Americas: Security forces targeted in IED attacks in two Colombian departments

Sectors: all
Key Risks: organised crime; violent crime

In Colombia, on 7 June security forces in Jamundi, Valle del Cauca department, and Popayan, Cauca department, were targeted in IED attacks. In Jamundi, a VBIED was detonated near a police station, while in Popayan, police facilities were damaged and one officer was injured in two drone attacks. Local media outlets reported that the EMC – the main faction of dissident former FARC rebels – was responsible for both attacks. The Minister of Interior described the attacks as “terrorist actions”. This came after on 17 March the government suspended the six-month bilateral ceasefire – originally effective until 15 July – with the EMC in Cauca, Valle del Cauca and Narino departments after an attack by the group in which an indigenous leader was killed in Toribio, Cauca. The risk of further attacks against security forces will remain heightened amid increased violence in the three departments.

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Asia Pacific: Intensified violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state draws international condemnation

Sectors: all
Key Risks: violent clashes; civil war

In Myanmar, on 7 June the casualties from a four-day military offensive on Singaung village, Thandwe township, Rakhine state reportedly stood at over 60 people killed and hundreds of others injured. The reports came after the Arakan Army (AA) claimed on 4 June that at least 76 civilians were killed in a two-day military raid in Byia Phyu village, Sittwe township, on 29 May. The international community, including the US and UN, have expressed alarm over recent reports of an arson campaign in Rakhine and attacks targeting the Rohingya – including forced conscription – as AA has gained considerable ground against Naypyidaw since late April. Between November 2023 and 8 March military airstrikes in Rakhine accounted for 19 per cent of the 588 recorded nationwide. Continued AA gains will likely prompt an escalation of the military’s air campaign, sustaining further civilian casualties.

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Eurasia: Reports emerge that Russian troops entered Ukraine’s Chasiv Yar

Sectors: all
Key Risks: war on land

In Ukraine, on 9 June media outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported that Russian troops had entered Chasiv Yar – a key frontline town in Donetsk Oblast that has been the subject of three months of sustained attacks – and had launched forays into its Kanal neighbourhood on 3 June. Kyiv has not publicly acknowledged such advances thus far. Chasiv Yar is located approximately 20 km from Russian-occupied Bakhmut which was captured in May 2023 and its loss would be a serious setback for Ukrainian forces in the area as the city hosts critical heights and roads to key Ukrainian-held military and population centres of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. Heavy fighting and shelling in the city are highly likely, with Ukrainska Pravda reporting that there had been 1,500 instances of shelling in the city between 3 to 9 June.

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Europe: GERB wins snap parliamentary election in Bulgaria, coalition talks to be difficult

Sectors: all
Key Risks: political instability

In Bulgaria, preliminary results from the 9 June parliamentary elections indicate that the GERB-SDS coalition, led by former prime minister Boyko Borissov, won with approximately 24.4 per cent of the vote. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) appeared to be on course to take second place with 15.9 per cent, while the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria (PP-DB) coalition is set to come third with 15.1 per cent. It was expected that GERB-SDS would form a coalition with DPS but the outcomes suggest that they would need another coalition partner to form a government. The 9 June election was the sixth one in the past three years, with all previous votes failing to produce a stable government. Political instability risks will remain high in the country and another snap election cannot be ruled out.

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MENA: Deadly IDF hostage rescue operation in Gaza jeopardises ceasefire deal

Sectors: all
Key risks: war; humanitarian crisis

In Gaza, on 8 June Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out a large-scale operation to rescue four Israeli hostages held by Hamas in al-Nuseirat refugee camp and Deir al-Balah district in central Gaza. During the raid, at least 274 Palestinians were killed and around 698 others were injured. Nearby hospitals were reportedly overwhelmed. The Israeli attack was described as a “bloodbath” by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, as the reported number of Palestinian deaths since 7 October 2023 reached 37,124, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry – numbers which are assessed to be widely underestimated by leading international human rights organisations. Head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh accused Tel Aviv of launching the raid to block any agreement that would end the war, raising fears of diminishing prospects for a ceasefire agreement amid talks over the latest US-backed proposal.

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Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa’s ruling ANC likely to form a government without MKP and EFF

Sectors:  all
Key risks: political uncertainty; political instability

In South Africa, on 6 June President Cyril Ramaphosa of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) proposed to form a multiparty government of national unity (GNU) composed of all political parties that participated in the 29 May general relations. For the first time since 1994, the ANC lost its parliamentary majority after it only secured 40 per cent of the vote, meaning it will need other parties to govern. So far, the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) – which came second – and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have expressed an interest in joining the GNU. The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, founded by former Jacob Zuma, and the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have all rejected joining a GNU which would include the DA. The ANC will likely form a GNU with the DA, IFP and other smaller parties by 17 June.

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