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THE INKERMAN GROUP IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Click here to read the latest on the situation in the MENA region from The Inkerman Group

 


Since the beginning of the turmoil in the MENA region, The Inkerman Group has continued to provide a wide spectrum of services to its clients – working with them to minimise the risk to the safety of both their staff and assets, and reduce the disruption caused to their business operations.

The Inkerman Group has multiple operational teams in the region and is providing a wide range of services:

Discreet Security Protection Personnel
(use of ex-UK police and military personnel, complete with communications support, GPS tracking and medical trauma equipment for first line support to clients).

Security and Contingency Planning:

Intelligence monitoring and reporting throughout the region:

Kidnap & Ransom:

In-country operations supported by:

Crisis Management Training and support

Security Awareness Training to workers and families (delivered in multiple languages and including elements of basic self-defence, medical awareness training as well as basic security driver awareness training)

Security Training to locally employed / retained security guards to include development of operating protocols in line with clients’ operating stance.

For further details of these services, please contact operations@inkerman.com

MENA Examiner - a weekly publication which is a predictive move aimed at mapping out the threats and risks facing clients across the region. It includes weekly trend reports detailing the situation to date and the way ahead for each country in the eighteen member region, from Morocco in the West to Iran in the East. The document provides an assessment of developments taking place across the region, providing travellers and businesses operating in these countries with a comprehensive overview of the risk level alongside predictive analysis of the potential outcomes.


LATEST UPDATE ON THE MENA REGION FROM THE INKERMAN GROUP

“The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remains in flux following the region-wide unrest which began in January 2011, and continues into a third year. The so-called “Arab Spring” manifested itself in different ways: it largely followed the same pattern of calls for reform, transparency and greater representation through mass protests, strikes and even armed insurrection. In some cases, this led to the downfall of authoritarian regimes which had dominated the political landscape of the region for decades. In others, it created a “Pandora’s box” which now cannot and will not be closed. 

Libya, which paved the way for regional regime change, has since enjoyed its first successful democratic elections, as well as the selection of its first post-transitional prime minister, Ali Zeidan. Despite this positive news, Libya’s security situation remains precarious, as militias nominally linked to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) engage in clashes as a means to cement their control. Moreover, repeated threats against Zeidan’s administration, including an ongoing political stalemate in the General National Congress (GNC), has essentially rendered his cabinet in effective, a worrying scenario that has only exacerbated oil blockades in the East, and incidents of terrorism in comparatively restive locations, such as Benghazi and Derna.

In neighbouring Tunisia, a more optimistic picture has emerged. On 27 January 2014, the 200 representatives in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) officially voted to pass the constitution, a document which has been hailed as the most “liberal” in the “Arab World”. The overwhelming support for the long-awaited constitution came following a week of progress in other political spheres. This includes the selection of Mehdi Jomaa as the new interim Prime Minister. Jomaa, the former Minister of Industry, will now lead a technocratic government comprised of twenty-one ministers and seven secretaries of state, until elections are held later in 2014. Despite these political breakthroughs, analysts have noted that the real challenge – setting a timetable for the elections– has yet to begin. According to reports, leaders from both sides of the political aisle – Islamists and secularists – are struggling to find common ground on scheduling the polls. Additionally, Jomaa, himself, is expected to face some severe backlash from some opposition leaders, who have criticised his Ben Ali-era credentials.

In Algeria, political uncertainty remains at the forefront of concerns, for both locals and foreign investors who are keen to capitalise on the country’s large hydrocarbon industry. Although President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is widely expected to seek a fourth term in April 2014, questions over his health and his refusal to publicly announce his candidacy, have left members of the ruling Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) scrambling to find a potential successor.

The ongoing instability throughout the region demonstrates that the region has devolved, not stabilised since the Arab Spring, which symptomatically has itself largely unravelled in Egypt. Three years after the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egypt finds itself still in the grip of political and economic turmoil. Although Egypt had high hopes for the potential of progressive electoral politics, the country’s first freely elected government of President Mohammad Morsi failed to live up to expectations and to achieve a satisfying political consensus with all of Egypt’s political interests. As a result, millions of people took to the streets of Egypt’s major cites between 28 June – 02 July 2013 to protest President Morsi, and to demand his resignation. Egypt’s military intervened on 03 July 2013 by ousting President Morsi, suspending the constitution and appointing the Chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as new interim head of state. Since this time, regular violent clashes have erupted between Morsi supporters and opponents, and there has been a large increase in the number and sophistication of terrorist attacks. The resulting crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has been intense, with the government banning the group, and formally listing it as a terrorist organisation in December 2013. In a move largely considered a means to have the army’s removal of President Morsi seen as legitimate, a referendum was called in January 2014 to replace the constitution introduced by Morsi, which, unsurprisingly, was backed by more than 98% of those that voted. Looking ahead, Egypt will hold a presidential election before 18 April 2014, and although he has not yet formally announced his candidacy, Abdel Fatah al Sisi is expected to win in a landslide, as he has built extreme levels of popularity among much of the population since the removal of Morsi in July 2013. However, the increase in violence seen in Egypt in recent months, the marginalisation of the MB and the rise in the operational capabilities of Islamist groups based in the Sinai, strongly indicate that the crisis in Egypt is far from over.

Elsewhere, the region continues to be beset by the ongoing Syrian Civil War, which has not only gravely affected the Syrian population, but also enflamed tensions in Lebanon and Iraq. As the war has become increasingly sectarian, so too has violence in its equally ethnically and religious divided neighbours: Lebanon has faced weekly bombings targeting neighbourhoods due to their inhabitants’ religious identities whereas in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken control of Fallujah and Ramadi as well as much of the rest of Anbar Governorate.  Turmoil also continues to beset Yemen, which appears aimless following the inconclusive end of the national dialogue conference in January 2014, as it aims to repair the security void for which AQAP has spread throughout the southern region. Daily protests continue to call for greater political reforms and inclusion of the Shia majority in Bahrain, whilst calls for reform persist in Morocco as well as across the majority of the Gulf States (Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia)”.

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