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Conflict Weekly
Population decline in China, and Protests in Peru

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #159, 19 January 2022, Vol.4, No.3
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and India Office of the KAS

Avishka Ashok and Madhura Mahesh


China: First population decline since 1960 highlights demographic crisis

In the news
On 17 January, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that the country had recorded a decline of 8,50,000 people in its population, bringing the total population index to 1.4118 billion. For the first time since 1960, the population has declined in China. The birth rate also dropped to the lowest on record 6.77 per 1000 people, further aggravating the demographic crisis.
 
The bureau pointed the population decline was caused due to the “drop in people’s willingness to have babies, the delay in marriage and pregnancy, as well as a fall in the number of women of child-bearing age.”
 
Issues at large
First, China’s one-child policy. In 1979, the government implemented a one-child policy as it feared that a population explosion would slow down economic development and strain the existing resources. The policy resulted in abortions, gender-biased pregnancies, gender imbalance, and increased usage of contraceptives. The gender-coloured abortions also limited the number of women with child-bearing capabilities in present times. However, it took the administration two decades to realize the policy's impact. By the 2000s, China observed the changes in its demography but continued to predict that the population would grow until the 2040s. In 2016, the CPC relaxed the policy and allowed two children per family. Although the population jumped by one million in 2017, the numbers dropped ever since. In 2021, the one-child policy was completely scrapped after China recorded a drop in birth rates for the first time since 1960. 
 
Second, the social circumstances. Over the decades, as China improved its economic status to have the second largest GDP, the cost of living rose exponentially. As of 2023, Hong Kong is the fourth most expensive city to live. YuWa Population Research, Beijing, reported that China is one of the most expensive countries to raise a child. The head of the National Bureau of Statistics also explained that China’s social and economic development is another factor for China’s lower fertility rates . The cost of education and the poor economic prospects further discouraged the parents from opting for more than one child. A similar trend is also observed in the neighbouring countries of Japan and South Korea, where the young prefer to build a career before building a family. Chinese men also find it difficult to find a wife and settle down due to the increasing gender imbalance. As of 2022, the sex ratio was 104.69 men to 100 women. 
 
Third, the government’s efforts to increase the population. By 2016, the CPC realised the ill effects of the one-child policy and began offering benefits and subsidies to encourage child birth. The measures include providing cash handouts, subsidies on bills, child-raising incentives, providing loans for child care, better maternal care facilities and longer leaves for child-care, and paternity leaves in some regions. Shenzhen became the latest city to provide handouts worth USD 1,476 for couples with three children. In some cities, the authorities have wiped out post-school tutoring institutions to make education more inclusive for all. 
 
In perspective
If the demographic patterns of Japan and South Korea are considered, increasing the birth rate is much more difficult than controlling it. The Chinese government will face tremendous challenges on the issue. 
 
Second, the death rate. The CPC’s leadership brought the number of deaths per 1,000 people from 20.653 in 1960 to 6.93 in two decades, after which the figure remained below 7 until 2012. However, the death rate has been increasing each year, rising steeply since 2020. The highest since 2012 was recorded in 2022. It is possible that the decline was therefore caused by the unusual circumstances. 
 
Lastly, if China is unable to pick up its demography, the country would be forced to face challenges such as a decrease in the working population and the cheap labour that helped build the economy decades ago. The rise in labour costs will lead to an increase in the price of manufactured products. The expanding elderly population will put a strain on the pension system.


Peru: Fresh protests and continuing political crisis
In the news
On 14 January, President Dina Boluarte extended the state of emergency for another month in Lima, Puno and Cusco, granting the police special powers and limiting freedoms such as the right to assembly. In the southern region of Puno, the security measures also include a 10-day curfew. Boluarte apologised for the casualties and called for peace but said that she would not be resigning.
 
On 13 January, Attorney General Patricia Benavides announced that 11 inquiries were opened to identify the actors responsible for the 42 deaths during the worst outbreak of violence in 20 years. Benavides added that the investigations will mostly be conducted in Lima and the southern regions of Puno, Cusco, Arequipa, Apurimac and Ucayali. The Attorney General’s office reported that 355 civilians and 176 police officers have been injured and 329 citizens have been arrested since the protests began in December 2022.
 
Issues at large
First, Pedro Castillo's impeachment as the trigger to protests. On 7 December, protests began in Peru after former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and subsequently arrested on rebellion charges. The protesters took to the streets calling for Bolurtae’s resignation, a new constitution and fresh elections. The protesters set up blockades, set fires on public buildings and vehicles, and attacked police stations. Due to this on 14 December, former Peruvian Defence Minister Alberto Otarola declared a state of emergency throughout Peru.    
 
Second, new protest hotspots. On 4 January, protesters resumed in Lima and Arequipa after a two-week break. In the second wave of protests, Peru’s southern region saw a rise in the number of protests and casualties. On 10 January, Peru witnessed the deadliest day in the anti-government protests with 17 casualties in Juliaca in Puno after protestors clashed with the police; 68 people were injured. This also marked the renewed fight by protestors in Southern Peru, Castillo’s stronghold, who claimed that this was an “endless battle.” The second wave of protest has largely been located in the south in the Puno region.
 
Third, accusations of foreign influence. On 5 January, Defence Minister Jorge Chavez claimed that the new wave of protest was encouraged by foreigners. Chavez said: “They have entered not only intending to stir up violence but also to integrate this separatist idea of a part of our region in the country.” Subsequently, the Peruvian government announced that Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales and eight other individuals were banned from entering Peru. Morales supports Castillo and has criticised the government for Castillo’s arrest and impeachment. Morales criticised the move and said: "Now they attack us to distract and dodge responsibility for grave violations of the human rights of our Peruvian brothers.”
 
In perspective
First, the expanding nature of the protests. The protestor’s demands have expanded due to the increased involvement of leaders from southern Peru. Along with the resignation of Bolurtae, the dissolution of the Congress and fresh elections, the protestors are demanding a new constitution. The demand for a new constitution is not new as the indigenous community has repeatedly demanded one to remove market-friendly policies introduced in the 1990s.
 
Second, the significance of southern Peru. Peru is the world’s second-largest copper producer, and most of its mines are located in the southern region. These mines are repeatedly exposed to protests by the indigenous population but the new protest has led to mines closing down or operating at a limited capacity for security reasons. This has affected the supply of metals and led to prices being volatile in the markets. One of Peru’s largest copper mines Glencore Plc in Antapaccay, Cusco was recently attacked by protestors and is now operating at a limited capacity trying to increase the safety of the remaining workers.   


Also, from around the World
Avishka Ashok, Sayani Rana, Abigail Fernadez, Bhoomika Sesharaj, Sethuraman Nadarajan, Akriti Sharma, Rashmi Ramesh, Apoorva Sudhakar, Anu Maria Joseph, Madhura Mahesh, Harini Madhusudan, Padmashree Anandan, Allen Joe Mathew and Ankit Singh
 
East and Southeast Asia
China: PLA Navy conducts combat exercises in the South China Sea
On 18 January, The Strait Times reported that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted a combat exercise in the South China Sea and opened its annual training operations. The exercise was carried out by the CNS Shandong aircraft carrier. The PLA Navy announced the details of the exercise on WeChat which said: "Several J-15 fighter jets took part in an air-defence drill to intercept “incoming enemy aircraft”, and pilots conducted a series of sophisticated tactical manoeuvres before locking on their targets and simulating missile strikes." The exercise involved warships, aircrafts, and submarines and aimed at ameliorating the capabilities of the sailors and aviators on the Navy.
 
South Korea: Yoon’s ‘enemy’ comment sparks dispute
On 15 January, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the country's military unit ‘Akh’, in the UAE and addressed  the troops where he emphasised on brotherly relations between the countries,  stating: "The UAE's enemy and biggest threat is Iran, while our enemy is North Korea ... We are in a very similar position to the UAE." Meanwhile, on 18 January, the Iranian Foreign Ministry described Suk Yeol’s remark as ‘interfering’. Additionally, on 19 January, the South Korean Foreign Ministry's statement  said that Yoon’s comment were  "words of encouragement," which were “overly interpreted” and "irrelevant" to South Korea- Iran diplomatic relations. 
 
Australia: China reacts to Australia acquiring American-made Black Hawks
On 18 January, Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles announced the replacement of the French MRH-90 Taipan helicopters with the UH-60M Black Hawks, manufactured by a US-based company named Lockheed Martin Corp. Australia is reported to have spent approximately USD two billion over this acquisition. Australian Major General Jeremy King  appreciated the  decision and said: “ The Black Hawk capability will be a crucial element for us to protect Australia's sovereignty, and deliver foreign policy objectives, including providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”  In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that  defense and security cooperation of countries must always ensure  “cooperation”  which would contribute to regional peace and stability and “does not target any third party or come at other countries' expense.”

Myanmar: Military supplies to continue unabated, says former UN Rapporteur
On 16 January, Special Advisory Council for Myanmar, an independent group comprising experts released a report titled  ‘Fatal Business: Supplying the Myanmar Military’s Weapon Production’ which stated that at least 13 countries, from Europe, Asia and North America, have been enabling the Myanmar military to manufacture weapons. The former UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar endorsed the report and said: “Foreign companies and their home states have moral and legal responsibilities to ensure their products are not facilitating human rights violations against civilians in Myanmar. Failing to do so makes them complicit in the Myanmar military’s barbaric crimes.

South Asia
Pakistan: Four terrorists killed in IBO in Hoshab; Four soldiers killed in attack from Iranian soil
On 18 January, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that security forces killed four terrorists in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Balochistan’s Hoshab. According to the ISPR, the IBO was conducted “to clear a hideout linked with firing incidents on security forces along M-8, in general area Talsar, Hoshab” on a tip-off about the presence of terrorists. A day earlier, Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir visited Balochistan’s Khuzdar and Basima areas and he was briefed on the current security situation, operational preparedness, and measures implemented to ensure a “peaceful and secure environment." In a separate incident, four soldiers were killed in the Panjgur district of Balochistan in an attack that originated from Iran. Following the incident, the Iranian Embassy condemned the attack saying, “terrorism is a common problem facing Iran and Pakistan, with both neighbouring countries being victims of that evil phenomenon.”
 
Afghanistan: Former female lawmaker killed by unknown assailants; ISIS claims responsibility for the attack outside the foreign ministry in Kabul
On 15 January, the Taliban stated that a former female lawmaker was shot dead by unknown assailants in her home in Kabul. The attack also left the lawmaker's bodyguard dead and her brother injured. The Kabul Police spokesperson stated that a “serious” investigation into the incident was underway to apprehend and bring the killers to justice. In a separate incident, over 20 people were killed and several others were injured a suicide attack outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul. According to the Taliban’s Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, the attack took place when a Chinese delegation was scheduled to meet the Taliban at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it was not known if they were present at the time of the attack. Following the attack, ISIS’s Amaq news agency said in an affiliated Telegram channel that it has claimed responsibility for the blast.
 
Nepal: 72 people assumed dead in air crash, becomes Nepal’s worst air disaster in 30 years
On 15 January, a Yeti Airlines passenger plane with 72 people onboard crashed into a river gorge while it was about to land at the Pokhara airport. The government is investigating the crash along with a team of experts from France, who visited the accident site a day after the incident. The aircraft took off from Kathmandu and crashed into the  Seti River gorge on 15 January, killing four crew members and 68 passengers; one person is yet to be identified. . This is Nepal’s 104th crash in the last few years, and the third biggest in terms of casualties.
 
Bangladesh: Uncontrolled police abuse of Rohingya refugees, harassment by armed police
On 17 January, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Bangladesh’s Armed Police Battalion (ABPn) is “committing extortion, arbitrary arrests, and harassment” of Rohingya refugees who are already at the forefront of rampant violence from criminal and violent groups in the country. The HRW said that donor governments need to push the Bangladesh authorities to look into the alleged abuses against the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and assure that the victims have “effective” remedies and develop efficient measures to protect them. Additionally, said the HRW said that ABPn had “taken over” the security in the Rohingya camps since July 2020 and that the ABPn’s oversight has left the refugees to “suffer at the hands of the very forces who are supposed to protect them.”
 
Sri Lanka: Students protests demands to release the political prisoners
On 16 January, nearly 3000 university students across Sri Lanka participated in protests, organised by the Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF), and demanded that the government end state repression.  The students also demanded the release of all the political prisoners and university students, including the president of the student union, Wasantha Mudalige, who was detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The protesters said that Mudalige was protesting for the right to free education and was  arrested.  On 18 January, students of the Peradeniya University also protested for the release of their students union president and were met with  police using water cannons and tear gas to control the protesters in both events.
 
Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa
Israel-Palestine: Four killed in a week in Israeli firing
On 16 January, the Israeli army shot and killed a Palestinian boy aged 14, during a raid at the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. They said that the attack  was a response to the stones and explosive devices thrown at them during confrontations in the refugee camp. On 17 January, a 40-year-old man was killed during firing in the northern reaches of the city of Hebron where  Israeli forces said that Hamdi Abu Dayyeh was carrying out a shooting attack against the forces and worked for the Palestinian police force. On 19 January, the army shot dead two Palestinian men in Jenin. One of them was a teacher in a local school and the other was identified as a young fighter with the Jenin Brigades armed resistance group. With these four deaths added, the total number of Palestinians killed by live fire in January 2023 amounts to 17. Nine of them have been reported in Jenin alone.

Iraq: PM supports continued presence of the US troops
On 15 January, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani defended the presence of  the United States troops in his country in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, his first since taking office in October. al-Sudani stressed that there was no intention to resume foreign combat operations in the country, but noted that foreign forces provide important logistical support in combatting ISIL pockets in Syria. He told the Wall Street Journal that he hoped thatIraq would havesimilar relations with Washington compared to those enjoyed by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil and gas producers.

Yemen: UN envoy outlines probable truce
On 16 January, the UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg briefed the UN Security Council and expressed hope of a possible truce. While mistrust and complexities are high, diplomatic efforts are also intensifying, aimed to end the eight-year conflict. The UN sponsored truce came into effect in April 2022, which ended in October as Houthis refused for an extension. Despite the refusal, Grundberg noted: “overall military situation in Yemen has remained stable… and there has been no major escalation nor changes in the disposition on the front lines.”
 
Somalia: At least 26 people killed in al Shabab attack
On 17 January, Somali authorities said that at least 26 people were killed and many were injured following an attack at a military base in Hawadley town in Shabelle region. The Al Shabab militant group has claimed the attack. Five government soldiers and 21 al Shabab militants were among the dead. This comes days after the Somali army captured a strategic port of Haradhere, which was held by al Shabab for 15 years.
 
Ethiopia: France and Germany call for war crime justice
On 13 January, French and German foreign ministers during their meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa said that there can be no reconciliation in Ethiopia without justice.They discussed the progress of the peace agreement which was signed early November and called for the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism for the atrocities committed during the conflict. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said that the government will ensure the justice to be served. On the same day, Ethiopian Defence Force said that Amhara Allied Forces have started withdrawing its troops from major towns in Tigray. 
 
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Protests held against slow withdrawal of M23
On 18 January, protests against the delay in M23’s withdrawal from areas under the rebel group’s control were held in Goma; the protesters also called on the East African Community’s regional forces to leave the city and fight where the M23 rebels are positioned. A BBC news report said police used tear and live bullets to disperse the protesters and two journalists were taken into custody. The developments took place after the M23 failed to withdraw from the territories despite a deadline under an agreement signed in November 2022 which outlined that the rebels should withdraw from their positions by 15 January.
 
Burkina Faso: UN calls for release of abducted women
On 17 January, the UN deputy spokesperson said that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had called for the immediate and unconditional release of nearly 50 women and girls abducted in northern Burkina Faso on 12 and 13 January. The victims were kidnapped by unidentified armed groups when they were looking for food. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk also expressed alarm and said this “could be the first such attack deliberately targeting women in Burkina Faso.” Türk said the town the women were abducted from, Arbinda, may have been one of the many that armed groups took control of since 2019.

Europe and the Americas
Europe: NATO General assures security support to Bosnia
On 16 January, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met the member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Bećirović to discuss the stability and the significance of the alliance in the Western Balkans region. Stoltenberg reiterated the concentration of reforms to protect the “multi-ethnic institutions” and  added that the NATO’s support in helping develop a “defence capacity building package” would  boost security capabilities. On 17 January, the representatives of NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and scientific group of Bosnia and Herzegovina exchanged areas for cooperation in the field of “cyber defence, counter-terrorism and the detection of explosive hazards.” A  NATO spokesperson said: “Our cooperation aligns with our evolving partnership and with an ever-changing security landscape, and is increasingly focusing on the application of technologies to tackle new and emerging challenges.”
 
The UK: World’s top one per cent grabbed nearly two-thirds of the USD 42 trillion in new wealth created since 2020: Oxfam report
On 16 January, Oxfam released its report ‘Survival of the Richest’ outlining that billionaire fortunes are increasing by USD 2.7 billion a day, compared to  nearly  1.7 billion workers who  live in countries with  inflation outpacing wages. The report said, at the same time, half of the world’s billionaires live in countries with no inheritance tax for direct descendants putting them on track to pass on USD 5 trillion to their heirs, more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Africa.
 
Switzerland: Ozone hole is slowly recovering, says UN report
On 9 January, a report titled "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2022" was presented in the UN. The report, a collaborative effort of the World Meteorological Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the European Commission, outlined that the ozone hole is recovering.  The findings said that  the phase-out of 99 per cent of ozone depletion substances has yielded a positive outcome and that the ozone layer has started to recover. However, the report claims that the ozone layer's recovery over polar regions will be slower than in other regions, which  has made the Montreal Protocol a successful effort.
 
Germany: Climate activists protest against coal excavation
On 16 January, German police announced they had moved all climate activists from Lützerath, a village in Germany’s North Rhine Westphalia state. The village is to be demolished for the expansion of an open-cast lignite coal mine run by the energy company RWE. The German police began evicting the activists on 11 January and removed 300 protesters from the village. The Lützerath village is located in Germany’s western region is known for its coal mines. RWE plans on expanding the Garzweiler II mine, that includes Lützerath,  which is land owned by the company. The Garzweiler II is spread over 35 square kilometres and is a lignite mine which is the most polluting form of coal. The activists demand the complete suspension of all operations of RWE to prevent the excavation of the coal beneath the village. In response, RWE stated that Germany would need these coal deposits by the end of 2023, for the winter months.

Portugal and Spain: Teacher’s union and health workers protest for better working conditions
On 15 January, the Union of All Education Professionals (STOP), a Portuguese teacher's union, staged a protest in Lisbon demanding better pay and working conditions. Thousands of people took part in the protests and many more joined the movement by going on strike. The union plans to keep the pressure high on the government and is gearing up for a nationwide demonstration on 11 February. One of the demands of the protesters has been the removal of Education Minister Joao Costa. On 15 January, thousands of health workers took to the streets to protest Madrid’s regional government accusing it of dismantling the city’s public health care system. The protestors highlighted the shortage of healthcare staff and criticized the Madrid authorities for favouring private healthcare providers. Madrid spends the least on primary health care in Spain despite its high per capita income.
 
Turkey: Operation Claw-Lock takes out close to 500 PKK terrorists
On 15 January, Turkish National Defence Ministry stated that 506 PKK terrorists have taken down since Operation Claw-Lock commenced in April. Operation Claw-Lock was launched by Turkey targeting PKK bases in the Northern Iraq regions of Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan. The ministry also conducted a media tour of these regions where reporters were informed that 575 PKK hideouts were destroyed. The reporters saw PKK hideouts being targeted from the Iraq-Turkey border.

Estonia: Increases efforts to expand its artillery fleet
On 17 January, Estonia’s Ministry of Defence announced its decision to buy 12 K9 Thunder howitzers as part of its artillery fleet expansion plan. Under the EUR 36 million deal, the Estonian Defence Forces will operate 36 similar weapons. The continued expansion of Estonia’s investments reflects the growing need for “indirect fire weapons.” The Defence Minister said: “…we have made quick decisions to equip both infantry brigades with additional K9 Thunder mobile howitzers and bring Estonia’s indirect fire capability to a completely new level.” Apart from Estonia, Poland is also among those to purchase K9 Thunder from South Korea’s Hanwha Defence. Similar to the deal with South Korea, Estonia is also part of a similar contract with the US to buy six M142 HIMARS.
 
Russia: Moscow moves to renounce charters related to the Council of Europe
On 17 January, President Vladmir Putin directed the Russian lawmakers to adopt a law that would terminate the country’s participation in 21 treaties and charters related to the Council of Europe. In March 2021, Moscow withdrew from the human rights body claiming it had been captured by the US and its allies and only serves Western political objectives. Among the 21 treaties that will cease to apply to Russia is the charter of the Council of Europe (CoE), the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism, the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and the European Social Charter. Established in 1949, the mission of the CoE was to promote “democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” Russia joined the organisation in 1996.
 
Ukraine: EU sets up “strategic reserve” in Finland
On 17 January, the European Commission announced that it would set up the first strategic reserve of equipment and supplies which would be available to any EU member in response to potential chemical or nuclear incidents. The stockpile will be located in Finland, for the convenient reach of the Baltic states. According to EuroNews, the hoard would include “critical medical countermeasures,” including “vaccines and antidotes, medical devices and field response equipment” needed to respond to “biological, radiological and nuclear accidents.” The facility will be equipped to be able to send supplies within 12 hours of the affected member accepting the EU offer of help, in theory.
 
Ukraine: Belarus and Russia air force drills; Lavrov comment on ending Ukraine war; NATO's stress for more arms
On 15 January, Belarus’s Security Council First Deputy State Secretary Pavel Muraveyko, announced the air force drills to be held between Belarus and Russia. According to Muraveyko the exercise is expected to be defensive involving “...aerial reconnaissance, deflecting air strikes, air cover of important objects and communications,” for two weeks till 1 February. On 18 January, in the same forum, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Russia would halt its operation when there is no threat from the military infrastructure in Ukraine. He stressed on Ukraine to “not discriminate against and harass Russian speakers.” Additionally,  he  condemned the West for failing to  implement  international treaties and reportedly lying on signed commitments. On 18 January, NATO’s Secretary General and  Deputy Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “This is a pivotal moment in the war and the need for a significant increase in support for Ukraine.” The NATO Deputy Secretary General said: “We have no indication that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's goals have changed…Russia has mobilized more than 200,000 additional troops.”
 
Venezuela: Teachers protest against inflation, demand living wage
On 16 January, public School teachers and retirees protested in various regions of the country demanding better pay amid rising inflation in Venezuela. Multiple workers' unions came together to hold marches in six major cities. Venezuela's inflation is calculated to be 305 per cent in 2022 as stated in a report released by a non-governmental group of economists. There has not been any statement or data from the government on inflation. The government has refused to increase salaries sticking to its plan of low spending and high taxes. Replying to the demands of protesters for a living wage, Vice President Diosdado Cabello blamed the US for imposing stations on the government which has led to the current economic problems.
 
El Salvador: Country hit by multiple earthquakes and landslides
On 16 January, the state of Ahuachapan was hit by multiple earthquakes which left 130 houses damaged. The residents were moved to emergency shelters. The Civil Protection Agency released a statement stating there were 219 recorded earthquakes during the period. Landslides occurred in many parts of the state with 20 locations being severely affected. Rescue work has commenced with public workers and volunteers clearing the debris, and helping those injured.
 
Brazil: Lula removes military officers from security detail expressing distrust after riots
On 18 January, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva dismissed 13 military personnel in the National Security Advisor’s office. This comes as Lula dismissed 40 military personnel from the security detail of the presidential palace on 17 January. Lula said that the dismissals were in line with the growing distrust in the military after the 08 January riots. He also questioned Brazil’s intelligence bodies over their failure to predict the riots. Lula’s security will be handled by the Federal Police force.
 
The US: Shooting at Martin Luther King celebration day claims one life
On 16 January, around 1000 people had gathered for the MLK Car Show and Family Fun Day where a disagreement between two parties claimed one life. St. Lucie County Chief Deputy said: “It’s really sad in a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality that a disagreement results in a use of guns and violence to solve that disagreement, and that’s what’s really sad to me about what happened here.”


About the authors
Ankit Singh, Akriti Sharma, Harini Madhusudan and Rashmi BR are Doctoral Scholars at the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Avishka Ashok, Abigail Fernandez, Apoorva Sudhakar and Padmashree Anandan are Project Associates at NIAS. Anu Maria Joseph and Sethuraman Nadarajan are Research Assistants at NIAS. Bhoomika Sesharaj, Madhura Mahesh, Allen Joe Mathew and Sayani Rana are research interns at NIAS.

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