Conflict weary DR Congo votes on December 20
Tensions are rising in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as it prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections while struggling to contain myriad armed groups wreaking havoc in the mineral-rich east. The nation of about 100 million people is a battleground for more than 120 groups fighting for land and resources, some reportedly backed by or intervening in neighbouring countries, such as Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Uganda and Rwanda.
Aljazeera:https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/7/conflict-weary-dr-congo-votes-on-december-20-a-guide-to-the-election. December 7, 2023.
G5 Sahel: Niger and Burkina Faso leave anti-Islamist force
All three countries are run by military rulers following coups who have formed their own mutual defence pact.Their so-called Alliance of Sahel States (AES) was signed in September. But Chad and Mauritania are still part of the G5 force which is meant to be made up of about 5,000 soldiers.
BBC News: G5 Sahel: Niger and Burkina Faso leave anti-Islamist force – BBC News December 7, 2023.
Japan’s Likely Intervention in a Taiwan Contingency
It’s been calculated by strategic international affairs analysts that in the event of a military invasion of Taiwan by China, US involvement would be imminent in the ensuing conflict and Japan might play host to some of the US’s operations in the region. The logic is pretty straightforward: if China contemplates a full-scale invasion of Taiwan, it will have to accept the possibility of counter-attacks by Japanese forces. With a thousand or so missiles deployed in Kyushu and Okinawa, Japan would be in a good position to launch attacks on China’s landing aircraft headed towards the Taiwanese coast.
The Diplomat: Japan’s Likely Intervention in a Taiwan Contingency December 7, 2023.
Japan Fears Growing Threat from North Korea’s Latest Spy Satellite
Japan is facing a new level of military threat from North Korea following the launch of a surveillance satellite on November 21. After two previous failed attempts in May and August, North Korea’s spy satellite is in orbit, as confirmed by the U.S Space Force, although its capabilities remain unknown. Japanese Defense Minister, Kihara Minoru stated that the government is currently analyzing the performance capacity of the satellite. He conceded that it could be a sign of North Korea’s progressing military technology, which poses a threat to regional and international security. He then described the need for Japan to develop its space operation capacity to achieve space superiority against their adversaries.
The Diplomat: Japan Fears Growing Threat from North Korea’s Latest Spy Satellite December 7, 2023.
Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger’s foreign ministers on Friday recommended that the countries form a confederation following a two-day meeting in Mali’s capital, Bamako. The meeting aimed to flesh out the details of the new Alliance of Sahel States, created in September, which commits each country to come to the others’ aid in defense against external aggression.
Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/12/06/sahel-military-mali-niger-burkina-faso-coup-confederation/ December 7, 2023.
Heavy rains and landslides kill at least 65 in Tanzania
At least 65 people have been killed in landslides and flooding triggered by heavy rainfall in northern Tanzania, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Tuesday, revising the death toll of 68 given by regional officials a day earlier. Torrential downpours over the weekend washed away vehicles and brought down buildings in the hillside town of Katesh, 300km (185 miles) north of the capital, Dodoma.
Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/12/6/heavy-rains-and-landslides-kill-at-least-65-in-tanzania December 7, 2023.
Seychelles declares state of emergency after flood and explosion
Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan declared a state of emergency on Thursday after a blast at an explosives depot and heavy rains damaged an industrial zone and surrounding areas. The blast shook the main island of Mahe as heavy rains triggered flooding which killed three people.
Al jazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/7/seychelles-declares-state-of-emergency-after-flood-and-explosion December 7, 2023.