Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 41

Headlines From This Week

  • California Wildfires – 31 people have now been confirmed dead after wildfires swept through northern California. Hundreds remain missing and there are at least 22 active fires at present. More than 3,500 buildings and 68,000 hectares of land have been destroyed, with 8,000 firefighters tackling the various blazes. Officials have warned that conditions will worsen.
  • Tensions in Kurdistan – Friction between the government in Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan continue to rise after the recent independence referendum. Kurdish Peshmerga military forces have claimed that the Iraqi army and its militia allies are preparing to attack Kirkuk, which falls outside of their semi-autonomous zone but is held by Kurdish forces at present. Tensions continue to rise in the region, with Syria, Turkey, and Iran, countries with significant Kurdish populations, watching on closely. Any war between the Kurds and Baghdad could have significant negative consequences for stability in the region.
  • Kenya Turmoil – It has been a tumultuous week in Kenya and Kenyan politics. Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition in Kenya (NASA), announced plans to pull out of this month’s re-run elections due to issues with the election commission. The impact on the election itself is unclear. Odinga’s supporters have taken to the streets in protest. So much so that the Kenya government has banned protests in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa. Protestors have ignored this instruction and further violent clashes between police and demonstrators have occurred and are expected to continue.
  • DRC Elections – The election commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced that there would be no elections in the country before 2019. The commission claims that more time is needed to adequately prepare. This delay raises concerns that there will be a surge in violence in the already unstable country; activists have already called for resistance in response to the delays.
  • US-Turkey Diplomatic Issues – Relations between Turkey and the United States, both key members of NATO, seem to be at an all-time low. The US reacted to the arrest of a member of its consular staff by freezing its nonimmigrant visa services in Turkey. The US fears that arrests of its citizens and personnel in Turkey are being made in order to force the US to extradite Fetullah Gulen. Gulen and his followers have been accused of orchestrating the coup attempt last year.
  • Vietnam Flooding – Flooding and landslides have killed at least 54 people in Vietnam since a tropical depression hit northern and central areas at the beginning of this week. Another 39 people are missing. Infrastructural damage has hampered rescue attempts and travel conditions have become hazardous.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Tropical Storm Khanun – Tropical Storm Khanun is expected to make landfall in southern China late on 15 October or early the next day, with Hainan and Guangdong provinces most at threat. The storm is expected to intensify over the South China Sea before hitting Vietnam, potentially causing further damage to areas already dealing with widespread flooding.
  • Diwali – The festival of Diwali, the ‘festival of lights’, occurs on 19 October, with celebrations lasting for five days. Diwali is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Newar Buddhists, and Jains, most notably in the Indian subcontinent but also across the world. The festival is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sindh province in Pakistan.
  • Elections in Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyzstan is set for the most democratic election of all countries in the Central Asian region, where the president may only stand for one term. The president is elected using a two-round system, the first being on 15 October. There are tensions between Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups and it is possible that this election will lay such tensions bare. A state of emergency was issued in Osh during 2010 after clashes between the two groups.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 14 October – World Ironman Championship, Hawaii
  • 15 October – Anti-White Supremacy Rally in Toronto, Canada
  • 15 October – Austrian legislative elections
  • 15 October – Canton Fair begins in Guangzhou, China
  • 15 October – Regional elections take place in Venezuela
  • 16 October – Protests planned outside health ministry in Rabat, Morocco
  • 19 October – CGT Union members in France set to take part in a 24-hour strike
  • 20 October – Sikh Festival celebrating Installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
  • 20-21 October – Czech legislative elections

Click link to Download PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 41 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 41 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.