Americas: Brazil’s Bolsonaro calls for 25 February demonstration amid coup plot accusations

Sectors: all
Key Risks: civil unrest

In Brazil, on 25 February supporters of far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro are set to attend a “peaceful event” in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo state. The demonstration was called for by Bolsonaro on 13 February to rally support as he faces accusations of alleged involvement in a coup plot that sought to prevent left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from taking office in January 2023. On 8 February the police requested Bolsonaro to hand over his passport during a raid on his home and arrested his top four former aides and ministers as part of an investigation into his alleged part in the plot – including claiming electoral fraud after the October 2022 presidential election that would justify a military intervention. The risks of civil unrest and clashes between Bolsonaro’s supporters and security forces will remain heightened.

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Asia Pacific: Outright presidential election win for Indonesia’s Prabowo to ensure continuity

Sectors: all
Key Risks: political instability; economic risks; civil unrest; policy continuity

In Indonesia, on 14 February Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto declared an outright single-round victory following a commanding lead in the three-way presidential election, forgoing a run-off vote. With 71 per cent of the votes counted, Prabowo leads with 58.6 per cent followed by former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan with 24.3 per cent and former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo with 17.1 per cent. Recent local media reports suggested that several opposing parties – including the Nasdem Party – are considering switching their support to Prabowo, which could strengthen his incoming government’s legislative representation. Official results are expected by 20 March, but Prabowo’s assured victory has largely mitigated risks of civil unrest and economic disruption amid expectations of policy continuity and greater political certainty. His win is also expected to guarantee outgoing President Joko Widodo’s continued political influence after he steps down in October.

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Eurasia: Ukraine war anniversary raises risk of nationwide Russian strikes, Western sanctions

Sectors: all
Key Risks: war-on-land, sanctions

In Ukraine, on 24 February Russia’s full-scale invasion will enter its third year, raising the risk of a nationwide Russian missile and drone barrage around the war’s anniversary. Such barrages now occur at least once a week, with the latest one reported on 14-15 February. Industrial, military and infrastructure facilities face the highest risk of strikes, while residential areas have also been frequently targeted in the past. Separately, on 14 February reports emerged that the US, EU and other allied countries discussed new Russian sanctions to mark the invasion’s anniversary. They did not disclose any details of a potential new sanctions package but added that it would include measures to counter sanctions evasion. On the same day, Hungary reportedly blocked Brussels’ new sanctions round over its inclusion of Chinese firms. Further EU sanctions remain uncertain but Kyiv’s allies are likely to double down on sanctions enforcement and evasion.

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Europe: Polish farmers to block entire border with Ukraine on 20 February

Sectors: all; agriculture
Key Risks: civil unrest; trade disputes, traffic disruptions

In Poland, on 20 February farmers are set to hold another major nationwide protest against EU policies they claim are hurting their industry, including environmental restrictions and the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain. On 9 February farmers launched a 30-day strike action and held protests across 250 locations nationwide. Since 9 February, they have also blocked several border crossings with Ukraine, severely disrupting road traffic. As of 19 February, the Korczowa-Krakovets, Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska, Dorohusk-Yahodyn, Medyka-Shehyni, Zosin-Ustyluh and Dolhobyczow-Uhryniv border crossings have all been affected by blockades. As part of the 20 February protest, farmers are planning to blockade all border crossings with Ukraine. Protests over Ukrainian grain first erupted across central and eastern Europe in April 2023. Broader farmer protests have spread across most of Europe. Blockades of Ukrainian border crossings will further hurt Kyiv’s war-torn economy. Further unrest is likely.

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MENA: Israeli PM Netanyahu under popular pressure over Gaza war policy

Sectors: all
Key risks: political stability, civil unrest

In Israel, on 17 February protesters took to the streets in every major Israeli city, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, to denounce Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of negotiations for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, to demand his resignation and call for early elections. Concurrently, the Israeli government withdrew from truce talks, stating that Hamas’s demands – including Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – are “delusional”. Netanyahu dismissed the idea of holding early elections despite plummeting approval ratings since the start of the war on 7 October 2023. Nevertheless, the government continues to enjoy the support of the influential religious-nationalist movement, on which Netanyahu is largely dependent. While anti-Netanyahu protests are expected to continue, the government is likely to carry on with a no-concession policy in the conflict.

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Sub-Saharan Africa: Burundi’s deployment of troops to DRC will escalate tensions with Rwanda

Sectors: all
Key risks: external conflict; geopolitical tensions; regional escalation

In Burundi, on 18 February President Evariste Ndayishimiye confirmed that Bujumbura would deploy troops to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces fighting the Rwanda-backed March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group. Burundi is a member of the East Africa Community whose troops were deployed in DRC under the East African Community Regional Forces (EACRF) before their withdrawal in December 2023. Tensions between Bujumbura and Kigali have escalated in recent months after Ndayishimiye accused Kigali of backing the Red Tabara, a Burundian rebel group responsible for killing civilians on the country’s border with DRC. On 11 January Bujumbura cut diplomatic ties with Kigali and closed its border with Rwanda. Ndayishimiye’s deployment of troops is unlikely to significantly improve the security situation in eastern DRC but will exacerbate growing tensions between Bujumbura and Kigali.

Click here to access Burundi’s Global Intake country profile.