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CWA # 798, 6 October 2022

Conflict Weekly
North Korea's missile tests and Russia's annexation of four territories

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #144, 6 October 2022, Vol.3, No.27

An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and KAS-India Office

Avishka Ashok and Padmashree Anandhan


North Korea: Latest missile launch and the ensuing military drills in the Pacific Ocean

In the news

On 4 October, North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile which flew over Japan and landed in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Pacific Ocean. The missile flew 4,500 km at an approximate speed of Mach 17 reaching an altitude of 970 km. The launch marks the first time in five years that a North Korean missile flew past Japanese territory. It is part of the recent military drill where North Korea launched over five missiles in the last ten days.

On the same day, the US and South Korea responded to North Korea’s missile launch by engaging in a precision bombing exercise involving a South Korean F-15K fighter jet and two air-to-surface missiles. On 5 October, the countries took part in a second exercise and launched four missiles. The Joint Chiefs of Staff said: “Through the combined flight of the air strike package and precision strike drills, South Korea and the United States demonstrated their will to respond sternly to any Northern threats as well as their capabilities to conduct a precision strike at the origin of provocations based on the alliance’s overwhelming forces.”

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Japan and South Korea to condemn the firing of the missile over Japanese territory. The countries raised objections against North Korea for violating multiple UN Security Council resolutions. Meanwhile, Japan raised alarm, suspended train services, and urged its citizens to take shelter.

Issues at large

First, the increasing threat to Japan and South Korea. In 2017, North Korea flew the ballistic Hwasong-12 missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. In the past five years, although missiles have not flown past Japanese territories, often they landed in Japan’s EEZ. The recent launch is a reaction to the trilateral anti-submarine drill held by the US, Japan, and South Korea on 30 September. Before the launch, the North Korean military also fired two short-range ballistic missiles to object to US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South Koreas. In 2022 alone, North Korea has fired over 23 missiles signalling an increase in nuclear and military activities.

Second, the increasing technical capabilities of the North Korean ammunitions. Before the latest launch, North Korea had launched the same missile in January 2022. The missile flew 800 km at an altitude of 2,000 km and at a maximum speed of Mach 16. The Hwasong-12 first came to light in April 2017 when the test launch failed and exploded at the launch site. Following a few more failed attempts, the military successfully tested the weapon in May 2017. The missile is estimated to have a maximum range of 4,500 km with a 500 kgs payload.

Third, not just a regional threat. The threat from North Korea’s increasing technical capabilities is not limited to the region alone impacting South Korea and Japan; the recent missile’s flight range can reach the US strategic base in Guam where it conspicuously stores the nuclear-powered fast attack submarines and B-52 nuclear-capable bombers. The missiles also have the potential to reach US territories in Alaska.

In perspective

The increasing number of tests is a message to the US, South Korea, and other allies who have been urging North Korea towards nuclear negotiations. It seems unlikely that Kim Jong-un will cease the country’s nuclear program, especially after the legislature passed the law to ascertain its status as a nuclear power. Moreover, North Korea perceives the US to be a hostile country and believes that it needs to arm itself with advanced and high-tech ammunitions to protect its national interests.

The US, South Korea, and Japan have no choice but to keep up their counter drills and military exercises while urging North Korea to approach the negotiating table. Sanctions and forceful actions have proved to be unsuccessful and may not yield positive results given North Korea’s decisions in continuing its defence programs.


Russia-Ukraine: Putin signs the unification of Ukraine territories into law

In the news

On 5 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the unification treaties into law after the Russian Parliament ratified the same approving the annexation of DPR, LPR, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. This was done after the Constitutional court uniformly voted in favour of the treaty.

On 4 October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree No. 687/2022 invalidating the various decrees signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin between February and September this year regarding the four regions and declared them “null and void.” The decree re-emphasized the internationally recognised sovereign and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

On 30 September, the UNSC attempted to pass a resolution against the “unlawful annexation” by Russia. “The draft described the so-called referendums held by Russia in the four regions of Ukraine which Moscow now regards as sovereign territory – Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya – as illegal and an attempt to modify Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.” The meeting ended with no resolution due to Russia’s veto and China, Gabon, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstaining from voting.

Issues at large

First, continuing Ukraine's counter-offensive. Legally, Russia may have gone forward in declaring the four regions as part of Russia, but on the ground, Ukraine has maintained a steady defence and seems to be advancing rapidly since September recapturing north-western cities in Kharkiv. Ukraine was able to push the Russian forces further south of the city, launch attacks along the Dnipro River, battle out Russians north and south of Kherson, and recaptured Lyman. Simultaneously Russia was observed withdrawing its troops. Lyman is an important spot for Russia’s supply line, and also forms part of the Russian referendum. Ukraine now has the opportunity to advance further into Donbas and target Kreminna and Sievierodonetsk. Therefore, the coming months will be crucial for Ukraine and Russia to maintain their military supply.

Second, Russia’s retreat and annexation. On 21 February, Russia’s first move was declaring the DPR and LPR in the Donbas regions as “independent states.” Since the invasion, the Russian forces are observed to be moving forward to capture Ukraine’s main port cities, with only a few retreats in the western Ukrainian region. The situation turned around in September with a major retreat from Kharkiv, Kherson, and Lyman, possibly due to the shortage of military personnel, challenges in communication, mobilizing the equipment, and coordinating the new military forces. Although Russia has been quick in declaring votes and passing laws, as it did during the Crimean annexation, the cities (DPR, LPR, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia) included in the referendum, form a new eastern border of Russia outside Donbas. This can be seen as a geopolitical strategy to capture the Donbas and keep the zones in between as a buffer, substantiating its retreat.

Third, continuing the Russian veto. Thus far, the UNSC has attempted voting 20 times on this issue; however, it has not succeeded to pass any resolution against Russia. The recent draft resolution condemning the illegal referendums was vetoed by Russia again proving yet again the inability of UNSC mechanisms to resolve the conflict; the UNSC has only acted as a platform to take stock of countries that support (or do not support) Russia in the war. The US has therefore been compelled to lead the resolution at the UNGA, where a resolution can be adopted by a simple majority. This could demonstrate a stronger international positioning, but India and China have become the constant abstainers regardless of the nature of the resolution.

Four, public support for the referendum. The TASS, a Russian news agency, reported that there was more than 97 per cent support in favour of joining Russia in all regions in the recently held referendums. However, The New York Times said that people were forced to vote due to threats from the Russian forces. It alluded to the Crimean referendum where similar results were published in the TASS, and the UN found later that only 30 per cent had supported the annexation. Therefore, in the latest round of referendums, the internal dynamics or demographic composition of the public who voted in favour is unclear.

In perspective

First, an ambiguous ground situation. Ukrainian forces seem to be gaining ground in the east moving towards Donbas. The question remains if it can push back Russia and regain Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia, on the other hand, appears to be retreating from the cities mentioned in the referendums. With no clarity on the text of the referendum, or knowing the exact strategies of Russia, the purpose of the referendums on the ground appears to be ambiguous.

Second, Russia’s mobilization challenge. The withdrawal of troops from important regions which were under Russian control for months shows the emerging gaps in the Russian armed forces. With mobilization capacity reaching 200,000, including those that are still under training, can prove to be a grave scenario for Russia if the new troops fail to maintain the territories under Russian control. In such a case, Russia might have let go of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia completely and may still secure the DPR and LPR regions.


Also, from around the World

Avishka Ashok, Abigail Fernandez, Rashmi BR, Apoorva Sudhakar, Anu Maria Joseph, Padmashree Anandhan, Ankit Singh, Lavanya Ravi, and Vijay Anand Panigrahi

East and Southeast Asia

China: World Uighur Congress urges Japan to join the UN debate on Xinjiang

On 30 September, President of the World Uighur Congress Dolkun Isa visited Japan, met the members of the parliament, urging to push for a debate at the UN Human Rights Council. He reprimanded Japan’s actions and said that they were empty promises and were not enough to stop a genocide. He said: “The Japanese parliament has some obligation to more actively engage in the Uighur genocide.” Isa further explained that his group was currently fanning across the world to gather support from the US and the UK to address the issue at the UN Human Rights Council.

China: Tibet’s Former Vice Governor arrested on corruption charges

On 30 September, China’s state media reported that the Former Vice Governor of Tibet Zhang Yongze was indicted on charges of corruption. Zhang is the latest member of the Communist Party of China to be arrested in President Jinping’s anti-corruption drive. The state media said: “Zhang took advantage of his former positions and power to seek benefits for others, in obtaining government contracts and obtaining promotions, for which he illegally accepted a large amount of money and valuables in return.”

Myanmar: Resistance force attacks military training camp and kills 17

On 4 October, at least 17 were killed by the Myaing People’s Defence Force (PDF) in an ambush on the Pyu Saw Htee militia training camp. The encounter aimed at striking the military junta-backed training camp recruiting new members forcibly. The incident took place in the Magway region’s Pauk township, where the junta soldiers were training the recruits. The fighting ended when the attackers ran out of ammunition and retreated.

South Asia

India: Supreme Court ruling grants abortion rights to all women

On 29 September, the Supreme Court of India legalized the right to abortion for all women, irrespective of their marital status. The top court overturned the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971, which only allowed married women, widows, minors, divorcees, survivors of rape or sexual assault, and disabled and mentally ill women to undergo the procedure. The latest judgment allows any woman, including unmarried ones, to carry out the procedure at any time for up to 24 weeks. The court went a step forward and ruled to classify sexual assault by husbands as marital rape under the MTP law.

India: The first batch of indigenously produced light combat helicopters introduced

On 3 October, the Ministry of Defence introduced its first batch of indigenously developed fighter helicopters. The light combat choppers are a milestone achievement in the sector as they are specifically designed for use in high-altitude areas like the Himalayas, where China and India clashed in 2020. Furthermore, it also reflects India’s move to reduce its dependence on other countries to develop war machinery and arms. These helicopters are produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and tested at an altitude of 16,000 ft.

Pakistan: Government and UN launch revised flood flash appeal of USD 816 million

On 4 October, Pakistan and the UN jointly launched a flash appeal for USD 816 million, up from USD 160 million, based on an updated on-ground need assessment of the flood situation. Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman stated that Pakistan could not afford to spend more on recovering from devastating climate-induced floods. Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that Pakistan was on the verge of a public health disaster. This comes as the Pakistan government estimates the cost of the damage from the floods at USD 30 billion.

Afghanistan: Students hold protests after an attack on an educational centre; Taliban consults clerics on reopening girls' school

On 3 October, Tolo News reported that female students staged a protest in Balkh over the attack on the Kaaj educational centre in Kabul. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 53 people have been confirmed dead and 110 injured in the attack. The attack took place in western Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi area, home to a Hazara-dominated Shia Muslim community; so far, the attack was not claimed by anybody. Meanwhile, the head of the Afghanistan Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority, Ghulam Haidar Shuhamat, said that the Taliban is consulting religious scholars over the decision on the reopening of schools for girls. He said: “The clerics from all over the country are deciding on schools, and we are sure that our clerics will find a good solution.” On the issue of girl’s education in Afghanistan, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett said: “I was told that there are five people who are keeping the girls’ schools closed, five very powerful people, in the ... hierarchy, including the supreme leader, but the majority even on the Taliban side are in favor of the opening of girls’ schools.”

Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Yerevan and Baku accuse each other of renewed fighting

On 28 September, clashes broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, killing three Armenian troops. Following the clashes, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said: “Azerbaijani forces opened fire from mortars and large-calibre firearms at the eastern direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.” Conversely, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry blamed the Armenian side, saying it violated the ceasefire. Meanwhile, the European Union’s envoy for the South Caucasus and Georgia called for a probe into videos that allegedly show war crimes being committed by Azerbaijan and Armenia in recent clashes.

Kazakhstan: 200,000 Russians entered the country since Moscow’s mobilization calls

On 4 October, Kazakhstan’s Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov stated that 200,000 Russian citizens had entered the country since Russia announced a partial mobilization. Akhmetzhanov also stated that 147,000 Russian citizens left Kazakhstan in the same period of time. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan's Digital Development Ministry stated that since the mobilization announcement, more than 70,000 Russian citizens have applied for and received personal identification numbers, allowing them to open bank accounts and work in Kazakhstan.

Iran: Khamenei blames US, Israel amid continuing protests

On 3 October, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei responded to the ongoing protests in Iran, for the first time since Mahsa Amini’s death. Addressing the Police University in Tehran, he blamed the US, Israel and some “traitorous Iranians abroad” for the unrest. Further, he said that Amini’s death hurt the administration, “but reactions to her death before investigations… burn Qurans, take hijabs off covered women, and burn mosques and people’s cars- they are not normal and natural reactions.” On 2 October, the riot police raided the Sharif University of Technology, injuring students who were protesting since Mahsa Amini’s death.

Iraq: 13 killed in Iranian attack on Kurdish region

On 28 September, Iran fired missiles into the Iraqi-Kurdish region, killing 13 people and injuring several others. The target was the Iranian-Kurdish opposition group, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI), an armed outfit banned in Iran. The missiles and drones struck the KDPI’s bases in Koya, east of Erbil in Northern Iraq. The IRGC said that the operation would continue “until the terrorist bases are dismantled.” Iranian authorities have accused KDPI of involvement in the ongoing protests in the country over the death of Amini.

Yemen: Parties fail to extend the truce

On 2 October, a six-month truce in Yemen expired, and the parties failed to reach an agreement to extend a nationwide ceasefire. The UN Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg regreted the failure and called upon the parties to “fulfil their obligation to the Yemeni people to pursue every avenue for peace.” With the truce ending, there is a fear of an outbreak of violence that had receded since April 2022. The ceasefire had resulted in reduction of casualties by 60 per cent and better access to essential goods and services.

Iran: Attack by Baluchi separatists kills 19

On 30 September, armed Baluchi separatists attacked a police station in Zahedan, the capital of the Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hossein Modaresi, the Provincial Governor confirmed that 19 people, including four members of the IRGC were killed, while 32 other IRGC members were injured.

Nigeria: At least 12 killed by gunmen

On 4 October, BBC reported, Nigerian police said gunmen killed at least 12 people and stole dozens of cattle in the northeastern Taraba state. Residents said the attackers disguised themselves as security guards and raided the Mobizen village. Later, they opened fire on the crowd after pretending to be searching for armed criminals.

Somalia: At least nine killed in al- Shabab attacks

On 3 October, the BBC reported, police in Somalia said at least nine people, including senior regional officials, were killed in two car bomb attacks in Central Somalia’s Beledweyne town. Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack is said to be a possible retaliation for the killing of a senior al-Shabaab leader the previous week. The Somali government said Abdullahi Nadir, a senior al-Shabaab leader was killed in a drone strike.

Central African Republic: Three peacekeepers killed in blast near the Cameroon border

On 3 October, three UN peacekeepers were killed in a roadside bomb blast, near the country’s border with Cameroon in the northwest. The peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, said the blast took place when one vehicle in the battalion carrying out a patrol hit an explosive. The MINUSCA condemned the use of explosive devices by armed groups but did not name any suspected group.

Europe and the Americas

Europe: Outbreak of avian flu

On 3 October, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza reported that 48 million birds were culled in 2021 due to avian flu. This is the largest outbreak of the flu in the UK and Europe and is still spreading. UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said the persistence of the flu in wild birds led to increased number of cases in commercial farming. The numbers are expected to rise with the upcoming migration season. The latest figure only maps the damage from October 2021 to 9 September 2022.

Sweden: Undersea explosion caused the leak in Nord Stream pipeline, says investigation

On 3 October, Sweden provided “advance diving missions” capable vessels to the Baltic Sea to investigate the undersea explosion that led to leakage in Nord Stream I and II pipelines. The methane leak occurred near the economic zone of Denmark and Sweden in the Baltic Sea. On 30 September, Russia accused the West of sabotaging the pipelines; the West strongly denied the allegations. Swedish Coast Guards have reported that major leaks in the pipelines have stopped, however, Nord Stream-II has increased in smaller leaks. Denmark, Germany and Sweden are leading a joint international investigation team to find who is responsible for the explosion and the subsequent leaks.

Turkey: Warplanes neutralizes 23 Kurdish militants

On 2 October, Turkey’s Defence Ministry reported that 23 Kurdish Militants were eliminated by Turkish warplanes in northern Iraq’s Asos region. The Turkish Defence Ministry warned the regions controlled by the autonomous Kurdish regional government in Iraq to expect a growth in the number of casualties. The ministry said that it is conducting operations to prevent the Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), from attacking its border with Turkey. Operation Claw-Lock launched ground and air forces to battle against the Kurdish militants. PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the US, the EU and Turkey.

Slovenia: Parliament approves amendment to allow same-sex marriage and adoption

On 4 October, the parliament passed a family law amendment permitting same-sex couples to marry and adopt, making Slovenia the first country in Eastern Europe to do implement such reforms. The State Secretary said the amendment ensures rights that same-sex couples should have had long back. The amendment was approved by 48 MPs; 29 voted against the amendment and one abstained. The chairman of the main opposition party's parliamentary group said: "The best father will never replace a mother and vice versa."

Poland-Germany: Berlin responds to Warsaw's USD 1.3 trillion request for reparations

On 3 October, Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau signed an official note to Germany's Foreign Minister, requesting USD 1.3 trillion in reparation for a "permanent, comprehensive and final legal and material settlement of the consequences of German aggression and occupation from 1939 to 1945." On 4 October, the two foreign ministers addressed a joint press conference wherein Germany's Annalena Baerbock maintained that Germany upholds its historical responsibilities but clarified that the topic of reparations had been "closed from the perspective of the German government."

Europe: Hungary, Austria, and Serbia discuss migration

On 3 October, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic in Budapest. The three leaders discussed measures to limit migration into Europe. Orbán opined: "The economic downturn and the food crisis caused by the war and sanctions will also increase the pressure of illegal migration. Outlining that migration took place through the western Balkans, Orbán said: “The goal is to move the defense line as far south as possible. It is in the interests of all of us to move this line further south." Nehammer said migrants entered Austria through Serbia and said: "We will directly support Serbia to carry out repatriations and not only support technical know-how, but also do everything possible that is necessary, and financially support them." Vucic maintained that Serbia did not want to become a migration centre.

Haiti: Protests held over public health and safety crises

On 3 October, police used tear gas on thousands of people marching in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, protesting against the government’s handling of crippling fuel shortages and soaring prices. The latest protest came a day after health authorities said at least seven people died of cholera. The deaths indicated the problems Haitians have with access to clean drinking water. Separately, the WHO is setting up tents to treat cholera in Haiti and will also request a supply of oral vaccines against the disease. In July, Cite Soleil, the site of the outbreak, witnessed a bloody turf war that left some residents trapped without access to food and water.

The US: Judge dismisses USD 10 billion lawsuit against gun makers

On 30 September, a US judge dismissed Mexico’s USD 10 billion lawsuit that sought to hold US gun manufacturers responsible for facilitating the flood of weapons smuggled across the US-Mexico border to drug cartels. The judge said: “While the court has considerable sympathy for the people of Mexico, and none whatsoever for those who traffic guns to Mexican criminal organizations, it is duty-bound to follow the law.” Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said it would appeal the decision “and continue insisting that the sale of guns be responsible, transparent and accountable, and that the negligent way in which they are sold in the United States facilitates criminals’ access to them”.

Colombia: Government and ELN rebels agree to restart peace talks

On 4 October, Colombia’s government and the left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group announced that they will reestablish peace talks that were suspended in 2018. The statement also added, Norway, Venezuela and Cuba would be “guarantor states” in the talks and that the participation of civil society groups would be “essential” for the peace talks to succeed. Following a 2016 peace deal between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the ELN became the nation’s largest remaining armed group. Since then, it has increased its activities in territories that were formerly under FARC control.

Argentina: Protest against the IMF agreement

On 27 September, thousands of people marched to the Ministry of Social Development in Buenos Aires against the high inflation, reducing purchasing power of workers and increasing homelessness. Argentina is Latin America’s biggest economy and recently signed a loan agreement of more than USD 40 billion with the IMF. The protesters stressed that poverty data was underestimating and prevailing poverty situations irrespective of the job.

The US: Hurricane Ian wreaks havoc in Florida

On 5 October, AP News reported that hurricane Ian had claimed at least 84 lives of which 75 are from Florida and caused power outages for 2.6 million people in Florida. Thousands of people in the state are unable to access food or water. Biden has planned a visit to Florida to show support and solidarity. Biden and Governor Ron DeSantis, who do not agree on scores of policy matters, have agreed to set aside differences and politics and shift their focus on the recovery of Florida.

The US: Democrats focus on abortion rights as midterms approach

On 4 October, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris gathered several cabinet secretaries and top administration officials to discuss abortion rights with a group of doctors. The event marked 100 days since Roe v. Wade was overturned. The Democrats are giving a strong bureaucratic push to keep abortion in the center of their campaign for midterm elections. The Democrats are seeking to expand their slim majority in the Congress with the final aim of restoring abortion rights. States like Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and other Southern states placed blanket bans on abortion currently, while other states allow abortion anywhere between 6-24 weeks. Currently, very few states have no restriction on abortion rights.

The US: Biden speaks to Kishida after North Korea’s nuclear tests

On 4 October, Biden spoke to Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to raise concerns over North Korea’s longest ever test launch. In the test, North Korea fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile over Japan. The White House condemned the test in “strongest terms, recognizing the launch as a danger to the Japanese people, destabilizing to the region and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions." Leaders of the US, Japan and South Korea have agreed to coordinate a long term and short-term response together aimed at limiting North Korea’s “ability to support its unlawful ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs."

The US: Military aid of USD 625 million announced to Ukraine

On 4 October, the US announced plans to release USD 625 million in military aid to Ukraine. The package includes additional rocket systems: four HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems), 200 mine resistant vehicles and thousands of rounds of artillery and mortar ammunition. The package was detailed in a call by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The move follows Russia’s formal annexation of four territories of Ukraine, a claim dismissed as fraudulent by the West and its allies.


About the authors

Rashmi Ramesh and Ankit Singh are Doctoral Scholars at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Abigail Miriam Fernandez, Apoorva Sudhakar, Avishka Ashok, and Padmashree Anandhan are Project Associates at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Anu Maria Joseph is a Research Assistant at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, Vijay Anand Panigrahi is a Post Graduate Scholar from Pondicherry University, Puducherry. Lavanya Ravi and Sruthi Sadhasivam are Post Graduate Scholars from Christ (Deemed to be) University.

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