Americas: Haiti’s PM Henry rallies support for UN-backed multinational force deployment

Sectors: all
Key Risks: gang-related violence; organised crime; violent crime

In Haiti, on 14 February Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government announced that its officials met with Kenyan counterparts to draft a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and set a deadline for the deployment of a long-awaited Kenyan-led multinational force to support the police in tackling gang violence. On 27 January the Kenyan High Court blocked the deployment of such a force, ruling it as unconstitutional. On 25 February Caribbean leaders met Henry in Guyana’s capital Georgetown ahead of the 25-28 February CARICOM summit to discuss the Caribbean countries’ support for the security mission. While multiple countries have already made financial and personnel commitment pledges, recent reports revealed that Haiti’s criminal gangs are increasingly economically autonomous and are poised to challenge any potential multinational force that may be deployed. Regardless of whether a multinational force is deployed, the risk of gang-related violence will remain extremely high.

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

Asia Pacific: Australian national and two local workers briefly kidnapped in Papua New Guinea

Sectors: all; internal security
Key Risks: kidnapping; gang violence; political instability; civil unrest

In Papua New Guinea, on 25 February an Australian helicopter pilot and two local technicians were kidnapped by an armed group after landing at a remote telecoms site near Mount Sisa in Hela province. Despite a “substantial” amount of ransom demand, the victims were released uninjured within hours following negotiations, mediated by local leaders. The incident came at a precarious time for the country which is currently marred by a renewed bout of political instability following tribal clashes which killed at least 49 people in neighbouring Enga province on 18 February and an outbreak of nationwide unrest which killed at least 26 people on 10 January. In February 2023 a New Zealand archaeologist and three locals were kidnapped for a reported PGK3.5m (US$918,000) ransom. Heightened risks of civil unrest and kidnap and ransom, particularly targeting foreign nationals, will likely persist.

Click here to access Papua New Guinea’s Global Intake country profile.

Eurasia: Ukraine denies withdrawing from Donetsk’s Lastochkyne; Zelensky calls for swift US aid

Sectors: all
Key Risks: war-on-land

In Ukraine, on 25 February local officials denied media reports that the town of Lastochkyne, Donetsk Oblast, was seized by Russian forces. Lastochkyne lies immediately west of Avdiivka, from which Kyiv withdrew on 16 February – marking the largest Russian advance in months. Kyiv acknowledged heavy Russian assaults and even if the town has not yet fallen, it is likely to do so. This will raise further questions about Kyiv’s subsequent defensive fortifications and their ability to hold off a potential major Russian advance in the area as the weather improves. On the same day, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia was planning a new offensive as early as May, and stated that Kyiv needs the US$60bln of military aid stuck in the US Congress to be approved in the next month to avoid weapons shortages on the battlefield.

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

Europe: Hungary to ratify Sweden’s NATO bid

Sectors: all; defence
Key Risks: war on land

In Hungary, on the evening of 26 February parliament is expected to ratify Sweden’s NATO bid following months of delays. Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked lawmakers to approve Sweden’s NATO application on the morning of 26 February, stating that Sweden’s accession to NATO would strengthen Hungary’s security. Orban’s statement followed his 23 February meeting with Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson during which the two countries signed a new military agreement. Sweden applied for NATO membership in May 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, Turkey and Hungary have long stalled the ratification process, delaying Sweden’s accession by several months. Budapest’s ratification will pave the way for Stockholm’s formal accession – expected in the coming weeks – officially concluding Sweden’s centuries-long period of neutrality.

Click here to access Hungary’s Global Intake country profile and here to access Sweden’s Global Intake country profile.

MENA: Libyan militia threatens to shut down oil and gas facilities

Sectors: oil and gas
Key risks: civil unrest, political stability, internal conflict

In Libya, on 25 February the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) – a state-sponsored militia tasked with the protection of the country’s hydrocarbon facilities – threatened to shut down all oil and gas facilities in western Libya following the end of a 10-day ultimatum issued on 15 February. The group’s demands include a 67 per cent salary increase from the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU). PFG posted footage on social media of their members closing a feeder valve at the Mellitah oil complex – jointly exploited by the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Italy’s Eni – in western Tripoli, disrupting gas supply to Italy. This is the latest in a recent string of disruptions at oil facilities. In January the Sharara oil field – the country’s largest – was shut down by residents for two weeks to protest deteriorating public services. Further disruptions cannot be ruled out.

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

Sub-Saharan Africa: President Sall’s national dialogue unlikely to resolve impasse in Senegal

Sectors: all
Key risks: political instability; civil unrest; business disruptions

In Senegal on 26 February President Macky Sall is expected to begin a two-day national dialogue organised with political stakeholders and civil society groups to reach a consensus regarding the date of the delayed presidential election. On 22 February Sall committed to leaving office when his mandate ends on 2 April, however, he added that he would not set a new election date without dialogue. Sall’s decision to leave office came after on 15 February the Constitutional Council ruled that the decision to postpone the 25 February presidential election to 15 December was unconstitutional. On 23 February the Aar Sunu Election (Let’s Protect Our Election) coalition, alongside 16 out of 19 presidential candidates, announced that they would boycott the dialogue. The risk of nationwide protests will remain high in the coming days.

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