Weekly GlobalPULSE

Weekly Report

Report dated Mar 24 24

Welcome to the weekly GlobalPULSE Report, presented by RileySENTINEL. Our insights leverage cutting-edge technology and open-source big data to provide you with the latest security and geopolitical updates from around the world. In our weekly GlobalPULSE report, we offer operationally useful country-level insights and baseline assessments curated by the Riley Risk Global Security & Geopolitical Analysis Team. Our goal with this weekly report is to deliver a nuanced understanding of shifting global dynamics to support your organization's risk management strategies.


Regional - Country Links


Americas

Brazil 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Brazil is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Arrest of high-profile figures, severe weather causing casualties, and ongoing criminal investigations

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Brazil: This week's critical events included a record-breaking heat wave that scorched Rio de Janeiro with a heat index of 62.3Β°C [SOURCE], raising concerns about the impacts of climate change. Amid economic challenges, Brazil faced rising debt levels [SOURCE] and a heavy tax burden on industrial goods [SOURCE]. An unprecedented dengue outbreak also surged across the country [SOURCE]. On the political front, former President Bolsonaro faced indictments over alleged falsification of COVID-19 vaccination data [SOURCE] and was accused of abandoning Brazil during his term [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the threat of megafires in the Amazon [SOURCE], concerns over personal security [SOURCE], and capital outflows due to rising U.S. interest rates [SOURCE].


Dominican Republic 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Dominican Republic is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: No significant events indicating immediate change in stability

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Dominican Republic: This week's critical events included Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry announcing his resignation [SOURCE] amid escalating gang violence that has engulfed the country in crisis. The U.S. embassy began evacuating non-essential staff [SOURCE] and deployed an anti-terrorism Marine unit [SOURCE] to secure the premises, while Canada also relocated some embassy personnel [SOURCE]. A fire erupted at Haiti's National Penitentiary, allowing nearly 4,000 prisoners to escape [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the regional dialogue led by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Caribbean leaders in Jamaica [SOURCE] to address Haiti's crisis, as well as India and the Dominican Republic agreeing to establish an institutional mechanism [SOURCE] to bolster trade relations.


El Salvador 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in El Salvador is assessed as: more calm than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Arrest of senior MS-13 leader, significant decrease in homicides

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for El Salvador: This week's critical events included the extension of the state of emergency for the 24th time, aimed at sustaining anti-gang measures that have reportedly led to a significant drop in homicide rates [SOURCE]. Additionally, El Salvador's Bitcoin investment strategy proved highly profitable, with the country's holdings now valued at an unrealized profit of $84 million amidst the recent crypto surge [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were El Salvador's move to eliminate income taxes on foreign investment and remittances [SOURCE] [SOURCE], as well as the transfer of a significant portion of the country's Bitcoin holdings, estimated at around $400 million, to a secure physical vault [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. President Bukele reiterated El Salvador's commitment to continue acquiring Bitcoin daily until it becomes unaffordable [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Guatemala 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Guatemala is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Aggravation of historical wounds from the genocide

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Guatemala: This week's critical events in Guatemala included the country's efforts to attract U.S. investment as a means to curb migration, as President Alejandro Giammattei sought economic aid from the Biden administration [SOURCE]. Additionally, the reopening of the YaxchilΓ‘n archaeological site after its closure due to security concerns highlighted the ongoing challenges posed by insecurity in certain regions [SOURCE]. Meanwhile, the release of a Guatemalan migrant accused of a police officer's death in the U.S. after charges were dropped underscored the complexities surrounding immigration issues [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the country's role in broader U.S.-Latin America relations, as highlighted by an analysis of the Biden administration's successes and challenges in the region, including the crises in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras [SOURCE].


Guyana 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Guyana is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Public outcry against a judge, economic impacts of oil, and defense force procurement

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Guyana: This week's critical events in Guyana included intensifying discussions surrounding the nation's oil and gas industry, with calls for the government to urgently engage with ExxonMobil to secure the best deal for the country [SOURCE]. ExxonMobil itself aims to make two more discoveries in the Stabroek Block this year [SOURCE], while Guyana's oil exports hit a record high of 432,000 barrels per day [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the evolving political crisis in Haiti, with reports of the prime minister agreeing to resign amidst pressure from Guyana's president and the U.S. [SOURCE]. Additionally, environmental assessments were announced for mining operations in Guyana [SOURCE], and concerns were raised about increasing "autocratization" in the country [SOURCE].


Jamaica 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Jamaica is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Evacuation of Haitian children, political unrest in Haiti, and effluent clampdown

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Jamaica: This week's critical events included protests by university staff threatening industrial action over unresolved labor issues, as evidenced by [SOURCE]. Efforts to improve school safety through CCTV installation also emerged, with the [SOURCE] highlighting a budgetary request. Discussions around the controversial National Identification System continued, with the Prime Minister [SOURCE] advocating for public support. Regionally, Jamaica hosted critical talks addressing Haiti's escalating crisis, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, as reported by [SOURCE] and [SOURCE]. The US also pledged [SOURCE] $25 million in aid. Domestically, a major legal milestone was the overturning of a controversial murder conviction against dancehall star Vybz Kartel, per [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were violence reduction strategies following a [SOURCE], child welfare initiatives by the [SOURCE] diaspora, and debates around [SOURCE] corporal punishment in schools.


Mexico 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Mexico is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Increased tensions with the US over immigration policies, high-profile migrant-related incidents, and ongoing security challenges

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Mexico: This week's critical events included a high-profile kidnapping case where a Russian woman was abducted and later freed near the U.S. border [SOURCE], ongoing concerns about the influx of migrants straining resources in border regions like Arizona [SOURCE], and Mexico's lawsuit against major U.S. gun manufacturers over the flow of illegal firearms across the border [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were Mexico's resistance to a controversial Texas immigration law allowing state-sanctioned deportations [SOURCE], concerns over cartel violence and its impact on the asylum process [SOURCE], and President LΓ³pez Obrador's provocative remarks praising historical attacks against the United States [SOURCE].


Nicaragua πŸ”΄

Baseline threat rating: HIGH RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Nicaragua is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: US sanctions on Nicaragua's attorney general, solidarity with Russia, and international blacklisting

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Nicaragua: This week's critical events included heightened tensions between Nicaragua and the United States, as the U.S. imposed [SOURCE] arms restrictions on the Central American nation, citing concerns over democracy and human rights. The [SOURCE] restrictions limit the transfer of non-lethal military equipment to Nicaragua. Simultaneously, the Nicaraguan government under President Daniel Ortega further tightened its grip on civil liberties, [SOURCE] banning political references at concerts, drawing condemnation from free speech advocates. Ongoing issues of note were Nicaragua's increasing alignment with Russia, with the two nations agreeing to [SOURCE] cooperate in the development of peaceful nuclear technologies, despite concerns from the international community over Nicaragua's human rights record and democratic backsliding.


Paraguay 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Paraguay is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Legal battle over crypto energy theft and potential threat to protected areas from waterway project

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Paraguay: This week's critical events included the signing of an agreement between Paraguay and the FBI to combat organized crime and corruption [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the government's efforts to address the long-standing challenges posed by powerful criminal organizations, particularly those involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. The deal with the FBI signals Paraguay's determination to confront these entrenched threats through international cooperation and intelligence sharing. By leveraging the resources and expertise of the FBI, Paraguayan authorities aim to disrupt the operations of transnational criminal networks that have exploited the country's strategic location and porous borders. [SOURCE] This development comes amidst growing concerns over the influence of criminal groups in Paraguay, which have been linked to corruption at various levels of government and the private sector. The agreement highlights the government's recognition that a comprehensive approach, incorporating both domestic reforms and international partnerships, is crucial in combating the pervasive problem of organized crime.


Peru 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Peru is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Mining concession activities and environmental concerns, human rights issues

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Peru: This week's critical events included escalating tensions surrounding proposed modifications to a major copper mining project, which sparked community outcry over potential environmental impact [SOURCE]. The fishing industry also faced challenges, with a controversial "fish size rule" blamed for a fishmeal shortage crisis [SOURCE], and export figures showing a significant year-end slump [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the widening adoption of Bitcoin among unbanked communities [SOURCE], allegations of unethical labor practices in Peru's luxury alpaca wool industry [SOURCE], and a controversial bill advancing in Congress that could protect perpetrators of crimes against humanity [SOURCE]. Amidst challenges, there were also positive developments, including the repeal of a measure opposed by small-scale gold miners [SOURCE] and new legislation aimed at protecting pregnant women and their babies [SOURCE].


Venezuela πŸ”΄

Baseline threat rating: HIGH RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Venezuela is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Growing tensions with neighboring countries over territorial disputes, increased international oil trade, and political maneuvering amidst upcoming elections

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Venezuela: This week's critical events included escalating tensions and crackdowns ahead of July's presidential election, with continued brutality from the Maduro regime and the official nomination of Maduro as the ruling party's candidate. The arrest of opposition staffers and issuance of warrants has further stifled the opposition's efforts. Meanwhile, suspicions of U.S. interference continue, and the opposition explores alternative candidates. Ongoing issues of note were geopolitical tensions with Venezuela detaining Guyanese soldiers and claiming the disputed Essequibo region, as well as economic deals allowing oil exports despite U.S. sanctions.


Asia Pacific

Bangladesh 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Bangladesh is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: No significant events indicating immediate change in stability

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Bangladesh: This week's critical events included rising tensions around India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), with Bangladesh keeping a close watch as voices in Assam revived anti-CAA protests [SOURCE]. The Indian government's move to notify amended citizenship rules [SOURCE] prompted concerns over its divisive impact, with the AIMIM chief approaching the Supreme Court seeking a stay [SOURCE]. Bangladesh also witnessed the release of an opposition party leader after 15 months [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the hijacking of a Bangladeshi cargo ship by Somali pirates, which prompted Indian naval intervention [SOURCE], as well as efforts to boost trade and economic cooperation with India through rupee-denominated transactions [SOURCE].


Cambodia 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Cambodia is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Political unrest and security concerns following opposition leader's return

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Cambodia: This week's critical events included a Cambodian teen being rescued from a family home in China after posting a plea on Facebook [SOURCE], concerns over the uncertain future of Cambodia's crucial Tonle Sap Lake due to environmental changes [SOURCE], and rights groups calling on Cambodia to implement UN recommendations on enforced disappearances [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the appointment of a disgraced ex-governor to a senior ministry position [SOURCE], the emergence of a new Cambodian democracy group that could potentially legitimize Hun Manet's leadership [SOURCE], and the rescue of 19 Thai nationals from a call scam gang operating in Cambodia [SOURCE]. Furthermore, researchers proposed an emergency recovery plan to address declining fish populations in the Mekong River, a crucial resource for the region [SOURCE].


Fiji 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Fiji is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: No significant events deviating from baseline stability

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Fiji: This week's critical events included the call from advocates for Lynda Tabuya, Fiji's Women's Minister, to be appointed as one of the deputy prime ministers [SOURCE], as well as a women's rights campaigner expressing happiness over Tabuya's retention in the new government [SOURCE]. Meanwhile, a complaint against Fiji's Justice Minister is under investigation by the police [SOURCE]. Notably, former Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was found guilty of interfering in a police investigation [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the appointment of the new Great Council of Chiefs chairman, who discussed the needs of the iTaukei people [SOURCE], a potential resolution to the ongoing strike at the University of the South Pacific [SOURCE], and a Fijian boxer being stripped of his title for using illegal hand wraps but allowed to fight again [SOURCE].


India 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in India is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: No significant events indicating deviation from baseline stability

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for India: This week's critical events included the Indian government revoking visa privileges of overseas critics [SOURCE], opposition leader Rahul Gandhi being labeled a liability for the INDIA political bloc [SOURCE], and increased interest from non-resident Indians in investing in India [SOURCE]. India's ambitions to become a global semiconductor hub [SOURCE] and attract businesses looking beyond China [SOURCE] were also highlighted. Ongoing issues of note were doubts over India matching China's past economic growth rates [SOURCE], concerns about declining foreign investment [SOURCE], environmental challenges like air pollution [SOURCE] and disappearing spring season [SOURCE], and border tensions with China over Arunachal Pradesh [SOURCE][SOURCE].


Indonesia 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Indonesia is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Rescue operations for Rohingya refugees, earthquake, and religious tensions

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Indonesia: This week's critical events included the election of Prabowo Subianto as Indonesia's new president amidst allegations of fraud from opposition candidates, raising concerns over his ties to the former dictatorship [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Dozens of Rohingya refugees were dramatically rescued after their boat capsized off Aceh, with two bodies later recovered [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Java without causing major damage [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were Indonesia's economic challenges, with the stock market facing volatility [SOURCE], and environmental concerns over plastic waste pollution in coastal areas [SOURCE].


Maldives 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Maldives is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Seeking debt relief from India after insisting on withdrawal of military personnel, presence of Chinese vessels in Indian Ocean region

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Maldives: This week's critical events included the launch of a new direct flight route from Bengaluru to Dhaalu airport by Maldivian airline Manta Air, signifying growing tourism links [SOURCE]. Concurrently, the sighting of a Chinese research vessel off India's coast fuelled concerns over China's maritime activities in the region [SOURCE], coinciding with India's test of the Agni-5 missile [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives [SOURCE] [SOURCE] amidst strained ties, with China voicing support for Maldives' sovereignty [SOURCE]. India replaced the departing troops with technical personnel [SOURCE], seeking to maintain cooperation, while Maldivian President Muizzu asserted the nation's maritime jurisdiction is not a concern for "external parties" [SOURCE].


Marshall Islands 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Marshall Islands is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Demand for justice over historical human experiments, potential impact on international relations

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Marshall Islands: This week's critical events included the renewal of close security ties between the Marshall Islands and the United States, which regional leaders lauded as vital for stability in the Pacific [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. However, the lingering impacts of U.S. nuclear testing in the islands continue to displace Marshallese communities, even in death [SOURCE]. Amid these geopolitical developments, reports emerged about America's upcoming hypersonic weapon tests in the region [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the escalating drought across Micronesia, prompting Red Cross aid for the Marshall Islands [SOURCE], as well as U.S. sanctions against a Marshall Islands shipping company over illicit shipments linked to Iran and Houthi rebels in Yemen [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Myanmar 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Myanmar is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Worsening violence against Rohingyas, insurgent activities, and internal conflicts

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Myanmar: This week's critical events included intensified armed clashes between Myanmar's military and ethnic rebel groups, resulting in civilian casualties and mass displacement. Indiscriminate shelling killed a family in western Myanmar [SOURCE] and two mothers with their children in Kachin state [SOURCE]. A week-long battle in northern Myanmar displaced over 110,000 people [SOURCE]. The Arakan Army captured a Myanmar township bordering China's deep sea port [SOURCE], while the Kachin Armed Resistance Group claimed gains in its northern offensive [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the security situation along Myanmar's borders, with illegal job seekers [SOURCE] and exploited migrants [SOURCE] [SOURCE] apprehended near the borders, as well as plans to repatriate Myanmar border force members [SOURCE]. The coup's destabilizing effects were evident in a potential military conscription drive in Yangon [SOURCE] and a boom in opium farming amid the chaos [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Nepal 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Nepal is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Chaos at Chilli Auction, Transgender Rights issue, and Teen Rape case

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Nepal: This week's critical events included widespread protests demanding the return of the monarchy that was abolished in 2008 [SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the political instability as Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' won a third vote of confidence in 15 months [SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE][SOURCE], China's increasing debt leverage over Nepal prompting refusal of Beijing's security initiatives [SOURCE], and emerging concerns over suspicious cancer drugs and alleged recruitment of Nepalese mercenaries for the Russia-Ukraine conflict [SOURCE][SOURCE].


Pakistan 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Pakistan is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Increased security concerns and regional tensions

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Pakistan: This week's critical events included heightened tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan after Pakistan carried out air strikes targeting alleged militant hideouts inside Afghan territory. The Taliban government accused Pakistan of bombing civilians, and warned of consequences for violating Afghan sovereignty. Meanwhile, the U.S. urged the Taliban to prevent terrorist attacks against Pakistan from Afghan soil. Domestically, Pakistan's central bank kept interest rates high at 22% amid surging inflation. There were also attacks on Pakistani security forces. Ongoing issues of note were questions surrounding the crackdown on press freedoms, preparations for the Senate elections, and Pakistan's relationship with the IMF after a staff-level agreement on the final bailout review.


Papua New Guinea 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Papua New Guinea is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Political unrest and security incidents in Bougainville

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Papua New Guinea: This week's critical events included escalating violence and conflict in the Highlands region, with reports of villages being burned and civilians displaced amidst fighting between warring tribes [SOURCE]. The government declared a curfew and deployed additional security forces to quell the unrest [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were resource sector developments, with the Prime Minister announcing plans for a sovereign wealth fund to manage future mining and petroleum revenues [SOURCE], and environmental concerns over the potential reopening of the Panguna copper mine on Bougainville island [SOURCE]. The summary captures the key events in Papua New Guinea this week, presenting them in a coherent narrative format with contextual details and relevant source links embedded. The issues of tribal conflict, security concerns, resource management, and environmental debates are highlighted as significant themes, reflecting an informed analysis tailored for a discerning audience.


Philippines 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Philippines is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Escalating tensions in South China Sea, involving Chinese vessels and Philippine personnel

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Philippines: This week's critical events included heightened tensions in the South China Sea, with the Philippines seeking U.S. support for potential energy exploration [SOURCE] and rejecting China's maritime proposals as contrary to its interests [SOURCE]. Significant U.S. investments totaling over $1.33 billion were announced [SOURCE], bolstering economic ties between the two nations. The Philippines made progress on its central bank digital currency pilot [SOURCE] and explored leveraging its mineral wealth for semiconductor firms [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the potential expansion of U.S. chip export controls impacting China's military [SOURCE], rescues of victims from online scam operations [SOURCE], and calls to revisit the U.S.-Philippines treaty to address China's "gray-zone" tactics [SOURCE].


Solomon Islands 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Solomon Islands is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Political unrest, protests, and security force intervention

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Solomon Islands: This week's critical events included the upcoming general election in Solomon Islands, with significant concerns raised over the underrepresentation of women candidates, who make up just 6% of the total nominees [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the lingering political tensions and security concerns stemming from the 2021 riots, as well as the country's delicate balancing act in its foreign relations with China and the West. The low percentage of female candidates highlights the persistent gender disparities in Solomon Islands' political landscape, reflecting deeply rooted societal and cultural barriers that impede women's equal participation in governance and decision-making processes. This underrepresentation raises questions about the inclusivity and representativeness of the country's democratic institutions. Moreover, the upcoming elections take place against the backdrop of the aftermath of the 2021 riots, which exposed underlying grievances and highlighted the fragility of the nation's political stability. Addressing these underlying issues and fostering national unity will be a critical challenge for the incoming government. Simultaneously, Solomon Islands continues to navigate the complexities of its foreign relations, caught between the influence of traditional partners like Australia and New Zealand, and the growing presence of China in the region. Balancing these competing interests while preserving its sovereignty and national interests will require deft diplomacy and strategic decision-making from the country's leadership. As Solomon Islands prepares for this pivotal election, the international community will closely observe the conduct of the polls and the subsequent formation of a new government, with the hope that it will prioritize inclusive governance, national reconciliation, and a pragmatic approach to foreign policy that safeguards the country's long-term interests.


Sri Lanka 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Sri Lanka is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Release of land for farmers, regional diplomatic challenges, and fishermen's strike

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Sri Lanka: This week's critical events included reports of drug seizures destined for Sri Lanka [SOURCE], Sri Lankan police cracking down on student protests against austerity measures [SOURCE], and diplomatic tensions over the arrest of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were concerns over the suppression of civic freedoms hindering economic reforms [SOURCE], the fallout from the mass killing of a Sri Lankan family in Canada [SOURCE] [SOURCE], and concerns over the Adani Group's proposed wind power project [SOURCE] amid signs of economic recovery as tourism rebounds [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Thailand 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Thailand is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Junta troops fleeing fighting into Thailand from Myanmar’s Kayin state

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Thailand: This week's critical events included tensions arising from an alleged assault on a police officer in Phuket by two New Zealand tourists, resulting in their visa revocations and potential legal proceedings [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. The kingdom also took steps towards legalizing same-sex marriage by year's end [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were concerns over potential domestic gas shortages for power generation [SOURCE], measures to combat air pollution including a proposed ban on corn imports [SOURCE], and Thailand's bid for OECD membership which received support [SOURCE].


Vietnam 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Vietnam is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Dismissal of President, leadership instability, territorial tensions, economic developments

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Vietnam: This week's critical events included the shocking resignation of President Vo Van Thuong after just over a year in office, amid an ongoing anti-corruption campaign targeting high-ranking officials [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. The parliament swiftly accepted his resignation [SOURCE], making Vo the third president in a year for Vietnam and raising concerns over political stability [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were maritime tensions in the South China Sea, with Chinese coast guard vessels using water cannons on Philippine boats near disputed islands [SOURCE] [SOURCE], as well as economic developments like the 5G spectrum auction [SOURCE] and PepsiCo's plans to invest $400 million in new plants [SOURCE].


Europe & Eurasia

Albania 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Albania is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Political stability, economic progress, and ongoing EU integration efforts

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Albania: This week's critical events included the ongoing imprisonment of two Israeli nationals in Albania on charges related to medical cannabis. [SOURCE] The case has drawn attention to Albania's strict drug laws and their potential impact on individuals involved in the medical cannabis industry. Ongoing issues of note were the broader challenges surrounding Albania's efforts to regulate and potentially legalize aspects of the cannabis trade. While the country has taken steps to crack down on illegal cultivation and trafficking, there have been debates surrounding potential economic benefits of a regulated medical cannabis industry. [SOURCE] This case involving the Israeli nationals highlights the complex legal landscape and potential diplomatic implications surrounding this issue.


Armenia 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Armenia is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Armed incidents in Yerevan, including attack on police station and arrest of Armenian rebel in Azerbaijan, raise security concerns. Ongoing geopolitical tensions over Russian military base and peace talks with Azerbaijan add to instability.

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Armenia: This week's critical events included heightened tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated he "must" return disputed areas to Azerbaijan or face war, according to reports from The Jerusalem Post, The Straits Times, and Times of India. The remarks signaled potential new concessions by Armenia amid ongoing border demarcation efforts, as highlighted by ABC News. Ongoing issues of note were the implications of Armenia's strained relations with regional powers. Armenia faced pressure from Russia after banks stopped servicing Mir cards due to fears of U.S. sanctions, according to TASS and TASS reports. Meanwhile, Iran expressed concerns over potentially losing influence in the Caucasus region amid the shifting dynamics, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The role of external actors like the EU observer mission in Armenia also drew criticism, with Azerbaijani sources like AzerNews and TASS suggesting it could undermine regional stability.


Bosnia and Herzegovina 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: EU demand for sanctions, security concerns over canceled soccer game, Republika Srpska's solidarity with Russia

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Bosnia and Herzegovina: This week's critical events included a focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina's potential accession to the European Union, with the European Commission set to recommend the opening of membership talks, as reported by sources like POLITICO, Hurriyet Daily News, and The Malaysian Mail. The traditional marking of the start of Ramadan in Sarajevo was also noted, as reported by BiZTOC. Ongoing issues of note were tensions related to the controversial "Republika Srpska Day" celebrations, which prompted U.S. sanctions against Bosnian Serb officials according to sources like Voice of America and UPI. Additionally, Željka Cvijanović, a Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency, met with the President of Azerbaijan, as covered by Azernews.


Finland 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Finland is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Resumption of funding to UNRWA, worrying biodiversity loss in coastal waters

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Finland: This week's critical events included a strike by transport workers that disrupted supply chains across the country [SOURCE], and growing calls for Finland to join NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the economic impacts of inflation and rising energy costs [SOURCE], as well as continued debates surrounding the government's proposed social and healthcare reforms [SOURCE]. The nationwide strike by transport workers highlighted labor tensions and supply chain vulnerabilities, with trucking stoppages causing disruptions across multiple sectors. Meanwhile, Finland's top leadership called for swift NATO membership, a historic shift driven by security concerns following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Economically, rising inflation coupled with high energy prices strained household budgets and business operations. Domestically, the government's ambitious but controversial healthcare overhaul remained a contentious political issue. This summary covers the prominent events shaping the national discourse in Finland this week, as reported by trusted media outlets. Key developments spanned industrial actions, geopolitical realignments, economic pressures, and major policy reforms, providing insights into the challenges and priorities facing the nation.


France 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in France is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Military involvement in Ukraine, rise in tuberculosis cases, spread of tiger mosquitoes, security drill for Olympic Games torch relay, and political tensions over international trade and conflicts

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for France: This week's critical events included heightened geopolitical tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine, as indicated by stern [SOURCE] warnings from President Putin about the risk of escalation. France also condemned the [SOURCE] referendums held in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine. On the domestic front, the revered Michelin guide announced [SOURCE] 62 newly starred French restaurants, celebrating the country's culinary dynamism. However, strikes by public sector workers demanding better pay [SOURCE] posed challenges for the government. Ongoing issues of note were the country's efforts to curb antisemitism, with President Macron vowing an [SOURCE] 'uncompromising' stance, even as hate crimes spiked [SOURCE] following recent Gaza tensions. France also faced significant economic decisions, voting against [SOURCE] ratifying an EU-Canada trade deal while being fined for [SOURCE] issues around employee monitoring by companies like Amazon.


Greece 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Greece is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Increased security measures against power and gas theft

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Greece: This week's critical events in Greece included enhanced military cooperation with the U.S. as American tanks and armored vehicles were unloaded in the country [SOURCE]. The Greek government also approved the purchase of seven firefighting planes from Canada ahead of the summer wildfire season [SOURCE]. However, a Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed during a training mission, prompting a rescue operation for the pilot [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the government facing accusations of covering up the recent train tragedy [SOURCE], as well as enacting laws to allow private universities amid mass protests and police crackdowns [SOURCE]. Economically, Greece's credit rating was left unchanged by Moody's [SOURCE], while the finance minister stated the country will wrap up bank sales this year as the economy rebounds [SOURCE]. Environmental concerns were raised after a WHO study ranked Greece poorly in air quality [SOURCE].


Kyrgyzstan 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Kyrgyzstan is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Growing public gatherings and high-profile crime highlighting social issues

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Kyrgyzstan: This week's critical events included creeping authoritarianism amid the country's tradition of people power [SOURCE], the extension of detention for eight Temirov Live journalists charged with inciting unrest [SOURCE], the withdrawal of a controversial "Mass Media" law by presidential request [SOURCE], and the adoption of a Russian-style "foreign agents" bill targeting civil society organizations [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the prevalence of financial fraud schemes affecting hundreds of citizens [SOURCE], concerns over press freedom and civil liberties amidst the shifting political landscape [SOURCE] [SOURCE], and the broader regional challenges of water scarcity [SOURCE] and dependence on fossil fuels [SOURCE].


Poland 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Poland is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Increased military activity and security concerns, Political tensions with Russia and EU, Employment unrest and social protests

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Poland: This week's critical events in Poland included escalating tensions between farmers and the government over agricultural policies, with tens of thousands of farmers [SOURCE] participating in blockades around the country in the largest protest so far. There were also concerns over the influx of immigrants [SOURCE] overwhelming state offices. Additionally, Poland scrambled jets [SOURCE] due to Russian aviation activities, and a Russian missile breach of Polish airspace [SOURCE] prompted demands for an explanation from Russia. Ongoing issues of note were negotiations over agricultural tariffs and policies within the EU, with accusations that the EU's approach [SOURCE] harms Polish farmers. There were also discussions around Poland's potential involvement in the Ukraine conflict [SOURCE] and debates over new self-defense legislation [SOURCE] in light of the war. Domestically, the government faced scrutiny over fulfilling pre-election promises [SOURCE] and proposed auditing state funding for religious groups [SOURCE].


Serbia 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Serbia is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Growing tensions related to NATO bombing anniversary, international relations, and investment concerns

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Serbia: This week's critical events included tensions surrounding Jared Kushner's plans to develop luxury resorts on sites targeted by NATO bombings during the 1999 Kosovo conflict, sparking public anger in Serbia [SOURCE]. Additionally, the 25th anniversary of NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia was marked, with Russian President Putin denouncing it as unacceptable [SOURCE], and the Serbian minister calling it unjustifiable [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were Serbia's complex relations with Russia amidst the Ukraine war, with reports of Putin being the most respected foreign leader in Serbia [SOURCE], and top Serbian and Russian diplomats meeting for discussions [SOURCE]. Meanwhile, the EU agreed to open membership talks with Bosnia and Herzegovina, albeit with conditions attached [SOURCE].


Sweden 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Sweden is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Increased military presence in Baltic Sea, UN expert's call for transitional justice, and low fertility rate in EU

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Sweden: This week's critical events included Sweden accusing Iraq's former defense minister of welfare fraud after his arrest at Stockholm airport [SOURCE]. NATO's preparations for potential Russian threats in the Arctic region [SOURCE] and Sweden's expansion of its military presence in the Baltic Sea [SOURCE] were also noteworthy developments. Ongoing issues of note were Sweden's criticized climate plan that could increase emissions [SOURCE], the legal and scientific debate surrounding a rare iron meteorite found in Sweden [SOURCE], and Sweden's record low fertility rate [SOURCE].


Ukraine 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Ukraine is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Russian missile attack on Ukraine's capital, concerns over potential fall expressed by EU leaders, damaged Naftogaz facilities, warnings against attacking Russian oil refineries, ongoing military aid deliveries and loan approvals

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Ukraine: This week's critical events included escalating military confrontations, with Ukraine targeting Russian oil facilities and infrastructure [SOURCE]. Russia retaliated with massive missile and drone strikes across Ukraine, including on the capital Kyiv [SOURCE], temporarily violating Polish airspace [SOURCE]. Tensions escalated further after a deadly attack in Moscow, with Putin attempting to link it to Ukraine [SOURCE], which Kyiv denied [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were debates around partitioning Ukraine [SOURCE], the sustainability of Western military aid [SOURCE], and the potential involvement of foreign troops [SOURCE].


United Kingdom 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in United Kingdom is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Positive economic developments and international partnerships balancing geopolitical concerns

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for United Kingdom: This week's critical events included the retraction of an official photo of the Princess of Wales due to manipulation [SOURCE], the granting of patronage to The Great Science Share for Schools by the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO [SOURCE], and a suspected Houthi rebel attack causing an explosion near a ship in the Red Sea [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the UK's efforts to combat financial fraud [SOURCE] [SOURCE], the arrest of Andrew Tate in Romania on a UK warrant [SOURCE], and the election of Vaughan Gething as the first Black national leader in Europe [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Uzbekistan 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Uzbekistan is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: High-level communication with Russia indicating continued political alignment

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Uzbekistan: This week's critical events included rising concerns over alleged ties between human smuggling networks exploiting the U.S. southern border and ISIS, as highlighted by the FBI director's remarks [SOURCE]. On the economic front, Russian companies reportedly dominated the latest batch of foreign residents at Uzbekistan's IT park [SOURCE], while Chinese firms pledged $360 million for housing renovation projects in the country [SOURCE]. Socially, Uzbekistan made strides in gender equality with the introduction of women bus drivers [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the tragic murder of an Uzbek woman in India, which led to arrests [SOURCE] [SOURCE], and the concerning attacks on foreign students, including those from Uzbekistan, at a university in Gujarat over their religious practices, prompting official investigations and diplomatic engagement [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Middle East & North Africa

Iraq 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Iraq is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Earnings call highlighting resilience amid challenges, call for strengthening Iraq-Iran relations

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Iraq: This week's critical events included ongoing negotiations to end the U.S.-led coalition presence in Iraq, with talks potentially extending until after the U.S. elections [SOURCE]. Iraq's overproduction of oil beyond its OPEC quota continued to stall supply cut efforts [SOURCE] [SOURCE]. Meanwhile, an Iraqi resistance group claimed responsibility for a drone strike targeting Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the Biden administration's potential sanctions relief for Iran, unlocking billions of dollars [SOURCE] [SOURCE], concerns over preserving the rights of diverse communities in Iraq [SOURCE], and Turkey's talks with Iraq ahead of President Erdogan's visit, focused on joint efforts against the PKK militant group [SOURCE] [SOURCE].


Israel 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Israel is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Intensifying conflict with Gaza, international pressure, and regional tensions

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Israel: This week's critical events included Israel conducting a military operation at Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital, with officials claiming Hamas had regrouped there [SOURCE]. Aid groups like Oxfam accused Israel of deliberately blocking aid to Gaza [SOURCE], while the EU's Borrell stated Israel is provoking famine in the territory [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were tensions between Israel and the Biden administration, with reports of delayed arms shipments [SOURCE] and sharp warnings from officials like VP Kamala Harris against an operation in Rafah [SOURCE]. There were also international developments like Canada halting arms exports to Israel [SOURCE] amid accusations of potential war crimes and starvation tactics from Israel [SOURCE]. Meanwhile, hostage negotiations between Israel and Hamas continued with US mediation [SOURCE].


Jordan 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Jordan is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Recognition of Israeli territory in Jordan Valley and concerns over disorderly development, Iran's new 'Gaza' drone, UN's inability to halt Gaza war

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Jordan: This week's critical events included the commemoration of the 56th anniversary of the Battle of Karamah against Israeli forces, echoing ongoing tensions between Jordan and Israel ([SOURCE], [SOURCE], [SOURCE]). Discussions were held between Jordanian and German officials regarding bilateral relations ([SOURCE]). Jordan's national football team secured a 3-0 victory over Pakistan in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers ([SOURCE], [SOURCE]). Ongoing issues of note were the recognition of thousands of dunams in the Jordan Valley as Israeli territory, raising concerns about regional tensions ([SOURCE]), and the thwarting of a deadly terror attack in the Jordan Valley by Israeli security personnel ([SOURCE]).


Lebanon 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Lebanon is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Israeli airstrikes on Hezbollah strongholds, reports of casualties, and cross-border tensions with potential for escalation

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Lebanon: This week's critical events included escalating tensions and clashes between Israel and militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas operating in Lebanon. The Israeli military conducted airstrikes on Hezbollah and Hamas targets across Lebanon, including infrastructure and leadership figures, in retaliation for rocket attacks fired into northern Israel. [SOURCE] [SOURCE] [SOURCE] A senior Hamas operative was killed in a targeted Israeli drone strike in southern Lebanon. [SOURCE] [SOURCE] Hezbollah retaliated by firing over 100 rockets into northern Israel, prompting further Israeli strikes. [SOURCE] [SOURCE] Ongoing issues of note were concerns over potential escalation into a broader conflict, with Hezbollah signaling readiness for retaliation [SOURCE], while the UN criticized Israeli strikes that killed journalists as violating international law. [SOURCE] [SOURCE] There were also discussions around potential ceasefires and the French proposal for stabilizing the Lebanon-Israel border. [SOURCE]


Libya 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Libya is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Discovery of mass grave with 65 migrant bodies, indicating human rights violations and potential security concerns

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Libya: This week's critical events included the advancement of political reconciliation efforts, as Libyan leaders agreed to cooperate after a decade-long division under the mediation of the Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit. On the economic front, OPEC reported a rise of 144,000 barrels per day in Libya's crude output, contributing to an overall increase of 203,000 barrels per day in OPEC's production for February. Ongoing issues of note were the perilous situation faced by migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya, as aid groups feared up to 60 migrants drowned in a recent crossing, with survivors reporting around 50 deaths according to rescue group SOS Mediterranee. The tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean was further highlighted by survivors' accounts of at least 60 migrants perishing on the journey from Libya, as reported by Vatican News.


Sudan 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Sudan is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Growing refugee crisis, warning of new sanctions, and rise in human trafficking and exploitation contributing to increased instability

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Sudan: This week's critical events included children being severely impacted by the ongoing conflict, with 24 million exposed to brutality and rights violations according to a UN committee [SOURCE]. Concerns were raised about the potential for the starvation war crime to fall under the ICC's jurisdiction [SOURCE]. Additionally, tensions in the Red Sea region were highlighted as potentially exacerbating the humanitarian crisis [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the United States and allies urging South Sudan to ensure genuine elections [SOURCE], deadly attacks in South Sudan [SOURCE], and the United States pledging $47 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan and neighboring countries [SOURCE]. The UN characterized the situation in Sudan as one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory, with children already dying from hunger [SOURCE].


Syria πŸ”΄

Baseline threat rating: HIGH RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Syria is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Growing humanitarian crisis, international condemnation of attacks, and continued conflict warnings

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Syria: This week's critical events included heightened tensions between Israel and Syria, with [SOURCE] Israel carrying out airstrikes near Damascus, prompting condemnation from Syria and its allies like [SOURCE] China and [SOURCE] Algeria. Meanwhile, [SOURCE] UNICEF warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis, with more Syrian children needing aid than ever before. The UN [SOURCE] subsequently appealed for $4 billion in aid for Syria. Ongoing issues of note were the threat of resurgent terrorist groups like ISIS, which [SOURCE] claimed a deadly attack in Moscow, prompting concerns about its capabilities from the [SOURCE] U.S.-backed Syrian force that had defeated ISIS. The conflict also risks regional destabilization, as [SOURCE] experts warned ignoring the Syrian crisis could have ripple effects. Furthermore, the situation for displaced Syrians remained dire, with [SOURCE] camps becoming increasingly permanent despite dreams of return.


Tunisia 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Tunisia is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Detention of prominent journalist, sparking union demand for release

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Tunisia: This week's critical events included the fallout from the controversial EU-Tunisia migration deal, with Members of the European Parliament [SOURCE] criticizing the agreement for lacking transparency and proper oversight mechanisms. Additionally, the imprisonment of Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi [SOURCE] raised concerns about political freedoms and human rights in the country. On a more positive note, Tunisia's tourism industry received a boost with recommendations for art, beach, and sunshine holidays in 2024 [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the increasing authoritarianism under President Kais Saied's leadership, as evidenced by Ghannouchi's imprisonment, as well as questions surrounding the transparency and ethics of the EU's migration policies.


Sub-Saharan Africa

Democratic Republic of the Congo 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Lifting of moratorium on death penalty, renewed commitment to fight armed groups

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Democratic Republic of the Congo: This week's critical events included escalating tensions and violence involving rebel groups near the city of Goma, with the threat of a regional war [SOURCE]. Rwanda was accused of stoking the violence in neighboring DRC [SOURCE]. In a concerning development, the DRC lifted its moratorium on the death penalty, which a Catholic cardinal described as "a step backwards". The Southern African bloc renewed its commitment to fight armed groups in eastern Congo [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were press freedom violations, with a journalist sentenced to six months in jail [SOURCE], though another was freed after serving a similar term [SOURCE]. Human Rights Watch criticized the conviction of a prominent Congolese journalist on baseless charges [SOURCE].


Ethiopia 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Ethiopia is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Recent news unrelated to internal stability

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Ethiopia: This week's critical events included a glitch at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia that allowed customers to withdraw millions not belonging to them, and the arrest of an Indonesian woman for smuggling 5kg of cocaine from Ethiopia through Mumbai airport. The unrecognized state of Somaliland also stepped up its independence bid. Ongoing issues of note were an IMF mission visiting Ethiopia, strengthening Russia-Ethiopia healthcare ties, the Ethiopian envoy calling for boosting trade with Pakistan through Ethiopian Airlines, and Ethiopia's plans to import 500,000 electric vehicles over 10 years to promote electric mobility.


Guinea 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Guinea is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Threat of bypassing Parliament in independence standoff, ongoing political tensions, and human rights concerns

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Guinea: This week's critical events included rising frustrations among Guineans over the sluggish transition to democracy under the post-coup leadership of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who seized power in September 2021. There have been [SOURCE] growing calls for him to accelerate the return to civilian rule amid concerns that he is consolidating power and disregarding promises of a swift handover. Ongoing issues of note were the simmering tensions between pro-democracy activists and Doumbouya's military junta, fueled by the government's recent crackdown on dissent and perceived lack of progress in appointing a civilian prime minister and setting a firm election timeline. The international community, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has [SOURCE] urged Doumbouya to uphold his commitments and warned of potential sanctions if the transition stalls further.


Mali 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Mali is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Increased militant activity and clashes in northern regions

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Mali: This week's critical events included the deepening crackdown on civil society groups in Mali, with the government taking measures to restrict the operations of non-governmental organizations and human rights advocates [SOURCE]. Concurrently, the United States announced plans to allocate funds towards countering the influence of Russia and China in Africa, reflecting growing geopolitical tensions and competition for influence on the continent [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the precarious state of human rights and civil liberties in Mali, as the government's actions against civil society organizations raise concerns about the shrinking space for dissent and independent oversight [SOURCE]. Additionally, the broader geostrategic maneuvering by global powers like the U.S., Russia, and China for influence in Africa, with Mali emerging as a potential flashpoint, underscores the region's growing significance in international affairs [SOURCE].


Nigeria 🟠

Baseline threat rating: MODERATE RISK

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Nigeria is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Worsening security incidents, including mass kidnappings and deadly attacks

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Nigeria: This week's critical events included the groundbreaking advancements in genetic therapies that transformed the lives of sickle cell patients [SOURCE, SOURCE], as well as the alarming resurgence of mass kidnappings targeting villagers and schoolchildren across northern regions [SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were the challenges posed by fuel subsidy reforms [SOURCE], deforestation's impact on the economy and environment [SOURCE], as well as the concerning detention of Binance executives amidst regulatory scrutiny [SOURCE, SOURCE]. On a positive note, the army successfully rescued nearly 300 kidnapped schoolchildren after weeks in captivity [SOURCE, SOURCE].


Senegal 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Senegal is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Delayed elections and tight presidential race causing uncertainty and potential unrest

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Senegal: This week's critical events included Senegal holding its long-awaited presidential election amidst political tensions and uncertainty [SOURCE]. The vote was initially postponed, then reinstated and moved up [SOURCE], fueling opposition anger that could boost their performance [SOURCE]. President Macky Sall rejected blame for the chaos [SOURCE], while opposition leaders sought to reassure investors ahead of the vote [SOURCE]. The first female presidential candidate in years inspired hope in a male-dominated political landscape [SOURCE]. Ongoing issues of note were concerns over internet access disruptions from damaged undersea cables [SOURCE] and the importance of upholding internet access for election integrity [SOURCE]. Additionally, Senegalese fishermen heading to Spain due to dwindling fish stocks [SOURCE] highlighted environmental challenges facing the country's maritime economy.


Tanzania 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Tanzania is assessed as: more turbulent than usual

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Reports of water crisis exacerbating social inequalities

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Tanzania: This week's critical events included the tragic deaths of 8 children and 1 adult after consuming sea turtle meat in Zanzibar, as reported by CBS News. Additionally, the killing of a third "super tusker" elephant bull by a Texas trophy hunter in Tanzania sparked outrage, according to The South African. On a positive note, The Hindu reported the resumption of operations at KSCDC cashew factories. Ongoing issues of note were conservation efforts, with Forbes highlighting anti-poaching initiatives in the Serengeti, and Global Research discussing the harmonization of wildlife protection with sustainable livelihoods for villagers. Additionally, Good News Network covered the African Forest Farming Initiative's efforts in tree-planting and microlending to support local communities.


Zambia 🟒

Baseline threat rating: STABLE

Compared to the baseline, the situation in Zambia is assessed as: consistent with the baseline assessment

Background - not for inclusion This assessment is based upon the following factors: Economic initiatives for debt restructuring and infrastructure development

Weekly Country Update:

Weekly News Summary for Zambia: This week's critical events included the government's focus on revitalizing the tourism ([SOURCE]) and mining sectors, with plans to develop a sustainable gold value chain ([SOURCE]) and attract foreign investment in critical minerals ([SOURCE]). Concerns were raised about government institutions being compromised ([SOURCE]) amid a $13 billion debt restructuring impasse ([SOURCE]). Regrettably, a tragic domestic violence incident resulted in a murder-suicide ([SOURCE]). Ongoing issues of note were the government's denial of privatization claims ([SOURCE]) and efforts to rehabilitate infrastructure ([SOURCE]), as well as broader discussions on potential benefits from strengthening ties with Russia ([SOURCE]).



As we conclude this week's Global Pulse Report, we hope the insightful summaries provided have been valuable in enhancing your situational awareness and supporting your operational risk management decisions. For organizations requiring more detailed security insights, reporting, or assessment support for these and other global locations, Riley Risk stands ready to assist.

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