Americas: Government and ELN guerrilla to conclude third round of peace talks in Colombia

Sectors: all
Key Risks: terrorism; insurgency; targeted attacks; violent clashes; violent crime; kidnapping

In Colombia, on 8 June the government and the leftist ELN guerrilla group are set to conclude the ongoing third round of peace talks – which began on 2 May and were extended on 25 May – in Cuba’s capital Havana. The main objective of the third round of talks is to reach a bilateral ceasefire agreement. The negotiations – an essential part of leftist President Gustavo Petro’s ambitious aim to achieve ‘total peace’ in the country – were put “on pause” by the ELN from 15-18 May after Petro questioned the ability of the ELN negotiators to control the group’s commanders. Recent hurdles suggest that a national bilateral ceasefire agreement is unlikely to be announced in the coming days – with regional ceasefire agreements being more likely, although still far from certain. Even if such an agreement is reached, ensuring compliance from all ELN rebels will prove challenging.

Asia Pacific: Worsening electricity crisis risks fuelling unrest in Bangladesh

Sectors: all; oil and gas; electricity; garment
Key Risks: civil unrest; economic risks; business disruptions

In Bangladesh, on 5 June Energy Minister Nasrul Hamid stated that the country could face power cuts of up to two weeks as the government struggles to secure coal and gas supplies for its power plants. Dhaka’s power generation issues have been exacerbated as demand for electricity spiked amid a record heatwave and the impacts of Cyclone Mocha – which cut off the country’s LNG supplies. Recognising the dire conditions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the population to be frugal in their energy use. The power cuts have disrupted schools, hospitals and the garment and apparel industry – a major component of the country’s exports. This will likely further risk worsening Dhaka’s foreign currency shortages and its ability to pay for fuel oil and coal imports. Civil unrest risks are also expected to remain elevated as protests against deteriorating living standards continue to roil.

Eurasia: Clashes escalate in Ukraine’s southern Donetsk and northeastern Zaporizhzhia Oblasts

Sectors: all
Key risks: war on land 

In Ukraine, Russian officials claimed on 5 May they had pushed back a major Ukrainian counteroffensive west of Velyka Novosilka in the far south-west of Donetsk Oblast, alleging that at least 250 troops were eliminated and 16 tanks were destroyed. The claim could not be independently confirmed. Ukrainian military officials stated that they did not have such information. Ukraine’s Centre for Strategic Communications gave no immediate comment  on the claim but stated that Russian propagandists would “spread lies” to demoralise Ukrainians. Escalating clashes were reported throughout 3 and 4 June in the area and in the north-east of Zaporizhzhia Oblast – an area that has been anticipated as a likely focus of Kyiv’s planned major counteroffensive. Details of the clashes have not yet been confirmed but fighting in both areas is likely to continue escalating.

Europe: Montenegro to hold parliamentary elections on 11 June

Sectors: all
Key Risks: political stability

In Montenegro, on 11 June citizens will vote in parliamentary elections after long-time President Milo Djukanovic was defeated in the 2 April presidential election by Jakov Milatovic, a pro-Western economist and the deputy head of the Europe Now (ES) movement. Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) dominated the country’s politics for 30 years, alternating for most of the period between the role of president and prime minister. Although the presidential role is ceremonial, Milatovic’s victory in the April elections indicated that the populace is seeking a change in political leadership. The upcoming parliamentary elections will come amid a long-standing political crisis marked by no-confidence votes in two separate governments. With Djukanovic’s resignation as head of the DPS and Milatovic’s victory, the ES is projected to come first in the upcoming elections, followed by the DPS.

MENA: New Turkish cabinet signals change of economic policy

Sectors: all
Key Risks: economic; business

In Turkey, on 3 June President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his new cabinet, featuring new appointments to the finance, foreign and defence ministries, the most notable of which is the nomination of ex-banker Mehmet Simsek as Finance Minister. Erdogan won the second round of the presidential election on 28 May, defeating opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu with 52.14 per cent of votes and extending his 20-year rule with a further five-year term. The choice of Simsek hints at a possible return to more traditional economic policies. In recent years, Ankara adopted an unorthodox approach to tackling inflation, prioritising low interest rates to boost production amid a severe economic and monetary crisis. These policies failed to mitigate the crises and undermined confidence in the government’s macroeconomic management. Simsek’s appointment is expected to lead to an interest rate hike in the coming months.

Sub-Saharan Africa: No majority expected after legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau

Sectors: all
Key Risks: political stability

In Guinea-Bissau, on 4 June the country held legislative elections. The vote – initially scheduled for December 2022 – came after President Umaro Sissoco Embalo dissolved parliament in May 2022 after accusing lawmakers of protecting MPs facing corruption allegations among other issues. There are three main parties contesting the 102 seats, including Embalo’s Madem G15 party, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and the Party for Social Renewal (PRS). Embalo plans to change the constitution – by removing the semi-presidential system – if his Madem G15 party can secure enough votes. Critics have accused Embalo of trying to consolidate his grip on power. However, the Madem G15 party is unlikely to secure the majority vote needed to pass the constitutional amendment and will likely need to enter a coalition. Results are expected on 6 June.