Conflict Weekly 77

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Conflict Weekly 77
Ceasefire in Ethiopia, Berlin Conference on Libya and the World Drug Report

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #77, 30 June 2021, Vol.2, No.13
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI & KAS-India Office

Apoorva Sudhakar and Jeshil Samuel J 

Ethiopia: Federal government declares unilateral ceasefire after TPLF recaptures Mekelle
In the news
On 29 June, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesperson vowed to clear the Tigray region off all "enemies." BBC quoted the spokesperson's remarks to CNN: "We will not stop until Tigray has been cleared of any and all enemy forces. We will do whatever it takes." On the same day, Tigray residents reportedly celebrated the recapture of Tigray by the TPLF.  Meanwhile, the US State Department warned that if hostilities continue in Tigray, Ethiopia and Eritrea should be prepared for actions from the US.

On 28 June, TPLF troops seized the regional capital, Mekelle, forcing Tigray's interim authority appointed by the federal government to flee. Following this, the federal government declared a unilateral ceasefire. Al Jazeera quoted from the statement: "This unilateral ceasefire declaration starts from today 28 June 2021 and will stay until the farming season ends." The UN Secretary-General said he had spoken with the Prime Minister and said: "I am hopeful that an effective cessation of hostilities will take place."

Issues at large
First, a recap of the conflict in Tigray. The recapture of Mekelle comes eight months after the federal government declared the end of a military offensive on 28 November 2020. The offensive had been launched on 4 November in response to an alleged TPLF attack on federal military bases in Tigray. Though the offensive lasted only three weeks, the fallouts of the same led to a humanitarian crisis and rights violations including massacres, sexual abuse, and restrictions on aid supply. Differences between the TPLF and the federal government can be traced back to 2018 when PM Abiy Ahmed overthrew the TPLF-led government.

Second, the recent spate of violence. On 22 June, dozens of civilians were killed in a military airstrike on a village in Tigray; some witnesses claimed that around 40 people were killed and some have pinned the figure at 80. In a separate incident, on 25 June, the Doctors without Borders (MSF) agency reported that three of its staff had been murdered in Tigray. Apart from the above incidents, several reports of violence throughout the eight months have been released.

Third, the uncertainty regarding the elections. On 21 June, Ethiopia held its parliamentary elections, which had previously been delayed twice since 2020. The postponement of elections in 2020 was a trigger for the worsening of relations between Tigray and the federal government. Meanwhile, the elections were boycotted by some opposition parties on the grounds of manipulation and harassment and polls were not held in Tigray.

Fourth, increased international attention on the crisis. Recently, the UN human rights chief said: "I am deeply disturbed by continued reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights violations and abuses against civilians by all parties to the conflict." Concerns regarding the conflict also include the role of Eritrea in targeting Tigrayans. After denying several times, the Ethiopian government admitted the presence of Eritrean troops along the Tigray borders and condemned their role in rights abuses. The EU and the US have repeatedly expressed concerns over the above; Eritrea and Ethiopia, under the TPLF-led government, had been at war for decades.

In perspective
First, the recapture of Mekelle is not surprising; after the federal government declared its victory in November, the TPLF retreated but had vowed to come back. The timing of the recapture - within a week of the elections - signifies that the move was well planned and that TPLF has a roadmap ahead. The TPLF had previously warned of action against Eritrea's presence in Tigray; therefore, any escalation between the two could have devastating impacts in the region.

Second, if Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins the elections and retains his position, he will have to deal with multiple crises, some of which were triggered by his policies; otherwise, another TPLF like uprising from another region of Ethiopia cannot be ruled out.

Libya: Berlin Conference stresses on Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process
In the news
On 23 June, the Second Berlin Conference on Libya was hosted by the German Foreign Minister and the United Nations Secretary-General. A press release from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany acknowledged the improvement in Libya's situation and reiterated support to the interim Government of National Unity. However, the Conference also held that several measures were yet to be implemented and asked the interim government to ensure elections in December. Lastly, the Conference called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces without delay. The press release said: "We reaffirm our strong commitment to the UN-facilitated, Libyan-led and Libyan owned political process and the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya."

On 28 June, the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Libya addressed the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). The Envoy reiterated from the Berlin Conference and said: "I encourage you to move beyond what divides you and to reach a consensus on a possible constitutional basis for the elections in December. By this, you will live up to your responsibilities."

Issues at large
First, the progress in Libya. In October 2020, the two warring sides in Libya – the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and the parallel authority, Libyan National Army (LNA) - signed a ceasefire. Subsequently, an interim government was sworn in on 15 March with elected interim Prime Minister, President and Vice President who will ensure that parliamentary and presidential elections are held on 24 December 2021. As of 29 June, the ceasefire has been successful for the longest period in recent times. Previous Libyan-led and Libyan-owned ceasefires had failed as they focused on power-sharing between the GNA and LNA. However, the Berlin Conference emphasizes an entirely new government.

Second, the external actors. The latest Conference included delegations from the UNSC's permanent five countries; Italy, Turkey, the UAE, the European Union, African Union, UN; and other African countries. The attendance of the European and Arab countries is particularly important as they were supporting different sides in the Libyan conflict. For example, Italy and France were supporting the GNA and LNA, respectively; similarly, Qatar and the UAE were also supporting the respective sides. All these countries have now unanimously called for a solution. However, Turkey differs from the rest of the countries on the troop withdrawal and insists on maintaining its forces in Libya as part of an agreement with the GNA. Currently, the UN estimates that over 20,000 foreign mercenaries are present in Libya.

Third, continued European interests in Africa. The Berlin Conference was first held in February 2020. Between the first and second Conferences, European countries, especially Germany and France have displayed an increased interest in Africa. For example, in March, France reopened its embassy in Tripoli after seven years. France has also been mending its relations with Rwanda, and the French President visited Rwanda in May. Similarly, Germany recognized the genocide between 1904 to 1908 in Namibia, which was a German colony.

In perspective
First, the solution to the conflict lies in the inclusivity of all conflicting parties in the new government. Therefore, the months leading up to December will be crucial as they will decide whether the emphasis on a "Libyan-led and Libyan owned" will reap the required results or not.

Second, the Conference is another step in European countries trying to correct their positions in Africa. The Conference also reflected a strong US interest in the finding a solution to the Libyan conflict.
UNODC World Drug Report: 36 million struggled with drug use disorders globally in 2020
In the news
On 24 June, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released the annual World Drug Report. Divided into five separate booklets, the report individually examines the policy implications in combatting illegal drugs, the supply and demand for illegal drugs, the market trends towards cannabis and other opioids, the market trends towards cocaine and other amphetamine-type stimulants, and finally, the impact of COVID-19 on drugs. The report aims to foster greater international cooperation in combatting the drug problem and assist member states in addressing challenges that may arise regarding the same in the future.

The key findings of the report are as follows. First, the number of people using drugs increased by 22 per cent between 2010 and 2019, partly because of the increase in the global population. Second, nearly 275 million people used drugs globally in 2020, and over 36 million struggled with drug use disorders. Third, cannabis has become more potent in the last ten years. However, fewer young people see it as a harmful drug. Fourth, the sale of drugs on the dark web increased fourfold between 2017 and 2020, amounting to annual revenue of nearly USD 315 million. Fifth, the number of drug users in Africa is estimated to increase by 40 per cent by 2030. Sixth, drug markets have made a quick recovery from the pandemic, and the trafficking of drugs has increased alongside contactless drug transactions. Seventh, the increased use of technology during the pandemic has led to innovations in drug prevention and treatment services, enabling healthcare professionals to treat more addicts.

Issues at large
First, the fallouts of drug abuse. Drug abuse does not stop with affecting the abuser, it also takes a toll on the socio-economic conditions of their families and country. In many cases, drug abuse has far-reaching repercussions like domestic abuse, compromised livelihood, involvement in criminal activities, unhealthy relationships, and suicidal tendencies. In 2019 alone, the impact of drug abuse on the American economy was estimated to be USD 193 billion. That same year, there were around 50,000 recorded deaths in the US that resulted from overdosing on opioids. At present, more than 11 million people are addicted to injecting drugs, and around half of them suffer from Hepatitis C. These individuals are also at higher risk of succumbing to new diseases as they do not use new or sterilized needles all the time.

Second, the changing dynamics of drug trafficking and sales. The pandemic forced drug dealers to explore new methods and platforms to sell drugs. The rapid growth in technological innovation may soon create a globalized market with a wider reach. Drug sales and marketing in popular e-commerce platforms and social media are stark reminders that accessibility to drugs is increasing. Drug trafficking has also increased due to the rise in demand, resulting in larger shipments being trafficked using private planes and waterway routes. Contactless delivery of drugs has also become popular with the help of cryptocurrencies for buyers and mail or drone deliveries for sellers.

Third, the fallouts of the pandemic. The pandemic has worsened the economic conditions of numerous countries leading to a spike in the global unemployment rate. The rising unemployment rates could push more people to work as daily labourers in illicit crop farms or for drug traffickers. The pandemic has also fostered poverty, inequality and mental health conditions, which have pushed many people into using drugs. This increased usage of drugs will inevitably lead to an increase in drug use disorders.

Fourth, the epidemic of misinformation. This year's theme for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was "Share facts on drugs. Save lives". The large scale spread of misinformation by drug advertisers and sellers has led youngsters in particular to have a false perception of the potency of drugs like cannabis.

In perspective
The report suggests major additions to government policies that could help tackle the drug problem more effectively. A few of the suggestions include increased funding for research on the potency of drugs, regulation of cryptocurrency markets, updating scientific standards regularly, constant transaction of intelligence between law enforcement agencies, and improved socio-economic conditions for marginalized communities susceptible to drug usage. However, most of these solutions are easier said than done. 

An increase in funding for research and rehabilitation has been a problem even for developed countries. Improving the socio-economic conditions of marginalized communities might not be possible due to the financial impact of the pandemic. As long as unemployment is on the rise, so will the usage of drugs.
Also from around the World
By Apoorva Sudhakar and Abigail Miriam Fernandez
Peace and Conflict from East and Southeast Asia
Hong Kong: 117 arrested within one year of the imposition of National Security Law 
On 30 June, Hong Kong marked one year of Beijing's imposition of the National Security Law on the city in 2020. Since 30 June 2020, 117 people have been arrested under the law; of this, at least 60 are pro-democracy politicians, activists, journalists and students. CNA reports that the youngest person to be arrested under the law was 15 years old and the oldest, 79. Meanwhile, The Security Bureau maintained that the law had effectively curbed chaos and restored order in the city. The news report quotes a Bureau spokesperson: "We would like to emphasize that any law enforcement actions ... are based on evidence, strictly according to the law."
China: Nike is a brand of and for China, says Chief executive
On 25 June, BBC reported that Nike's Chief executive defended the brand's business in China despite Chinese consumers calling for a boycott for the brand's statements on Xinjiang. The chief executive said: "Nike is a brand that is of China and for China... We've always taken a long-term view. We've been in China for over 40 years." The development comes after Nike and other brands faced backlash in China as they expressed concerns over reports of forced labour of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang region.
Taiwan: China retaliates to increased Japan, US support to Taipei
On 28 June, Japan's State Minister of Defence said that democratic countries protected each other and therefore called for the protection of Taiwan. Following this, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: "We deplore the erroneous remarks by the senior official of the Japanese government, and we have lodged solemn representations," adding, "This is highly sinister, dangerous and irresponsible. This politician also openly called Taiwan a country, in serious violation of the China-Japan joint statement." The development comes after China, similarly, maintained that increasing military contacts between the US and Taiwan would be opposed, adding that "seeking independence of Taiwan means' war.'"
Peace and Conflict from South Asia
India: Farmers mark seven months of protests, say ready to stay at borders till 2024
On 26 June, thousands of farmers marking the seven-month anniversary of their protests against three agricultural reform laws marched to Raj Bhavan. The farmers stated that their demands are the same, saying that more people will be joining the protests soon. Additionally, they submitted a memorandum to President, claiming an undeclared emergency in the country. Meanwhile, farmers at the Singhu border stated that they are ready to stay at the borders till 2024.
India: Prime Minister meets leaders from Jammu and Kashmir
on 24 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders from Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting is considered as a significant development, as there were 14 leaders from J&K from different political parties that included four former Chief Ministers - Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a group of six parties (including the PDP, NC and the Congress) and the BJP were the primary parties that took part in the meeting. On 29 June, the PAGD was to meet for a follow-up meeting to discuss the New Delhi meeting; it has been postponed.

India: Two explosions reported at IAF Jammu station
On 27 June, an Indian Air Force spokesperson stated: "Two low-intensity explosions were reported in the technical area of the Jammu Air Force Station. One caused minor damage to the roof of a building while the other exploded in an open area. There was no damage to any equipment. A probe is on." Officials suspect the attackers to have dropped and detonated the devices by unmanned aerial vehicles.
Sri Lanka: President pardons 94 persons
On 24 June, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pardoned 94 persons, including 16' political prisoners' and one murder convict on death row. The move was welcomed by Tamil parties and human rights defenders; however, government critics and lawyers criticized the release of former MP Duminda Silva, who was sentenced to death in 2016 for murdering a political rival.
Afghanistan: "Civil war is certainly a path that can be visualized," says Gen Miller
On 29 June, General Austin S Miller, commander of the US-led mission in Afghanistan, warned that Afghanistan could be on a path to a civil war amidst the US troop withdrawal. He said: "Civil war is certainly a path that can be visualized if it continues on the trajectory it's on," adding, "That should be a concern for the world." Meanwhile, the Pentagon has called on the Taliban to return to the peace negotiations, saying: "What we want to see, what we'd like to see is the Taliban return to the peace process in a credible way," adding, "The violence remains too high, and we're all aware of all of the security situation in Afghanistan."
Afghanistan: Last German troops leave Afghanistan
On 29 June, the German Defence Minister announced that the last German last troops left Afghanistan. The minister said: "Our last troops left Afghanistan this night after almost 20 years and are on their way home." There were around 1100 German troops in Afghanistan, and is said to be the countries deadliest military mission since World War II. Meanwhile, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have stated that cases of Afghan government troops seeking refuge across the borders are now becoming a common occurrence. On 27 June, 17 Afghan troops were forced to flee to Tajikistan after an armed group of militants launched an attack on a border checkpoint in Afghanistan.
Peace and Conflict from Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa
Uzbekistan: 53 Afghan military and militiamen returned to Afghanistan
On 24 June, Eurasianet reported that several Afghan troops and pro-government militia trying to cross into the Uzbek territory were returned immediately. The Foreign Ministry said that on 23 June, 53 soldiers and militiamen had crossed into territory near the Amu-Darya River. Eurasianet quoted from the Ministry's statement: "Any attempts to illegally cross into Uzbek territory will be strictly suppressed, and very stringent measures will be taken against those infringing the state border." The statement further called on all parties in the Afghan conflict not to escalate the violence in Afghanistan.
Syria-Iraq: The US launches airstrike against Iran-backed militia
On 27 June, the US military said it had carried out airstrikes targeting Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five fighters were killed in operation. On 28 June, the Observatory said that Iran-backed groups had launched counter-attacks on US bases. State media SANA also reported that the groups had "targeted a military base of the US occupation forces in the Al-Omar oil field." Meanwhile, Iraqi groups took to the streets in Baghdad to protest against the US air raids; Al Jazeera reports that several protesters were heard chanting "Death to America" and "Vengeance for the martyrs."
Palestine: Activist's death sparks protest against Mahmoud Abbas
On 24 June, hundreds gathered outside the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah to protest against the death of activist Nizar Banat who was a vocal critic of the PA; Banat died in custody two days after he was arrested. On 26 June, protesters called on the PA President Mahmoud Abbas to quit his position and reflect the people's interests. Following this, supporters of Abbas began a rally claiming that Palestinians wanted him to stay. Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesman said: "The brutal repression by the security services of the PA in the occupied West Bank against demonstrators is criminal conduct and a flagrant violation of all laws and humanitarian norms."
Lebanon: Hezbollah and Hamas leaders meet in Beirut 
On 29 June, Hezbollah and Hamas leaders met in Beirut to discuss the 11-day conflict in the Gaza Strip. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh held that Palestinian refugees had the right to return, adding that those residing in Lebanon should be seen as "guests" until they return to their homeland. Further, he said: "Jerusalem remains the focus of the conflict with the occupation, and the resistance is the strategic choice for liberation... The unity of the Palestinian people is the basis for achieving this liberation." Haniyeh also met with the Lebanese President and Speaker.
The GERD: Sudan, Egypt urge UNSC to intervene in Nile Dam dispute
On 28 June, The Arab Weekly reported that Sudan had rejected Ethiopia's plan to conduct a second filing of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Nile Dam). The news report quoted a senior Sudanese official who said that Ethiopia had presented "impossible conditions" regarding water sharing from the dam. The development comes days after the Sudanese Foreign Ministry had called on the UN Security Council to urge Ethiopia to suspend its plans to fill the dam. Meanwhile, on 26 June, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said that Cairo had also called on the UNSC for a resolution on the dam. The minister said: "It was important for us to bolster Sudan's position and make our own request."
Madagascar: WFP outlines the risk of starvation and warns of a famine
On 25 June, the World Food Program Regional Director said prolonged droughts are pushing 400,000 people towards starvation in Madagascar. He said that the UN and the Madagascar government would be launching a USD 155 million appeal to address the situation. On the same day, WFP chief David Beasley tweeted that if the necessary measures are not taken, the figure will reach 500,000 within a few months. He said: "This is not because of war or conflict, this is because of climate change," adding, "This is an area of the world that has contributed nothing to climate change, but now, they're the ones paying the highest price." Meanwhile, on 30 June, he outlined that Ethiopia, South Sudan and Yemen also faced similar situations and added that Burkina Faso and Niger were also countries of concern. He said: "If we don't address their needs, over the next six to nine months you could have an unprecedented famine of biblical proportions, destabilization of nations and mass migration."
Nigeria: UNDP report links the death of 324,000 children to 12-year fight against Boko Haram
On 24 June, a UN Development Programme report outlined that the fight against Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria since 2009 had resulted in the death of 324,000 children below the age of five. This figure accounted for more than 90 per cent of the 350,000 casualties of the conflict; however, of the total casualties, around 314,000 were indirect deaths. The UN said: "In northeast Nigeria alone, 13.1 million people live in areas affected by conflict, out of whom 8.7 million are in need of immediate assistance."
Somalia: 41 al Shabab terrorists killed in a suicide attack, says the Somali National Army
On 28 June, the UN said that thousands had been displaced due to violence in a village in north-central Somalia on 27 June after al Shabab terrorists launched an attack. However, the Somali National Army (SNA) said 41 terrorists were killed in a suicide car bomb attack; further, an SNA commander said three soldiers and five paramilitary personnel were also killed in the attack. The government condemned the attack, and the Deputy Information Minister said the people of Wisil had the courage and resisted the terrorists.
Burkina Faso: US Ambassador condemns involvement of children in Solhan massacre
On 28 June, the US Ambassador to the UN highlighted the involvement of children in the Solhan village massacre on 4 June wherein at least 132 people were killed. The Ambassador said: "Earlier this month, in the village of Solhan in the Sahel region, a non-state armed group killed more than 130 civilians – many of whom were children. That armed group? Mostly 12- to 14-year-olds. Children killing children – children killing children." Meanwhile, on 29 June, a public prosecutor said two suspected jihadists had been detained in connection with the massacre. Previously, on 24 June, UNICEF had also condemned the revelations by the UN and the Burkinabe government. UNICEF said: "We strongly condemn the recruitment of children and adolescents by non-state armed groups. This is a grave violation of their fundamental rights."
Peace and Conflict from Europe and the Americas
The US-Ukraine: Sea Breeze exercise raise tensions with Russia
On 28 June, the Sea Breeze 2021 multinational maritime exercise, organized by the Ukrainian Navy and the US Sixth Fleet, began in the Black Sea region. Pentagon Press Secretary stated: "There is nothing provocative about a naval exercise in international waters... This longstanding exercise continues to support security and stability in the region through interoperability with our Black Sea NATO allies and partners." Russia's Defence Ministry stated that Moscow would monitor the Ukrainian-American exercises very closely and respond if necessary.
Belarus: Foreign Ministry ask EU envoys to leave over sanctions
On 28 June, Belarus asked the European Union's representative to return to Brussels for consultations and stated that it would stop helping the bloc in combating illegal migration in retaliation against EU sanctions. The Ministry also announced that it was suspending its participation in the EU's Eastern Partnership, a policy initiative that aims to deepen the EU's ties with neighbouring former communist countries. In response, the EU's Council President stated: "Belarus has taken another step backwards today by suspending its participation in the Eastern Partnership. This will escalate tensions further and have a clear negative impact on the people of Belarus by depriving them of opportunities provided by our cooperation.
Israel-Poland: Two countries summon each other over Holocaust property bill
On 27 June, Israel's Foreign Ministry summoned Polish Ambassador over a new law that Israelis fear would block compensation claims for World War II atrocities. Israeli officials stated: "This is not a historical debate about responsibility for the Holocaust but a moral debt of Poland to those who were its citizens and whose property was looted during the Holocaust and under the Communist regime." Conversely, on 28 June, Poland summoned Israeli Charge d'Affaires. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister said: "We believe that unfortunately what we're dealing with here is a situation that certain Israeli politicians are exploiting for internal political purposes."
Italy: Anti-Islamic State coalition says the threat from ISIS fighters remains
On 28 June, a global coalition to fight Islamic State terrorists met in Rome, pledging to maintain watch against a resurgence of the insurgents. The group stated that eight million people had been freed from their control in Iraq and Syria, but the threat from ISIS fighters remains there and in Africa. The coalition said it needed to address the following: "the drivers that make communities vulnerable to recruitment by Daesh/ISIS and related violent ideological groups, as well as to provide support to liberated areas to safeguard our collective security interests." On the resumption in ISIS, it said: "activities and its ability to rebuild its networks and capabilities to target security forces and civilians in areas in Iraq and Syria where the coalition is not active, requires strong vigilance and coordinated action."
Colombia: Helicopter carrying the President attacked
On 25 June, Colombian President Ivan Duque stated that a helicopter carrying him and several senior officials came under fire in the southern Catatumbo region bordering Venezuela. However, there were no casualties. Meanwhile, Colombian authorities have not confirmed the perpetrators; however, they suspect dissidents from the non-functioning Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas or the rebel National Liberation Army to be responsible for the attack.
Venezuela: Maduro allows opposition coalition to contest upcoming elections
On 29 June, the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that a coalition of major opposition political parties would be able to field candidates in upcoming elections as the opposition and government prepare to enter into a negotiation process. The Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition bloc, known as MUD, will be one of twenty authorized political parties that will take part in the November elections. This move comes after several actions by President Nicolas Maduro seen by many as olive branches to the opposition.
The US: House votes to remove confederate statues in the US Capitol
On 29 June, the House of Representatives voted to remove all Confederate statues from public display in the US Capitol. The House passed the bill with a 285-120 majority, with all Democrats voting in support of the legislation. A Democrat Representative who helped write the bill said: "We can't change history, but we can certainly make it clear that which we honor and that which we do not honor," adding: "Symbols of hate and division have no place in the halls of Congress."
The US: UNSC holds its first formal public meeting on cybersecurity
On 29 June, The UN Security Council held its first formal public meeting on cybersecurity, addressing the growing threat of hacks to countries' key infrastructure. The session was held by Estonia as part of its UNSC Presidency. During the meeting, several Security Council members acknowledged the grave dangers posed by cybercrime, especially ransomware attacks on key installations and companies. This comes after the issue was raised recently by President Joe Biden with President Vladimir Putin.

About the authors
Jeshil Samuel J is a postgraduate scholar from the Department of International Studies, CHRIST (Deemed to be University) currently enrolled at the NIAS Online Certificate Course on Contemporary Peace Processes. Apoorva Sudhakar and Abigail Miriam Fernandez are Research Associates at the School of Conflict and Security Studies in NIAS.

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