Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 50

Headlines From This Week

  • Failed Terror Attack in New York – Five people were injured after an individual detonated a pipe bomb below the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City on 11 December. The attacker, a Bangladeshi immigrant who had reportedly entered the US on an immigrant visa, pledged allegiance to Islamic State and claimed the attack in response to Israeli actions in Gaza. The two explosive devices on his person did not explode as had been intended.
  • Terror Attack in Mogadishu – At least 18 police officers were killed and 15 injured after an Al Shabab suicide bomber blew himself up inside Somalia’s main police academy in Mogadishu, on 14 December. The attacker reportedly disguised himself as a police officer to gain entry to the academy. This attack comes just two months after an Al Shabab bombing killed more than 500 people and levelled buildings in the Somali capital.
  • Deadly Airstrike on Houthi Prison – At least 30 prisoners were killed after Saudi coalition airstrikes on the city of Sanaa, which is controlled by the rebel Houthi forces. Local media reported that dozens were injured in seven raids targeting facilities controlled by the Houthis. The prison attacked by Saudi-led airstrikes housed 180 prisoners at that time.
  • Martial Law Extended in Mindanao – On 13 December, the Philippines Senate and House of Representatives voted in favour of approving a request by President Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of December 2018. Martial law was initially implemented in May 2017 as a measure to control the rise of Islamic militants in the area. The move has been criticised by rights groups, including Amnesty International, who claim that human rights abuses have flourished in the area under the shadow of martial law.
  • Russia Announces Withdrawal from Syria – President Putin announced a “significant” withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. Despite initial suggestions by the US that Moscow would find itself “stuck in a quagmire”, it seems to have been successful in its intervention in the Syrian Civil War, namely through the maintenance of ally Bashar al-Assad as President. Russia will keep two military bases in north-western Syria.
  • Peruvian President Resists Pressure to Resign – Peru’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is under serious pressure to resign due to the ongoing corruption allegations involving Brazilian construction firm, Odebrecht. Kuczynski was allegedly paid US$5 million in advisory fees while in a previous government role. The Odebrecht corruption scandal has impacted many political leaders across Central and South America. Indeed, the company was fined a record US$3.5 billion by the US in 2016 for bribing officials; ‘advisory fees’ was one such method used by Odebrecht to bribe public officials.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • ANC National Conference – South Africa’s ruling African National Conference (ANC) are set to elect a new leader at their national conference in Johannesburg between 16 and 20 December. While Jacob Zuma will remain as president, the new ANC leader will spearhead the election campaign in 2019. Corruption allegations have blighted Zuma’s leadership; the new leader will face the challenge of uniting a party with deep divisions. The two favourite candidates are Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
  • Christmas Transport Strikes in Europe – Transport workers across Europe are due to participate in various strikes next week. This includes security staff at Madrid Barajas Airport (from 22 December), Iberia Staff at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (from 21st December), and baggage handlers at Paris’s Orly Airport (from 22 December). Travellers should contact their operators to understand if or how they may be impacted by these strikes.
  • ‘Million March’ against US in Karachi – The Jamaat-e-Islami party have announced their intention to march on 17 December against the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The march is set to occur in Karachi and is likely to cause extensive travel delays. This is just one of a host of anti-US protests to have been organised in response to the United States’ new Israeli policy.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 16 December – Bahrain National Day
  • 16 December – Kazakhstan Independence Day
  • 17 December – Bhutan National Day
  • 17 December – Icelandic air Engineers threaten strike
  • 17 December – Major infrastructure work begins on Singapore’s MRT
  • 18 December – Niger Republic Day
  • 18 December – Qatar National Day
  • 20 December – Irish Ryanair pilots to srike
  • 20 December – Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day

Click link to Download PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 50 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 50 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.