Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 43

Headlines From This Week

  • Kenya Presidential Elections – The re-run of the August 2017 elections was held on 26 October. The vote was marred by widespread violence, a boycott by the opposition NASA and its leader Raila Odinga, and a turnout of around 35 per cent. President Kenyatta looks set to win this latest poll, but it is unclear if a further vote will be forced to take place. Violence, however, is expected to continue in NASA strongholds especially.
  • Piracy near Bonny Island – On 24 October, six crew members were kidnapped from a Liberia-flagged, Germanowned container vessel in the Gulf of Guinea. Eight attackers approached the vessel in a black speedboat prior to boarding the ship and seizing crew. The remaining 12 crew members navigated the ship to safer waters after the pirates departed.
  • Niger Police Attacked on Mali Border – Gunmen attacked and killed 13 Niger police officers near the Mali border. The attack occurred close to where four US soldiers were killed in early October 2017. The militants were reportedly heavily armed on pickup trucks and motorcycles, crossing from Mali into Niger to conduct their attack. There are several Islamic militant groups active in the area. This incident demonstrates the instability in this region.
  • Temer Avoids Corruption Trial – Brazil’s embattled president has avoided a corruption trial after securing enough votes in the lower house of Congress. He has been accused of obstructing justice and racketeering. Temer faced a similar vote in August of this year. It is possible that this will lead to unrest on the streets of Brazil with Temer currently enduring the lowest recorded approval ratings in Brazilian history.
  • The Battle for Catalonia – The political battle between Madrid and the Catalan region escalated this week. The regional government in Catalonia voted to declare independence 70-10 in a vote boycotted by the opposition. This move is unlikely to be ratified by the Spanish Constitutional Court or be recognised by any international government. In Madrid, the Senate voted 214 votes to 47 to approve measures allowing Spain to impose direct rule over the autonomous region. Further protests are likely and may turn violent.
  • Turkey-Iraq Border – The Turkish and Iraqi governments have finalised an agreement to open a second border crossing in order to bypass the Kurdish Regional Government, which presently controls the official route between the two countries. This highlights that both parties consider the issue of Kurdish independence and control of the border as a notable and ongoing threat to their national relations. The move will also deprive the Kurdish region of the leverage and income opportunities provided by control of the trade route.

What to Look Out For Next Week

  • Morocco Protests – The Hirak committee has called for demonstrations across Morocco on 28 October 2017. This latest wave of protest began after a fishmonger was killed by a rubbish truck last year. Unrest is most prevalent in the turbulent Al-Hoceima and Rif regions, in the north of the country. Violence has been reported in previous protests, with clashes between protestors and security personnel a strong possibility.
  • Tropical Storm Selma – Another tropical storm looks set to hit the Americas. Selma has formed off the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica and is expected to move inland over El Salvador and Guatemala over the weekend. While the storm is unlikely to strengthen further, it is expected to bring flash flooding, mudslides, and gale-force winds. The impact of Selma is already being felt in the region.
  • Pro-Palestine Protests – A series of pro-Palestine protests are due to take place next week. This includes one outside of the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria in South Africa, in Ireland outside of the British Embassy (both on 02 November), and in London, United Kingdom on 04 November.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 28 October – Opposition rally planned in Baku, Azerbaijan
  • 28 October – Czech Republic marks its independence from Austria-Hungary
  • 28 October – South Korean trade unions plan to rally
  • 28 October – Taipei, Taiwan hosts a LGBT pride parade
  • 29 October – Turkey celebrates its Republic Day
  • 01 November – Algeria celebrates its Revolution Day
  • 01 November – Christian holiday of All Saints Day
  • 01 November – Antigua and Barbuda Independence Day
  • 03 November – Dominica Independence Day
  • 03 November – Panama celebrates Separation Day
  • 03 November – Military drills planned in Sharjah, UAE

Click link to Download PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 43 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 43 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.