Tag Archives: Israel

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…

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 32, 2022)

    Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.
    Week 32, 2022

    COMMENTARY

    Tracing the Future of India-Africa Defence Cooperation

    In his address to the Ugandan Parliament in July 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi enunciated the ten guiding principles of India’s engagement with Africa and elucidated the importance of each principle. Click here to read…

    Burundi at 60 is the poorest country on the planet: a look at what went wrong

    Co-opted administrative and economic bureaucracies have appropriated power and wealth by force, first for the benefit of a Tutsi and then of a Hutu eliteClick here to read…

    NEWS

    Senegal’s ruling party, opposition both claim victory after legislative vote

    Senegalese President Macky Sall’s ruling party and the opposition both claimed victory after legislative elections on Sunday, while awaiting the release of official results. Click here to read…

    Tunisia civil society groups raise questions over referendum data

    Amid complaints over data management, election authority maintains the results of constitutional referendum are valid. Click here to read…

    Media on the spot as Angola’s vote looms

    The tone of the Angolan electoral campaign has risen again, with the Electoral Commission warning parties to avoid messages that can incite violence and division. Click here to read…

    South Sudan extends transitional govt by 2 yrs

    South Sudan’s parties to the unity government on Thursday extended the transitional period by two years. Click here to read…

    Mali agrees to integrate 26,000 ex-rebels into army

    Ex-combatants will be merged in “two tranches of 13,000” fighters, says junta-appointed government, a move billed to help restructure the national army and better represent northern Tuareg region. Click here to read…

    Egypt categorically rejects Ethiopia’s unilateral filling of GERD in letter to UN Security Council

    The letter stressed that this is a clear violation of the 2015 Declaration of Principles agreement and a serious violation of the applicable rules of international law, which oblige Ethiopia, as an upstream country, not to harm the rights of downstream countries. Click here to read…

    Ramaphosa scolds ruling ANC for losing South Africans’ trust

    In a sombre address to an ANC national policy conference in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa urged delegates to come up with ways to tackle the corruption, persistent poverty, unemployment and poor public services. Click here to read…

    UN relaxes arms embargo on Central African Republic

    The U.N. Security Council voted Friday to relax the arms embargo against the Central African Republic, a disappointment to its government, which sought a complete lifting of the ban on the sale or transfer of weapons and ammunition. Click here to read…

    Detentions loom over Egypt’s political dialogue

    After nine years of sweeping crackdowns on dissent, Egypt is set to launch a carefully choreographed political dialogue, but the main Islamist opposition movement is excluded and critics say a parallel move to release prisoners is proceeding too slowly. Click here to read…

    Social Media Platforms Under Scrutiny Ahead of Kenyan Elections

    Authorities in Kenya have given Facebook a week to comply with regulations related to hate speech after a report found the social media giant had failed to address the issue ahead of elections next month. Click here to read…

    Russia eyes Port Sudan as key naval hub

    On July 31, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving the country’s new Maritime Doctrine. This conceptual document redefines the goals and objectives of maritime policy, emphasizes the oceanic purpose of the Russian navy and strengthens the confrontation with the United States and NATOClick here to read…

    China allegedly deploying huge no of ex-PLA personnel in Africa

    In the beginning of the 21st century, China’s presence in Africa in terms of trade and investment was almost negligible. By 2009, it had overtaken the US in Africa by becoming its largest trading partner and by 2020, under the Belt and Road Initiative, it invested in Africa more than $60 billion of the total $139 billion it pumped in for projects across the world. Click here to read…

    Guinea junta slammed over use of force, urged to hold dialogue after deadly banned demos

    A coalition of political parties, trade unions and other bodies, demanded ‘the immediate opening of a framework for inclusive dialogue’ in Guinea and threatened new demonstrations from 15 August. Click here to read…

    Zambia cancels US$1.6 billion Chinese loans and halts infrastructure projects in move to avoid debt crisis

    Zambia has cancelled US$1.6 billion in agreed upon but not-disbursed Chinese loans, mostly from China Exim Bank and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China, to help manage its debt woes. Click here to read…

    Morocco king favours restoration of diplomatic ties with Algeria

    Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has called for a restoration of diplomatic ties with neighbouring Algeria, which broke off diplomatic relations with Rabat last year. Click here to read…

    From al-Shabab to the cabinet: Somalia’s move fuels debate

    Somalia’s appointment of a former al-Shabab leader to the cabinet is fuelling debate. Click here to read…

    Rwanda backing M23 rebels in DRC: UN experts

    A UN group of experts finds ‘solid evidence’ that Kigali is supporting M23 fighters despite repeated denials. Click here to read…

    After years of hostility, Turkey forges ties with eastern Libya

    Turkey’s hosting of the head of Libya’s eastern-based parliament sets a meaningful landmark in its bid to reshape its Libya policy. Click here to read…

    1st Deployment Of S-350 Missiles? Leaked Satellite Image of Russian-Made ‘Vityaz SAM’ Surfaces Online

    Algeria appears to have deployed its Russian-made S-350 ‘Vityaz’ air defense system near the border with Morocco, per recent media reports and satellite images doing the rounds on social media. The deployment reportedly comes in response to the recent Moroccan-Israeli rapprochement. Click here to read…

    More than 600 hostages of the Islamic State freed in northern Mozambique

    A joint Rwandan military contingent, with their Mozambican counterparts and forces of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), have liberated more than 600 hostages in the Province of Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique. Click here to read…

    10 killed by suspected rebels in DR Congo

    Suspected fighters from a notorious rebel group have killed 10 civilians in an attack in Ituri in eastern DR Congo, local officials said Saturday, as fighting continued. Click here to read…

    12 security personnel killed in attacks in Burkina Faso

    Suspected militants in northern Burkina Faso have killed three soldiers and nine civilian auxiliaries, local and security sources said on Friday. Click here to read…

    Mob attacks illegal miners after rapes shock South Africa

    Thousands of angry residents in the South African city of Krugersdorp attacked a group of illegal miners with machetes, golf clubs and hammers after a gang rape last week shocked the nation. Click here to read…

    Forgotten Zimbabwe City of Bulawayo Gets a Dam as Vote Looms

    A $42-million dam a century in the making could end water shortages for more than half a million Zimbabweans — and win votes for the ruling party in an opposition stronghold that may decide next year’s presidential election. Click here to read…

    Mauritania passes controversial bill on national languages in primary school

    Mauritania’s National Assembly passed a new law introducing national languages into primary education, but the text has been heavily criticized by the black Mauritanian community, which fears that Arabic will be imposed on them. Click here to read…

    Benin joins the electric motorcycle revolution

    Two-wheelers are sought after in many sub-Saharan African cities. The vehicles often charge less than cars for a ride. In Cotonou, Benin’s capital, there are more than 250,000 motorcycle taxi drivers, known as zemidjan. Click here to read…

    Africa observes Women’s Day to affirm social, economic status of women in Continent

    Africa is observing Women’s Day on Sunday, a day earmarked to recognise and affirm the role of women’s organising in achieving the political freedom of Africa and advancing the social and economic status of women on the continent. Click here to read…

    Uganda LGBT rights: Government shuts down key advocacy group

    Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) has been ordered to shut down with “immediate effect” for not registering properly with authorities. Click here to read…

    BOOK REVIEW: NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel is an allegory of Zimbabwe politics

    In Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo’s new novel Glory — longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022 — animals take on human characteristics. Through this she explores what happens when an authoritarian regime implodes, using characters who are horses, pigs, dogs, cows, cats, chickens, crocodiles, birds and butterflies. Click here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    India-Gabon Relations: Building on Opportunities

    Last week a bevy of diplomats and high-level ministers from several African countries descended in capital for a two-day business summit. This was 17th edition of the conclave launched by CII-Exim Bank on India-Africa Growth Partnership, seventeen years ago in 2005. Click here to read…

    India, South Africa hold 11th Foreign Office Consultations, review ties

    India and South Africa held the third round of the 11th Round of Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi on Wednesday where both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations. Click here to read…

    Abu Dhabi, India firms set to invest in Tanzania ports

    The government’s pro-business policies are increasingly attracting investors to Tanzania with the latest entrants being Abu Dhabi Ports PSJC (AD Ports Group) and India’s largest integrated ports and logistics company, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd. Click here to read…

    India, Mauritius to include provisions in trade pact to deal with sudden rise in imports

    India and Mauritius have agreed to include provisions related to the automatic trigger safeguard mechanism in their trade pact to deal with a sudden increase in imports, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. Click here to read…

    Leyland ties up with Kenya bank

    Ashok Leyland’s authorised distributors – Deluxe Trucks and Buses in Kenya have signed a partnership agreement with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to jointly promote the Ashok Leyland brand of vehicles. Click here to read…

    INS Tarkash visits Dakar, Senegal

    INS Tarkash visited Port Dakar, Senegal, from 31 July to 01 August 2022 and was received at Dakar by officials of the Embassy of India, Senegal and Senegal Navy. Click here to read…

    India’s ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil weigh stake in Tullow’s $3bn Kenya project

    ONGC Videsh and Indian Oil Corp are in talks to acquire a stake in Tullow Oil Plc’s $3.4 billion project in Kenya, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Click here to read…

    India to source Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) from Senegal in West Africa

    As part of the self-reliant India initiative to promote self-sufficiency in Fertilisers, Government of India has been advising and supporting the Indian fertiliser companies to strengthen their backend supply chain. Click here to read…

    AD Ports Group and India’s Adani Ports to explore investment opportunities in Tanzania

    AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in Abu Dhabi, and India’s Adani Ports have signed a preliminary agreement to explore joint investment opportunities in Tanzania. Click here to read…

    Mauritius Telecom CEO, who leaked Indian team visit, under lens for China links

    The country’s Central Criminal Investigation Department Special Cell has questioned Sherry Singh for three possible offenses: Breach of Information & Communication Technologies Act (Icta), Diffusion of False News and Criminal Defamation. Click here to read…

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 31, 2022)

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

    COMMENTARY

    Forging a New Path for India-Africa Relations

    As the world transitions to post-pandemic optimism, India and Africa have emerged as twin centres of growth and are poised to transform their multi-faceted economic relationship. Click here to read…

    Islamic State’s Expansion in Africa and its Implications for Southeast Asia

    Will the group’s call for hijrah (migration) to Africa prompt Southeast Asian Muslims to join the struggle? Click here to read…

    France still not paid for humanitarian crimes committed in Africa

    It is now a known fact that colonialism, which has been adopted by the West, particularly in France, as an “innocent ideology of helping socially, economically and politically underdeveloped nations adapt to the civilized world.” Click here to read…

    NEWS

    Tunisia’s Saïed consolidates power with new constitution

    Tunisian voters have approved a new constitution by referendum vote, one that further consolidates power for President Kaïs Saïed despite concerns from the political opposition over the future of the country’s democracy. Click here to read…

    West Africa bloc chair says Guinea accepts two-year transition

    The chair of the West African regional bloc has said Guinea will cut the timeline of its planned transition to civilian rule from three to two years. Click here to read…

    Angola’s campaigns gain momentum as political parties call for peace

    The first week of the election campaign in Angola went more smoothly. The political tensions of the pre-election period dropped considerably and the tone of the candidates has also become more positive. Click here to read…

    The ‘Hustler-in-Chief’ or the veteran ‘Baba’ politician, who will be Kenya’s next president?

    On August 9, Kenyans head to the polls and with soaring food and fuel prices, high unemployment and post-pandemic stagnation, a change in leadership could not come at a more critical time for East Africa’s largest economy. Click here to read…

    Algeria, Niger and Nigeria sign MoU for Saharan gas pipeline

    Algeria, Nigeria and Niger have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline across the Sahara Desert. Click here to read…

    Blinken to Visit South Africa, DR Congo and Rwanda

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to three African countries from August 7 to 12 with visits to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and RwandaClick here to read…

    Has the UN’s peacekeeping mission in DR Congo failed?

    Several killed in violent protests calling for UN peacekeepers to leave. At least 12 civilians and three members of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) have been killed in days of anti-UN protests. Click here to read…

    Egypt protests against Ethiopia’s plan to fill Nile dam reservoir

    Cairo lodges its protest at UN Security Council, objecting to Addis Ababa’s unilateral filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without a binding deal with downstream countries including Sudan. Click here to read…

    In Mali, ‘risks of political and military escalation’ between the government and ex-rebels of the north

    The last time that relations were this tense between the former Tuareg rebel groups and the Malian government was in 2015 when the peace process was launched in Algiers. Click here to read…

    Al Shabab attacks military base on Somalia-Ethiopia border

    Al Shabab militants have attacked a military base on the Somalia-Ethiopia border, triggering fierce fighting that caused an unknown number of casualties, security officials said. Click here to read…

    Ethiopian Authorities to Create Buffer Zone Inside Somalia

    A local Somali official has welcomed a plan by Ethiopia’s Somali state to create a buffer zone along the border inside Somalia to fight militant group al-Shabab. Click here to read…

    Zimbabwe yearns for real change

    NOVEMBER 17, 2017 marked the end of the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s reign, who had tormented the people of Zimbabwe since 1980. Click here to read…

    Burkina Faso’s Compaoré apologises to family of murdered Sankara

    Burkina Faso’s former president Blaise Compaoré, sentenced in absentia to life in jail for the 1987 assassination of revolutionary icon Thomas Sankara, has apologised to the ex-leader’s family. Click here to read…

    Senegal legislative poll tests ruling party ahead of 2024 vote

    Senegal’s main opposition coalition is vying to gain clout in legislative polls on Sunday that will set the scene for a presidential election in 2024 – which could see President Macky Sall run for a controversial third term. Click here to read…

    Malawi President Launches Anti-Corruption Campaign to Fight Graft

    Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera launched a nationwide anti-corruption campaign Tuesday at the end of a two-day conference on graftClick here to read…

    Nigerian senators urge Buhari impeachment over insecurity

    Parliament is controlled by the ruling APC and any move to impeach Buhari would require support from two-thirds of the 109 senators. Click here to read…

    Tunisians vote to expand president’s powers

    Tunisians voted to drastically expand the president’s powers and critics warn the referendum could usher in a dictatorship. Click here to read…

    Civilians in crossfire as shifting alliances spark Libya violence

    Fathi Bashagha, one of Libya’s two rival prime ministers, is from Misrata – as is his rival, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, whose internationally recognised government sits in Tripoli. Click here to read…

    Power line kills 4 at anti-UN protest in eastern Congo

    Four people participating in demonstrations against the United Nations peacekeeping mission in eastern Congo were killed Wednesday when a high-voltage power line fell on them, officials said. Click here to read…

    France’s Macron heads to Africa for three-nation trip

    The four-day visit to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau is the French leader’s first diplomatic trip outside of Europe since winning re-election, showing how Africa is high on the list of priorities for the former colonial power. Click here to read…

    Russia’s reengagement with Africa pays off

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is on a four-nation tour to Africa. The trip is part of Russia’s ongoing charm offensive on the continent to shore up support. Click here to read…

    Macron says France will stand by Africa on security issues

    French President Emmanuel Macron has wrapped up a meeting with Paul Biya, his counterpart in Cameroon, the first port of call on his three nation tour. He reiterated that France would continue to support Africa’s security needs. Click here to read…

    French president wraps up Africa tour in Guinea-Bissau

    French President Emmanuel Macron wrapped up a three-country Africa tour in Guinea-Bissau Thursday that saw him pledge funding for education and economic development as well as military support to fight extremism in West and Central Africa. Click here to read…

    Benin marks Macron visit by releasing 30 jailed opposition politicians

    This week’s visit to Benin by French President Emmanuel Macron was marked by the release of 30 opposition figures, imprisoned during the April 2021 election campaign. Click here to read…

    Israel Reaffirms Support for Morocco’s Sovereignty Over Western Sahara

    Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Gideon Sa’ar reaffirmed on Wednesday his country’s support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara. Click here to read…

    Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine

    Days after Moscow launched its bloody war on Ukraine, a Russian cargo plane stood on a Khartoum runway, a strip of tarmac surrounded by red-orange sand. Click here to read…

    Uganda: Lavrov visit to Museveni creates headache for Washington

    Uganda welcomed its highest-ever ranking visit from a Moscow official on 26 July. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov got a warm welcome from President Yoweri Museveni. Click here to read…

    Zambia commissions China-financed project to improve water supply in Zambian capital

    Zambia on Friday commissioned a project financed by China aimed at improving water supply and sanitation in Lusaka, the Zambian capital. Click here to read…

    Central African Republic’s digital coin finds few buyers

    The sale of Central African Republic’s first digital coin got off to a slow start, with just over 5% of the target bought in the hours after its launch, amid questions about the project’s transparency and a wider downturn in the industry. Click here to read…

    Tanzania, Zambia Sh1.4 trillion power line to start in 2023

    The Coordinator of the Tanzania-Zambia Project (Taza) – which involves the construction of electricity transmission infrastructure between the two countries – Mr Elias Makunga, said yesterday that actual execution of the project will start in January, 2023. Click here to read…

    Mozambique LNG: Saipem says work will not restart in 2022 and original EPC contract will be revised

    Force majeure will not be lifted until 2023 at earliest, while contract to build LNG trains will be revamped to account for higher costs. Click here to read…

    Egypt cancels contracts for 240,000 T of stranded Ukrainian wheat

    Egypt has cancelled contracts for a total of 240,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat that were booked by its state grains buyer for February and March delivery but never loaded due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Click here to read…

    Burundi secretly sent troops to DR Congo – rights group

    Burundi has secretly sent hundreds of troops and members of a youth militia into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo since the end of 2021 to fight an armed rebel group, a Burundian human rights group said Wednesday. Click here to read…

    Wildfires in northern Morocco, a villager prosecuted

    A villager was charged for involuntary fire in the northern Moroccan province of Larache, the region most affected by violent forest fires, a judicial source said. Click here to read…

    Mali and Burkina Faso: Did the coups halt jihadist attacks?

    Widespread anger at chronic insecurity in the West African countries of Mali and Burkina Faso paved the way for military men to kick out failing governments over the past two years. Click here to read…

    As Zimbabwe struggles with daily blackouts, Zambia declares huge 1,000MW electricity surplus

    ZAMBIA’S integrated power utility ZESCO has declared that the country how has surplus capacity of about 1,000 megawatts (MW) at a time the country is also enjoying an economic rebound. Click here to read…

    Chinese-built highway inaugurated in southwestern Cameroon

    A major Chinese-built highway in southwestern Cameroon was inaugurated on Friday. Click here to read…

    Rwanda on course to grow electric mobility market

    Five years ago, Rwanda announced plans to introduce environmentally friendly transport services as part of the efforts to prioritise a climate resilient low carbon economy. Click here to read…

    Africa Protected Areas Congress: Continent gets $200 billion conservation fund

    A $200 billion trust fund has been initiated to conserve around 8,600 protected areas covering 26 million square kilometres in Africa. Conservationists have called for global contributions to it. Click here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    India extends 222 LoCs worth $14.07 bn in Africa, 37 LoCs to neighbours

    The LoCs projects in African nations are spread across sectors roads, railways, power, ports and shipping, education, telecom, health, and aviation. Click here to read…

    The 17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India

    The CII-EXIM Bank Conclave in India, which was held recently, focused on enhancing India-Africa relations through entrepreneurial initiatives and trade. Click here to read…

    32,000 Africans earn scholarships from India

    Some 32,000 African students have benefited from Indian government scholarships since 2015, part of the 50,000 opportunities the country had pledged to give African students over a 10-year period. Click here to read…

    Egypt signs $8 billion agreement with India for Suez Canal Economic Zone

    Egypt and an Indian company have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to construct a green hydrogen factory in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Click here to read…

    ReNew Power eyes green hydrogen projects in Africa

    NASDAQ-listed ReNew Power Ltd is looking to foray into Africa by developing green hydrogen projects in Egypt and Morocco. Click here to read…

    Zambia attracts $5B investment from India

    Indian investment amounting to $5 billion is in the pipeline for Zambia, targeting sectors such as health, agriculture, and infrastructure development, the Zambian deputy president announced on Wednesday. Click here to read…

    India to invest $700m in Egypt

    India looks forward to pumping additional investments into Egypt amounting to about $700 million in the coming few years, New Delhi’s ambassador in Cairo has said. Click here to read…

    INS Tarkash commences Atlantic deployment by exercising with Morocco Navy

    Indian Navy on Friday said its guided missile frigate, INS Tarkash, completed her Mediterranean deployment and entered the Atlantic to continue with her long-range voyage. Click here to read…

    LS Speaker Om Birla and Esperanca Bias sign MoU of Cooperation between Parliaments of India and Mozambique

    Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held a bilateral meeting with the Speaker of the Assembly of Mozambique, Esperanca Laurinda Francisco Nhiuane Bias at Parliament House Complex today. Click here to read…

    India, COMESA trade stands at $15bn

    THE value of trade between India and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states stood at US$15 billion in 2021. Click here to read…

    PM Modi calls for speedy probe in Congo attack

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, discussed with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres the recent attack on UN mission personnel in Congo, in which two Indian peacekeepers were killed, and called for an expeditious investigation to bring the perpetrators of the incident to justice. Click here to read…

    President Ramaphosa welcomes Serum Institute of India’s $2.5 million pledge to boost Africa’s healthcare

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday welcomed the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) pledge to provide an initial 2.5 million U.S. dollars to support the African Union (AU) COVID-19 Commission to improve healthcare systems on the continent. Click here to read…

    Mozambique Parliamentary delegation calls on President Droupadi Murmu

    A Parliamentary delegation from Mozambique called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday. Click here to read…

    Will India Try Again for a Military Base in Seychelles?

    India’s previous efforts to secure a base on Assumption Island were rebuffed. As China gains ground, will New Delhi make another offer? Click here to read…

    India Calls for UN Security Council Meeting After Attack in DR Congo

    India had called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council after an attack on the UN mission in Congo killed Indian and Moroccan peacekeepers and also ensured that a strong-worded statement is issued by the 15-nation body that calls for accountability for the killing of the Blue Helmets. Click here to read…

    IIT-Madras considers setting up campus in Tanzania; Nepal, Lanka too send requests

    An offshore campus of IIT Madras in Tanzania is among the options on the government’s table as it works on a plan to ensure the country’s premier engineering institutes have a presence on the world map. Click here to read…

    Grand Hindu Temple in Madagascar’s Capital City

    India’s Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, Abhay Kumar, yesterday inaugurated a grand Hindu temple in Madagascar’s capital city Antananarivo. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the statues of the deities were unveiled amidst hymns and devotional songs. The temple, the first of its kind in the city, is built by the Hindu Samaj. Click here to read…

    Indian Overseas Center inaugurated in Madagascar

    The Foreign Minister of Madagascar, an East African country, Richard Randriamandrato, inaugurated the Indian Diaspora Center ‘Indian Dhow’ in Antananarivo on Friday. Click here to read…

    South African Tourism launches digital campaign for India

    South African Tourism has announced the launch of a digital campaign for India in partnership with Air Seychelles. Click here to read…

    Airtel’s Africa business reports net profit of $178 million in Q1FY23, a 25% on-year jump

    Revenue for the quarter ended June 2022 rose 13%-on year and 2.8% sequentially in reported currency, to $1.257 billion, the company said Thursday. Average revenue per user (ARPU) was up 0.6% on quarter and 4.4% on year, at $2.9. Click here to read…

    Ongc Videsh, Indian Oil weigh stake in $3 billion Kenya project

    ONGC Videsh and Indian Oil Corp. are in talks to acquire a stake in Tullow Oil Plc’s $3.4 billion project in Kenya, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Click here to read…

    How fears of Chinese digital espionage ‘got RAW involved in Mauritius, led to snooping scandal’

    Allegations that Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth allowed Indian tech team to install equipment for intercepting internet traffic have snowballed into growing political scandal. 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.

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 26, 2022)

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

    COMMENTARY

    United States of Africa: Ultimate Dream of a Pan-Africanist

    Every year on May 25, the world celebrates Africa Day. It was on May 25, 1963, that the first organisational body of Africa, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was established in Ethiopia. Click here to read…

    Mozambique’s Reversal of Fortune

    Just a year ago, the news from Mozambique was rather glum. The security crisis in the northern region of Cabo Delgado had displaced hundreds of thousands of people, created a humanitarian crisis. Click here to read…

    NEWS

    As election season nears, Kenyans brace for unrest and hope for peace

    A fleet of shiny SUVs descended on the dusty city of Wajir in northeast Kenya on a spring afternoon. Click here to read…

    Tunisia’s president plans to omit ‘Islam’ from new constitution

    The secularist Kais Saied is putting the constitution to a referendum on July 25 in the hope of overhauling the country’s legal, political and economic structures and granting himself more powers. Click here to read…

    Somalia parliament endorses new Prime minister

    Somalia’s parliament on Saturday unanimously endorsed Hamza Abdi Barre as new prime minister, paving the way for the creation of a new government for the troubled Horn of Africa nation. Click here to read…

    Mali strongman Goita adopts electoral law, key to civilian rule

    Mali’s strongman ruler on Friday signed into law election legislation adopted by parliament a week ago, paving the way for polls and a return of civilian rule, according to a presidential decree. Click here to read…

    World Bank to provide war-torn Ethiopia with $715 mln

    The World Bank on Friday agreed to provide $715 million in grants and loans to Ethiopia, which has been ravaged by drought and a devastating conflict, the country’s government said. Click here to read…

    Tanzania’s Masaai demand Indigenous rights in UN framework

    Tanzania’s Maasai people, resisting government pressure to leave their ancestral homes in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, have presented their demands for Indigenous land rights to negotiators in Nairobi finalizing the proposed U.N. global biodiversity framework. Click here to read…

    UK names new envoy for Horn of Africa

    Britain has named a new envoy for the Horn of Africa and Red Sea., strategic region beset by multiple security and humanitarian crises. Click here to read…

    Shaked heads to Morocco on Monday, in 3rd visit by government minister

    Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked will travel to Morocco for a diplomatic visit on Monday, becoming the third government minister to do so. Click here to read…

    China Says It Is Willing to Help End Conflict in Horn of Africa

    China’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, has said Beijing is ready to help the region’s countries find peace and get rid of what he called external interferenceClick here to read…

    Qatar’s emir makes first visit to Egypt since thaw in ties with Doha

    Qatar’s emir arrived in Cairo late Friday for talks with Egypt’s president, his first visit to the country following years of frayed ties and a boycott of Doha by four Arab states, including Egypt. Click here to read…

    Sheikh Mohamed reaffirms UAE’s support for Somalia during meeting with president

    President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has affirmed the UAE’s continuous, all-out support for Somali people to achieve their aspirations for development, stability, prosperity. Click here to read…

    Window of opportunity closing for South Sudan, on road to lasting peace

    With eight months remaining, the window of opportunity is closing for South Sudan to meet critical benchmarks required to complete its transition away from long-running civil conflictClick here to read…

    Algeria, Niger, Nigeria resume talks on Trans-Sahara gas pipeline

    Algeria, Niger and Nigeria held talks this week on the revival of a decades-old project to pipe gas across the Sahara, a potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues. Click here to read…

    Burkina Faso: 14 days to evacuate before vast army operation

    Burkina Faso’s army has given civilians two weeks to evacuate vast areas in northern and southeastern regions of the country in advance of military operations against rebel fighters. Click here to read…

    Morocco: 18 migrants die in attempt to enter Spain’s Melilla

    Moroccan authorities said that 18 migrants were killed and dozens of migrants and police officers were injured in a “stampede” of people trying to cross into the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla. Click here to read…

    Attacks in Sudan’s Darfur bring new surge in people fleeing their homes

    Violence in western Sudan this month alone has displaced more than 84,000 people, doubling the number of those driven from their homes so far this year, according to UN reports. Click here to read…

    Libya’s Interior Ministry condemns deadly clashes in Tripoli

    Libya’s Interior Ministry has condemned the deadly clashes that broke out between armed groups in the capital Tripoli. Click here to read…

    Suspected Jihadists ‘Systemically’ Slaughter Over 130 People in Western Africa’s Mali

    Suspected jihadists massacred more than 130 civilians over the weekend in neighbouring central Mali towns, the latest mass killings in the Sahel regionClick here to read…
    Click here to read…

    Morocco, US launch annual ‘African Lion’ military exercise

    Morocco and the US kicked off the annual African Lion military exercises on Monday, which will last until the end of the month. The exercises include 7,500 personnel from ten nations, among them Brazil, France and BritainClick here to read…

    Commonwealth heads call for climate action at Rwanda meeting

    Leaders of Commonwealth nations are calling for increased climate action at a meeting in Rwanda this week, ahead of the United Nations climate change summit in Egypt later this year. Click here to read…

    Eight UN peacekeepers wounded in Mali blast

    Eight UN peacekeepers were wounded Thursday in a mine explosion in Mali’s Timbuktu region, the United Nations said. Click here to read…

    M23 rebels ask Congolese refugees in Uganda to return home

    Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) have asked refugees fleeing the conflict torn North Kivu province of the nation to return home. Click here to read…

    DR Congo welcomes deployment of regional force to fight rebels

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has welcomed Kenya’s proposal to deploy a regional force to fight the M23 rebel group in the east of the country, but said it won’t accept neighbour Rwanda’s participation. Click here to read…

    Commonwealth meet draws attention to Rwanda’s human rights record

    Commonwealth leaders met in Kigali on Friday to discuss cooperation on topics from trade to health to climate, against a backdrop of criticism of host Rwanda’s human rights record and of a British policy to deport asylum seekers thereClick here to read…

    Cameroon Deploys Hundreds of Troops to Protect 40,000 People Displaced by Boko Haram

    Cameron has deployed hundreds of troops along its border with Nigeria after attacks by Boko Haram militants forced more than 40,000 villagers over the past two months to flee the area. Click here to read…

    Saudi Arabia, Djibouti sign joint cooperation agreement on maritime transport

    Saudi Arabia, represented by the Transport General Authority (TGA), has signed a joint maritime transport cooperation agreement with the Department of Maritime Affairs in Djibouti. Click here to read…

    Gabon eyes Commonwealth entry to advance economic diversification

    Gabon, a French-speaking country in Central Africa that has been seeking membership in the Commonwealth, is awaiting the final decision made at the Commonwealth summit currently held in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. Click here to read…

    African court orders Kenya to pay $1.3 million as reparations to indigenous Ogiek people

    The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, an international court established by members of the African Union, ordered the Kenyan government June 23, 2022, to pay $1.3 millionClick here to read…

    Chinese fugitive wanted for racist videos of Malawi children arrested in Zambia

    A fugitive Chinese national wanted in Malawi for filming children singing racist chants in Chinese has been arrested in neighbouring ZambiaClick here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    EAM Jaishankar meets several leaders, counterparts in Rwanda

    External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday called on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong here and also met several leaders and his counterparts from the Commonwealth nations to discuss bilateral ties and geopolitical trends. Click here to read…

    Jaishankar discusses growing defence ties with Tanzanian counterpart

    External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Friday (local time) met with the Tanzanian Foreign Minister Liberata Mulamula and discussed strengthening defence and security ties between the two countries. Click here to read…

    Jaishankar meets Mauritius PM, discusses thriving relations between nations

    External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Friday (local time) met with the Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth in Rwanda and discussed the thriving relations between the two countries. Click here to read…

    EAM Jaishankar meets counterparts from Tanzania, Solomon Islands; discusses bilateral cooperation

    External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has met his counterparts from Tanzania and the Solomon Islands here and discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in various sectors. Click here to read…

    External affairs minister S Jaishankar interacts with Indian community in Rwanda

    External affairs minister S Jaishankar lauded the Indian community in Rwanda for its contribution towards strengthening bilateral ties and spoke about India’s progress. Click here to read…

    EAM Jaishankar calls Rwanda ‘important’ friend of India

    External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar who is on his first visit to Kigali described Rwanda as the most progressive, business-friendly, and socially inclusive societies. Click here to read…

    Indian embassy in Madagascar begins free Hindi classes for language enthusiasts

    The Indian embassy in Antananarivo on Thursday began free Hindi language classes for all language enthusiasts in Madagascar, Indian Ambassador to Madagascar, Abhay Kumar said. Click here to read…

    Senegal, India Renew Alliances with 3 MoUs

    This month saw Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Dakar, received by Senegalese President H.E. Macky Sall and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Aissata Tall Sall. Click here to read…

    Indian Embassy in Madagascar celebrates 8th International Day of Yoga

    The 8th International Day of Yoga celebrations took place at the University of Antananarivo, organised by Indian Embassy in Madagascar on June 21st 2022. The theme for this year’s International Day of Yoga is “Yoga for Humanity” Click here to read…

    Airtel Africa issues tender offer to clear $300 mn debt

    Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV, which manages Airtel’s Africa business, has issued a tender offer to buy back up to USD 300 million (about Rs 2,348 crore) of senior notes. Click here to read…

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 25, 2022)

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

    COMMENTARY

    Africa: Requiem for a continent

    Every year on May 25, the world celebrates Africa Day. It is to commemorate May 25, 1963, when 30 independent African leaders signed the founding charter of the OAU (Organization of African Unity). Click here to read…

    Africa Day 2022: An Odyssey of a Continent

    Every year on May 25, the world celebrates Africa Day. On May 25 1963, 30 independent African leaders signed the founding charter of the OAU (Organization of African Unity). Click here to read…

    Kenya’s political titans gear up for electoral fight

    After 10 years of outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta’s rule, a faltering economy and rising prices, shopkeeper Betty Kagwiria wants to vote for change in this year’s elections in Kenya. Click here to read…

    NEWS

    CHOGM 2022: Commonwealth heads to assemble in Rwanda

    From June 20 to 27, Rwanda will host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). What exactly is the Commonwealth? What is the point of this international summit? Click here to read…

    Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces move towards negotiations

    The Ethiopian government has formed a committee to negotiate with forces from the Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a televised speech to parliament on Tuesday. Click here to read…

    Kenya’s political titans gear up for electoral fight

    After 10 years of outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta’s rule, a faltering economy and rising prices, shopkeeper Betty Kagwiria wants to vote for change in this year’s elections in Kenya. Click here to read…

    Somali president nominates Hamza Abdi Barre as prime minister

    Somalia’s president has nominated Hamza Abdi Barre, a former chairman of the Jubbaland state election commission, as prime minister. Click here to read…

    Voters head to polls in Nigeria’s key local election

    Voters in Nigeria’s Ekiti state have started casting their ballots to elect a new governor in what could be a bellwether for who wins next year’s presidential election. Click here to read…

    Tunisians protest against constitution referendum as opposition grows

    Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tunis on Saturday in opposition to a referendum on a new constitution called by President Kais Saied that would cement his hold on power. Click here to read…

    South Sudan’s President hails bilateral relations with Israel

    South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Wednesday held discussions with the Israeli ambassador to the country, Gershon Kedar during which he hailed the strong bilateral relations between the two countries. Click here to read…

    Is Uganda heading for a dynastic succession?

    He is the son of the president and a vainglorious Twitter user. He is also a belligerent general whose soldiers are accused of kidnapping and torturing opponents. Click here to read…

    ‘Farmgate’ threatens Cyril Ramaphosa’s South Africa re-election bid

    The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is facing the most serious personal challenge of his four years in power after claims he tried to cover up the theft of millions of US dollars hidden at his game farm. Click here to read…

    Algeria is increasingly aligned with Russia, Spanish minister says

    Algeria’s decision to suspend a friendship treaty with Spain last week was not surprising because Algiers is increasingly aligning itself with RussiaClick here to read…

    What DRC brings to the EAC table

    The DR Congo, a sub-Sahara’s largest country, became the seventh member state of the East African Community (EAC) on March 29, joining Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Click here to read…

    IMF bailout alone will not solve Zambia’s debt crisis

    As Zambia began talks with its creditors to resolve its debt crisis, Hannah Ryder, the CEO of China-based African consultancy Development Reimagined, spoke to African Business about the country’s chances of obtaining an IMF bailout and its prospects for economic growth. Click here to read…

    Egypt boosts ties with Tanzania amid ongoing Nile dam dispute

    Egypt is boosting ties with the Nile Basin countries while Ethiopia inches toward the third filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without an agreement with the downstream countries. Click here to read…

    Rights groups condemn Tanzanian police violence against Maasai

    Human rights organisations have accused Tanzanian police of using violence to evict members of the Masaai Indigenous community in Loliondo, in the country’s northern district of Ngorongoro. Click here to read…

    Russian Mercenaries in Mali Base Days After France Pullout: Sources

    Russian mercenaries arrived in the Malian town of Menaka on Wednesday just days after France’s military pullout from the site, sources briefed on the matter told AFP. Click here to read…

    U.K. vows more Rwanda deportation flights after legal setback

    The British government vowed Wednesday to organize more flights to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda, after a last-minute court judgment grounded the first plane due to take off under the contentious policy. Click here to read…

    Gambia: Officials Accused of Crimes Under Jammeh to Be Suspended

    The Gambian government has announced this week that it would order suspensions for state employees accused of crimes under the former Yahya Jammeh regime, one of the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). Click here to read…

    State controls just 60 percent of Burkina Faso: ECOWAS mediator

    Authorities in Burkina Faso control just 60 percent of the country and the remaining territory is outside state control, a mediator from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said. Click here to read…

    DRC closes Rwanda border after soldier is shot dead during attack

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has closed its border with Rwanda after a Congolese soldier was shot dead while attacking border guards inside Rwandan territory. Click here to read…

    France says it has captured Islamic State bigwig in Mali

    French troops operating at the border between Mali and Niger have arrested a senior figure of the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS) armed group, authorities in Paris have said. Click here to read…

    Libya Has Another Chance at Democracy

    Libya was founded as a democracy. It is not too late to be a democracy again. Click here to read…

    Clashes in Sudan’s Darfur Kill More Than 100

    Clashes in Sudan’s Darfur between Arab and non-Arab groups have killed more than 100 people, adding to a toll of hundreds in the region over recent months. Click here to read…

    Forty fighters ‘neutralised’ in drone strikes in Niger

    French drone strikes have killed nearly 40 fighters earlier travelling on motorcycles near Niger’s border with Burkina Faso, France’s military said on Thursday. Click here to read…

    Kenya calls for immediate deployment of regional force to eastern Congo

    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday called for the immediate deployment of a new regional military force to try to stop rebel violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Click here to read…

    Thousands flee as jihadist attacks resume in Mozambique

    At least seven people have died in a spate of jihadist-related violence in northern Mozambique, local sources said Tuesday, as the UN said 10 000 people had fled their homes. Click here to read…

    Somalia: Security Forces Kill Nearly 70 Al-Shabab Terrorists In Galmudug Region

    Somalia’s state forces, on Friday, killed 67 Al-Shabab terrorists and inflicted injuries on several others. The clashes happened in the Galhaduud. Click here to read…

    One-third of Sudan’s population faces hunger crisis: UN

    Aid groups warn food insecurity may dramatically increase to ‘unprecedented levels’ and lead to more conflict and displacement unless Sudan receives ‘robust agriculture support’. Click here to read…

    Egypt localizes environment-friendly transport ahead of COP27

    Egypt has developed a future strategy to introduce electric means of transport into public transport. This comes as the state is only 138 days away from hosting the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, referred to as (COP27). Click here to read…

    In Zimbabwe, reporter’s conviction sparks fears of renewed abuse

    For the first time in more than a year, Jeffrey Moyo, reporter for The New York Times in Zimbabwe, is breathing rather easy. Click here to read…

    Urgent support needed for 14,000 who fled following Burkina Faso massacre

    In Burkina Faso, UN humanitarians on Friday appealed to the international community for help, after attacks by armed groups forced thousands to flee their homes in the east of the country. Click here to read…

    Spain Resumes Operation Crossing the Strait with Morocco

    Following a closure that lasted for two years, Spain has yesterday resumed Operation Crossing the Strait, which will allow movement between the continent of Europe and Africa for three months. Click here to read…

    Cameroon, Central African Republic Agree to Demarcate Border

    Cameroon and the Central African Republic have agreed to demarcate several hundred kilometers of their shared border. Click here to read…

    Chad rebels threaten to pull out of Doha talks

    Chad rebels due to take part in landmark talks with opposition groups and the military government on Saturday threatened to pull out citing “provocations and attempted aggression” by the government. Click here to read…

    Zimbabwe breaks ground on $300 million lithium project

    Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa oversaw the groundbreaking of a 300 million U.S. dollar spodumene project at the Bikita Minerals mine. It’s hoped the spodumene project will ramp up lithium production and extend the life of Zimbabwe’s oldest mine. Click here to read…

    Angola to become Germany’s first supplier of green hydrogen
    Angola is set to become Germany’s first supplier of green hydrogen from renewable energy after its state-owned energy company Sonangol signed a letter of intent to build a factory with two German engineering firms on WednesdayClick here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    African Union is India’s 4th largest trading partner

    The African Union is India’s fourth largest trading partner after the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates, propped up by diversification in Indian exports to the continent. Click here to read…

    Egypt looks to India for wheat to make up losses from Ukraine war

    A potential deal between Egypt and India to import 500,000 tons of Indian wheat in exchange for Egyptian fertilizers is in the works amid ongoing global wheat shortages. Click here to read…

    India, Tanzania hold foreign office consultations

    India and Tanzania on Thursday reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political, economic and defence at the second round of Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries. Click here to read…

    Vedanta starts iron ore mining in Liberia via subsidiary

    Vedanta Iron & Steel sector has ventured into International Iron ore mining operations in Liberia, West Africa through its subsidiary Western Cluster Limited (WCL). Click here to read…

    BCG Digital Ventures Launches New Innovation Centers in India and Morocco

    BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), the corporate innovation and business-building arm of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), is opening innovation centers in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Casablanca. Click here to read…

    Lessons for India: How Benin got its bronzes back

    Formal requests began in the 1960s and were ignored. Nigeria persisted, lobbied the international community, kept the pressure up. Now, countries one by one are returning the treasures. Click here to read…

    Muslim Conference of Ghana demands apology from India over insulting comments by two politicians

    The National Muslim Conference of Ghana has joined Muslims across the world to call on the Indian government to render an unconditional apology for insulting comments made by two political figures. Click here to read…

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 24, 2022)

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

    COMMENTARY

    Decoding The Gambian Voting System – Keep It Simple

    On 4th December 2021, The Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa, held its presidential election. The successful election and transfer of power were a powerful message toward Gambia’s successful transition into a democratic society. Click here to read…

    NEWS

    New Somali President Inaugurated, Warns of Famine

    Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was inaugurated as the 10th president of Somalia Thursday in a colorful ceremony attended by hundreds of people, including the leaders of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Click here to read…

    Mozambique elected to serve on UN security council

    Mozambique was unanimously elected Thursday as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Click here to read…

    Algeria suspends trade ties with Spain over Western Sahara row

    Algeria has suspended foreign trade in products and services with Spain amid an escalating dispute over the status of Western Sahara. Click here to read…

    Belgian king expresses ‘deepest regrets’ to Congolese

    Belgium’s King Philippe expressed his “deepest regrets” for his nation’s abuses in its former colony Congo, telling lawmakers Wednesday on his first official trip to the country that Belgian colonial rule was unjustifiable and racist. Click here to read…

    Guinea Bissau President Embaló names new government

    Guinea Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló on Thursday appointed a new government tasked with the preparation of the December 18 legislative election. Click here to read…

    Nigeria Ruling Party Picks Tinubu as Presidential Candidate

    Nigeria’s ruling party selected Bola Tinubu as its presidential candidate in elections scheduled for next February, establishing him as the frontrunner to become the next head of state in Africa’s biggest economy. Click here to read…

    TikTok videos stoke tensions ahead of Kenya vote – Mozilla report
    As Kenya’s general election draws closer, an increasing number of TikTok videos featuring “hate, incitement and other political disinformation” have been on the rise. Click here to read…

    Ethiopia willing to resume dam talks with Egypt, Sudan

    Ethiopia has expressed interest in resuming talks with Egypt and Sudan on a huge and controversial Blue Nile dam which is expected to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant. Click here to read…

    Talks to end Sudan crisis begin as anti-coup groups boycott

    Talks aiming at ending Sudan’s ongoing political deadlock began Wednesday, the United Nations said. Click here to read…

    UK judge allows first flight sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda to go ahead

    The United Kingdom’s controversial plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda as early as next week was green-lit on Friday. Click here to read…

    Djibouti Strategically Placed to Become Global ICT Center, Says Adesina

    African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina met with President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti Guelleh and senior government officials. Click here to read…

    Turkey Delivers Six Bayraktar Drones to Niger

    Turkey delivered six Bayraktar TB2 drones to Niger earlier this month as part of an arms deal Ankara signed with Niamey in November, Radio France Internationale reported. Click here to read…

    ISWAP blamed for church massacre in Nigeria

    The Nigerian government has blamed an ISIL-affiliated armed group in the country for carrying out an attack that killed dozens of worshippers at a church. Click here to read…

    ECOWAS unhappy with Mali’s 24-month transition decision

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it regrets a decision by Mali’s interim government to delay the return to civilian rule by 24 months while negotiations between the two sides were ongoing. Click here to read…

    Libya oil shutdown expands with threat to close new port

    A blockade of Libyan oil output by groups aligned with forces in the east of the country expanded on Thursday and Friday with the closure of two more export terminals. Click here to read…

    Uganda announces discovery of huge gold deposits

    Uganda has announced that it has struck a deposit of 31 million tonnes of gold ore, with extractable pure gold estimated to gross 320,000 tonnes. Click here to read…

    Cape Verde, Togo to Open Consulates in Morocco’s Western Sahara

    Cape Verde and Togo will will soon open general consulates in Dakhla, Western Sahara’s second largest city. Click here to read…

    Tunisia’s president, opposition battle over who will fold first

    Tunisia is approaching a crossroads as President Kais Saied continues to clash with growing opposition to his proposed new constitution. Click here to read…

    Zimbabwe Leaning to Russia as Others Shun Moscow for Invading Ukraine

    As much of the world is shunning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Zimbabwe this month hosted Russia’s third highest ranking official. Analysts say Zimbabwe is looking to Russia for fuel as well as cooking oil and wheat that it used to get from Ukraine, while Russia has its eyes on Zimbabwe’s minerals. Click here to read…

    Chad declares food emergency as grain supplies fall

    Last week, Chad declared a food emergency due to a lack of grain supplies. The landlocked African nation on Thursday urged the international community to help its population cope with rising food insecurity. Click here to read…

    Soldiers kill 9 villagers in Cameroon, investigation launched

    Cameroon’s government said Tuesday that a group of soldiers killed nine villagers, including an 18-month-old girl. The authorities called the incident a “manifestly disproportionate” and “hasty” response to a confrontation in the restive English speaking part of the country. Click here to read…

    South Africa’s president faces probe over unreported theft

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing a criminal investigation after a revelation that he failed to report the theft of about $4 million in cash from his farm in northern Limpopo provinceClick here to read…

    Russia launches production for Egypt’s nuclear power plant

    Ukraine war not stopping Russia’s Rosatom from manufacturing equipment for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant. Click here to read…

    Zambia commissions China-funded modern conference center

    Aerial photo taken on May 26, 2022 shows the Kenneth Kaunda International Conference Center in Lusaka, Zambia. Zambia on Tuesday commissioned an ultra-modern international conference center financed by China. Click here to read…

    Togo and Israel want to improve their cooperation, at the economic level especially

    After more than 60 years of diplomatic relations, Togo and Israel have decided to actualize their cooperation. Click here to read…

    Morocco is Home to Africa’s Fifth Largest Gold Reserves

    Morocco’s gold reserves are estimated at 22.12 metric tonnes (mt) and are the fifth largest in Africa, according to the German database Statistica. Click here to read…

    Total Energies ploughs $850 million into new Angola project

    TotalEnergies and its partners have taken a final investment decision on an $850 million project in Angola to further develop the deepwater Clov complex in Block 17. Click here to read…

    Why the Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin

    The Central African Republic’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender came as a surprise to many, but the government argues that it will secure an independent financial future for the country. Click here to read…

    Botswana tight lipped on the value of its ivory stockpile

    Botswana has remained mum on the value of its ivory stockpile despite a desperate campaign to have a decade-long ban on sales by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) lifted. Click here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    India is a “Friend in Need” says Tanzania

    India and Tanzania share a multifaceted relation. Recently, Dy NSA Vikram Misri had visited the country followed by Def-Expo organised by India with participation of 16 Indian defence manufacturers. Water sector has also evolved as an important area of partnership in recent years. Click here to read…

    India committed to be Gabon’s reliable partner, says Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

    Venkaiah Naidu arrived in Libreville on the first leg of his three-nation tour of Gabon, Senegal and Qatar. Click here to read…

    MoS Muraleedharan Meets Malawi’s VP; Explores Areas Of Cooperation Between Both Nations

    After completing his visit to Zimbabwe, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan met with the Vice-President of Malawi Dr Saulos Chilima and held a dialogue to explore various areas of cooperation between both the countries.Click here to read…

    India, Ghana holds consultations on UN, multilateral issues in Accra

    India and Ghana held consultations on UN and Multilateral issues level in Accra on June 9 and discussed issues on the agenda of the UNSC, including on West Africa and Sahel region, and other issues related to counter-terrorism and UN Peacekeeping. Click here to read…

    India’s first wheat shipment to Egypt clears quality tests

    The first Indian wheat consignment of 55,000 tonnes to Egypt has got through all government tests for quality and other parameters. Click here to read…

    India announces donation of 5,000 tonnes of rice to Madagascar as humanitarian aid

    India’s Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, Abhay Kumar, called on the Prime Minister of Madagascar Christian Ntsay and announced the donation of 5,000 tonnes of rice to the island nation as humanitarian aid. Click here to read…

    India-Africa Trade Council appoints Gagan Arora, Founder Vertex Group as Trade Commissioner of Nigeria Division

    Gagan Arora, the Founder of Vertex Group, has been appointed as the Trade Commissioner of India-Africa Trade Council Incharge of Nigeria Division at the India-Nigeria Trade Conference held in Delhi a few days ago. Click here to read…

    Outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles commends 22 completed projects

    The outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles has said his tenure in the island nation has been a beautiful experience and over 20 projects have been accomplished. Click here to read…

    Morocco Showcases Outsourcing Opportunities in India

    The Moroccan delegation paid a visit as well to the International Institute of Information Technologies to explore the research in the IT industry and discuss ways for future collaborations. Click here to read…

    India’s Saatvik to supply 9.3 MW of solar modules in Mauritius

    Indian solar module manufacturer Saatvik Solar has won an order for 9.3 MW of modules to be installed at a solar project in Mauritius. Click here to read…

    Airtel Africa, Others Receive Notice to Pay About $180 Million to Congo

    The Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered mobile-phone companies operating in the African nation to pay a levy estimated at about $180 million a year. Click here to read…

    Rise and fall of Gupta brothers: An Indian-South African tale of politics, power, & corruption

    Two of the three Gupta brothers- Rajesh and Atul Gupta- have been arrested by the UAE authorities for alleged corruption committed when Jacob Zuma was South Africa’s president. Click here to read…

    Book Review

    ‘Born in Blackness’ is a compelling, unforgettable read

    In the first book in this year’s African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular, journalist Howard French shows how European explorers’ curiosity about a wealthy African king shaped the modern world. Click here to read…

    Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 23, 2022)

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

    COMMENTARY

    Will France’s Africa Policy Hold Up?

    While Macron’s pivot has created new political space for France-Africa engagement on more equal footing, the French president’s vision of mutual aid and reciprocal partnerships between France and African countries remains unfulfilled. Click here to read…

    “The Harambee Factor: India – Africa Economic and Development Partnership” by Ambassador Gurjit Singh

    A wealth of literature illustrates China’s relationship with Africa in all of its facets. In comparison, there isn’t nearly enough research on India’s engagement in Africa in its entirety. In that sense, there is hardly any literature that deals specifically with the India-Africa development partnership. Click here to read…

    NEWS

    Africa provides a ‘home for hope’, despite new challenges: Guterres

    On Africa Day, the world celebrates the diverse and dynamic continent’s “enormous promise and potential”, the UN chief saidClick here to read…

    AU expresses deep concern over complex humanitarian situations in Africa

    The African Union (AU) on Friday expressed deep concern over the complex humanitarian situations in the African continentClick here to read…

    Somalia president welcomes U.S. troops, calls for peace

    U.S. President Joe Biden this month authorised the redeployment of hundreds of U.S. soldiers who will help train, equip and support the military’s elite Danab special forces fighting the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants. Click here to read…

    Angola to hold general elections on August 24

    Angola will hold general elections on August 24. President João Lourenço announced the date before the Council of the Republic, a consultative body that met on Friday to vote on the head of state’s proposal. Click here to read…

    An epic contest between Ruto and Odinga

    Kenya goes to the polls on August 9, 2022, to elect the country’s fifth President, besides national lawmakers, governors and assemblies of its 47 counties. Click here to read…

    Buhari Backs Setting Up of African Standby Force On Terrorism

    President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday backed the planned creation of the African Standby Force on Terrorism, saying the move would help tackle criminal activities on the continent. Click here to read…

    Rwanda-DR Congo row: Tensions rise again in the Great Lakes

    Tensions erupted last week between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Click here to read…

    UK targets mid-June for first Rwanda asylum flight

    Britain said Tuesday it intends to fly a first planeload of asylum-seekers to Rwanda on June 14, under a new agreement that has drawn threats of legal challenges from angry campaigners. Click here to read…

    Will Comoros Be China’s Next “Djibouti” In Indian Ocean Region?

    In the past seven years, China created and developed its first overseas military base for the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) at Djibouti. Click here to read…

    One killed in first major protest under Guinea junta

    One person was killed in Guinea’s capital late on Wednesday during protests over fuel price hikes, in the most serious unrest since a military junta took power last year. Click here to read…

    Three years on, still no justice for Sudan ‘massacre’ victims

    Families ask for accountability after at least 120 people were killed at a sit-in protest by security forces in 2019. Click here to read…

    Ethiopia to supply South Sudan with electricity, as Nile dam talks continue to falter

    Ethiopia plans to export electric power to South Sudan as part of an electrical interconnection project between the two countries, as negotiations with Sudan and Egypt on Ethiopia’s controversial dam on the Nile River are at a dead end. Click here to read…

    Western Sahara activist arrives in Spain for medical tests following months-long house arrest

    Sultana Khaya, a Sahrawi activist, arrived in Spain for medical treatment following months of house arrest, where she had suffered “countless human rights abuses”, according to her legal team. Click here to read…

    Eritrean troops shell town in north Ethiopia – U.N.

    Eritrean forces shelled a town in north Ethiopia over the weekend, according to internal U.N. documents and regional forces, in a rare bombardment after two months of relative peace in the Tigray conflict. Click here to read…

    ECOWAS leaders postpone decision on sanctions in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea

    West African leaders on Saturday failed to agree what action to take against military juntas in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, postponing a decision until July, said insiders at the meeting. Click here to read…

    China invites Sudan for Horn of Africa peace conference

    China has invited Sudan to participate in the forthcoming Horn of Africa conference from June 20-22 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Click here to read…

    Nigeria’s political system favours old wealthy men

    Despite young people making up the majority of Nigeria’s voters, the country’s politicians are mostly old, wealthy and male. Such a system makes it harder for young people to enter politics. Click here to read…

    Tunisia: Ennahda leader Ghannouchi decries state of ‘tyranny’

    The speaker of Tunisia’s dissolved parliament says the country is living under a state of tyranny as President Kais Saied pushes ahead with plans for a controversial referendum on replacing the constitution. Click here to read…

    Civilians in peril as tensions in DR Congo escalate: HRW

    Fighting between government forces and armed groups in the conflict-torn North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo could seriously endanger the safety of civilians in the area. Click here to read…

    Al-Qaida Affiliate Claims May Attack in Togo

    Togo’s government had confirmed a “terrorist attack” on May 11 in the northern town of Kpekankandi, near the border with Burkina Faso, where the insurgents are also present. Click here to read…

    2 UN peacekeepers killed in 6th incident in Mali in 2 weeks

    Two U.N. peacekeepers were killed Friday when their armored personnel carrier hit an improvised explosive device in central Mali in the sixth incident in less than two weeks. Click here to read…

    Nigeria violence: Gunmen attack Catholic church killing worshippers in Ondo state

    Gunmen have killed worshippers in a Catholic church in Ondo, south-west Nigeria, the state’s governor has said. Click here to read…

    Kenya: Case of growing Chinese debt obligations

    According to Kenyan officials, releasing the documents would undermine Kenya’s national security, “since terms in the contract touch on foreign government information with implications on national security and foreign relations”. Click here to read…

    Libya participates in NATO exercises in Turkey

    A number of Units of the ground and naval forces of the Libyan army will participate in the exercise of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Click here to read…

    Chad Declares ‘Food Emergency’, Urges International Help

    Chad on Thursday declared a “food emergency” in the impoverished landlocked country, urging the international community to help. Click here to read…

    Oraimo to Build Africa’s Largest Mobile Technology Factory in Nigeria

    Indigenous smart phone accessories manufacturers, Oraimo mobile technology has announced plans to erect the largest mobile technology factory in Nigeria. Click here to read…

    Coca Cola inaugurates its ‘mega’ factory in Ethiopia

    Coca Cola has inaugurated its new ‘mega factory’ in Sebta City in Ethiopia. The $100 million factory, located 25 km from the capital, Addis Ababa, is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and will create 30,000 job opportunities. Click here to read…

    South Africa president accused of ‘kidnapping’, bribing burglars

    An ex-spy chief Wednesday said he had filed a legal complaint against South Africa’s president, accusing him of “kidnapping” and bribing robbers who stole millions of dollars from one of his properties. Click here to read…

    ‘From Russia with Love’: A Putin Ally Mines Gold and Plays Favorites in Sudan

    Backed by the Kremlin, the shadowy network known as the Wagner Group is getting rich in Sudan while helping the military to crush a democracy movement. Click here to read…

    Nigeria agrees step on new gas pipeline through Morocco to Europe

    Nigeria’s government has directed its state-run oil company NNPC to implement a deal on a gas pipeline to Europe through Morocco. Click here to read…

    Central African Republic announces plan to tokenize country’s minerals

    The Central African Republic (CAR) revealed the next step in its bitcoin adoption journey with plans to tokenize access to its natural resources. Click here to read…

    Key Hydrocarbon Discoveries in Namibia Could Ensure Strong Economic Growth

    Namibia’s sizeable 2022 discoveries – the Graff-1 discovery made by Shell and the Venus discovery by TotalEnergies –are expected to kickstart the country’s oil and gas boom as well as a new era of increased exploration, production and monetization of hydrocarbons in the southern African country. Click here to read…

    Southern Spain focuses of huge Europe-Morocco migration after COVID-19

    Morocco on Sunday begins welcoming an influx of its citizens living in Europe after the pandemic led to a halt in what has been called one of the world’s biggest cross-continental migrations. Click here to read…

    Tanzania seeks to be key rice producer in Africa

    Tanzania is racing against time to become Africa’s rice hub. To begin with, the country wants to meet East Africa’s total rice demand, a senior government officer has said. Click here to read…

    Guinea Junta Rejects UN Call to End Ban on Protests

    Guinea’s ruling junta has rejected a UN call to lift a ban on political demonstrations, insisting protests should only be allowed during the election period in three years’ time. Click here to read…

    In Niger, Scholz vows to support fight against Islamist militants

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised Niger long-term military and financial support to fight Islamist insurgents across West Africa, during a visit on Monday on his inaugural Africa tour. Click here to read…

    Cameroon, CAR Join Forces to Fight Rebels on Border

    A commission of senior security and state officials from the troubled Central African Republic and Cameroon has agreed to jointly fight armed C.A.R. rebels they say are fleeing intensive fighting and infiltrating refugee camps in Cameroon. Click here to read…

    Samia: Tanzania gearing up to connect countries through rail, road

    Tanzania is ready for regional integration and is in the process of completing road and railway networks with the goal of linking neighbouring countries. Click here to read…

    Xi says China ready to expand ties with Zambia

    Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Zambian counterpart in a telephone call on Tuesday that China was willing to strengthen and broaden bilateral ties with Zambia. Click here to read…

    Polish president visits Egypt for the first time in decades

    The Polish president visited Egypt recently in the first such visit since 1992, which comes as the Russian war on Ukraine rages on. Click here to read…

    Abraham Accords accelerate Israel-Africa rapprochement

    Israeli and African diplomats are engaged in expanding bilateral relations and taking them much further than ever before in many fields. Click here to read…

    Zambia commissions China-aided milling plants

    Zambia on Friday officially commissioned three state-of-the-art milling plants funded by China. Click here to read…

    In oil-rich Niger Delta, coastal erosion frustrates locals endlessly

    Residents of the oil-rich region say they are losing their houses and farmlands to coastal erosion and there is a long history of government neglect of the area. Click here to read…

    AU Head Says ‘Reassured’ After Talks with Putin on Food Shortages

    African Union head Macky Sall said on Friday he was “reassured” after talks in Russia with President Vladimir Putin on food shortages caused by Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. Click here to read…

    Belgian king, in shadow of colonial past, to visit DR Congo

    Belgium’s King Philippe on Tuesday begins a historic visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a region cruelly exploited by his ancestors, as tensions rise in the volatile east. Click here to read…

    Tunisia’s Gabes Cinema Fen: The festival bringing back cultural life

    No other festival captures both the spirit and challenges facing Tunisia than Gabes Cinema Fen, the Arab World’s first digital arts festClick here to read…

    INDIA IN AFRICA

    Naidu embarks on tour of Gabon, Senegal, Qatar

    Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday embarked on a three-nation tour of Gabon, Senegal and Qatar. Click here to read…

    MoS Muraleedharan to visit Zimbabwe, Malawi

    Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan will pay an official visit to African nations — Zimbabwe and Malawi — from June 6 to 9. Click here to read…

    India organises Def expo in Tanzania to expand defence sector footprints in Africa

    Indian High Commission in Dar es Salaam organised a Mini-DefExpo in Dar-es-Salaam. 16 Indian companies (7 from government sector and 9 from private sector) participated in the event. Click here to read…

    In Order to Extend Its Defence Sector Footprint In Africa, India Launches A Defence Expo In Tanzania

    Through a defence exhibition hosted in Dar-es-Salaam on Friday, India sought to deepen its defence partnership with Tanzania, a Southeast African country. Click here to read…

    VP Naidu interacts with Indian diaspora in Gabon

    Interacting with the Indian diaspora in Gabon, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has said that despite being only 1,500 in number, the community has made a significant contribution in various fields in the country. Click here to read…

    India committed to be Gabon’s reliable partner, says Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

    India attaches great importance to its relations with Gabon, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

    India-Africa relations prospering on mutual respects & co-operations among others

    Dating back several centuries, the relations between India and African countries are driven and shaped by a number of factors, including trade and investments, cultural, historical and political engagements. Click here to read…

    New Delhi attaches utmost priority to India-Africa partnership: Vice President

    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that India’s cooperation with Africa will centre around health, digital and green growth, and asserted that New Delhi attaches utmost priority to India-Africa partnership. Click here to read…

    Senegal Is Most Stable and Model Democracies in Africa: Naidu

    Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday emphasised the need for mutual respect among political opponents in democracy and termed debates, discussions and dialogues as the essence of the legislative process. Click here to read…

    India-Somalia relations: Indian response to the new government?

    The nation of 15 million people has endured conflict with no strong central government since the fall of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and has also faced severe drought and dire famine crises. Click here to read…

    At UNSC, India abstains from sanctions being extended to South Sudan

    India has abstained from a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that has extended sanctions against South Sudan. Click here to read…

    Kenya: Indian Market Posts Strong Growth as Kenya’s Tourism Recovers

    The Indian market will play a significant role in the recovery of Kenya’s tourism sector, tourism players in Kenya have saidClick here to read…

    Egypt rejects ship carrying Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey

    Egypt barred the entry of a ship carrying 55,000 tonnes of Indian wheat that was originally intended for Turkey. Click here to read…

    Egypt envoy Hamed dismisses reports of Indian wheat being infected with pests

    Egyptian ambassador to India Wael Hamed has dismissed reports of Indian wheat being infected with pests even as the country receives its first consignments. Click here to read…

    Egypt in talks with India on wheat-for-goods swap deal to fight shortage: Minister

    Egypt is in discussions to import wheat from India in a deal that may include the export of products such as fertilizers in return. Click here to read…

    Morocco eager to become India’s IT outsourcing hub for Europe & Africa: Minister

    The Minister informed that HCL will set up its presence in Morocco and key focus of her trip was engaging with the HCL and leading a business mission to India. Click here to read…

    Facelifted Toyota Starlet (Made-In-India Glanza) Launched in South Africa

    Toyota has launched the Starlet premium hatchback in South Africa from SAR 226,200 (~ Rs 11.30 lakh). It’s indeed the made-in-India Glanza that is exported to South Africa, just like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. Click here to read…

    Saatvik secures solar module supply order for Mauritius project

    Indian PV manufacturer Saatvik Solar will supply 9.3 MW of mono PERC modules to Bharat Heavy Electricals for a PV project in Mauritius. The panels will feature multi-busbar and half-cut cell technology. Click here to read…

    Apartheid, riots, and being Indian in South Africa: The recollections of a revolutionary

    Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim was a South African revolutionary of Indian descent who spent 15 years at the Robben Island prison alongside the legendary Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada, also an anti-apartheid activist. Click here to read…