Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 47

Headlines From This Week

  • Houthi Rebels Threaten Maritime Traffic – Houthi rebels in Yemen threatened to attack international shipping, particularly oil vessels, and those flagged to states in the Saudi-led coalition. The objective of the threat appeared to be to apply pressure on the Saudi-led coalition to raise the blockade imposed upon all Yemeni ports. In this respect, it may be seen as successful, as Saudi Arabia announced that the blockade to Yemen would be eased to permit humanitarian access.
  • North Korea Declared State Sponsor of Terrorism – In response to North Korea’s continued provocation, US President, Donald Trump, placed the state on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in 2008. The move was met with approval by a number of regional states, including Japan, however it is likely to have raised regional tensions and increased the likelihood of a further North Korean action in response.
  • German Coalition Talks Broke Down – German coalition talks, seeking to form a new government for Chancellor Angela Merkel, broke down during the week. Specific details are uncertain, however key policy issues between the Greens and the Free Democratic Party appear to have prevented the two parties uniting behind Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The Social Democrats have signalled they are willing to consider renewing the previous “grand coalition” with the CDU, however they have not indicated any terms at this stage. It remains probable, however, that a new election will be announced before Christmas 2017, for polling in early 2018.
  • Chilean Election – Chilean voters went to the polls on Sunday 19 November to elect their legislature and conduct the first round of their presidential elections. Turn-out was reported to be approximately 47 per cent, higher than expected. Low turn-out is generally perceived to benefit conservative candidates. The right-wing candidate, Pinera, came in approximately five per cent below expectations, below the 40 per cent mark required to avoid a run-off. The two most notable opposition candidates polled 43 per cent between them, and there remains a possibility that their supporters will unite to support the opposition candidate on the 17 December run-off, potentially offering a surprise victory for left-leaning parties.
  • Mosque Attack in North Sinai – At least 200 people were killed as insurgents launched a coordinated firearm and bomb attack on a mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed, west of al-Arish. Four vehicles carrying armed men approached the mosque during Friday prayers and attacked the worshippers. The mosque was likely targeted due to its affiliation to the mystic Sufi branch of Islam, members of which are viewed as heretics by Salafist jihadi groups such as the Islamic State. Previous attacks in the region have focused on attacking security forces.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Bosnian Republic Day – 25 November marks the national celebration of Bosnia’s foundation and is likely to be marked by festivals and political events. Issues surrounding the nation’s founding remain contentious in some areas, and travellers in the country should expect disruption in urban areas, and possibly at the Serbian border.
  • Nepalese Elections – The first round of Nepal’s legislative elections are scheduled for Sunday 26 November, and will elect members of the House of Representatives. This will be the first election held under the new constitution ratified in 2015. Recent local election had a turnout of over 75%, disruption can therefore be expected as the majority of the population are likely to attend polling locations. The second round is scheduled for 07 December.
  • Prophets Birthday – The Islamic festival of Milad in Nabi will be observed across the Muslim world between Thursday 30 November and Friday 01 December. Major urban areas are likely to host substantial festivals, and provision of services is likely be substantially impacted. Those seeking to travel during or immediately after the festival should ensure their arrangements are in place in advance in order to minimise delays.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 25 November – Bosnian Republic Day
  • 25 November – Suriname celebrates its national day
  • 26 November – Protests planed at London’s Libyan embassy due to the ongoing refugee crisis
  • 26 November – The first round of the Nepal
  • 26 November – Honduran general election
  • 28 November – Albanian independence day
  • 30 November – Milad in Nabi Islamic holiday starts
  • 01 December – The Maldives celebrate Qaumme Dhuvs, victory over the Portuguese
  • 01 December – 24 hour ground crew strike at Milan International Airport

Click link to Download PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 47 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 47 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.