Sibylline Insight Series
Assessing the Drivers of Coups in West Africa

Assessing the Drivers of Coups in West Africa

February 11, 2022

Over the past year, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has undergone three successful coups among its member states, prompting fears of a potential shift back to the political instability that marked many post-independence African governments. While driven by a variety of factors, the coups in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali appeared to share key similarities. Namely, these were instances where younger officers successfully identified that elevated levels of anti-government sentiment would provide them cover to act against their governments and secure advancement. The podcast will examine this phenomenon and highlight the ways in which the military juntas that have developed from these coups now act as a source of inspiration and support for other military governments and outline the challenge this trend creates for the region.

In this week's podcast, join our Lead Middle East & Africa Analyst Eloise Scott, along with Benedict Manzin our Lead Sub Sahara Africa Analyst, and Edie Lipton our Associate Analyst, as we discuss the drivers behind Coups in West Africa.

Beijing 2022: Politics, Covid and Public Perception

Beijing 2022: Politics, Covid and Public Perception

February 4, 2022

As China kicks off the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games with what is promised to be a "very different" opening ceremony from the one 14 years ago, the context under which the Winter Games are held also could not be more contrasting to that of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Not only will the event be subject to the most comprehensive Covid-19 countermeasures ever seen in international sports but the Games have also been shrouded by much controversy regarding China's human rights record – all taking place against the backdrop of intensifying geopolitical jostling between Beijing and Washington.

In this week's podcast, join our Lead Asia-Pacific Analyst Dr Guo Yu, and fellow APAC Analysts,  Aédán Mordecai and Hans Horan, as we discuss the broad geopolitical and security risks connected to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Discussing the Escalating Conflict Between Saudi-led Coalition Forces and Iran-backed Houthi Rebels in Yemen.

Discussing the Escalating Conflict Between Saudi-led Coalition Forces and Iran-backed Houthi Rebels in Yemen.

January 28, 2022

In this week's podcast, join Valeria Scuto, our Middle East, North Africa and Turkey Analyst, along with Anastasia Chisholm and Rhiannon Phillips, our Associate Analysts, to discuss that in recent weeks we have witnessed an escalation in the conflict between Saudi-led Coalition forces and Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen's southern and eastern provinces, culminating in the Houthis targeting sites across Abu Dhabi on 24 January and exactly a week prior. 

These latest developments have cast a spotlight on an often-overlooked conflict while confirming the long-range capabilities of the Houthi rebels. As a result, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are calling on support from international partners, most notably the US, to manage the elevated threat towards critical infrastructure, assets, and personnel.

Sustained Houthi threats in the coming weeks are likely to elevate regional tensions as world powers continue to pursue a nuclear deal with Iran while heightening business uncertainty across the Kingdom and the Emirates.

Discussing the Importance of ESG Integration into Corporate Strategy

Discussing the Importance of ESG Integration into Corporate Strategy

January 21, 2022

In this week’s podcast, join Jocelyn Spottiswoode, our Senior Case Manager for BI&I and Daphne Biliouri-Grant our Senior Adviser on ESG, as they discuss the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance issues being integrated into Corporate Strategy, and how best to get started on what can sometimes feel like an overwhelming and impossible task.

Discussing the Implications of Violent Protests in Kazakhstan

Discussing the Implications of Violent Protests in Kazakhstan

January 12, 2022

In this week's podcast, join Liana Semchuk, our Lead Europe and Eurasia Analyst and Zsofia Wolford and Alex Lord, our Europe and Eurasia Analysts, to discuss the uprising's implications for the future of the Tokayev government and for the wider region.

Last week's nationwide protests in response to a surge in liquified natural gas prices were marked by unprecedented violence and harsh repression, resulting in more than 160 deaths and almost 8,000 arrests. With the authorities initially struggling to control the situation, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) for help in quelling the protests. 

Although the Tokayev regime has subsequently managed to re-establish order with CSTO's help, the underlying drivers of dissatisfaction remain and are likely to continue undermining government stability and driving policy and human rights risks moving forward. Moreover, the deployment of CSTO peacekeeping troops is likely to increase Kazakhstan's dependency on Russia in the year ahead. 

Discussing the Diplomatic Boycotts of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Discussing the Diplomatic Boycotts of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

December 23, 2021

Join your host Alex Parsons, our Director of Intelligence, who is joined by our Asia-Pacific Analysts, Hans Horan and Aédán Mordecai, to discuss official delegates attendance at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Since Washington's announcement of a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games early this month, a number of governments, including Australia, the UK, and Canada, have joined in, citing China's human rights record. However, many other governments are leaning in favour of critical engagement with China over diplomatic boycotts, while others, such as New Zealand, quoted the pandemic and China's strict border control and quarantine rules for deciding not to send an official delegation to the Games. Meanwhile, Russian President Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be among a handful of leaders that have confirmed their attendance at the Games.

Discussing the Presidential Elections in Libya

Discussing the Presidential Elections in Libya

December 17, 2021

Join your host Alex Parsons, our Director of Intelligence, who is joined by Valeria Scuto, our Middle East Analyst, and Anastasia Chisholm, our Middle East Associate Analyst, to discuss the mounting political divisions threatening to disrupt Libya's presidential elections, due to take place on Friday, 24 December.

A military build-up in the capital, Tripoli, overnight on 15 December, has contributed to growing concerns that the country is not prepared to host its first round of polls, despite sustained pressure from some domestic players and the international community. Libya's security environment, which remains characterised by rival militia groups and foreign actors, will play a central role in determining whether elections can take place.

Elections, or their postponement, are likely to exacerbate existing factionalism and institutional divisiveness. This is set to drive an uptick in the likelihood of armed hostilities, presenting risks to physical assets, particularly energy infrastructure, and foreign personnel.

Discussing Global Covid-19 Trends and the Omicron Variant

Discussing Global Covid-19 Trends and the Omicron Variant

December 10, 2021

John Breen, Lead Analyst for Global Risk at Sibylline is joined by North America Analyst James Hannan for a discussion on global Covid-19 trends following the emergence of the Omicron variant. Their conversation unpacks prevailing endemiological trends, including Europe's ongoing infection wave, followed by an overview of further variant proliferation risk factors, and the disruptions this could have on global business operations

Discussing the latest Russian military build-up and the likelihood of war in Ukraine

Discussing the latest Russian military build-up and the likelihood of war in Ukraine

November 26, 2021

Last week US and Ukrainian intelligence published warnings over the most recent Russian military build-up along Ukraine's eastern border, predicting that it may be a precursor to a larger military offensive in early 2022. Increasingly heated rhetoric between Moscow, Ukraine and NATO has ramped up regional tensions in recent weeks, with both sides accusing one another of provocations in Donbas and the Black Sea. In this week's Sibylline podcast, Liana Semchuk, our Lead Europe and Eurasia Analyst, is joined by Alex Lord, our Europe and Eurasia Analyst, and Zsofia Wolford, our Europe Analyst, to discuss the latest developments and whether the current tensions will result in conflict.

Discussing the Terrorist Attack on Remembrance Sunday

Discussing the Terrorist Attack on Remembrance Sunday

November 19, 2021

On 14 November, Remembrance Sunday, a man detonated an improvised explosive device outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in the UK, killing himself just before the national two-minute silence. While the motive behind the attack remains uncertain at this stage, the incident was declared a terrorist incident by security services and precipitated an increase in the UK's Terror Threat Level from "substantial" to "severe", meaning an attack is "highly likely". In this week's Sibylline podcast, Alexander Parsons, our Director of Intelligence, is joined by Alex Lord, Europe and Eurasia analyst, and Zsofia Wolford, Europe associate analyst, to discuss the attack and its impact on the terror threat environment in Europe.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App