Following the 27th murder of a Colombian community leader this year, Colombian officials and former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) met to discuss the implementation of the peace treaty and its obstacles. This may lead to improvements in the peace process, but it is still too early to determine with high confidence if the talks will lead to actual changes.
As Islamic State operatives have been pushed from the coastal town of Sirte into the Libyan Desert, there have been several reports of attacks on water and oil pipelines. The group, therefore, continues to pose a significant threat as it increasingly uses unconventional means to undermine Libyan security, despite losing its remaining territory in Libya.
Regardless of past indications, the Trump administration’s stance toward the Paris Climate Agreement appears to have shifted following an open letter from several of the country’s largest companies and wealthiest investors. This shift potentially indicates an inclination by the Trump administration to acquiesce to pressure from corporate interests. In light of this, it can be stated with moderate confidence that President Donald Trump will not remove America from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2018.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, the African Union, and the European Union’s French Mission have all participated in efforts to prevent armed conflict between Muslim and Christian rebel groups in the Central African Republic. However, it can be stated with high confidence that a civil war will flare up in the country in 2017.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently passed new sanctions against North Korea as a result of Pyongyang’s fifth nuclear test on September 9, 2016. The sanctions resulted in a verbose response by the North Korean government directed at the UNSC and the United States (US). It can be established with high confidence that such rhetoric is usual and sanctions will not have any serious effect for months, thus solidifying the view that the North Korean regime will remain stable throughout 2016.
On Wednesday November 30, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia agreed to a cut in oil production. A stipulation of the deal was that Nigeria, a member of OPEC, is to be exempted from the oil cut. With Nigeria’s reprieve and Angolan participation, it can be said with moderate confidence that, depending on the severity of the Angolan production cut, Nigeria may once again become Africa’s top oil producer by January of 2017.
Ten people with reported ties to the Islamic State were arrested in Russia over the weekend. The planned attacks come in the wake of Russia’s recent bombardment of Syria, and this development adds confidence to the statement that Russia’s internal security has suffered as a result of their involvement in the Syrian Civil War.
Muslim protests against the Christian governor of Jakarta show that ISIS has risen in popularity and will continue to be a concern in Indonesia even as it weakens in Iraq and Syria.
Four US states will feature gun legislation initiatives on their respective ballots in this year’s upcoming Presidential election. Given that the 2012 Presidential election saw only one state feature such an initiative on its ballot, this spike may suggest that recent mass shootings have instigated coordinated state level initiatives for policy change.
A recent report from the National Intelligence Service (NIS), South Korea’s spy agency, indicated that public executions have increased this year under Kim Jong-un, compared to last year. It can be stated with low confidence that the stability of the North Korean government has the potential to be negatively impacted by the executions.
With the joint operation to clear the Islamic state from its territorial control of Mosul in full swing, a prominent Iraqi Kurdish leader has signified that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will pressure Baghdad for its independence following the battle. This seems to signify that, despite cooperation between the KRG and the Iraqi Government in their joint endeavor to clear ISIS from Mosul, the autonomous Kurdish government is still intent on seeking an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have bombed an oil pipeline and threatened to intensify attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta if the Nigerian government strengthens military presence in the region. This indicates that Nigeria’s oil production levels may remain low due to continuing instability in the region.
Kazakh authorities have reported the arrests of groups of suspected terrorists in major cities in both August and October of 2016. Examined in light of terror attacks in major cities in the country earlier this year, these developments are indicative of an increase in popularity of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Kazakhstan and the wider Central Asian region.
Early last month, Detachment 88, Indonesia’s counterterrorism unit, foiled an attempt by the Katibah Gigih Ramat (KGR) Cell to launch a rocket at Singapore’s Marina Bay from the island of Batam. The failed attempt indicates the rising popularity of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Indonesia and shows that Indonesian Islamist militants are becoming increasingly globally-oriented. It can be stated with moderate confidence that Jemaah Islamiyah does not continue to pose a security threat today, as it has been overshadowed by ISIS.
Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian insurgency group Boko Haram, has resurfaced in a YouTube video insisting on the release of the Chibok schoolgirls only if the Nigerian government agrees to a prisoner swap. I believe with high confidence that, due to a faction war currently taking place within Boko Haram and now the willingness to negotiate with the Nigerian government, Boko Haram is not growing stronger.
Iran has said that they will consider joining talks and participating in an oil production freeze once their output reaches 4 million barrels per day. This may lead the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to freeze oil production, with the aim to raise and sustain the global price per barrel of oil.
By Grant Barratt, CIB Middle East Desk* United States Special Operations forces captured the Islamic State’s (IS) chemical engineer in Iraq last month. It is stated with moderate confidence that the detainment of this individual will delay and heavily impact IS’s ability to pursue the deployment of a large-scale chemical attack. According to both Iraqi …
The Oath Keepers, a right-wing patriot group has denounced the Bundy militia, known as Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, and opposed the occupation of the Malheur Refuge. This development shows that the so-called Sovereign Citizens movement is broad in scope, and that individual groups such as the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom and the Oath Keepers do not share the same level of extremism.
If passed by Congress, a potential increase in US military spending has the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) planning its biggest military build-up in Eastern Europe since the Cold War, aimed at deterring Russia. This has arisen with no offensive movement in the Baltic States from Moscow and may undermine the security and peace of the region if Moscow reacts to the build-up.
Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gómez was recently reported stating that the extradition of Sinaloa leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán could take up to a year to materialize due to numerous injunctions made by Guzmán’s lawyers. This additional time could help the Sinaloa Cartel maintain their cartel alliances and reduce the decline in power from losing one of their leaders.