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  • OSINTSUM: Wednesday 3 April 2024

OSINTSUM: Wednesday 3 April 2024

The day's most pressing geopolitical issues in brief

OSINTSUM
Global Situation Update
Wednesday 3 April 2024

Africa

Gabon: Gabon’s National Dialogue has been opened by Transitional President General Brice Oligui Nguema - who has ruled the country since ousting former president Ali Ben Bongo in a coup in August last year - with the aim of paving the way for a return to civilian rule.
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Sudan: The Sudanese state news agency, SUNA, said the work of Saudi Arabia-owned broadcasters Al Arabiya and Al Hadath, and United Arab Emirates-owned Sky News Arabia were being suspended in the country due to “lack of commitment to professionalism”.
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Uganda: A petition to overturn the country’s controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act - which imposes penalties of up to life in prison for consensual same-sex relations - has been rejected by the country’s constitutional court.
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Asia

China: President Xi Jinping held a phone call with US President Joe Biden yesterday in an effort to minimise tensions between the two superpowers, discussing avenues of co-operation such as shared efforts to combat climate change and narcotics, but disagreeing over Taiwan and economic issues.
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China: The Caixin services purchasing managers index - a private gauge of China’s service industry - rose for a 15th month in a row in further evidence the world’s second-largest economy was recovering following government stimulus measures.
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Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan’s Interbank Processing Center said it will “stop servicing” Russia’s Mir bank cards from 5 April to minimise falling victim to secondary sanctions from the West.
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North Korea: Leader Kim Jong Un declared his country had acquired the ability to build solid-fuel, nuclear-capable systems for missiles of all ranges following the test firing of a medium range missile earlier this week.
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Taiwan: At least seven people have died and hundreds have been injured in the most powerful earthquake Taiwan has experienced in decades, with officials warning of more tremors in the coming days.
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Europe

Cyprus: President Nikos Christodoulides says he has personally asked the head of the European Union’s executive arm to intercede with authorities in Lebanon to prevent Syrian refugees using the country as a departure point to sail to Cyprus.
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Europe: Inflation in Europe fell to 2.4% in March, with overall price rises falling in France and Germany, the continent’s two largest economies. Analysts say while this is moving closer to the European Central Bank’s goal of 2%, it is unlikely to induce it to announcing an interest rate cut.
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Germany: Nine suspected members of a right-wing terror group accused of planning a coup are to go on trial on 21 May after being arrested in raids across the country in December 2022.
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Norway: Norway is to increase its number of conscripted soldiers from 9,000 to 13,500 by 2036 according to an announcement that comes a month after Denmark said it was to extend conscription to women and increase the time of service from four to 11 months.
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Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters his country will recognise the statehood of Palestine by July during a tour of the Middle East.
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Israel/Hamas Conflict

Israel: Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has instructed ministry officials to explore how to prepare the public for a fully-fledged war against Hezbollah in Lebanon according to Israeli media.
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Isreal: Police say the third day of a planned four-day anti-government demonstration in Jerusalem turned into a “riot” as protesters attempted to bypass barricades to reach the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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Gaza: The United Nations World Bank estimates the cost of damage to Gazan infrastructure is $18.5bn at the very minimum in a report which describes the level of destruction in the Gaza Strip as “unprecedented”
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Syria: The foreign ministries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan have all condemned Israel’s airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus in separate statements.
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UK: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has demanded a “transparent investigation” into the Israeli air strike that killed three British aid workers along with four others in Gaza, telling Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he was “appalled” by the deaths.
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Latin America/Caribbean

Colombia/Panama: Rights group Human Rights Watch has accused Colombia and Panama of failing to protect the hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing the Darien Gap en route to the US, saying they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to robberies and sexual violence.
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Haiti: 53,125 people have fled the capital Port-au-Prince due to escalating gang violence between 8 and 27 March last month according to a report from the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration, adding to the 116,000 already displaced in recent months.
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Middle East

Iran: The US has told Iran it had no prior involvement or knowledge of Israel’s intention to conduct an airstrike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, after Iran vowed to exact revenge for the attack which killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, including senior generals.
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Russia/Ukraine

India: The families of a number of Indian men fighting for Russia against Ukraine allege they were forced into fighting against their will after being told by Russian authorities they had violated their tourist visas while visiting the country and had to either serve a year in the Russian military or face 10 years in prison.
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NATO: NATO Foreign ministers are holding preliminary talks over the potential establishment of a $108bn military aid fund for Ukraine as they seek to agree on a five-year support package for the country to assist its fight against Russia’s invasion.
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Russia: A Defence Ministry statement said there had been a significant rise in the number of people applying to join the armed forces since the 22 March Islamic State attack on a Moscow concert hall, adding over 100,000 had signed contracts to join up this year, 16,000 of which had come in the last 16 days.
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Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a bill to lower the mobilisation age for combat duty from 27 to 25, in an attempt to help Ukraine generate more fighting power in its war with Russia.
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US/Canada

Canada: Politician Han Dong has admitted he met with international students from China in 2019 and encouraged them to register as Liberal Party members to a federal inquiry into allegations China tampered with his nomination by bussing Chinese students into his constituency and coercing them into voting.
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US: The US and the UK have announced a new partnership on the science of artificial intelligence (AI) safety, with US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and British technology secretary Michelle Donelan signing a memorandum of understanding in Washington to work together on advanced AI model testing.
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US: A report by the Cyber Safety Review Board - created in 2021 by the Biden Administration - has accused Microsoft of a “cascade of errors” which allowed state-backed hackers from China to break into the accounts of senior US officials, adding that the company “still doesn’t know how the hackers got in”.
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And finally…

Botswana: The president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in protest at the German environment ministry suggesting stricter limits on importing trophies from hunting animals. Read more

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