Americas: Bolivian Chamber of Heavy Transport calls for indefinite national strike

Sectors: export-oriented; logistics; all
Key Risks: business disruption; civil unrest

In Bolivia, on 13 June the Bolivian Chamber of Heavy Transport called for an indefinite national strike from 17 June amid ongoing fuel and US dollar shortages in the country, which have sparked large anti-government protests since 20 May. The strike will include nationwide road blockades in Potosa, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Oruro and La Paz departments, on the Pan-American highway and the Pisiga and Desaguadero international border crossings. The government imports fuel at international prices but sells it domestically at half the cost, straining the economy and contributing to the dollar shortage and declining international reserves. The strike will disrupt export-oriented production and logistics and will persist until a resolution is reached with President Luis Arce’s administration. The risks of civil unrest will remain heightened in the short and medium term, as shortages are set to persist.

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Asia Pacific: Myanmar’s junta set to lose control of all border towns with China

Sectors: all; trade
Key Risks: war; war on land; civil unrest; economic; business

In Myanmar, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) seized control of Sadung town, Waingmaw township, Kachin state, a town 40 km from Kanpiketi, the last border town with China in Kachin state that has not fallen to an ethnic armed organisation’s (EAO) control. On 11 June the KIA launched an offensive targeting China border trade routes and now controls all such routes. Daily border trade through Kanpiketi is estimated at US$400,000. Following the Ta’ang National Liberation Army’s (TNLA) successes since late December 2023 in controlling China border trade in Shan state, the junta faces increasing financial pressure. The fragility of the Beijing-brokered TNLA-junta truce is highlighted by the TNLA’s vows to retaliate if sporadic military attacks continued. The junta’s current manpower, even with enforced conscription, cannot sustain a four-front battle against EAOs in Rakhine, Shan, Kachin and Kayin states.

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Eurasia: Armenia’s PM proposes joint mechanism with Baku to investigate ceasefire violations

Sectors: all
Key Risks: war-on-land; political instability; civil unrest

In Armenia, on 15 June Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed the creation of a “joint mechanism” with Baku to investigate ceasefire violations by both sides. He added that military prosecutors or other officials from both countries could be involved. There was no immediate comment from Baku. The proposal came after on 14 June Yerevan rejected Baku’s 13 June claims that Armenian forces opened fire on Azerbaijan’s forces near Baku’s Nakhchivan exclave.  Accusations of cross-border shelling remain relatively common, although their frequency has substantially decreased following Baku’s takeover of Nagorno Karabakh on 20 September 2023. Pashinyan’s recent statement highlighted his willingness to cooperate with Azerbaijan, despite the recent wave of protests against the government’s 19 April decision to cede control of four villages to Azerbaijan. Baku will likely continue pushing Yerevan to make concessions, which may trigger further protests.

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Europe: Germany hosts Euro 2024 football cup amid threat of hooliganism and extremist attacks

Sectors: all
Key Risks: extremist attacks; mob violence

In Germany, on 16 June an assailant threatened police and bystanders with a hammer and petrol bomb and was shot and injured by police in central Hamburg.  The incident took place on the sidelines of a Euro 2024 football fan parade. The motive for the attack remained unclear, but the assailant reportedly showed signs of mental illness. Police stated they had no evidence he had any links to the football match. On 14 June the country began hosting the month-long tournament. Police are on high alert amid a rising threat of extremist attacks across Europe and groups such as Islamic State (IS) calling for attacks on major games. The risk of violent incidents linked to hooliganism will also remain high, as evidenced by the 16 June clashes between Serbian and English fans in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia.

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MENA: PM Netanyahu disbands Israeli war cabinet amid growing political divisions

Sectors: all
Key risks: war; political stability

In Israel, on 17 June Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the six-member war cabinet amid growing objections to the conduct of the Israel-Gaza war. The war cabinet was instituted at the start of the war to show unity between rival political factions, including with the participation of leading centrist politician Benny Gantz. However, on 9 June Ganz resigned from the war cabinet claiming that PM Netanyahu prioritised his political survival over the release of hostages in Hamas custody. Concurrently, Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition partners, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, had been pushing to join the war cabinet. Both have been ardent proponents of an uncompromising prosecution of the war, even to the detriment of Israeli hostages. The dissolution of the war cabinet is likely to make Netanyahu more reliant on his coalition partners and further radicalise Israeli war policy.

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Sub-Saharan Africa: Malawian President Chakwera unlikely to fully uphold coalition agreement

Sectors: all
Key risks: political uncertainty

In Malawi, on 10 June Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others were killed in a plane crash in the Chikangawa forest in the Northern region. While the cause of the crash remains unclear, preliminary findings suggest it was accidental, with no foul play suspected. On 11 June President Lazarus Chakwera declared 21 days of national mourning effective from 12 June. Chakwera and Chilima – both from different parties – formed the Tonse alliance in 2020, leading to Chakwera’s presidential victory. A crucial aspect of the Tonse Alliance agreement was that Chilima would be the coalition’s candidate in the September 2025 general elections. Chilima’s passing is unlikely to significantly alter the country’s policy direction. Chakwera will likely select the vice president from Chilima’s UTM party to ensure continued representation in government but will insist on being the alliance’s presidential candidate in 2025.

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