summit of leaders.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Israel could use Abraham Accords and normalization of relations with Arab countries to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and develop confidence building measures. Even Biden asked Palestinian President Abbas to cooperate but the Palestinians feel that the Abraham Accords are a mechanism to bypass their cause. Meanwhile, interim Israeli PM Yair Lapid met with Jordanian King Abdullah II to discuss the regional situation as Israeli leadership was getting ready for an eventual confrontation with Iran if the various reports are to be believed.

One of the outcomes of the Biden visit was that U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of C-17 aircraft sustainment and related equipment to the United Arab Emirates for an estimated cost of $980.4 million, according to Pentagon.

Saudi Crown Prince visited France and held discussions in a more charming manner with Macron. Saudi Arabia and France agreed to boost cooperation on renewable energy including solar, wind and clean hydrogen following the guidelines of the Paris Climate Accords. France -UAE also signed an Energy Cooperation Deal.

As the Russia -US contest via Kiev continues, Tehran hosted Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan under the Astana Format on Syria. President Ebrahim Raisi reiterated “We stress the importance of implementing the previous agreements among the guarantor states – Russia, Iran and Turkey- on Syria and announce our support for the political resolution in the country along with combating terrorism till eliminating it completely”. He however beseeched his Turkish counterpart not to attack on Northern Syrians as this will embolden the terrorist groups. Erdogan and Raisi also co-chaired the 7th Meeting of the Türkiye-Iran High Level Cooperation Council.

Prime Minister Modi virtually participated in the I2 U2 Summit

A trilateral meeting of focal points of France, India and UAE was held in which the three sides exchanged perspectives on the Indo-Pacific region and explored the potential areas of trilateral cooperation including Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Blue Economy, Regional Connectivity, Cooperation in Multilateral Fora, Energy and Food Security, Innovation and Startups, Supply Chain Resilience and Cultural and People-to-People Cooperation. They also discussed the next steps to be taken for furthering trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
India strongly condemned the recent killings in the Zakho district of Dohuk Governatorate, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which is a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty and a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra spoke with Dr. Ali Bagheri Kani, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran and discussed various elements of bilateral relations including progress on the Chabahar Port. Foreign Secretary underscored India’s commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation with Iran in addressing shared opportunities and challenges. Both sides also discussed international and regional issues including Afghanistan as per MEA.

More Details ….

US President’s visit to Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia

US President Joe Biden made his first trip to the West Asian region after coming to power. In Israel, he called himself as a fellow Zionist and claimed that the connection between US and Israel is bone deep. Biden during his two days stay in Jerusalem met with Prime Minister Yair Lapid and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden’s interactions and speeches were largely concentrated to his personal ties and bilateral relations with minimal reference to solving Israel-Palestine conflict. He however expressed support for two-state solution without referring to Palestinians by name. Moreover, any discussion on new US initiated peace plan was muted. Biden briefly met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem and discussed about economic incentives. Joe Biden administration is keen to re-open its consulate in East Jerusalem.

In Saudi Arabia, Biden met with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman indicating re-acceptance of the controversial leader after his involvement in killing of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The US through the visit is seeking to solidify the alliance against Iran. Biden during his interaction with nine Arab leaders assured that the US will not de-prioritise the region that could expand the influence of Russia, China and Iran.

Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to France

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the last week of July met with French President Emmanuel Macron. The visit is seen as a diplomatic rehabilitation of the Saudi Crown Prince who became infamous for his role in killing of Jamal Khashoggi. The efforts by France and other western states to court Saudi Arabia should be seen in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict; slow progress to revive the nuclear deal with Iran and the recent visit by the US President Joe Biden to Jeddah. The western states are seeking to reset engagement with Saudi Arabia to counter the rising regional influence of Iran, Russia and China. Emmanuel Macron’s office dismissing criticism to meet the controversial Saudi leader argued that meeting is important at a time of global energy and food crisis. Macron’s office assured that the subject of human rights would be raised. Macron during his meeting requested Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production to help in bringing down crude oil prices. Saudi Arabia is seen as integral for the diversification of energy supplies for European states. Both leaders expressed the need for ending Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as intensify cooperation to ease the effects in Europe. In case of Yemen, the French President appreciated the efforts by Saudi Arabia to find a political, global and inclusive solution under UN and hoped that the truce continues.

The Saudi Crown Prince prior to reaching France made a stop in Greece and met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on 26 July. Saudi Arabia and Greece signed agreement on renewable energy. Both leaders also talked about expanding engagement in security and promote investments. Earlier in May 2022, both states agreed to set up a joint venture to build a data cable i.e. East to Med Data Corridor which will be built by MENA HUB owned by Saudi Arabia’s STC and Greek firm, TTSA.

Protest in Iraq

The supporters of influential Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr entered the highly secure Green Zone on multiple occasions in July 2022. The protestors stormed the parliament building to prevent MPs from electing Mohammad al-Sudani who was nominated by Al-Sadr’s opponents as Prime Minister. The supporters of the Sadrist Movement also set up tents to prepare for a long sit-in at the parliament. The Sadrists are demanding fresh election to resolve the political stalemate.
Notably, during the October 2021 election, none of the political groups managed to win majority. Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sadrist Movement secured the highest number of seats winning 73 out of 329 seats. The Sadrist Movement’s political platform is based on Iraqi nationalism and opposition to foreign interference from the US as well as Iran. Al-Fatah alliance that includes Iran supported Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) managed to secure only 17 seats. The Sadrist Movement led coalition Saving the Homeland coalition that includes Al-Siyada or Sovereign Alliance and Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) failed to form the government. Eventually on 13 June, MPs from the Sadrist movement resigned deepening the political chaos. It led to coordination Framework becoming the largest bloc in parliament. However, there was no agreement on appointing a new Prime Minister, President and cabinet.

Iran-Taliban Clashes

Iranian forces during clashes with Taliban killed one fighter in Kong district of Nimroz province on 31 July. According to Taliban sources, Iranian forces initiated the attack which has been denied by the Iranian government. Tasnim news agency and Iran’s state run IRNA claimed that Taliban forces entered Iranian territory in Hirmand in Sistan and Balochistan province and tried to raise their own flag. Iranian government defended the military action by suggesting that Taliban fighters had mistaken a wall constructed within Iranian territory to prevent smugglers. Taliban fighters despite repeated explanations by Iranian government have considered the wall as the borderline. Earlier in 2021, similar border incident had occurred due to the confusion over the border.

Iran’s relation with Taliban has been difficult due to harassment and persecution of Shiite Hazara community. Tehran has refused to officially recognise the Taliban that took control over Kabul in August 2021 until it is willing to accommodate other political factions and form an “inclusive” government.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s meeting with Jordanian King in Amman

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid visited Jordan on 27 July and met with Jordanian King Abdullah II. King Abdullah II mentioned that Palestinians should be part of US sponsored regional economic projects necessary for stability in the region. Jordan has urged Israel to include Palestinians in water for energy deals between both states which could be financed by Gulf States. Historically, Jordan-Israel ties were marked by hostility and both states fought wars in 1947 and 1967. During the 1967 war, Israeli forces captured West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordanian control. Jordan eventually signed peace treaty with Israel in 1994 in the aftermath of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord. Despite the peace treaty, the subject of Palestine continues to weigh on their bilateral relations. King Abdullah II during the current meeting stressed that Palestinian statehood and comprehensive and lasting peace is essential for reaching lasting peace. Moreover, he asked Israelis to honour the religious sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque and maintain calm in occupied East Jerusalem. On bilateral level, both states discussed about increasing economic projects in water, energy, food security and transport sectors. Amman also asked Tel Aviv to relax its grip on the flow of Jordanian exports to the occupied West Bank. Both sides also discussed about US President Joe Biden’s initiative to further normalise Israel-Arab relations to build a front against Iran.

Iran arrests Mossad Spies

Iranian police on 28 July arrested five spies allegedly linked to Israel’s external intelligence agency, Mossad. Iranian authorities did not reveal the nationality of those arrested and hinted that arrested individuals had received training for armed operations and sabotage. The individuals were reportedly given pledges from Mossad including financial promises to gather information about strategic sites from Iranian territory. Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office that oversees Mossad has refused to comment on the reported arrests. Israel in the recent months has carried out number of killings of Iranian military officials and scientists. Israel on official level did not confirm or deny their actions. Earlier on 24 July, Iranian intelligence forces arrested members of an Israeli cell who were planning to cause explosion in Isfahan. These individuals reportedly entered the state through Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Isfahan hosts some of the prominent nuclear facilities including Natanz that was targeted in 2020 and 2021.

Clash in Syria

On 26 and 27 July, clashes between local armed fighters and gangs aligned with the government security forces led to 17 deaths in the Druze majority province of Sweida in Syria. Reportedly, ten government loyalists from the Falhout faction and seven local fighters were killed. Moreover, at least 40 people were injured during the clashes. The latest violence was triggered after the abduction of two people close to local armed groups. Bashar Al Assad since 2011 has been facing domestic discontent backed by external powers to overthrow his rule. Assad however managed to retain his power due to military assistance from Russia and Iran. Assad backed fighters have gained significant ground in recent years and ordinary Syrians have complained about arbitrary detentions, roadblocks and kidnappings for ransom by these fighters. The two day long clashes finally subsided after local fighters surrounded the village headquarters of the pro-Damascus faction. The abducted locals were finally released after the violence.

Grain Silos in Beirut Port Damaged Again

Part of grain silos at Beirut port collapsed after week long fire caused by summer heat burning the grains. The northern block of the silos feel out on 31 July. The General Director of the Beirut Port Silos, Assad Haddad assured that the situation was under control. The Civil Defence Department however warned that other parts of the silos’ northern block were at high risk. The explosion at the port on 4 August 2020 had rocked the state killing 200 and injuring more than 6000 people.

The recent fire has raised criticism about the government’s ineffectiveness to manage the grain silos and overall incompetence in governance. In the aftermath of the August 20202 blast, the investigation by Lebanese authorities revealed that senior government and security officials were aware of the presence of dangerous material including ammonium nitrate stored at the port. However, none of officials have been convicted and the investigation was suspended after the implicated officials brought legal challenges against the judge who was leading the investigation.

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-31 July 2022

DEFENCE

  • Chief of Army Staff Proceeds on a Three Day Visit to Bangladesh.
  • Prime Minister unveils ‘SPRINT’.
  • Joint Press Release of the 16th Round of India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting.
  • Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) conducted between Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Indian Navy.
  • Self-Reliance in Defence Manufacturing.
  • Development Work by Defence Industries.
  • MoD accords high priority to indigenisation of Software Defined Radios for the Armed Forces.
  • iDEX-DIO signs 100th contract for defence innovation.
  • Defence Acquisition Council, approves arms procurement proposals worth Rs 28,732 crore.
  • Second conference on Military Ammunition (Ammo India) inaugurated by RM.
  • Delivery of the prestigious Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant’.
  • Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on a visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
  • Royal Army of Oman contingent for joint exercise Al NAJAH-IV arrive in India.
  • Vietnam India bilateral army exercise “Ex VINBAX 2022”.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

West Asia
  • “Hizbu’llah has all of Israel in its missile range,” Hizbu’llah leader Nasrallah.
Africa
Ethiopia
  • Al-Shabaab terrorists carried out cross-border attack into Ethiopia’s Somali region.
Somalia
  • US airstrike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists in Lower Juba region.
Nigeria
  • Five Boko Haram terrorists surrendered in Borno State.
Mali
  • Islamist terrorists attacked Mali’s main military base outside Bamako.
Afghanistan
  • “Al-Qa’ida and Islamic State are gaining strength in Afghanistan”, claimed the UNSC report.
  • US killed al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a counter-terrorism operation in Kabul.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Srinagar in “Chanapora Arms Recovery in Srinagar” case.
  • SIA unearthed the nexus between JeM and Punjab-based gangsters.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • NIA arrested a Maoist associate in connection with “Terror Financing by CPI (Maoist) in Bihar” case.
  • Police killed a Maoist in an anti-Naxal operation in Chhattisgarh.
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Jharkhand in connection with “killing of police personnel and looting of arms and ammunition by CPI (Maoists)” case.
  • “Maoist-affected Districts reduced to 46 in 2021”, informed MoS for Home Affairs.
  • NIA arrested a Maoist associate in revival of Magadh zone of CPI (Maoist) case.
Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
  • NIA searched multiple locations in six States in connection with “ISIS module” case.
  • NIA arrested 08th accused in “Udaipur killing” case.
  • NIA searched multiple locations in connection with “PFI Phulwari Sharif” case in Bihar.
  • Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    • India raised concerns at the growth of pro-Khalistan movement in Canada.
    Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) Cases
    • NIA Special Court (Bihar) convicted and sentenced a FICN trafficker in “FICN case of East Champaran, Bihar”.
    Narcotics-Trafficking
    • NIA searched multiple locations in Tamil Nadu in the case of “Narcotics and Arms trafficking to India and Sri Lanka”.

    DEFENCE

    DRDO conducts successful maiden flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator.

    Maiden flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator was carried out successfully by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, way point navigation and a smooth touchdown. It is powered by a small turbofan engine, the airframe, undercarriage and entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft were developed indigenously. This flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Chief of Army Staff Proceeds on a Three Day Visit to Bangladesh.

    Continuing with the excellent bilateral defence ties between India and Bangladesh, General Manoj Pande, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) proceeded on a visit to the Bangladesh from 18 to 20 July 2022. This is the first foreign visit by General Manoj Pande since assumption as Army Chief.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Prime Minister unveils ‘SPRINT.

    Prime Minister (PM) Shri Narendra Modi unveiled ‘SPRINT Challenges’, aimed at giving a boost to the usage of indigenous technology in Indian Navy, during Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar ‘Swavlamban’ in New Delhi on July 18, 2022. NIIO, in conjunction with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), aims to induct at least 75 new indigenous technologies/products into the Indian Navy. This collaborative project is named SPRINT {Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), NIIO and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC)}. In the last 4-5 years, PM said the defence imports have come down by about 21 per cent. Today we are moving fast from the biggest defence importer to a big exporter. Last year, Rs 13,000 crore worth of defence export was done with more than 70 percent of which being from the private sector, he pointed out.

    In the conference Shri Rajnath Singh informed the Prime Minister that in line with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign, the Indian Navy spent over 64% of its capital budget in domestic procurement in the last financial year and it is expected to increase to 70% in the current financial year.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Joint Press Release of the 16th Round of India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting.

    The 16th round India- China Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on 17th July 2022.

    Building on the progress made at the last meeting on 11th March 2022, the two sides continued discussions for the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector in a constructive and forward looking manner. They had a frank and in-depth exchange of views in this regard, in keeping with the guidance provided by the State Leaders to work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. The two sides reaffirmed that the resolution of remaining issues would help in restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations. In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector. The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.
    Reference: Click here to read…

    Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) conducted between Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Indian Navy.

    A Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) was conducted between Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Indian Navy on 23 Jul 22 in Andaman Sea. This exercise is part of the ongoing efforts between the two navies towards ensuring safe and secure international shipping and trade in Indian Ocean Region.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Self-Reliance in Defence Manufacturing.

    The Government has taken several policy initiatives in the past few years and brought in reforms to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country, thereby expanding the production of indigenous defence equipment. With these actions of the Government, the expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources which used to be 46% of the overall expenditure has reduced to 36% in the last four years i.e. 2018-19 to 2021-22.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Development Work by Defence Industries.

    In continuous pursuit of achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and in sync with the announcement made in the Union Budget 2022-23 that allocated 25% of Defence R&D Budget for industry led R&D, 18 (eighteen) major platforms have been identified and announced by the Ministry of Defence for industry led Design & Development under various routes prescribed in Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020, namely, Make-I, Make-II, Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    MoD accords high priority to indigenisation of Software Defined Radios for the Armed Forces.

    Ministry of Defence (MoD) has fast-tracked the indigenisation of Software Defined Radios (SDRs) with country’s premier R&D institutions viz. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to fulfill the increasing demand by the Armed Forces across a broad spectrum of operations. Two key elements of indigenous SDR technology are the standardised operating software environment (OE) and applications (also known as waveforms) with associated waveforms repository and test/certification facility. Standard OE enables waveform portability and interoperability among SDRs of multiple vendors. Towards this, the Ministry of Defence has taken a decision to define and develop reference implementation of India specific operating environment called India Software Communication Architecture (SCA) profile or Indian Radio Software Architecture (IRSA).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    iDEX-DIO signs 100th contract for defence innovation.

    iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence), signed its 100th contract on 26 July 2022. Till date, iDEX has launched iDEX Prime, seven rounds of DISC (including DISC SPRINT) and five rounds of OC, receiving more than 4,000 applications from individual innovators, MSMEs and start-ups. More than Rs 250 crore worth of projects have been allocated and procurement of 14 items worth over Rs 400 crore have been cleared. In the last four years, 17 start-ups in 14 projects have already been accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for trial and procurement in March 2022. Projects from balance of DISC 1 & 2 and some from DISC 3 are nearing completion and may be accorded AoN by DAC by end of current Financial Year.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Defence Acquisition Council, approves arms procurement proposals worth Rs 28,732 crore.

    The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting under the chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, was held on July 26, 2022. Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 28,732 crore were accorded by the DAC in this meeting under Buy (Indian IDDM) and Buy (Indian) categories giving a further boost to ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence.

    Among the proposals approved by DAC in the meeting are three proposals of the Indian Army, viz. Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition, Area Denial Munition Type I and Infantry Combat Vehicle – Command have been designed and developed by DRDO. The total value of these three proposals is Rs 8,599 crore. DAC aslo accorded AoN for Bullet Proof Jackets with Indian Standard BIS VI level of protection. To combat the current complex paradigm of conventional and hybrid warfare and counter terrorism at the borders, AoN for induction of approx. four lakh of Close Quarter Battle Carbines for the Services has also been accorded by the DAC.

    AoN were also accorded for procurement of Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms has been accorded by the DAC under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category. The DAC also approved Navy’s proposal to procure upgraded 1250KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generator for power generation application onboard Kolkata class of ships through Indian Industry. This will give a major boost to indigenous manufacturing of gas turbine generators. In order to enhance the security in the coastal region of the country, the DAC also approved the proposal of procurement of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for Indian Coast Guard under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) with 60% IC.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Second conference on Military Ammunition (Ammo India) inaugurated by RM.

    Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has called for innovations in the field of ammunition for the creation of a strong and self-reliant base that keeps the Armed Forces fully prepared to deal with future challenges. He was addressing the inaugural session of the second conference on Military Ammunition (Ammo India) on the theme ‘Make in India Opportunities and Challenges’ in New Delhi on July 27, 2022. The Raksha Mantri described advanced ammunition as the reality of the new age warfare, which is a must for India, given its regional & global imperatives and security challenges.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Delivery of the prestigious Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant.

    Indian Navy took delivery of the prestigious Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) ‘Vikrant on 28 July 2022, from her builder Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), Kochi. Designed by Indian Navy’s inhouse Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by CSL, a Public Sector Shipyard under Ministry of Shipping (MoS), the carrier is christened after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first Aircraft Carrier. The 262 mtr long carrier has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes which is much larger and advanced than her predecessor. The ship is powered by four Gas Turbines totaling 88 MW power and has a maximum speed of 28 Knots. Built at an overall cost of close to Rs. 20,000 Crs. The ship’s keel was laid in Feb 2009, followed by launching in Aug 2013, with an overall indigenous content of 76%.

    The ship would be 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 STOBAR (Short Take- Off but Arrested Landing).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on a visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan.

    General Manoj Pande, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has proceeded on a visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan from 29 July. This visit will further enhance the unique and time-tested bilateral relationship, characterised by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Royal Army of Oman contingent for joint exercise Al NAJAH-IV arrive in India.

    The 4th Edition of India Oman Joint Military Exercise ‘AL NAJAH-IV’ between contingents of Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman is scheduled to take place at the Foreign Training Node of Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (Rajasthan) from 01 to 13 August 2022. The Royal Army of Oman contingent comprising 60 personnel from the Sultan of Oman Parachute Regiment have arrived at the exercise location. The Indian Army is represented by troops from the 18 MECHANISED INFANTRY Battalion. The previous edition of Ex AL NAJAH IV was organised at Muscat from 12 to 25 March 2019.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Vietnam India bilateral army exercise “Ex VINBAX 2022”.

    The 3rd Edition of Vietnam India Bilateral Army Exercise “Ex VINBAX 2022” is scheduled to be conducted at Chandimandir from 01 to 20 Aug 2022. The exercise is a sequel to previously conducted bilateral exercise in Vietnam in 2019 and a major milestone in strengthening the bilateral relations between India and Vietnam. India and Vietnam share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership. The theme of Ex VINBAX – 2022 is employment and deployment of an Engineer Company and a Medical Team as part of United Nations Contingent for Peace Keeping Operations.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

    West Asia
    “Hizbu’llah has all of Israel in its missile range,” Hizbu’llah leader Nasrallah.

    In an interview on 25 July 2022, Lebanese Hizbu’llah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that “all of Israel is within the range of Hizbu’llah’s missiles. Boasting about drones, Nasrallah said that the recent drone operation, targeting Israel’s Karish gas field, was carried out by the group. Though Israel shot down the drone, but Nasrallah informed Al-Mayadeen media that over the period in the past, Hizbu’llah used drones over Israel many times.

    Nasrallah suggested that Hizbu’llah could gain from the trip of the US President Biden to the region by bringing Iranian oil and gas to Lebanon, and that Hizbu’llah can exploit Lebanon’s crisis and the US’ desire for stability in the region.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Africa
    Ethiopia
    Al-Shabaab terrorists carried out cross-border attack into Ethiopia’s Somali region.

    On 21 July 2022, al-Shabaab terrorists from Somalia launched a cross-border attack into Ethiopia’s Somali region. This is the first time that al-Shabaab carried out a terrorist attack in Ethiopia. According to Somali military and Ethiopia’s paramilitary Liyu police, several al-Shabaab terrorists crossed into the Afdher zone and took control of several of their positions. However, with heavy police casualties, all positions were recaptured. According to Somali military officials posted in Bakool— the region that borders Ethiopia, around 87 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in the gun-battle.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Somalia
    US airstrike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists in Lower Juba region.

    On 17 July 2022, the United States (US) Africa Command, in coordination with the government of Somalia, carried out airstrike and killed two al-Shabaab terrorists in a remote location near Libikus in Lower Juba region, Somalia. The strike was carried out after al-Shabaab attacked partner forces in the region. According to the statement released, “violent extremist organisations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to Somali, regional and US interests.”
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Nigeria
    Five Boko Haram terrorists surrendered in Borno State.

    On 22 July 2022, five Boko Haram terrorists, including Mallam Isa, a commander, surrendered before the 73 Battalion of the Nigerian Army during “Operation Hadin Kai” in Borno State. “Preliminary investigation discovered that terrorists were said to have come out from Gazuwa, a new HQ of Boko Haram, located about 08 kilometres to Bama Local Government area,” said Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency expert. According to the Theatre Commander of North-East Joint Task Force of ‘Operation Hadin Kai’— Christopher Musa, “more than 67,000 terrorists have surrendered to troops so far.”
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Mali
    Islamist terrorists attacked Mali’s main military base outside Bamako.

    On 22 July 2022, Islamist terrorists of al-Qa’ida and Islamic State affiliated groups attacked Mali’s main military base in Kati, outside the Capital Bamako, however, the armed forces had repelled the attack and brought situation under control. In a statement released by military, “the attack involved two car bombs and was carried out by a local al-Qa’ida affiliated group— Katiba Macina.” Katiba Macina is more active terror group in Central Mali.

    In attack, a soldier was martyred and six people were wounded, while seven terrorists were killed and eight got arrested, read the statement. The military blamed Katiba Macina for several attacks on 21 July 2022 against military bases in Central Mali in which a soldier was martyred and 15 others were wounded.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Afghanistan
    “Al-Qa’ida and Islamic State are gaining strength in Afghanistan”, claimed the UNSC report.

    The 30th report of the United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team revealed the activities of al-Qa’ida (AQ), Islamic State (IS), and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan, and concluded that al-Qa’ida and IS related threats are high in the conflict zones and the neighbouring countries though both terror groups are likely to attempt an attack in non-conflicted areas.

    An Afghan national— Sanaullah Ghafari aka Shahab al-Muhajir, has been leading the Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP/IS-K) since June 2000. However, the IS core has established a separate structure called Al-Siddiq office under Sheikh Tamim al-Kurdi aka Abu Ahmed al-Madani for group’s regional agenda. The report also pointed about the IS-KP’s increased presence in northern and eastern Afghanistan. The group has terrorists from the Central Asia, who have increased activities in the north, bordering Central Asian states of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    US killed al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a counter-terrorism operation in Kabul.

    On 01 August 2022, United States (US) President— Joe Biden, announced that in a counter-terrorism operation carried out on 30 July 2022 in Kabul, Afghanistan, the US government killed the al-Qa’ida leader— Ayman al-Zawahiri. “Al-Zawahiri coordinated al-Qa’ida’s branches all around the world since Bin Laden’s death in 2011, including setting priorities for providing operational guidance that call for and inspire attacks against US targets,” explained the US President during the announcement.

    “The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm,” Biden continued. “We make it clear again tonight that, no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” added the US President.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM

    Jammu and Kashmir
    NIA searched multiple locations in Srinagar in “Chanapora Arms Recovery in Srinagar” case.

    On 20 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched nine locations in Kashmir, including four in Srinagar district and five in Pulwama district, in the case— RC-04/2022/NIA/JMU related to the conspiracy of conducting terror attacks in and around Srinagar, in which four operatives were arrested and 15 pistols, 30 magazines, 300 rounds, and one Mahindra-built Scorpio vehicle were seized.

    The case was re-registered by the NIA on 18 June 2022. The NIA officials seized digital devices and other incriminating materials.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    SIA unearthed the nexus between JeM and Punjab-based gangsters.

    The State Investigation Agency (SIA) in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) unearthed the nexus between Pakistan-based terrorist group— Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Punjab-based gangsters, as the SIA filed a chargesheet against five operatives in a terror-funding related case registered in 2021.

    The case was related to the recovery of ₹ 43 lakh by Jammu police at the Sidhra bridge, from Kashmir-bound vehicle, on 16 November 2021. The SIA filed a chargesheet before the Special NIA court in Jammu on 26 July 2022, against five operatives, including JeM commander— Ashiq Nengroo (presently operating from Pakistan), Muzammil Ahmad Malik (JeM operative) from Pulwama, and other three Punjab-based gangsters— i) Ravi Kumar, ii) Jaideep Dhawan, and iii) Amarbir Singh (all residents of Punjab), under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], the Arms Act, and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Left-Wing Extremism
    NIA arrested a Maoist associate in connection with “Terror Financing by CPI (Maoist) in Bihar” case.

    On 28 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials arrested— Rajesh Gupta, a Maoist associate, in connection to a conspiracy by CPI (Maoist) cadres and others for attempting to revive the banned organisation’s module in the Son-Ganga Bindh region of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (UP).

    The case— RC-19/2022/NIA/DLI was re-registered on 26 April 2022 and NIA taken over the investigation. Earlier, NIA had arrested 03 associates in this case on 12 April 2022 and 25 May 2022. Rajesh Gupta is a close associate of earlier arrested Vijay Kumar Arya— a Central Committee Member (CCM) and was actively involved in reviving the module in Son-Ganga Bindh region.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Police killed a Maoist in an anti-naxal operation in Chhattisgarh.

    On 26 July 2022, Chhattisgarh police eliminated a Maoist— Budh Ram Madkam aka Mahangu Deva, a member of Katekalyan Area Committee of CPI (Maoist), in forest near Jabrameta village of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA searched multiple locations in Jharkhand in connection with “killing of police personnel and looting of arms and ammunition by CPI (Maoists)” case.

    On 27 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched 03 locations of suspects in connection with suspects’ involvement in an attack on police party on 14 June 2019 at Kukru Haat in Saraikela-Kherswan district in Jharkhand. In the attack, five police personnel attained Veergati, and their arms and ammunitions were looted by perpetrators.

    The case— RC-39/2020/NIA/DLI was re-registered by the NIA on 09 December 2020. The NIA officials recovered digital devices, illicit weapons and ammunitions, and various incriminating materials.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    “Maoist-affected Districts reduced to 46 in 2021”, informed MoS for Home Affairs.

    The Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs— Nityanand Rai, on 26 July 2022, informed the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of the Indian Parliament) that number of Maoist-affected districts has reduced from 70 in the year 2014 to 46 in 2021. Along with, the incidents inspired from Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) have recorded significant reduction from 1,091 in 2014 to 509 incidents in 2021.

    The Minister also informed the Lok Sabha about Central government-led schemes for Maoist-affected areas, including Security Related Expenditure Scheme (SRES), Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Road Requirement Plan-1, mobile connectivity projects in Maoist affected districts.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA arrested a Maoist associate in revival of Magadh zone of CPI (Maoist) case.

    On 25 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested— Tarun Kumar, in connection with a case— RC-05/2021/NIA/RNC, where CPI (Maoist) cadre prominent— Pradyuman Sharma and others, were conspiring to revive a module of banned organisation in Magadh zone. Tarun Kumar, along with other accused conspired to raise funds for procurement of arms and ammunition and training the fellow cadres in fabrication of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).

    The group was also planning to create nexus with incarcerated naxals and Over-Ground Workers (OGWs) in various jails for commission of violent crimes.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    NIA searched multiple locations in six States in connection with “ISIS module” case.

    On 31 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched 13 premises of Islamic State (IS) suspects in six Indian States— i) Gujarat, ii) Bihar, iii) Karnataka, iv) Maharashtra, v) Uttar Pradesh, and vi) Madhya Pradesh, in a case related to Islamic State (ISIS) module and its activities.

    On 25 June 2022, the case— RC-26/2022/NIA/DLI was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A].
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA arrested 08th accused in “Udaipur killing” case.

    On 21 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials arrested the 08th accused— Mohammed Javed (age 19 years), in the case— RC-27/2022/NIA/DLI pertaining to the killing of Shri Kanhaiya Lal Teli in Udaipur, Rajasthan, by two Islamic extremists armed with sharp weapons at his tailor shop on 28 June 2022.

    The NIA re-registered the case on 29 June 2022 and taken over the investigation. Earlier, 07 accused were arrested in the case on 29 June, 01 July, 04 July, and 09 July 2022. Mohammed Javed had played an important role in the killing by conducting recce and conveying the information about the victim to one of the main perpetrators— Riyaz, prior to the brutal murder.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA searched multiple locations in connection with “PFI Phulwari Sharif” case in Bihar.

    On 28 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials carried out searches at 10 locations of the PFI operatives in Bihar, for their alleged involvement with the Popular Front of India (PFI) in anti-national activities.

    The case— RC-31/2022/NIA/DLI was re-registered by the NIA on 22 July 2022 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The NIA officials seized digital devices and several incriminating materials from the sites.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) Cases
    NIA Special Court (Bihar) convicted and sentenced a FICN trafficker in “FICN case of East Champaran, Bihar”.

    On 22 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court, Bihar, convicted and sentenced— Mohammad Ali Akhtar Ansari for his involvement in the Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) proliferation in India. The case— RC-08/2016/NIA/DLI pertains to the seizure of a parcel containing high quality FICNs worth around ₹ 25 lakhs. Mohammad Akhtar came to Raxaul, to take delivery of the FICNs consignment on 30 September 2015, and was subsequently arrested.

    According to the investigation, the seized FICNs had been smuggled from a foreign country into India and supposed to be delivered to another accused— Abi Mohammad of Nepal. Investigation also revealed that a Pakistani national— Syed Muhammad Shaffi, now residing in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), had couriered the parcel from the UAE via ICS (International Courier Service). Mohammad Akhtar Ansari rewarded 20 years of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) with ₹ 50,000 as fine under Section 16 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], 10 years of RI with ₹ 25,000 as fine under Section 489B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and 07 years of RI under Section 489C of the IPC by the NIA Special Court (Patna), Bihar.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Narcotics-Trafficking
    NIA searched multiple locations in Tamil Nadu in the case of “Narcotics and Arms trafficking to India and Sri Lanka”.

    On 20 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency officials searched 22 premises of suspects at various locations in Tamil Nadu in connection with the case— RC-29/2022/NIA/DLI, pertaining to illicit activities of Sri Lankan drug mafia being operated by C Gunashekharan in association with Haji Salim— drug and arms supplier based in Pakistan.

    The drugs and arms traffickers have been operating in India and Sri Lanka, and have been conspiring for the revival of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) terror group and to further its violent activities. The case was registered suo moto by the NIA on 08 July 2022 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A], read with sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
    For more information: Click here to read…

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

    DEFENCE

    • DRDO conducts successful maiden flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator.
    • Indian Army organised the “Suraksha Manthan 2022”.
    • New manufacturing facilities at Bharat Dynamics Limited.
    • Indian Navy ships visit Singapore, Republic of Seychellesand a long range overseas deployment.
    • CEO of French aircraft engine maker SAFRAN Group calls on Raksha Mantri (RM).
    • 6th Deputy National Security Adviser Level Meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave.
    • Indian Navy’s INS Satpura and P8i participate in the RIMPAC Harbour Phase.
    • Indian Air Force contingent participating in a exercise with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) in Egypt.
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre of Excellence (Coe) launched by IAF.
    • First-ever ‘AI in Defence’ symposium & exhibition in New Delhi.
    • Brazilian Navy delegation on visit to India.
    • Ministry of Defence sets up an Apex Committee for Performance and Efficiency Audit.

    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

    West Asia
    • “Hizbu’llah used Iranian drones against the Karish gas field”, claimed Israel’s Defence Minister.
    Africa
    Nigeria
    • Islamist attack freed hundreds of prisoners in Nigeria.
    Pakistan
    • Ahead of FATF’s visit, Pakistan doubled the efforts to ‘locate’ JeM chief Masood Azhar.

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM

    Jammu and Kashmir
    • NIA searched multiple locations in Kashmir in “Sunjwan terrorist attack” case.
    • Security forces eliminated two terrorists, including a JeM commander, in Pulwama.
    • “In last four years, 700 local youths were recruited by terror groups in UT of J&K”: MHA.
    Left-Wing Extremism
    • Police arrested a Maoist wanted in SP’s killing case.
    • Over 600 explosives and 495 detonators recovered in anti-Maoist operation in Bihar.
    • 50 IEDs seized from Aurangabad in Bihar.
    Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    • NIA Special Court (Ernakulam) convicted three Islamic State members in “ISIS Valapattanam case”.
    • NIA searched multiple locations in Rajasthan in “Udaipur killing” case.
    • NIA conducted search at multiple locations in Maharashtra in “Umesh Kolhe’s killing” case.
    Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    • NIA filed chargesheet against four KTF associates accused of conspiring the killing of a Hindu priest in Jalandhar.
    • MEA raised concerns over the participation of Australian Sikh soldiers at pro-Khalistan event in New South Wales, Australia.
    • Pro-Khalistan elements vandalized Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Canada.
    • Police arrested a pro-Khalistan supporter from Jalandhar.

    DEFENCE

    DRDO conducts successful maiden flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator.

    Maiden flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator was carried out successfully by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, way point navigation and a smooth touchdown. It is powered by a small turbofan engine, the airframe, undercarriage and entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft were developed indigenously.This flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Army organised the “Suraksha Manthan 2022”.

    The Desert Corps of the Indian Army organised the “Suraksha Manthan 2022”, on aspects of Border & Coastal Security at Jodhpur (Rajasthan). During the course of the discussions, aspects of interoperability, operational cohesion and logistics were ironed out in order to enhance overall security along the International Boundary (IB) and coastal sectors. A joint training calendar was also formulated to achieve a higher degree of interoperability and jointness amongst the security forces. Current security threats and challenges, along with joint mitigation response, were deliberated upon and such scenarios would now form part of the forthcoming exercises. It was further decided to create an enabling security environment and develop a tangible capability development road map to achieve the same.
    Reference: Click here to read…

    New manufacturing facilities at Bharat Dynamics Limited

    Raksha Mantri dedicated to the Nation a number of new manufacturing facilities set up by the Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU). These include a Warhead facility at the Bhanur Unit and a Radio Frequency (RF) Seeker facility at Kanchanbagh Unit. The RF Seeker Facility, which was virtually inaugurated by the Raksha Mantri, is an integrated Centre for production & testing of RF seekers. This facility has been established by BDL with an investment of Rs 50 crore.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Navy ships visit Singapore, Republic of Seychelles and long range overseas deployment

    As part of their deployment to South East Asia, Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri and Kadmatt under the Command of Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, NM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, visited Singapore from 01 – 03 July 2022. INS Sahyadri is an indigenously built multi-role stealth Frigate and INS Kadmatt is an indigenously built ASW Corvette.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    INS Kolkata, an indigenously built Stealth Guided Missile Destroyer of the Indian Navy, was deployed to Port Victoria, Seychelles to coincide with the Independence Day of Seychelles on 29 June 22. During the port call, INS Kolkata delivered two engines of Dornier Aircraft of the SDF, which were overhauled at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Hyderabad. A set of engineering spares were also delivered to Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) for sustenance of SCG ships.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    As a part of the Long range overseas deployment, Indian Navy’s stealth frigate INS Tarkash, visited Djibouti as part of her long range overseas deployment followed by Maritime Partnership Exercise with Sudan Navy. The ship is on a deployment to Rio de Janerio, Brazil, which is intended to coincide with the Independence Day enabling her to hoist the tricolour in South America on the occasion as part of AzadikaAmritMahotsav.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    CEO of French aircraft engine maker SAFRAN Group calls on Raksha Mantri (RM)

    A high-level delegation of French company Safran Group led by its CEO Mr Olivier Andries called on Raksha Mantri in New Delhi on July 05, 2022. During the meeting, the CEO of Safran briefed the Raksha Mantri of their company’s plans to set up a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in India for overhaul of LEAP-1A & LEAP-1B engines in use by Indian and foreign commercial airlines. The MRO facility through direct foreign investment of $US 150 million in Hyderabad is expected to create 500-600 highly skilled jobs. The facility will be able to overhaul over 250 engines per year in the beginning.

    The CEO also briefed Shri Rajnath Singh of their plan to inaugurate this week Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Electrical & Power India Pvt Ltd. – both to come up in Hyderabad and Safran-HAL Aircraft Engines as a joint venture in Bengaluru. Safran aircraft engine, Hyderabad, with an investment of Euro 36 million and located on 10 acres land in the Hyderabad SEZ, will produce parts and components for advanced aircraft engines including rotating seals. Safran Electrical & Power India Pt Ltd will produce harness for civil and fighter jets. The joint venture between Safran and HAL is for production of rigid piping for aircraft engines including helicopter engines. The joint venture is expected to hire 160 new highly skilled personnel.

    The CEO of Safran outlined his company’s long-term plan in co-development and co-production of advanced jet engines and transfer of technology as per existing policy of Government of India. He briefed Shri Rajnath Singh on capabilities of Safran in areas of technology beyond aircraft engine.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    6th Deputy National Security Adviser Level Meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave

    The Member States of the Colombo Security Conclave comprising India, Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, successfully concluded the 6th Deputy National Security Adviser level meeting held on 7 July 2022 hosted by the National Security Council Secretariat of India in Kochi. Delegations from Bangladesh and Seychelles participated as Observers.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Navy’s INS Satpura and P8i participate in the RIMPAC Harbour Phase

    Indian Navy’s indigenous Frigate INS Satpura and P8I LRMRASW aircraft are at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii taking part in one of the largest multilateral Naval Exercises, the Rim of the Pacific exercise, also known as RIMPAC. INS Satpura and one P8I maritime patrol aircraft are participating in the exercise which spans over six weeks of intense operations and training aimed at enhancing interoperability and building trust among Navies of friendly foreign countries. 28 countries, 38 warships, 09 land forces, 31 unmanned systems, 170 aircraft and over 25,000 personnel are participating in the multi-dimensional exercise. The sea phase commences on 12 Jul 22 and will culminate with the closing ceremony on 04 Aug 22.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Air Force contingent participating in an exercise with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) in Egypt

    Indian Air Force contingent is reaching the midway point of the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) at Egyptian Air Force (EAF) Weapon School in Egypt (Cairo West Airbase). The programme commenced on 24 Jun and will culminate on 23 Jul 22. IAF is participating with three Su-30 MKI aircraft. Two C-17 aircraft were used for induction of the contingent. IAF Su-30 MKI aircraft undertook a non-stop ferry of six hours from Jamnagar airbase (India) to Cairo West airbase (Egypt), overflying four countries enroute. Tactical Leadership Program is a unique exercise, wherein IAF is participating with its aircrew as instructors. This exercise provides a good opportunity to showcase the reach and capability of the IAF. It will also assist in enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries and exchange of best practices.

    During the first two weeks of the exercise IAF aircraft participated in missions by day and night, involving air to ground & air to air combat scenarios and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) activity alongside Egyptian F-16, Rafale and Mig 29 aircraft.
    Reference: Click here to read…

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre of Excellence (Coe) launched by IAF

    The IAF Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under the aegis of UDAAN (Unit for Digitisation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Application Networking) was inaugurated by Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS).

    A Big Data Analytics and Al Platform has been commissioned in the IAF’s Al Centre, for handling all aspects of Analytics, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks and Deep Learning algorithms. The high-end compute requirements would be undertaken by the latest Graphical Processing Unit powered servers.Addressing the gathering, VCAS said that IAF has taken proactive steps to embed Industry 4.0 and Al based technologies in its war fighting processes. He reiterated that the AI COE with high end compute and big data storage capabilities, coupled with full spectrum Al software suites, would substantially enhance operational capability of IAF.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    First-ever ‘AI in Defence’ symposium & exhibition in New Delhi

    RakshaMantri launched 75 newly-developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) products/technologies during the first-ever ‘AI in Defence’ (AIDef) symposium and exhibition, organised by Ministry of Defence in New Delhi. The products, launched as part of ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’ celebrations, fall under various domains. These includeAI Platform Automation; Autonomous/Unmanned/Robotics systems; Block Chain-based Automation; Command, Control, Communication, Computer & Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance; Cyber Security; Human Behavioural Analysis; Intelligent Monitoring Systems; Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems; Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Operational Data Analytics; Manufacturing and Maintenance; Simulators/Test Equipment and speech/voice analysis using Natural Language Processing.

    The RakshaMantri added that several MoUs have been signed with the industry for faster promotion of AI applications in the Services. Many AI-related challenges under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiatives have also been given. The challenges are under various domains, including Radio Frequency Spectrum Management, Underwater Domain Awareness, Satellite Image Analysis and Friend or Foe Identification System. He urged the industry and start-ups to explore newer avenues and work hand-in-hand with the Government to ensure complete self-reliance in the field of AI technology.

    Delivering the welcome address, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar lauded the proactive efforts of the three Services, DRDO, DPSUs & the Industry in developing these 75 products and contributing to strengthen national security. He added that over 100 more projects are in various levels of development.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Brazilian Navy delegation on visit to India

    A Brazilian Navy delegation led by Vice Admiral Liberal Enio Zanelatto, Director of Industrial Production & Engineering, visited New Delhi on 15 Jul 22 and held discussion with senior officers of the Indian Navy. The head of the Brazilian delegation also called on Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Materiel, Indian Navy. Earlier, Brazilian delegation also visited Headquarters Western Naval Command and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd at Mumbai on 11 and 12 Jul 22 respectively.

    Extensive discussions between Brazilian and Indian Navy leadership, on areas of mutual cooperation, with special focus on submarine maintenance, in addition as general maintenance philosophy, upgradation of weapons and sensors, and Indian Navy’s indigenisation efforts for achieving self-reliance.
    Reference: Click here to read…

    Ministry of Defence sets up an Apex Committee for Performance and Efficiency Audit

    The Ministry of Defence has set up an institutional mechanism comprising of an Apex committee with Defence Secretary as Chairman to conduct a Performance and Efficiency Audit into various aspects of its activities. This kind of audit is expected to provide valuable inputs to the top management of the Ministry of specific shortcomings, if any, in planning and execution of projects, and suggest systemic improvements in internal controls, soundness of financial procedures, identification of risk factors, etc. It is a major shift from the existing transaction-based compliance audit to carry out an outcome-based Performance/ Efficiency Audit aimed at enhancing overall efficiency.The members of the committee include Vice Chiefs of the three Services, Secretary Defence (Finance), Chief of Integrated Staff Committee (CISC), Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), Director General (Acquisition) and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    The broad areas that have been identified for the conduct of Performance and Efficiency Audit include Defence Capital Procurements, provisioning, logistics, inventory levels, Maintenance of platforms/ assets, role and performance of Authority Holding Sealed Particulars (AHSP) etc. the Apex committee can also recommend any other specific area for Performance and Efficiency Audit.

    The committee chaired by Defence Secretary will identify specific areas for the conduct of performance and audit by CGDA and monitor performance audit reports and action taken thereon. It also shall advise Raksha Mantri on remedial measures to be adopted as well as measures for overall improvement in strengthening of internal oversight and Risk Management Framework.
    Reference: Click here to read…

    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

    West Asia
    “Hizbu’llah used Iranian drones against the Karish gas field”, claimed Israel’s Defence Minister.

    In a briefing to military reporters, on 07 July 2022, Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz confirmed the use of Iranian drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) against the Karish gas field. “It should be said that the attack was carried out by Hizbu’llah on behest of Iran, and its weapons are made in Iran, whether it is manufactured there or knowledge acquired by them.
    On 02 July 2022, the Israel Defence Force (IDF) shot three UAVs by Hezbollah toward Karish rig, which is located within Israel’s economic waters but disputed by Lebanon.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Africa
    Nigeria
    Islamist attack freed hundreds of prisoners in Nigeria

    Suspected Islamists gunmen, armed with explosives, attacked on Kuje medium security prison, on the outskirts of Abuja and freed nearly 900 of prison’s 994 inmates, including number of terrorists. “They [gunmen] came in numbers, gained entrance into the prison, and released ‘some’ of the inmates,” said Nigeria’s Defence Minister— Bashir Magashi during a press briefing on 06 July 2022.

    Prison breaks have become more common in Nigeria, where in 2021, more than 1,800 prisoners escaped from Owerri prison in South-Eastern Imo state, after heavily armed men attacked with explosives.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    Ahead of FATF’s visit, Pakistan doubled the efforts to ‘locate’ JeM chief Masood Azhar

    Ahead of the visit of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) officials to assess Pakistan’s commitment to carried out task list actions, Pakistan has doubled its efforts against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and founder— Masood Azhar, and his brother Rauf Asghar. While Rauf Asghar was taken into custody along with 44 JeM terrorists in 2019, the establishment is assessing Masood Azhar’s whereabouts, including his doubtful presence in Pakistan.

    From 28 August-02 September, a team of senior FATF officials expected to visit Islamabad and other cities for an ‘on-site visit’, to verify if Pakistan has carried out all the actions mentioned on its 34-point task list. Pakistan is expected to be taken-off of ‘grey list’, during the FATF’s next plenary session in October 2022.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM

    Jammu and Kashmir
    NIA searched multiple locations in Kashmir in “Sunjwan terrorist attack” case

    On 13 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials carried out a search operation at three locations in Kashmir— 01 location in Pulwama district, and 02 locations in Anantnag district, in the case (RC-03/2022/NIA/JMU) related to indiscriminate firing upon security personnel on 22 April 2022, during a joint search operation in the area of Sunjwan, Jammu, in which an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) attained Veergati(fell in the battle), and several others were injured.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Security forces eliminated two terrorists, including a JeM commander, in Pulwama

    On 11 July 2022, security forces killed two terrorists, including a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) commander, in an operation in Wandakhpora village in Awantipora in Pulwama district. The JeM commander was identified as Kaiser Koka and was active in South Kashmir for the last four years.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    “In last four years, 700 local youths were recruited by terror groups in UT of J&K”: MHA

    According to the data available with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), as on 05 July 2022, a total of 82 foreign terrorists were operating in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), while there were 59 local terrorists. In last four years, terrorist groups managed to recruit 700 local youths into their fold, while 141 terrorists, are currently active in the Valley. Such large number highlighted the unabated infiltration from terror launch pads across the border. Mostly, terrorists belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its offshoot— The Resistance Front (TRF), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Left-Wing Extremism
    Police arrested a Maoist wanted in SP’s killing case, from Jharkhand

    In a joint operation, Jharkhand Police and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) arrested a Maoist— Nandlal Soren aka Hitesh, a member of the Special Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist), from Giridih district in Jharkhand. Nandlal Soren was carrying a bounty reward of ₹ 25 lakh.

    Soren was wanted in the killing of then-Superintendent of Police (SP) Amarjeet Balihar, and other police personnel in an ambush in 2013.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Over 600 explosives and 495 detonators recovered in anti-Maoist operation in Bihar

    In an anti-Maoist operation carried out during 04-11 July 2022 in Bihar, more than 600 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and around 500 detonators have been recovered by CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), a special jungle-warfare commando unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The recoveries were made from the jungles of Gaya district in Bihar.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    50 IEDs seized from Aurangabad in Bihar

    On 11 July 2022, the CRPF’s CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), the Special Task Force (STF), and the district police carried out a joint operation on Ajnawa mountain range in Aurangabad district and recovered 50 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and other equipment. Other equipment included over two dozen gelatin rods, electric wires, batteries, pipes used in manufacturing of bombs were recovered.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    NIA Special Court (Ernakulam) convicted three Islamic State members in “ISIS Valapattanam case”

    On 12 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court, Ernakulam convicted three Islamic State (IS) members— i) Midlaj, ii) Abdul Razak, and iii) Hamsa, for providing support and conspiring a plan to travel out of India to join the terrorist organisation in Syria.

    After thorough investigation, the case— RC-02/2017/NIA/KOC was taken over by the NIA for further investigation by the NIA on 16 December 2017. A chargesheet was filed by the NIA on 21 April 2018 against the IS members.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA searched multiple locations in Rajasthan in “Udaipur killing” case

    On 12 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched nine locations in Udaipur district in Rajasthan in “Udaipur killing case”. The case— RC-27/2022/NIA/DLI pertains to the killing of Shri Kanahiya Lal Teli in Udaipur, Rajasthan, by two Islamic extremists armed with sharp weapons at his shop located in Maaldas street, Udaipur, Rajasthan. On 29 June 2022, the NIA re-registered the case and taken over the investigation. During the search at the premises of both Islamic extremists, digital devices, including mobile phones, laptop and SIM cards, and other indiscriminating material was seized.
    Earlier, on 09 July 2022, the NIA arrested Farhad Mohammad Sheikh aka Babla, in relation to Shri Kanahiya Lal Teli’s murder conspiracy. Farhad Mohammad was a close associate of one of the main perpetrator— RiyazAttari.
    For more information: Click here to read… ; Click here to read…

    NIA conducted search at multiple locations in Maharashtra in “Umesh Kolhe’s killing” case

    On 06 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched 13 locations in Amravati district in Maharashtra in the case of killing of Shri Umesh Kolhe in Amravati on 21 June 2022.

    The case— RC-02/2022/NIA/MUM relates to the killing of a pharmacist— Shri Umesh Kolhe allegedly on account of certain social media posts. The NIA re-registered the case on 02 July 2022 and taken over the investigation. During the search, the officials recovered digital devices, including mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, and DVRs), pamphlets spreading hate messages, knives, and other incriminating documents and materials.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    NIA filed chargesheet against four KTF associates accused of conspiring the killing of a Hindu priest in Jalandhar

    On 04 July 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet at the NIA Special Court (Mohali) against four Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) associates— i) Kamaljeet Sharma, ii) Arshdeep Singh, iii) Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and iv) Ram Singh, for conspiring the killing of a Hindu priest in Jalandhar, Punjab.
    The case— RC-27/2021/NIA/DLI pertains to an attack on a Hindu priest— Kamaldeep Sharma, native of Bhar Singh Pura village in Phillaur, Jalandhar district. According to the investigation, the conspiracy was hatched by Arshdeep Singh and Harshdeep Singh Nijjar, both based in Canada, to disturb peace and communal harmony in Punjab by killing a Hindu priest. The arrested duo, Kamaljeet Sharma and Ram Singh, had shot the victim (Kamaldeep Sharma), on behest of Arshdeep Singh.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    MEA raised concerns over the participation of Australian Sikh soldiers at pro-Khalistan event in New South Wales, Australia

    As the reports about Australian Army Sikh delegation’s participation in pro-Khalistan event in New South Wales, Australia, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on 07 July 2022, has taken up the concern over the matter with the Australian government.

    “We came to know that there had been an instance in Australia. We have taken up the matter with the Australian government,” said MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Pro-Khalistan elements vandalized Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Canada

    On 13 July 2022, allegedly pro-Khalistan supporters vandalised the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Vishnu temple in Toronto, Canada. The statue had existed at the Vishnu temple in the area of Yonge Street and Garden Avenue for over three decades.
    “We are deeply anguished by this hate crime that seeks to terrorise the Indian community. It has led to increased concern and insecurity in the Indian community here. We have approached the Canadian government to investigate and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly,” observations made by the High Commission of India in Ottawa.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Police arrested a pro-Khalistan supporter from Jalandhar

    On the intervening night of 14-15 June 2022, police arrested Manjeet Singh, resident of Patiala, for reportedly writing pro-Khalistan slogans on the walls in Jalandhar. According to police, similar cases had been registered against Manjeet in Karnal, and other districts in Punjab. During the probe, Manjeet revealed that an unknown person approached him through social media and offered money for writing pro-Khalistan comments on Facebook (now Meta), YouTube and other channels.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    West Asia Round up-June 2022

    Abstract:

    One of the most important aspects during the month was engaging and hectic diplomatic activity and high level visits.

    Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman visited Jordan, Egypt and Turkey (June 20-22) essentially aiming at rapprochement and reconciliation as well as to garner participation at the July GCC +++ Summit with President Biden. Turkish President Erdogan had taken the initiative to intensify and reinforce partnership with Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo pursuant to domestic economic challenges and external developments.

    Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi received his Venezuelan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan counterparts and discussed ways of enhanced cooperation. With President Maduro of Venezuela (a sore for the Americans and as sanctioned as the Iranians) Tehran signed a 20 years cooperation plan. Maduro also visited Qatar, Turkey, Kuwait and Algeria. Also in a bid to restart to JCPOA talks and in view of the pressing energy security and crisis, the EU’s foreign policy Chief Josep Borrel visited Tehran. It was agreed to hold talks in Doha though not much hope was evidenced.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian visited India and discussed among others the operations of transit routes relating to INSTC (North South Transport Corridor), Chabahar and Caspian Sea for the Russian cargo among other issues. He met Dr Jaishankar EAM and NSA Ajit Doval. He also called on PM Modi. India abstained on an IAEA Resolution that was critical of Iran.

    Iraqi PM Kadhimi visited Riyadh and Tehran in a bid to restart talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    Algeria suspended its two decades old Friendship Treaty with Spain on account of Madrid’s pro Morocco stance over Western Sahara. Also it stopped all imports that might even impact the oil and gas exports.

    Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim in his first visit to Cairo conferred with President Sisi. Ties were tensed during the blockade for nearly four years between the two countries. He also received second time the National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun of UAE.

    PM Naftali Bennet paid a surprise visit to UAE to meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. Also President Herzog paid a visit to Jordan to meet King Abdullah II in Amman. Probably the visits were aimed at framing up some elements of the proposed security architecture during the visit of Biden. Of course the bilateral and regional dimensions of the relationships are equally frayed and important. Israeli ruling coalition lost majority and the Knesset was dissolved paving way for 5th elections in a short period. Yair Lapid took over as the interim PM.

    Turkey changed its official name to “Turkiye” which was accepted by the UN. Turkey also lifted its objections after consultations with Sweden and Finland on their application to join NATO. At the same time it also provided a list of wanted Turks to be extradited. Israeli Foreign Minister also visited Turkey.

    Hamas restored ties with Syria. EU President Ursula Von der Leyen visited Ramallah and promised to provide all assistance and restore full funding to the Palestinian Authority.

    Returning from G7 Summit in Germany, PM Modi visited UAE to express his personal condolences on the demise of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and to meet and congratulate his friend the new President Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed. This was his 4th visit to the Emirate and as a special gesture PM Modi was received by the Emirati leader and the meetings were held at the airport itself when a Joint Vision statement was also issued.

    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited Qatar (June 4-5) and held meetings with the Qatari leadership and business community. Unfortunately, the visit was clouded by the controversy generated as a result of some remarks against Prophet Mohamed by a Spokesperson of the ruling party. This had witnessed protests by several countries however; Indian government’s stance and action taken by the BJP were broadly accepted by the countries in the region. OIC also issued a statement condemning the incident and statement which was rejected by India. Kuwait even apprehended and deported those protesting on the streets against India.

    India -Saudi Arabia Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation met. India and Egypt held joint air defence exercises. INS Kochi also made port of call on a goodwill mission to Red Sea port of Safaga.

    More details …..
    Indian Prime Minister’s visit to UAE

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 June visited the UAE with aims to deepen engagement with the Gulf state. This was Prime Minister’s fourth visit to the Gulf state which is a crucial energy provider for India. Prime Minister during the meeting with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan conveyed his condolences on death of the preceding President and Emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Earlier in February 2022 Prime Minister Modi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed held summit and both leaders signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two leaders issued Joint Vision Statement titled “Advancing India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestones.” Narendra Modi during his latest visit reviewed the progress of the comprehensive partnership.

    Iranian Foreign Minister’s Visit to India

    Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on 8 June visited India at the invitation of External affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar. The Foreign Minister met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. During the meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister, both leaders discussed whole range of issues such as measures to improve political, cultural and people-to-people ties. India praised Iran’s role in facilitating India’s medical assistance to Afghanistan including supply of COVID-19 vaccines for Afghans living in Iran. They also talked about increasing regional connectivity and reviewed the progress made in Shahid Beheshti terminal, Chahbahar port. India is hopeful that Chahbahar port could provide sea access to Afghanistan. It can also be transformed into a commercial transit hub for Central Asian states. Indian Ministry of External Affairs has reported that teams from both states will meet in near future to evaluate the operational aspects. The Iranian Minister informed his counterpart about the progress in JCPOA talks and exchanged views on Russia-Ukraine conflict.

    New IRGC Chief Appointed

    Iranian government appointed Mohammad Kazemi, the former head of Intelligence Protection Organisation as the new chief of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp. (IRGC). Kazemi has replaced Hossein Taeb who according to Israeli media was behind the Iranian plot to kill or abduct Israeli tourists in Turkey. Israel in June has issued travel advisory to its citizens to avoid travelling to Turkey who could get killed or abducted as part of its retaliation policy.

    Notably, in June, two Iranians working in the aerospace industry were killed in separate incidents during their active duty. One of the victims, Ali Kamani was part of IRGC’s aerospace division in Khomein who died in a “driving accident” during an unspecified mission. Earlier in the month, Mohammad Abdous was also killed during a mission. Both victims have been labeled as martyrs indicating that their deaths were linked to foreign powers. In early June, one IRGC Quds Force colonel, Ali Esmaelzadeh was also killed in an accident.

    In related news, Iran tested Zuljanah satellite launcher for research purposes. The satellite vehicle was launched with a suborbital target which would be used to collect data from the launch.

    Iran Nuclear Talks

    Iran hosted the European Union (EU)’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on 25 June. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian during the meeting with EU foreign policy chief agreed to resume nuclear talks with the US. Iran expressed its desire to restore the 2015 nuclear accord and mentioned that it hoped the US will responsibly and fairly engage to reach final point of the agreement. Borrell also hoped to resume the talks to restore the nuclear deal that would benefit the region and the world. Meanwhile, Qatar played host to indirect talks between the US and Iran to salvage the JCPOA. The talks after number of rounds ended without any progress in June last week.

    Qatari Emir’s Visit to Cairo

    Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visited Egypt on 24 June after years of cold relations including Cairo’s support for 2017 boycott of Doha due to alleged claims of backing terrorism. Qatar also opposed the 2013 military coup by Abdel Fatah Al Sisi to topple the democratically elected government under Mohammad Morsi. After the failure of the 2017 boycott and thaw in relations with Saudi Arabia, Qatar has sought to re-engage with the largest Arab state. In the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and resulting food insecurity and economic downturn in Egypt, Qatar provided US$ 5 billion as investment to improve the economy. Both sides discussed about the key regional issues; measures to improve bilateral and economic relations. The visit by the Qatari Emir was the first since the 2021 declaration to normalize ties with Doha. Notably, the Qatari Emir and the Egyptian President met on the sidelines of Glasgow Climate change summit and Beijing Winter Olympics.

    Saudi Crown Prince’s Visit to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the first leg of the regional tour visited Cairo and met with President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi. Egypt has been a close ally of Saudi Arabia and supported its war in Yemen and 2017 Qatar blockade. Both leaders shared their views about regional and global politics and talked about measures to combat terrorism.

    In Jordan, Saudi Crown Prince met with King Abdullah II. Jordan is facing the economic consequences of Russia-Ukraine conflict and the COVID-19 crisis. Jordan is seeking to jointly carry out economic projects and new investments. Saudi Arabia had committed investment worth US$ 3 billion, however it remained stalled. Therefore, the recent visit could unlock the investment projects aiding the Jordanian economy. Jordan and Saudi Arabia has closely coordinated on security issues. Jordan has refused to wholeheartedly back Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Ankara and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aiming to fully normalize ties after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia is seeking to utilize its economic reserves and oil production capacity to ease tensions with Turkey and in fact offered financial aid that could help Turkey’s economy ahead of presidential election in 2023. Saudi Arabia is hoping that trip could lead to full normalization and restoration of ties. Both states have lifted restrictions on trade, flight connectivity and TV screenings.

    Israeli Foreign Minister’s Visit to Turkey

    Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited Turkey on 23 June in an attempt to boost their bilateral relations. Israel is worried about the attacks on its citizens in Turkey by Iranian spies. Turkey has assured about the safety of all visitors and stressed on its commitment to fight against terrorism. Israel has appreciated Turkish cooperation in foiling Iranian operations. Turkey on official level has avoided taking sides between Iran and Israel but only mentioned that it will not allow any kinds of operations on its soil.

    On bilateral level, Turkey enjoyed close diplomatic and strategic ties with Israel which was disrupted in 2010 after Israeli forces attacked Turkish flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Turkey in the recent years has been highly critical of Israeli policies in occupied Palestinian territories. Israel has also criticized Turkey for supporting Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.

    Israel Government Collapse

    Israel’s coalition government made up of eight ideologically distinct political parties has collapsed in June 2022. The coalition government was formed in 2021 to deter Benjamin Netanyahu to return to power. The coalition government had weak majority since its formation. In recent months, few Members of Knesset withdrew their support due to political reasons leading to dissolution of the Knesset. The Jewish state will witness fifth election in three years in November 2022.

    Iraqi Parliamentarians Resign

    On 12 June, 73 members of parliament belonging to nationalist Shiite bloc under influential cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr resigned, complicating the political impasse in Iraq. During the October 2021 parliamentary election, the Sadrist Movement secured the highest number of seats at 73 in the 329 seat parliament. The Sadrist movement political agenda is based on Iraqi nationalism and opposition to external involvement including the US and Iran.

    After the October 2021 election, the political factions failed to agree on the appointment of a new Prime Minister, reserved for member of Sunni community. According to Iraqi laws, if any seat in parliament becomes vacant, the candidate that secures the second highest number of votes in their electoral district would replace them. The resignation of Sadrist MPs however empowered the pro-Iran Shiite factions and their allies such as the Coordination Framework with current majority at 122 seats.

    Iraqi Prime Minister’s Visit to Iran

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on 26 June visited Tehran and met with President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein. Both sides discussed about removing barriers on financial transactions, facilitating religious pilgrimages and railroad connectivity between Shalamcheh in Iran and Basra in Iraq. Al-Kadhimi prior to his visit to Iran met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Notably Iraq since 2021 has served as the mediating ground for Iran and Saudi Arabia. It has hosted series of meetings to resolve all outstanding issues between the two regional powers. In Saudi Arabia, both sides discussed about measures to support and strengthen regional security and stability. Raisi and al-Kadhimi during the press conference in Tehran did not specifically mention Saudi Arabia. They however talked about improving ties across the region. The Iranian President warned about normalizing ties with Israel as well as presence of foreign powers that would aggravate the problems in the region. Iran agreed with Iraq’s views on ending the Yemen conflict and both sides have supported UN negotiated truce in Yemen.

    Iraqi Court Sentences British man to 15 year in Prison

    An Iraqi court in Baghdad on 6 June sentenced a British tourist, Jim Fitton to 15 year in prison on charges of smuggling artefacts out of the state. Fitton is a retired geologist and was arrested at Baghdad airport on 20 March 2022 after security officials discovered 12 fragments of pottery and other shards in his possession. The artefacts were picked during a group tourism expedition in Eridu, a Mesopotamian site, in Dhi Qar province. The court dismissed Fitton’s claim that the items were collected as souvenirs and he was unaware of Iraqi laws and the value of the said artefacts. Besides, the British citizen, one German national, Volker Waldmann was also arrested. Waldmann while carrying the artefacts did not collect them from the site. The court found that he did not have criminal intent and announced his release. The verdict reflects the sensitivity attached to ancient artefacts which were willfully plundered and transported during colonial period by western powers.

    China: Daily Scan, June 24, 2022

    Yuan Jiajun elected Party chief of China’s Zhejiang: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    Yuan Jiajun has been elected secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Yuan was elected to the post at the first plenary session of the 15th CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee on ThursdayClick here to read…

    Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 14th BRICS Summit: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    On the evening of June 23, Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted the 14th BRICS Summit in Beijing via video link. Following is the full text of the remarks by President Xi at the Summit: Click here to read…

    Chinese, Iranian FMs holds phone conversation on ties: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday held a phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian at the latter’s request. Click here to read…

    China commends Nepal’s decision not to move ahead on SPP with U.S.: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    China commends the Nepali government’s decision not to move ahead on the State Partnership Program (SPP) with the United States, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday. Click here to read…

    China to establish national demonstration zones for IPR protection: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    China will establish a batch of demonstration zones for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection by 2025, according to a notice recently published by the National Intellectual Property Administration. Click here to read…

    China aims to boost digital government construction: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    China has detailed measures to enhance the building of a digital government in tandem with the country’s efforts to promote digital transformation. By 2025, the country will strive to improve the top-level design and coordination mechanism of a digital government that matches the modernization of the national governance system, according to a guideline released by the State Council, China’s cabinet. Click here to read…

    Senior official of south China’s Guangxi expelled from CPC, office: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    Liu Hongwu, former vice chairman of the people’s government of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office over serious violations of Party discipline and laws, the country’s top anti-graft body announced Thursday. Click here to read…

    Former manager of China’s state grain group expelled from Party: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    Xu Baoyi, former deputy general manager of China Grain Reserves Group (Sinograin), has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office for grave violations of Party discipline and laws, said the country’s top anti-graft body Thursday. Click here to read…

    China launches crackdown against crimes involving illegal occupation of farmland: Xinhuanet
    June 23, 2022

    China’s Ministry of Public Security has urged police nationwide to strike hard on crimes involving the illegal occupation of farmland and the production and sale of fake or substandard agricultural materials amid efforts to safeguard national food security. Click here to read…

    Patent applications being reviewed more quickly: China Daily
    June 23, 2022

    The time for reviewing high-value patent applications in China was shortened to 13.3 months by the end of last year, achieving the goal set by the central government ahead of schedule, an official for the country’s intellectual property regulator said. Click here to read…

    Chinese FM reveals meeting with Taliban-affiliated Afghan Chargé d’affaires for first time: Global Times
    June 23, 2022

    Chen Song, deputy director-general of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, met with Afghan Embassy Chargé d’affaires in Beijing Sayed Mohiuddin Sadat on Wednesday, with Sadat thanking China for the sincere sympathy over the deadly earthquake. Click here to read…

    China delivers 2nd Type 054A/P frigate to Pakistan: Global Times
    June 23, 2022

    China delivered the second of four powerful Type 054A/P frigates to the Pakistan Navy on Thursday, highlighting the friendship between the two neighboring countries, which serves as a pillar of peace and stability in the region. The PNS Taimur was commissioned at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, the Global Times learned from the Pakistan Navy on Thursday. Click here to read…

    PLA vessels join aircraft in large-scale drills around Taiwan: Global Times
    June 23, 2022

    A large number of warships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy reportedly sailed to waters east of the island of Taiwan and south of Japan as dozens of PLA warplanes carried out drills on Tuesday and Wednesday, with analysts saying on Thursday that the joint maritime and aerial exercise could greatly enhance combat readiness against “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference forces. Click here to read…

    China’s coastal provinces pushing sustainable fisheries development: Global Times
    June 23, 2022

    Negotiations on fisheries subsidies were launched at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference held in Doha from June 12 to 17, and an agreement was made to limit over-fishing in order to secure the sustainable development of global marine resource. China’s agricultural and financial ministries launched a similar campaign in 2021. Click here to read…

    Chinese companies strive to help alleviate Pakistan’s power shortages: Global Times
    June 23, 2022

    China’s energy infrastructure developers and operators are striving to help ensure the timely delivery and smooth operation of power facilities in Pakistan, which is coping with severe power shortages amid extreme weather and high coal prices. Click here to read…

    China’s CATL to produce next-generation EV battery in 2023: Reuters
    June 23, 2022

    Chinese battery giant CATL will start mass production next year of its latest generation product, with greater efficiency that lets electric cars drive longer distances on each charge, the company said on Thursday. Click here to read…

    China’s coastal ecosystems still unhealthy despite recent progress, official says: Reuters
    June 23, 2022

    Most of China’s marine ecosystems are still in poor health despite recent improvements, and more efforts are needed to restore, protect and monitor coastal waters, an environment ministry official said on Thursday. Click here to read…

    More trust urged for Sino-Indian relations: People’s Daily
    June 24, 2022

    State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China’s and India’s common interests far outweigh their differences and the two countries should support rather than undermine each other, as he met with Pradeep Kumar Rawat, India’s new ambassador to Beijing. Click here to read…

    China adopts amendment to anti-monopoly law: Xinhuanet
    June 24, 2022

    Chinese lawmakers on Friday voted to pass an amendment to the Anti-monopoly Law, which will take effect on Aug. 1, 2022, at a session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Click here to read…

    President Xi calls for peace, development, openness, innovation to build high-quality BRICS partnership: Xinhuanet
    June 24, 2022

    Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted the 14th BRICS Summit via video link on Thursday evening in Beijing, calling on BRICS countries to safeguard world peace and tranquility, boost development, and unleash the potential and vitality of cooperation. Click here to read…

    Full text of 14th BRICS Summit Beijing Declaration: Xinhuanet
    June 24, 2022

    The 14th BRICS Summit on Thursday issued the Beijing Declaration. Following is the full text of the declaration. Click here to read…

    Chinese mainland reports 18 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
    June 24, 2022

    The Chinese mainland Thursday reported 18 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 14 in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and two in Shanghai, the National Health Commission said Friday. Click here to read…

    Nation makes big advances in battle against illicit drugs: China Daily
    June 24, 2022

    China made 58 additions to the list of controlled drugs last year, resulting in all fentanyl and synthetic cannabinoid substances being put under control. The nation now has 449 kinds of narcotics and psychotropic substances on the list, Liang Yun, head of the narcotics control bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, announced on Thursday, three days ahead of the 35th International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Click here to read…

    Probe into overseas cyberattack underway: China Daily
    June 24, 2022

    Police are investigating a cyberattack launched from overseas on the email system of Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Key evidence of the attack has been secured, local police said on Thursday. Click here to read…

    Entertainment venues closed, dine-in services banned in Macao after Omicron cases surge to 110: Global Times
    June 24, 2022

    Entertainment venues were ordered to close and dine-in services at restaurants were banned from Thursday afternoon in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) after the city’s COVID-19 infections increased to 110 in the latest flare-up. The chief executive of the Macao SAR assured the public that the outbreak would be curbed soon. Click here to read…

    China: Daily Scan, June 21, 2022

    Li Hongzhong elected Party chief of China’s Tianjin: Xinhuanet
    June 20, 2022

    Li Hongzhong has been elected secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tianjin Municipal Committee. Li was elected to the post at the first plenary session of the 12th CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee on Monday. Click here to read…

    CPC promulgates regulations on political consultation work: Xinhuanet
    June 20, 2022

    The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has promulgated a set of regulations on the Party’s work regarding political consultation, and issued a notice to facilitate the implementation. Approved at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on May 27, the regulations consist of 31 articles in eight chapters. Click here to read…

    Former senior provincial official arrested for suspected bribery: Xinhuanet
    June 20, 2022

    Zhang Jinghua, former deputy secretary of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, has been arrested on suspicion of bribery, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said. Click here to read…

    Policies help to finance water conservation: Quishi
    June 20, 2022

    China will introduce a series of preferential policies to ensure that the country’s total investment into water conservancy development reaches at least 800 billion yuan ($119 billion) this year, said Wei Shanzhong, vice-minister of water resources. According to the ministry, the country’s total investment into such projects stood at 802.8 billion yuan in 2021, up 4.2 percent from the previous year. Click here to read…

    Xi encourages PLA infantry academy students to contribute to strengthening armed forces: China Military
    June 20, 2022

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has encouraged students from the Army Infantry Academy of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to contribute to the cause of strengthening China’s armed forces. Click here to read…

    New China-Turkmenistan natural gas field in operation: Global Times
    June 20, 2022

    A new natural gas project between China and Turkmenistan has begun operations, which is set to further boost bilateral economic ties in areas including energy and infrastructure, help ensure China’s energy supply amid rising energy prices and diversify China’s sources of energy imports against the backdrop of global uncertainties. Click here to read…

    China power demand sets new records as heatwaves bake northern cities: Reuters
    June 20, 2022

    Power consumption surged in Chinese provinces north of the Yangtze river due to warmer-than-normal weather, with regions like Henan, China’s third-most populous province, being tested to meet record electricity demand. The maximum power demand load in Henan, which has a population of nearly 100 million people, set a new record of 65.34 million kilowatts on Sunday, state television reported on Monday. Click here to read…

    N. Korea abruptly stops importing COVID containment goods from China: Reuters
    June 20, 2022

    North Korea abruptly stopped importing COVID-19 prevention and control products from China in May, trade data released by Beijing showed, after the country bought face masks and ventilators from its neighbour in previous months. Click here to read…

    China building Waste Mountain: Taipei Times
    June 21, 2022

    Hazmat-suited workers poke plastic swabs down millions of throats in China each day, leaving bins bursting with medical waste that has become the environmental and economic levy of the nation’s “zero COVID-19” strategy. China is the last major economy wedded to stamping out infections no matter the cost. Near-daily testing is the most commonly used weapon in an anti-virus arsenal that includes snap lockdowns and forced quarantines when just a few cases are detected. Click here to read…

    China’s political party school in Africa takes first students from 6 countries: South China Morning Post
    June 21, 2022

    Future leaders from ruling political parties in Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola have attended their first session at a training school funded with US$40 million support from China’s Communist Party. Construction of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Kibaha, 40km (25 miles) outside Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, was financed by the six ruling parties of the southern African countries. The additional support came from the ruling party in Beijing through its International Liaison Department, the bureaucracy in charge of promoting Chinese ideology overseas and inter-party diplomacy. Click here to read…

    Chinese mainland reports 9 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
    June 21, 2022

    The Chinese mainland Monday reported nine locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, including six in Shanghai and three in Beijing, the National Health Commission said Tuesday. Click here to read…

    Political advisors discuss high quality development: China Daily
    June 21, 2022

    The Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee convened a meeting on Monday to discuss high quality, green and low carbon development. Click here to read…

    Original verdict upheld for former official at China’s top court: Global Times
    June 21, 2022

    The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court on Monday announced a public verdict in the case against Wang Linqing, a former official at China’s top court, rejecting his appeal and upholding the original verdict. In May, Wang was sentenced to 14 years in prison and given a fine of 1 million yuan ($150,000) for taking bribes and illegally obtaining national secrets. Click here to read…

    Ningxia launches first intermodal freight train to Iran via Caspian Sea: Global Times
    June 21, 2022

    Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region launched the first sea-rail intermodal freight train to Iran on Monday, forming a new international logistics channel via the Caspian Sea. The new line, combined with other China-Europe freight rail routes, will contribute to building a global transportation network covering sea, rail and road transport. Click here to read…

    Chinese, Russian companies pursue rising yuan trade settlements: Global Times
    June 21, 2022

    Traders see a growing potential for local currency settlements in trade, especially between China and Russia under the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) framework, as the countries are seeking alternatives to chip away at dollar dominance. While the US dollar hegemony continues to shadow world trade, closer economic and trade ties would be needed more than ever among the BRICS member states, and further cooperation in areas such as local currency settlement could be brought up at the upcoming BRICS Summit, experts said. Click here to read…

    China’s east-to-west computing resource transfer project in full swing: People’s Daily
    June 21, 2022

    The industrial park has attracted more than 100 tenants, including government bodies, world-renowned cloud computing service providers, large Internet companies, and banks and insurance institutions. “The annual average temperature in Hohhot city is eight degrees Celsius, so data centers in the city can use natural cooling sources for about five months of the year,” an executive of Chinese telecom operator China Unicom’s cloud data center in Hohhot explained. Click here to read…

    China to further deepen, substantiate BRICS cooperation: People’s Daily
    June 21, 2022

    When changes in the world, our times and history are unfolding today in ways like never before, China looks forward to working with fellow BRICS members to further deepen and substantiate BRICS cooperation, cement the BRICS strategic partnership, draw up a new blueprint for BRICS cooperation, and make greater contributions to safeguarding peace and stability and promoting development and prosperity by hosting the 14th BRICS Summit under the theme of “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development. Click here to read…

    China: Daily Scan, May 10, 2022

    Chinese vice premier stresses stabilizing foreign trade, investment: Xinhuanet
    May 9, 2022

    Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Monday urged more efforts to coordinate epidemic control with economic and social development, and strive to stabilize the overall performance of foreign trade and foreign investment. Click here to read…

    Xi sums up experience from CYLC successes: Xinhuanet
    May 10, 2022

    The Party’s leadership, firm beliefs and convictions, devotion to national rejuvenation, and its deep roots in the country’s young people are key to the past and future successes of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday. Click here to read…

    Xi urges firm beliefs, fighting spirit in youth league members: Xinhuanet
    May 10, 2022

    Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on members of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) in the new era to build up firm beliefs, and boost their courage and skills to carry out struggles, among others. Click here to read…

    China calls for global cooperation on fighting drought, desertification: Xinhuanet
    May 10, 2022

    Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday called for enhanced international cooperation on fighting drought and desertification. Wang, as the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, made the remarks via video link at a leaders’ meeting on drought and sustainable land governance. Click here to read…

    China to make better use of structural monetary policy tools: Xinhuanet
    May 9, 2022

    China’s central bank on Monday said full play should be given to the guiding roles of structural monetary policy tools. Efforts should be made to make good use of relending and rediscount policies to support agriculture as well as micro and small firms, and the amount of such relending should be increased in a timely manner, according to a report released by the People’s Bank of China. Click here to read…

    China to have 5.5 million nurses by 2025: Xinhuanet
    May 9, 2022

    China will have 5.5 million nurses by 2025, according to a new plan released by the National Health Commission. There will be an average of 3.8 registered nurses for every 1,000 people by 2025, the development plan for nursing showed. Click here to read…

    China activates Level-IV emergency response for floods: Xinhuanet
    May 9, 2022

    China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Monday launched a Level-IV emergency response for flood control as heavy rains are forecast to batter southern parts of the country. Click here to read…

    Beijing reports 50 new local COVID-19 infections: Xinhuanet
    May 9, 2022

    Beijing reported 50 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections between 3 p.m. Sunday and 3 p.m. Monday, local authorities said. The new cases include a cluster infection in Shunyi District, with 21 people testing positive for the novel coronavirus so far, said Pang Xinghuo, deputy head of the Beijing municipal disease prevention and control center, at a press conference. Click here to read…

    Shanghai reports 234 confirmed, 2,780 asymptomatic local COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
    May 10, 2022

    China’s Shanghai reported 234 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 2,780 local asymptomatic cases on Monday, the municipal health commission said Tuesday. Click here to read…

    Chinese mainland reports 349 new local COVID-19 cases, 234 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
    May 10, 2022

    The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 349 confirmed local COVID-19 cases, of which 234 were in Shanghai, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday. Apart from Shanghai, seven other provincial-level regions on the mainland saw new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, including 61 in Beijing and 25 in Henan. Click here to read…

    China steers nimble monetary policies to enliven economy: Quishi
    May 9, 2022

    China is making agile use of monetary policy ammo to buoy the economy amid mounting uncertainties, said an official with the central bank, adding that the country is able to cope with the impact of other major economies’ tightening moves. Click here to read…

    Manufacturers embrace the digital economy: Quishi
    May 10, 2022

    A workshop manufacturing home appliances in Shenyang, Liaoning province, is offering clients a chance to customize refrigerators remotely using their mobile phones. They can choose colors, functions and design styles without having to enter a bricks-and-mortar store. Click here to read…

    Chinese vice premier reiterates dynamic zero-COVID policy: China Daily
    May 10, 2022

    Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan on Monday reiterated the country’s adherence to the dynamic zero-COVID policy and called for efforts to consolidate hard-won achievements in fighting COVID-19. Click here to read…

    Govt trying to help students find jobs: China Daily
    May 10, 2022

    Employment opportunities struggle to keep pace with number of graduates. Faced with employment pressures brought by a record number of college graduates and the epidemic situation, governments and schools are mulling over a series of moves to help students find jobs. Click here to read…

    12,000 seed varieties return to Earth after space trip: China Daily
    May 10, 2022

    About 12,000 seeds carried by the Shenzhou XIII manned spaceship have returned to Earth after being bred in space, and will be cultivated into greater varieties to supplement new germ plasm resources and ensure national food security, experts said. Click here to read…

    Sinopharm launches Omicron vaccine trial in Hunan: China Daily
    May 9, 2022

    Chinese company Sinopharm began delivering its Omicron-specific vaccine candidate to fully vaccinated people in a major clinical trial which launched in Hunan province on Monday. Click here to read…

    Xi calls on China, Germany to better harness stabilizing, constructive, steering role of ties: China Military
    May 9, 2022

    Chinese President Xi Jinping had a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday, saying it is particularly important for the two countries to better harness the stabilizing, constructive and steering role of their relationship. Click here to read…

    Central govt officials vow full support for John Lee: China Daily
    May 10, 2022

    Heads of the central government’s offices in Hong Kong pledged full support on Monday for the new-term government led by chief executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu, saying that Lee, elected on Sunday, was not only the choice of the Election Committee, but also represented the aspiration of Hong Kong’s public. Click here to read…

    More clinics reopening in Shanghai: China Daily
    May 10, 2022

    In light of the improving epidemic situation in Shanghai, more health clinics and delivery services in the city have resumed operation, the city government said on Monday. Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said at a news briefing on Monday that nearly 70 percent of community health centers in the city are now open five days a week, and more than 2,600 pharmacies in the city have also reopened. Click here to read…

    Beijing tightens COVID-19 measures: China Daily
    May 10, 2022

    A medical worker prepares to take a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid test at a testing site in Chaoyang district of Beijing, on May 9, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
    Beijing reported a new COVID-19 cluster with 21 infections from a workplace, adding uncertainty to the trends in the city’s latest outbreak, a senior official said on Monday. Click here to read…

    Second PLA exercises near Taiwan in month: China Daily
    May 9, 2022

    The People’s Liberation Army organized interservice combat exercises near Taiwan between Friday and Sunday, according to the PLA Eastern Theater Command. In a brief statement on Monday, the command said that naval, air and missile forces took part in the three-day operation that was intended to verify and improve interservice combat capability. It did not give additional details. Click here to read…

    China-bashing tactics ahead of elections ‘hurt Aussie parties’: Global Times

    May 9, 2022

    At a time when both the Australian ruling party and the opposition have been smearing security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands ahead of the Australian elections, the Chinese Foreign Ministry again spoke up for the security cooperation by revealing on Monday that senior Chinese diplomats had a virtual meeting with their Australian counterparts on Friday, during which the Chinese diplomats stressed that the country does not seek a “sphere of influence” and will advance cooperation with South Pacific island countries. Click here to read…

    US official’s slander of Huawei’s Africa business is ill-willed: Global Times
    May 10, 2022

    The slandering and smearing remarks made by some US officials against Chinese companies are folly, and they only expose their intention of provoking China-Africa cooperation, a Chinese official said, when asked to comment on US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s remarks on Huawei during her recent Africa tour. Click here to read…

    Paranoid vetting about ‘China links’ only hurts innovation of the US tech startups: Global Times
    May 9, 2022

    The US Congress is reportedly considering vetting American tech startups which have been receiving federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR). Citing a study by the Pentagon, it claims that the program has been “exploited” by China. Click here to read…

    India urged to give Chinese firms impartial treatment after Xiaomi officials were allegedly ‘coerced’: Global Times
    May 9, 2022

    China’s Foreign Ministry urged Indian authorities to provide a fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises operating in India on Monday, which came after Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi reportedly claimed its top executives faced threats of coercion during questioning by Indian officials. Click here to read…

    Xi asks youth league to be political school leading Chinese young people: People’s Daily
    May 10, 2022

    President Xi Jinping on Tuesday told the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) to always be a political school leading the ideological progress of young people. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CYLC. Click here to read…

    China’s Iranian oil imports ease on poor margins, lure of Russian oil: Reuters
    May 9, 2022

    China’s Iranian oil imports in April came off peak volumes seen in late 2021 and early 2022
    as demand from independent refiners weakened after COVID-19 lockdowns pummelled fuel margins and on growing imports of lower-priced Russian oil. Click here to read…

    Taiwan activist says did forced labour in China but not tortured: Reuters
    May 10, 2022

    A Taiwanese activist jailed in China said on Tuesday that he was subjected to forced labour and endured stale food while serving a five-year sentence, but that he was not tortured. Li Ming-che, a community college lecturer and activist at a human rights non-governmental organisation in Taiwan, disappeared while visiting China in 2017. Click here to read…

    China: Daily Scan, April 28, 2022

    China to intensify policies to stabilize and boost employment, further smooth international and domestic logistics: Xinhuanet
    April 27, 2022

    China decided on greater policy support for keeping payrolls stable and boosting job creation, in a bid to maintain employment stability and ensure stable economic performance, according to a decision made at the State Council’s Executive Meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. Click here to read…

    Senior Chinese official stresses ethnic unity, development in Inner Mongolia: Xinhuanet
    April 27, 2022

    A senior Chinese official urged north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to reinforce the sense of all ethnic groups being within the community of the Chinese nation, while pursuing long-lasting stability and prosperity as well as high-quality development. Click here to read…

    Vice premier stresses importance of national territory spatial planning: Xinhuanet
    April 27, 2022

    Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday called for efforts to ensure the high-quality completion of national territory spatial planning work. Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a teleconference. Click here to read…

    Data products published in China to support sustainable development of BRICS: Xinhuanet
    April 28, 2022

    A Chinese institution has published a series of data products to support scientific research on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of BRICS countries, according to the BRICS Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development held in Beijing on Wednesday. Click here to read…

    China to advance research in philosophy, social sciences: Xinhuanet
    April 27, 2022

    The Chinese authority published a plan Wednesday to develop philosophy and social sciences during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The country aims to develop philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics, which have considerable academic frameworks, strong academic capacities, high research levels, and international influence, noted the plan issued by the general office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. Click here to read…

    Shanghai new COVID-19 cases: 1,292 confirmed, 9,330 asymptomatic: Xinhuanet
    April 28, 2022

    China’s Shanghai reported 1,292 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 9,330 local asymptomatic carriers on Wednesday, the municipal health commission said Thursday. Click here to read…

    Chinese mainland reports 1,494 new local COVID-19 cases, 1,292 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
    April 28, 2022

    The Chinese mainland on Wednesday reported 1,494 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 1,292 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission’s report Thursday. Click here to read…

    Tibet improves infrastructure to boost tourism: Xinhuanet
    April 28, 2022

    Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region pooled more than 500 million yuan (about 76.2 million U.S. dollars) into tourism infrastructure projects to boost its tourism industry in 2021, said the regional tourism development department Wednesday. Click here to read…

    Iranian president meets with Chinese defense minister: China Military
    April 27, 2022

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with the visiting Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe in Tehran on Wednesday. Ebrahim Raisi said that Iran and China share weal and woe and hold similar stances and support each other in international affairs. Click here to read…

    New measures to help logistics sector: China Daily
    April 27, 2022

    With COVID-19 lockdowns posing a threat to supply chains, China has adopted stronger measures to ensure unimpeded logistics-especially for daily necessities and key production materials-to shore up economic growth and protect public well-being. Click here to read…

    Ministry prioritizing finding jobs for new graduates: China Daily
    April 28, 2022

    The employment of young people, college graduates in particular, will remain the priority of the nation’s work in stabilizing the job market this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

    Beijing’s neighbor in Hebei locked down: China Daily
    April 27, 2022

    Sanhe, a county-level city in Langfang, Hebei province, was ordered to enter a “static” state on Wednesday afternoon after a resident tested positive for COVID-19. Under static conditions, all residents in the city, which is a near neighbor of Beijing, are required to stay home. Stores and other businesses are suspended, according to a notice from the city’s office for COVID-19 prevention and control on Wednesday afternoon. Click here to read…

    Survey highlights sources of anxiety in young Chinese: China Daily
    April 27, 2022

    Nearly 70 percent of young Chinese internet users face varying degrees of anxiety mainly caused by their studies, work, appearance, and health, according to the Survey Report on the Social Mentality of Young Internet Users in China (2009-2021) which was released recently. Click here to read…

    Internet hospital opened in Guangdong for occupational diseases: China Daily
    April 28, 2022

    Guangdong province has taken the lead in the Chinese mainland in opening an internet hospital for occupational diseases, offering online consultation, diagnosis, treatment and related medical services. Click here to read…

    Students identified as key group in Beijing outbreak: China Daily
    April 28, 2022

    Beijing has registered more than 100 COVID-19 cases in the latest outbreak and more than 30 percent of those infected are from schools and kindergartens, a senior official said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

    President Xi calls for advancing infrastructure development: Global Times
    April 27, 2022

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, chairman of the Central Military Commission, and director of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs (CCFEA), presided over the 11th meeting of the CCFEA on Tuesday to discuss matters on comprehensively advancing infrastructure development and implementing decisions and plans made by the CCFEA since the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017. Click here to read…

    China’s Ministry of Public Security vows to punish those who profit from disaster and crack down on violations that disrupt market order: Global Times
    April 27, 2022

    China’s Ministry of Public Security vowed to severely punish those who profit from disaster and strictly crack down on violations that disrupt the order of the market economy to maintain and stabilize the epidemic prevention and control work following multiple violations amid the fight against COVID-19. Click here to read…

    China agrees with subjecting UNSC veto to debate, but also raises concerns over its potential procedural confusion: Global Times
    April 27, 2022

    The UN General Assembly passed a resolution that allows it to convene automatically when a veto is cast. China’s UN representative said that China understands the original intention of the move, but is also concerned over the procedural confusion and inconsistency in practice it may cause, and whether it can achieve its intended purpose. Click here to read…

    Chinese and US politicians call on both sides to jointly push forward bilateral relations: Global Times
    April 28, 2022

    Diplomats, experts and scholars from both China and the US said on Wednesday that a path should be found to let go of differences and move toward stability and peace, especially at a moment when bilateral relations are most challenging. Click here to read…

    Chinese firms in Pakistan step up security measures after deadly attack: Global Times
    April 27, 2022

    Chinese businesses in Pakistan are operating without disruption, though they are ramping up precautions to ensure the safety of personnel and projects in accordance with official guidelines, after a terrorist attack in Karachi killed three Chinese nationals on Tuesday afternoon. Click here to read…

    Guangzhou Baiyun Intl Airport cancels 90% flights following abnormal nucleic test result: Global Times
    April 28, 2022

    Guangzhou Baiyun Intl Airport cancelled 90% flights on Thursday morning following abnormal nucleic test result, according to flight information provider VariFlight and the airport statement. Click here to read…

    Chinese industrial park project wins approval in Afghanistan: Global Times
    April 28, 2022

    Chinatown in Kabul, a Chinese business group in Afghanistan, is expected to see considerable expansion after the “Chinatown industrial park project” won government approval recently, a source with the group told the Global Times on Wednesday. Click here to read…

    China ranks first globally in international patent applications for third consecutive year: People’s Daily
    April 28, 2022

    China has ranked first in the world in terms of the number of international patent applications for a third consecutive year, said a recent press conference. Officials with the administration for market regulation in Haigang district, Qinhuangdao, north China’s Hebei province introduce intellectual property rights protection to a merchant, April 20, 2022. Click here to read…

    Shanghai’s focus shifts to vaccination of elderly as new cases decline: Reuters
    April 28, 2022

    The COVID-hit city of Shanghai is making more resources available to improve vaccination rates among the elderly as daily case numbers decline and it looks for a way out of four weeks of stringent lockdown restrictions. Click here to read…

    COVID lockdowns upset the rice bowls of China’s commuter workers: Reuters
    April 28, 2022

    When the town of Yanjiao near Beijing was suddenly plunged into a COVID-19 lockdown last month, taxi driver Dong Tiejun was forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to avoid roadblocks and get a passenger to Tianjin, a metropolis on the northeast coast. Click here to read…

    China reports first human case of H3N8 bird flu: Reuters
    April 27, 2022

    China has recorded its first human infection with the H3N8 strain of bird flu, but the risk of its spread among people is low, the health authority said. The variant was found in a four-year-old boy from the central province of Henan province who showed fever and other symptoms on April 5, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Tuesday. Click here to read…

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 15, 2022)

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

    COMMENTARY

    Justice for Thomas Sankara

    This week, Blaise Compaoré was jailed for his role in the murder of Burkinabe revolutionary Thomas Sankara –but real justice can only be won by a movement that fights to bring Sankara’s socialist vision back to life. Click here to read…

    Corridor in uncertainty

    The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, a joint initiative of India and Japan, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting of the African Development Bank in 2017Click here to read…

    NEWS

    Morocco, Spain mend ties after change in policy on Western Sahara

    Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Moroccan King Mohammad VI met in Rabat after a year of tense relations. Spain said it backed the kingdom’s plan of limited autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty for Western Sahara. Click here to read…

    EXCLUSIVE- Draft Sudan deal seeks to cement military’s grip

    Factions aligned with Sudan’s military have drawn up a deal to form a transitional government that would cement the army’s control and bypass pro-democracy groups it shared power with before an October coup. Click here to read…

    Russia blocks UN security council request for investigation into Moura massacre

    A UN Security Council request for independent investigations into the alleged Moura massacre in Mali has been blocked by Russia. Click here to read…

    Despite a recent agreement, new clashes broke out between supporters of South Sudan’s rivals

    Less than a week days after a major agreement was sealed between South Sudan’s rival leaders, fighting erupted in the North of the country. Click here to read…

    Sparring Somali leaders now at odds over expulsion of African Union envoy

    Somalia’s prime minister on Thursday expelled the African Union representative because of “acts incompatible with his status” but the president rejected the order, signalling a new rift between the leaders of the Horn of Africa nation. Click here to read…

    Tunisia to compensate victims of revolution

    Tunisian President Kais Saied, facing political and economic crisis and accusations that he took power in a coup, announced compensation on Sunday for the families of those killed and wounded in the 2011 revolution that brought democracy to the country. Click here to read…

    DR Congo’s Tshisekedi signs EAC Treaty

    Tshisekedi’s accession signature immediately brought the DR Congo into the realms and provisions of all the protocols and regional policies of the EAC. Click here to read…

    Nigeria’s electricity grid collapses for the second time in a month

    Nigeria’s national electricity grid has collapsed for the second time in a month, the federal ministry of power said on Saturday, leaving the parts of the country it serves, including capital Abuja and Africa’s biggest city Lagos, without power. Click here to read…

    Burkina ex-president moved to home after house arrest

    Burkina Faso’s military-led government said in a statement that former president Kabore would return to his home after house arrest. Click here to read…

    Eastern Libyan military commanders urge closure of road to west

    Military commanders in eastern Libya said on Saturday they had suspended participation in a U.N.-backed joint military council, accusing the Tripoli-based government of failing to hand power to a new cabinet and calling for the road west to be closed. Click here to read…

    The Gambia votes for a new National Assembly

    Gambians to vote for 53 legislators on a five-year term, with President Barrow picking five others, including the parliament’s president. Click here to read…

    What is happening with Chad’s peace talks in Doha?

    About 300 rebels landed in the Qatari capital, seeking a peace deal, but find themselves in a curious cohabitation. Click here to read…

    Guinea junta chiefs warns mining giants over inequality

    The head of Guinea’s ruling junta, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, has warned foreign mining companies to build processing factories locally and to share revenues with the country equally. Click here to read…

    Angola: UN Supports Angola’s Transition to Middle Income Country

    The resident coordinator of the United Nations in Angola Zahira Virami reaffirmed Wednesday the support of the UN system in the preparation process of Angola’s transition from Least Developed Country to Middle Income Country. Click here to read…

    New COVID-19 variant discovered in Botswana

    A new COVID-19 variant has been discovered in Botswana, a government official said. The new variant, which has characteristics of both the Alpha and Delta variants, has yet to be named. Click here to read…

    Kenya’s Odinga running his fifth presidential race. Why outcome means so much for Kenya

    “Odinga has a common touch that resonates with Kenyans who have felt locked out of the power matrix controlled by two ethnic groups.” Click here to read…

    Life sentence for Burkinabe ex-leader Compaoré for Sankara murder

    The long-awaited verdict brings to close a six-month trial for the assassination of Thomas Sankara on October 15, 1987. Click here to read…

    Separatist commander killed in infighting in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

    Security and local sources said on Saturday that a notorious separatist commander has been killed in Cameroon’s war-torn Anglophone region of Northwest in clashes between rival separatist groups. Click here to read…

    Ghana on high alert against terrorist attacks – Minister of National Security assures

    The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has given the assurance that the country will be able to respond and ward off any terrorist attacks in the country. Click here to read…

    Coptic Christian Priest Killed in Egypt’s Alexandria

    On Thursday 7 April 2022, the Ministry of Interior announced on its official Facebook page the arrest of a 60-year-old man who stabbed an archpriest to death in Alexandria. Click here to read…

    US Alarmed by Reports of Atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

    The United States expressed concern Friday about reports of ethnically motivated atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Click here to read…

    Draghi Heads to Algeria as Italy Seeks to Cut Russia Gas Imports

    Mario Draghi will visit Algeria on Monday as part of a plan to wean Italy off Russian natural gas. Click here to read…

    Zambia’s President Hichilema goes eight months without salary

    The Zambian leader, who was elected into office last August, says a salary was not his motivation for seeking public office. Click here to read…

    Togo dismisses more teachers in new dispute with teachers’ union

    The Togolese government has dismissed nine teachers, within a week of firing 137 others, even as the teacher’s union continues to demand that the Faure Gnassigbe administration honour its promises to them. Click here to read…

    The problem with gaming in Uganda

    The gaming industry in Uganda is highly informal, with individual-owned gaming parlours charging per hour of game time. However, the opportunity is huge. Click here to read…

    Tanzania commemorates 100 years of founding leader Julius Nyerere

    Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Saturday joined fellow citizens in commemorating 100 years of the birth of founding leader Julius Nyerere. Click here to read…

    Negotiating Local Business Practices with China in Benin

    Beninese officials have shown how even small countries can use close coordination between ministries and other negotiating tactics to strike deals with Chinese counterparts that better protect their own interests. Click here to read…

    Mozambique: All eyes on suitors as they await news on bid round qualification

    Thirteen players — including two from Russia — will hear this week if they have succeeded in their plans to take part in Mozambique’s upcoming licensing round. Click here to read…

    29,000 COVID-19 Vaccines Expired in Botswana: Official

    At least 29,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have already expired and some will expire at the end of April in Botswana, an official said Saturday. Click here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    Haryana signs collaboration deal with Ethiopia to strengthen trade, investment ties

    The FFC was signed by Haryana’s Principal Secretary Yogender Choudhary and Ethiopian Ambassador Dr Tizita Mulugeta. Click here to read…

    India, Kenya holds 2nd Foreign Office Consultations, review bilateral relations

    India and Kenya on Friday held the 2nd round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political and economicClick here to read…

    MoU with Congo-based foundation

    MS University has signed an MoU with the Vinmart Foundation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for our scholarships to students of Congo who will be coming to Vadodara to pursue higher education. Click here to read…

    Haryana, Ethiopian panel sign trade framework

    During the two-day meeting of the Haryana-Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC), a framework of collaboration (FFC) was signed between Haryana and the EIC. Click here to read…

    Madagascar joins India-backed Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

    Madagascar has become the 30th country to join the India-backed Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) that aims to help small island nations develop resilience to deal with the adverse impact of climate change. Click here to read…

    Fishermen team meets Kanimozhi for release of five captains from Seychelles

    Thoothukudi MP and DMK leader Kanimozhi has assured a delegation from the International Fishermen Development Trust (INFIDET) that she will take efforts for the release of five captains and their boats detained in Seychelles. Click here to read…

    Rwandans in India pay tribute to genocide victims

    The Rwandan High Commission in New Delhi, India in collaboration with the India Africa Trade Council commemorated the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi on April 7Click here to read…

    Why India’s beautiful flowers miss the plane of exports while Kenya & Ethiopia fly high

    Ethiopia and Kenya have promoted floriculture in key markets, offered tax holidays, organised producers and worked to create infrastructure for farmers. Click here to read…

    Why is a dragon carved on Jain temple in Mangalore? Medieval Africa-China trade holds answer

    While many of us have heard of Indian interactions with Southeast Asia and China, or even Arabia, Africa is a gaping hole in how we think about premodern trade. But it was one of the most prosperous. Click here to read…

    Review: India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons by Rajiv Bhatia

    A meticulously detailed book that tells us why Africa matters so much to India and presents good suggestions on how the India-Africa relationship should be enhanced and pushed ahead. Click here to read…

    Chibuzor, who once ruled Kolkata football, dies in Nigeria

    Nigerian striker Chibuzor Nwakanma – the first foreigner to play for Kolkata’s big three clubs and whose unique nose for goals often set the field afire with his special somersault celebration – is no more. Click here to read…

    Egyptian Govt expresses interest to buy Indian wheat

    Team from Cairo to visit New Delhi next week, to inspect facilities for imports by supplies and commodities authorityClick here to read…

    Nigeria Exports Crude Oil worth NGN774.5 Bln to India in 4Q

    Nigeria exported crude oil worth 774.5 billion Nigerian naira ($1.86 billion) to India in the fourth quarter of 2021, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics said in a report. Click here to read…

    Paree Sanitary Pads Eyes Global Expansion, Enters Tanzania, Africa, and Nepal

    With an objective to cater to women’s needs and make sanitary pads easily accessible, Paree Sanitary Pad has now expanded its operations to Tanzania, Africa, and Nepal. Click here to read…

    Indian community to strengthen economic relations with Ghana

    The Indian community in Ghana has said it will expand business operations as part of efforts to boost investment and increase its economic relations with the country. Click here to read…